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This week, Neil Calloway questions whether the BAFTAs promote British films as much as they should…
Variety magazine called the BAFTAs one of the most significant bellwethers for the Oscars, which is high praise indeed, but it makes me wonder if BAFTA is deliberately setting itself up to be a bellwether for the Oscars, so that it is seen as having some value, because to a fan of British films the nominations are eyebrow raising to say the least.
Since the ceremony was moved to take place before the Oscars in 2001, the BAFTAs have attempted to become part of the Us awards season, rather than a hangover that awards Brits who lost out to Americans at the Academy Awards, which is what it used to be. To do this it has increasingly celebrated Us films over UK ones, to the extent that it will even nominate films that have not been seen by UK audiences. »
- Neil Calloway
With stylistic nods towards arthouse and grindhouse, this dystopian drama makes for an impressive, unsettling debut
The Survivalist is a stripped-down exercise in cinematic exposition that suggests its creator is a major talent
Somewhere between the dystopian dreamscapes of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, the gothic western intrigue of Don Siegel’s The Beguiled, and the low-budget invention of Shane Carruth’s Primer lies this impressively unforgiving debut feature from Derry-born writer/director Stephen Fingleton. Set in a nonspecific future in which depleted mankind has reverted to a subsistence-level existence, this Bafta-nominated sci-fi anomaly is a bleak parable about the price of food, sex and shelter in a post-civilised world. Although the title seems at first to apply to Martin McCann’s unnamed loner who ekes out a solitary existence in a woodland shack, it could equally apply to any of the three central characters who form its dramatic core. Telling »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
"The Revenant" enters Sunday's BAFTA Awards with eight nominations, and it will win half of them according to the combined predictions of Expert film journalists, we Editors who cover awards year-round for Gold Derby, the Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year's winners and the hundreds of total Users who make up the largest and often savviest bloc of predictors. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions The survival drama will take Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Cinematography. Those four wins will tie "The Revenant" with "Mad Max: Fury Road" as the most awarded film at the event. Though "Mad Max" was snubbed for Picture and Director, as well as acting and writing categories, we project it will win four of its seven nominations below the line: Best M »
LevelK has sold Australian psychological thriller Rabbit to SquareOne Entertainment for Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland.
Natja Noviani Rosner from LevelK negotiated the deal with Ingrid Pittana, head of acquisitions at SquareOne.
Pittana told Screen, “Rabbit is a smart and haunting, psychological thriller, which lingered with me for days after reading the script and is exactly what you want from a good thriller. We are elated to add this to our release slate and to commence a great relationship with LevelK.”
The story follows 25-year old medical student Maude, who is haunted by visions of her identical twin’s violent abduction.
David Ngo ([link »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Waiting for you at the theater this weekend is Zoolander 2, which finally hits screens after a 15-year layoff. While early reviews of this latest adventure of really, really, ridiculously good-looking people haven.t been particularly kind, but it.s not the only long-gestating sequel that is coming down the pipeline, not by a long shot. Long delays between sequels are nothing new, and while sometimes they don.t work out, other times they do. There were quite a few last year that lived up to their predecessors, especially the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Creed, and we.d much rather filmmakers take the time to get things right rather than simply serve us a half-baked follow up. Considering that, here are some upcoming sequels that have been on the way for years and years that we have high hopes for. There are, of course, tons more of »
We are predicting that “Mad Max: Fury Road” could well win the most BAFTAs on Sunday, despite it being snubbed for Best Picture and Best Director. It is favoured to win at least four of the craft awards: Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Visual Effects. And our users give it the edge for Best Film Editing (our experts and editors are predicting “The Big Short” will win that race). It also contends for Cinematography and Costume Design but is expected to lose those races to "The Revenant" and "Carol" respectively. -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions The current recordholder for most BAFTA wins by a non-Best Picture nominee is "La Vie en Rose," which claimed four in 2007: Best Actress (Marion Cotillard), Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Score. It was nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film, losing »
Mark Ruffalo was on a “silence retreat” the morning of the Oscar nominations and had to whisper congratulations to his director, Tom McCarthy. One of Sam Smith’s favorite James Bond films is “Quantum of Solace,” also known as “the one nobody else likes.” Hank Corwin had never seen an Adam McKay movie before the director hired him to edit “The Big Short.” And speaking of McKay, there’s an alternate ending to his comedy “Stepbrothers” that was never shot.
These are just some of the fun facts revealed when nominees dropped by Variety’s studio at the annual Oscar lunch on Monday afternoon. Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the luncheon is a time to celebrate all the nominees and have them gather for an official class photo.
Before and after the celebration, the nominated artists came by Variety’s studio suite to take photos and talk about the »
- Jenelle Riley
How unpredictable is this year's Oscar race? We are two weeks out and Best Picture still remains a three-way race.
Last weekend's Directors Guild Awards -- which analysts thought might bring some clarity to the race -- resulted in an unprecedented repeat victory for "The Revenant" director Alejandro González Iñárritu, meaning Oscarologists are just as confused as ever. Especially since Best Picture still remains a three-way race.
Iñárritu is the first person ever to win two DGA prizes in a row; he won last year for "Birdman" as well. If he goes on to win the Best Director Oscar -- and the DGA win makes him the front-runner in that category -- he'll be only the third person ever to win two directing Oscars in a row, and the first to do it in 65 years.
But does that mean "Revenant" is going to win Best Picture? Not necessarily, though the signs are encouraging. »
- Gary Susman
In his sixth year as president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Richard Crudo — who initially reigned over the invitation-only organization from 2003-06 and was re-elected in 2013 — has been a first-hand witness to revolutionary changes in the business, and has rubbed shoulders with many of the greats. At least three of those d.p. titans — Haskell Wexler, Vilmos Zigmond and Miroslav Ondrícek — died over the past year.
Their loss will be acknowledged Feb. 14 at the Asc’s 30th annual kudofest at L.A.’s Century Plaza Hotel. “Ordinarily we don’t do that at the awards, this is going to be the first time,” Crudo says. “It would be really irresponsible not to acknowledge these people.”
At a time when shooting on film is likened to etching a recording on vinyl, with only one film processing plant left in L.A., lensers and their collaborators nevertheless press on in formats »
- Steve Chagollan
If it’s Friday, it must be time for some new predictions. Yes, we’re nearing the finish line for the Academy Awards, with the ceremony only a few short weeks away. This is a pretty huge precursor weekend though, with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (or BAFTA) handing out their awards, along with the American Society of Cinematographers (or Asc), and the Writers Guild of America (or WGA). We can look to BAFTA for help in figuring out if The Revenant is going to more or less sweep the Oscars, while Asc will likely confirm the Best Cinematography category to be in its favor. As for the WGA, it’s probably going to be split between The Big Short and Spotlight. We could finally get some answers in the next few days, but we also might just wind up with more questions… First up, take a »
- Joey Magidson
For costume designer Jenny Beavan and the makeup & hairstyling team of Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin, the journey of "Mad Max: Fury Road" was all about figuring out a day in the life of the wasteland survivors: Max (Tom Hardy), Furiosa (Charlize Theron), Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his wives, and the War Boys. Beavan looked at George Miller's graphic novel and early concepts, which had an S&M look, and made the costume design more masculine. She also found inspiration in Namibia, where they shot Miller's post-apocalyptic return. The African ethos of recycling and re-purposing became important to the aesthetic, where dressing for necessity took precedence. And Miller stressed finding beauty in the ordinary objects that get thrown away. Watch: "How Best Director Contender George Miller Made Oscar-Nominated 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (Exclusive)" "They do it extraordinarily, from the »
- Bill Desowitz
Read More: Indiewire Awards Season Spotlight Following in the footsteps of their DGA nominations, Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"), Adam McKay ("The Big Short"), George Miller ("Mad Max: Fury Road") and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("The Revenant") all repeated with the Academy. Leading the race is 70-year-old veteran George Miller, whose nomination this year marks his first nom ever. In one of this year's most shocking turn of events, "The Martian" director Ridley Scott was left off this list in favor of Lenny Abrahamson, whose contained direction of "Room" has been critically acclaimed but was hardly considered a real threat by most insiders. Below is Anne Thompson's take on how things might shake down in the race for best director. Check out Thompson on Hollywood's Oscar predictions page for more awards season analysis. Click here for more category breakdowns on Indiewire. Nominees:Tom McCarthy »
Oscar frontrunner Emmanuel Lubezki ("The Revenant") is all but certain to win the American Society of Cinematographers award for Best Feature Film at the 30th annual edition of these kudos on Sunday (Feb. 14). Also contending for this top guild honor are three other Oscar nominees -- Roger Deakins ( "Sicario" ), Ed Lachman ("Carol") and John Seale ("Mad Max: Fury Road") -- as well as Janusz Kaminski ("Bridge of Spies"). The Oscar race is rounded out by Robert Richardson ("The Hateful Eight" ). -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Lubezki has gone four for six with the Asc, including last year for "Birdman" and in 2013 for "Gravity" (he also won Oscars for those) as well as "Children of Men" (2006) and "The Tree..." »
WestEnd Films has acquired worldwide rights to “Flammable Children,” a comedy written and to be directed by Stephan Elliott, who was BAFTA nominated for “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.” WestEnd starts sales at the European Film Market at Berlin.
The film is set in an Australian beach suburb, Dee Why, in the mid-1970s. Fourteen-year-old Jeff tries to find his feet in a world changing faster than his hormones, and deal with his crush on shy and sensitive girl-next-door Melly. When the town suddenly hits the spotlight after the body of a 200-ton whale is washed ashore, Jeff and Melly think it’s the biggest thing that ever happened in their lives.
Meanwhile, their eccentric parents are catching up with the sexual revolution »
- Leo Barraclough
The Visual Effects Society bestowed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with four awards, including the top prize of Best Visual Effects in a Feature Film. Among the other honorees at these kudos were two other Oscar contenders for Best Visual Effects: “The Revenant” walked away with three, and “Mad Max: Fury Road” took home one. So, which will win the Oscar? -Break- Subscribe to Gold Derby Breaking News Alerts & Experts’ Latest Oscar Predictions Since the Ves Awards began in 2002, the winner of the top prize has gone on to repeat at the Oscars nine times. The four exceptions were: 2004: Ves goes to “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Oscar goes to “Spider-Man 2” 2007: Ves goes to “Transformers,” Oscar goes to “The Golden Compass” 2011: Ves goes to “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Oscar goes to “Hugo” 2014: Ves goes to “Dawn »
If you had told me at the beginning of 2015 that one of the major players in the Academy Awards race for Best Director would be George Miller — the mad Aussie responsible for envisioning the uncompromising wasteland of the “Mad Max” pictures — I’d have told you that you were out of your mind. And yet here we are, and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” having landed on many critic’s Top 10 of the year lists (including my own), has now racked up ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Miller. It’s a neat feat, and reaffirming too: 'Fury Road' is, after all, a highly unusual and at times aggressively bizarre film, and it’s nice to know that genuinely unique, large-scale movies like this can still do well in both the critical and commercial spheres. Read More: George Miller Talks Feminist Elements, Stunts, And Making ' »
- Nicholas Laskin
Mad Max: Fury Road received 10 Oscar nominations last month. Civilization has collapsed in this post-apocalyptic film directed by George Miller. Tom Hardy plays Mad Max, and Charlize Theron plays Imperator Furiosa. »
- Jazz Tangcay
1."Mad Max: Fury Road": Jenny Beavan found inspiration shooting George Miller's new post-apocalyptic world in Namibia. The African ethos of recycling and re-purposing became important to the aesthetic, where dressing for necessity took precedence. It was about finding beauty in the ordinary objects that get thrown away. Two highlights were Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones), with his dolls head necklace (which took her back to her early prop and model-making days), and the five wives who are totally underdressed for a road trip with shawls, sarong wraps, bikini tops and mini-skirts. 2. "Carol": Sandy Powell's designs for socialite Carol (Cate Blanchett) and beatnik photographer Therese (Rooney Mara) convey the restraint and repression at the dawn of the Eisenhower era in 1952. Carol embodies a softer, more streamlined look with muted colors yet still very fashionable and elegant, while Therese dresses for comfort and practicality with lots of plaid. Finally, »
- Bill Desowitz
Kristen Stewart knows a thing or two about forbidden love. She is, after all, still best known for starring in a series of films about a girl and her vampire boyfriend. And Nicholas Hoult‘s done the whole dystopia thing — he’s coming out of the toxic wasteland of Mad Max: Fury Road. Now the two of them are […]
- Angie Han
Eight recipients of Variety‘s Artisan Awards explained the creative challenges and rewards of their work at a special event during the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Wednesday at the Lobero Theater.
The honorees were cinematography, John Seale, “Mad Max: Thunder Road”; costume design, Jacqueline West, “The Revenant”; editing, Hank Corwin, “The Big Short”; production design, Arthur Max, “The Martian”; music, Carter Burwell, “Carol”; song, Diane Warren, “Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground”; sound editing, Mark Mangini, “Mad Max: Fury Road”; and visual effects, Patrick Tubach, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
The evening featured a clip from each film, followed by a one-on-one conversation between each winner and Variety awards editor Tim Gray.
Max, who’s worked with Ridley Scott on 11 films, offered an affectionate and funny monologue praising the director, saying no film school on earth can teach as much as Scott does. “He makes it all look easy, »
- Variety Staff
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