1-20 of 28 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
The leaves are turning. The Emmys are behind us. The crowds in Venice, Telluride, Colo., and Toronto have dispersed. Oscar season is officially here.
As the industry spins out of the late-summer film festival circuit, which annually grinds the gears of the season to life, this year’s race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ever observed in the early stages. There are plenty of strong contenders, but no out-and-out frontrunner. There isn’t even an agreed-upon trio of frontrunners, as there was last year when “Manchester by the Sea,” “La La Land” and “Moonlight” burst out of this corridor.
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” was the first slam-dunk on the scene in July. Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” was the first major festival splash after that, premiering on Aug. 31 within hours of another instant player, Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour,” though they debuted thousands of miles apart; “Shape” landed in »
- Kristopher Tapley
“mother!” begins as a slow burn and builds toward a furious blaze. Awash in both religious and contemporary political imagery, Darren Aronofsky’s allusive film opens itself to a number of allegorical readings, but it also works as a straight-ahead head rush. Not just another baroquely orchestrated big-screen freak-out in the vein of “Black Swan” (though it is very much that), the film touches on themes that — if too hazily figurative to be in any way autobiographical — at least tread on factors in the director’s own life.
Come for the house that bleeds; stay for the reflections on parenthood and the difficulty of living with fame.
Read More:‘mother!’: 7 Things to Know About Darren Aronofsky’s Crazy Return to Psychological Horror
- Ben Croll
Okja (2017) is the second film that costume designer Catherine George has worked on with director Bong Joon-ho. Their first together, Snowpiercer (2013), despite being lauded by critics (and featuring Chris Evans), only received a limited theatrcial run in the U.S. and no release at all in the UK. Unlike Okja, Snowpiercer is an out and out sci-fi fantasy set when most of the world’s population have been wiped out and those who remain live on perpetually moving train. Okja is still a fantasy, it revolves around a little girl Mija (An Seo Hyun) trying to save her giant ‘super pig’ from being harvested as Gm bacon, but is set within our recognisable reality. There are smart phones, cars we know, Instagram and Facebook. However the film has a deliberate otherworldly feel about it. Not quite in the future and not as locked as a parallel universe, but »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
It’s early yet, but already some strong screenplays are rising to the front of the Oscar contender list.
The Sundance Film Festival broke out Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s “The Big Sick” (Amazon Studios/Lionsgate)), which is turning into the indie hit of the year, and “Wind River” (The Weinstein Co.), the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated writer Taylor Sheridan (“Hell or High Water”). Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (A24) and two Netflix titles, Bong Joon Ho’s political satire “Okja” and Noah Baumbach’s family dramedy “The Meyerowitz Stories: (New and Selected),” competed at Cannes.
Jordan Peele’s brainy genre-bender “Get Out” (Universal) is the surprise sleeper of the year. And the fall film festivals will bring a slew of name contenders, from Woody Allen and Darren Aronofsky to Alexander Payne.
Check out the (alphabetical) contenders below: No film will be deemed a frontrunner until I have seen it. »
- Anne Thompson
The year is half over and Oscar voters need to catch up on their homework. There have been many worthwhile films in the first six months of 2017, including “Get Out” from writer-director Jordan Peele (Universal, Blumhouse); “Logan,” the dark, tender neo-Western from director James Mangold (Fox); and the sumptuous mega-hit “Beauty and the Beast” (director Bill Condon, Disney).
A few years ago, these would have been extreme longshots, at best. But there have been changes in Academy voters and their tastes. Recent winners including “Moonlight,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Ex Machina” prove that voters are redefining what is considered “Oscar bait.” The blurred definition is a challenge to awards strategists, but good news for hopefuls.
Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far
The January-June period has seen many other films with Oscar potential in various categories; see the accompanying reminders by Variety colleagues Kris Tapley and Jenelle Riley. And, needless to say, other contenders will be covered a lot before the March 4, 2018, Oscar ceremony.
Diversity has been a key theme. This year, several films directed by women could be in the mix, including Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” (Focus Features), Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.), and Aisling Walsh’s “Maudie” (Sony Pictures Classics). Still to come are works from Kathryn Bigelow (Annapurna’s much-buzzed “Detroit”), Dee Rees (Netflix’s “Mudbound”); Margaret Betts (Sony Classics’ “Novitiate”) and Angelina Jolie (Netflix’s “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”).
There are also upcoming works from international filmmakers like Sebastian Lelio, Alfonso Gomez-Rijon, Michael Gracey, Yorgos Lanthimos and Taika Waititi. They will join veterans including Guillermo del Toro, Alexander Payne, Stephen Frears, Richard Linklater, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky and Paul Thomas Anderson.
Here are month-by-month opening dates, followed by a list of films that made a splash at the year’s film festivals so far. And the upcoming festivals will also add a few twists to the Oscar race.
The director and stars are listed for purpose of jogging readers’ memories; it’s not a matter of handicapping, since it’s pointless to make predictions about films that have not been widely seen.
August: “Detroit” (Kathryn Bigelow; John Boyega; Annapurna); “Logan Lucky” (Steven Soderbergh; Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig; Bleecker Street); “Patty Cake$” (Geremy Jasper; Danielle Macdonald; Searchlight); “Wind River” (Taylor Sheridan; Elizabeth Olsen; The Weinstein Co.).
September: “American Made” (Doug Liman; Tom Cruise; Universal); “Battle of the Sexes” (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris; Emma Stone, Steve Carell; Fox Searchlight); “First They Killed My Father” (Angelina Jolie; Netflix); “Victoria and Abdul” (Stephen Frears; Judi Dench; Focus).
The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)
October: “Blade Runner 2049” (Denis Villeneuve; Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford; WB); “Breathe” (Andy Serkis; Andrew Garfield; Bleecker Street, Participant); “Goodbye Christopher Robin” (Simon Curtis; Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie; Searchlight); “Marshall” (Reginald Hudlin; with Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall; Open Road); “Mother!” (Darren Aronofsky; Jennifer Lawrence; Paramount); “The Mountain Between Us” (Hany Abu-Assad; Idris Elba, Kate Winslet; Fox); “Thank You for Your Service” (Jason Hall; Miles Teller; Universal)
November: “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright; Gary Oldman; Focus); “Last Flag Flying” (Richard Linklater; Bryan Cranston; Amazon); “The Man Who Invented Christmas” (Bharat Nalluri; Dan Stevens; Bleecker Street); “Mary Magdalene” (Garth Davis; Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix; TWC); “Murder on the Orient Express” (Kenneth Branagh; Johnny Depp; Fox); “Suburbicon” (George Clooney; Matt Damon; Paramount); “Thor: Ragnarok” (Taika Waititi; Chris Hemsworth; Disney, Marvel Studios); “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Martin McDonagh; Frances McDormand; Searchlight).
December: “The Greatest Showman” (Michael Gracey; Hugh Jackman; Fox); “The Current War” (Alfonso Gomez-Rijon; Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon; TWC); “Downsizing” (Alexander Payne; Matt Damon, Laura Dern; Paramount); “The Papers” (Steven Spielberg; Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep; Fox, Amblin); “The Shape of Water” (Guillermo del Toro; Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer; Searchlight); “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson; Disney, Lucasfilm); “Phantom Thread” (Paul Thomas Anderson; Daniel Day-Lewis; Focus); “Wonder Wheel” (Woody Allen; James Belushi, Kate Winslet; Amazon).
And some of the festival hits so far this year:
Sundance: “The Big Sick,” (Michael Showalter; Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter; Amazon, Lionsgate); “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino; Armie Hammer (Sony Pictures Classics); “The Hero” (Brett Haley; Sam Elliott; The Orchard); Also: “Mudbound” and “Wind River.”
Berlin: “The Lost City of Z” (James Gray; Charlie Hunnam; Amazon, Bleecker Street); “Final Portrait” (Stanley Tucci; Geoffrey Rush; Sony Classics); “Maudie” (Aisling Walsh; Sally Hawkins; Sony Classics).
Cannes: “Good Time” (Safdie brothers; Robert Pattinson; A24); “You Were Never Really Here” (Lynne Ramsay; Joaquin Phoenix; Amazon); “Okja” (Bong Joon Ho; Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal; Netflix); “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” (Noah Baumbach; Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller; Netflix); “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (Yorgos Lanthimos; Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell; A24); “The Florida Project” (Sean Baker; Willem Dafoe; A24); “Happy End” (Michael Haneke; Isabelle Huppert; Sony Classics); “Wonderstruck” (Todd Haynes; Julianne Moore; Amazon, Roadside Attractions).
There are also plenty of great documentaries, animated movies and foreign-language films, but those are for later columns.
- Tim Gray
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
That there’s a fair chance you’ve never seen Daughters of the Dust — full disclosure: I am among these people — should be taken as a failure of distribution and exposure, not the film’s quality and impact. There’s also a fair chance that the closest you’ve really come to Julie Dash‘s 1991 film is Beyoncé’s Lemonade, which paid a direct visual tribute that, »
- The Film Stage
The director’s bold and bonkers fantasies have sparked comparisons with Spielberg, and his latest film delivers a chilling message via the relationship between a girl and a giant, genetically modified farm animal
Halfway through my conversation with the Korean film-maker Bong Joon-ho, I notice a tattoo peeking out from under the sleeve of his jacket. “It means ‘wife and son’,” he says, gesturing at the inky characters on his wrist. “Sorry to disappoint. But I do have this …” With that, he yanks down the neck of his T-shirt to reveal a detailed illustration of a tree; its brown branches and green leaves extend across one corner of his chest, over his shoulder, on to his back and out of sight. He and his cinematographer got matching tattoos when they made the 2009 psychological drama Mother, about a woman fighting to help her son beat a murder rap. “There was a »
- Ryan Gilbey
The wheels keep a-turning on the casting train for TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” adapted from the critically acclaimed Bong Joon-ho (“Mother,” “Okja”) film of the same name. Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (“Requiem for a Dream,” “Noah”) and Mickey Sumner join Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton,” “Black-Ish”) for the Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Doctor Strange”) -directed pilot.
- Elizabeth MacLeod
South Korean filmmakers are where it’s at and they’ve been leading the wave of international cinema for quite some time, often doing a tonal balancing act of humor, drama, horror, weirdness and more. At the top of the list arguably in Bong Joon-Ho, the director behind, “The Host,” “Mother,” “Snowpiercer” and his latest, “Okja.” And it sounds like another loopy, strange piece of world cinema.
Continue reading Get Drunk, Rebellious & Shabby With Awesome New ‘Okja’ Character Posters at The Playlist. »
- Edward Davis
Drawing a parallel between grim personal history and the dark secrets of a nation’s past, Wang Xiaoshuai’s Red Amnesia, the third part in the director’s Cultural Revolution trilogy, is a ghost story in the figurative (and perhaps also literal) sense, granting solid presence to the mysterious inhabitants of anxious dreams and haunting memories.
What begins as the tale of a blameless, good-natured widow plagued with harassing phone calls slowly unfurls into a sombre meditation on guilt, denial and the lingering repercussions of long buried sins.
Red Amnesia is streaming on FilmDoo
The wordless introductory minutes of Red Amnesia set the film’s quiet, pensive tone with its moody footage of dimly lit interiors mixed with ominous shots of empty streets and dilapidated buildings (though the location of these eerie exteriors will only become clear in the film’s final stretch).
The near-silent opening is interrupted by the »
- David Pountain
Bong Joon ho’s “Okja” was booed at its Cannes Film Festival press screening on Friday after a technical issue caused the film to be projected in the wrong aspect ratio for several minutes at the start of the movie. Boos were also heard when the Netflix logo appeared on the screen prior to the glitch. The screening at the Lumière Auditorium proceeded normally after the issue was resolved.
“This incident was entirely the responsibility of the Festival’s technical service, which offers its apologies to the director, his teams, the producers and the audience at the showing,” Cannes said in a statement. Netflix was not immediately available for comment on Friday.
- Graham Winfrey
Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Lily Collins, Paul Dano, and Ahn Seo-hyun star in the monster film, which appears to marry the concerns of corporate greed (care of Swinton’s character) and charming inter-species friendship (the eponymous beast and Ahn) into one glorious mash-up of humor and terror as only Bong could create.
Co-written by Joon-Ho and Jon Ronson (“The Men Who Stare at Goats”), “Okja” tells the story of Mija, a young girl who lives in the deep woods of the Gangwon Province of South Korea. Mija will do everything in her power to prevent a powerful company (led by Swinton, naturally) from taking her best friend, »
- Kate Erbland
Cannes is officially underway (catch up on our coverage so far), and easily one of the most anticipated movies of the festival is the latest from Bong Joon Ho, the masterful Korean filmmaker behind “Memories Of Murder,” “The Host,” “Mother” and “Snowpiercer.” His second English-language movie has seen Bong escape the distribution issues that came with The Weinstein’s pick up of “Snowpiercer” (which remains unreleased in places in the UK, and was heavily delayed in the Us amidst conflicts over the final cut) and take the Netflix dollar.
- Oliver Lyttelton
Bong Joon-ho, Korean director of the Cannes Film Festival-bound drama “Okja,” has pushed back at sectors of the French industry that are angry with the selection of two Netflix-backed films in the competition section.
Bong spoke Monday at a presentation in Seoul alongside Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. They confirmed that “Okja” will, in fact, receive theatrical outings in three territories: South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K.
“’Okja’ will receive an unlimited wide release in South Korea on June 29, not just in a few theaters for a limited time, »
- Sonia Kil
All of Bong Joon-ho’s movies are about monsters, some more literally than others. In “Memories of Murder,” the monster is the boogeyman, ripped from the headlines and hiding in the darkness. In “Snowpiercer,” the monster is the abstract force of capitalism, rotting us from the inside out as we eat each other to survive and maintain some semblance of order at the end of the world. And in “The Host,” the wild 2006 genre mash-up that firmly established Bong as a creative force of nature and afforded him the cache to make “Mother” in 2009, the monster is… well, it’s an actual fucking monster, with slimy skin and a prehensile tail and a sweet tooth for small children.
The special effects haven’t aged particularly well, but the creature — which Bong and his team modeled after Steve Buscemi’s feral performance in “Fargo” — is nevertheless a marvelous creation. An overgrown »
- David Ehrlich
When The Host was first released, it broke box office records in South Korea, and received critical acclaim upon its festival and stateside debut. It’s been a decade since then, and in the intervening years, the movie’s reputation as a masterpiece has only solidified. Directed by Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder, Mother, and more recently Snowpiercer), the film […]
The post 10 Years Later, ‘The Host’ is Still One of the Greatest Monster Movies Ever Made appeared first on /Film. »
- Karen Han
For such a highly anticipated event, the Cannes Film Festival tends to contain a fairly predictable lineup: The Official Selection focuses on established auteurs whose work lands a coveted slot at the flashy gathering on autopilot. That was certainly the case last year, when the 2016 edition opened with a Woody Allen movie and featured new work from the likes of Pedro Almodovar, Nicolas Winding Refn, the Dardennes brothers and Olivier Assayas.
But we live in unpredictable times, and judging by today’s announcement of the Official Selection for Cannes 2017, even the world’s most powerful festival isn’t impervious to change. This year’s Cannes is filled with surprises: television and virtual reality, some intriguing non-fiction selections, and a whole lot of unknown quantities that push the festival in fresh directions.
That’s not to say that there aren’t a few familiar names that stand out. Todd Haynes is »
- Eric Kohn
If AsianWiki is to be believed, Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho are set to collaborate once more. The “Mother,” “Memories of Murder” and “Snowpiercer” director is reportedly following this year’s “Okja” with “Parasite,” described as being about “a family going through a disturbance.” No other news is available, nor has the project itself been confirmed.
The two have already made three films together, and Song is among the best-known actors in his native South Korea. He most recently starred in “The Age of Shadows,” which served as its country’s submission to the Academy Awards this year but wasn’t nominated.
- Michael Nordine
We are a few months into 2017 and already we had a number of standout movies like Get Out, Logan, and The Lego Batman Movie. Hopefully that is just the start of what is to come. Considering that, myself and Kevin – the hosts of podcast Cinema Geeks – combine forces to put a list together of 20 movies to watch in 2017.
Let us know what you think of the list in the comments below. Did they leave any off? Are the rankings off base? Let your voice be heard!
What Can Go Right: A film with this type of setup sure would have to be bungled in order for it not to work. It describes the life of British explorer Percy Fawcett who made several attempts to find an ancient lost city in the Amazon and disappeared in 1925 along with his son. It should be in good hands »
- Dan Clark
Netflix has provided us with brand new images from Okja, which was filmed last year in Seoul, South Korea, follows Mija (An Seo Hyun), a young girl who must risk everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a massive animal named ‘Okja’. From director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host, Mother), Okja is produced by Plan B, […] »
- Brad Miska
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