18 items from 2015
We've come to an interesting crossroads in the race. With all eyes on "Boyhood" coming into the weekend, and a few others on "American Sniper" and "The Imitation Game," it was "Birdman" that walked away the PGA champ Saturday. The SAG Awards left some doubt late in the evening Sunday as to whether the film's odds-on favorite status for the ensemble prize was jeopardized by Eddie Redmayne's lead actor win over Michael Keaton, but when the dust settled, "Birdman" was on top once again. So, some notes on the history. Films that have won both of those awards and gone on to claim the Best Picture Oscar: "Argo," "The King's Speech," "Slumdog Millionaire," "No Country for Old Men," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "Chicago." Films that have won both and gone on to lose the Best Picture Oscar: "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Apollo »
- Kristopher Tapley
Harvey Weinstein is one of the most powerful, outspoken, and controversial men in Hollywood. The studio executive who launched Miramax and The Weinstein Company is a passionate film lover, a master promoter, a ruthless Oscar campaigner, and just about everything else you need to be in order to make it to the top in the business. Even if you find what he does unscrupulous or the content he produces not very good, it is hard not to admire the man for how successful he has made himself, no matter how frustrating it might be. Weinstein recently had a chat with Deadline, covering a wide variety of topics from the Netflix series "Marco Polo" to the troubles with the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Finding Neverland to Oscar campaigning to his reputation of recutting films, giving him the nickname "Harvey Scissorhands." I had no idea the Weinsteins were behind "Marco Polo »
- Mike Shutt
All but two of the 11 film winners at Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards were first-timers at the podium. The exceptions: Julianne Moore for "Still Alice" and Emma Stone for the "Birdman" ensemble. Moore had previously prevailed for her work in the TV miniseries "Game Change" (2012). Stone was part of the ensemble win for "The Help" (2011). -Break- Related: Complete list of 2014 SAG Awards winners Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything") hopes to continue the trend in his category. The last 10 men to win Best Actor at SAG have repeated at the Oscars: Jamie Foxx ("Ray," 2004), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote," 2005), Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland," 2006), Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood," 2007), Sean Penn ("Milk," 2008), Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart," 2009), Colin Firth ("The King's Speech," 2010), Jean Dujardin ( »
"Birdman" pulled off an upset at Saturday's Producers Guild Awards, edging out frontrunner "Boyhood" for Best Picture. Can it ride this momentum all the way to stage of the Dolby Theater on Feb. 22 and claim the top Academy Award too? -Break- Will this awards season now play out like the one back in 2010? Remember, "The Social Network" had swept up a slew of critics awards as well as the Golden Globe before "The King's Speech" roared back and won over the producers. Thus began its march through the guild awards -- including both SAG and DGA -- before ultimately triumphing at the Oscars. The PGA was the first guild to be heard from this year. And, perhaps even more importantly, its members voted for Best Picture using the same system of preferential balloting as the academy. With voters ranking all the nominees, the winner is the film that outdoes all »
It seems the Producers Guild and I have something in common as the 2015 Producers Guild Awards were announced this evening and it was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman taking the the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures with producers Alejandro G. Inarritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole accepting. Additionally, the Jerry Seinfeld-created web series, "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" won the Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Digital Series while "Breaking Bad" won the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama. This definitely keeps the race for Oscar's Best Picture open as Birdman was up against fellow Best Picture nominees American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash and perceived front-runner Boyhood. Tomorrow evening, January 25, Birdman will have another chance to shine at the 2015 Screen Actors Guild Awards as it's up against Budapest, Boyhood, Imitation and »
- Brad Brevet
The sad fact with As If, is that it is almost impossible to track down today. The show has never been released on DVD, due to a copyright issue with the music. Without the music, it simply wouldn't be As If.
"Given the choice between no music so we can release the DVD, I'd choose the music," said Caroline Chikezie (Sasha). "They used to say the music was the seventh cast member, it was so important. It just took it to a whole new level. I guess it's worth not having a DVD release just to keep the music."
The Oscar-winning actor told The Jonathan Ross Show that he was initially supposed to be naked in the scene which sees his character Mr Darcy dive into a lake on his estate.
Firth said: "I haven't seen [the series] since and I suppose I should see what all the fuss is about… The funny thing is the whole shirt thing has grown as the rest of it's been forgotten so I thought at the time it was well reviewed.
"People talked about the scene where I proposed to the girl and all the rest of it. And I thought that must mean I've done a good acting job and then there was some attention about the shirt and now it's just the shirt."
On why he wore clothes in the scene, he added: »
As was widely expected, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced a slate of Best Picture nominees on Thursday morning that have gone largely unseen by general moviegoers so far.Ahead of nominations, the eight movies nominated for Best Picture had earned a combined $203.1 million. That's the lowest total since the Academy expanded the field beyond five nominees*and by a large margin, too. The previous low was 2011, when the movies had earned a combined $519 million ahead of nominations.The highest-grossing Best Picture nominee this year is The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is writer/director Wes Anderson's biggest movie ever with $59.1 million. Budapest opened back in March*a few weeks after last year's Oscar ceremony*and is already available to watch on HBO. Therefore, don't expect any kind of serious theatrical re-release here.The Imitation Game ranks second with $42 million. The movie has held up remarkably well since »
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To win Best Picture at the Oscars, you usually need to pick up nominations in directing, writing and editing. Those are a given: few films win the top prize without them. But they're not the only categories to watch out for. -Break- Oscars mystery solved: How did Jennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal get snubbed? Consider 2010, when "The King's Speech" swept the nominations, including an unlikely bid for Sound Mixing. Sound categories tend to favor thrillers, action movies, epics, and musicals, so the inclusion of a smaller character-driven drama indicated how much support there was for the film across the board. The same year, "The Social Network" did well, earning eight nominations, but its canary in the coal mine was probably Andrew Garfield, who had received Best Supporting Actor plaudits throughout the season – including nods from the Golden Globes and BAFTAs – but was left out at the Oscars. Maybe that should hav. »
In what is now a new and continuing tradition, the Golden Globe Awards have been revealed ahead of the Oscar nominations, which will be made public this Thursday. Of course, voting for the Oscar nominations was closed before the awards were revealed so don't think last night's wins will have any effect on the nominees. But this isn't an article designed to look at nominations, though we'll certainly get into a little of that. Instead we're looking at what chance last night's Globe winners have at winning the Oscar based on the recent Globe vs. Oscar history. This post serves as my ninth installment of my "Globes vs. Oscars" column (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and we'll take a look at the past 30 years of Golden Globe winner history compared to the Oscars and see where last night's winners may gain an edge and where they most likely won't and we'll begin with the lead acting categories. »
- Brad Brevet
Much will be made of the victories at Sunday night's Golden Globes and the impact they'll have on the Oscar race, but the truth is, they'll barely have any. For Academy members, voting on the Oscar nominations ended three days before the Globe ceremony (the results of that vote will be announced this Thursday, Jan. 15), and voting on which of those nominees deserve prizes doesn't begin until February 6, far enough in the future for many voters to forget who won Globes on Jan. 11.
What, then, does matter at this stage of the game? Here's a hint: it's not lofty, thoughtful deliberations, based on a year of observant moviegoing, of which films and performers displayed the most aesthetic merit. Rather, it's the little things.
- Gary Susman
The Taken franchise ended on a high note this weekend, as the third and final entry opened in first place with an excellent $39.2 million. Civil rights drama Selma got off to a slow start, while Inherent Vice opened well below writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.The Top 12 earned $110.2 million this weekend, which is off 10 percent from the same frame last year. Taken 3's $39.2 million debut is off 21 percent from Taken 2's $49 million start; when considering how poorly that movie was received, that's actually a really good hold. It's well above star Liam Neeson's Non-Stop ($28.9 million), and is also a bit higher than Lone Survivor, which opened to $37.8 million on this same weekend last year. In fact, Taken 3 wound up with the third-highest January opening ever behind last year's Ride Along and 2008's Cloverfield.Fox is reporting that the audience was 54 percent male and »
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"But there was no struggle. This is pure fiction." - Elizabeth Drew - "Selma vs. History", January 8, 2015 The words above come from Elizabeth Drew's "New York Review of Books" article "Selma vs. History", exploring the controversy surrounding director Ava DuVernay's new movie Selma. I've mentioned this controversy in passing on the podcast and in various articles, but I think it's finally time to address them head on, primarily because those nine words above trouble me a little bit. But before I get to that, let me make an effort to be fair to all involved. Drew is writing in regards to the relationship between President Lyndon Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) and Dr. Martin Luther King (David Oyelowo) as seen in DuVernay's new film. The full text from her opening goes like this: By distorting an essential truth about the relationship between Lyndon Johnson and Dr. Martin Luther King over »
- Brad Brevet
On Friday, the British Academy of Film and Television Academy (BAFTA) will unveil the nominations for the 68th annual edition of its movie awards. Since the BAFTAs moved up in 2000 to take place while academy members are still voting, these kudos have foreseen eight of the 13 Best Picture Oscar winners, including the last six in a row: "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The Hurt Locker" (2009), "The King's Speech" (2010), "The Artist" (2011), "Argo" (2012) and "12 Years a Slave" (2013). Let's take a closer look at each of these half dozen years and see how often (or not) the Brits hit the bullseye when it came to predicting the Oscar winners. -Break- Updated: Experts' Oscars predictions in 24 categories Picture and Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor). At the Oscars, "12 Years" won Best...' »
After directing Les Miserables and The King's Speech, director Tom Hooper is sticking with period drama. This time he's heading to the 1930s for the sex change drama The Danish Girl. Hooper had already rounded up an impressive cast with Eddie Redmayne leading the story of Danish painter Einar Wegener, who would become the first person to receive a sex change operation from a man to woman in 1931, becoming Lili Elbe. Redmayne is joined by Alicia Vikander as Wegener's wife Gerda and Amber Heard as a character named Oola. Now Deadline reports The Drop star Matthias Schoenaerts has landed a role too. It's not clear who the actor will play, but it's likely a meaty part. The film is based on David Ebershoff's book of the same name, and has been adapted by Lucinda Coxon (Wild Target, Crimson Peak). It's another remarkably different role for Redmayne following solid work »
- Ethan Anderton
In this year's crowded Best Actor derby, give Timothy Spall some consideration. The 57-year-old actor, best known for character parts in films like Harry Potter and The King's Speech, has the role of his career in the Mike Leigh–directed Mr. Turner, where he plays the famous painter J.M.W. Turner as a man of few words but major appetites. Ironically, though Turner communicates mostly in grunts or expectorations, Spall himself is an erudite, talkative interview subject, and he had plenty to say about the film and the notion of success when he sat down with Vulture several weeks ago.Whenever I read a profile of you in a British paper, it always emphasizes that you’re from South London. Is that because Brits are so preoccupied with where a person was born, or does it actually inform who you are in a way that you could explain to our American readers? »
- Kyle Buchanan
The American Society of Cinematographers chose the following five films as the best shot of the year. According to Twitter The Imitation Game is the odd man out. It was shot by Oscar Faura who is definitely talented (see The Orphanage and The Impossible) but discussions around this film rarely concern themselves with the quality of its cinematography (which can't really be said for the other nominees here).
1 of roughly 1,890 amazing shots in Mr Turner
Birdman Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki (4 previous Asc nominations, 3 of them won) The Grand Budapest Hotel Robert Yeoman The Imitation Game Oscar Faura Mr. Turner Dick Pope (1 previous Asc nomination for The Illusionist) Unbroken Roger Deakins (12 previous Asc nominations, 3 wins, and 1 lifetime achievement)
It does remind slightly of when The King's Speech got that perplexing actual Oscar nomination for Cinematography over at least a dozen (at least it bears repeating) well shot and more inspiring choices from »
- NATHANIEL R
On the first weekend of the year, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies once again ruled the box office.Meanwhile, The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death opened in fourth place with $15.03 million, which is noticeably lower than its predecessor's debut.Overall, this was a good start to 2015: the top 12 earned $134.2 million, which is up five percent from the same frame last year.The final installment in the Hobbit trilogy added $21.7 million, which is off 47 percent from last weekend. To date, it's earned $220.6 million, and should wrap up between $260 and $270 million.Into the Woods held on to second place, easing 40 percent to $18.7 million. Through 11 days, the Disney musical has banked $90.9 million. Angelina Jolie's Unbroken wasn't far behind: the World War II drama added $18.2 million for a new total of $87.7 million.Into the Woods and Unbroken remain on track to close with at least $120 million each. »
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18 items from 2015
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