April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Alfonso Cuaron

Oscars®: Alfonso Cuaron – Which director/screenplay winner is most likely to win again?

After looking at which of the four acting winners would be the most likely to make it back to the Academy Awards telecast and emerge victorious a second time, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at the other three major Oscar winners…the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay winners. They were all first timers, with two of the three writer-directors as well. Alfonso Cuarón parlayed his first Director citation into a win for Gravity, while filmmaker Spike Jonze (who’s been nominated in the Director category before) managed a win in Original Screenplay for Her, and scribe John Ridley saw his first ever nomination turn into an Adapted Screenplay win for 12 Years a Slave. All are now entering potentially fruitful stages of their careers, so who’s going to be back?
Most likely has got to be Cuarón, since he’s already such a highly respected figure. Part of the reason he won Best Director and caused the split between that category and Best Picture was due to the love for him, or else it’s very possible that Steve McQueen would have emerged victorious and prevented the split. Gravity on the whole might not have even been as big a contender. Whatever project that this filmmaker chooses next will almost immediately be considered an Oscar frontrunner, and more or less rightfully so. He’s definitely earned that distinction at this point in his career.
Next I’d say Jonze, who finally was able to entice voters to do more than just nominate him. They’ve long appreciated his work, but this was the first time that they really out and out loved it. Her was only ever so slightly more accessible than his prior movies, but it just hit them in the heart and got him not only a nod for his first solo screenplay, but a win too. The next stage will be to try and turn his next Director nom into a win, and while he’s a unique enough filmmaker that you can never bank on what he’s going to try next, I’d say he certainly has it in him to craft another winner in the near future.
Finally, Ridley is very much an X factor, since it just all depends on which sorts of projects he pursues next. Could a permanent move behind the camera to direct be next? He’s directed before and has a Jimi Hendrix biopic [...]

The Oscars® were no enormous shame, a few good jokes, no great shocks

I’m a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her understated, often brilliant humor. This was most evident when she hosted the 2001 Emmy Awards after the horrific events in New York and Washington that year. The show was postponed twice, and when it finally aired a couple of months later the big question was how it could be entertaining?
Almost from the outset Ellen delivered. To paraphrase what she said, it was something like the terrorists could not break our spirit. Then she paused and deadpanned that only network executives could do that.

It was funny, unexpected yet absolutely true. It related to the events just passed, but broke the ice and allowed the show to go on to its true purpose after the long delay.

The Oscars Rate a B-Minus.
I wish I could say Ellen’s performance last night rose to that occasion. Though it generally retained the dignity and glamour that audiences expect, something lost in last year’s show hosted by Seth MacFarlane, it was mostly bland with repetitive jokes and occasional good moments. Having said that, I cringed a bit when Ellen repeated out loud and very slowly a compliment to Nebraska supporting actress nominee June Squibb, whom Ellen had termed the oldest Oscar nominee ever, as if the actress were almost deaf and needed careful attention to hear her remarks.

Throughout the ABC show, Ellen drew from a past playbook and redid bits from the last time she hosted in 2007, often appearing in the audience, talking with this celebrity or that and taking photos. In one segment she asked if anyone was hungry, which drew very few responses and went on much too long. However, when a pizza man arrived later in the show, though only with three pizzas, it was amusing to see how many celebrities accepted a slice, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford. And that no one initially responded to Ellen’s request for donations to pay the man.
To read Michael Russnow’s latest book, “Hollywood on the Danube,” go to www.createspace.com/4497564

I’d thought sometime later it would have been funny if the delivery man, denied payment, started taking back the pizza slices from Meryl, Julia and the others. However, they eventually paid the bit off when Ellen passed a hat into which producer Harvey Weinstein threw two hundred dollars and several celebrities forked over twenty or more dollars each. By my count that was over three hundred [...]

Oscars: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards

After months and months of lead up and speculation (not to mention an endless string of precursor awards), the Academy Awards were finally given out, and the results were almost as unpredictable as we’d all been saying. 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture despite only winning two other Oscars and losing in the Best Director and Best Film Editing categories (both of which Gravity took), normally categories that go to the Best Picture winner. Gravity was the biggest winner of the night in terms of numbers though, taking seven prizes, including the aforementioned Director (for Alfonso Cuaron) and Editing fields.
In terms of the other prizes, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were once again awarded for their performances in Dallas Buyers Club (McConaughey in Best Actor and Leto in Best Supporting Actor), while Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for Blue Jasmine and Lupita Nyong’o edged out Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Supporting Actress category. Best Original Screenplay went to Spike Jonze for Her (my personal favorite award of the evening) and John Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. Other winners included Frozen (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song), 20 Feet from Stardom (Best Documentary Feature), and The Great Beauty (Best Foreign Language Feature).
Here now are all of the results from the 86th Academy Awards:
BEST PICTURE
“12 Years a Slave” – WINNER
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” – WINNER
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” – WINNER
BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” – WINNER
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen
“Her” – Written by Spike Jonze – WINNER
“Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley – WINNER
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence Winter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” – WINNER
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
Sally [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Gravity”

“Gravity”
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Written by: Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón (reportedly with some uncredited collaboration by George Clooney as well)
Main cast members: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris (voice)
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 10
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Cuarón), Best Actress (Bullock), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Directors Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards, Won Best Director and Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards,
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders for the award and a definite co-frontrunner, if not THE frontrunner
Chances at other Academy Award wins: A sure fire win in Best Director, along with Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, though it could legitimately win every technical award that it’s nominated for
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Gravity is the fifth film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s the other main contender in the category. In fact, it’s probably got the best chance of the bunch to win. Sure, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture, and I’d be one of the few not surprised by an American Hustle win, but still…Gravity is the most likely of that trio. It tied with Hustle for the most nominations overall, has picked up some strong precursor attention, and will likely dominate the tech categories at the Oscar ceremony. That gives it a leg up on the competition for sure. It’ll likely come down to if voters are opposed to citing a science fiction film as their Best Picture winner. If they don’t mind, then this movie is probably winning the Oscar.
Working in Gravity’s favor is just how significant its wins have been and how rare a split between Best Picture and Best Director is. Alfonso Cuarón has dominated the Best Director race, so his win is a slam dunk. With the flick tied for the most nominations overall and a prime competitor for the top prize, it’ll be all too easy for Academy members to not split their ballot. It may not have won the [...]

Gravity dominates the Visual Effects Society Awards

Yesterday night, the Visual Effect Society held their 12th annual awards show, and surprising no one, Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar hopeful Gravity was the big winner. The film took home six VES awards, making it by far the dominant feature on display. This obviously furthers the chances of it taking home the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, but we can all agree that it was already pretty much a lock to win there. The only other feature competing in that category that made any dent at the awards was The Lone Ranger, which won Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture.
As for Gravity’s half dozen wins, they were in the categories of Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture (their version of Best Picture, basically), Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture, Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture, and Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture. A big haul indeed for Gravity.
Here are all of the winners from the VES Awards last night:
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Gravity (Tim Webber, Nikki Penny, Neil Corbould, Richard McBride)
Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho, Lino Di Salvo)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Game of Thrones (Steve Kullback, Joe Bauer, Jörn Großhans, Sven Martin)
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture
The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Shari Hanson, Kevin Martel)
Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program
Banshee: (Armen Kevorkian, Mark Skowronski, Jeremy Jozwik, Ricardo Ramirez)
Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Video Game
Call of Duty: Ghosts (Mark Rubin, Richard Kriegler, David Johnson, Alessandro Nardini)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Commercial
Call of Duty: Epic Night Out (Chris Knight, Daniel Thuresson. Nick Tayler. Dag Ivarsory)
Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project
Space Shuttle Atlantis (Daren Ulmer, John Gross, Cedar Connor, Christian Bloch)
Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Smaug (Eric Reynolds, David Clayton, Myriam Catrin, Guillaume Francois)
Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Frozen: Bringing the Snow Queen to Life (Alexander Alvarado, Joy Johnson, Chad Stubblefield, Wayne Unten)
Outstanding Animated Character in a Commercial or Broadcast Program
PETA: 98% Human (Vince Baertsoen, Jimmy Gass, Dave Barosin)
Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Gravity: Exterior [...]

Alfonso Cuarón Wins DGA Feature Film Award for Gravity

The winners of the Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement Awards for 2013 were announced tonight during the 66th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. Alfonso Cuarón won the DGA?s Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Gravity.
Actor Jane Lynch hosted the ceremony before an audience of more than 1,600 guests. Presenters included (in alphabetical order): Ben Affleck, Debbie Allen, DGA Secretary-Treasurer Michael Apted, DGA President Paris Barclay, Sandra Bullock, Nick Cannon, Don Cheadle, Steve Coogan, Bradley Cooper, DGA Fifth Vice President Jon Favreau, DGA Past President Taylor Hackford, Tom Hanks, Keith Jackson, Anna Kendrick, Allison Liddi-Brown, Sarah Paulson, Rob Reiner, and Kerry Washington.
The 67th Annual DGA Awards will take place on Saturday, February 7, 2015.
The winners of the 2013 DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement are:
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN FEATURE FILM

ALFONSO CUARÓN
Gravity
(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Mr. Cuarón’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: David Siegel (Arizona Unit)
· First Assistant Directors: Josh Robertson, Stephen Hagen (Arizona Unit)
· Second Assistant Director: Ben Howard
This is Mr. Cuarón’s first DGA Award.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES FOR TELEVISION AND MINI-SERIES
STEVEN SODERBERGH
Behind the Candelabra
(HBO)
Mr. Soderbergh’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Michael Polaire
· First Assistant Director: Gregory Jacobs
· Second Assistant Director: Jody Spilkoman
· Second Second Assistant Director: Lynn Struiksma
This is Mr. Soderbergh’s first DGA Award and third nomination. He was previously nominated in 2000 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for both Erin Brockovich and Traffic. He is also the recipient of this year?s Robert B. Aldrich Service Award for extraordinary service to the DGA and its membership.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTORIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMATIC SERIES
VINCE GILLIGAN
Breaking Bad, ‘Felina’
(AMC)
Mr. Gilligan’s Directorial Team:
· Unit Production Manager: Stewart A. Lyons
· Assistant Unit Production Manager: James Paul Hapsas
· First Assistant Director: Nina Jack
· Second Assistant Directors: Anna Ramey, Louis Lanni
· Second Second Assistant Director: Joann Connolly
· [...]

Congratulations to all Oscar® Nominees

Congratulations to all Oscar® nominees, as well as the Hollywood Film Awards® honorees: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyer Club),Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer Club), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Year A Slave), Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), Michael De Luca (Captain Philipps), Steve McQueen (12 Year A Slave) Michael Wilkinson and Judy Becker (American Hustle), for their well deserved nominations today. Bravo!
Check below complete list of the 2014 Oscar® nominees:
Performance by an actor in a leading role

Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
Judi Dench in “Philomena”
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
June Squibb in “Nebraska”
Best animated feature film of the year
“The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki
Achievement in cinematography
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins
Achievement in costume design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris
Achievement in directing
“American Hustle” David O. Russell
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese
Best documentary feature
“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined
Best documentary short subject
“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens
Achievement in film editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” [...]

Sandra Bullock to be honored with the “Hollywood Actress Award” at the “Hollywood Film Awards”

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that Academy Award®-winning actress Sandra Bullock will be honored with this year’s Hollywood Actress Award for her riveting performance in Alfonso Cuarón’s acclaimed dramatic thriller “Gravity.” The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
“We are honored to present the Hollywood Actress Award to Sandra Bullock for her outstanding work in ‘Gravity,’” said de Abreu. “Holding the screen alone for a large part of the film, she delivers a stunning and emotionally layered performance that shows once again why she is one of Hollywood’s most respected and popular actresses.”
Sandra Bullock won an Oscar® for Best Actress for her performance in the true-life drama “The Blind Side,” for which she also took home Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. In addition, she has been Golden Globe-nominated for Best Actress for her work in the comedies “The Proposal,” “Miss Congeniality” and “While You Were Sleeping.” She more recently starred in the smash hit comedy “Heat” and the Oscar®-nominated drama “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” Bullock has also earned plaudits for her memorable roles in such diverse films as “Infamous,” “Crash,” “Two Weeks’ Notice,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “28 Days,” “Practical Magic,” “Hope Floats,” “The Net,” and “Speed,” among many others.
“Gravity” is a heart-pounding thriller set in the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) is a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) in command. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone-tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.
The film was written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman. Chris deFaria, Nikki Penny and Stephen Jones served as executive producers.

The Hollywood Film Awards honors cherished stars, filmmakers and [...]

Scarlett Johansson is going to the ‘Zoo’ with Cameron Crowe

HollywoodNews.com: Scarlett Johansson may not have nabbed her fav role of a female astronaut in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” but she’s working with Cameron Crowe.
An even better deal.
Johansson will star opposite Matt Damon in the director’s true-life drama “We Bought a Zoo.”
The Hollywood Reporter had the news.
Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, “Zoo” follows the author (Damon) who used his life savings to buy a dilapidated zoo of 200 exotic animals in Great Britain. Mee’s wife (Johansson) during this time was battling brain cancer. With the help of his children, Mee balanced life and resurrected the zoo.
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Photo credit: Paramount
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Natalie Portman one of the actresses being considered for ‘Great Gatsby’

HollywoodNews.com: Lisbeth Salander, the femme astronaut in Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fi film – highly coveted roles for actresses in Hollywood. You can add the part of Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” remake which is ramping up at Sony.
Deadline reports that while Luhrmann wants Leonardo DiCaprio (Jay Gatsby) and Tobey Maguire (Nick Carraway) from his recent workshop reading, he’s looking for other actresses to play the part of Daisy, Gatsby’s love interest. In the workshop, Rebecca Hall of “The Town” read for the role and she still might be a contender.
However, Deadline learns that the list includes: Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
Daisy was portrayed in the 1974 film by Mia Farrow, while Robert Redford played Gatsby. The film, distributed by Paramount, generated an estimated $27 million at the box office.
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Photo credit: Fox Searchlight
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