19 items from 2014
Whenever Steven Spielberg makes a movie, we pay attention – and when it was revealed that he’d be re-teaming with his Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal star Tom Hanks for his latest, an Untitled Cold War Thriller, we went from interested to excited. Add in that Ethan and Joel Coen penned the latest iteration of the script, working from an original draft from Matt Charman, and you’ve got the recipe for an absolutely terrific thriller. Now, Spielberg has enlisted the help of four other stars for major roles in the project.
Gone Baby Gone Oscar nominee Amy Ryan has come aboard as the wife of James Donovan (Hanks), “the CIA attorney who is thrust behind the Iron Curtain when he is sent to negotiate the release of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.” Also in talks for roles are Alan Alda (Little Miss Sunshine »
- Isaac Feldberg
I have some casting news for you this morning for Steven Spielberg's upcoming cold war thriller starring Tom Hanks. THR has learned Amy Ryan has joined the project, and will play the wife of Hank's James Donovan, an attorney who is enlisted by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured U-2 pilot. THR is also reporting Alan Alda, Billy Magnussen (Twelve, Boardwalk Empire) and Eve Hewson (Enough Said, This Must Be The Place) are in talks to join the untitled project as »
- Jesse Giroux
The low-budget cop comedy opened earlier this year to a surprise $153 million gross, prompting the quick green light of a sequel for an early 2016 release. Jeong joins fellow newcomers to the franchise Olivia Munn and Benjamin Bratt who recently joined the sequel. [Source: Deadline]
James Callis ("Battlestar Galactica") has joined the cast of Roberto Orci's El Rey drama series "Matador" which Robert Rodriguez is executive producing. Gabriel Luna stars as soccer star-turned-cia secret agent Tony 'Matador' Bravo.
Callis will recur as Lucien Sayer, the leader of a cabal of powerful executives and politicians. Bravo spends much of the season trying to discover Sayer's true motives for trying to amass as much influence as possible. [Source: Digital Spy]
- Garth Franklin
Irish actor Sam Keeley has signed on for a supporting role in The Weinstein Company's Chef, joining Bradley Cooper, Omar Sy and Sienna Miller. It remains to be seen whether or not the studio will change the title, following the release of director Jon Favreau's indie comedy Chef.
The plot centers on Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper), a Paris chef who throws his career away because of his hard-partying lifestyle. After the talented chef sobers up, he assembles a crew to put together the best restaurant in the world, one that will earn him the rare and highly-coveted three-star Michelin rating. Sam Keeley is playing David, a chef recruited by Adam for his new restaurant, who ends up taking in his new boss when he needs a new place to live. Omar Sy and Sienna Miller are also confirmed to star.
The Academy has announced the new class of invited members for 2014 and, as is typical, many of which are among last year's nominees, which includes Barkhad Abdi, Michael Fassbender, Sally Hawkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Lupita Nyong'o and June Squibb in the Actors branch not to mention curious additions such as Josh Hutcherson, Rob Riggle and Jason Statham, but, okay. The Directors branch adds Jay and Mark Duplass along with Jean-Marc Vallee, Denis Villeneuve and Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't do an immediate tally of male to female additions or other demographics, but at first glance it seems to be a wide spread batch of new additions on all fronts. The Academy is also clearly attempting to aggressively bump up the demographics as this is the second year in a row where they have added a large number of new members, well over the average of 133 new members from 2004 to 2012. As far as »
- Brad Brevet
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 271 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures.
Those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy’s membership in 2014.
“This year’s class of invitees represents some of the most talented, creative and passionate filmmakers working in our industry today,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their contributions to film have entertained audiences around the world, and we are proud to welcome them to the Academy.”
The 2014 invitees are:
- Michelle McCue
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Pop quiz: What do Chris Rock, Claire Denis, Eddie Vedder and Josh Hutcherson all have in common? Answer: They could all be Oscar voters very soon. The annual Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences invitation list always makes for interesting reading, shedding light on just how large and far-reaching the group's membership is -- or could be, depending on who accepts their invitations. This year, 271 individuals have been asked to join AMPAS, meaning every one of them could contribute to next year's Academy Awards balloting -- and it's as diverse a list as they've ever assembled. Think the Academy consists entirely of fusty retired white dudes? Not if recent Best Original Song nominee Pharrell Williams takes them up on their offer. Think it's all just a Hollywood insiders' game? Not if French arthouse titans Chantal Akerman and Olivier Assayas join the party. It's a list that subverts expectation at every turn. »
- Guy Lodge
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has invited 271 individuals to become members, with the list reflecting the org’s determination to bring more diversity to its ranks.
Every year, the list of invitations includes several recent Oscar nominees. That’s true this year as well, with letters going out Wednesday to a cross-section of people including 2013 contenders Barkhad Abdi, Lupita Nyong’o, Hayao Miyazaki, Pharrell Williams, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, plus such creatives as Megan Ellison, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Steve Coogan, Jason Statham, William Chang Suk Ping, Joan Sobel, Tracey Seaward, Mads Mikkelsen and Chantal Akerman.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told Variety Thursday, “This is a continuation of an initiative to bring in new voices. Filmmaking has gotten more diverse, and audiences have been responding. There are terrific filmmakers around the world at the top of their game and we want to recognize them and bring them into the Academy. »
- Tim Gray
Indie distributor Synergetic has acquired North American rights to “Gold,” an off-beat comedy set in an affluent suburb of Dublin.
Subotica’s Tristan and Aoife O’Sullivan take producer credits.
- John Hopewell
Sometimes awards season starts in September, but as this article points out, sometimes it starts in Cannes. Over the next 11 days, we'll get our first looks at the films hoping to become the next "The Artist" or "Inglorious Basterds" (and not the next "Lawless" or "This Must Be The Place") as they premiere on the Croisette. And there's definitely plenty with considerable potential. Previous Oscar winners Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, and director Michel Hazanivicius are all premiering films at the fest alongside past nominees like Mike Leigh, Bennett Miller, Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Jessica Chastain, Hailee Steinfeld, Berenice Bejo and Ryan Gosling (though the latter is sitting in the director's chair this time). Not all of them are in films that are going into the fest with those kinds of ambitions (as good as Julianne Moore looks in the trailer for "Maps To The Stars, »
- Peter Knegt
The last time high-style Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino attempted an English-language film, the results were interesting but muddled: starring Sean Penn as a past-prime goth-rock star crossing America in search of a Nazi war hunter, 2011's unabashedly odd Irish-Italian co-production "This Must Be the Place" had its champions, but was deemed enough of a misfire to send the director back to the safety of home. His follow-up, last year's Fellini-inspired Roman valentine "The Great Beauty" was as Italian as Italian can be, and his most universally acclaimed film to date -- even winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Bolstered by that success, Sorrentino is wading back into English-language waters. Boasting Italian, Swiss and British financing, "Youth" will tell the story of two septuagenarian men -- one a filmmaker trying to assemble his last masterwork, the other a composer being lured out of retirement -- holidaying together in the Alps, »
- Guy Lodge
Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, who won an Oscar this year for "The Great Beauty," has worked with Hollywood actors before. Most notably, his misunderstood "This Must Be the Place" (2011) starred Sean Penn and Francis McDormand. Now, a year after debuting his "Great Beauty" in the Main Competition, Pathe Intl. will shop his next film, "Youth," at the Cannes market. And Sorrentino has lined up a top drawer Hollywood cast for the project. Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel and Paul Dano will join the previously-cast Michael Caine in this already-anticipated drama. Here's what we know so far: "Youth" centers on Fred, a retired composer, and Mick, a still-kicking-it director, who take a leisurely sojourn in an elegant hotel in the Alps. While Mick hastily attempts to finish his last great film, Fred considers returning to music. It's safe to say that Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine will play the protagonists of this English-language feature. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Rome – Juliette Binoche is attached to star in female competition drama “The Wait” to be directed by first-time Italo helmer Piero Messina, assistant of recent foreign-language Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino (“The Great Beauty”).
Gaul’s Pathe International will kick off world sales at Cannes on the Sicily-set pic which is being produced by “The Great Beauty” shingle Indigo Film with Gaul’s Babe Films on board as co-producer.
A graduate of Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia film school, Messina made Sicily-set short “Terra,” starring Giorgio Colangeli (“Il Divo”), which screened at the Cannes Cinefondation sidebar in 2012. Messina has also worked closely with Sorrentino as first assistant on both Sean Penn-starrer “This Must Be The Place” and on “The Great Beauty.”
Besides Binoche, who will be seen at Cannes in Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” “The Wait” will also star Colangeli. Other casting is being completed. Shooting is set to start in July. »
- Nick Vivarelli
Italian director who carried off best foreign film statuette for The Great Beauty lines up veteran British actor for In the Future
• The Great Beauty wins Oscar for best foreign language film
According to Variety, In the Future is a "small, intimate film" about "friendship between two old people", quoting an interview the Italian film-maker gave to La Republica.
Sorrentino, who won the best foreign language film Oscar for The Great Beauty, has worked with English-speaking actors before, having cast Sean Penn in his goth-rocker road movie This Must Be the Place, which was selected for the Cannes film festival.
There is no word yet as to whether In the Future contains a role for Sorrentino's regular collaborator Toni Servillo, who played »
- Andrew Pulver
Rome – Hot on the heels of his foreign Oscar victory for “The Great Beauty” Paolo Sorrentino is set to start shooting in May on Michael Caine-starrer “In The Future,” an intimate drama about “friendship between two old people,” the Italo helmer has announced.
Sorrentino said that after his ambitious Oscar-winning tour de force he wants to make “a fresh start” with a “small, intimate film,” he told Italian daily La Repubblica. The helmer’s customary irony is likely to permeate his new pic, which Sorrentino penned himself.
As previously announced, “In The Future” is being shepherded by Sorrentino’s regular producers, Nicola Giuliano and Francesca Cima via their Indigo Films shingle, with co-financing from Italian distributor Mediaset/Medusa which is planning a late 2014 release in Italy.
- Nick Vivarelli
I first discovered the cinema of Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino in 2008 when I saw "Il Divo" at Cannes, which stars the incandescent Toni Servillo as former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Even though the biopic did a deep dive into decades of arcane Machiavellian politics in Italy, the movie was utterly accessible because Servillo carried you through. My second encounter with Sorrentino was also at Cannes, with his first English-language film "This Must be the Place," which features a riveting performance from Sean Penn as an aging expat rocker who returns to his roots in America after his father dies. But the movie didn't quite come together--Sorrentino's English has definitely improved since then.When I spoke to the filmmaker about his latest triumph, eventual foreign Oscar-winner "The Great Beauty" (Toh! review here), he did have a translator on hand, but he handled some of answers himself. The movie stars Servillo as »
- Anne Thompson
Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty has two small yet important facets in common with Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. Both films begin with a profound quote that provides a key to the viewer for a full understanding of the film that follows. Both films use the music of “Dies Irae” (Requiem for my Friend, which includes Lacrimosa 2) by Zbigniew Preisner (the talented composer of Kieslowski’s Dekalog and The Three Colors trilogy) and Henryk Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony.
The quote is “To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. Our journey is entirely imaginary, »
- Jugu Abraham
In most recent years few Italian filmmakers have managed to establish themselves beyond the boot-shaped land, but Neapolitan Paolo Sorrentino has gradually managed to bring back Italy’s filmmaking grandeur to worldwide audiences. The Italian director established himself internationally with the movie "Il Divo," that wackily depicted the life of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. The film piqued Sean Penn’s interest, to the point that the actor decided to star in Sorrentino’s drama, "This Must Be The Place," as a middle-aged wealthy rock star, bored in his retirement, who took on the quest of finding his father's Nazi War criminal tormentor. Sorrentino’s latest film, "The Great Beauty," echoes some of the best Italian classics of the fifties, that denounced the social malaise of their time. "La Grande Bellezza" (the Italian title), recalls Fellini’s savory depictions of Rome in all its sumptuousness, flightiness and gimmick. The circus portrayed by the parties, »
- Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
19 items from 2014
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