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After singing on screen in Les Misérables and earning an Oscar for last year's The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne has taken on his biggest challenge yet: telling the story of the first woman to undergo transgender surgery. He plays Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, an adaptation of David Ebershoff's book of the same name. I got the chance to talk to Redmayne before the film's Nov. 27 release, and he's quite the charmer. Keep reading to find out why he would sooner make up an excuse than host Saturday Night Live and the interesting part of Lili's story that you won't see in the movie. Popsugar: What is something you learned about the true story of The Danish Girl while working on the movie that you were surprised by? Eddie Redmayne: Pretty much the entire experience of prepping the film was one gigantic education for me. I »
- Maggie Pehanick
The London Critics’ Circle Film Awards has announced that Sir Kenneth Branagh is set to receive the highest accolade, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, at their awards ceremony this January.
An acclaimed actor and filmmaker, Branagh won the Best Supporting Actor Bafta for his portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn, a role for which the Critics’ Circle also honoured him. Uniquely, as a UK based filmmaker, he holds five Oscar nominations in five different categories, and has directed numerous Hollywood blockbusters including Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and Cinderella.
“As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell,” said Branagh as part of the announcement. She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honour to me personally and very meaningful. My sincere thanks to the Critics’ Circle.”
- Gary Collinson
The London Film Critics’ Circle, the U.K.’s largest and most established critics’ body, has tapped Kenneth Branagh to receive their annual Dilys Powell Award for excellence in film. The 54-year-old actor-director will accept the honor at the Circle’s awards ceremony in London on January 17, 2016, when the group’s selections for 2015’s outstanding achievements in film will also be named.
“As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell,” Branagh said in a statement, referring to the late Sunday Times critic for whom the award is named. “She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honour to me personally and very meaningful. My sincere thanks to the Critics’ Circle.”
The award acknowledges the Belfast-born Branagh’s 34-year career before and behind the camera, which began humbly as an uncredited bit player in 1981’s Oscar-winning “Chariots of Fire. »
- Guy Lodge
London — Rhys Ifans and Ed Skrein are to star in science-fiction thriller “Gateway 6.” Altitude Film Sales will handle worldwide sales and introduce the project to buyers at the American Film Market, which runs Nov. 4-11 in Santa Monica.
Malachi Smyth’s screenplay topped the most recent Brit List, which is a compendium of stellar unproduced scripts by non-u.S. writers, set up to complement the U.S. Black List. Scripts that have made the Brit List in previous years include “The King’s Speech,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
The movie “combines the solitary abandonment of ‘Moon’ with the claustrophobic atmosphere of ‘Das Boot,’ and the fight to survive instincts of ‘Alien,’” according to Altitude.
Set in the future, on a war-ravaged Earth, four »
- Leo Barraclough
Cannes — John Woo, whose credits include “Mission Impossible II” and “Face/Off,” is to produce a original scripted television series titled “Cognition” in partnership with Catalyst Global Media, the television and film production company led by Charlotte Walls and Al Hardiman.
The show is a neo-noir crime thriller covering two serial killer investigations set in two very stylistically contrasting worlds — the vast and desolate lands of America’s declining mid-West, and the thriving and overpopulated streets of the Far East.
The series is centered around Travis Augustine, an American ex-detective who has travelled to the Far East for a cutting-edge, untested medical procedure to cure his cancer. The theory: trauma manifests itself into illness. The cure: delete the memories associated with the trauma. As Travis recounts the memories from a failed all-consuming 10-year serial killer investigation as part of his treatment, copycat crimes start to take place on the streets of an Asian metropolis, »
- Leo Barraclough
Emma Watson has said it before and she'll say it again—there's sexism in Hollywood and it needs to stop. The Regression actress revealed to The Guardian that when it comes to the dynamics between men and women in the film industry, the numbers are far off balance. "I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women," Watson said of her career thus far working on the Harry Potter franchise, as well as My Week with Marilyn and Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring. "Of the producers I've worked with, 13 have been male and only one has been a woman." These numbers come in addition to the already bleak »
The New York Film Festival has always been one of the classiest, most finely curated stops on the global festival circuit. But it wasn’t until five years ago that the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which puts on the annual showcase, really capitalized on its position in the film awards season.
That year, David Fincher brought “The Social Network” as a world premiere to open the 48th annual event. The splash was considerable, and soon after, the fest adopted an understanding that two of its three major galas — opened night, centerpiece and closing night — had to be world premieres. Suddenly, a new launching pad was born for movies looking to springboard into the Oscar conversation.
In 2011, Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” kicked things off, while Simon Curtis’ “My Week with Marilyn” served as the centerpiece. Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” wrapped things up after bowing in Telluride and screening in Toronto as well. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Emma Watson continues her indie streak with her new film Colonia, premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. Post Harry Potter, the actress has found success with supporting roles in films such as My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Noah, and The Bling Ring. Colonia sees one of her first starring roles before she stuns audiences with the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast set to come out next year. In Colonia, Watson stars alongside Daniel Bruhl (Rush, Inglorious Basterds) as a woman who joins a cult in order to get her boyfriend back.
It’s more serious fare than we’ve seen Emma tackle, but the talented actress promises a strong performance based on the trailer. The period piece sets Watson and Bruhl in 1973 Chile, finding themselves trapped in a murderous crackdown against the Chilean president. It’s heavy stuff, and we are »
Industry veteran to take executive producer and producer duties at new firm.
Chris Moll, who stepped down as head of film at Creative England in April, has resurfaced at burgeoning film and TV production company Catalyst Global Media.
Moll has been hired to takes on both executive producer and producer duties at the London-based firm, which launched in May.
Reporting to Catalyst co-founder and CEO Charlotte Walls, Moll will be charged with sourcing high-quality, commercially viable projects for Catalyst’s development and production slate.
He will also be responsible for expanding the company’s national and international partnerships with key talent, producers, agents, publishers and financiers, and identifying new opportunities for collaboration across film, television, digital and music.
Walls said: “Chris brings tremendous strength as an award-winning film producer and seasoned entertainment executive with passion and vision for current projects and the future of Catalyst.”
Moll said he would help build “a slate focused on both creative »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Hot on the heels of the New York Film Festival announcing Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead as its Closing Night Selection (to go along with Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk as its Opening Night pick), we now know what the Centerpiece will be, and it’s a big one. Despite some buzz about a few other titles, it’s the hotly anticipated biopic Steve Jobs, which is directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, and stars Michael Fassbender. Talk about A-list star power, right? Since it was announced, this has been pegged as a big time Oscar hopeful, so landing one of the coveted three big spots at Nyff has done nothing to dissuade me of that notion. If you somehow don’t know who Steve Jobs is, this biopic should give you a sense of how important to the current technological culture he is. This look at the Apple »
- Joey Magidson
Turning a new page! Sources reveal in the new issue of Us Weekly that Michelle Williams and author Jonathan Safran Foer are dating. “They knew each other through mutual friends,” one insider says of the Brooklyn-based pair. “I’m not surprised that Michelle is attracted to him. She loves books. She reads almost every day!” Indeed, the My Week With Marilyn star, 34, once told Nylon that her love of books was “consuming, or isolating, I guess.” She even admitted she had “walls in my apartment made of books." Adds the insider: “They’re two [...] »
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
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that the Los Angeles City Council, in a unanimous vote, approved plans for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Construction will begin this summer, and ceremonial groundbreaking festivities will occur this fall.
“I am thrilled that Los Angeles is gaining another architectural and cultural icon,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “My office of economic development has worked directly with the museum’s development team to ensure that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will create jobs, support tourism, and pay homage to the industry that helped define our identity as the creative capital of the world.”
“We are grateful to our incredible community of supporters who have helped make this museum a reality,” said Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO. “Building this museum has been an Academy »
- Michelle McCue
Strangely dropping a press release on a historic day where the nation's attention is elsewhere, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their annual list of new member invitees this morning. For those who criticize the makeup of the Academy there was some good news and the stark realization the organization still has a long way to go. The Academy has spent the last eight to 10 years attempting to diversify its membership and this year's class mostly reflects that. There are significantly more invitees of Asian and African-American descent, but the male to female disparity is still depressing. Out of the 25 potential new members of the Actor's Branch only seven are women. And, no, there isn't really an acceptable way for the Academy to spin that sad fact. Additionally, It's important to realize the 322 people noted in the release have only been invited to join Hollywood's most exclusive club. »
- Gregory Ellwood
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences continues to push for diversity, sending membership invitations to 322 individuals, including a healthy number of people who can help change the org’s demos.
Among the invitees are David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Felicity Jones, Emma Stone, Rosamund Pike, Bong Joon-ho, Justin Lin and Francois Ozon. The Academy has been reaching out to women, foreign-born artists and people of various races, ethnic backgrounds and ages.
Accusations of Academy bigotry surfaced yet again in January when the list of Oscar nominees included Caucasians in all 20 acting categories, and few women or racial minorities among the other categories. Director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo of “Selma” had seemed like strong contenders, giving many people hopes of breakthroughs. After initial anger at the Acad, activists began to shift their protests to industry hiring practices. For example, 323 films were eligible for 2014 awards — which means AMPAS should theoretically »
- Tim Gray
British filmmakers and some of the UK’s highest-profile documentary-makers have put their names to a campaign backing the BBC.
Oscar-winners Tom Hooper, who directed The King’s Speech and Les Misérables, and James Marsh, who was behind Man On Wire and The Theory Of Everything, have endorsed the licence fee and the BBC’s contribution to the UK creative industries.
“The BBC inspires, informs, provokes and entertains, not for profit but to enrich and deepen our appreciation and understanding of the world. We should cherish and celebrate all that it stands for,” Yates said.
The board of Directors UK voted unanimously to support the campaign and chief executive Andrew Chowns said: “The BBC should be celebrated as a place that inspires our brightest television talent and empowers them to achieve »
Marilyn Monroe was a study in contradictions. She was the giddy, cooing blonde who became one of America’s haughtiest sex symbols, as well as a woman haunted by a thorny relationship with her mentally ill mom and the pressures of fame. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, a two-night mini-series on Lifetime, tries to peer into the woman behind the legend, opening up the scars that most viewers couldn’t see under the flash and sizzle of the big screen. However, the mini-series is too disjointed and melodramatic to completely work as a biopic. Nevertheless, Kelli Garner is masterful as Monroe, digging into the pain and vulnerability of a cultural icon without ever succumbing to mere impersonation. It’s a terrific performance, the magnetic core of an otherwise muddled misfire.
- Jordan Adler
— Festival de Cannes (@Festival_Cannes) May 23, 2015
Certainly, in the more than 400 years since its first publication, it has been one of the most frequently adapted; revived regularly on stage and re-envisioned time and again in the age of cinema and television.
In his review, Guy Lodge (Variety) praises the director’s “thrillingly elemental new adaptation. Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period.”
- Michelle McCue
Outside of her supporting role in blockbuster Oz the Great and Powerful, Michelle Williams has been keeping a relatively low profile since her Oscar-nominated turn in My Week with Marilyn. Now, though, with anticipated drama Manchester by the Sea in the can, the actress is lining up another highly promising project in mining drama Gold.
Matthew McConaughey and Edgar Ramirez are already attached to star in the “inspired by true events” pic, which dramatizes and takes some liberties with the story of the 1993 Bre-x Minerals mining scandal. Williams will be taking on the role of McConaughey’s wife.
Some may remember the high-profile incident, in which one part of the company fraudulently reported that it had unearthed a massive gold deposit at its Indonesian site. Stock prices soared, until gold samples were found to be a fraud, at which point Bre-x collapsed and its shares became utterly worthless.
- Isaac Feldberg
A month ago, we learned that Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) was Warner Bros.’ top choice to play adventuring hero Newt Scamander in Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but now it appears that the British thesp has entered into official talks for the lead role.
When Redmayne’s name first came up in association with the high-profile project, J.K. Rowling had not yet completed the first draft of her screenplay for the franchise-launching pic, which takes place in New York 70 years before the Harry Potter movies and centers on the travels of a magizoologist whose eventual textbook (the source of the title) would go on to become required reading for Hogwarts students.
- Isaac Feldberg
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