Since 2008, the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects has gone to a Best Picture contender: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), "Avatar" (2009), "Inception" (2010), "Hugo" (2011), "Life of Pi" (2012) and "Gravity" (2013). This year, that stat holds no water, since none of this year's nominees are also up for the top prize. The Visual Effects Society went for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" in a big way, and since 2002 at least one of their winners has gone on to repeat at the Oscars 10 times (among their categories, the Ves recognizes achievements in Visual Effects-Driven Features, Supporting Visual Effects, and Animated Character in live-action features): Hans Zimmer on collaborating with Christopher Nolan on 'Interstellar' and 'Dark Knight' trilogy (Video) -Break- 2002: "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (Visual Effects-Driven, Animated Charact...' »
Why should I care about the Oscars?
No, that’s a serious question. Because as much as I hate to admit it, I do. At their very best, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gets it right by tripping and falling into a “Market Irglova & Glen Hansard” here or a “12 minute standing ovation” there. At their very worst, AMPAS indulges in the most regressive, ass-backwards impulses of the industry. Whether enforcing asinine restrictions on eligibility or blacklisting via internal politics, Academy voters can be inept, close-minded and utterly humorless about their annual pat-on-the-back. Too old, too white, and too male, AMPAS is like a closet mob comprised solely of Bud Selig clones, perpetually fumbling in the dark for their reading glasses.
And yet despite all this, I’m still going to throw the remote through the television if Alexandre Desplat’s The Grand Budapest Hotel doesn’t bring »
- David Klein
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea »
- Gary Collinson
Best Cinematography is one of the most closely watched technical categories at the Oscars, due largely to the fact that it’s often so difficult to predict. Indeed, since 1986, when the American Society of Cinematographers first started handing out prizes, only 11 of its winners went on to triumph at the Oscars: -Break- 1990: Dean Semler, “Dances with Wolves” 1995: John Toll, “Braveheart” 1996: John Seale, “The English Patient” 1997: Russell Carpenter, “Titanic” 1999: Conrad L. Hall, “American Beauty” 2002: Conrad L. Hall, “Road to Perdition” 2005: Dion Beebe, “Memoirs of a Geisha” 2007: Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood” 2008: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire” 2010: Wally Pfister, “Inception” 2013: Emmanuel Lubeszki, “Gravity” Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories This year, th...' »
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)
With the Oscars just around the corner, it’s time to lay down my predictions for all 24 categories. While, as usual, most categories seem like a pretty solid lock, there’s always the possibility of a surprise or two, so let’s get right to it.
Best Animated Short Film
Best Live Action Short Film
Best Documentary Short Subject
“Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski »
- Jeff Beck
What is it with Christopher Nolan and his endings? The celebrated director frequently drops a dénouement that forces the audience to continue the conversation long after the lights have come up and the crowd has shuffled into the parking lot. What did Alfred (Michael Caine) really see in that Italian café at the end of The Dark Knight Rises? What does the spinning top mean at the conclusion of Inception? Where was Matthew McConaughey going as Interstellar wrapped? And seriously, what the hell happened at the end of The Prestige? Nolan.s 2006 standoff between rival magicians, The Prestige, is the film I widely consider his masterpiece . and revisiting it again for the benefit of this column did nothing to sway that opinion. Nolan loves creating intricate screenplays with his brother, Jonathan Nolan, and we usually don.t have the complete story until the final piece of the story has »
French actress Marion Cotillard, known to western audiences for movies like The Dark Knight Rises or Inception, joins Michael Fassbender in video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed. According to Deadline Marion Cotillard has signed on to star alongside Michael Fassbender in the Ubisoft and New Regency produced adaptation of the popular video game series Assassin’s Creed. […]
Read Marion Cotillard Joins Assassin’s Creed on Filmonic.
Just after we learned that Interstellar would return to IMAX screens for one showing only this weekend on Saturday afternoon, you can dive back into the sci-fi epic in another way. Last month, Looper and future Star Wars director Rian Johnson hosted an interview with Christopher Nolan following a screening of Interstellar at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, California. And all the cinephiles out there will be glad to hear that this is a 32-minute discussion between the two filmmakers talking about the inception of the script, technical details of production, and much more. It's definitely worth listening to in its entirety. Here's the 32-minute discussion between Rian Johnson and Christopher Nolan (via The Playlist): Interstellar is directed by British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of the films Doodlebug, Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. The screenplay is by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan, »
- Ethan Anderton
Sneak Peek the cinematic feature "Assassin's Creed: Lineage" on the news that actress Marion Cotillard ("Inception") will join Michael Fassbender in director Justin Kurzel's big-screen adaptation of video game series, "Assassin's Creed", with information revealed about her character and Fassbender's:
"...in a script written by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, Cotillard will play female assassin 'Lara', an assistant to Fassbender's 'Michael Lynch', a death row inmate in the present day and assassin 'Aguilar de Agarorobo' in the time of the 'Spanish Inquisition'..."
Initially launched in 2007, the first three "Assassin's Creed" games have sold more than 28 million units worldwide.
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek the entire 35-minute cinematic feature "Assassin's Creed": Lineage"...
Own The "Assassin's Creed" Life-size Statue
- Michael Stevens
Marion Cotillard doesn't do blockbusters very often. She's done a couple with Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight Rises," "Inception") and Steven Soderbergh ("Contagion"), and had a bit of fun popping up briefly in "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," but for the most part she doesn't step into big expensive pieces of entertainment, unless she has a good reason. And she seems to have found them for "Assassin's Creed." The actress will re-team with her "Macbeth" co-star Michael Fassbender and director Justin Kurzel for the video game adaptation — one of many that are on the way — that follows Desmond Miles, a bartender kidnapped by a corporation and forced to use a machine called the Animus, which allows him to relive the memories of his ancestor Altair, who was an Assassin in the Middle East during the Crusades. No word yet on Cotillard's role, but of course, if the movie is a »
- Kevin Jagernauth
According to Deadline, the brilliant Marion Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) will join Michael Fassbender in the big-screen adaptation of video game series, Assassin's Creed. Her role is apparently under wraps, but if recent rumors are to be believed, she could well be playing a female assassin named Lara who gives Fassbender's character a helping blade. Speaking of which, the X-Men: Days Of Future Past actor is rumored to be playing two roles: a death row inmate named Michael Lynch in present day, and an assassin named Aguilar de Agarorobo in the time of the Spanish Inquisition. None of that has been confirmed however. Justin Kurzel (Macbeth) will direct, with a script from Adam Cooper and Bill Collage. Assassin's Creed is scheduled to be released in 3D on December 21, 2016. »
Despite being pushed to next year, Assassin's Creed is not in development hell. After landing Michael Fassbender as star and producer, the video game adaptation has been bouncing around a bit. But, a second cast-member has joined the production. Marion Cotillard will appear opposite Fassbender in the film, a reunion for the pair who worked together on the upcoming MacBeth. Cotillard is best known for her roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Inception as well as her Oscar-winning turn in La »
- Alex Maidy
The awards season momentum for “Birdman” — which has won the major trophies at the PGA, SAG and DGA ceremonies — is about to be halted temporarily.
When the Writers Guild of America hands out its screenwriting awards Saturday, the Oscar-nominated scripts for “Birdman” and “The Theory of Everything” won’t be named. Both scripts were excluded by the WGA last year when the guild sent out its nominations ballot to members, which included 60 scripts in the original category and 48 in adapted.
The script for “Birdman,” written by director Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo, is up for an Oscar in the original screenwriting category. Anthony McCarten’s script for “The Theory of Everything” is contending for an Oscar in the adapted screenplay contest.
The WGA restrictions on script awards are far more rigorous than those for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, SAG-aftra and the Directors Guild of America. »
- Dave McNary
To celebrate the release of ‘Collection’, we’re giving 5 lucky WhatCulture.com readers the chance to win a copy of the high octane, exciting thriller on DVD.
Collection (released as ‘Reach Me’ in the Us) follows the story of a diverse group of people, all making big changes on the advice of a reclusive and mysterious writer, Teddy Rayman (Tom Berenger – Inception, Training Day). The dark and enigmatic Teddy reaches out to various people and saves them from their often violent and troubled lives in this fast paced thriller.
Hollywood action film legends Stallone and Berenger are joined in this Kickstarter-funded project by Kevin Connolly (Entourage, John Q), Kelsey Grammer (Transformers: Age Of Extinction, X-Men: The Last Stand), Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down), Terry Crews (The Expendables 2, Bridesmaids), Danny Trejo (Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn) and many more.
For your chance to win ‘Collection on DVD, »
- Sam Driver
In a stunning fall from grace, the directing duo of the Wachowskis have gone from changing the sci-fi landscape with their influential 1999 movie The Matrix to a bizarre pastiche of half-thought-out genre tropes and tired plot details with the incredibly leaden Jupiter Ascending. The movie is like a big budget movie version of one of those embarrassingly awful hard-sci-fi e-books that lousy would-be authors self-publish on Amazon. They hardly make any sense, they’re full of half-thought-out steampunk-inflected bullshit, and they have a hilariously bad sense of epic grandeur. You can’t fault the Wachowskis for trying to go all out given the way they have tried to make themselves auteurs that best match style and substance, but Jupiter Ascending may have gone a bit too far.
Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, a lowly Russian émigré who now lives in Chicago with her huge family who cleans rich people’s toilets just to scrape by. »
- Sean Hutchinson
It’s Oscar time! The biggest party after the show, The Governors Ball, was revealed today for the press by The Academy.
Permeating the air with imaginative dishes, master chef Wolfgang Puck showed those gathered at The Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center the incredible feast he’s creating for the evening.
Puck and Matt Bencivenga, chef partner of Wolfgang Puck Catering, have drawn upon vintage and contemporary Hollywood glamour to create a menu that’s both legendary and innovative. The menu will feature more than 50 scrumptious delights, from one-bite hors d’oeuvres to small-plate entrees that will be passed throughout the evening. Guests will enjoy such signature Puck favorites as smoked salmon Oscars, chicken pot pie with shaved black truffles, and mini American Wagyu burgers with aged Cheddar.
Puck also will present classic dishes re-imagined for Hollywood’s big night, including lobster “Blt”; beet latkes with pastrami duck »
- Michelle McCue
Now this is a list that could result in a lot of fascinating dissection and thanks to HitFix it comes to our attention almost three years after it was originally released back in 2012, celebrating the Motion Picture Editors Guild's 75th anniversary. Over at HitFix, Kris Tapley asks, "Is this news to anyone elsec" Um, yes, I find it immensely interesting and a perfect starting point for anyone looking to further explore the art of film editing. In an accompanying article we get the particulars concerning what films were eligible and how films were to be considered: In our Jan-feb 12 issue, we asked Guild members to vote on what they consider to be the Best Edited Films of all time. Any feature-length film from any country in the world was eligible. And by "Best Edited," we explained, we didn't just mean picture; sound, music and mixing were to be considered as well. »
- Brad Brevet
A random bit of researching on a Tuesday night led me to something I didn't know existed: The Motion Picture Editors Guild's list of the 75 best-edited films of all time. It was a feature in part celebrating the Guild's 75th anniversary in 2012. Is this news to anyone else? I confess to having missed it entirely. Naturally, I had to dig in. What was immediately striking to me about the list — which was decided upon by the Guild membership and, per instruction, was considered in terms of picture and sound editorial as opposed to just the former — was the most popular decade ranking. Naturally, the 1970s led with 17 mentions, but right on its heels was the 1990s. I wouldn't have expected that but I happen to agree with the assessment. Thelma Schoonmaker's work on "Raging Bull" came out on top, an objectively difficult choice to dispute, really. It was so transformative, »
- Kristopher Tapley
Bound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as “Tomorrowland.” Bird has gathered a great team behind the lens with Oscar® winning director of photography Claudio Miranda (“Life of Pi,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), production designer Scott Chambliss (“Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Cowboys & Aliens”), Oscar® nominated costume designer Jeffrey Kurland (“Inception,” “Ocean’s Eleven”) and Academy Award®-winning editor Walter Murch (“The English Patient,” “Cold Mountain”). Tomorrowland will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on May 22, 2015. »
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