July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: denzel washington

Spotlight on the Stars: Denzel Washington

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at pretty much one of the definitions of an A-list actor. He’s Denzel Washington, a two time Academy Award winning thespian and giant in the industry. Washington does more than just act of course, he’s an iconic movie star, there’s no doubt about that. If anyone is right for this sort of a spotlight, it’s him.
Washington got his start in TV movies, but on the big screen he made his first mark with Cry Freedom, which also got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor, his first nomination of what would become a half dozen (and counting). That established him as an up and comer, leading to his television role on the show St. Elsewhere, which ran for half a decade. That would open up some major film roles, including Glory, where he received his second Best Supporting Actor nomination and also took home his first Oscar. Washington was on his way to the A-list.
He next began his long collaboration with Spike Lee when he appeared in Mo’ Better Blues. A few years later, he’d get his third Oscar nomination and first appearance in Best Actor for his work as the lead in Malcolm X. Big time Hollywood roles were next, including The Bone Collector, Courage Under Fire, Crimson Tide, Fallen, The Pelican Brief, Philadelphia, Remember the Titans, and The Siege. He also worked with Lee again in He Got Game and scored another Best Actor nod for his baity work in biopic The Hurricane. Washington was officially a star.
His next major role came with Training Day, which won him his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor. Washington had become a juggernaut, able to act in pretty much whatever he pleased. That led to a run of work that was a bit hit or miss (though never boring), including 2 Guns, American Gangster, The Book of Eli, Deja Vu, Inside Man, John Q, The Manchurian Candidate, Man on Fire, Out of Time, Safe House, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and Unstoppable. At the same time though, he also made Flight, which got him his most recent nom in Best Actor.
This week, he stars in The Equalizer, a remake of the 80’s TV program and a very strong crowd pleaser (I enjoyed it quite a bit). Washington kicks some solid ass here, but he also plays a slightly […]

Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”: Ten Films to look forward to in September

Believe it or not, we’re now into the month of September, which is insane if you ask me. I’ll be updating my Oscar predictions later on this week, but right now, I’m going to preview the films of the month ahead. There’s no shortage of interesting flicks hitting screens, so we’re entering the start of the very best season for cinema. Tis the season for high quality movies, with the upcoming New York Film Festival really kicking off Oscar season for me. That’s not to say that the next week or two won’t have plenty to talk about, but once we’re in October it’s really the heat of the moment then, as it were. Even so, the whole month of September has plenty to be excited about, I assure you of that much. There’s no shortage of quality coming our way, so be excited folks.
Below you’ll see a total of ten titles (plus a pair of honorable mentions) that I feel represent the best of the month. I’ve seen a handful of the films to be discussed, so I can vouch for those personally. The rest? Well, I’ll be reporting in on them real soon. In the meantime, here you go:
10. The Guest – A throwback thriller, I saw this film from up and coming genre filmmaker Adam Wingard (who blew me away with You’re Next last year) recently and liked it a lot. It feels like a B movie from the 1980’s, a slow burn through and through. If you like the sort of thing where you laugh and cringe in equal measure, this one will be for you. It hits on the 17th.
9. The Zero Theorem – Any new work from filmmaker Terry Gilliam is worth taking note of. Even if this isn’t my favorite one of his (I’m currently embargoed from saying too much more), it’s far from boring and has a top notch cast (led by Christoph Waltz). This one comes out on the 19th and likely will divide audiences. Something tells me that Gilliam wouldn’t have it any other way though…
8. Two Night Stand – Another movie I’ve already seen, this romantic comedy is actually a lot better than the ads would lead you to believe. The flick is really charming, with winning turns from Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton. Ignore the mediocre trailer and trust me here when I say this is rather good. […]

The 85th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Today I’ll be going back once again and looking at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories. I mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be doing that here and there, there’s a chance that this could turn into a long running thing. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright, here goes nothing:
Best Picture – Argo
The nominees here for this ceremony were Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. When you factor in that it was my favorite film of 2012, a vote for Best Picture winner Argo would be a pretty clear and decisive choice here (the rare occasion when my favorite movie of the year actually wins the Oscar). I wouldn’t argue with a vote for Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, or Zero Dark Thirty, but Ben Affleck’s flick was far and away my number one.
Best Director – David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
I’d have voted for Affleck here, but shockingly (and insanely) he wasn’t nominated. The actual nominees were Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Michael Haneke for Amour, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Without Affleck, I very nearly went with Spielberg here, but in the end I just like Russell’s movie better. The aforementioned Affleck is easily my personal pick overall, but Russell is my choice of the actual nominees.
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
In an absolutely perfect world, I’d have seen Denis Lavant in the lineup for Holy Motors and subsequently he’d have been my vote, but that was always a super long shot. The actual nominees here though were Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, and Denzel Washington for Flight. Everyone is very worthy here and I actually really came close to selecting eventual winner Day-Lewis, but Phoenix was just so incredible and showed me […]

2013 Oscars: Congratulations to the Nominees and Honorees

Congratulations to the 2013 Oscar nominees and winners… for complete list of winners pls scroll down.
Best Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”
Best Animated Short:
“Paperman” – John Kahrs
Best Animated Feature:
“Brave” – Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Cinematography:
“Life of Pi” – Claudio Miranda
Visual Effects:
“Life of Pi” – Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
Costume Design:
“Anna Karenina” – Jacqueline Durran
Makeup/Hairstyling:
“Les Misérables” – Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell
Live Action Film:
“Curfew” – Shawn Christensen
Documentary Short Subject:
“Inocente” – Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Documentary Feature:
“Searching for Sugar Man”
Sound Mixing:
“Les Misérables” – Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Sound Editing:
“Zero Dark Thirty” – Paul N.J. Ottosson
Supporting Actress:
Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
Film Editing:
“Argo” – William Goldenberg
Original Score:
Mychael Danna, “Life of Pi”
Original Song:
Adele – “Skyfall”
Adapted Screenplay:
Chris Terrio, “Argo”
Original Screenplay:
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Director:
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Best Actress:
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best Picture:
“Argo”
For the first time, viewers in the U.S. will be able to stream tonight’s Oscars show in its entirety across multiple platforms including ABC.com, the ABC Player app, and the free, ad-supported Hulu and Hulu Plus subscription service. The show will also be available via ABC On Demand, the network’s fast forward-disabled VOD service.
The Oscars, in its entirety, will be available to stream within hours of its broadcast completion, beginning Monday, Feb. 25th at 6:00 a.m. EST through Wednesday, February 27, at midnight EST.
“Tonight’s show included remarkable performances that will surely have people talking. This is an easy, convenient way for anyone who missed the show to catch up and join the conversation,” said Karin Gilford, Senior Vice President of Digital Media, ABC Entertainment. “It’s also perfect for anyone who just wants to relive the most magical moments of the night.”
“Our goal is to give fans as many ways to enjoy and engage with the Oscars as possible and this will provide another great opportunity for them,” said Christina Kounelias, the Academy’s Chief Marketing Officer.
The full streaming will be advertiser supported with :15 or :30 video spots running intermittingly from Blue Diamond, Diet Coke, Hyundai, JC Penney, Samsung and The University of Phoenix.
Additionally, during the telecast, Oscar.com offered a plethora of “Real Time Oscar Highlights” to viewers almost instantly after they debuted on the live broadcast. Those special moments from telecast as well as numerous highlights from the Red Carpet and backstage during the show, are currently available on the show’s official site, Oscar.com.
Oscar.com and the official Oscars app […]

Oscar Forecast: Oscar Veteran Actors and Directors

When Meryl Streep took home the Best Actress award for The Iron Lady last year, some commentators called it a “lifetime achievement award,” implying that she beat out the competition more due to her body of work than her performance in that film. Others have speculated that veterans are more likely to win Oscars because they are more talented than their peers – the reason they are veterans in the first place.
But does any of this actually correspond with the facts? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is no. Despite the beliefs that veteran actors win more awards for their talent or their career achievements, veterans actually win 17% less often than relative newcomers.
Here, we will define an Oscar veteran as an actor who has received more than five nominations either in the lead or supporting category. There are currently 33 members of this exclusive club, with the newest – Denzel Washington – just added this year thanks to his sixth acting nomination for his role in Flight.
In the 84 years of Oscars (excluding this year), there have been, coincidentally, 84 acting nominations for those I have defined as Oscar veterans, counting only nominations after their first five. In these nominations, only 14 times has a veteran emerged victorious, for a rate of 16.7%. The overall average for acting nominees is 20%, since one out of five wins each category. Technically, before 1936 the number of acting nominations varied each year, but the first Oscar veteran was Norma Shearer, who did not receive her sixth nomination until 1938 for Marie Antoinette.
To read more about Ben’s Oscar Forecast
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Actors for Actors and the SAG Awards winners are…

The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards is taking place at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
And the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards winners are…:
MOTION PICTURE
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Silver Linings Playbook
Lincoln
Les Miserables
* WINNER – Argo
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
* WINNER – Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
* WINNER – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
*WINNER – Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Sally Field, Lincoln
* WINNER – Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
TELEVISION
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
* WINNER – Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Ed Harris, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
* WINNER – Julianne Moore, Game Change

Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
* WINNER – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
* WINNER – Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
* WINNER – Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Louis C.K., Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
* WINNER – Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
* WINNER – Downton Abbey
Homeland
Mad Men
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock
Glee
The Big Bang Theory
* WINNER – Modern Family
The Office
Nurse Jackie
STUNT ENSEMBLES
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Bourne Legacy
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Miserables
* WINNER -Skyfall
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
* […]

Oscar nominations have many of us scratching our heads this morning…

What a crazy morning. As Oscar tends to do, they delivered their annual “WTF?” but instead of them inserting their nominees, they took out the nominees. Insane. Simply insane.
My reactions to the nominees are below:
Best Picture
• Amour
• Argo
• Beasts of the Southern Wild
• Django Unchained
• Les Miserables
• Life of Pi
• Lincoln
• Silver Linings Playbook
• Zero Dark Thirty
I’m so happy I was wrong about Amour getting trumped by all the loud December openings. It’s well deserved. The only surprise (and to some it isn’t a surprise) is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained making the cut here over Moonrise Kingdom, who many thought would make the cut. As we trickle down through every category, and if you already saw the Best Director lineup, this looks like a race between Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook at this point.
Prediction – 7 for 9 (missed Amour and Django for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Moonrise, and The Master at #10)
Predicted Winner – Lincoln
Snub – Moonrise Kingdom, The Master, The Impossible
Best Achievement in Directing
• Michael Haneke – Amour
• Ang Lee – Life of Pi
• David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
• Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
• Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
I spoke about the possibility of Benh Zeitlin sneaking in for Best Director when DGA was announced and his film is a director’s type of film. What’s more insane is it came at the expense of three big Oscar favorites, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and David O. Russell. When it comes to Affleck, I discussed back in November that Oscar may not have fully forgiven him or take him seriously yet as a director to be taken seriously here. It’s sad because he’s delivered three solid films under his directorial belt that are worthy of citation. I’m glad Argo managed the Picture nom though but George Clooney as a Producer probably had something to do with that more than Affleck.
I can’t explain why Bigelow missed. Is it the woman card? The controversy surrounding the film at the moment? Not sure at all. Tom Hooper directing a musical and missing makes sense. They Academy at large doesn’t go all the way for musicals unless the Weinstein Company is pushing it or its 40 years ago. Congratulations Ang Lee, you are officially in the running to win your second Directing Oscar. Russell is in the heat of the race too. Can’t believe what we […]

2013 Golden Globe nominees revealed

The nominations for the 70th annual Golden Globe awards are being announced in Los Angeles. The Golden Globe awards are voted for by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ed Helmes were on hand with the The Hollywood Foreign Press Association to announce the nominees.
It has already been announced that Silence of the Lambs actress Jodie Foster will receive the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at January’s event, held in the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Best Motion Picture, Comedy
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook
Best Motion Picture, Drama
Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director, Motion Picture
Ben Affleck, Argo
Katherine Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight
Best Performance by an actress in a TV series, Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Best TV Series, Comedy
Big Bang Theory
Episodes
Girls
Modern Family
Smash
Best TV Movie or Miniseries
Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields and McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals
Best Animated Film
Brave
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck it Ralf
more nominees coming… come back
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“Flight” screenwriter John Gatins on Denzel Washington and his fear of flying – OSCARS

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: A major Oscar player for Paramount, Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” opened to positive reviews (76% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and a healthy weekend take of $24.9 million.
The number was incredibly steady for Zemeckis, who returned to live-action for the first time since “Cast Away,” and carried under his arm a riveting performance by Denzel Washington in service of a commanding script credited to John Gatins.
Audiences might have been surprised by the depth of “Flight.” Largely advertised as a plane-crash thriller – piggybacking off Zemeckis’ equally gripping crash shots from “Cast Away” – the awards-friendly drama is far more interested in the moral fiber of the pilot who landed the damaged commercial airliner, Whip Whitaker (Washington), a struggling alcoholic. Look beyond Washington’s career-topping turn, though, and you’ll find plenty of dark material to explore in Gatins’ script, which is where I started a recent conversation with the “Flight” writer. Here’s John Gatins:
I love the film. It really caught me off guard, though I imagine you are hearing that from a lot of people.
I actually just read Roger Ebert’s really interesting commentary on the film. He’d already given the film a rave review, which was really cool and interesting, But he’s just written a really interesting piece that’s an analysis of Whip’s character that was incredible – really moving, really interesting. It has been nice. There are a lot of columnists and movie writers tackling thoughtful and thought-provoking pieces about the movie, which is always fun.
That’s funny. I wanted to start with that, because it’s always refreshing speaking with someone after their movie has come out. So often, it’s before, and people aren’t sure how it’s going to play. The marketing campaign did an interesting job of hiding the film’s true emotional intent. Are you happy with the way the picture was received? In what direction is the conversation swinging?
People’s immediate reaction … I’ve actually spoken to a number of critics and film writers who’ve told me that they’ve seen the movie twice. On a second viewing, they start focusing on a lot of different elements. Denzel’s performance is so amazing that it’s the thing that really resonates with you [the first time through]. You think about him, and you think about his character. I think on a second viewing, people begin thinking about the themes of the movie – fear, and what do I still believe […]

Denzel Washington joins the Oscar race, promotes “Flight” on Letterman

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: My immediate impulse after catching up with Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” this week was to Tweet, “Welcome to the Best Actor race, Denzel Washington.”
The longer I let the movie sit, though, it seemed like a 140-character reaction to a film that attempts – and accomplishes – so many difficult emotional maneuvers was slight and diminishing. “Flight” deserves” more than that. So much more. But for the record, welcome to the race, Mr. Washington.
Zemeckis’ return to live-action played the New York Film Festival earlier, and is ramping up toward its Friday release. Hurricane Sandy tried to slow down Paramount’s publicity push on Monday night. Instead, Washington appeared on David Letterman’s late-night talk show, which taped without an audience because of the adverse weather conditions.
Clips of Washington on Letterman are below. They’re fascinating for various reasons: He’s always a compelling interview; he has a tremendous character and a powerful film to promote; and there’s the eerie calm of no studio audience. Watch for yourself.
“Flight” is a must-see, an Oscar contender that delivers a right-cross to its audience after a devastating (and masterfully executed) plane-crash sequence. The movie might not be what you are expecting from the trailers – it’s far more concerned with the pains of alcoholism, and the moral quandaries that face a flawed hero. But it’s a stellar return to live-action for the director of “Cast Away,” and just might be one of the best movies you’ll see this year.

http://youtu.be/kGHvlJZxV6Q
Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review
Ben Affleck tells us about “Argo” and the possibility of more Dennis Lehane stories
Bryan Cranston calls “Argo” his “proudest moment in motion pictures.”
Helen Hunt opens up about on-screen nudity for “The Sessions”
Amy Adams lends strength to “The Master”
“Arbitrage” director Nicholas Jarecki on Richard Gere and the Oscar race.
Producer Harvey Weinstein
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