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"Straight Outta Compton" doesn't look like a traditional Oscars contender for Best Picture. Too gritty and edgy. Not sappy enough. No snob appeal for voters who tend to like their bioflicks glossy like "The King's Speech" and their musicals white like "Chicago." -Break- But according to an industry insider, "Straight Outta Compton" got a "huge response" yesterday at its official screening at the academy, drawing a big, enthusiastic crowd (700 viewers). America's movie-goers are certainly digging it. "Straight Outta Compton" overshot industry estimates to pull in $56 million on its opening weekend. At Rotten Tomatoes, film critics give it a towering score of 88%, moviegoers endorse it by 96%. Oscar voters have an obvious hunger to reward movies with an African-American theme nowadays. "Selma" surprised Oscarwatchers and ambushed the derby last November and ended ...' »
This year's Venice Film Festival will include Kristen Stewart in a sci-fi romance, Idris Elba at war and a thriller starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, as well as potentially awards-worthy performances from Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Organizers announced a 21-strong competition lineup Wednesday for the festival, which takes over the Italian maritime city's Lido island for 11 days in September.
It includes Drake Doremus' futuristic Equals, with Stewart and Nicholas Hoult; Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, with Swinton, Johnson and Ralph Fiennes; and Cary Fukunaga's African child-soldier story Beasts of No Nation, starring Elba.
Competition for the top Golden Lion prize also includes Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's animated featureAnomalisa; musician Laurie Anderson's Heart of a Dog; and The Danish Girl, from The King's Speech directorTom Hooper, which stars 2014 Oscar-winner Redmayne as a transgender woman in the 1920s. »
- Cineplex.com and contributors
We're over the mid-year hump and on our way down, but there's still a lot left to see so yes, these are early predictions, but it's time to get the ducks in a row so we can begin shuffling the board as movies are released and contenders fall off and are added on. Last week I offered up an updated look at the Best Picture field for the 2016 Oscars and today I'm opening the doors for a first look at the Best Actor field, which currently includes 30 contenders. Let's have a look. As always, when you begin taking a look this early in the game most of the names that rise to the top are for unseen, but assumed they will be great, performances. My opening field is really no different with only one performance in my top five having been seen, though there could still be a case made »
- Brad Brevet
We've hit the midway point of 2015 so it's time to start taking the 2016 Oscar race a little more seriously. Cannes is behind us and coming up are the Toronto and Venice Film Festival announcements at which point we'll see just what kind of strategies the studios will be taking with their upcoming Oscar contenders. Over the last month or so I've been tweaking my Best Picture predictions in the background, adding a movie here and there, shuffling a few around as I see fit to the point I am now at 51 contenders. Yeah, such is the price you pay when you start predicting this early. However, this year I'm going to set out to keep track of my own personal Oscar ballot as we go through the year, offering up a list of the top five films I believe should be nominated for Best Picture in hopes of maybe keeping »
- Brad Brevet
Academy invitee Eddie Redmayne in 'The Theory of Everything.' Academy invites 322 new members: 'More diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before' The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has offered membership to 322 individuals "who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures." According to the Academy's press release, "those who accept the invitations will be the only additions to the Academy's membership in 2015." In case all 322 potential new members say an enthusiastic Yes, that means an injection of new blood representing about 5 percent of the Academy's current membership. In the words of Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (as quoted in the press release), in 2015 "our branches have recognized a more diverse and inclusive list of filmmakers and artists than ever before, and we look forward to adding their creativity, ideas and experience to our organization." In recent years, the Academy membership has »
- Anna Robinson
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin; Screenwriter: Brian Lynch; Starring: Pierre Coffin, Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney, Jennifer Saunders, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush; Running time: 91 mins; Certificate: U
As the icing on the cake of the hugely successful Despicable Me movies, the Minions were in many ways the real stars of the show, providing standout moments of ingenious slapstick and wonderfully endearing comedy.
But unlike its Despicable predecessors - which took an immense $543m and then $970m at the global box office - this new prequel, in which the little yellow goofballs take centre stage, can feel sugary sweet but slightly hollow.
Adults hoping for an all-ages animation worthy of Toy Story or Up, or even just a continuation of the Minions adventures with the brilliantly-crafted Gru, may find it falls short. Which feels like a genuine shame, given their universal appeal. Is there anyone out there who doesn't love the courageous jellybeans? »
Ron Moody in Mel Brooks' 'The Twelve Chairs.' The 'Doctor Who' that never was. Ron Moody: 'Doctor Who' was biggest professional regret (See previous post: "Ron Moody: From Charles Dickens to Walt Disney – But No Harry Potter.") Ron Moody was featured in about 50 television productions, both in the U.K. and the U.S., from the late 1950s to 2012. These included guest roles in the series The Avengers, Gunsmoke, Starsky and Hutch, Hart to Hart, and Murder She Wrote, in addition to leads in the short-lived U.S. sitcom Nobody's Perfect (1980), starring Moody as a Scotland Yard detective transferred to the San Francisco Police Department, and in the British fantasy Into the Labyrinth (1981), with Moody as the noble sorcerer Rothgo. Throughout the decades, he could also be spotted in several TV movies, among them: David Copperfield (1969). As Uriah Heep in this disappointing all-star showcase distributed theatrically in some countries. »
- Andre Soares
★★☆☆☆ Though its genesis is based in large part on the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Ve Day, the arrival of A Royal Night Out (2015) has been granted an even higher level of prescience now that Princess Charlotte has been introduced to the royal fold. Directed by Julian Jarrold, whose previous forays into period storytelling include Becoming Jane (2007) and the stodgy Evelyn Waugh adaptation Brideshead Revisited (2008), his latest is an innocuous and overly frothy trifle that heavily coasts on a universal adoration for the monarchy, and little else. Acting as something of an unofficial bookend to 2010's The King's Speech, A Royal Night Out is set on the momentous night of 8 May, 1945.
- CineVue UK
Amy Adams drop dead gorgeous on Oscars' Red Carpet Amy Adams at the 83rd Academy Awards Looking drop dead gorgeous, Amy Adams is pictured above donning a scintillating blue dress while arriving at the 2011 Oscar ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in the fast-thumping heart of Hollywood. Adams was – for the third time in six years (more info below) – a Best Supporting Actress nominee. This time around, she was shortlisted for her performance in David O. Russell's The Fighter, a generally well-regarded and surprisingly successful (in the U.S.) boxing drama that earned fellow supporting actress Melissa Leo the evening's Oscar. Another The Fighter actor, Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar statuette. In fact, the film's only major cast member left without an Oscar nomination in the acting categories was lead Mark Wahlberg (pictured with wife) – though he did »
- D. Zhea
Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg on the Oscars' Red Carpet Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Steven Spielberg and daughter Destry Spielberg arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Spielberg has taken home two Best Director Oscars: Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler's List also won Best Picture, but Saving Private Ryan lost to John Madden's Miramax-distributed Shakespeare in Love. There was quite a bit of animosity at the time, as some felt that Miramax, owned by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, overdid its Oscar campaigning – while still managing to sway enough Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members to vote for its film. Somewhat ironically, at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony Steven Spielberg presented the Best Picture Award to The King's Speech. Toplining Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and Claire Bloom, this British production was »
- D. Zhea
Lionsgate has acquired the Us rights to hot Cannes market title, literary biopic "Genius," starring Colin Firth ("The King's Speech"), Jude Law ("Spy"), Nicole Kidman ("The Hours"), Laura Linney ("The Big C"), Guy Pearce ("The Rover") and Dominic West ("The Affair"). The Affair). John Logan ("Penny Dreadful," "The Aviator") adapted the A.Scott Berg biography of editor-to-the-stars Maxwell Perkins. Tony-winning theater director Michael Grandage ("Red," "Frost/Nixon") makes his feature film debut. Producers are James Bierman, Grandage and Logan with Deepak Nayar, Nik Bower, James J. Bagley, Berg, Tim Bevan, Steve Christian, Ivan Dunleavy and Arielle Tepper Madover serving as executive producers. The film was financed by Riverstone Pictures and Pinewood Pictures. The film "Genius" centers on the real-life relationship between Perkins (Colin Forth) and »
- Anne Thompson
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty on the Oscars' Red Carpet Best Actress nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty Smiling radiantly, Best Actress Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty are seen above as they arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre, located in the world-renowned (but locally not all that prestigious) Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood. Annette Bening was in the running for her performance as a lesbian companion/wife to Julianne Moore and mother/adoptive mother of Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Bening lost the Best Actress Oscar to Natalie Portman for her mentally unbalanced ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. See also: Pregnant Natalie Portman on the Oscars' Red Carpet. Annette Bening: Four Oscar nominations The Kids Are All Right was Annette Bening's fourth Academy Award nomination. »
- D. Zhea
Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale at the Oscars Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic on the Academy Awards' Red Carpet Eventual Best Supporting Actor winner Christian Bale and wife Sibi Blazic Bale are seen above on the Red Carpet of the 83rd Academy Awards, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Welsh-born Bale took home the Oscar statuette for his performance as a boxer turned coach and junkie in David O. Russell's boxing drama and sleeper hit The Fighter. His co-stars were Mark Wahlberg (who also co-produced the film), Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo, and Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams. Christian Bale movies The Fighter was Christian Bale's first Academy Award nomination. Among his other movie credits are: The Dark Knight (2008). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Christian Bale. Heath Ledger. Maggie Gyllenhaal. Aaron Eckhart. The Prestige (2006). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Hugh Jackman. »
- D. Zhea
Hilary Swank Oscar dress Hilary Swank on Oscars' Red Carpet Pictured above is Hilary Swank, wearing an Oscar dress consisting of (what looks like) tons of frills and feathers, on the 2011 Academy Awards Red Carpet this past Sunday, Feb. 27. Swank wasn't nominated for anything, but she acted as a presenter of sorts at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. How so? Well, she introduced last year's Best Director winner, Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), who then presented this year's Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King's Speech. Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has taken home two Best Actress Oscar statuettes. Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry (1999). Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (2004). These were her only two nominations as well. Both times she beat Annette Bening, who was in the running this year once again for her role as a lesbian wife and mother in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, »
- D. Zhea
Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham on the Oscars' Red Carpet Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham at the Academy Awards Mark Wahlberg and wife Rhea Durham in a red-and-golden outfit are pictured above on the 2011 Academy Awards' Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony was held on Sunday, Feb. 27. Wahlberg, decades ago known as underwear model Marky Mark, was an Oscar nominee as one of the producers of Best Picture contender The Fighter – which ultimately lost to odds-on favorite The King's Speech. Mark Wahlberg was the only major player in the David O. Russell-directed boxing drama who failed to be nominated for an Academy Award in the acting categories. Co-stars Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, and Christian Bale were all shortlisted; Leo and Bale ended up winning in their respective supporting categories. Wahlberg, however, was a Best Supporting Actor nominee four years ago: for »
- D. Zhea
Mark Ruffalo and wife Sunrise Coigney on the Red Carpet Mark Ruffalo and wife Sunrise Coigney Oscars photo Mark Ruffalo and wife Sunrise Coigney arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at (almost) the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in downtown Hollywood. Ruffalo was a 2011 Best Supporting Actor nominee for his role as a chauvinistic male slob who disrupts the family life of a lesbian couple in Lisa Cholodenko's Best Picture contender The Kids Are All Right. The dramatic comedy co-stars Best Actress nominee Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, and Mia Wasikowska. This was Ruffalo's first Academy Award nomination. As it turned out, The Kids Are All Right didn't win a single statuette on Sunday night. But at the 2011 Spirit Awards held the day before, Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg's screenplay was chosen as the best of the year among independent films. »
- D. Zhea
'127 Hours' movie with James Franco '127 Hours' Review: James Franco stars in harrowing real life-based story 127 Hours. When I initially heard that Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning team behind Slumdog Millionaire, were adapting the real life story of Aron Ralston for the big screen, I got excited. A movie seemed an inevitability when the story broke in the news – and Ralston wrote a book about it – but I couldn't have imagined such a great filmmaking team actually working on it. When James Franco was cast as Ralston, my hopes hit a high. Franco is an underrated and remarkably talented actor unfortunately snubbed by most for his wonderful work in 2008's Milk and Pineapple Express. Danny Boyle also happens to be a very skilled director, one whose style tends to be hyperkinetic. Though it worked beautifully in Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, Boyle's touch actually hinders, rather than enhances, »
- Nathan Donarum
Anne Hathaway Red Dress at the 83rd Academy Awards Oscar host Anne Hathaway Wearing a blindingly bright red dress, Anne Hathaway, sporting a blindingly bright white smile, is pictured above at the 2011 Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Hathaway, a Best Actress nominee for Rachel Getting Married in early 2009, was this year's Oscar ceremony co-host alongside Best Actor nominee James Franco (127 Hours). More on that further below. Anne Hathaway movies Below is a partial list of Anne Hathaway films.* Her big-screen debut took place in 2001. Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016). Director: James Bobin. Cast: Mia Wasikowska. Johnny Depp. Helena Bonham Carter. Sacha Baron Cohen. Anne Hathaway. The Interns (2015). Director: Nancy Meyers. Cast: Anne Hathaway. Robert De Niro. Interstellar (2014). Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Matthew McConaughey. Jessica Chastain. Anne Hathaway. Mackenzie Foy. Michael Caine. Matt Damon. Ellen Burstyn. Don Jon (2013). Les Misérables (2012). Director: Tom Hooper. »
- D. Zhea
Natalie Portman and husband-to-be Benjamin Millepied on the Red Carpet Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied at the Oscars Best Actress winner Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied (at the time, Portman's husband-to-be)* arrive at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Portman took home the Oscar for her performance as a mentally unstable ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's psychological drama Black Swan. An international box office hit, Black Swan was also a Best Picture nominee, ultimately losing the Oscar to Tom Hooper's The King's Speech. Besides Natalie Portman and dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, also in the Black Swan cast are Mila Kunis, Winona Ryder, Barbara Hershey, and Vincent Cassel. Portman's fellow Best Actress contenders were: Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right. Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine. Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole. Jennifer Lawrence for Winter's Bone. Natalie Portman had been previously nominated in »
- D. Zhea
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
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