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: Danny Boyle

“Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for September

Now that we’re well into the month of September, it’s time to kick predictions into high gear. It’ll be twice a month now in terms of updates, especially now that we’re also knee deep in the fall festival season. I love this time of year so much, which makes this a pleasure, but still…it’s crunch time. You really want to start making these predictions as close to accurate as possible at this point, so while it’s still fun, it’s also work. As you’ll see below, I’ve made some changes in light of festivals like Telluride, Venice, and now the start of Toronto, with New York to come next week. Suffice to say, by the end of the month when I update these predictions, they’ll likely already be out of date.
The big thing to take note of here is that I’ve bumped down The Martian from winning in the major categories. Now, the film did just premiere at TIFF and the early word is rather terrific, so why did I do that? Well, some of the praise makes it seem more likely of a nominee than perhaps expected by others, but maybe less of a winner as well. We’ll see, but for now, I’m experimenting and backing off. I’m also doing it in favor of seeing how Our Brand is Crisis looks in the top spot. I’ll adjust if the word up north isn’t too favorable for that one, but right now, I’m trying that out. Time will tell how it looks, but I’ll change it up in a few weeks if it’s clear I’ve made a blunder…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now is my up date Academy Award predictions. Enjoy:
1. Our Brand is Crisis
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Steve Jobs
5. Carol
6. The Martian
7. Spotlight
8. Joy
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. The Danish Girl 13. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 14. Inside Out 15. Black Mass 16. By the Sea 17. Sicario 18. The End of the Tour 19. The Walk 20. Trainwreck 21. Beasts of No Nation 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Macbeth 24. Suffragette 25. Lion 26. Mad Max: Fury Road 27. Freeheld 28. I Saw The Light 29. Room 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race

We always knew that the beginning of the fall festival season would launch a number of titles into the early Oscar race, but perhaps not to this level so far. Yes, over at the Telluride Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, almost all of the high profile debuts have been fondly received, giving them momentum going into the awards season. We still have the New York Film Festival later this month to add more potential contenders, but already Telluride and Venice have been a near embarrassment of riches. Even just a quick glance at the early response could make this a crowded precursor season once again.

We’ll start with Venice, which begun first and had the high profile premiere of Everest to kick things off. That disaster epic debuted to mostly solid reviews, though outside of the technical fields I have my doubts that this will contend heavily. Time will tell, but it could techs or bust for Baltasar Kormákur’s movie, which stars an ensemble that includes Jake Gyllenhaal. There was also the bow for Beasts of No Nation, which was incredibly well received, with tons of good work for filmmaker Cary Fukunaga as well as for actors Idris Elba and first timer Abraham Attah. The question here will be distributor Netflix can run a strong awards campaign or not. They’ve had mixed success with their television contenders at the Emmys, so their first film shot could be a tough go. It certainly bears watching though, as the quality is apparently very much there.

The big three over in Italy that have generated the most buzz though seems to be the trio of Black Mass, The Danish Girl, and Spotlight. Each seems to be a player, to one degree or another. Black Mass has gotten mostly solid initial reviews, though most of the time it’s been in praise of Johnny Depp’s performance more than anything else. Depp will be a force to be reckoned with in Best Actor, though the film and perhaps a supporting performance or two (Joel Edgerton, for one) could come along for the ride. Scott Cooper’s flick might not be in a prime spot for Best Picture, but it’s definitely going to hang around. The same can be said of The Danish Girl, which is Tom Hooper’s latest Academy player. Pundits have raved about the performances of Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, so this could potentially be […]

“Steve Jobs” takes the Centerpiece slot at the New York Film Festival this year

Hot on the heels of the New York Film Festival announcing Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead as its Closing Night Selection (to go along with Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk as its Opening Night pick), we now know what the Centerpiece will be, and it’s a big one. Despite some buzz about a few other titles, it’s the hotly anticipated biopic Steve Jobs, which is directed by Danny Boyle, written by Aaron Sorkin, and stars Michael Fassbender. Talk about A-list star power, right? Since it was announced, this has been pegged as a big time Oscar hopeful, so landing one of the coveted three big spots at NYFF has done nothing to dissuade me of that notion.
If you somehow don’t know who Steve Jobs is, this biopic should give you a sense of how important to the current technological culture he is. This look at the Apple innovator is as much about his legacy as his life, with the focus being on various important moments in time for the man. It’s based on the bestselling book on Jobs, with Oscar winners Boyle at the helm and Sorkin having done the adaptation. After a long search, Fassbender wound up in the title role and appears to be excellent, judging by the trailer from about a month or so ago. The A-list cast also features Jeff Daniels, John Ortiz, Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, and Kate Winslet. As such, it’s pretty much Oscar bait from the word go, perhaps rightly so too.
Much like I said a few days ago: getting to be one of the top three at NYFF is a big deal for any flick. The Centerpiece slot is usually a bit more of a wild card, but it’s had a solid relationship with the Academy. Over the past 15 years, there have been both hits and misses, but by and large it’s usually things Oscar would look kindly upon. Just look at what last year’s pick for the middle of the fest was…Inherent Vice. Enough said on the wild card part, though it did wind up with some nominations. Below you can see what the past 15 years (including this one) have looked like with this particular slot at NYFF:
2015 – Steve Jobs
2014 – Inherent Vice
2013 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
2012 – Not Fade Away
2011 – My Week with Marilyn
2010 – The Tempest
2009 – Precious: Based on […]

Ridley Scott: Looking at potential Best Director contenders

Ahoy! As you folks all know from last year as well as my article last week, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with the second biggest one that’s out there…the Best Director category.
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Ridley Scott (The Martian) – Yes, I’m out on a limb with this one, but I’m sticking with it for a while longer. Scott hasn’t made a truly great film in a very long time, but all it takes is the right material, and this one is amazing source material. If the film manages to be in play for a Best Picture nomination, Scott could be right there with the movie itself. I’m fascinated to see if it can contend like I think it can, so stay tuned there…
2. Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies) – You really can’t make a list of the contenders in this category and not have Spielberg somewhere high up in your top five. Sure, this is perhaps a bit too standard of an Oscar bait type flick, but it’s that way at least in part because the formula works. As long as the film doesn’t disappoint, you can expect Spielberg and the project itself to be heavily in play all year long.
3. David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis) *Possible 2016 release – A total hunch of mine, but if it winds up ready for release/dated for 2015, it could be an under the radar player to contend with. A political dramedy/satire can be […]

“The Martian”: Looking at potential Best Picture contenders

Welcome to July folks. Much like I said last year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once a week (or maybe twice a week) for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet for you all.
Today I’m beginning with the big one, of course…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. The Martian – A total hunch, I concede, but this is something with almost limitless potential. The Trailer was fantastic, the talent involved is top notch, and the book is a modern classic in my eyes. It’ll all depend on the execution on the part of Ridley Scott, but if he’s on his game and Matt Damon is his reliable self in the title role, there’s a chance we could see science fiction contend for a Best Picture win. Could this do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t? Stay tuned to find out…
2. Bridge of Spies – The safe bet right now, this latest collaboration between Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has all the trappings of an easy pick to win. The thing is, that film almost never wins anymore, so I feel like having it in the number two spot makes total sense at the moment. Things can and likely will change, but while my top pick is a bold shot in the dark, this one’s high ranking is almost the de facto vote if you sit down and think about it. That takes nothing from its potential, as it looks very good, but Hanks and Spielberg are trafficking in Oscar bait here, plain and simple.
3. Our Brand is Crisis – Something you’ll notice in a few places here is that I’m taking chances. This is another case of that, since there’s no assurances that David Gordon Green’s political dramedy/satire will even be ready this year. It could be a […]

Ridley Scott and “The Martian”: Early Oscar Predictions for April

After taking the month of March off in terms of Oscar predictions, I’m back taking a new look at what the Academy could do with this upcoming year in film. Again, it’s super early and probably silly to be focusing in on them like I am currently, but it’s also fun and gives us an idea of what movies to potentially look forward to. I’m keeping it mostly short and sweet today, just basically posting an update to the predictions (with a slight detour to discuss one contender), plus the next in line list that I know is popular as well. All of this can and likely will change in the near future, possibly even in the summer when things first begin to shape up, so stay tuned on that front. For now, enjoy these Academy Award predictions and cross your fingers that we have a good year for prestige films. I know that’s always my hope, so it should be yours as well.
Quickly though, before the predictions, let me just say that my big X factor that I’m looking forward to is Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian. He hasn’t had an outright success in some time, but I love the source material so much, I’m hopeful that it sparked something inside him. Honestly, he’d have to go out of his way to ruin as good a novel as that one. Matt Damon will have a baity role and Scott should be plenty engaged, so my fingers are crossed!
Here now is my second crack at early Academy Award predictions…
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Martian
6. Carol
7. The Light Between Oceans
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. The Sea of Trees 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Demolition 16. Trainwreck 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Snowden 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. Todd Haynes – Carol 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. […]

Year in advance Oscar Predictions

I know this seems nuts, but here I am with some Academy Award predictions for next season. We’re a long way out, yes…but for me, this is the absolute most fun time of the year, in terms of forming predictions. Why? Simply put, it’s because anything is possible. If you want to see how an odd nominee would look, you need only predict it. Right now, we’re just as likely to see Steven Spielberg’s latest St. James Place take Best Picture as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s kind of a brilliant thing, really. Even so, I’ve tried to be as logical as possible here, foregoing a number of quirkier picks in favor of the contenders I really feel good about, even if it really is only February still.
Which films are in contention? You’ll be able to see below, but the biggest contender right now seem to be the aforementioned St. James Place from Spielberg, David Gordon Green’s Our Brand is Crisis, David O. Russell’s Joy, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Acting wise, all of those movies have contenders, while the big player right now seems to be Jake Gyllenhaal, who could score for either Demolition or Southpaw. An X factor to keep an eye on? Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which is based on an outstanding book and could either fall flat or be a huge player. Sit tight on that one…
Here now is my first set of Oscar predictions for awards season to come:
1. St. James Place
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Revenant
6. Steve Jobs
7. Demolition
8. The Martian
9. The Sea of Trees
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Snowden 16. Money Monster 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Aloha 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1. Steven Spielberg – St. James Place
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
5. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Next in line: 6. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 7. Gus Van Sant – The Sea of Trees 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. Jean Marc Vallee – Demolition
BEST […]

Danny Boyle enters a mirrored parallax – “TRANCE”

Watch Danny Boyle enter a mirrored parallax to explain, in detail, what to expect from TRANCE. The experience allows you to simultaneously uncover exclusive, never-before-seen clips and images, and dive into a world where reality blurs into the subconscious.
Do you want to remember or do you want to forget? To decide, you must completely immerse yourself into the journey that is TRANCE, by visiting these experiential and hypnotizing companion sites to reveal hidden memories from the film.
Enter a trance at:
Want to get inside the mind of Danny Boyle? Now is your chance to ask him anything! Visit REDDIT this Friday March 15th at 10 AM PST for a one-time-only AMA with mastermind Danny Boyle.
Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a Goya paintingworth millions of dollars, but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang?s leader Frank (Vincent Cassel) hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon?s psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon?s broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur.

An Academy Conversation with Danny Boyle

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “An Academy Conversation with Danny Boyle,” including a screening of the Oscar winner’s feature directorial debut, “Shallow Grave,” on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater in New York City.
A festival favorite in 1994, “Shallow Grave” opened theatrically the following year to broad critical acclaim and introduced its makers and stars to a worldwide audience. Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the thriller follows three friends who find their flatmate dead from an overdose in his bedroom. The story takes a startling turn when they also discover a suitcase full of cash, then decide to keep the cash and dispose of the body. Starring Ewan McGregor, Kerry Fox and Christopher Eccleston, the film was written by doctor-turned-screenwriter John Hodge and produced by Andrew Macdonald. Hodge went on to earn an Oscar nomination for “Trainspotting,” which Boyle directed in 1996, and Macdonald produced five more of Boyle’s films, including “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later.”
Boyle, a three-time Academy Award® nominee, won an Oscar for his direction of the 2008 Best Picture winner “Slumdog Millionaire.” His next feature, “Trance,” opens in the U.S. next month.
A rare 35mm print of the film will be screened courtesy of Park Circus LLC.
Tickets for “Shallow Grave” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets may be purchased starting March 19 online at or in person at the box office during regular box office hours (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m.).
The Academy Theater is located at 111 East 59th Street (between Park and Lexington avenues) in New York City. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (212) 821-9251, e-mail or visit
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James Franco signs up for taste of “Cherry”

By Sean O’Connell Fresh off his Oscar-nominated turn in Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” – and shortly after his maligned turn as an Oscar host – James Franco is lining up his next acting gig.
He’ll next be seen as a scientist inadvertently triggering an ape rebellion in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” later this summer. But Variety is now linking Franco to “Cherry,” the feature-film debut from author Stephen Elliott, who penned “The Adderall Diaries.” The story involves a teenage girl who gets swept up in the adult film industry upon moving to San Francisco. Franco would play a drug-addicted lawyer who befriends the title character, according to the trade.
Heather Graham, Dev Patel and Lili Taylor also are “in negotiations to star,” says Variety, adding that “Cherry” plans to film in San Fran beginning next month … as soon as they land their female lead.
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