September 17, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: American film directors

David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?

Much like I said last week, of the many storylines that begin during awards season, few are usually as compelling as the ones centered around who’s most due for an Academy Award. I think that it’s usually pretty satisfying to see a former bridesmaid finally become a bride, as it were. As such, below I’ve made up a list of ten filmmakers who’ve previously been nominated for Oscars but have yet to win one who are in contention this year, after doing the same for actors and actresses previously. I’ve more or less ranked them by how due they are, and just to be fair, I’ve excluded anyone who has already won a prize elsewhere, or any of the myriad contenders who are seeking their first ever nomination by the Academy. Take a look at the writers/directors below and I hope you all enjoy!
Here now are the ten writers and/or directors most due for their first Oscar win:
10. Guillermo del Toro – A bit of a long shot to be sure, but del Toro in some ways is a filmmaker that folks are waiting to deliver an Oscar player once again. He was nominated for Best Original Screenplay when Pan’s Labyrinth came out and now will hope to compete in that category (or even Best Director) for Crimson Peak. I wouldn’t bet on it, but he’s still due to lift up a statue one day, perhaps in Best Foreign Language Feature. It just likely won’t be this year…
9. Billy Ray – Very much under the radar, Ray is one of the industry’s go to screenwriters for prestige fare, and he’s developing into a solid director as well. Nominated in Best Adapted Screenplay for Captain Phillips two years ago, we have Ray in the race this year for both Adapted Screenplay as well as Best Director for the remake of The Secret in Their Eyes. It’s an awards season X factor, but even if it doesn’t happen this time around, his writing will likely get him in before too long.
8. Stephen Frears – Frears is the sort of steady hand that doesn’t always win, but at the same time you would never be surprised to see him rewarded by a group such as the Academy. A two time Best Director nominee (for The Grifters as well as The Queen), he’ll potentially be in play for Director again with The Program, should […]

Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup – Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette

The Telluride Film Festival has announced the 2015 lineup, which runs September 4 – 7.
In addition, Rooney Mara, who stars opposite Cate Blanchett in the Cannes-acclaimed “Carol,” will receive a tribute.
The full lineup of the 42nd Telluride Film Festival is listed below.
“Retour de Flame” (Cby Serge Bromberg)
“Steve Jobs” (Directed by Danny Boyle)
“Ixcanul” (Directed by Jayro Bustamante)
“Bitter Lake” (Directed by Adam Curtis)
“Black Mass” (Directed by Scott Cooper)
“Beasts of No Nation” (Directed by Cary Fukunaga)
“Room” (Directed by Lenny Abrahamsson)
“Spotlight” (Directed by Tom McCarthy)
“Suffragette” (Directed by Sara Gavron)
“Rams” (Directed by Grimur Hakonarson)

Hollywood Contenders for 2015 Best Actor: Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender

Hollywood Contenders: The Race is on. The faces of this year’s potential Oscar nominees for the ACTOR category.
At this time, it looks like Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne and Michael Fassbender will be the front runners.

The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio

Black Mass – Johnny Depp

the Danish Girl – Eddie Redmayne

Bridge of Spies – Tom Hanks

Steve Jobs – Michael Fassbender

to read updates visit us every week.
HOLLYWOODCONTENDERS.COM – Year-round analysis and breaking news. A one stop shop for readers looking to get all the information on the year’s award contenders including the crafts. From analysis, talent video interviews and exclusive reportages to in depth articles. Benefit from our Concierge services, so that you can promote your film/talent to millions of viewers

2015 Pictures: Hollywood Contenders – Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Joy, The Revenant, Steve Jobs, The Walk, Inside Out

2015 PICTURES: Hollywood Contenders – Preliminary potentials in alphabetical order
At this time of the awards season the Hollywood Contenders list includes the following 2015 features (in alphabetical order): Black Mass. Our Brand Is Crisis, Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Steve Jobs, Inside Out, The Walk.
The “Hollywood Contenders”: We provide year-round analysis and breaking news. A one stop shop for readers looking to get all the information on the year’s award contenders including the crafts.
Black Mass director Scott Cooper- SEP 18

Our Brand Is Crisis, director David Gordon Green – OCT 30

Bridge of Spies, Dreamworks/Disney,director Steven Spielberg – OCT 16

Carol, Weinstein Co., director by Todd Hayes – NOV 20

The Danish Girl, Focus, director Tom Hooper – NOV 27

Joy, Fox, director David O’Russell – DEC 25

The Hateful Eight, TWC, director Quentin Tarantino – DEC 25

Inside Out, Disney/Ani, director Peter Docter – JUNE 19

Joy, Fox, director David O. Russell – DEC 25
The Revenant, Fox, director Alejandro Inarritu – DEC 25

Steve Jobs, Universal, director Danny Boyle – OCT 9

The Walk, Columbia, director Robert Zemekis – Oct 9

“Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore enters the Oscar race with a touching Trailer

Issue driven films with a ton of heart usually find their way into the awards season one way or another. Hopefully, it’s because they’re good movies and legitimately important, either for the culture or the world in general. Sometimes though, it’s just due to how shamelessly manipulative they can be on an emotional level. Hopefully, one new entry into the former category will be Freeheld, which is hitting the awards season at a very timely moment in history. A Trailer hit last week (which you can see below) and it appears to be hitting all of the right notes in order to appeal to Oscar in a potentially significant way come its October theatrical release.
The film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant in the New Jersey police force who encounters a struggle when she attempts to pass on her pension to her partner after developing terminal cancer. Her partner is a woman named Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and is only her domestic partner (yes, it’s a period piece from less than a decade ago), so she’s denied. Thus begins a level fight that spurred a documentary on the subject. Peter Sollett directs, while Ron Nyswaner wrote the screenplay. In addition to Moore and Page, the cast includes Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Michael Shannon, and more. It’s prestige through and through.
Considering the leaps and bounds that we’ve taken as a society in terms of LGBT rights, this is an interesting look back at a time when we as a nation weren’t fully formed on the issue. Assuming Sollett and Nyswaner have nailed the material, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be an emotional an thought provoking cinematic experience. If that’s the case and it’s not just overt manipulation in the pursuit of awards, we very well might see this become a pretty notable contender with Oscar and all along the precursor season. The ingredients are most certainly all there, to say the least.
Assuming we have a worthy player on our hands, there are plenty of possibilities for the Academy to latch on to here in terms of awards. Obviously there’s Best Picture, along with Best Director (for Sollett), Best Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the former), Best Supporting Actor (Carell or Shannon), Best Supporting Actress […]

“Creed”: An under the radar Oscar contender?

Ladies and gentlemen, I know it sounds silly, but a sequel/spinoff from Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky films might be in awards contention this year. Yes, the upcoming movie Creed is another installment in the franchise centered around fighter Rocky Balboa, but this one takes a U-turn. Instead of being about Stallone’s pugilist, it’s about former rival turned friend Apollo Creed’s son. Rocky is more the trainer than the protagonist, essentially re-launching this series with a grittier and younger bent to it. A Trailer hit last week and really impressed me (which you’ll see below), leading me to wonder if the Academy might once again be interested in this franchise?
For those who don’t know, the first Rocky with a big time Oscar contender, nominated for ten Academy Awards and winning three (Best Picture, Best Director for John G. Avildsen, and Best Film Editing). Stallone himself was cited two times, for Best Actor as well as Best Original Screenplay. The franchise became a bit sillier each time out, as Stallone stepped behind the camera (except for Rocky V, which had Avildsen direct again) and made his hero a superhero, essentially negating the interest voters had in it. The most recent sequel, entitled Rocky Balboa, brought a measure of respect back to the series, so now Creed hopes to capitalize on that.
This film centers around Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan, best known for Fruitvale Station), the son of former champion Apollo Creed. Fans of the franchise know that Apollo has passed on, so it’s fellow former champ Rocky Balboa who steps in as a trainer to help Adonis follow in his father’s footsteps. Essentially, this looks to be more of the first Rocky than any other in the franchise so far, while also functioning as basically a reboot of sorts. Ryan Coogler (of Fruitvale Station fame as well) co-writes with Aaron Covington and directs, while aside from Jordan and Stallone, the cast includes Graham McTavish, Phylicia Rashad, and Tessa Thompson. Taking the series back to its roots might be just what the doctor ordered.
The main reason to be excited for this one is seeing Coogler and Jordan work together again. They both broke through in a big way with Fruitvale Station, a film that was majorly snubbed by the Academy. This time around, they’re getting to tell a similarly gritty (if fictional this time out) story, just couched around an established franchise. Especially if […]

INSIDE OUT- New Film Clip

Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head? Disney•Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind to find out.
Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy (voice of Amy Poehler), whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear (voice of Bill Hader) heads up safety, Anger (voice of Lewis Black) ensures all is fair and Disgust (voice of Mindy Kaling) prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else.

When Riley’s family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places—Long Term Memory, Imagination Land, Abstract Thought and Dream Productions—in a desperate effort to get back to Headquarters, and Riley.
Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”, “Up”), produced by Jonas Rivera, p.g.a. (“Up”) and featuring an original score by Michael Giacchino (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up”), Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” opens in theaters on June 19, 2015.

· Director Pete Docter is the Academy Award®-winning director of “Up.” He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar‘s smash hit “Monsters, Inc.,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature film. Along with John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton, Docter developed the story and characters for “Toy Story,” Pixar‘s first full-length feature film, for which he also served as supervising animator. He served as a storyboard artist on “A Bug’s Life” and wrote the initial story treatment for “Toy Story 2.” As one of Pixar Animation Studios’ key creative contributors, Docter garnered an Academy Award nomination for his original story credit on Disney•Pixar’s Golden Globe®- and Oscar®-winning “WALL•E.”
· Jonas Rivera produced the Academy Award®-winning “Up,” for which he was nominated for best picture. Prior to “Up,” he had worked on nearly every Pixar film since joining Pixar Animation Studios in 1994, beginning with “Toy Story” for which he served as production office assistant. His subsequent credits include “A Bug’s Life” (as art department coordinator), “Toy Story 2” (as […]

Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” gets a compelling Trailer

It’s been a pretty good week for Trailers, I must say that. We’ve already gotten looks at a number of potential Academy Award players, including Everest and The Walk, but now Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks throw their hat into the ring with Bridge of Spies. This dramatic Cold War thriller, which got a Poster just yesterday, is considered by many to be the Oscar frontrunner in a number of categories, including Best Picture. As such, this was looked at with much anticipation, to say the least. You’ll be able to see the Trailer below, but take it from me…this looks like a contender to reckon with folks.
The story here has an American attorney (Hanks) being recruited by the CIA during the height of the Cold War to help rescue a downed pilot detained in the Soviet Union, while also negotiating the swap of a Soviet prison held by the United States. Hanks leads the charge, with Alan Alda, Domenick Lombardozzi, Billy Magnussen, Amy Ryan, Mark Rylance, and Austin Stowell also in the cast. Spielberg obviously directs, with Matt Charman having written the script that was then polished up by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (yes, the Coen Brothers along with Hanks and Spielberg). Janusz Kaminski is the cinematographer here and Thomas Newman composes the score, making for a truly A-list crop of talent involved in this one.
From the Trailer, it appears that Spielberg is working well within his comfort zone, albeit with a superb master’s touch. Hanks looks great, while the thriller nature of it will surely be a box office draw. They may not be reinventing the wheel here, but it appears to be smart adult cinema that will more than satisfy in the fall. There’s no doubt that this is poised to be something pitched directly at members of the Academy. You can’t possibly know if voters will respond just yet, but there’s no reason to amend any predictions after this first look. Everything suggests an Oscar contender from the word go.
Awards wise, the possibilities are basically limitless here. Best Picture obviously comes to mind, including pseudo frontrunner status, but that’s not all. There’s also Best Director (for Spielberg), Best Actor (for Hanks) Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress (for Ryan), Best Supporting Actor (for Alda, Magnussen, or Rylance), Best Original Screenplay (for Charman and the Coens), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, […]

The Ten Best Horror Remakes of All Time

As I’ve mentioned a few times already this year, horror is a genre that doesn’t get a whole lot of respect. The same goes for remakes in general, so when you discuss horror remakes, you can expect a distant lack of appreciation. Still, there are some gems to be found, and with the release this weekend of a Poltergeist remake, I wanted to count down the best that this sub-genre has to offer. You might think that there’s a complete dearth of quality, but I was able to find a solid handful of titles that make for a more than respectable lineup.
Here now are the ten best horror remakes of all time:
10. Halloween – Not an incredibly popular choice, I know, but my heart has a soft spot within it for this one. I’m honestly not sure why, but I jived with what musician turned writer/director Rob Zombie was doing here. Old fashioned at times, but also very brutal and modern, this was a slasher that worked more than was expected.
9. The Crazies – Most of you have forgotten about this remake by now, but it’s surprisingly tight and effective. Breck Eisner is a mostly anonymous filmmaker in terms of his style and someone you’ll never confuse with George A. Romero, but this was his best work to date. It’s not extraordinary, especially as a pseudo zombie flick, but it manages to still leave a mark.
8. Evil Dead – Is it overly gory? Yes, but there’s a marvel to be had at the mostly practical effects work. It’s also way better than it should have been. Sam Raimi didn’t direct again, but the script (including an uncredited bit of work by Diablo Cody) is on point and once the blood starts flowing, it gets as intense as anything you’ve seen in the genre.
7. Nosferatu the Vampyre – Perhaps best known as what inspired Shadow of the Vampire in a way (which I almost considered cheating to include), this is one of Werner Herzog’s finest moments, if you ask me. Unique and both modern and old fashioned in equal measure, it stands out.
6. The Last House on the Left – One of the best modern remakes, this is both brutal and surprisingly classy. Dennis Iliadis is a director that deserves to work more, considering his masterful grip here. There’s weight to the violence here, which is almost never the case in […]

Cate Blanchett in “Carol”: Our first big Oscar contender from Cannes 2015

Over the past week or so, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival has slowly unveiled some big time releases. Some, like Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, have turned out to be longer shots for any Academy Award attention. On the other hand, Cannes has seen Todd Haynes’ Carol launch towards the top of quite a few Oscar contention lists. Yes, while the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone saw their chances fade, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson certainly had their stock rise. Carol is the cream of the Cannes crop so far…
As a primer, the film is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol). In it, Blanchett plays a married older woman who begins a flirtation and then an affair with a younger woman, played by Mara. Chandler plays Blanchett’s possessive husband, while the cast also includes the aforementioned Paulson in a vital role, alongside the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and more. Haynes directs, obviously, while the adaptation of Highsmith’s book has been penned by Phyllis Nagy. In some ways, this sounds like similar material to Far From Heaven, but if that is the case, that doesn’t mean that Oscar won’t be very interested, regardless.

I think that this one has some huge awards potential, both at Cannes and beyond as we move towards Oscar season. For starters, it’s certainly a contender now for the Palme d’Or prize as well as citations for Haynes and Blanchett at the fest. At the end of the year, when The Weinstein Company puts it out, it’ll likely be one of the bigger Academy Award players as well. This is one that you really can’t ignore, especially after the glowing reviews from the festival. Before that, it was still a strong possibility given its pedigree, but now…well, things are all that much better for Harvey Weinstein’s likely big shot at Oscar gold.
How good could this one do? Well, I don’t think Carol will wind up leading the field, but Best Picture, Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actress (for Mara and/or Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score represent potential nominations. Yes, a double digit total is something that […]

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