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Independent Spirits Awards 2019: Complete Winners List

  • The Wrap
Independent Spirits Awards 2019: Complete Winners List
The 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards are taking place today, Saturday Feb. 23, recognizing the best in independent film from 2018.

In one of the most evenly spread fields in years, "Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” “You Were Never Really Here” and “We the Animals” each received four nominations, while “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Leave No Trace,” “Private Life” and “The Tale” each received three nods.
See full article at The Wrap »

2019 Spirit Awards Predictions: ‘Eighth Grade,’ Regina King, Toni Collette

2019 Spirit Awards Predictions: ‘Eighth Grade,’ Regina King, Toni Collette
For the first time in almost a decade, the Film Independent Spirit Awards are charting their own course. You won’t see a lot of potential Oscar winners on the stage of this year’s ceremony. Outside of a few acting and screenwriting nominees, there is very little overlap this time around and, frankly, it’s a welcome sight. It also means predicting the winners just got a wee bit harder.

Normally, you can predict most of the Spirit Award winners by going with the most commercially successful movie or performance in said films.

Continue reading 2019 Spirit Awards Predictions: ‘Eighth Grade,’ Regina King, Toni Collette at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Stanley Donen, Who Reinvented the Movie Musical and So Much More, Dies at 94

  • Indiewire
Stanley Donen, Who Reinvented the Movie Musical and So Much More, Dies at 94
“Our love will last till the stars turn cold.” That line from “Singin’ in the Rain” perfectly sums up the sensibility of its director, Stanley Donen: absolute sincerity wedded to knowing irony. When Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood says that to Debbie Reynolds’ Kathy Seldon, he’s actually quoting a line from the cornball movie he’s just made with Jean Hagen for which he has contempt: “The Duelling Cavalier.” But what Lockwood comes to recognize is that, polished just right, hokum can be made to sparkle — and can convey genuine feeling. Is “Our love will last till the stars turn cold” silly? Sure. But it’s beautiful too, and who wants to be so cynical as not to recognize that?

Donen, who died February 23 at age 94 after a nearly 70-year career across film and theater, recognized what so few do today: that two seemingly contradictory things can be true at the same time.
See full article at Indiewire »

Friday Box Office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Blasts Off With $17 Million

Friday Box Office: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Blasts Off With $17 Million
This winter has been a slow, semi-depressing one at the box office—Glass has been our big hit because it cost about $15 and a ham sandwich to make—so leave it to a bunch of dragons to finally add a bit of fire. DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World got off to a $17.4 million start on Friday night, trending above expectations for a possible $60+ million debut weekend. This would mark not only the highest opening of a How to Train Your Dragon movie, but also the best bow of a 2019 movie …
See full article at Collider.com »

Razzie Awards: ‘Holmes & Watson’ Is Worst Picture, Donald Trump Worst Actor

  • Indiewire
Razzie Awards: ‘Holmes & Watson’ Is Worst Picture, Donald Trump Worst Actor
The “winners” of the 39th annual Razzies have been announced, and “Holmes & Watson” has the dubious honor of being named Worst Picture. Director Etan Cohen was also singled out for his work on the critically panned comedy, as was Worst Supporting Actor winner John C. Reilly; co-star Will Ferrell escaped the same fate, as Donald Trump (as himself in “Death of a Nation” and “Fahrenheit 11/9”) is the year’s Worst Actor.

Melissa McCarthy, who earned a Worst Actress prize for her work in “The Happytime Murders” and “Life of the Party,” has the chance to follow up that laurel with an Oscar tomorrow night for her performance in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Read the full list of winners
See full article at Indiewire »

Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48

Comedian Brody Stevens Dies at 48
Brody Stevens, a well-known comic in the Los Angeles comedy community, died on Friday at the age of 48, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter

According to Fox News, the cause of death was an apparent suicide. 

Stevens was known for his positive and high-energy sets, and warm-up acts for shows around the city, including Chelsea Lately and Chris Hardwick's @midnight. As an actor, he appeared in The Hangover, Due Date and Nick Kroll's Kroll Show. He also toplined a Comedy Central series in 2013 called Brody Stevens: Enjoy It! 

Fellow comedians tweeted their love ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

How Director Stanley Donen Made Stars Like Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn Shine Their Brightest

How Director Stanley Donen Made Stars Like Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn Shine Their Brightest
Some directors make their presence felt in every frame of their films, while others operate in service of the stories and the stars.

There is no such thing as an egoless director, but Stanley Donen, who died at age 94, made every effort to efface himself from the picture in order to let a film’s assets shine to their full potential. But even in so doing, he left an undeniable signature on his work — films that radiate with color, and music, and some of the most inventive choreography until Bob Fosse came along in the late ’60s.

While his work hasn’t necessarily been studied to the degree that Hitchcock’s and Hawks’ have, it was Donen who made it possible for Gene Kelly to splash and tap around the lamppost in “Singin’ in the Rain,” he enabled Fred Astaire to dance up the walls and across the ceiling in “Royal Wedding,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Spirit Awards: Watch Aubrey Plaza Sacrifice ‘Stranger Things’ Star Finn Wolfhard in Bloody Ritual (Video)

  • The Wrap
Spirit Awards: Watch Aubrey Plaza Sacrifice ‘Stranger Things’ Star Finn Wolfhard in Bloody Ritual (Video)
Well that got awkward quick. Aubrey Plaza staged a bizarre, bloody cold open to the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturda, in which she and some female indie royalty attempted a ritual to spare the world of blockbuster films.

Appearing in a black cloak before an altar, Plaza assembled stars like Marisa Tomei, Marcia Gay Harden and for some reason Brian Tyree Henry as they planned to sacrifice a “virgin” — “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard in this case.

“Look Upon Me, For I Am Your Host,” a demonic and bloodied Plaza bellowed in the clip. And by the way, Wolfhard claims he isn’t a virgin but instead a “four-quadrant cutie.”

Also Read: Independent Spirit Awards 2019: Complete Winners List (Updating Live)

Plaza’s monologue was equally strange and awkward, in the best way possible. She took some shots at the hostless Oscars and also their nominees.

“Sixty percent of our director nominees are women,
See full article at The Wrap »

Richard E. Grant, ‘Roma’ Among Early Winners at 2019 Indie Spirit Awards

Richard E. Grant, ‘Roma’ Among Early Winners at 2019 Indie Spirit Awards
Richard E. Grant, Bo Burnham and “Roma” were among the early winners at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards, held Saturday on the beach in Santa Monica, Ca.

Grant took the best supporting male prize for his role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, about celebrity forger Lee Israel, edging out stiff competition in Adam Driver from “BlacKkKlansman” and surprise nominee Raúl Castillo of “We The Animals.”

Grant recounted his long career in indie films, thanking actors like Daniel Day Lewis for passing on roles that eventually went to himself. He was the third actor to be cast in his award-winning part, an accomplice and consigliere to Melissa McCarthy’s Israel, Grant said.

Netflix’s big contender “Roma” took best international film, and saw writer-director Alfonso Cuaron pay tribute to a trio of his stars in the room with him, including Best Actress Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio.

The Fred Rogers nonfiction
See full article at Variety - Film News »

5 Other Times the Academy Tried to Give the Oscars a Makeover

  • The Wrap
5 Other Times the Academy Tried to Give the Oscars a Makeover
It’s clear that the Academy tasked producer Donna Gigliotti and co-producer/director Glenn Weiss with reinventing the Oscar show this year. After all, the promise of a show limited to three hours, made by the AMPAS Board of Governors in August, before the producers was hired, was enough to demand a new approach.

As we all know, two of the ideas that were to make this a new kind of Oscar show — the creation of a new “Popular Oscar” category and the shifting of several categories into the commercial breaks — were scrapped, the first in September and the second just last week.

That’ll make it significantly harder (and quite possibly impossible) for Gigliotti and Weiss to hit that three-hour limit, but they’ll probably trot out a few new takes on an old model. We won’t know how well it’s going to work until Sunday night
See full article at The Wrap »

2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List (Updating Live)

2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List (Updating Live)
The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards are taking place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with “We the Animals” topping nominations with five. “Eighth Grade,” “First Reformed,” and “You Were Never Really Here” are up for four each.

The Spirit Awards are chosen by the Film Independent’s 6200 members after an anonymous committee votes on nominations. The eligibility rules require that movies be produced in the U.S. for less than $20 million.

Keep checking back as the winners are updated live.

Best Feature

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Leave No Trace

You Were Never Really Here

Best Director

Debra Granik, Leave No Trace

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (Winner)

Tamara Jenkins, Private Life

Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best First Feature

Hereditary

Sorry To Bother You (Winner)

The Tale

We The Animals

Wildlife

Best Male Lead

John Cho, Searching

Daveed Diggs,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars

Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars
Watching the Academy Awards telecast, then grousing about it the next day, has become a hipster parlor game — it’s what the Complete Oscar Experience now is. The complaints are legion, and we all know what they are, because we’ve all made them. The show was too long. The host bombed. His or her opening monologue was too crass/cautious/craven/boring. There were too many movie-history montages, and that one that connected “Avengers: Infinity War” to Cary Grant didn’t exactly make sense. Her dress was loopy. His tux was garish. That musical number sucked. The middle of the show — yes, the tech awards — was a bone-dry desert. It was blasphemy to leave [semi-obscure beloved figure] out of the In Memoriam segment. The nominated songs were terrible. Did I mention that the show was too long?

This year, of course, grumbling about the Oscars, and predicting that they’ll turn out
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Criticism, But We’re Good Now

Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Criticism, But We’re Good Now
“Sorry to Bother You” director and musician Boots Riley, who wrote a scathing criticism of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for its positive representation of law enforcement, said that he and the “Do the Right Thing” auteur are good now. But it took some time (and drama) to get there.

Last year, Riley called Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman” a “made-up story in which the false parts of it to try to make a cop the protagonist in the fight against racist oppression.” He also said the movie, which is based on a true story, is full of “fabricated story notes” about its protagonists, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a black detective who infiltrates a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan with his white partner (Adam Driver).

Lee eventually responded to the filmmaker’s remarks, saying “Look at my films: they’ve been very critical of the police, but on the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Spirit Awards: Mister Rogers Film 'Won't You Be My Neighbor' Wins Best Documentary

Spirit Awards: Mister Rogers Film 'Won't You Be My Neighbor' Wins Best Documentary
Won’t You Be My Neighbor director/producer Morgan Neville accepted the award for best documentary at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor competed against Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Minding the Gap, Of Fathers and Sons, On Her Shoulders and Shirkers.

The film, which chronicles the life, work and impact of TV icon Fred Rogers' social philosophy, was snubbed by the Oscar's in the best documentary category.

Neville first addressed the crowd with a familiar Rogers' tag line: “Hi, Neighbors." He then quickly thanked the film's producers, editors, Focus Features and his wife,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Spirit Awards: Drag Queen Shangela Performs Imaginary Songs From Nominated Films

Spirit Awards: Drag Queen Shangela Performs Imaginary Songs From Nominated Films
This year's 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards host Aubrey Plaza took a brief break to let drag superstar Shangela fill in to honor the five nominees for best feature.

"Hello, everybody! Yes, I am Aubrey Plaza — well, the black drag queen version of Aubrey Plaza," Shangela — dressed in a sparkling red bodysuit — said as she ran on stage, accompanied by a bevy of shirtless male backup dancers. "And here are the nominees for best original songs that are not even actually in these films, Ok? Hit it!"

The RuPaul's Drag Race alum, who recently ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Spirit Awards: 'Sorry to Bother You's' Boots Riley Wins Best First Feature

Spirit Awards: 'Sorry to Bother You's' Boots Riley Wins Best First Feature
Sorry to Bother You director Boots Riley did not hold back in his politically aware acceptance speech for best first feature at Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards.

This alternate reality tale, based on Riley's own working experiences, follows a telemarketer who finds the key to success which leads him to a disturbing universe. It stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun and Armie Hammer. It is also up for best screenplay today.

Riley recognized the "new, diverse voices" happening in film right now in his speech,...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Spirit Awards: 'Roma' Wins Best International Film

Spirit Awards: 'Roma' Wins Best International Film
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma took home the best international film award at the 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

Roma, representing Mexico, beat out fellow Oscar contender The Favourite (U.K.), as well as South Korea's Burning, Italy's Happy as Lazzaro and Japan's Shoplifters.

"I'm optimistic right that it seems that we're in a moment in which a greater diversity's happening in cinema," said Cuaron upon accepting the award.

"I think that this greater diversity will very soon make the category irrelevant," Cuaron said, met with applause from the audience at the ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Spirit Awards: Bo Burnham Wins Best First Screenplay, Thanks Star Elsie Fisher

Spirit Awards: Bo Burnham Wins Best First Screenplay, Thanks Star Elsie Fisher
Bo Burnham won his first Film Independent Spirit Award on Saturday for best first screenplay for Eighth Grade.

The movie follows teenager Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she tackles the last week of eighth grade. The film’s star, Fisher, was nominated for the Golden Globe for best actress.

"She is the entire reason I am up here. Working with [her] is the single greatest creative experience of my life. I'm so lucky you found me," Burnham said of Fisher in his acceptance speech.

In addition to thanking Film Independent and Idc, Burnham thanked his team ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Pastry Chef Is a QAnon Believer

A pastry chef employed at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida is a believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory that alleges Trump is secretly purging the government of “deep state” liberals and Hollywood elites who run child sex trafficking rings and the CIA, among other paranoid delusions. Reporter Zach Everson, who runs the 1100 Pennsylvania newsletter investigating Trump’s businesses, uncovered the beliefs of pastry chef Elizabeth Alfieri on her Instagram, where she posts frequently from Mar-a-Lago and uses hashtags like #Q, #QAnon, and #QArmy to refer to the conspiracy theory.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Read Variety’s 1957 Review of ‘Green Book’ Pianist Don Shirley

Read Variety’s 1957 Review of ‘Green Book’ Pianist Don Shirley
Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up a concert review in Variety that assumed its hepper readers might already be familiar with his prowess.

Shirley was described as “one of the more progressive elements in modern jazz” by Variety‘s critic, who also used the term “far out” to describe his contemporary take on the art form.

The report appeared in the “Nightclub Reviews” section on May 8, 1957 — five years before the events portrayed in “Green Book,” in which the classical and jazz pianist hires Tony Vallelonga (portrayed by Viggo Mortensen) as his driver and bodyguard for a tour of the Mid-West and Deep South.
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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