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Digital Spy presents the nominees for the 27th Spirit Awards, to take place on February 25, 2012: Best Feature
The Descendants Best Director
In the Family
Natural Selection Best First Screenplay
- By Kate Goodacre
Nominations for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced at 8 am this morning, Hollywood Time:
Best Female Lead Performance: Lauren Ambrose (Think of Me), Rachel Harris (Natural Selection), Adepero Oduye (Pariah), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn).
Best Supporting Female Performance: Jessica Chastain »
The apocalyptic drama "Take Shelter" and the black-and-white silent film "The Artist" are the top nominees for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, with five nods each. The nominations were announced on Tuesday morning by actors Anthony Mackie and Kate Beckinsale, as well as by Film Independent Senior Director Sean McManus. Films receiving four nominations are "Beginners," "Drive," "The Descendants" and "Martha Marcy May Marlene." The films competing for the top prize, Best Feature, are "50/50," "The Descendants," "Beginners," "Drive," "Take Shelter" (left) and "The Artist." The slate of nominees is a mainstream »
- Steve Pond
Kate Beckinsale and Anthony Mackie were up early this morning to present the nominees for the 2012 Spirit Awards. The Artist, which has been steadily gaining award season buzz, lead the pack with five nominations. Right behind it was Drive, which picked up for nods, including one for leading man Ryan Gosling. The Descendants also scored four nominations, though George Clooney was left off the list this time. Though they didn't pick up quite as many nods, I was happy to see that two of my favorite movies of the year - Beginners and 50/50 got some love, including nominations for best feature. To see the full list of the nominees, just read more. Best Feature 50/50 Beginners Drive Take Shelter The Artist The Descendants Best Director Mike Mills, Beginners Nicholas W. Refn, Drive Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Alexander Payne, The Descendants Best First Feature (Award given to the »
- Becky Kirsch
Having watched Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s sterling performance in the brilliant 50/50, James concludes that, when faced with death, laughter is the best response…
Once upon a time, an old one-legged man with leprosy and a case of criminal halitosis inched up to me in a hospital waiting room, guffawed insidiously and uttered these wise words: "Well, you've gotta laugh 'ain't'cha?"
Before I could reply and express my disgust, we were assaulted by terrible sounds from above, the building shook and, incredibly enough, the ceiling proceeded to cave in. A large airship (zeppelin, blimp, balloon kind) shaped like Yoda's head crashed through the roof and brought the entire hospital down around us.
I survived, of course, but the old man didn't. Even though the low flying Yoda blimp didn't crush him, the shock of the whole thing sent him into such a state of apoplexy that his neural system overheated and he »
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in talks to join Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (check out the already awesome cast). His schedule is tight but having Premium Rush moved from a January to August 2012 release should help, as Tarantino intends to start shooting Django in New Orleans in January, when Gordon-Levitt would have been busy doing Rush press. With this film, plus Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln coming up, Gordon-Levitt shouldn't be too discouraged if he doesn't manage to build the momentum necessary for a 50/50 Oscar nomination. He's just getting started. »
It's the week of the duds – Moneyball, 50/50 and What's Your Number? founder as box office sales hit rough water
This was a weekend when distributors saw fit to flush out products that were either lacking the A-list DNA required for summer or were deemed too insubstantial for autumn. The result was a suitably dull box office. So dull, in fact, that Warner Bros' family movie Dolphin Tale was able to leap two places to claim top spot with an estimated $14.2m second-weekend take.
To make matters worse, audiences yet again refused to embrace Moneyball. Sony's superior drama – for my money the best release in the top 10 – held on to second place in its second session. It deserves better because Brad Pitt is enjoyable as Billy Beane, the stubborn, real-life general manager of baseball team the Oakland A's and the story is an engrossing account of maverick thinking and faith (not »
- Jeremy Kay
Star-studded newcomers 50/50, Dream House and What's Your Number? all finished behind Courageous yesterday, which managed to attract a solid Christian audience on Friday. Still, even Courageous didn't have what it took to beat last weekend's leaders Moneyball, Dolphin Tale and The Lion King. Moneyball took the top spot for the second Friday in a row, dropping 43 percent to an estimated $3.85 million for an eight-day total of $29.8 million. That decline was slightly worse than last year's The Social Network (40 percent) but a vast improvement over Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (53 percent). The Brad Pitt baseball flick should finish the weekend with around $12 million, which probably won't be good enough for first place over Dolphin Tale. Dolphin Tale dipped a light 32 percent to an estimated $3.47 million, bringing its eight-day total to $26.7 million. Based on past similar movies, it should move up to first place by Sunday with a weekend take of roughly $14 million. »
- Ray Subers
If you haven't heard the story yet, James McAvoy was originally cast to star alongside Seth Rogen in 50/50 (then titled I'm With Cancer). McAvoy had to leave two weeks into filming because of complications his wife was having with a pregnancy and Rogen and crew were suddenly without a leading man. Enter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I'll let him explain below exactly how he came to sub in for McAvoy but it's remarkable that he was able to do so and deliver a performance so strong, he's already »
- Mike Sampson
Filmmaker Describes Why They Dropped The Original Title, 'I'm With Cancer' & How They Survived Losing Their Lead Actor 2 Weeks Before Shooting Our conversation with director Jonathan Levine first ran during the "50/50" world premiere at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, but we're worried it got lost in that crazy shuffle. With the film in theaters this weekend--on 2,400 screens no less--we thought we'd revisit the chat one more time. The words "Seth Rogen comedy" and "Oscar-buzz" are not usually found in the same sentence, but that's the situation that "50/50," which the "Knocked Up" star has produced… »
I think it's safe to say that in the case of Will Reiser, his encounter with cancer has resulted in the very best possible outcome. After all, Reiser survived and has recovered fully, a major landmark for any cancer patient, but he went beyond that. Working with his friends Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, he's turned his experience into a project that began life as a script called "I'm With Cancer" and which finally reaches theaters this week as "50/50." I'm sure there are some screenwriters who would deny it if asked but who, in their heart of hearts, hear this »
With no fewer than six movies fighting for the top spot, it's shaping up to be a hectic weekend at the box office. Anna Faris comedy What's Your Number? reaches around 3,100 screens at 3,002 theaters, while Daniel Craig thriller Dream House opens at roughly 2,850 screens at 2,660 locations and cancer comedy 50/50 debuts on around 2,600 screens at 2,458 theaters. Also, Christian flick Courageous hits approximately 1,400 screens at 1,161 locations, though it's unlikely to be in contention for the lead. Last week's top movies The Lion King (in 3D), Moneyball and Dolphin Tale have all generated solid word-of-mouth and should still be in the hunt. With most of these movies poised for low-teen millions (with the likely exception of Courageous), any one that reaches $15 million should be in line for a win.What's Your Number? is the first Anna Faris vehicle since 2008's The House Bunny, which opened to $14.5 million on its way to $48.2 million. The »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of my personal favorite filmmakers on the rise is Jonathan Levine, director of lost horror All the Boys Love Mandy Lane and the upcoming 50/50. I first discovered Levine at Sundance in early 2008 seeing his film The Wackness, my favorite of the festival that year, and have kept in touch with him since. His latest film, the "cancer comedy" 50/50 (watch the trailer) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, is a departure for him, at least a departure stylistically, but it's still a great film. I spoke at length on Skype with Levine a few weeks ago about his adventures in filmmaking and directing one of the year's best comedies. For those unfamiliar with 50/50, the movie (originally titled I'm With Cancer) was written by screenwriter Will Reiser, who is actually real life friends with Seth Rogen and was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24. He survived, »
- Alex Billington
Director Jonathan Levine reveals McAvoy had to quit the project following "a family emergency".
The filmmaker says, "It was really, really tense and scary for a couple of days. We didn't really know what the fate of the movie was and we were worried for James.
"Once we found out he would not return we found Joe and he was a great choice. Joe saved this movie in many ways."
Levine also had a last-minute title change: "The original title was I'm With Cancer, which I didn't think was the most commercially viable way to go. As someone who has been through cancer with family members I wouldn't want to get two tickets to see a film called that. We had a huge title search and at the end of the day 50/50 won out." »
Let's get this out of the way early; the cancer dramedy, "50/50," formerly known as "I'm With Cancer," is an admirable effort by all the parties involved. There's maturity and restraint shown throughout in this story, about a healthy young twentysomething man staring his mortality in the face when he is suddenly diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer, and it's a well-intentioned humanistic drama that tries to demonstrate that life is complicated and never quite cut and dry. The measured film takes pains to illustrate there is laughter to be derived in difficult and near-tragic situations and melancholy can also… »
Filmmaker Describes Why They Dropped The Original Title, 'I'm With Cancer & How They Survived Losing Their Lead Actor 2 Weeks Before Shooting The words 'Seth Rogen comedy' and 'Oscar-buzz' are not usually found in the same sentence, but that's the situation that "50/50," which the "Knocked Up" star has produced and co-starred in, has found itself in. Based on an autobiographical script by Rogen's pal Will Reiser, it stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a man in his twenties who is unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer, with Rogen as his best friend, and Anna Kendrick as his psychiatrist/love interest. The film… »
Since garnering an Oscar nomination in 2010 for "Up in the Air", "Twilight" tenth-banana Anna Kendrick's career has really been heating up, with the actress racking up major roles in films like this fall's "50/50" opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Now The Hollywood Reporter is revealing that the up-and-comer is in early talks to star in "Pitch Perfect", a new Universal rom-com set in the world of collegiate a cappella groups. The script is based on a nonfiction book of the same name written by GQ journalist Mickey Rapkin, about a rebellious college student who joins an all-female a cappella group at her university and »
- HitFix Staff
 I was a huge fan/supporter of Jonathan Levine's 2008 film The Wackness, which premiered years ago at Sundance and got dumped at the box office by Sony Pictures Classics. Levine has had some tough luck in terms of distributors -- his debut feature, the critically acclaimed horror film All The Boys Love Mandy Lane premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, yet has still never gotten a Us release (both theatrically and even on dvd/blu-ray). But as they say, the third times the charm. I saw this film at an early screening a couple months back and it remains one of my favorite movies of the year. And I'm not alone, Germain also agrees . 50/50 (originally titled I'm With Cancer) is an autobiographical story based on the experiences of Will Reiser, a producer on HBO's Da Ali G Show and VH1's Best Week Ever. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, »
- Peter Sciretta
"That's not that bad!" Summit has unveiled a second theatrical trailer for the comedy 50/50, formerly titled I'm With Cancer, written by cancer survivor Will Reiser, directed by Jonathan Levine of The Wackness. Inspired by personal experiences, 50/50 is an original story about friendship, love, survival and finding humor in unlikely places. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Adam, Seth Rogen as his best friend, along with a supporting cast including Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard. This is one of those must see films that everyone is talking about this fall, and here's another great trailer to tease it. Don't miss this! Watch the second trailer for Will Reiser & Jonathan Levine's 50/50, via Yahoo: You can also download the newest 50/50 trailer in High Definition on Yahoo A comedic account of a 27-year-old guy's cancer diagnosis and his subsequent struggle to beat the disease. The supporting cast: Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica »
- Alex Billington
The Toronto International Film Festival, which has become an increasingly important platform for awards-seeking titles in recent years (Both The King’s Speech and Black Swan played there last year), announced its 2011 line-up this morning.
The 11-day festival, set to kick off on Sept. 8, will feature the world premieres of Moneyball, a baseball drama starring Brad Pitt; 50/50, a cancer dramedy with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen; Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, a drama starring George Clooney; Butter, a butter-carving satire featuring Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman; Albert Nobbs, an Iris-set period drama starring Glenn Close; and Francis Ford Coppola’s murder-mystery Twixt, »
- Grady Smith
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