September 20, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "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        

Tag Archives: Diablo Cody

“Ricki and the Flash”: Meryl Steep back in the Oscar hunt once again?

It’s basically a joke in Hollywood (one made at last year’s Academy Awards, in fact) that whenever Meryl Streep makes a movie she gets an Oscar nomination for it. The only exceptions tend to be when she veers more towards lighter fare, but this week she’ll challenge that notion with Ricki and the Flash, a musically tinged dramedy that sees her going for laughs as well as emotion. Working with director Jonathan Demme and writer Diablo Cody, Streep gets to exercise some new muscles, which is always appreciated. It might not be the next big awards vehicle for her, but it’s one of her more entertaining roles in some time.
The film is centered on rocker Ricki Randazzo (Streep), who used to be Linda, a mother and wife. She ended the marriage, moved to California, and started the band Ricki and the Flash. Success has eluded her so far, though she’s in a happy relationship with her lead guitarist (Rick Springfield). She’s summoned back to her old life by ex husband Pete (Kevin Kline) when her eldest child Julie (Mamie Gummer, Streep’s real life daughter) has a breakdown. Now back with her family and dealing with old wounds, she attempts to be a bit more of a mother than she’s ever been. The movie is light on plot, but it ends up coming together well by the end. As previously mentioned, Demme directs and Cody writes, with the rest of the cast including Hailey Gates, Bill Irwin, Audra McDonald, Ben Platt, Charlotte Rae, Sebastian Stan, and Nick Westrate. It’s never overly amazing, but it’s fairly cute throughout.
What might help Ricki and the Flash appeal to the Academy is the combination of the acting and just the happy feeling that it leaves you with. Obviously, Streep is a big selling point, but I’d argue Kline and Springfield are just as good. Streep gets to perform covers of full songs, which is impressive, but Kline in many ways is the glue holding not just the cinematic family, but the movie itself, together. As for Springfield, he’s shockingly good, especially when he has to work against Streep, which is often. Cody and Demme have appealed to Oscar before (as has Kline), so working with Streep could potentially get them back to that realm again.
Awards wise, there’s definite possibilities here. If I’m underestimating its appeal, we could see Best Picture, Best Director (for Demme), Best […]

“Grandma” and “Mistress America”: Ten Films to see in August

Welcome to August folks! As always, I like to take a look at the month in advance to see what cinematic offerings are coming our way. This time out, it’s obviously the August releases that I’m going to be prepping you for, and once again as an added bonus, I’ve seen a couple of them already. Despite the reputation that the month gets for being a summer dumping ground, there are reasons to be optimistic here. In fact, August is potentially shaping up to be a very solid month overall for cinema, so you’ll likely have multiple things to see starting later on this week. Take a look below and obviously stay tuned for more on many of these…
Here now are the ten best bets for movies in August:
10. Fantastic Four – The superhero reboot has my curiosity, despite the original outings being poor, at best. The cast is excellent (including Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Miles Teller), the behind the scenes talent is solid, and the Trailers so far have been strong. I see it in two days, so I’ll have a better idea then if this is an early August gem or not, but I have a hunch it’s going to be a well liked comic book film.
9. American Ultra – Last time we saw Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart share the screen, it was in the deeply underrated Adventureland, so I’m very hopeful that this will feature the same strong chemistry between them. This time it’s a stoner action comedy, not a coming of age dramedy, but my hope springs eternal. It’s definitely an X factor for now, but the potential is certainly there.
8. Ricki and the Flash – I see this one tonight, so I’ll know then if Meryl Streep is an Oscar lock again (look for an article before the week is out), but the combination of Streep with scribe Diablo Cody and director Jonathan Demme is more than enough to make me look forward to this evening. Throw in a potentially juicy supporting role for Kevin Kline and this could be right up the Academy’s alley. Stay tuned…
7. Shanghai – One of the surprises this month is that we’ll actually see this John Cusack period piece. A half decade ago I first started looking forward to this one, wondering if Cusack could score a Best Actor nod for it. That nom didn’t happen, […]

Meryl Streep: Trailer drops for “Ricki and the Flash”

As is almost always the case, it seems like we’re going to have a Meryl Streep performance in contention for another Academy Award nomination. Luckily for us though, this year it appears like Streep has a bit of a change up in store here, as opposed to overly serious melodrama or biopic type work. Later this year, she’ll be starring in the dramedy Ricki and the Flash, which got a Trailer this week. It looks like she’s as good as ever, but having a ton of fun as well, which certainly could rub off on audiences as well. If so, I’ll be thrilled to have her in the Oscar race for what feels like the 50th time. It won’t feel like tradition this time around.
In case you’ve yet to hear anything about this one, it’s a musically tinged dramedy surrounding a musician named Ricki who gave up on the family life in order to pursue a rock and roll career. When her daughter winds up in a tough spot, her ex husband calls her and she returns home in order to try and make things right. The Trailer, which you can see below, shows off some solid heart, humor, and music to boot. Streep plays the title character, while the strong supporting cast includes Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Sebastian Stan, and Rick Springfield. The director here is Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme, while the screenplay is by fellow Oscar winner Diablo Cody. Throw in the statues that Streep already has, as well as the one belonging to Kline, and this is a gold plated flick if ever there was one.
What has me interested here is the combination of Streep getting to let loose a bit, as well as her reciting Cody’s distinctive dialogue. The script doesn’t seem to be as “Cody-ish” as some of her other ones, but it appears like a pretty good one, regardless. Streep sometimes lacks the screenplays to really knock it out of the park for me (I’m in the minority there, I realize), but this could change that up. If so, there’s a ton of potential here, possibly even offering up one of Streep’s juiciest roles to date. She’s at her best when she’s having fun, which looks to be the case here.
If Ricki and the Flash turns out to be a high quality film, there are definitely some awards possibilities here. Besides Best Picture, […]

And the Oscars will go to … — AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Do or die time. After month and months of tracking the Oscar race, it’s time to put up (and shut up) by posting my official picks for Sunday night’s Academy Awards.
And while I have been saying (OK, complaining) that too many of tonight’s winners are all but predetermined, there’s still a few mysteries to be solved, primarily in the below-the-line categories, where deserving films could take home Oscar gold.
So, without further ado, here are my selections for tonight’s winners, bolded in each category. I hope they help you win an Oscar pool or two. Enjoy the show!
Best Picture
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”
“Midnight In Paris”
“The Help”
“War Horse”
“The Tree of Life”
Best Actor
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”
Best Actress
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
Best Director
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Best Supporting Actress
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
Best Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
JC Chandor, “Margin Call”
Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
John Logan, “Hugo”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, “The Ides of March”
Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, “Moneyball”
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Best Animated Feature
“A Cat In Paris”
“Chico & Rita”
“Kung Fu Panda 2″
“Puss in Boots”
Best Foreign Feature
“Bullhead” (Belgium)
“Footnote” (Israel)
“In Darkness” (Poland)
“Monsiuer Lazhar” (Canada)
“A Separation” (Iran)
Best Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“Midnight in Paris”
“War Horse”
Best Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
Best Costume Design
“The Artist”
“Jane Eyre”
Best Documentary Feature
“Hell and Back Again”
“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”
Best Documentary Short
“The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement”
“God Is the Bigger Elvis”
“Incident in New Baghdad”
“Saving Face”
“The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
Best Film Editing
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
Best Make-Up
“Albert Nobbs”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
“The Iron Lady”
Best Original Score
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“The Artist”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”
Best Original Song
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” […]

Oscars: Charlize Theron’s “Young Adult” heading to Berlin – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Jason Reitman’s successfully killing two birds with one stone.
The Oscar-nominated director revealed that his latest film, “Young Adult,” will screen at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The screening also will serve as the film’s German premiere.
“Young Adult” has been earning its stars awards recognition leading up to the Oscar nominations on Jan. 24. Charlize Theron, who plays a self-centered YA novelist, earned nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Satellite Awards and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who bestowed the beauty with a Golden Globe nom. Her co-star, Patton Oswalt, also has been collecting nominations for his performance as Matt, a handicapped nerd from Theron’s home town who helps her “connect” to her fading roots.
Diablo Cody, who penned Reitman’s “Young Adult” script, picked up the Hollywood Screenwriter Award at our Hollywood Film Festival in October. Her acceptance speech is below.
In addition to “Young Adult,” the Berlin festival also added to its slate “I, Anna,” the directorial debut of Charlotte Rampling’s son, Barnaby Southcombe. The film noir co-stars Gabriel Byrne, Hayley Atwell and Eddie Marsan.
And Chris Kenneally’s documentary “Side By Side” was put on the schedule. The doc looks at digital cinema, and featured interviews with the lieks of David Fincher, Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
– Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
– Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
– Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
– Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
– Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
– David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
– Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
– Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
– Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
– Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
– Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
– Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
– Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
– Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
– Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
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ANALYSIS: Writers Guild solidifies “Bridesmaids,” recognizes several frontrunners – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The guild nominations that continue to shore up the Oscar race transition from the Producers to the Writers, as the WGA reveals its selections for the 2012 Writers Guild Awards.
“Bridesmaids” continues to build up considerable good will, earning yet another significant nomination in the Original Screenplay category.
Other films that received a significant boost in their Oscar campaigns were “Young Adult” (written by Diablo Cody), “Win Win” (written by Tom McCarthy) and “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (written by Steven Zaillian).
The rest of the nominees include most of the anticipated heavy hitters in the Oscar race, from “The Descendants” and “The Help” to “Moneyball,” “Hugo” and “Midnight In Paris.”
Surprises were in short surprise, primarily because the continued inclusion of “Bridesmaids” is now expected, and no longer shocking. The shock, at this point, would be seeing “Bridesmaids” left out on Oscar morning. Isn’t that a funny thing to say?
The 2012 Writers Guild Awards nominees are:
50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment
Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Studios
Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight
Young Adult, Written by Diablo Cody; Paramount Pictures
The Descendants, Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash; Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemming; Fox Searchlight
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian; Based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally published by Norstedts; Columbia Pictures
The Help, Screenplay by Tate Taylor; Based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett; DreamWorks Pictures
Hugo, Screenplay by John Logan; Based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick; Paramount Pictures
Moneyball, Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin; Story by Stan Chervin; Based on the book by Michael Lewis; Columbia Pictures
Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
– Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
– Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
– Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
– Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
– Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
– David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
– Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
– Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
– Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
– Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
– Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, […]

Patton Oswalt on Charlize Theron, “Big Fan” fans and the comedy of “Young Adult” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Jason Reitman’s “Young Adult” finally opened in limited release last Friday, Dec. 9, though the dark comedy has been in the Oscar discussion for weeks.
Even before positive reviews started circulating, awards trackers highlighted “Adult” on their release calendars because it reunited Reitman with his “Juno” screenwriter, Diablo Cody (who won an Oscar the last time they collaborated). Then buzz started swirling around Charlize Theron’s performance as Mavis Gary, a self-centered author who heads back to her humble hometown to win back her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson). And as more people started seeing the film, the conversation expanded to include Theron and her co-star, Patton Oswalt, who steals multiple scenes as Matt, Mavis’ former classmate who sees the shrew for who she really is.
“Adult” is a brutally honest comedy with a backbone, largely provided by Oswalt in his surprisingly dramatic scenes. He’s the ideal foil for Theron, and we talked about their chemistry, his “Big Fan” fans, and his efforts to distance himself from the natural instincts of a stand-up comic in a recent one-on-one interview. Here’s Patton Oswalt: Jason Reitman told me earlier that you guys filmed in my hometown of Massapequa Park, NY, and I’m convinced that he’s pulling my chain.
Patton Oswalt: No, no. We did. We filmed in Upstate New York, and then went in and around Westchester County, so we went in and we used those suburbs. I was talking with one of the location scouts, and apparently there’s a lot of homogeny between suburbs all over the United States because when suburbs exploded, they used a lot of the same contractors, so if you travel from one suburb to the next, you’ll notice, “Oh, this is a lot of the same design.” Which I’m sure you notice doing a lot of stand up.
Yes, exactly. I see a lot of that. It bothers me how much I related to Mavis while watching this film.
I think everyone knows a Mavis. It can be female or male. So many people have been coming up to us after screenings and saying, “Oh, I know a Mavis.” But also, there’s something admirable and heroic about the fact that despite all odds, she is going to make things the way they were when she was 16, even though it’s obvious to everyone but her that that’s not going to happen. Is there any truth to the rumor that […]

Jason Reitman, Diablo Cody talk Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt and “Young Adult” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The last time Jason Reitman directed a Diablo Cody script, audiences were treated to the goofily hip “Juno,” and the Academy was charmed. They went in different directions afterward – he to direct George Clooney through “Up In the Air,” and she to flex her inner demons for “Jennifer’s Body” – but are back together this month with a brutally honest and deceptively funny adult comedy with a teenage-friendly name.
“Young Adult” stars Charlize Theron as a bitchy YA ghost writer knocked off her axis by the announcement that her old flame (Patrick Wilson), now happily married, had a baby. She heads back to her tiny home town to win the poor sap back, and goes toe-to-toe with an ex-classmate (Patton Oswalt) who sees her for who she really is.
With the film preparing to open on Dec. 9 (before going wider a week later), Reitman and Cody met me in New York City to discuss music selections, mirror characters, Mavis Gary and the power of Patton Oswalt: Whom do I have to thank for both Teenage Fanclub AND Suicidal Tendencies being used in the same film?
Diablo Cody: The Suicidal Tendencies, I think that was Jason. Teenage Fanclub is all me. I honestly thought I was the only person who loved both bands. They wouldn’t run in the same circles, and yet, here they are. And I love Fanclub’s song, “The Concept” …
Cody: I love that song, too. The funny thing is, Jason doesn’t like that song, but he acquiesced to me and put it in there. I could listen to it over and over, just like Mavis.
Jason Reitman: Yeah, those songs were both in the screenplay, and I don’t like either of those songs. But you have to recognize when something is right for the movie. That’s actually a bold move for a director, though. It’s the opening of the film. And it’s such a significant part later in the film.
Cody: I have to say, that even surprised me. I thought, “Wow, you really believe in my choices!” I relate to Mavis in the movie, and I feel strange admitting that. It makes me feel … I don’t know, mean or nasty. Does that makes sense?
Reitman: Well, Mavis is a mirror for the audience. And hopefully … there are a lot of movies that you look at and you see all sorts of aspirational values in […]

“Young Adult” scribe Diablo Cody says early Oscar buzz “freaks me out” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell You see? We’re not the only ones backing off of making bold predictions for Oscar contenders that’ve yet to screen. Even Diablo Cody, writer of Jason Reitman’s anticipated “Young Adult,” says she’s a little freaked out seeing their film on Oscar prognosticators’ lists, given the fact that the film has just started screening for select groups.
This clip was shot at the Hollywood Awards Gala in Beverly Hills over the weekend, where Cody collected the Hollywood Screenwriter Award for “Adult” from one of her heroes, Quentin Tarantino. It was one of many unbelievable and spontaneous moments that occurred on stage at the gala, and the clip hit so squarely on a topic we were discussing lately that I just had to post it. It’s from the L.A. Times (via Awards Daily):

Cody says “Young Adult” mainly is getting recognition on the awards circuit for Charlize Theron, who plays a spoiled, self-centered brat who returns to her hometown and raises hell. But she has to realize that a reunion of Team “Juno” would have Oscar tongues wagging. And now that some folks have seen the film, we’re hearing very good things about Theron, the script, the direction, and co-star Patton Oswalt.
“Young Adult” reaches theaters in December. We’ll see if it’s still in the Oscar discussion come January and February.
For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
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Charlize Theron in first “Young Adult” trailer – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell “Young Adult” marks the reunion of Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and her “Juno” director, Jason Retitman (“Up In the Air”).
And while that powerful pairing will help lure people to theaters this December, it looks like Charlize Theron’s no-holds-barred performance as the “psychotic prom-queen bitch” returning to her home town to steal back her ex-boyfriend is what people will be talking about all Oscar-season long.
Here’s the film’s first trailer, which you can see in HD on Apple’s site. (I’m waiting for a proper YouTube embed).
If there’s an Oscar dark horse in the “Young Adult” mix, it could be Patton Oswalt, who looks to be playing the sarcastic soundboard to Theron’s unhappy character, the angry loner who will commiserate with our lead. If Cody wrote memorable dialogue for Oswalt, the comedian potentially could steal scene after scene and get himself into a currently cloudy Best Supporting Actor race.
But we won’t know anything for sure until we get a look at “Young Adult,” which is due un theaters on Dec. 16.

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
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