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Oscars: With PGA Victory, ‘Green Book’ Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner

  • Variety
Oscars: With PGA Victory, ‘Green Book’ Becomes Best Picture Frontrunner
Save for a pair of recent back-to-back discrepancies in “The Big Short” and “La La Land,” the Producers Guild’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures has been a fairly reliable barometer for the annual Oscar season outcome. At least, ever since both the PGA and film Academy expanded their top categories, sharing the ever mysterious preferential ballot for determining nominees and winners, it’s been safe to say whatever wins the producers’ honor is your best picture frontrunner.

Well, with a victory at the Beverly Hilton Saturday night, Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” is now your best picture frontrunner.

Universal and Participant Media’s heartfelt race relations drama — which has been through the ringer multiple times this season, weathering criticism that it’s antiquated, that it’s a regressive choice in the year of films like “BlacKkKlansman,” “Black Panther” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” that it
See full article at Variety »

Oscar Experts’ Top 8 Best Picture hopefuls we’re underestimating: ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘Eighth Grade,’ ‘The Rider’…

Oscar Experts’ Top 8 Best Picture hopefuls we’re underestimating: ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ ‘Eighth Grade,’ ‘The Rider’…
What films do our 31 Oscar Experts think will be nominated for Best Picture? Under current voting procedures, there could be anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees, but since that system was established in 2011 there have always been either eight or nine contenders, so that’s probably what we can expect this year too.

At Gold Derby you can predict up to the maximum 10 nominees, and our Experts have reached a consensus about what those likeliest 10 films are: front-runners “A Star is Born” and “Roma” followed by “Green Book,” “The Favourite,” “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Vice,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “First Man” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Is there room for any other films to break through? The following eight films are predicted by at least one of our Experts to pull off an Oscar nominations surprise.

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“Mary Poppins Returns” (10 Experts) — 54 years ago the original
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Listen: From ‘Beale Street’ to ‘Spider-Verse,’ Brian Tyree Henry Was Your 2018 Mvp

  • Variety
Listen: From ‘Beale Street’ to ‘Spider-Verse,’ Brian Tyree Henry Was Your 2018 Mvp
Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety / iHeartRadio podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.

Emmy- and Tony-nominated actor Brian Tyree Henry is coming off a sensational year. A second, acclaimed season of FX’s “Atlanta” sent him headlong into a fall movie season that saw featured roles in Yann Demange’s “White Boy Rick,” Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk,” among others. He capped it all off with voice work in one of the year’s biggest hits, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” It’s been a whirlwind for the 36-year-old North Carolina native, and it’s a million miles away from where he ever expected to end up.

Listen to this week’s episode of “Playback” below. New episodes air every Thursday.

Click here for more episodes of “Playback.”

“For me, [acting] seemed like something very unobtainable,” Henry says.
See full article at Variety »

Shazam, Godzilla 2 and More Are Coming to ScreenX in 2019

Forget about IMAX, Warner Bros. is going all in on ScreenX. For those who aren't familiar, ScreenX is a premium theater format that immerses moviegoers with a massive 270-degree screen that expands the image to the side walls, which makes the viewer feel like they're actually in the movie. This is good news for some of the year's biggest blockbusters, such as Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Shazam, as they're set to be screened across the globe in the up-and-coming format.

Warner Bros. has struck a deal with Cj 4Dplex, the South Korean cinema technology company behind ScreenX, to bring six different movies to the format globally this year. So far, the titles announced include Shazam!, which drops on April 5. The horror movie The Curse of La Llorona, which arrives on April 19. And the highly-anticipated Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is scheduled for May 31. The studio has yet
See full article at MovieWeb »

‘Leave No Trace,’ ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Sharp Objects’ Earn 2019 USC Scripter Nods

The 31st USC Scripter Awards nominees were announced by the USC Libraries this morning and they made the race for Oscar’s Adapted Screenplay even more intriguing than previously thought.

Read More: Debra Granik on finding that right ending for “Leave No Trace” [Podcast]

The USC Scripter Award is given to both the original author and the screenwriter of the adapted work. This year’s film nominees include “Black Panther,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “The Death of Stalin,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Leave No Trace.” That differentiates from the WGA Awards who honored “BlacKkKlansman” and “A Star is Born” over “Leave No Trace” and “Death of Stalin.” The BAFTA Awards nominations lined up with the WGA except that instead of nominating “Black Panther” the Brits recognized “First Man.” So, with the USC honors announced there are still eight films in the mix for five Oscar slots.

Continue reading ‘Leave No Trace,
See full article at The Playlist »

Oscars 2019: All 15 Best Original Score Contenders Ranked from Worst to Best

In December, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the 15 film scores that would be moving forward in the 2019 Oscar race. The shortlist runs the gamut from mega-blockbusters like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War,” to prestige holiday season releases like “First Man” and “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and mixes some of Hollywood’s most revered composers with major talents who are just starting to assert themselves in the movie world. On the morning of January 22, five of the 15 remaining suites will be nominated for Best Original Score, but some of the shortlisted efforts — it goes without saying — are more worthy of the honor than others.

Now that Oscar voting is open and the battle lines are being drawn, here are all 15 shortlisted scores ranked from worst to best.

15. “Avengers: Infinity War” (Alan Silvestri)

Alan Silvestri deserves real credit for sewing palpable signs of life into one
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Black Panther,’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Snag Scripter Award Nominations

  • Variety
‘Black Panther,’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Snag Scripter Award Nominations
Black Panther,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “The Death of Stalin,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” and “Leave No Trace” have received nominations for the USC Libraries Scripter Award for best movie adaptation.

Due to a tie, six noms were announced on Tuesday in the television category for episodes of “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Looming Tower,” “Patrick Melrose,” “Sharp Objects,” and “A Very English Scandal.”

The Scripter Awards, now in their 31st year, honor the year’s best film and television adaptations, along with the works on which they are based. The USC Libraries will announce the winners on Feb. 9 at the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library.

The scripts for “Black Panther,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” received nominations on Jan. 7 for the Writers Guild of America’s adapted screenplay award, along with “A Star Is Born” and “BlacKkKlansman.
See full article at Variety »

‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Black Panther’ Land Nominations for Scripter Award

‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ ‘Black Panther’ Land Nominations for Scripter Award
Thirty one years after his death, esteemed author James Baldwin has been nominated for his first Hollywood award. Baldwin is now a nominee for the 31st Annual USC Libraries Scripter Award, an honor that recognizes both the author of an original work and the writer of its film or television adaptation.

“If Beale Street Could Talk” is one of five films nominated for this year’s Scripter Award, along with “Black Panther,” “Leave No Trace,” “The Death of Stalin” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

In addition to Baldwin and Jenkins for “Beale Street,” the nominated writers are screenwriters Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole and original character creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for “Black Panther”; screenwriters Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty and author Lee Israel for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; screenwriters Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin and David Schneider and graphic novelists Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin for
See full article at The Wrap »

Brian Tyree Henry Waxes ‘Poetic’ Over ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

  • Variety
Brian Tyree Henry Waxes ‘Poetic’ Over ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
The final days of filming writer-director Barry Jenkins’ adaptation of James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” were dedicated to moments that foreshadowed its entire plot: Having run into the recently incarcerated Daniel (Brian Tyree Henry) on the streets of Harlem, the struggling artist Fonny (Stephan James) invites his friend back to his apartment for dinner, to the chagrin of his girlfriend Tish (KiKi Layne). Over beers and talk of Fonny’s struggle to gain acceptance in a white society, Daniel offers what Henry calls a “war cry” that was “basically a warning to Fonny that this could be you one day.” Unfortunately, he was right.

Henry: “Barry was pretty amazing and poetic when he did that scene because I forgot that there were cameras. There are moments where you see Daniel reflecting and smoking a cigarette and I really don’t remember that Barry had set up equipment there.
See full article at Variety »

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Star KiKi Layne Is ‘Actively Plotting’ to Play X-Men’s Storm

  • Variety
‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ Star KiKi Layne Is ‘Actively Plotting’ to Play X-Men’s Storm
KiKi Layne is on a roll.

Not only has she received rave reviews with her feature film debut in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” but she’s following up the Barry Jenkins-directed movie with a big-screen adaptation of “Native Son.” Directed by Rashid Johnson from a screenplay by Suzan-Lori Parks, “Native Son” will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 24.

“I’m just feeling thankful that right out of the gate, I get to let audiences know that this is the type of work that really matters to me, and that I recognize that I have the ability to say something with my art, with the projects I choose,” Layne told Variety on Sunday at the Critics’ Choice Awards.

That’s not to say that she’s only interested in indie films. In fact, she’s got a particular superhero she wants to tackle — X-Men’s Storm.

“She was an image of myself,
See full article at Variety »

ICM Partners Names Lorrie Bartlett to Board of Directors

  • Variety
ICM Partners veteran Lorrie Bartlett has been appointed to the company’s board of directors, marking a first for an African-American woman at a major Hollywood talent agency.

Bartlett, a partner and co-head of ICM’s talent department, has emerged as a leader at the agency and in the industry. She was among the early organizers of Time’s Up in late 2017 and serves on its executive board. Bartlett has also become a prominent voice in the creative community’s efforts to advocate for diversity and inclusion at all levels of the business.

Bartlett is the fourth woman to be named to ICM’s 12-member board, alongside publishing department stalwarts Esther Newberg and Jennifer Joel and TV production department co-head Janet Carol Norton.

“I have been very proud of the way our company has expanded and grown in a really gender-neutral way,” Bartlett told Variety. ICM Partners was among the
See full article at Variety »

‘On The Basis of Sex’ & ‘Beale Street’ Expand; ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ Cracks $15M: Specialty Box Office

‘On The Basis of Sex’ & ‘Beale Street’ Expand; ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ Cracks $15M: Specialty Box Office
Carryovers dominated the specialty scene over the weekend, with two platform releases making especially wide breaks.

Participant/Focus’ On The Basis of Sex jumped to more than 1,900 theaters in its third outing, grossing more than $6.2M to boost its cume to $10.55M. Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk went past 1,000 engagements in its fifth weekend, grossing almost $2.4M to reach $7.68M to date.

The sole newcomers were Cohen Media Group’s The Aspern Papers and event screenings of The Met Live: Adriana Lecouvreur via Fathom Events. Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Vanessa Redgrave, Aspern took it slow in 10 locations, grossing $9,277 for a $928 per theater average. Adriana Lecouvreur gathered up $1.3 million from 900 locations on Saturday. Fathom Events reported attendance of 70,000 across North America.

Mary Queen of Scots jumped to 829 locations in its sixth frame, grossing $847K for a $1,022 PTA, while its royal cousin, The Favourite, played 512 theaters in its eighth weekend,
See full article at Deadline »

Gemma Chan On ‘Crazy Rich Asians’: “We Want A Seat At The Table”; ‘Captain Marvel’ Is “Amazing” & “Very Different”

Oxford law degree in hand, and a near professional-level violinist, Gemma Chan was poised to become a top-notch London lawyer, when instead, she did an about-face and threw herself into acting. One of the reasons she cites for that decision is a desire to move the diversity needle through storytelling, but at drama school, she was warned that being of Asian descent, she may not get auditions, since the UK leaned heavily toward period pieces. And now her role of Bess, Elizabeth I’s right-hand woman in Mary, Queen of Scots, has refuted all that. She’s also Astrid Leong in the all-Asian industry-changing blockbuster Crazy Rich Asians, and this year she’ll star as Minn-Erva in the female-led Captain Marvel–the first of its kind. As she prepares to head to the Critics’ Choice Awards, Chan calls for more female directors, reveals her hopes for Crazy Rich Asians’ follow-up China Rich Girlfriend,
See full article at Deadline »

'The Upside' is #1 at the Weekend Box Office While 'Aquaman' Tops $1 Billion Worldwide

'The Upside' is #1 at the Weekend Box Office While 'Aquaman' Tops $1 Billion Worldwide
Outperforming expectations, STXFilms's The Upside debuted atop the weekend box office, upsetting Aquaman's bid for a fourth straight weekend at #1. That said, Aquaman isn't exactly focused on its runner-up position domestically as the film is now the first in the DC Extended Universe to top $1 billion at the global box office. As for the rest of the week's new wide releases, Sony's A Dog's Way Home delivered on studio expectations while Entertainment Studios's sci-fi thriller Replicas failed to place within the weekend top ten. With an estimated $19.59 million, STXFilms's The Upside topped the weekend box office, dramatically outperforming expectations heading into the weekend. The remake of the popular French film The Intouchables, The Upside stars Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, and while the reviews were mixed heading into the weekend, opening day audiences seemed to enjoy themselves, giving the film an "A" CinemaScore, which bodes well for the film's future.
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

‘Roma’ poised to become 1st foreign language Best Picture winner at Critics’ Choice Awards

‘Roma’ poised to become 1st foreign language Best Picture winner at Critics’ Choice Awards
“Roma” didn’t win either of the Golden Globes’ top film prizes because it was ineligible as a foreign language film, but it’s looking good to walk away with Best Picture at Sunday’s Critics’ Choice Awards. Per our predictions, “Roma” has 15/2 odds to become the first foreign language film to win the award in Critics’ Choice history.

It had been a close duel between “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” the past month, but “Roma” surged ahead within the past week after the latter only when 1-for-5 at the Golden Globes. “Roma,” on the other hand, won its expected categories, Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best Foreign Language Film.

See Oscars scorecard: ‘Roma,’ Ethan Hawke and Regina King have racked up double-digit wins at critics awards

A critical darling, “Roma” has ruled the critics circuit, nabbing Best Picture honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and
See full article at Gold Derby »

Updated Academy Award predictions after the Golden Globe results and DGA/PGA nominations

Wow. It seems like as each and every single day goes by, something new pops up that threatens to upend the Oscar race. All this is happening as voters are filling out their ballots and turning in their choices for the next crop of Academy Award nominees. Whether it matters or not, we’ll have to wait and see, but it’s all floating in the air. At the same time, the Golden Globe results and various Guild nominations are out there as well, fighting for attention. How will voters deal with it all? Well, I have a hunch or two, as you’ll see below… For this update, I’m ignoring controversies and looking at the precursors to fuel what I think the Academy will do. Strong recent showings for Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are notable in the Best Picture race. In Best Actress, we may well have
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

‘If Beale Street Could Talk’: Why Black Love Is a Revolutionary Act — Opinion

When people of color consider their history of revolution, images may come to mind of Toussaint Louverture defeating French colonialists; of Nat Turner, musket in hand, making his way across the Virginia countryside; of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking of dreams; of Malcolm X offering the choice of the ballot or the bullet; and of the Black Panther Party, clad in leather jackets and berets, standing firmly against the Oakland Pd. But all these stories begin with the first true revolution anyone will face in their lives: the revolution of being one.s self. It is only by coming into full self-actualization that a man or woman finds the strength to stand to their full height, shed their chains, raise their voice, and begin the walk to freedom for themselves, their families, and their communities.

A knower of self, James Baldwin, wrote the 1974 novel “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In it,
See full article at Indiewire »

Barry Jenkins & Nicholas Britell Reflect On ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’s’ Score [Exclusive]

Both are talented creators in their own right, but there is already something special about the collaborations between director Barry Jenkins and composer Nicholas Britell. They each earned Oscar nominations for their work on Jenkins’ Best Picture-winning “Moonlight” and now, hopefully, will do the same with his follow up, “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Read More: Barry Jenkins on “If Beale Street Could Talk” [Interview]

Britell, who has also scored films such as “Vice,” “The Big Short” as well as HBO‘s “Succession,“ has outdone himself with a rapturous and heartbreaking score for “Beale Street.” Combined with James Laxton’s gorgeous cinematography, an A-worthy cast, and Jenkins’ compassionate, artful direction it’s one reason why the Annapurna release was one of my top 10 films of the year.

Continue reading Barry Jenkins & Nicholas Britell Reflect On ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’s’ Score [Exclusive] at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

'Aquaman' Ready for Fourth Week at #1; 'Dog's Way Home' & 'Upside' Compete for Runner-Up

'Aquaman' Ready for Fourth Week at #1; 'Dog's Way Home' & 'Upside' Compete for Runner-Up
With the new year underway, this weekend sees three new releases vying for a spot in the top ten, though once again not one of them is likely to dethrone Aquaman from the weekend's top spot, which is where WB's latest entry into the DC Extended Universe looks to remain for the fourth straight weekend in a row. As for the week's new releases, Stx will debut The Upside, a remake of 2012's global hit The Intouchables, into over 3,000 theaters; Sony will give family's a new option with A Dog's Way Home; and Entertainment Studios debuts the Keanu Reeves thriller Replicas. At the same time Focus will go nationwide with the release of On the Basis of Sex after two weeks in limited release and Annapurna will do the same with If Beale Street Could Talk. After holding on even better than expected last weekend, look for WB's Aquaman
See full article at Box Office Mojo »

Golden Globe Winners Aren’t a Bellwether of the Oscars, but May Help TV

  • Variety
Golden Globe Winners Aren’t a Bellwether of the Oscars, but May Help TV
With the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards in the books, there’s an urge to sift through the tea leaves and decipher what it all means, not just for the Oscars, mere weeks away, but also for the Emmys, as the TV awards apparatus begins churning to life this month on its march to midsummer nominations.

The biggest takeaway from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s film winners was how immune they ultimately were to impassioned criticism of their nominated offerings. Both Bryan Singer’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” have come under heavy fire this season. “Rhapsody,” centered on Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, has been knocked for what some critics consider a craven, high-gloss approach to Mercury’s legend. “Green Book,” meanwhile, has been called on the carpet by family members of its own subject, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), for being an inaccurate account
See full article at Variety »
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