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It's that time of the year again. Which is to say that it isn't, yet, but it's close enough for us all to start speculating.
The 2015 Oscar nominations won't be announced until January, and thanks to the peculiarities of transatlantic release schedules, many of these contenders will barely have reached UK shores by then.
But we've now seen enough of the heavy-hitters to have a decent sense of how the next awards season is shaping up, and below we've rounded up our best guesses for the ten films that will dominate this year's Academy Awards.
Scroll all the way to the bottom to see our complete list of predictions for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
Bennett Miller's brooding true crime drama emerged as one of the year's earliest awards season frontrunners when it opened at Cannes, centring on »
I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.
The Shawshank Redemption celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion stars Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and director Frank Darabont reunited for a special Academy screening of the film this week.
Digital Spy goes then and now with the cast of the beloved drama to find out what happened to them in the years since Shawshank's original release.
Tim Robbins (Andy Dufresne)
Already a well-established and respected actor by the time he won the role of Andy Dufresne, Tim Robbins saw his career surge in the wake of Shawshank. He bagged the role after Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt turned it down, but their loss was his gain.
Ever since they wrote Good Will Hunting 18 years ago, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been one of Hollywood's most well-known bromances. But no bromance is complete without some healthy competition, which is why we've gone back through the years since their first Oscar win and looked at their careers. With Samantha Highfill representing Matt Damon in one corner, and Joshua Rivera representing Ben Affleck in the other, here's how the fight breaks down: 1997 Damon: Good Will Hunting Sure, both Damon and Affleck won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, but only one of them was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor, »
- EW staff
Everyone wants to love Clint Eastwood's movies. But after winning Best Director and Best Picture for 2004's "Million Dollar Baby," the actor-turned-director's self-seriousness has left his recent output feeling a little… dry. Sounding great on paper, "Flags of Our Fathers" "Invictus," "J. Edgar" didn't have the cinematic brawn to muscle Eastwood into the award season (though, it should be noted, that his riveting, un-Hollywood war movie "Letters from Iwo Jima" nabbed a Best Picture nomination). Will "American Sniper" be the one voters and critical voices finally get behind? Star Bradley Cooper hopes so. A passion project for the actor, Cooper dedicated himself to obtaining and developing the life story of Navy Seal Chris Kyle's story, one of the deadliest snipers in modern history. Originally set up as directing vehicle for Steven Spielberg, Eastwood boarded the project in Aug. 2013. Now we have the first look at the film and »
- Matt Patches
In many ways this was always going to be a ‘Marking Time’ summer. The hoopla of debuting blockbusters was constantly being eclipsed by breaking news about the big summer movies of 2015/16. With photos and plot details being drip-fed all summer from the sets of Star Wars: Episode VII, Avengers: Age of Ulton and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, it took a bit of effort to get genuinely excited about the upcoming fourth Transformers movie.
There was an orderly, uncontroversial tone to the summer line-up this year; everybody behaved as predicted. There were no Lone Rangers or John Carters; no Battleship-level disasters. The biggest disappointments of the season were probably Seth MacFarlane’s Ted follow-up, A Million Ways to Die in The West and the entirely unwanted Expendables 3 (which scraped back $27m; barely enough to cover the cod liver oil and Sanatogen allowance for the cast).
Instead, the malaise was »
- Cai Ross
It's been an interesting run of films for director Clint Eastwood in the 10 years since his "Million Dollar Baby" crashed the 2004 Oscar party and ran away with the gold. I say "interesting" because, at least in awards season terms, it's been a run particularly notable for lots of revving but nothing that ever materialized as a significant player. Right after "Baby" it was the one-two punch of "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters from Iwo Jima" in 2006, a bold play for the then-75-year-old filmmaker. While developing an adaptation of John Bradley's book for the former, Eastwood felt a perspective from the Japanese side of the WWII equation was warranted, so he quickly developed the latter. And it was "Letters" that felt like it had more on its mind, yielding surprise (for some) nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, as well an Oscar for Best Sound Editing. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Walt Martin Dies At 69
Martin passed away on July 24 of vasculitis at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after being hospitalized for chest pains, his wife Elena Martin told The Hollywood Reporter.
Martin first teamed up with Eastwood on 1999 picture True Crime. He went on to work with him on Space Cowboys (2000), Blood Work (2002), Mystic River (2003), Million Dollar Baby (2004), Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), Changeling (2008), Gran Torino (2008), Invictus (2009), Hereafter (2010) and Trouble With the Curve (2012).
Martin also worked with Eastwood on this summer’s Jersey Boys musical and most recently on the Chris Kyle biopic American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper, which is to hit theaters next year. He won an Oscar for sound mixing Eastwood’s 2006 World War II drama Flags of Our Fathers.
Prior to becoming part of Eastwood’s crew, »
It is not too shabby in what the Northeast (New England) part of the United States has produced in terms of past and present actors/actresses making their show business dreams come true. Film careers can be a lot like ice cubes–they start out solid and cool but if you sit around in stagnation your efforts and hard work can melt away before one’s very eyes. Certainly no one can accuse this talented crop of thespians of being one-hit wonders on the big screen. After all, one does not become a recipient of an Academy Award by just sheer luck and charitable fortune.
As a native Bostonian and life long New Englander, I felt compelled to spotlight those Massachusetts-born and bred actors from the same region that had ultimate success on the big screen in winning the Oscar for their acting achievement and contribution to the motion picture industry. »
- Frank Ochieng
The domestic box office totaled $1.04 billion in June, which is a pretty standard result for the second month of Summer. Unfortunately, it was off a massive 16 percent from last year's $1.25 billion record, which puts the yearly box office in a precarious position heading in to the third quarter.Last June's lineup was unusually strong: Man of Steel, Monsters University and World War Z earned a combined $543 million during the month. In comparison, the Top Three titles in June 2014 earned a more modest $420 million.Maleficent led the way with $153.4 million. This is the first time a May release topped the June box office since Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End in 2007. The Angelina Jolie fantasy opened to a strong $69.4 million at the end of May, and has held incredibly well since then. It's on track for around $230 million total, which is nearly on par with last year's Oz The Great and Powerful »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
It's easy to see how Warner Bros. turned to their A-list director-producer Clint Eastwood, known for his calm, economic, unpretentious, methodical filmmaking, for the 60s period musical "Jersey Boys." After directing 37 movies, he can do period in his sleep, from "Invictus" to "Changeling,"--on a budget. He's a composer and jazz pianist who knows music (Cannes prize-winner "Bird"). "It's just a lot of good songs," he told Vanity Fair. "You go home humming a different one every night." And he's great with actors. The Tony-winning musical also had a good chance of being Oscar bait--likely to play well to the seniors in the Academy who have voted Eastwood movies many Oscars over the years, from "Mystic River" to Best Picture-winners "Unforgiven" and "Million Dollar Baby." But the movie looks bland and brown: while it may be accurate for the period, it's not »
- Anne Thompson
Think Like a Man Too narrowly defeated fellow Sony comedy 22 Jump Street to take first place at the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys got off to a quiet start.Overall, it was a slow weekend at the box office, with the Top 12 earning $138.8 million. That's down a whopping 40 percent from the same weekend last year, when Monsters University, World War Z and Man of Steel combined for $190 million.Playing at 2,225 locations, Think Like a Man Too opened to $29.2 million this weekend. That's a bit lower than the original Think Like a Man's $33.6 million, and is also below November's The Best Man Holiday ($30.1 million). It is at least an improvement over February's About Last Night, which also starred Kevin Hart and opened to $25.6 million.A $29 million opening for a modestly-budgeted relationship comedy is undeniably good. Still, with Hart's increased popularity and with a fun new »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Okay, so the reviews are in, and it turns out I'm not alone in thinking that Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" -- the 84-year-old actor-director-producer's 33rd effort behind the camera -- is a bit of a dud. Worse still, it's not the only recent misfire for the four-time Oscar winner frequently referred by critics as the last true classicist in American cinema. "J. Edgar," "Hereafter," "Invictus" and "Changeling" all met with varying degrees of opposition, though his defenders stand firm. "Has any working director had more wobbly movies defended by auteurist critics than Clint Eastwood?" tweeted Mark Harris recently. This iffy run of form, however, follows a recent purple patch during which Eastwood could seemingly do no wrong, as he racked up three Best Picture nominees in the space of four years (effectively erasing the less ecstatically received film that served as the precursor to the third of those). Eastwood's »
- Guy Lodge
There are, you could argue, two Clint Eastwoods. One is the strong, near-silent type, the man with no name but a pair of Colt revolvers or a .44 Magnum, the lean avenging angel who asks if you feel lucky, punk, and would care to make his day. Whether he's a tough cop, a tough cowboy, a tough secret-service agent, a tough military man, a tough experimental-jet-fighter pilot or a tough racist old coot, the part is a variation on Eastwood's screen persona. His status as a macho icon was cast in »
When Hollywood brings a Broadway show to the bigscreen, the first casualty is usually the stage actors. This dates back to 1964′s “My Fair Lady,” which passed Julie Andrews over for Audrey Hepburn (with Marni Nixon dubbing the singing). Idina Menzel recently revealed that she and Kristin Chenoweth were told they were too old for the upcoming “Wicked” movie. And sometimes, recasting is inevitable: By the time “Chicago” made it in front of cameras after a protracted development process, it was more than 25 years since the original Broadway production. Director Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” suffered a similar fate.
Which is why Clint Eastwood’s decision to keep the stage cast of “Jersey Boys” is an anomaly. John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for originating on Broadway nine years ago, is back as Four Seasons crooner Franki Valli. »
- Ramin Setoodeh and Scott Foundas
If one were compiling a list of natural choices to direct the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood probably wouldn't be anywhere near the running. His approach to drama has always wavered somewhere between earnest and po-faced, with his last few efforts (J Edgar, Hereafter, Invictus) leaning distinctly towards the latter, while this jukebox musical won hearts on Broadway and the West End thanks chiefly to its catchy tunes and snappy, fleet-footed pace.
There's not much rhythm or vim to Eastwood's enjoyable but slavish chronicle of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' origins, which translates Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice's book more or less word-for-word but inevitably lacks the immediacy of live theatre. What it does have is the musical chops, thanks to »
Sadly, it’s just a glimpse of Thunderbird 2 and an invitation to the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas where, we imagine, we’ll get more images.
See the image below:
From the press release:
Fifty years after its television debut the iconic series is back in production featuring a talented cast led by Rosamund Pike (The World’s End, Gone Girl) as Lady Penelope and David Graham (Thunderbirds 1965) reprising his role as chauffeur and International Rescue agent Parker.
Debuting on ITV in 2015 this re-invention of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s much-loved series will be produced using an innovative mix of CGI animation and live-action miniature sets.
- Luke Owen
Remember the British TV series from the 1960s, Thunderbirds? The puppet, action, sci-fi epic series holds a special place in the heart of a certain generation and now the folks from ITV Studios are hoping for it to catch on with an all-new audience. The series is going to be relaunched in 2015, with the name Thunderbirds Are Go, and they've tapped Weta to handle the effects for the update- which will use a combination of miniature sets and CG characters. The original was filmed using a technique that creator Gerry Anderson called Super Mario Nation (I like that!)...oh wait, I'm sorry. That's Supermarionation.
While no official images have been released of the characters, sets, or the new visual aesthetic, this invitation from ITV does give the world it's first look:
Fifty years after its television debut the iconic series is back in production featuring a talented cast led by »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
In 1962, the same year that a quartet of working-class New Jersey youths called the Four Seasons shot to the top of the pop charts with the irresistible doo-wop single “Sherry,” a solo artist from the West Coast made a less auspicious chart appearance with an earnest cowboy ballad inspired by his character on a popular TV Western. Entitled “Rowdy,” the song featured its gravelly voiced performer lamenting life on the open range, set to a gentle, galloping tempo. That singer was Clint Eastwood.
Surely, few listening to the radio back then would have imagined that, 50-odd years later, the Four Seasons’ pint-sized frontman, Frankie Valli, would still be selling out arenas with his vibrating falsetto. Fewer still would have wagered that Eastwood, then in his fourth season as Rowdy Yates on CBS’ “Rawhide,” would not only go on to become one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men, but one of its most lauded director-producers, »
- Scott Foundas
The election took place Saturday at the Warner Bros. lot, the location of the PGA’s Produced By conferrence. Gordon and Koch — who held the slots since 2010 — received special recognition at the meeting for their service including their campaign successful campaign for the Producers Mark credit certification process.
Lucchesi has served the organization’s VP of Motion Pictures and co-chaired the conference for the past four years. McCreary has served as treasurer for the past two years and co-chaired the 2014 PGA Awards with Michael De Luca.
- Dave McNary
Clint Eastwood hasn't hit it big on the Oscar circuit in some time. Films like "Changeling," "Invictus" and "Hereafter" scored the casual nomination here or there, but his last Best Picture nominee came nearly a decade ago with "Letters from Iwo Jima." Will "Jersey Boys" change all of that? We'll know if the adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical has that kind of muscle sooner rather than later, as the film has been announced as the closing night premiere of this year's Los Angeles Film Festival. "It’s exciting to see Eastwood still tackling new forms," Laff Artistic Director David Ansen said. "His deft, rousing translation of ‘Jersey Boys’ from stage to screen is further confirmation of his amazing, ageless talent." Also announced Tuesday are special gala presentations of Ira Sachs' "Love is Strange" and Justin Simien's "Dear White People," both hits when they bowed at the Sundance Film Festival in January. »
- Kristopher Tapley
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