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Sony chief executive Michael Lynton’s announcement that Tom Rothman would succeed Amy Pascal at the top of Sony Pictures Entertainment caught many by surprise throughout Hollywood and at the Culver City studio, where the betting money had been on the ascension of Doug Belgrad.
Belgrad had been seen as a front-runner for the job, not only because he was Pascal’s top deputy but because the onetime securities analyst offered a combination of financial acumen and a steady management style that won him many allies, both on the lot and among the studio’s producing partners.
Belgrad has been with Sony for more than 25 years. Besides his management skills, he offered an additional plus, given recent tumult inside Sony: He rose to the studio’s top ranks without exhibiting the sort of explosive personality that ultimately doomed his predecessor and onetime boss, Amy Pascal, and that has sometimes been attributed to Rothman. »
- James Rainey
Oscar week continued on Saturday with The Academy hosting the artists nominated for the Makeup and Hairstyling award in their ninth annual event spotlighting this category.
The makeup artists and hairstylists nominated for Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Guardians Of The Galaxy joined makeup artist and Academy governor Leonard Engelman as they discussed their work on the three films, and presented photographs and displays including appliances, molds and wigs.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The event also included a screening of clip reels that the Academy branch members viewed before voting on the three nominated films.
In its 34th year as an Oscar category, this year’s nominated films represented themes from the period, contemporary and futuristic genres.
Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy finds space adventurer Peter »
- Michelle McCue
A pensive and unsettling film that defies genre description and keeps you wondering just what the heck sort of film you’re watching. I’m “biast” (pro): have really liked Bennett Miller’s other films
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you don’t already know the real-life story of millionaire John du Pont and Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz, try to avoid learning about it before you see Foxcatcher. Because Bennett Miller has crafted a pensive and unsettling film that defies genre description and keeps you wondering — in a way that is intellectually thrilling yet also dolefully introspective in a way American movies hardly ever are — just what the heck sort of film you’re watching. Foxcatcher is a challenge to a movie ecosystem that, even on the arthouse end of the spectrum, caters to a lack »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Oscars are only days away, and host Neil Patrick Harris is warming up his pipes, dry-cleaning his tux, and getting ready.
But what about you? Are you ready for the 87th Academy Awards? Have you watched all the Best Director nominees: Birdman, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, and Boyhood? If you haven’t, we’ve got the lowdown on everything “Oscar” with this handy breakdown of all the nominees – with bonus interviews!
Colleagues told Alejandro González Iñárritu he was insane to shoot a film composed of super-long takes meant to simulate one continuous shot. Thank goodness the Mexican director didn’t listen and gifted us with his technically audacious, gleefully absurd study of a movie actor (Michael Keaton) desperate to reinvent himself on stage.
- Cineplex Magazine
Our Oscar coverage continues. Here we overview the best acting and best directing award nominees.
The Best Actor Nominees
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Interesting Fact: Owns and operates the Marshfield Hills General Store in Marshfield, Massachusetts where he has a summer home.
Previously Best Known For:
Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role 2013- as Richie Dimaso in American Hustle
Nomination - Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role 2012 - as Pat in Silver Linings Playbook
Interesting Fact: Had to miss his graduation commencement at Georgetown University because he was filming Wet Hot American Summer.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
Aniston has starred in such films as “Cake” (2014), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Marley & Me” (2008) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003). She also starred in all ten seasons of “Friends,” for which she won the 2002 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Miller co-stars in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” both of which have garnered multiple Oscar nominations this year. She previously appeared in such features as “Factory Girl” (2006) and “Layer Cake” (2005). Her upcoming films include “High-Rise,” “Adam Jones” and “Lost City of Z.”
Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Selma.” His other recent feature credits include “A Most Violent Year” (2014), “Interstellar” (2014), “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013) and “Jack Reacher” (2012). He will next be »
- Michelle McCue
Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock and John Travolta will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC. Aniston has starred in such films as “Cake” (2014), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Marley & Me” (2008) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003). She also starred in all ten seasons of “Friends,” for which she won the 2002 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Miller co-stars in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” both of which have garnered multiple Oscar® nominations this year. She previously appeared in such features as “Factory Girl” (2006) and “Layer Cake” (2005). Her upcoming films include “High-Rise,” “Adam Jones” and “Lost City of Z.” Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Selma.” His other recent feature credits include “A Most Violent Year »
- Josh Abraham
There’s no greater drama produced in Hollywood than the rise and fall of top executives at the handful of conglomerates that rule the entertainment business.
Last week, industryites took in a double feature. Less than 30 minutes after word spread on the morning of Feb. 5 that Amy Pascal was out after 19 years atop Sony Pictures Entertainment, Disney confirmed the long-expected promotion of Tom Staggs to chief operating officer, making him the heir apparent to Bob Iger as CEO of the world’s largest media company.
High-level executive shakeups are a constant in the industry. While the developments at Sony and Disney are polar opposite in nature — with one executive descending, the other ascending — they are sure to trigger a domino effect that alters the corporate order.
Management shuffles always bring a large dose of disruption, uncertainty and anxiety, as well as opportunity, as the executive chessboard gets realigned and some players rise while others fall. »
- Brent Lang and Cynthia Littleton
Brian Williams is sorry. The NBC anchor said so on his nightly newscast, on Facebook and in the pages of Stars and Stripes, the magazine that first unearthed his repeated lies about flying in a helicopter struck by an RPG over a decade ago in Iraq.
And yet it’s not enough.
It’s not that being apologetic isn’t adequate repentance for Williams’ sin. What isn’t enough is the nature of the apology he is offering. Like so many wayward public figures who aren’t getting the right damage-control advice, Williams seems to believe apologizing early and often will take care of the problem without giving sufficient attention to how they say they are sorry.
Williams and NBC Universal–which may be sweating even more than the anchor is about his future as the face of its news division–probably think they did their best just by addressing »
- Andrew Wallenstein
Sony’s candidate to replace Amy Pascal as co-chair of Sony Pictures is almost sure to come from inside the company, insiders say, since there are already several executives on the Culver City lot with experience running studios.
Here are the top insiders in line for the position — and who isn’t likely to get the job.
Doug Belgrad: The Columbia Pictures president likely has the inside edge. He’s popular on Sony’s lot, has a firm grasp of finances as well as a talent for keeping budgets in check — not one of Pascal’s strengths. He’s been at Sony since 1989 and developed the “Men in Black” franchise and Adam Sandler’s pictures; he also teamed with MGM on the James Bond series, including “Skyfall.”
- Brent Lang
The news that Amy Pascal will step down as chairwoman of Sony Pictures is not shocking. In fact, it was expected.* This is how Hollywood works. You spend years running a studio or acting as president of production and then something goes wrong and you segue to a “producing” deal. That’s the way it’s been for almost 30 years and that’s the way it will be for the foreseeable future. Surviving any controversy, even one outside of your own control, is simply impossible. *Although forgive our surprise this wasn’t left to a late Friday afternoon announcement to quell reaction from the cable news talking heads. Pascal’s fate was sealed when numerous E-mail conversations she was a part of were leaked after a massive security breach credited to North Korean hackers took place on Nov. 24. Her E-mail exchange with producer Scott Rudin about the President of the »
- Gregory Ellwood
Pascal will “transition” to the new role in May 2015, according to a statement from the Us studio.
Her new company will focus on film, television and theatre.
As part of a four-year agreement, Sony Pictures will finance the venture and retain all distribution rights worldwide to films financed. Her company will be based on the Sony Pictures lot.
Pascal was caught up in a scandal last November when hackers released Sony executives’ e-mails, including racial remarks about President Barack Obama’s taste in films in messages between Pascal and producer Scott Rudin. Both have since issued public apologies.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
In the run-up to the Efm in Berlin, Protagonist Pictures announced final casting on Rebecca Miller comedy Maggie’s Plan.
Maggie’s Plan is described as “a screwball take on the fluctuations of modern love that puts a new spin on the romantic comedy”.
The film, based on a story by Karen Rinaldi, is set to start production in New York on Feb 23.
CAA and Cinetic are representing North American rights, while international »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Dracula Untold producer Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Ghost Rider, Moneyball, Captain Phillips) talks about what brought him to the journey of uncovering the monster’s origins: “As a kid, I always wanted to know who turned Dracula into a vampire. I wondered, ‘Was he the first? Were there others?’ It was a delicious, unanswered question that’s not been covered, even in Bram Stoker’s novel.” When a script by the writing team of Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless landed on De Luca’s desk, it ignited the filmmaker’s imagination. “I thought it was ingenious,” he says, adding, “the untold origin story and an unknown chapter … Continue reading →
The post VOD Spotlight: Dracula Untold appeared first on Channel Guide Magazine. »
- Meredith Ennis
Truth is strange, but hardly any more interesting than fiction in “True Story,” a perplexingly serious new collaboration for James Franco and Jonah Hill. In Franco’s case, this macabre project plays right into the label-defying star’s ongoing exploration of slippery identities (here he plays a sociopath beyond redemption). Even so, one wonders just how eager audiences will be to watch a tony adaptation of ex-New York Times reporter Michael Finkel’s self-serving memoir, a conscience-cleanser written to redeem himself after being tarred and feathered for inventing a composite character in a high-profile cover story.
Unlike 2004’s respected yet low-earning “Shattered Glass,” this unconventional two-hander is less preoccupied with the undoing of a respected journo than with the odd bond that Finkel (Hill) went on to forge with convicted child killer Christian Longo (an appropriately icy Franco). Nor is the script — a surprisingly non-conceptual treatment, considering how Charlie Kaufman the project could have gone, »
- Peter Debruge
After news broke earlier in the week that the heavyweight trifecta of Christian Bale, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling were teaming for new drama The Big Short, the ensemble has swelled even more with news from The Hollywood Reporter that newly-crowned Academy Award nominee Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) is in talks to join them.
The film, which is a adaptation of Michael Lewis’ (Moneyball) book, would see Carell play “Steve Eisman, a money manager who shorted subprime mortgages” in a movie that “chronicles multiple storylines and juggles various characters against the backdrop of the housing and credit bubbles of the 2000s that led to the 2007-08 global financial crisis.”
Anchorman and Step Brothers director Adam McKay is writing and directing the film, with Pitt’s production company Plan B, producing the film. No filming schedule has yet been confirmed, but early word suggests a 2016 release.
- Scott J. Davis
For those of us who follow the Oscars year after year with an unhealthy degree of investment, born of the always-fragile and ill-advised hope that the Academy might actually get a few things right, this is not a particularly happy morning. It’s not always the case that one of the year’s best movies also happens to be one of its most historically, culturally and politically significant, and almost never is that movie directed by a black woman — an achievement that would matter little were “Selma” not so thoroughly deserving on its own merits.
Whether you chalk it up to racism, sexism, a popularity-contest mentality, excessive screener reliance, a highly selective backlash over perceived historical inaccuracies, or some toxic combination of all five, the Academy’s disregard for Ava DuVernay’s exceptional film is appalling, if not exactly unexpected in light of the film’s across-the-board shutout by the major guilds. »
- Justin Chang
No, this isn’t an informative article about building shelves and benches but rather the first major short film from Josh and Mitch and Jam Flicks, better known for their adverts. Cantering around one man, Andrew (Anton Saunders), who’s left broken after discovering his wife has had an affair. Unable to confront her about it, he tracks down the man she’s sleeping with and goes to his place of work – a D.I.Y store.
This is easily the best short film I’ve reviewed so far. There’s almost nothing to it; no real action, or strong dialogue. In fact then entire script is basically the guy serving Andrew and being bemused with his spaced out behaviour. It all pretty much rests on Saunders’s acting and portrayal of a man torn between doing nothing and brutally assaulting the man sleeping with his wife. Fortunately, he does a stellar job. »
- Nicky Johnson
The book explores the build-up of the housing and credit bubble, leading up to the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007.
Carell can currently be seen in the drama Foxcatcher, for which he received Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. »
Everything is not awesome.
The Oscar nominations are always full of snubs and surprises, but the one that's probably causing the most gasping and eyebrow-raising after Thursday morning's announcement of the nominees is the absence of "The Lego Movie" from the Best Animated Feature list. If ever there were a gimme in your Oscar pool, that would have been it.
Of course, there are plenty of other shockers -- notably, that "Selma" was ignored in every category except Best Original Song and still managed to eke out a Best Picture nomination, and that "Gone Girl" was shut out of every category except Best Actress. And there were many other unexpected inclusions and disappointing omissions, as you'll see below.
The Academy, which may pick between five and 10 Best Picture nominees, has chosen nine for the last few years, but this year, it only picked eight. The biggest oddity here is the inclusion of "Selma, »
- Gary Susman
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