April 20, 2014

Tag Archives: Christian Bale

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 the Best Actor race

Best Actor
Nominees: Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Notable precursor wins: Dern wins National Board of Review Award, DiCaprio wins Golden Globe Award (Comedy), Ejiofor wins BAFTA Award, and McConaughey wins Broadcast Film Critics Association, Golden Globe (Drama), and Screen Actors Guild Awards
Current frontrunner: Matthew McConaughey
Next in line: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Dark horse: Bruce Dern
Time for the next version of my “Get to know” series, as we turn our attention now to the Best Actor race. As you can see above, the gentlemen making up this category are Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. This was a wide open and highly competitive race for most of the season, though lately the tide has greatly turned in McConaughey’s favor. Right now, he’s the odds on favorite to win the Oscar.
Basically, once the crowded field competing to be nominated was whittled down to these five, things clarified a bit. Bale was just happy to be nominated, while the other four shuffled back and forth a bit. Then, the major precursors really rallied around McConaughey, resulting in his current frontrunner status. Dern hasn’t had a win in a while that gives him much of a shot, while DiCaprio and Ejiofor have some, but not nearly on the level of McConaughey.
Now, with the Academy Awards just days away, McConaughey is the smart bet for Best Actor. If there’s going to be an upset, it’s going to be from Ejiofor. A Dern or DiCaprio win would be shocking at this point. Still, Ejiofor is pretty far behind McConaughey, so look for him to pick up a statue on Sunday evening. Anything could happen, but things seem pretty cut and dried now to me…
Stay tuned for the rest of the acting categories this week, with Best Actress up next!

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “American Hustle”

“American Hustle”
Directed by: David O. Russell
Written by: David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer
Main cast members: Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K., Robert De Niro, Michael Pena, Jack Huston, Elisabeth Röhm, and Alessandro Nivola
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 10
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Russell), Best Actor (Bale), Best Actress (Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Lawrence), Best Original Screenplay (Russell and Singer), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Best Comedy/Best Actress in a Comedy/Supporting Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, and Best Film/Supporting Actress/Best Screenplay at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders for the award and a definite co-frontrunner
Chances at other Academy Award wins: Locked in close races for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay, with Best Actress, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing still in play
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
American Hustle is the second film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another one of the main contenders in the category. Though no film among the nominees has seen the sort of backlash that American Hustle has, the numbers simply don’t lie. It’s a blockbuster hit financially, has some major precursor wins under its belt, is one of the rare films to be able to score a nomination in each acting category, and tied for the most nominations overall this year. That didn’t happen out of thin air. This is a much loved movie, even if the supporters aren’t as vocal about it. A silent majority could still turn out to be a majority though, so this is a top tier Best Picture player for sure.
Working in American Hustle’s favor is just how much it was embraced by the Academy. Last year David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook got all four acting nominations as well (plus a Lawrence win in Best Actress), making him the first director ever to achieve this in consecutive years. It’s obvious that Oscar voters like what he’s doing, considering the ten nominations they gave him. It’d be one of the biggest losses in history if the film went home empty handed, so I just don’t [...]

Bradley Cooper, Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Timberlake and Sigourney Weaver to Present at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Justin Timberlake will be presenters at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.
First-time SAG Awards nominee Bradley Cooper is recognized this year for his lead role in David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and as a cast member in the film. In addition to ‘Playbook,’ Cooper had three other films in release in 2012: ‘The Words,’ ‘Hit and Run,’ and ‘The Place Beyond the Pines.’ In May, he’ll be seen in ‘The Hangover Part III’ and later this year will star opposite his ‘Playbook’ co-star Jennifer Lawrence in the suspense drama ‘Serena.’ He’ll also reunite with Russell to work on the director’s film about the Abscam scandal, also starring Christian Bale.
Viola Davis is a four-time Screen Actors Guild Award® nominee and two-time recipient of the Actor® in 2012 for her lead performance as Aibileen Clark and as a cast member in ‘The Help.’ Davis’ previous nominations were for her supporting and cast performances in ‘Doubt’ opposite Meryl Streep. She was recently seen in ‘Won’t Back Down’ and will next star in the drama ‘Beautiful Creatures’ opposite Emma Thompson.
Anne Hathaway, who just received a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Fantine in ‘Les Miserables,’ earned her first SAG Awards nomination in 2006 as a cast member of Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and her first lead female actor nod in 2009 for ‘Rachel Getting Married.’ This year, she?s nominated twice: As supporting female actor in ‘Les Miserables’ and as a member of the film’s cast. In 2012, Hathaway starred opposite Christian Bale in director Christopher Nolan’s third and final installment of his Batman trilogy, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ Next year, she will give voice once again to Jewel the macaw in the animated sequel ‘Rio 2.’
Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe winning actor Hugh Jackman is a two-time SAG Awards nominee this year for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in ‘ Les Miserables’ and as a member of the film’s cast. In July, audiences will see him reprise the role of Wolverine in the 6th installment of the ‘X-Men’ franchise, ‘The Wolverine.’ He is currently filming ‘Prisoners’ with Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
In 2010, Jennifer Lawrence earned her first SAG Award nomination for her performance in ‘Winter’s Bone.’ The Golden Globe recipient is a double nominee this year, [...]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower explodes at the Box Office

Hollywoodnews.com: It wasn’t so much a ‘something for everyone’ weekend as it was ‘multiple things for the same general audience’ as four wide releases aimed at thrill-hungry moviegoers and/or adults debuted on the same day, creating a clear case of mutually assured destruction. The top three movies are basically tied, but as always rank is irrelevant next to the actual hard numbers (why rank doesn’t matter).

For the moment, the top debut of the weekend may be End of Watch, a ‘found footage’-style LA cop drama, parlayed strong reviews into a solid $13 million opening, which is the second-biggest debut for Open Roads outside of The Grey ($20 million) back in January. The $7 million film (purchased for $2 million) had a marketing and distribution cost of around $20 million, so even a $40 million final total will get this film in the black before home video. It also proves that Jake Gyllenhaal is a decent mid-range opener. He’s useful when the film you’re selling doesn’t cost $200 million ala Prince of Persia. End of Watch is yet another installment in writer David Ayers’s ‘two volatile men in a car’ sub-genre, which includes the likes of The Fast and the Furious, Training Day and Harsh Times (an underrated Christian Bale vehicle which he also directed). He wrote but did not direct the the LA Riots-set cop melodrama Dark Blue while directing but not writing the frankly mediocre Keanu Reeves cop melodrama Street Kings. Among films he directed, End of Watch should easily top the $26 million gross of Street Kings while it will be fifth (out of seven) if it can merely surpass the $9 million gross of Kurt Russell’s Dark Blue. Fourth place is the $76 million-grossing Training Day, which is too far a bridge to cross at this point.
To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos
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Los Angeles Times to be Presenting Sponsor for 2012 Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Entering their sixteenth year, the Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards announced today that the Los Angeles Times will be the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s festival and star-studded gala.
“We are very honored and excited to have the Los Angeles Times as our Presenting Sponsor,” said founder and CEO Carlos de Abreu. “The Times is a Hollywood institution, and their support and leadership will help take the festival and awards to the next level.”
The festival, which starts October 18, encompasses five days of screenings at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood and culminates with the prestigious Hollywood Film Awards Gala on October 22. The event honors cherished stars and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance. Times publisher and Tribune Company CEO Eddy Hartenstein will present one of the evening’s special awards, with details to be announced next month.
“The Los Angeles Times is Hollywood’s hometown news source and we have been at the forefront of entertainment coverage since trailblazing filmmakers and producers invented the industry,” said Times Vice President, Film Advertising, Francie Berns. “We’re excited to present the first marquee event of the all-important film awards season and support the creative community.”
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last nine years, a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
The 2011 awards show reached a total TV audience of more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 million online and print readers’ impressions.
“In addition, we are very happy to continue to bridge the gap between established Hollywood and emerging filmmakers. Craig Brewer, director of “Footloose,” “Hustle and Flow,” and “Black Snake Moan,” was discovered by the Hollywood Film Festival with the world premiere of his first film, “Poor and Hungry,” added de Abreu.
Aside from celebrating accomplishments on screen, the Hollywood Film Awards established the “Hollywood Gives Back” program to expand and continue highlighting and assisting important local and national charities to raise funds. Over the years, the Hollywood Film Awards has contributed to such charities as the following: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights, Artists for Peace and Justice, MatchingDonors.com, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Enough Project, and Variety The Children’s Charity of So. CA, among others.
Further, the Hollywood Film Awards [...]

Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker Join Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana & Sam Shepard To Star In Dramatic Thriller

HollywoodNews.com:Principal photography has begun today on the gripping and gritty dramatic thriller currently titled Out of the Furnace starring Oscar®-winner Christian Bale (The Fighter), Oscar®-nominated Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Zoe Saldana (Avatar) and Oscar®-nominated Sam Shepard (The Right Stuff). Oscar®-nominated Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) and Oscar®-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) have also joined the award-winning cast. Additional casting to be announced. The film is written and directed by critically-acclaimed Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart).
Collaborating with Cooper behind the scenes is a creative below-the-line team including: director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi (The Grey), production designer Thérèse DePrez (Black Swan), Emmy Award®-winning art director Gary Kosko (Star Trek), costume designer Kurt & Bart (Stoker), Oscar®-nominated editor David Rosenbloom (The Insider) and stunt coordinator Ben Bray (The Fighter) .
Most of the filming will take place in the ‘mill towns’ of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin, Pennsylvania. These communities are slowly but surely rebounding after a devastating slump and will provide the evocative backdrop for the film. Additional filming will take place in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.
The currently-titled Out of the Furnace tells the story about fate, circumstance and justice. Russell (Bale) and his younger brother Rodney (Affleck) live in the economically depressed Rust Belt, and have always dreamed of escaping and finding better lives. But when a cruel twist of fate lands Russell in prison, his brother is lured into one of the most violent and ruthless crime rings in the Northeast ? a mistake that will almost cost him everything. Once released, Russell must choose between his own freedom, or risk it all to seek justice for his brother.
Saldana plays Bale’s love interest Lena Warren and Shepard plays Red, Russell and Rodney Baze?s uncle. Harrelson plays the brutal crime boss Harlan DeGroat and Whitaker plays Wesley Barnes, the Sheriff of Braddock.
Producing are Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) and Jennifer Killoran (The Ides of March) alongside Scott Free’s Ridley Scott (The Grey), Tony Scott (Man on Fire) and Michael Costigan (American Gangster), as well as Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter).
Relativity Media will release the film theatrically in the U.S. Red Granite, the Los Angeles based film production, finance and international sales company has acquired foreign rights outside of the U.S. and will handle international sales. Red Granite international President Danny Dimbort and Co-President Christian Mercuri [...]

The Hunger Games: The hunt for a new director is on

HollywoodNews.com: The Playlist doesn’t break news all that often, merely seeing fit to be a one-stop shop for the movie news that everyone else breaks during the day (I don’t mean that as an insult, The Playlist is the site I go to if I only have time to surf one movie news site in a given day), So it’s somewhat of a big deal that The Playlist has broken a pretty major story, confirming that director Gary Ross will not be back to helm the second and/or third films in the Hunger Games franchise. There have been rumblings all week about contract negotiations, and Ross has now politely passed. The site chalks it up to both Ross’s lack of desire to stay in the same universe for the next several years combined with a somewhat low-ball offer from Lionsgate. Whatever the case, Ross is gone and the hunt for a new director is now on. While editing my John Carter obituary a few weeks ago, I removed a large paragraph dealing with the trend of giving young white-male filmmakers with barely a feature credit to their name the keys to $100-300 million franchise films while seasoned pros and/or minorities remain noticeably absent from the ‘wish-list’ (yes, I was glad to see F. Gary Gray on the Marvel wish-list for Captain America 2). And while I wouldn’t consider The Hunger Games a ‘female film’, it would be a great opportunity to make a point that female directors can indeed handle the kind of big-scale filmmaking that studios are all-too willing to offer to mostly untested male directors as a matter of course. So, perhaps arbitrarily, perhaps to prove a point about how inaccessible the ‘wish list’ is for female directors, here are nine directors who happen to be women who also belong on ‘the wish-list’ as Lionsgate hunts for a second director. These are in alphabetical order, with the exception of the final entry, who would be my ‘top choice’.
Kathryn Bigelow
Duh. In fact, she’ll probably make the wish-list as a token nod to gender-diversity, and all she had to do was become the first female in history to win a Best Director Oscar. I don’t really have to explain this pick. She’s been directing hard action pictures for thirty years. She’s helmed the likes of Near Dark (a [...]

Universal teases The Flintstones a year in advance…

By Scott Mendelson
HollywoodNews.com: It was no secret that Universal was planning a big-screen adaptation of The Flintstones for the summer of 1994. I remember actually being on the Universal lot while visiting a cousin in the winter of 1993 so I could shoot portions of a Bar Mitzvah movie (long story… another time) and being told by the Universal guy that if we got caught to say “We’re here working on stuff for The Flintstones… nobody knows what the plot is yet anyway.” But a six months later, as my dad and I watched the lights go down for our advance-night 10:00pm screening of Jurassic Park (arguably the best single movie going experience of my life… ask me about it next summer), we were stunned that Universal had already cooked up a teaser for the seemingly un-shot and certainly unfinished Flintstones feature. As you can see, it was basically just a bouncing ball version of the theme song, climaxing with an in-costume John Goodman screaming ‘Yabba-dabba-doo!’ at the top of his lungs. Let me tell you, the entire audience roared with applause and I admit I was caught up in the infectious excitement for a project I couldn’t really care less about. That was the start of something new.
I saw that preview on June 10th, 1993, just under a full year before the May 27th, 1994 Memorial Day weekend release date. I’m sure there were cases in the 1970s and early 1980s of big movies being teased well in advance because they weren’t being released wide to every theater at the same time. But in the wide-release, ‘coming soon to theaters everywhere’ era, this was a first. It was a calculated marketing campaign that started a year before the film was to be released. The Flintstones were the first to try such a long-dart shot, but they were not the last. Sony debuted the first Godzilla teaser with Men In Black over the 4th of July weekend in 1997, just under a year before the film’s Memorial Day 1998 debut (ironically, they would not debut a real trailer until April 3rd, 1998, attached to prints of Mercury Rising, just 6 weeks before the film’s release). Disney debuted a powerful and moving teaser for Pearl Harbor a year before its Memorial Day 2001 release, attached to prints of I [...]

Oscars: Billy Crystal Was Far From His Best

By Michael Russnow
HollywoodNews.com: The Academy Awards was a lot better than last year’s offering and generally moved along pretty well. However, Billy Crystal’s performance was mixed. Sometimes he was spot on and in other instances resorted to forced humor that missed its mark.
After Morgan Freeman’s opening we saw Billy in an uninspiring repeat of what he’d done so well many times before, inserting himself into reproductions of well-known clips from the top films. Maybe it’s because he’s done it so many times. It’s true that he hasn’t been host since 2004, and we often enjoy an entertainer repeating his or her best work, but like an aging singer whose voice doesn’t hold up when the muscles sag, what was downright hysterical in past years, like when he came out as Hannibal Lecter in 1992, this go-around didn’t work too well for me in 2012.
The one exception was from The Descendants, when George Clooney recreated his visit to his comatose wife, played by Crystal lying in bed. Clooney’s kiss was so heartfelt it provided a big laugh. The Justin Bieber bit from Midnight in Paris wasn’t bad. Not so much the scene with Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible, nor was Crystal’s business spoofing The Help or Tintin particularly funny.
Oddly when he segued into his Oscar medley it worked better, with the lyrics sharp and engaging. After that, it was hit and miss. Sometimes very clever and other times flat. And when the latter happened he often responded defensively, at one point indicating the band in the pit liked the joke. He also was a bit insensitive regarding the age of some of the nominees as he mentioned octogenarians Christopher Plummer and Max von Sydow, followed by senility jokes at their expense. Considering that Crystal himself is pushing 64 and that ageism besetting Hollywood is rampant with many talented professionals unemployed, it’s just not funny anymore.
As the three hour ten minute show progressed, they whizzed through awards at a relatively rapid pace. Instead of starting with a celebrity award, such as supporting actor and actress, they began with Tom Hanks presenting Oscars for cinematography and art direction, both of which went on the scorecard for Hugo.
There was a montage of film clips that moved along all right, but, unless I missed one, it appeared that it was as if movie history began with 1969′s Midnight Cowboy, because none of the featured films [...]

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