April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: Connell Hollywoodnews

Jessica Chastain on Bigelow, Boal and the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ ending – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: You could say that Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty” has encountered choppy waters since experimenting with a limited release at the tail end of last year (so as to be eligible for Oscar consideration).
Not from critics, mind you. Bigelow’s taut, tense depiction of the CIA and U.A. military’s hunt for Osama Bin Laden has been recognized and lauded by virtually every major guild. Just this morning, Bigelow’s name was one of five nominated for the Directors Guild of America’s top prize … a well-deserved nod, in my humble opinion.
But Bigelow has been knocked in the court of public opinion for the film’s depiction of waterboarding, and was even marginally criticized by the government agencies she tried to credit in press releases that aren’t worth the time spent to assemble them. Note to the CIA: Intelligent moviegoers understand “Zero Dark Thirty” isn’t a documentary. Your confirmation is unnecessary.
Jessica Chastain understands why the film’s realism might confuse, though. The actress who plays Maya, the lead investigator on Bin Laden’s trail, spoke with me about the devil in the details of “Zero Dark Thirty” when we sat down for an intimate interview in New York City. We very well may hear Chastain’s name called on Thursday when the Academy announces its Oscar nominations. Here’s my conversation with Chastain, which might help to explain why I think she’s worthy of a Best Actress nomination:
HollywoodNews: When you have a character like Maya, where there’s a lot of information that you can go back and research on your own and dig into to try and better formulate the character, is that something you’re interested in, or do you prefer to keep it to what’s on the page?
I love to do it. You know, if I wasn’t an actor, I would love to be an investigative journalist. Or a spy! I wouldn’t want to kill anyone, but the research and all the details …I find that with a role like this, or any part, doing the research to find out who the character is and what their motivations are – for me, that’s the most fun.
And with this, I’m playing a woman who is trained to be unemotional, and analytically precise. When playing that, I’ve still got to find the humanity inside of her, inside of that arc of where she begins the movie and where she ends. And at that [...]

“Rise of the Guardians” director Peter Ramsey on holidays, 3D and sequel ideas – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s not quite Captain America, Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man. But if the holidays ever needed an Avengers-style superhero group to combat the forces of evil, that ensemble likely would be made up of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Sandman.
That, at least, is the driving story behind “Rise of the Guardians,” a thrilling and heartwarming animated adventure from DreamWorks Animation that took home the 2012 Hollywood Animation Award at this year’s Hollywood Film Awards gala. Directed by Peter Ramsey, “Guardians” tells an origin story of how Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine) comes to join the mystical Guardians as they band together to stop the evil Pitch (Jude Law) from turning kids’ childhoods into living nightmares.
Ramsey sat down with HollywoodNews as the film prepared to open over the Thanksgiving weekend for a lengthy conversation. Here’s “Rise of the Guardians” director Peter Ramsey:
Much like with the pristine Blu-ray technology, animation just tends to work better in 3D than live-action film does. Do you agree, and how did the implementation of 3D affect your approach to “Guardians” and its visuals?
At the basic level, animation – by virtue of it not being reality – is inherently stylized. It’s got a bit more of a graphic quality, and you have to animate for graphic quality that I do think makes transferring to 3D a little easier.
I think, with our film in particular, we were going for a hybrid quality. We knew it was going to be in 3D, so we did a lot with our set design to reflect that fact. We were trying to maximize, through our visuals, how 3D was going to work. It was a combination of realistic lighting and the compositions, the level of stylization and the set design.
The other thing that we did, which was less obvious, is that we had a 3D script. We’d go through, shot by shot, and would either dial up or dial back the depth of focus depending on the level of emotional conflict. I’m sure it’s something that everybody does, but we were really trying to use the 3D that way, to increase intimacy by flattening out the 3D, or making it really deep in scenes with peril and psychological tension. What we did in a couple of scenes, where Jack’s in the lair with Pitch, we tried making some [...]

Queen Latifah as possible Oscar host? Discuss! – AWARDS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Are the Academy Awards circling their next potential host?
Noted Oscarologist Tom O’Neil floats the suggestion of Queen Latifah over at Gold Derby. This is just a shot in the dark on O’Neil’s part to put Latifah’s name into the discussion. Yet, as he points out, there are more than enough reasons to turn over the leaf, so to speak. The charismatic actor-singer-entertainer has history with Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, as they co-produced the musical “Chicago” (which earned Latifah her Oscar nomination). And the triple threat is a natural performer who could handle the white-hot Oscar spotlight.
But O’Neil doesn’t quote a source. He merely opens the discussion up to a thread. His readers seem to love the idea. And I like it, too. Latifah’s a proven talent. It makes no difference to me that she’s be the third African American to host the Oscars, as O’Neil points out. The host should be entertaining, no matter their color. And Latifah could sing, dance, make the audience comfortable and make viewers laugh.
We wanted to carry the discussion to HollywoodNews. What do you think about about Queen Latifah as an Oscar host? Should the Academy look into it? Share your thoughts below.
Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review!
Ben Affleck’s “Argo” scores
Producer Harvey Weinstein
“Lawless” director John Hillcoat
Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

“The Sessions” gets an official poster – TORONTO 2012

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Ben Lewin’s “The Sessions’ has been high on our list as we prepare for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, for various reasons. The drama burst out of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year surfing a wave of positive buzz. We are hearing that John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy are awards-worthy. And the subject matter, at the very least, can be described as “intriguing.”
Fox Searchlight dropped a poster for the upcoming film, which we’ll share below (in addition to the trailer). Here’s what we know about “Sessions” so far.
Back when it was winning over Sundance crowds, it was known as “The Surrogate.” It stars Hawkes (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) as a predominantly paralyzed man who – on the encouragement of his therapist – attempts to experience sex with the help of a sex surrogate (Hunt). If that, alone, doesn’t pique your interest, the hint of the performances in the trailer below should have you lined up for “Sessions” when it opens on Nov. 8.
We’ll be covering Lewin’s crowd-pleasing drama, which is based on the autobiographical writings of journalist Mark O’Brien, during TIFF. And we expect to continue tracking the film’s progress through the lengthy awards season. For now, here’s the new poster, and the trailer (which has been around for a few weeks). Share your thoughts below:

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Denzel Washington’s “Flight” closing this year’s New York Film Festival – ANALYSIS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Months ago, when Paramount teased the first official trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight,” the director’s return to live-action for the first time since “Cast Away” struck us as a riveting exploration of a human pilots potential faults in the midst of crisis. The movie looked like it would boast eye-popping aerial effects, and Washington would deliver the anticipated level of gut-punching bravado we’ve come to expect from him over the years.
It didn’t necessarily look awards worthy, though Zemeckis certainly has found himself in Oscar’s cat-bird seat more than once (going so far as to win Best Director for “Forrest Gump” back in 1995).
Yet as is annually the case, decisions are made that help the overall Oscar picture grow a little more clear with each passing day. And today, the New York Film Festival announced that Zemeckis’ “Flight” will close this year’s festival with a world premiere on Oct. 14.
Now we’re sitting up and paying closer attention.
Lats year, NYFF closed with a major Oscar player: Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” which had trotted through Telluride and Toronto before landing in Manhattan with a cache of awards buzz. Perhaps this year, NYFF wanted a world premiere all of its own? And maybe Paramount knows that it has something special, and is choosing to make a very noticeable splash by closing NYFF … with all of the Oscar press watching?
Here’s the “Flight” trailer, which is impressive and nerve-wracking … and possibly awards worthy. You make the call.

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Jimmy Fallon passes on hosting next year’s Oscars

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s a coveted gig. And yet, despite rumors that he’d be interested, Jimmy Fallon confirmed today that he will not be hosting the Academy Awards earlier next year.
“I’m not going to do the Oscars,” Fallon told Matt Lauer during a “Today” show interview. “I was honored to be asked by the Academy, but it’s not my year.”
That’s unfortunate. Fallon has been an eager and energetic host for the MTV Movie Awards and the Primetime Emmys. Granted, those shows aren’t quite the event that the Academy Awards turn out to be, but they are good training grounds for the Oscars, and Fallon appeared to pass “the test” with flying colors.
So Academy President Tom Sherak is back to square one. There’s time. This is nowhere near as dire of a situation as when Eddie Murphy dropped out of the hosting position in support of his producer Brett Ratner during a particularly turbulent time in last year’s preparations.
So if not Fallon, then whom? Would you like to see Oscar go back to a familiar face? Or like they did with Anne Hathaway and James Franco (or considered with Murphy), would you like to see them go in a completely different direction? When we last opened this up for discussion, the name we heard suggested over and over again was Emma Stone, who has proven herself a winning presenter at previous awards shows (including the Oscars).
Does she have what it takes to host? Let us know your thoughts.
Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” exits the Oscar race – ANALYSIS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Once the awards season gets underway (which annually happens right around this time), we spend a decent amount of our time separating the titles with Oscar potential from the titles with simple Oscar hopes. Usually, this requires a screening of the film, we can judge its awards potential on merit. But every once in a while, a studio makes the decision for us by removing a particular movie out of the Oscar heat, for various reasons.
That appears to be what has happened with Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” which officially moved its release date from the Oscar-friendly Dec. 25 to an undisclosed date in Summer 2013, according to a Warner Bros. release.
“Based on what we’ve seen, Baz Luhrmann’s incredible work is all we anticipated and so much more. It truly brings Fitzgerald’s American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way. We think moviegoers of all ages are going to embrace it, and it makes sense to ensure this unique film reaches the largest audience possible,” said Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution for Warner Bros. Pictures.
In one sense, “Gatsby” is getting away from some very stiff competition. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” and Seth Rogen’s “The Guilt Trip” were set to open on that day. They also are arriving in theaters one week after Paramount’s “Jack Reacher” (with Tom Cruise), Judd Apatow’s “This is 40,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s untitled Hunt for Osama Bin Laden thriller.
“Gatsby” also would be competing for Oscar eyeballs against “Les Miserables” (Dec. 14), Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” (Dec. 14), and Focus Features’ “Hyde Park on the Hudson” (in limited release on Dec. 7).
So “Gatsby” is out of this year’s Oscar race, where a colleague and I recently argued it would compete for technical nominations, at the very least, and the big prizes – Picture, Director, Actor and so on – if it connected on all levels.
And the race rolls on.
Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Rian Johnson’s “Looper” opening stellar Toronto International Film Fest

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Rian Johnson’s time-travel thriller “Looper” will open the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, it was reported on Tuesday in Variety.
Johnson made splashes at TIFF with his previous films – the high-school-set film noir “Brick” and the quirky con caper “The Brothers Bloom.” But “Looper” finds him working with major Hollywood talents Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the story of an assassin (Gordon-Levitt) who eliminates criminals sent back through time to our present day. Troubles arise when JGL’s next target is himself (Bruce Willis), from a not-so-distant future.
The first wave of TIFF programming reads like a laundry list of can’t-wait-to-see features for the upcoming awards season. Ben Affleck’s back with the political drama “Argo.” We’ll get our first look at “Cloud Atlas,” from Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis. David O. Russell, Derek Cianfrance, Mike Newell, David Ayer, Joss Whedon, Noah Baumbach and Sally Potter are just a few of the major names bringing World Premieres to TIFF this year.
The rest of the fest rounds out with stellar names like Redford, Hoffman, Malick, Nair, Joe Wright … it’s shaping up to be an outstanding fest!
Here’s a compete line up. We’ll have plenty more on TIFF as the fest gets closer.
World Premieres
“Looper” (Rian Johnson) (Opening Film)
“Cloud Atlas” (The Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer)
“Argo” (Ben Affleck)
“The Silver Linings Playbook” (David O Russell)
“Love, Marilyn” (Liz Garbus)
“Free Angela And All Political Prisoners” (Shola Lynch)
“The Place Beyond The Pines” (Derek Cianfrance)
“Midnight’s Children” (Deepa Mehta)
“Hyde Park On Hudson” (Roger Michell)
“Great Expectations” (Mike Newell)
“Inescapable” (Rubba Nadda)
“Twice Born” (Sergio Castellitto)
“English Vinglish” (Gauri Shinde)
“The Perks Of Being A Wallflower” (Stephen Chbosky)
“Thanks For Sharing” (Stuart Blumberg)
“End Of Watch” (David Ayer)
“Imogene” (Robert Puccini and Shari Springer Berman)
“A Late Quartet” (Yaron Zilberman)
“Much Ado About Nothing” (Joss Whedon)
“Frances Ha” (Noah Baumbach)
“The Time Being” (Nenad Cicin-Sain)
“Writers” (Josh Boone)
“At Any Price” (Ramin Bahrani)
“Venus And Serena” (Maiken Baird)
“Byzantium” (Neil Jordan)
“Quartet” (Dustin Hoffman)
“Ginger And Rosa” (Sally Potter)
“A Liar’s Autobiography” (Ben Timlett, Bill JOnes, Jeff Simpson)
“Foxfire” (Laurnet Cantet)
“In The House” (Francois Ozon)
“The Impossible” (JA Bayona
“Hannah Arendt (Margarethe Von Trotta)
“Mr. Pip” (Andrew Adamson)
“Capital” (Costa-Gavras”
“The Attack” (Ziad Doueriri)
“Zaytoun” (Eran Riklis)
“The Deep” (Baltasar Kormakur)
“Dreams For Sale (Nishikawa Miwa)
“The Last Supper” (Lu Chuan)
International/North American Premieres
“To The Wonder” (Terrence Malick)
“Anna Karenina” (Joe Wright)
“The Reluctant Fundamentalist” (Mira Nair)
“The Company You Keep” (Robert Redford)
“Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (Billy Bob Thornton)
“A Royal Affair” (Nikolai Arcel)
“Dangerous Liasons” (Hur Ji-Ho)
“Thermae Romae” (Hideki Takeuchi)
“Caught IN THe Web” (Chen Kaige)
“Dormant Beauty” (Marco Belloccchio)
“Everybody Has A Plan” (Ana Piterbarg) [...]

Oscars: ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ a Best Picture contender

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises” isn’t even in theaters yet, and already, someone has dropped the “O” word.
Oscars.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have a contender,” Clayton Davis of The Awards Circuit Tweeted after his “Rises” screening. I doubt it will be the last time that we hear Nolan’s trilogy capper in the same breath as the Academy Awards.
After all, it’s widely believed that Nolan’s last Batman movie, “The Dark Knight” – and its absence in the Best Picture category – led to the changes in the number of potential Best Picture nominees we can have each season. Will “The Dark Knight Rises” capitalize on the new BP regulations and compete for Oscar’s top prize early next year?
To do so, it’s going to have to rise above a series of fellow contenders … some of which are coming right out of Warner Bros.’ pipeline. As was noted in The Hollywood Reporter, Warner has a handful of titles that will come to the table with awards “buzz.”
Perennial Oscar contender Clint Eastwood plays a baseball scout on a trip with his daughter (Amy Adams) in “Trouble With the Curve” (Sept. 28). Ben Affleck’s back in the director’s chair for “Argo” (Oct. 12), a political thriller with a tremendous cast. And then there are two heavy hitters racing to theaters in December: Peter Jackson’s opening chapter to “The Hobbit,” and Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby,” with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
This weekend, the attention falls on Nolan’s “Knight” as we analyze its Oscar potential. The truth of the matter, though, is that it’s one of several options Warner has as the Oscar season kicks into high(er) gear.

Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ lands key November release date

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” has staked its first claim on the still-developing Oscar season … and in doing so, has made a serious enemy in James Bond. Let the games begin.
Disney has revealed that “Lincoln” – with Daniel Day-Lewis playing our nation’s 16th President — will open on Nov. 9 in limited release, expanding wide the following week on Nov. 16.
Spielberg was busy shooting the historical drama last winter (while also actively campaigning for his own “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse”) in Richmond, Virginia. The plum release date puts “Lincoln” ahead of what’s sure to be a busy December, and also gets the anticipated drama in theaters in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Excellent strategizing on Disney’s part.
Sony, however, might disagree. By opening in limited release on Nov. 9, “Lincoln” will open opposite “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond movie with Daniel Craig in the signature tuxedo and Aston Martin. The studios could argue that both films are going after different audiences, though that’s not entirely accurate. With “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” eating up screens, adults will be looking for any form of alternate programming. Now they’ll have two serious dramas competing for attention.
Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Page 1 of 15312345...102030...Last »