January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Arts

Eddie Redmayne – Theory of Everything – another movie to see this weekend

Another great movie to see this weekend is “The Theory of Everything,” starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
Eddie Redmayne was the recipient of this year’s “Hollywood Breakout Performance Award” at the Hollywood Film Awards.

Below write-up about Eddie Redmayne and his chances at Oscar:
“Today, the theatrical release is beginning for The Theory of Everything, a biopic about noted physicist Stephen Hawking. The role of Hawking is played to perfection by surefire Academy Award nominee Eddie Redmayne, while the role of his loving and supportive wife Jane is portrayed by almost certain fellow Oscar nominee Felicity Jones. With the film now out in limited release, it can attempt to win over audiences in the same that it won over critics on the festival circuit. From there on, it’s a matter of seeing if the movie can appeal to Oscar voters. Personally, I think it’ll do just fine, but I certainly hope that Academy members really do consider Jones and especially Redmayne for wins as well.
The biopic is of course a look at the life of Hawking, beginning with his time at University and continuing up until close to the modern day. We see Hawking go from an awkward young man to a sick but still mobile student to someone confined to a wheelchair, all the way to the distinctive images we have of the man now. Along the way, we spend just as much time with Jane as with Stephen, seeing how she interacts with her mate and staying strong in the face of adversity. She’s very much the co-lead of this story, with equal screen time and just as much of a character arc. Obviously Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star, along with supporting players like Charlie Cox, Simon McBurney, Christian McKay, David Thewlis, and Emily Watson. James Marsh is in the director’s chair, while Anthony McCarten wrote the adaptation of the book by Jane Hawking.
Without question, the highlight here is Eddie Redmayne, with Felicity Jones not far behind. Redmayne is the cream of the acting crop in 2014 according to my tastes, blowing me away in a manner that I just did not expect. He’s going to deserve the Best Actor nomination coming his way…hell, he deserves the win, but that all remains to be seen. Similarly, Jones gives one of the best performances by an actress so far this year, so when she’s nominated for Best Actress and fights […]

The Best of the first two thirds of 2014

Can you believe that it’s the end of August already? Yes, by the time this weekend comes to a close, it’ll be September and two thirds of the year will be gone. As such, I figured I would do something you won’t see many other places…an article on the best of the first two thirds of 2014. Eight months have passed in the year and we’ve only got the top tier Oscar contenders left to see, so it felt natural to run down what’s been top drawer from the rest of the bunch. I’ll be giving you a look at what my current top ten of the year so far looks like, as well as what my own personal awards ballot at this juncture would look like. Hopefully it’s something fun that you enjoy reading…I know it’s the sort of thing that I enjoy writing!
As a note, I’ve included everything I’ve seen so far in 2014 (something approaching 200 films), regardless of if it’s been released yet. There’s one exception to that which I explain below, but aside from that it’s all there for you to see in black and white.
The Top Ten of the Year So Far:
10. The Lego Movie – Up until the third act reveal, I was wondering why this animated film was as beloved as it was. Then, I understood why, and this became so much more than a high energy bit of fun. This is clearly the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature, and it deserves every single award it’s likely to receive.
9. Begin Again – Though not quite as phenomenal as Once, filmmaker John Carney has another winner here in this musical dramedy. Both Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are excellent, plus there’s once again tremendous music on display. I’ve praised this one a lot before, but it’s a winner…plain and simple.
8. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – I’m combining all three versions of this project here (Him, Her, and Them), one that I’m going to be talking about more soon, in order to praise how unique it is. Filmmaker Ned Benson, along with leads Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy have partnered on a love story that’s unlike any other. Stay tuned for more on this movie, but trust me when I say that it’s something to be on the lookout for.
7. Chef – An incredibly pleasing little gem from Jon Favreau, it’s quickly become […]

The Talent Search: Christians in Hollywood Part 2

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
Seventeen-year-old Nicole Smolen is an actress and Christian who works in Hollywood.
Smolen has appeared on such network TV shows as “Criminal Minds” and “Brothers & Sisters” and has been cast in feature films and a national TV commercial. But it’s her role in a new small-budget indie film called “8 Days” that makes her particularly proud.
In the yet-to-be released film, Smolen plays Amber Stevens, a 16-year-old from a well-off home who sneaks away to a high school party with friends and winds up drugged, kidnapped, raped and forced by pimps into the netherworld of sex trafficking.
But because those gritty elements contained in the plot are only the beginning of the storyline, Smolen believes she is not compromising her Christian faith.
“It’s a very inspirational story and I believe it will touch a lot of lives” Smolen told HollywoodNews. “All the profits go to safe houses (for victims of human trafficking) and people in need. It’s not like we’re profiting off of this.”
The role appealed to her, she noted, because “it’s a film that will benefit people and inform (moviegoers) about human trafficking….I don’t want to just be a typical teenaged girl (in films) who’s crazy about boys. I want films that cause change in people’s lives.”
Smolen credits Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, a faith-based nonprofit based in Tyrone, Ga., with helping hone her talents to the point where she and her parents decided to sell their home in Lawrenceville, Ga., and move to L.A. so that she could pursue an acting career. She said she still remains friends with people she met through AMTC and the network helps keep her grounded in an industry where success is often accompanied by rejection and periods of unemployment.
Never heard of Actors, Models & Talent for Christ? Since 2012 alone, the organization says it has trained between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the in’s and out’s of the entertainment and modeling industries.
The training isn’t cheap. This summer’s intensive six-day International Shine Conference scheduled July 1-6 in Orlando, Fla., costs $3,895 to $4,995 per person (a $300 discount applies if paid in full).
To attend the Shine conference, performers must first audition and be accepted. These auditions are held in cities throughout the United States. The next L.A.-area auditions are scheduled for June 21 in Pasadena and July 19 in Anaheim.
AMTC has its roots in a modeling convention that began […]

“Annie”: Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, and Quvenzhané Wallis

“Annie” is the story of a business tycoon and mayoral candidate Benjamin Stacks who launches a campaign to take in Annie, a young girl who has been living with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan since her parents left her as a baby.

The cast includes Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Nicolette Pierini, Amanda Troya.
Below watch the “ANNIE Trailer:

“Kill the Messenger”: Jeremy Renner – Official Trailer

Focus Features’ upcoming film, KILL THE MESSENGER. Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (‘The Bourne Legacy’) leads an all-star cast (Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Andy Garcia) in a dramatic thriller, based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb.
See official trailer below:

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (‘The Bourne Legacy?) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb.
Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets, and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua.
Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. , and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life.
Director: Michael Cuesta (‘Homeland’)
Writers: Peter Landesman, based upon the books Dark Alliance, by Gary Webb, and Kill the Messenger, by Nick Schou
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ray Liotta, Tim Blake Nelson, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Michael Sheen, Paz Vega, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Andy Garcia
KILL THE MESSENGER opens in theaters on October 10th, 2014!

“Maleficent” – Angelina Jolie: Awards Race

Directed by: Robert Stromberg
Written by: Linda Woolverton
Main Cast: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville, Janet McTeer, and others…
Past Oscar relations: Angelina Jolie won Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted
Here now we have the newest article in this series of mine on 2015 contenders hoping to compete for some sort of Oscar attention at the upcoming 2015 ceremony.
Next up for us is Robert Stromberg’s Sleeping Beauty re-imagination Maleficent, which looks to put a decidedly new spin on an old Disney tale.
Next up for us is Robert Stromberg’s Sleeping Beauty re-imagination Maleficent, which looks to put a decidedly new spin on an old Disney tale.
Stromberg makes his directorial debut here on the film (after a long career behind the scenes), while Disney vet Linda Woolverton writes. This is obviously an Angelina Jolie vehicle, with her starring in the title role. The story looks not at Elle Fanning’s Princess Aurora, but at Jolie’s Maleficent, a wronged fairy who isn’t quite the evil-doer that many a Disney fan previously thought her to be. The other players include Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, and Juno Temple. That being said, the real star is Jolie and I’m sure Disney has designs on getting her into the Best Actress race.
What this flick has going in its favor is how visually interesting it is. Stromberg used to be a production designer, and it shows. The makeup, production design, and visual effects are all very strong, so that’s one place where the Academy might see fit to recognize this one. Jolie certainly brings star power and audiences seemed to eat up Alice in Wonderland, so there’s potential here for the flick to show up in a few categories.
Working against Maleficent is that it’s actually a fairly boring take on the story. Woolverton doesn’t bring much to the proceedings, leading to a sense that you’re not necessarily getting the epic story that you were promised. More so than that, it’s just not revolutionary enough in any way to be the sort of blockbuster that goes on to bigger and better Oscar glory. The technical categories are a possibility for sure, but I wouldn’t go any further than that.
So, can this be a player at all? I’d say that in all likelihood it’s a real long shot for anything not in the tech categories, though I’m sure it’s possible that […]

Ryan Gosling: the next actor turned director to watch out for?

HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK: A few days ago at the Cannes Film Festival, A list actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River (which was originally titled by him as the more compelling How To Catch a Monster) screened to a rather divisive response from critics. Some praised his skill behind the camera and the way he worked in many influences from other filmmakers, while others panned the movie for being derivative and an imitation of better works. That more or less takes the film out of major awards contention, but it does leave me still contemplating Gosling’s future as a director. He may not have hit a home run his first time out, but very few actors turned directors do. My hunch is that he’s a few years away from making a flick that really wows folks.
Why do I think that? Look at other A-listers who stepped behind the camera. George Clooney’s debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind wasn’t rapturously received either, but his next outing was Good Night and Good Luck, which was nominated for Best Picture and got Clooney a handful of nominations himself. For another example, look at Angelina Jolie. She made her debut with the foreign war flick In the Land of Blood and Honey, but this year she’s back with the Oscar frontrunner Unbroken. Gosling certainly wouldn’t be the first to have his sophomore feature be the one that’s really embraced. In fact, it seems to almost be the path of choice for many of his colleagues. Get a perhaps overly ambitious debut out of the way first and then go hit him with something a bit more accessible the next time out.
If you look at the filmmakers that Gosling is apparently referencing, you can see that he’s only beginning to develop his own filmmaking identity. If you mix the work of Derek Cianfrance, David Lynch, Gaspar Noe, and Nicolas Winding Refn, you’re bound to get something rather off the beaten path. Now that he’s basically thrown everything at the wall to see what stuck, he’s got the opportunity to show off his own vision next time out. If not, he can even just begin to figure out which influences to play up and which ones to sort of keep on the back burner.
Right now, Lost River is probably little more than a curiosity, but it’s the start of something. There’s no way of knowing […]

“The Immigrant” – Marion Cottilard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner

Directed by: James Gray
Written by: James Gray and Ric Menello
Main Cast: Marion Cottilard, Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Renner, and others
Past Oscar relations: Cottilard, Phoenix, and Renner all have Oscar nominations, while Cotillard won Best Actress for La Vie en Rose.
Today we’re focusing on James Gray’s The Immigrant, a new period piece opening this weekend which hopes to at long last get Gray headfirst into the awards race. Gray directs and co-writes (with Ric Menello) here, with Marion Cotillard in the lead role of an immigrant struggling to make it in New York. Joaquin Phoenix and Jeremy Renner have the main supporting parts as men in Cotillard’s life, and after a debut last year at the Cannes Film Festival and a spot in the New York Film Festival lineup, the film is coming our way and hoping for the best. The A list cast and period setting definitely has an inherent appeal to awards voters, so that’s a start.
What this flick has going in its favor is a strong cast doing strong work. Cotillard especially is really great here, though Phoenix and Renner are very solid as well. The former two certainly give performances that are up the Academy’s alley, so with a little bit of a push from other voting bodies, Oscar voters could potentially consider their candidacies. Gray also has a great visual palate on display, so it’s hardly just an acting showcase. He really transports you back to turn of the century New York City, so that immersive aspect is a big plus for the film as well.
Working against The Immigrant is that the initial Cannes reviews weren’t overly enthusiastic and Gray’s works on the whole have so far been ignored by the Academy. The period piece aspect here is baity, but without much in the way of raves, as well as a small release from The Weinstein Company here in May as opposed to during prime awards season, this isn’t particularly set up to succeed. Perhaps if it surprises at the box office, things will change, but my hunch is that there won’t be too much of a campaign in place for the movie.
So, can this be a player at all? I’d say that the time has come and gone for this one to make an impact (if it were going to have been a major player, it likely would have been Harvey Weinstein’s horse last awards season, […]

“Star Wars” : The Top 25 (Best Costume Design)

Continuing on with this weekly series of mine that I’m doing here at the site, we’re talking the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories out there.
Aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Editing or Best Sound Mixing like I mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months, including of course the big eight categories. I’m also potentially going to do one that doesn’t exist (a fictitious Best Ensemble category), but that’s just an idea I currently am toying with. We’ll see about that one. I’m also deciding what to do with Best Animated Feature, but perhaps we’ll cross that bridge next week and deal with it then.
Today I’ll be knocking off another one of the technical categories, with this one being the fashionistas favorite…the Best Costume Design field. As you all know by now, depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing pretty specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners. For now though, I’m still keeping it fairly simple. Like I’ve said over the past month or so though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the lists anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs once again…
This time around, I’m just going the overview route again, since the look of these costumes is really what matters for this category, sort of above anything else. Also it really just depends on what sort of costumes you’re partial to. There are really all sorts that have won the Academy Award here, so it’s a matter of taste. Do you respond more to overt costume dramas? Period pieces? Fantasy epics? Science fiction adventures? There’s something for everyone.
I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Star Wars, which perhaps will surprise some, but hear me out. What other Oscar winning costume design has been as engrained in our culture as in that one? We all know what every costume in that flick looks like. The other odd one in my top ten (and even my top five) is from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the […]

Carlos de Abreu: Founder of the Hollywood Film Awards

Celebrating 20 years of success. Carlos de Abreu is a “New York Times” bestselling author, producer, screenwriter, brand marketing expert and Internet pioneer.
Carlos de Abreu is of Portuguese descent and was born in Mozambique. He was a jet pilot in the Portuguese Air Force and studied economics at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and film at UCLA.
His vast experience in brand marketing earned him executive positions and contracts with Cartier International, American Express, and the Italian Government among others. He also co-founded the North American Marketing Services, Ltd., an international luxury goods corporation with offices in three continents; North America, Asia and Europe.

In addition, he launched the Hollywood Network® online, an ecosystem of “verticalized” web models, focused on entertainment and Hollywood. Mr. de Abreu’s multiple websites include HollywoodNews.com (http://www.hollywoodnews.com)

Mr. de Abreu’s organization, the Hollywood Network Inc., is an entertainment marketing company – awards, film conferences, festivals, Internet content, live events – which mandate is bridging the gap between established Hollywood and the global creative community and produces/co-produces live events including the prestigious “Hollywood Film Awards®,” and the “Hollywood Gives Back®” project – highlighting and assisting important local and national causes.
According to the “Los Angeles Times” the “Hollywood Film Awards®,” “launch the push toward Oscar and are the kickoff for the awards season.”
He is the co-author of the national and “New York Times” bestseller, “Husband, Lover, Spy: A True Story,” St. Martin’s Press, and “Opening The Doors To Hollywood,” Crown Publishing.
Presently he is writing the novel “The Soulshaker.” His prior works include two screenplays: Mozambique: The Last Good-Bye and Sworn To Silence.

Specialties: Specialized in the Internet, intelligence gathering, entertainment space, live events production – awards, conferences, festivals, plus branding and distribution of luxury goods and jewelry both in the U.S.A. and the global markets.

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