20 items from 2015
The smallest and subtlest film in the main competition at Cannes this year, Mexican director Michel Franco’s “Chronic” offers a measured portrait of a hospice nurse (played by Tim Roth) who tends to terminally ill patients, respectfully observing his difficult and emotionally draining job while bluntly asking the question: Who cares for the caregiver? Echoing Michael Haneke’s “Amour” in key aspects of style and theme without achieving nearly the devastating impact of that Palme d’Or winner, Franco shifts the emotional center of his film away from the bond between a dying woman and her closest loved one, zeroing in on the uncomfortable truth that, in many cases, the people who connect most closely to such patients in their final days are not immediate family members, but their nurses. Needless to say, the subject is anti-commercial in the extreme, and the approach even more so, relegating this sensitive portrait primarily to festivals. »
- Peter Debruge
Indie distributor Alchemy has just scooped up Cannes perennial Nanni Moretti's "Mia Madre" out of the competition. This semi-autobiographical seriocomedy centers on a director (Margherita Buy) who's shooting an Italian film with an unruly and famous American actor (John Turturro). Meanwhile, she's trying to keep her own life together, despite her mother's (Giulia Lazzarini) illness and daughter's (Beatrice Mancini) budding adolescence. Moretti, who also stars in the film and won the 2001 Palme d'Or for "The Son's Room," co-penned the script with Francesco Piccolo and Valia Santella. In 2012, he served as the Cannes jury president when Michael Haneke's "Amour" took the Palme. Read More: Indiewire's Cannes Review of "Mia Madre" Moretti produced "Mia Madre" through his Sacher Film banner along with Domenico Procacci of Fandango and Rai Cinema. While no release date has been set, the film has so far met acclaim and interest »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Exclusive: Mia Wasikowska thriller goes to France, Germany ahead of June 15 shoot.
Writer-director Martin Koolhoven’s (Winter in Wartime) upcoming thriller Brimstone, starring Mia Wasikowska (Maps to the Stars), Guy Pearce (The Hurt Locker), Robert Pattinson (Twilight Saga) and Carice van Houten (Black Book), has closed key deals and added finance ahead of its June 15 shoot.
Among pre-sales to close for Embankment Films are Germany (Koch Media) and France (The Jokers Films) with savvy French outfit Back-Up Media and Holland’s N279 Entertainment arranging financing on the film with London-based New Sparta Films and Filmwave.
In Brimstone, Wasikowska will play a heroine on the run from her past, chased by a diabolical preacher played by Pearce. Set in the American West, Paterson is set to play an outlaw.
The film will shoot in Romania, Spain and Germany »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Pic is the English-language adaptation of Hans Fallada’s novel, based on the true story of a working-class couple who conducted a series of anonymous protests against the Nazi regime during World War II. The screenplay was written by Achim von Borries (“Good Bye Lenin!”) and Vincent Perez.
Joining the production team are cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne (“Irina Palm,” “Mr. Nobody”), production designer Jean-Vincent Puzos (“Amour,” “10,000 B.C.”) and editor Francois Gedigier (“On the Road,” “Yves Saint Laurent”).
X Filme’s Stefan Arndt and Uwe Schott (“Cloud Atlas,” “Amour”) and Master Movie’s Marco Pacchioni (“Bluesbreaker,” “Bye Bye Blondie”) are producing together with James Schamus (“Brokeback Mountain,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and FilmWave’s Christian Grass and Paul Trijbits (“Jane Eyre,” “Saving Mr. Banks »
- Leo Barraclough
Second World War drama will shoot on location in Berlin, Cologne and Görlitz.
Based on the true story of a working class couple who conducted a series of anonymous protests against the Nazi regime during the Second World War, principal photography will begin tomorrow (March 27) on location in Berlin, Cologne and Görlitz.
French actor Vincent Perez will direct.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
“Prejudice” is one of the projects developed and produced by Benoît Roland’s Wrong Men, a Brussels-based, up-and-coming outfit that aims at supporting emerging Belgian talent and producing local movies for the international market.
The family drama features an international cast led by Nathalie Baye, Arno (pictured above with Cuypers), Thomas Blanchard and Ariane Labed, who recently won best actress at Locarno. The pic marks Cuypers’s follow up to the short film “A New Old Story.”
“Prejudice” centers around a family celebration that unravels after a young women (Ariane Labed) announces to her brother Cedric (Thomas Blanchard) and parents (Nathalie Baye and Arno) that she’s expecting a baby. Cedric reacts to the news with anger and starts exposing the prejudice he claims to be facing. »
- Elsa Keslassy
Exclusive: Shoot underway on Childhood of a Leader.
Berenice Bejo, Robert Pattinson and Stacy Martin have been joined by Liam Cunningham (Game Of Thrones), Yolande Moreau (Amelie) and Sophie Curtis (Arbitrage) for Brady Corbet’s directorial feature debut The Childhood of A Leader, which is shooting now on location in Hungary.
The film charts the birth of a terrifying ego during the rise of fascism in the early 20thcentury.
Protagonist reps international sales, Wme handles North America.
The drama is a Unanimous Entertainment and Mact Films production in association with FilmTeam in Hungary. Funding comes from Media House Capital, Bow and Arrow Entertainment, Scope Pictures and Scion Pictures.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
We're knee-deep in awards season at the moment, with all the attendant speculation, drama and controversy you would expect. Who should win? Who was snubbed? Who will fall over before they reach the podium? We're looking at you, Jennifer Lawrence.
Around this time, we tend to realise the shocking number of lauded films from previous years which we still haven't seen. So here's a selection of the best award-winning films you can catch up with on Netflix:
Francis Ford Coppola's 1972 classic hardly needs an introduction from us. The film took three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor for Marlon Brando, as well as a record five Golden Globes and further nods from the Grammys, and Writers and Directors Guilds of America.
Paris — The Paris-Ile de France region is increasingly positioning itself as Europe’s premier film production hub, while simultaneously building synergies with its closest rival, London, and also with production centers in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In recent years there has been a sea change in the way the local industry works. Since the Nouvelle Vague, France has charted its own distinctive path in the film world, including a strong emphasis on auteur films. But this underlying commitment to the “Art et Essai” — broadly, arthouse — films is complemented by a new generation of directors interested in integrating VFX and animation work within their projects.
In the wake of the digital revolution, all areas of French film production have gone digital, including subtle use of “invisible” VFX on auteur films. Recent examples include VFX work by Mikros Image on Michael Haneke’s “Amour” and Jacques Audiard’s “Rust and Bone” and Buf »
- Martin Dale
Paris – France’s Mikros Image, with headquarters in Paris and offices in Montreal, Los Angeles, Liège, Brussels, Luxembourg and Milan, plans to reinforce its animation and VFX work, revolving primarily around its three-main operation centers: Paris, Belgium and Montreal.
With a 250-strong workforce, the company is one of France’s veteran and most highly-respected VFX shingles.
Mikros rose to international recognition with its 2010 Oscar-winning toon short “Logorama” and bowed a dedicated animation division in June 2012 in Levallois-Perret, Paris.
Its first animation feature, Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier’s €37 million ($42 million) “Asterix: the Land of the Gods,” was released in France on Nov. 26, clocking up 0.93 million admissions for distributor Snd in its opening week. The film’s cumulative 3.2 million admissions, complemented by worldwide sales, makes it one of the most successful French toon pics ever.
- Martin Dale
Catherine Deneuve: César Award Besst Actress Record-Tier (photo: Catherine Deneuve in 'In the Courtyard / Dans la cour') (See previous post: "Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve Make César Award History.") Catherine Deneuve has received 12 Best Actress César nominations to date. Deneuve's nods were for the following movies (year of film's release): Pierre Salvadori's In the Courtyard / Dans la Cour (2014). Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way / Elle s'en va (2013). François Ozon's Potiche (2010). Nicole Garcia's Place Vendôme (1998). André Téchiné's Thieves / Les voleurs (1996). André Téchiné's My Favorite Season / Ma saison préférée (1993). Régis Wargnier's Indochine (1992). François Dupeyron's Strange Place for an Encounter / Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988). Jean-Pierre Mocky's Agent trouble (1987). André Téchiné's Hotel America / Hôtel des Amériques (1981). François Truffaut's The Last Metro / Le dernier métro (1980). Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Le sauvage (1975). Additionally, Catherine Deneuve was nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category »
- Steve Montgomery
The sudden loss of one parent and the looming death of another set the stage for “James White,” a stripped-bare family drama that marks the feature directing debut of indie producer Josh Mond. Familiar in its general trajectory, but unusually raw and ragged in its emotional architecture, Mond’s fraught portrait of a mother and son in crisis sports a pair of knockout performances by Cynthia Nixon and “Girls” alumnus Christopher Abbott, and a vivid feel for wayward New York youths cocooned by upper-middle-class privilege, but little in the way of redemptive creature comforts. Audiences seeking spiritual uplift are strongly advised to look elsewhere.
Mond, who previously directed several short films, is best known as the longtime producing partner of directors Antonio Campos (“Afterschool”) and Sean Durkin (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), whose New York-based Borderline Films collective has carved out a certain niche of dark, provocative psychological dramas strongly influenced »
- Scott Foundas
By Anjelica Oswald
With the addition of Marion Cotillard’s lead actress nomination for the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, 32 actors and actresses have been nominated for their performances in foreign-language films. Cotillard was nominated for her role as a young mother and wife struggling to salvage her job in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’ film, which was chosen as Belgium’s submission to the foreign-language category but failed to secure a spot on the Oscar shortist.
Though her performance did land a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, the Oscar nomination did come as a surprise for many pundits.
Cotillard was previously nominated for the French foreign-language film La Vie En Rose (2007) and won. She is one of six actors or actresses to win for a non-English role and is also the most recent winner.
The first acting nomination for a foreign-language performance went to Sophia Loren in 1962 for »
- Anjelica Oswald
Marrakech’s jury prexy, Isabelle Huppert, has just completed a four-month stint in the United States, where she co-starred with Cate Blanchett in the Sydney Theater Company production of Jean Genet’s “The Maids,” at the Lincoln Center Festival, followed by her film roles in Joachim Trier’s “Louder than Bombs,” alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne, and in Guillaume Nicloux’s “The Valley of Love,” with Gerard Depardieu.
In an interview at the Marrakech film festival she explained that her recent intensive U.S. experience is a pure coincidence of back-to-back projects.
Huppert explained that she’s very happy with the roles that she has been offered recently and is not overly concerned about being typecast, for example »
- Martin Dale
The cinema of Michael Haneke may be described as cold, distant, even isolating, as the Austrian auteur prizes the examination of estrangement and the discontent of families or individuals trapped within the confines of what we refer to as modern society. He also cares little for coddling audiences, often directly criticizing what we’ve come to expect and desire from cinematic narratives. Starting out as a director in television in the early 1970′s, it would be his 1989 feature debut The Seventh Continent that first garnered attention, followed by 1992′s Benny’s Video (starring Angela Winkler), which played at Director’s Fortnight, as did his 1994 title 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance. In 1997, Haneke would direct a television adaptation of Kafka’s The Castle, starring Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Muhe, the acting couple that would headline one of his most galvanizing titles also that year with Funny Games, »
- Nicholas Bell
Primarily known for his famed 1998 title Run, Lola Run, which shot actress Franka Potente into international stardom, German director Tom Tykwer’s been involved with a variety of international co-productions since, each seeming to find a minor cult following, such as Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), The International (2009), and most infamously, Cloud Atlas (2012), which he co-directed with Andy and Lana Wachowski (however, we were most impressed with his less discussed return to Germany with 2010’s well performed Three). Now, Tykwer’s adapated David Eggar’s (screenwriter for Away We Go and Where the Wild Things Are) novel, A Hologram for a King, a political allegory set in an up-and-coming Saudi Arabian city. The comedy-drama tells the story of an American businessman who makes a last-ditch attempt to stave off bankruptcy and finally accomplish something big. He wants to »
- Nicholas Bell
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
A version of this story first appeared in a special awards issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
One can quickly recall the names of acting Oscar nominees (Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, Rooney Mara for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Emmanuelle Riva for Amour) and winners (Christian Bale for The Fighter, Mo’Nique forPrecious, Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight) who got where they got without doing any real campaigning — because they number so few.
People might like to think that Oscar voting is solely about merit, but that’s naive and incorrect. Academy members are people, not machines, which means that they can be influenced. And when the prize at stake is one that carries as much prestige and potential for increased opportunity and earning as the Oscar does, well, of course contenders for it are going to try to influence the outcome by lobbying voters, »
- Anjelica Oswald
The National Society of Film Critics awarded “Goodbye to Language” its top honor on Saturday, selecting the film as 2014’s Best Picture.
Iconic French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard directed the 3-D film, which was little seen in the United States — due, in part, to the scarcity of arthouse theaters equipped to show 3-D — and decidedly more experimental than award-season favorites “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” But “Boyhood,” Richard Linklater‘s coming-of-age drama, was a close runner-up in the Nsfc Best Picture competition, losing out by only a single point in the balloting. Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Birdman” placed a more distant third.
- Travis Reilly and Steve Pond
Mention the word “overcrowded” and awards pundits immediately talk about the best-actor race. But the director ranks are just as jam-packed — and offer a more interesting insight into the state of the film biz.
There are at least a dozen individuals whose 2014 efforts are worth remembering; however, there are only five slots, meaning some deserving folks will be disappointed on Jan. 13, when the Directors Guild of America announces nominees, and on Jan. 15, when the Academy unveils the Oscar contenders.
This year’s director crop includes some interesting trends:
Two women: Ava DuVernay for “Selma” and Angelina Jolie for “Unbroken” mean history could be made this year. Admittedly, two is not a lot, considering there are 323 eligible films. But it is a sign that things are changing.
- Tim Gray
Can you believe that Oscar nominations are less than two weeks away? Yes, on January 15th the first phase of the awards season ends with the Academy Award nominations. Wow. Time flies once the precursors start. As such, this is the second to last set of Oscar predictions that I’ll be sharing with you before the announcement. So, I better figure this all out in a hurry! The Academy has sent out ballots, members are getting ready to finalize their choices, and precursors are going on all around them. It’s truly the busy season, with all the contenders in release and no excuses left to be made. Time to put up or shut up for the Oscar hopefuls, while voters hopefully do their due diligence with all of the potential players. Earlier today the Ace Eddie announcement was made, which could give some insight into both the Best »
- Joey Magidson
20 items from 2015
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