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“I'd made it this far and refused to give up, because all my life, I had always finished the race," wrote American World War II Pow and Olympic long-distance runner Louis Zamperini in his autobiography "Devil at My Heels." It's a powerful line considering Zamperini's tragic life story, one the new trailer for "Unbroken" boils down the quote Sean Parker-style to its punchiest (and slightly nonsensical) bit: "All my life I had always finished the race." Sure, that sounds inspirational. Two months out from release and without any critical reactions, Angelina Jolie's Zamperini biopic has already wiggled its way on to Best Picture prediction lists. It's the complete prestige package: There's Jolie, a beloved up-and-comer, star Jack O'Connell, already having a hell of a year with "Starred Up" and festival praise for "'71," there's Roger Deakins behind the camera, Joel and Ethan Coen on scripting duties, and a »
- Matt Patches
"Whiplash" is turning into an Oscar dark horse contender. Certainly, J.K. Simmons leads the supporting actor pack. But like "Margin Call," original screenplay could be in there as well. Or could the movie turn into this year's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which nabbed four nominations: for Picture, Director, Actress and Screenplay? It could turn into a word-of-mouth hit, with year-end critics' group support--it's at 87% on Metacritic. And the rest may follow. Anne Thompson: I just watched this for the second time, after Sundance. Have you been getting strong reactions? Miles Teller: We’ve received a couple of standing ovations, and it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that for a movie. A standing ovation is usually seen as the highest level of praise you can give to a performer, so the first time was kind of weird and overwhelming. Audience member: You earned it! [Audience claps] Teller: Thank you. »
- Anne Thompson
Ted Hope: For me, my book is incredibly personal. It’s the stories behind the movies, and what I learn from the filmmakers I got to work with. Although I get lots of personal things on the blog, the book is much more personal. The blog, frankly, gets a little preachy at times. I expected more preachiness in the book. It's a memoir. First, why did you write the book? Second, what was your process? When I started the blog, I actually started a lot of blogs, and I tried to categorize. One of them was called Let’s Make Better Films, and I ended up not pursuing that mission — more for the art of business of cinema. But when I look at this — Telluride to Toronto to New York — I still think we have this real challenge of not enough movies that are ambitious, reaching, and trying truly to be transformative cinema. »
- Anne Thompson
When you score an Oscar nomination at the age of 9, as Quvenzhané Wallis did for the fantastical Beasts of the Southern Wild, people tend to notice. And with the title role in Screen Gems’ flashy Annie redo this December, the young actress doesn’t look to be stepping away from the spotlight anytime soon. Recently, Wallis signed on to star in Counting By 7s, to be adapted from the bestseller of the same name.
Holly Goldberg Sloan’s acclaimed novel centers on an academically gifted young girl named Willow Chance, who is challenged when both of her parents are unexpectedly killed in an auto accident. After being taken in by an unlikely foster family and an unfit guidance counselor, Willow rises above her grief and fear to build a community that nurtures her even as she works to brighten it.
Said Wallis in an official statement:
“I am honored to »
- Isaac Feldberg
Margaret here to talk about what's new with everyone's favorite collector of puppy purses: Quvenzhané Wallis is on a roll. Her breakout performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild could have easily put her in the pantheon of one-hit wonder child actors, but the way she's been lining up projects makes that look unlikely. Now 11 years old, Little Q is two months out from the release of her first big studio film in the musical Annie which, with the Columbia promotional muscle behind it, might make her a real star. She has also just signed on to star in an adaptation of best-selling middle grade novel "Counting by 7s."
In the Holly Goldberg Sloan story, Quvenzhané will play a 12-year-old genius named Willow Chase who loses her adoptive parents in a car crash and has to push past her grief to find a new community of support. Said Quvenzhané to »
- Margaret de Larios
Actress Tilda Swinton and director Bennett Miller will receive tributes at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the 24th annual kudofest presented every year by the New York-based Independent Filmmmaker Project (Ifp).
Swinton gets this year’s actress tribute for a body of work that includes “Snowpiercer,” “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” — all of which opened this year — as well as “Michael Clayton,” the 2007 feature for which she won an Oscar. Miller, meanwhile, takes the director tribute as he enters awards-season contention with “Foxcatcher,” the wrestling drama that stars Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum.
The Gothams are one of the earliest trophy ceremonies in the film industry’s awards season, and often highlight indie titles that go on to become serious contenders in the Oscar race. »
- Gordon Cox
Tilda Swinton and Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller are set to be honored with the actor and director tributes at this year's Gotham Independent Film Awards, it was announced Thursday. The two join Netflix's Ted Sarandos, who will receive this year's industry tribute, which was previously announced. See more 2013 Gotham Awards: Jared Leto, Forest Whitaker and More Support Independent Film in NYC The Gotham Awards traditionally marks the official start of Oscar season, recognizing the best in independent film. Recent past winners have included Oscar nominees Inside Llewyn Davis, The Act of Killing, Moonrise Kingdom, Beasts of the Southern Wild,
- Hilary Lewis
The long-brewing remake of the French hit dramedy "Intouchables" seems to be coming back to life. Colin Firth, long attached to the project, now has Kevin Hart in the co-starring role. The movie tells the heartwarming, based-on-true-story tale of the relationship of a wealthy quadriplegic and his immigrant caregiver. Paul Feig was once linked to helm the project, but it's not clear if he's still involved. We presume more news will arrive shortly. [Allocine] "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" star Quvenzhané Wallis is "Counting By 7s." The young actress will star in the adaptation of best-selling book by Holly Goldberg Sloan about "Willow Chance, a bright young girl who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is taken in by an unlikely surrogate family and an unfit guidance counselor. In the wake of tremendous loss, she rises to build a community that she heals and that heals her." No word on who will direct just yet. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) has wrapped principal photography on The Sea of Trees, which filmed on location in Japan and Massachusetts, starring Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Dr.). The cast also includes actors Katie Aselton (star of FX's The League) and Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black).
Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms Arthur's will »
EW has confirmed that Quvenzhané Wallis is attached to star in The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures' big-screen adaptation Holly Goldberg Sloan's bestselling novel, Counting By 7s. Deadline first reported the news. Wallis will play the novel's central character, Willow Chance, a young girl who rebuilds her life with a surrogate family after her parents are killed in a car accident. After her Oscar-nominated turn in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wallis has had a full schedule, having just wrapped production on Fathers and Daughters, a drama with Aaron Paul and Amanda Seyfried, and providing her voice in animated film The Prophet, »
- Teresa Jue
DreamWorks Animation is putting together the voice cast for one of its upcoming films. Heat Vision reports that Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey will lead the voice cast for Boss Baby, which is described as a fantastical comedy revolving around a “fast-talking briefcase-carrying baby (Baldwin) and his seven-year-old brother, who is jealous of the new arrival.” The brother sets out on a mission to win back the sole affection of his parents and ends up stumbling upon a secret plot by the CEO of Puppy Co. (Spacey). The two brothers are then forced to come together in order to stop the dastardly scheme. Megamind director Tom McGrath is set to helm the pic, which is slated for release on March 18, 2016. Hit the jump for news concerning an adaptation of Counting by 7s that is being developed as a star vehicle for young Quvenzhane Wallis. Additionally, Deadline reports that author Holly Goldberg Sloan »
- Adam Chitwood
Two-time Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk) has wrapped principal photography on "The Sea of Trees", which filmed on location in Japan and Massachusetts, starring Oscar winner Mathew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street), Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe (Inception, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Last Samurai) and two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (The Impossible, 21 Grams, King Kong, Mulholland Drive). The cast also includes actors Katie Aselton (star of FX's The League) and Jordan Gavaris (Orphan Black). Arthur Brennan (McConaughey) treks into Aokigahara, known as the The Sea of Trees, a mysterious dense forest at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji where people go to contemplate life and death. Having found the perfect place to die, Arthur encounters Takumi Nakamura (Watanabe), a Japanese man who has also lost his way. The two men begin a journey of reflection and survival, which affirms »
- Press Release
Exclusive: The Mazur/Kaplan Company and Olympus Pictures have optioned Holly Goldberg Sloan’s bestselling novel Counting By 7s. They’ve attached Oscar-nominated Beasts Of The Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis and will build the movie around her. The bestseller centers on Willow Chance, a bright young girl who, after the death of her adoptive parents, is taken in by an unlikely surrogate family and an unfit guidance counselor. In the wake of tremendous loss, she rises to build a community that she heals and that heals her.
“I am honored to play the role of Willow in Counting by 7s,” Wallis said. “I love the message behind the story. I am excited to be a part of it and to see it come to life.” Wallis just wrapped her first big studio film in the musical Annie, and also will star in the upcoming adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, »
- Mike Fleming Jr
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Adriene Mishler, Brian Mays, Aj Wilson McPhaul, Sue Rock, Heather Kafka, Brenda Isaacs Booth, Anna Niemtschk, Elbert Hill III | Written by Gary Hawkins | Directed by David Gordon Green
The pairing of director David Gordon Green and actor Nicholas Cage is an intriguing one. Green was once an indie darling winning critical praise for films like George Washington, All the Real Girls and Snow Angels. Once big Hollywood got a hold of him many argued he lost his touch as the quality of his films dropped. When films like The Sitter and Your Highness failed critically and financially most figured he was the latest example of wasted potential. Last year he went back to basics with Prince Avalanche and saw some of that praise return. That praise will no doubt continue with his latest film Joe.
Nicolas Cage’s demise has been well documented. »
- Dan Clark
By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter
It’s not easy for a tiny indie to land a best picture Oscar nomination. Those that do are generally handled by savvy distributors which carefully nurture word-of-mouth buzz over the course of an awards season, largely by taking their contender from one film festival to another. That worked, in recent years, for Amour, An Education, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Tree of Life and Winter’s Bone. And my sense is that it may work again this year for Whiplash, a powerful drama that is being handled by Sony Pictures Classics.
Following stops at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, the film — which is about an ambitious young drummer (Miles Teller) at a Juilliard-like conservatory and his complicated relationship with one of its most revered but feared instructors (J.K. Simmons) — screened at the New York Film Festival on Sunday night, where its end credits »
- Anjelica Oswald
Fox Searchlight has promoted Ray Strache to the post of senior VP of acquisitions and co-productions.
He will jointly run the acquisitions department with Tony Safford, exec VP of worldwide acquisitions. Strache and Stafford will continue to report to presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula.
Strache joined Fox as an assistant to then Fox chairman Tom Rothman and most recently held the post of VP of acquisitions and co-productions at Searchlight.
- Dave McNary
It's not easy for a tiny indie to land a best picture Oscar nomination. Those that do are generally handled by savvy distributors which carefully nurture word-of-mouth buzz over the course of an awards season, largely by taking their contender from one film festival to another. That worked, in recent years, for Amour, An Education, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Tree of Life and Winter's Bone. And my sense is that it may work again this year for Whiplash, a powerful drama that is being handled by Sony Pictures Classics. Following stops at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto,
- Scott Feinberg
Sffs/Krf grants are awarded twice a year to promising feature film projects that will impact the Bay Area filmmaking community. Nearly $3 million dollars have been granted since the 2009 inception of this flagship program. Winners will be announced in November. Past grant winners include Kat Candler's "Hellion" and Ira Sachs' "Love Is Strange," Destin Cretton's beloved SXSW 2013 prize winner "Short Term 12," Ryan Coogler's critics' baby "Fruitvale Station," winner of prizes at Cannes and the Independent Spirit Awards, and 2013 Best Picture Oscar nominee "Beasts of the Southern Wild" by Benh Zeitlin. Here are this year's finalists: Absence – Cherien Dabis, writer/director/producer – screenwriting A young Palestinian refugee who unexpectedly becomes head of household must sneak into Israel from the West Bank in order to earn a decent enough living to support his family. It's »
- Ryan Lattanzio
A Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations comes to the big screen with a new, contemporary vision in Columbia Pictures’ comedy, Annie, opening in theaters on December 25th, 2014. Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) – advised by his brilliant VP, Grace (Rose Byrne) and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy ( »
- Pietro Filipponi
Sony have released a new poster for their remake of Annie directed by Will Gluck (Easy A) which sees Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) taking on the lead role alongside Jamie Foxx (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) Cameron Diaz (The Counselor), Rose Byrne (X-Men: First Class), Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Thor: The Dark World). You can watch the trailer here.
Here’s the poster:
Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis stars as Annie, a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz). But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will »
- Luke Owen
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