April 22, 2014

Tag Archives: Cinema of the United Kingdom

Under the Radar: Tom Hardy

Today I’m going to be pressing on with another series for you all here at the site, one that I started last week. Basically, it’s a spinoff of the Spotlight on the Stars series. As a quick refresher, each week I look at an actor/actress/filmmaker that I’d like to celebrate in some kind of way. It could be due to something of theirs coming out that weekend (like in many of the cases so far, including today) or just because I feel they deserve to have a moment in the sun all their own, but each time it’ll be a bit of positivity about someone who I’d like to pay tribute to. Here though, I’m going to look at more of an under the radar individual as opposed to a tried and true star.
For this week’s sophomore piece, I wanted to take a look at our first actor getting the treatment in this particular way…Tom Hardy. Frankly, not nearly enough people know who he is, despite some very high profile roles. He has the ability to morph with each role, so pinning him down can be tricky. He’s been a hero, a villain, a romantic lead, and just about everything in between. This is a chameleon of an actor, one who seems up for anything and basically is a filmmaker’s dream.
Hardy first showed up on screens in Star Trek: Nemesis, followed by small parts in films like Layer Cake, Marie Antoinette, RocknRolla, and Sucker Punch, though it wasn’t until he burst on to the scene with his searing performance in Bronson that people really started to take notice. From there, he was officially someone to watch (along with becoming a bit of a critics darling), and boy has he not disappointed.
Since that breakthrough role, he has wound up in such diverse fare as The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Warrior, not to mention lighter things like This Means War. Especially in The Dark Knight Rises and Warrior, Hardy has been outstanding, along with Bronson, those are his three finest performances to date, though this week he has another tremendous bit of acting hitting screens, one that’s well deserving of a top five spot in his filmography.
Now, it appears that Hardy is interested in expanding his range even more, as seen by the one man show that is Locke, which opens this weekend. It’s essentially him and [...]

Theory of Everything given release date

Working Title’s romantic drama Theory of Everything starring Eddie Redmayne as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has been given a Nov. 7 exclusive engagements domestic release date by Focus Features, CEO Peter Schlessel announced today.
Academy Award winner James Marsh (Man on Wire) helms the film, which explores the excitement of the 1960s for Hawking as he studies at Cambridge University. At the dawn of his brilliant life’s work, Hawking falls passionately in love with arts student Jane Wilde and their relationship leads him through personal and scientific challenges and breakthroughs.
The film is inspired by Wilde’s memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen with the screenplay written by Anthony McCarten, who is the producer on the film with Lisa Bruce (producer of Working Title’s Mary and Martha) and Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
Redmayne (Les Misérables) will play opposite Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) in the lead roles.
The cast of Theory of Everything also includes two-time Academy Award nominee Emily Watson and David Thewlis (Harry Potter). The creative team includes cinematographer Benoît Delhomme (Lawless), production designer John Paul Kelly (About Time), costume designer Steven Noble (Under the Skin), and film editor Jinx Godfrey (marking her seventh feature with Marsh).
Mr. Schlessel commented, “This extraordinary love story between one of the greatest minds of our time, Stephen Hawking, and his first wife Jane is profoundly moving and inspirational, with heart and humor.”
Focus Features’ successful collaborations with Working Title Films have included such hits as The World’s End, Pride & Prejudice, and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; and the Academy Award-winning Anna Karenina and Atonement.
Working Title Films, co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992, is one of the world’s leading film production companies. Founded in 1983, Working Title has made over 100 films that have grossed more than $6 billion worldwide. Its films have won 10 Academy Awards, 35 BAFTA Awards, and prizes at the Cannes and Berlin International Film Festivals.
Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) makes, acquires, and releases movies from rising and established talent and filmmakers. The company is moving forward with a diverse slate of films, with most being wide releases appealing to a range of moviegoers. Staying true to the company’s roots, the slate will also include several specialty films each year.
Currently in release from Focus Features is the subversive comedy Bad Words, directed by and starring Jason Bateman. In addition to Theory of Everything, upcoming Focus films [...]

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

Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Main cast members: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Peter Hermann, and Sean Mahon
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 4
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Actress (Dench), Best Adapted Screenplay (Coogan and Pope), and Best Original Score
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards and Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival last year
Chances at winning Best Picture: Rather slim, though there’s supposedly a late surge going on to at least give it a long shot chance at a huge upset
Chances at other Academy Award wins: It’s potentially going to be shut out, though Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score are certainly in play
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, HER, and Nebraska
Philomena is the eighth (and second to last) film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another nominee that realistically has to look at the nomination itself as the only surefire reward it can count on here. Yes, co-writer/co-star Steve Coogan and his partner Jeff Pope could swoop in and steal Best Adapted Screenplay (while Best Original Score is an open field), but Judi Dench is way behind in Best Actress, so there’s nothing for this movie to hang its hat on. Still, it’s a crowd pleaser for the most part, and that’s always a dangerous contender in Best Picture, so be aware of that.
Working in Philomena’s favor is the Harvey Weinstein factor. Weinstein and his brother Bob have had some tremendous success running The Weinstein Company, especially when it comes to getting their films recognized. They pulled a bit of a rabbit out of their hats getting a Best Picture nominee for this flick and since then have been working overtime to make the case that this movie deserves to win. While Best Picture is a hard sell, they can certainly make the argument that the film should be recognized somewhere, which is why Best Adapted Screenplay is in play. If enough of the older and female voters (which is where the campaign is focused) are taken with this flick, I suppose anything is possible, considering how it’s made so many moves late in the game.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s the fact that it has the fewest nominations [...]

Roger Deakins won’t be returning to shoot the next James Bond film

I don’t know about any of you, but one of my absolute favorite parts of the last James Bond film Skyfall was the cinematography of Roger Deakins. Arguably the most talented director of photography in the business, Deakins is an absolute master and rightly was nominated for an Oscar for his work on that movie. That was his tenth Academy Award nomination at the time, and he’s since added another one this year for Prisoners. Sadly, he still hasn’t won, though it’s possible that he could pull an upset and finally score a win next month (don’t count on it though). Still, the job he did on Skyfall with director Sam Mendes was stunning, so I was looking forward to seeing them team up again on the sequel/next installment of the franchise. Alas, it appears like that won’t be happening.
Yes, reports have come out today stating that Deakins won’t be joining Mendes on the movie, most likely due to scheduling conflicts. He’s obviously one of the most in demand cinematographers in the business, so it stands to reason that the allure of something new trumped coming back to shoot a sequel. It obviously puts a bit of a damper on the Skyfall sequel, but with Deakins likely going to be teaming up with his longtime collaborators Joel and Ethan Coen again soon (though there’s nothing official about a new project for them right now), there’s a potential bright side to this news at least.
If you’re looking for when Deakins could finally win his long deserved Oscar, it could be next year for his work on the Angelina Jolie-directed World War II flick Unbroken, which could have some amazing visual components. That’s clearly putting the cart before the horse though, so I’ll steer clear of that for now, but keep that possibility in the back of your minds.
Regardless, this is our first Bond related news in a while, so that’s something, though it’s not exactly the most ideal news. We’ll all be there no matter who shoots the picture though, so it’s not exactly a deal breaker or anything of the sort. The technical prowess of Skyfall just spoiled us is all…

12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and supporting actress Lupita Nyong’o to be honored at Hollywood Film Awards

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave” director, Steve McQueen will be honored with the “Hollywood Breakout Director Award,” and actress Lupita Nyong’o will receive the “New Hollywood Award” for her great performance. The awards 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 look forward to celebrating this exceptionally talented director and actress for their outstanding work and creative vision,” said de Abreu.

Steve McQueen is a British artist and filmmaker. In 2008, McQueen’s critically acclaimed first feature HUNGER won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival among countless other international prizes. He followed with 2011’s incendiary film experience, SHAME, a provocative drama about addiction and secrecy in the modern world. The film received numerous accolades and awards with McQueen winning the CinemAvvenire Award and FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival as well as nominations from BAFTA, the British Independent Film Awards, the London Film Festival, Evening Standard British Film Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.
In 1996, McQueen was the recipient of an ICA Futures Award, in 1998 he won a DAAD artist’s scholarship to Berlin and in 1999 – besides exhibiting at the ICA and at the Kunsthalle in Zürich – he also won the Turner Prize. McQueen has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Documenta (2002 and 2007) and at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009 where he represented Britain. His work is held in museum collections around the world including Tate, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Centre Pompidou.
In 2003, he was appointed Official War Artist for the Iraq war by the Imperial War Museum and subsequently produced the poignant and controversial project Queen and Country, which commemorated the deaths of British soldiers who died in the Iraq War by presenting their portraits as a sheet of stamps. In 2002, he was awarded the OBE and the CBE in 2011.
Born in London in 1969, McQueen lives and works in Amsterdam and London.
This winter, Lupita Nyong’o will co-star alongside Liam Neeson, Michelle Dockery and Julianne Moore in the thriller NON-STOP. This film is slated for a February 28, 2014 [...]

‘Captain Phillips’ producer Michael De Luca to be Feted at Hollywood Film Awards

Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards, announced today that two-time Academy Award®-nominated producer Michael De Luca (who co-produced David Fincher’s The Social Network with Scott Rudin and Dana Brunetti; and co-produced Bennett Miller’s Moneyball with Brad Pitt and Rachael Horovitz) will be honored with this year’s Hollywood Producer Award. Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, and De Luca also produced Paul Greengrass’ upcoming film Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, which Sony Pictures will release on October 11, 2013, following its world premiere as the Opening Night film at the 2013 New York Film Festival. 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.
“Every year, we are very proud to honor excellence in the art of filmmaking in all its disciplines. Academy Award® nominated producer Michael De Luca is an exemplary representative of that excellence,” said de Abreu.

Captain Phillips is director Paul Greengrass’s multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is – through Greengrass’ distinctive lens – simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks), and his Somali counterpart, Muse (Barkhad Abdi). Set on an incontrovertible collision course off the coast of Somalia, both men will find themselves paying the human toll for economic forces outside of their control. The film is directed by Academy Award® nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty. 
De Luca served as the Head of Production at DreamWorks and spent seven years as the President and COO at New Line Productions. As a studio chief, De Luca helped to launch the highly successful Friday, Blade, Austin Powers and Rush Hour franchises, and championed such groundbreaking sleeper hits as Seven, American History X, Magnolia, Wag the Dog, Old School, Pleasantville, Anchorman, and Boogie Nights. In 2004, De Luca launched his own development and production company, the LA-based Michael De Luca Productions, and signed a long-term development and production deal at Columbia Pictures. Through this deal, De Luca [...]

Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Crowe will sing at the Oscars

Academy Award® winners Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Russell Crowe join this year’s Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway along with Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham Carter in a celebration honoring movie musicals of the last decade, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.
“We are pleased to have been able to amass so much talent to create the celebration of musicals of the last decade that we envisioned,” said Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “We are thrilled that so many talented actors have agreed to bring our vision to life.”
Earlier this month, the producers announced a planned tribute recognizing the resurgence of musicals over the past decade with performances highlighting “Chicago,” “Dreamgirls” and “Les Misérables.”
Hudson, Zeta-Jones, Jackman, Hathaway, Crowe, Seyfried, Redmayne, Barks, Tveit and Bonham Carter join a stellar list of previously announced performers including Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand and presenters including Jennifer Aniston, Michael Douglas, Jamie Foxx, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek Pinault, Melissa McCarthy, Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Mark Wahlberg, Ted and “Marvel’s The Avengers” cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo; returning 2011 Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep; “Chicago” cast members Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renée Zellweger and Zeta-Jones; and special guests Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron.
Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and will be hosted by Seth MacFarlane live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide. For more information go to Oscar.com or download the official Oscars app.
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After- parties and more after-parties at the Golden Globe Awards

By the time the Golden Globes were over, the whole Beverly Hilton was bursting to party. On the 6th floor of the Hilton leading to the roof, I was nearly run over by the cast of “Les Miserables,” all of whom were in high spirits after their big wins in the Comedy/Musical category.
Anne Hathaway led the charge down a narrow passage into the party carrying her Globe and smiling wildly. Director Tom Hooper and star Hugh Jackman were next, followed by co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried, as well as Sacha Baron Cohen with wife Isla Fisher.
“Les Miz” is a coup now for Universal Pictures chief Ron Meyer and his lieutenants Donna Langley and Adam Fogelson. It’s been a long time since Universal won anything, and now they can boast of a $200 million plus box office plus lots of shiny gold statues.
For Hooper it’s also a real vindication after some tough reviews and a snub by the Academy Awards. The director of “The King’s Speech” looked a little exhausted at this point. “It’s been a long haul,” he said, recalling the very first screening on November 24th at Lincoln Center.
Meanwhile, the Universal party was also home to “Zero Dark Thirty” director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, who lost the Globes but finished their first wide release weekend at number 1. Today they head to London to launch “Zero Dark Thirty” in the U.K. Even though Bigelow makes serious movies, she has a good sense of humor. I asked how she liked Tina Fey’s joke about the “torture” of being married once to “Titanic” director James Cameron. It was the hit of the night. “It was very funny,” Bigelow conceded.
For a second Hugh Jackman showed us his Globe statue and said, “This is so great I can’t tell you.” And then we headed down to Club 55 in the basement of the Hilton, where HBO was literally teeming with celebrities from the casts of “Girls” and “The Newsroom” to miscellaneous stars like Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt to Jeff Garlin of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Steve Buscemi of “Boardwalk Empire.”
Jeff Daniels, his wife, Kathleen, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda and boyfriend Richard Perry (famed record producer of hits by Carly Simon, Rod Stewart, and Ringo Starr) and Sam Waterston were all having a fine time, while elsewhere a stunning Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were chatting [...]

Screen Actors Guild Awards – SAG: And the nominees are…

Screen Actors Guild Awards announce their nominees. “Silver Linings Playbook” took a big step toward Oscar. In addition, “Argo,” “Les Miserables,””Lincoln,” get Ensemble nominations.
“It is very gratifying that SAG has chosen to honor the work of all of the actors in Silver Lining Playbook” – Robert De Niro.
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
- Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRADLEY COOPER / Pat – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
JOHN HAWKES / Mark – “THE SESSIONS” (Fox Searchlight)
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean – “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Whip Whitaker – “FLIGHT” (Paramount Pictures)
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JESSICA CHASTAIN / Maya – “ZERO DARK THIRTY” (Columbia Pictures)
MARION COTILLARD / Stephanie – “RUST AND BONE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Tiffany – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
HELEN MIRREN / Alma Reville – “HITCHCOCK” (Fox Searchlight)
NAOMI WATTS / Maria – “THE IMPOSSIBLE” (Summit Entertainment)
- Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel – “ARGO” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JAVIER BARDEM / Silva – “SKYFALL” (Columbia Pictures)
ROBERT DE NIRO / Pat, Sr. – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN / Lancaster Dodd – “THE MASTER” (The Weinstein Company)
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
SALLY FIELD / Mary Todd Lincoln – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine – “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)
HELEN HUNT / Cheryl – “THE SESSIONS” (Fox Searchlight)
NICOLE KIDMAN / Charlotte Bless – “THE PAPERBOY” (Millennium Entertainment)
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly – “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL” (Fox Searchlight)

- Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
ARGO – Warner Bros. Pictures
BEN AFFLECK / Tony Mendez
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel
KERRY BISHÉ / Kathy Stafford
KYLE CHANDLER / Hamilton Jordan
RORY COCHRANE / Lee Schatz
BRYAN CRANSTON / Jack O’Donnell
CHRISTOPHER DENHAM / Mark Lijek
TATE DONOVAN / Bob Anders
CLEA DUVALL / Cora Lijek
VICTOR GARBER / Ken Taylor
JOHN GOODMAN / John Chambers
SCOOT McNAIRY / Joe Stafford
CHRIS MESSINA / Malinov
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL – Fox Searchlight
JUDI DENCH / Evelyn Greenslade
CELIA IMRIE / Madge Hardcastle
BILL NIGHY / Douglas Ainslie
DEV PATEL / Sonny Kapoor
RONALD PICKUP / Norman Cousins
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly
TOM WILKINSON / Graham Dashwood
PENELOPE WILTON / Jean Ainslie
LES MISÉRABLES – Universal Pictures
ISABELLE ALLEN
SAMANTHA BARKS
SACHA BARON COHEN
HELENA BONHAM CARTER
RUSSELL CROWE
ANNE HATHAWAY
DANIEL HUTTLESTONE
HUGH JACKMAN
EDDIE REDMAYNE
AMANDA SEYFRIED
AARON TVEIT
COLM WILKINSON [...]

Anne Hathaway on dropping weight for ‘Les Miserables’

HollywoodNews.com: Anne Hathaway lost 25 pounds for her most recent role in ‘Les Miserables,’ and now she is talking about the difficult experience.
Hathaway opened up to ‘Vogue’ about how extreme the weight loss became for her, states UsMagazine.com. “I had to be obsessive about it — the idea was to look near death,” the actress commented.
But now it sounds like she wouldn’t necessarily do it again: “Looking back on the whole experience — and I don’t judge it in any way — it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway.”
What do you think about stars losing weight for roles?
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