Ben Is Back (2018) - News Poster

(2018)

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Oscars: How 'Roma,' 'A Star Is Born' and Others Must Now Shift Gears to Go the Distance

Oscars: How 'Roma,' 'A Star Is Born' and Others Must Now Shift Gears to Go the Distance
Lost in the hoopla of the Jan. 6 Golden Globes and the parade of awards and nominations that came tumbling out the following week was this simple fact: The death knell has now rung for a host of once-promising candidates in the race for a best picture Oscar. Private Life, Mary Queen of Scots, First Reformed, Widows, The Mule, At Eternity's Gate, The Front Runner, On the Basis of Sex, Ben Is Back, Beautiful Boy and Boy Erased are just some of the titles that can say goodbye to their chances of winning the top Academy Award, even if their hopes remain alive for earning a picture nomination and perhaps ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

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 »

‘Ben Is Back’ A Family Affair For Peter Hedges – Crew Call Podcast

  • Deadline
‘Ben Is Back’ A Family Affair For Peter Hedges – Crew Call Podcast
For Peter Hedges, casting his Oscar-nominated son Lucas Hedges in his latest movie Ben Is Back wasn’t about opportunity, rather catharsis.

The 56-year old filmmaker’s reasons for tackling a teenage drug addiction drama extend back to his mother, Carol Hedges, a former alcoholic who quit drinking when he was 15 years old. And after that point, life blossomed.

In fact, it was Julia Roberts, who plays a mother battling with her teenage son’s opiod addiction over the course of the Christmas holiday, who suggested that Lucas take on the role.

And getting the chance to work with Lucas, moved Peter: “It was impactful to me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’m the son of Carol Hedges who was an alcoholic, who found recovery and saved a lot of lives. He’s her grandson. I wouldn’t have become writer, wouldn’t have had that path
See full article at Deadline »

Lucas Hedges Talks Venturing Onto Broadway and Why He Isn't Interested in a Superhero Franchise

Lucas Hedges Talks Venturing Onto Broadway and Why He Isn't Interested in a Superhero Franchise
Lucas Hedges' résumé reads like a dream list of prestige contenders, from his breakout in Kenneth Lonergan's 2016 drama Manchester by the Sea (for which he earned his first Oscar nomination at 20) to his 2017 roles in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird and the black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Now Hedges has returned to the awards race with a pair of timely stories: Joel Edgerton's gay conversion drama, Boy Erased (for which the star earned a Golden Globe nomination), and Ben Is Back (directed by his father, Peter Hedges), in which he plays a young man struggling with ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Lucas Hedges ('Ben Is Back,' 'Boy Erased,' 'Mid90s' and 'The Waverly Gallery')

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Lucas Hedges ('Ben Is Back,' 'Boy Erased,' 'Mid90s' and 'The Waverly Gallery')
"I just wanted to be a part of that world," Lucas Hedges tells me as we sit down at The Westin New York at Times Square to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter's 'Awards Chatter' podcast — just before he headed over to the Golden Theatre to perform in a Saturday matinee of the Broadway production The Waverly Gallery — and we begin discussing what initially drew him to acting as a kid. "It wasn't even the artistry of it. I just wanted to be seen with the cool kids, you know?"

Now, at just ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Women Rule as 'Mary, Queen of Scots' and 'On the Basis of Sex' Score at Specialty Box Office

  • Indiewire
Women Rule as 'Mary, Queen of Scots' and 'On the Basis of Sex' Score at Specialty Box Office
The first post-holiday weekend of the year is never prime time for new openers. So the box office is left to holdovers and expansions. Focus Features is cleaning up with two movies, “Mary, Queen of Scots” and “On the Basis of Sex,” that are not contending for awards. Sunday’s Golden Globe contenders do include “The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight) and “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna), which are strong specialty performers likely to stick around for weeks to come.
See full article at Indiewire »

Aarp Movies for Grownups Awards Nominations: ‘Green Book,’ ‘Roma,’ and More

  • Indiewire
Aarp has announced its Movies for Grownups Awards nominations, with everything from “A Star Is Born” to “First Reformed” picking up nods. The group (whose name used to stand for the American Association of Retired Persons before it switched to just the initials) doesn’t have a firm set of criteria for what constitutes a grownup movie, which helps explain how “Black Panther” — which, as a superhero movie, is exactly the kind of fare that usually gets dismissed by older audiences — picked up two nominations.

“2018 was a banner year for a sensational collection of movies that resonated with the powerful 50-plus audience,” said Aarp’s Myrna Blyth. The winners will be announced on February 4, and the ceremony will air on February 15. Here’s the full list of nominees:

Best Picture/Best Movie for Grown-ups

A Star Is Born

BlacKkKlansman

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

“Green Book”

“Roma”

Best Actress

Sandra Bullock
See full article at Indiewire »

Updated Academy Award predictions to start off 2019

Now that we’re in a whole new year, the Oscar nominations are getting closer and closer. As such, predictions will now be updated each week. The changes might not be major each time, but it’ll give you an idea of the evolving nature of the race. After all, it’s 2019 now, the Golden Globes are this weekend, and the actual morning of the nominations isn’t that far off. Before you know it, it’ll be time to lock in those Oscar picks for good. Until then, however, the efforts to accurately predict the race continue unabated, Today is just another step forward in that regard. What you’ll see below is a very similar group of nominees than last time. There’s some movement in the Best Picture race though, and that’s where we’re focusing. Barring anything unexpected, there seems to be about seven very
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Film News Roundup: Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Set for Jan. 21 Screenings

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: Peter Jackson’s ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ Set for Jan. 21 Screenings
In today’s film news roundup, Peter Jackson’s “They Shall Not Grow Old” is getting another day of screenings, “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” opens in Australia and the Aarp announces its film nominations.

New Showings

Fathom Events and Warner Bros. have set a Jan. 21 release date for a third showing of Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old.”

The film will be screened at more than 1,000 locations in order to take advantage of the Mlk holiday weekend. The announcement was made Thursday by Jeffrey Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures, and Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom Events.

They Shall Not Grow Old” debuted in North America at 1,122 locations on Dec. 17 and took in $2.3 million. It grossed $3.4 million at 1,007 sites on Dec. 27, setting a record for a U.S. cinema event. Fathom specializes in event cinema and is jointly owned by AMC,
See full article at Variety »

Aarp Movies For Grownups Nominations: ‘Green Book’ & ‘Roma’ Lead Field

  • Deadline
Green Book and Roma lead the nominees for the Aarp’s 18th annual Movies for Grownups Awards, nabbing four noms apiece. They will vie for Best Picture against BlackKklansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and A Star is Born.

Interestingly, only one star from any of those films — Green Book‘s Viggo Mortensen — will vie in the lead acting categories. Best Actress and Best Actor, however, are bursting with A-listers: Sandra Bullock (Bird Box), Glenn Close (The Wife), Viola Davis (Widows), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Julia Roberts (Ben Is Back), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner), Robert Redford (The Old Man & the Gun), John C. Reilly (Stan & Ollie) and Mortensen.

The helmers of three Best Picture nominees are up for Best Director, though, with Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) going up against Mimi Leder (On the Basis of Sex
See full article at Deadline »

The Best Films and Performances of 2018

Wow. We’ve gotten here, arguably against all odds. Just over 350 movies later (a record breaking number for yours truly), my year is complete. It’s now time to put a nice little bow on the cinematic gift that was 2018, ladies and gentlemen! As just mentioned, it was the year where I saw more films than ever before. If I’m being honest, a lot of that had to due with the deluge of content on Netflix, original film wise, but that’s another story. I also just always try to see more than the year before, so a stupidly large number like this was probably unavoidable. Interestingly, while this was the year where I gave the least amount of four star perfect reviews (only three in total), I’d still consider it an overall fairly solid year for cinema. It’s just a quirk of the rating system, as
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Don’t count out Julia Roberts (‘Ben is Back’) at the Oscars, says one of our top users

  • Gold Derby
Don’t count out Julia Roberts (‘Ben is Back’) at the Oscars, says one of our top users
Are we underestimating Julia Roberts (“Ben is Back”) for Best Actress at the Oscars? That’s what one of our Top 24 Users thinks. Our Top 24 got the highest scores out of more than 8,000 users who forecast last year’s Oscar noms, so their picks this year carry extra weight. User Deydou scored 81.15% which tied them for the 12th best accuracy — that’s almost the top thousandth percentile. And as of this writing they say Roberts will break through.

Roberts gives an emotionally showy performance as the mother of the title character (played by Lucas Hedges), who has returned home to his family unexpectedly after a stint in rehab. Substance abuse stories are popular with awards voters, as evidenced by the wins for Marion Cotillard as drug and alcohol addict Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” (2007), Jeff Bridges as an alcoholic in “Crazy Heart” (2009) and Christian Bale as a drug
See full article at Gold Derby »

Updated Academy Award predictions for late December

As 2018 wraps up, Oscar voters are preparing to make some big decisions. They’re hopefully spending the upcoming holiday break catching up on the films they still need to see. Once that happens, final choices for the Academy Awards can be made, nomination wise. A handful of movies are rather desperate to get voters’ attention, so it’s a crucial time. As such, what better time is there than now to provide an update to my predictions? The Oscars this year are shaping up to be a unique one, so why not prepare for whatever surprises and snubs are coming up? This is the last one before the year ends, so the next one will be part of kicking of 2019, just as an Fyi. What you’ll see below is how I feel the race will currently end up, taking into account precursors and the recently announced shortlists from the Academy.
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

Ben Is Back – Review

Earnest and predictable, I can’t think of a single scene that stands out in writer/director Peter Hedges’ new drug addiction drama Ben Is Back. It may have its heart in the right place, but boy is it lousy. Unlike this year’s similar Beautiful Boy, Ben Is Back does not portray the downward spiral of drugs but instead takes place over one 24-hour Christmas Eve. By the time we meet 19-year Ben (Lucas Hedges – the director’s son!), he’s a young drug abuser returning home having been in rehab for 77 days and swearing “This time it will be different”. His mom Holly (Julia Roberts) acts happy to see him, yet the first thing she does is scramble to hide all the pills in the medicine cabinet. Ben’s younger sister Ivy (Kathryn Newton) claims to loves her brother but is clearly worried he’s going to ruin everyone’s holiday (he does!
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Julia Roberts Takes On The Opioid Crisis In ‘Ben Is Back’, Talks Her TV ‘Homecoming’ And Revisits ‘Pretty Woman’

  • Deadline
Julia Roberts Takes On The Opioid Crisis In ‘Ben Is Back’, Talks Her TV ‘Homecoming’ And Revisits ‘Pretty Woman’
Julia Roberts has returned to acting with a vengeance this fall on both the big screen, with Ben Is Back, and small screen in Amazon’s much-acclaimed Homecoming, which should be an Emmy juggernaut come summer and has already earned Roberts nominations for Lead Actress in a Drama Series at both the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. There is a reason for that. Roberts, who won an Oscar nearly two decades ago for Erin Brockovich, again demonstrates there is no one better once she decides to sink her teeth into some heavy drama. Of course, as the mother of three and a dedicated family person that isn’t as often as her fans might wish, so consider this season’s double-dose of Roberts an early holiday gift.

You can tell in talking with her, as I did last week in a CAA conference room while an industry screening of
See full article at Deadline »

Peter Hedges (‘Ben is Back’ director): Addiction drama was deeply ‘personal,’ but he wasn’t expecting to cast son Lucas Hedges [Exclusive Video Interview]

Peter Hedges (‘Ben is Back’ director): Addiction drama was deeply ‘personal,’ but he wasn’t expecting to cast son Lucas Hedges [Exclusive Video Interview]
For Peter Hedges, the opioid epidemic hits close to home. “I lost a close friend to overdose,” he reveals. “My favorite actor ever overdosed and died, and my family nearly lost a close relative.” Though he knew he wanted to tackle the subject in a film, he “didn’t know what story to tell.” But after “a period of intense research that lasted several years” he finally arrived at the plot for “Ben is Back.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Hedges above.

See Five reasons why ‘Ben is Back’ will bring Julia Roberts back to the Oscars

This Roadside Attractions release centers on Ben (played by the director’s son Lucas Hedges), a recovering addict who shows up unexpectedly at his family’s doorstep on Christmas Eve. His mother (Julia Roberts) is determined to keep him from relapsing, while the rest of the family has doubts about his sobriety.
See full article at Gold Derby »

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Julia Roberts ('Ben Is Back' & 'Homecoming')

'Awards Chatter' Podcast — Julia Roberts ('Ben Is Back' & 'Homecoming')
"It's incredible to have a 30-year career and to stand next to it and to say, 'Yeah, that is the sum of all of my decisions,'" says Julia Roberts, the biggest female movie star of the last 30 years, as we sit down at CAA to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter's 'Awards Chatter' podcast. "It's all me," she adds. Her films collectively have grossed just under $3 billion domestically and just over $6 billion worldwide, and no fewer than 11 topped the domestic box office charts in their opening ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Julia Roberts First Learned She Was Really Famous Inside a Bathroom Stall: 'This Is Different'

Julia Roberts First Learned She Was Really Famous Inside a Bathroom Stall: 'This Is Different'
Julia Roberts can pinpoint the exact moment when she realized she had reached a new level of fame.

During Monday’s episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, the Homecoming star, 51, explained that she first became aware of the change in a very unlikely place: a bathroom stall in Georgia.

“I went home to Georgia to visit my mom and my younger sister and we went to the movies,” Roberts explains, adding that she used to work across the street at an ice cream store.

“It was after the movie was over and I was in the bathroom
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

'Ben Is Back' Team on Addiction Drama's Personal Connections

'Ben Is Back' Team on Addiction Drama's Personal Connections
Addiction drama Ben Is Back tells the story of one family dealing with the opioid crisis ravaging America, as the eponymous recovering addict son Ben (Lucas Hedges) leaves rehab to spend Christmas at home and finds himself facing familiar dangers and challenges.

But the filmmakers hope the movie, which also stars Julia Roberts as Ben's mother, will have broad appeal despite its smaller scale.

"It's hard to find a family in America that's not touched by this epidemic in one way or another," producer Nina Jacobson told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the New York premiere of ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Notes On The Season: Julia Roberts On Making A Difference; Quincy Jones Loves ‘Green Book’; Norwegians Court Spielberg

  • Deadline
Notes On The Season: Julia Roberts On Making A Difference; Quincy Jones Loves ‘Green Book’; Norwegians Court Spielberg
A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.

Julia Roberts is back in the awards conversation this season, not only with her latest film, Ben Is Back, which has been winning her some of the best reviews of her career, but also her Amazon series Homecoming, which got a two-season initial order and has racked up Lead Actress nominations right out of the gate for her at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards after just a 10-episode first season.

I caught up with her Thursday night at CAA for an interview set to run on Deadline next week. We talked as a full house, largely Academy members, watched Ben Is Back. She’s justifiably proud of the movie, which just began its limited runs last week and will expand through Roadside Attractions to the top 25 markets next week as it continues to widen during the season. Even
See full article at Deadline »
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