August 30, 2015
        "Carol": Looking at potential Best Adapted Screenplay Hollywood Contender                What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?                Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl / Official US Poster                Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep: SUFFRAGETTE New Poster                Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Gena Rowland to Receive Academy's 2015 Governors Awards                Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio - Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?                "Joy" is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt                "Straight Outta Compton" is making the case for Oscar consideration                "The Martian": Oscar predictions for August                Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in "Burnt"                "Carol" gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race                Carey Mulligan is an Oscar contender                Hollywood Contenders for 2015 Best Actor: Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender                Hollywood Contenders: 2015 Best Movie Blockbusters: Jurassic World, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast & Furious 7...        

Tag Archives: Emma Stone

The Telluride Film Festival launched some Oscar contenders

Happy Labor Day everyone, and welcome to September as well. Over the past week or so, the Telluride Film Festival has unspooled a number of Academy Award contenders, in effect launching the Oscar race ahead of the start of the New York Film Festival as well as Toronto Film Festival. Those other two festivals will screen titles over the months of September and October, but with Telluride in the books, it’s one fest that we can analyze a bit to see what’s what. With their unique format (they never announce what films are playing in advance, so you never know what will screen), Telluride is always an X factor, but this year especially they’ve had no shortage of Oscar hopeful movies in their lineup. Some flicks upped their stock, while some need to be downgraded, but overall it’s a fest well worth discussing.
First off, here’s what the highest profile films at the festival were: Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary, Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night, Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, Tommy Lee Jones’ The Homesman, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, Martin Scorsese’s The 50 Year Argument, Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, Jean-Marc Valleé’s Wild, and Andrey Zvgagintsev’s Leviathan. Those 14 were the big ones of note, but with Foxcatcher, The Homesman, Leviathan, Mommy, Mr. Turner, and Two Days, One Night having already played at the Cannes Film Festival, those movies didn’t see their statures change much. The flicks to really discuss are of course 99 Homes, Birdman, The Imitation Game, Madame Bovary, Rosewater, and Wild. Those six are what matters, to differing degrees.
First up is 99 Homes, which hopes to be a player for Andrew Garfield and especially Michael Shannon. The drama is without U.S. distribution right now, which could keep it from even coming out this year, but with mostly positive reviews from what I’ve seen, I’m sure someone will pick it up. Shannon would be in the conversation if that happens, so keep him in mind.
Next is Birdman (also known as Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which easily was the biggest success story at Telluride, even if the reviews weren’t quite as rapturous as they were a few days prior at the Venice Film Festival (even if both places threw around the “Masterpiece” word more than I […]

An end of the summer stab at Golden Globe predictions

Hi everyone! As previously mentioned in my last installment, I was originally planning on waiting to take a new look at Golden Globe predictions until the summer was over (so basically September), but I couldn’t resist. I’m back now with what’s my third look at the Golden Globe Awards, with this time around, a new theory to try and drum up some different predictions. Here goes nothing!
To reiterate once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve again got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here. You also still potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks. The one tweak here is that I’m trying to focus on some European contenders, since they often can do well with the HFPA. This could benefit contenders like The Imitation Game, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. The Imitation Game
5. Mr. Turner
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Inherent Vice
3. Men, Women & Children
4. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Begin Again
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
3. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
4. Gael Garcia Bernal – Rosewater
5. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Mark Ruffalo – Begin Again
4. Ralph Fiennes – […]

A Mid-August Oscar Predictions Update

Here we are again. Since we’re now in the middle of August folks, you must know what time it is. Yup, it’s time for me to come to you all once again with some new and (hopefully) even more up to date Oscar predictions, my second one this month. As usual, I hope they’ll represent another bit of a change from speculation on towards educated guesswork now that awards season is fast approaching us. We still have a long way to go in the season overall, and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong in the end anyway, but with each passing update (two a month now) I’m trying to figure it all out and get more and more confident in backing particular horses. If that sounds a bit repetitive to you, well…it’s still kind of the nature of the beast for this thing. If nothing else, this endeavor continues to sort of show where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive and quantifiable, especially when precursor season kicks into gear.
Continuing on with the trend that I’ve had all year so far (including earlier this month), you can see films like David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have poised to be among the most nominated at this year’s ceremony. Overall, my predictions are only a little bit different this time around, since last time out I totally swapped out all my winners. I’m mixing and matching here now, trying to find the right match. It might not wind up particularly accurate yet, but until the festival season begins next month and more of these movies actually screen for critics, we’re still guessing more often than not. It’s just a matter of trying to make the guesses more and more educated as the season progresses.
By now, you all obviously know that I could go on and on about all of the changes I’ve made or considered making, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is just how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this midway juncture in the year:
BEST PICTURE
1. Gone Girl
2. Unbroken
3. Foxcatcher
4. Boyhood
5. Birdman or The Unexpected […]

A second stab at Golden Globe predictions

I was originally planning on waiting to take another look at the Golden Globe awards and my predictions for that precursor until the summer was over, but with the festival announcements in full swing, it seems like a nice time to approach these again. Next week brings new Oscar predictions on my part (also informed by the New York and Toronto Film Festival announcements), so this is a good way to bide our time until then. There’s certainly a bit of a separation between the two, so it’s a far cry from the same sort of predictions, as you’ve probably already gathered by now. The Globes and the Oscars are very different animals, to say the least. You can argue about the actual impact that the former has on the latter, but at the very bare minimum, it influences perception, so it must be reckoned with to some degree.
Once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I won’t have the same sort of lineup when you see my Oscar predictions at the start of August (stay tuned for that, obviously). You also potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. Interstellar
5. Rosewater
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Birdman […]

Spotlight on the Stars: Emma Stone

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at a younger A-lister, though one who’s been continually increasing her profile for a number of years now. It’s Emma Stone, one of Hollywood’s brightest young stars. She’s basically been on a rocket to the top, with no signs of slowing down. Stone not only has the goods as an actress, she’s got the charisma and personality to match. That’s the kind of combination that allows a star to go far. She’s an A-lister through and through, but one still very much on the upswing of her career. She’s still got plenty more to do, including I suspect…win an Oscar.
Stone is an actress who can shine in just about any role. She got her start with a clever supporting performance in Superbad, the type of performance she’d repeat a number of times from there, though always with enough of a new spin in something like The House Bunny so you weren’t bored with her. Zombieland gave her a chance to help an anchor a movie and she took the ball and ran with it. Her first starring role was Easy A and not only did she receive a Golden Globe nod for that performance, I think she deserved an Oscar nom as well. That was when she hit the A list (no pun intended), though co-starring in Best Picture nominee The Help or both of the newest Spider-Man flicks didn’t hurt either. With very few exceptions, Stone makes excellent choices with her career.
She has managed to charm in both light and heavy fare. Often, she combines the two. Easy A is a perfect example of that. Same with Crazy Stupid Love. She stands out in the crowd. Regardless of what you might think of The Amazing Spider-Man and/or The Amazing Spider-Man 2, her chemistry with co-star and real life co-star Andrew Garfield sparkles. You remember Stone when she’s on screen, even if the material isn’t always her best friend. She makes it work and elevates what’s on the page.
This weekend, Stone has her first collaboration with Woody Allen hitting theaters with Magic in the Moonlight. She gets to recite Allen dialogue and spar with Colin Firth in a really adorable way. Woody certainly agrees, as he’s already cast her in his next movie, where she’ll co-star with Joaquin Phoenix. That might very well be the film that gets her […]

12 Films still to look forward to this summer

With the second half of the year underway, it’s tempting to also declare the summer movie season all but over as well. While we may only have a few big blockbusters still to go, the independent films still to be released offer some interesting options, with at least one excellent option that I can vouch for (though I’ve actually seen all but four of the titles on the impending list). As such, I figured I’d take this moment to give you all 12 flicks that you can still look forward to between now and the end of August. There’s plenty out now to see, between Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Life Itself, just to name three excellent new releases, but now I’ll give you some other things to anticipate.
Below you’ll see a dozen films that you should still have marked down on your calendars as must sees…
12. I Origins – Even though I’m not a huge fan of this science fiction tinged indie drama, it’s certainly interesting and worth seeing. Filmmaker Mike Cahill impressed me last time around with Another Earth, so anyone who liked that one should check out this new one, which also features Brit Marling once again, though Michael Pitt is the star this time around. It begins its rollout next week.
11. Love Is Strange – Back at the Tribeca Film Festival I saw and very much enjoyed this small scale love story. Both John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are excellent here as an older couple trying to make it in New York City. It’s well worth seeing, trust me there. It hits at the end of August.
10. A Most Wanted Man – One of the final performances we’ll ever see from the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman is in this thriller. At one point this was thought of as a potential awards player, but its reception at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year was rather muted. Still, it opens at the beginning of next month and should be worth checking out.
9. The One I Love – An offbeat dramedy with a number of plot twists I won’t spoil, it captured my interest at Tribeca. Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are strong as just about the only folks in the movie. It’s out in the middle of August and is a nice change of pace option for audiences.
8. Calvary – The previous […]

Amy Adams: 2015 Best Actress contenders

As you folks all know full well by now, it’s one thing to read my Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about who and what will be in contention for nominations. To help out in that regard, at least somewhat, I’m 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 another of the biggest categories of them all…this time it’s Best Actress.
Here are the ten lovely ladies that I have in play for Best Actress, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Amy Adams (Big Eyes) – I don’t know that there’s an actress who more clearly seems to be next in line for an Oscar win than Adams. She probably came the closest in her career so far last year with American Hustle, so she’s basically the de facto number one right now. The material is right up the Academy’s alley, early word is strong, and the timing is right. Everything is set up for Adams to almost steamroll through the season, so stay tuned to see if she actually does!
2. Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them) – In a rather short span of time, Chastain has become basically an awards mainstay. Just about every project she joins is labeled a contender and she’s got a pretty solid batting average so far, in terms of nominations at least. She’s beginning to seem due for a win, and it’ll likely happen sooner rather than later. This project is very ambitious and could wind up staying under the Academy’s radar, but if they see it, she most likely will get nominated once again.
3. Michelle Williams (Suite française) – Another overdue actress, Williams always seems to be close to an Academy Award win before someone else winds up becoming the flavor of the season. That could again […]

Emma Stone and Andy Cohen Co-Host 17th Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women

Emma Stone (Revlon Global Brand Ambassador) and Andy Cohen co-hosted the 17th Annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women this morning in New York. Created by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Revlon and Lilly Tartikoff, the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women has become one of the largest single-day fundraisers for women’s cancers in the United States. More than 15,000 participants joined the race to help raise critical funds to support women’s cancer research, counseling and outreach programs.
The event featured a special opening performance by recording artist Matt Goss and appearances by Karen Duffy and Denise Austin.
Registration is still open for the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 10, hosted by Halle Berry (Revlon Global Brand Ambassador) with Christina Applegate.
To register, please visit http://do.eifoundation.org/site/TR?fr_id=1151&pg=entry
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Image

An Early Glimpse at some Advance Oscar Predictions

Now that we’re officially a quarter of the way through 2014, I figured I’d debut my year in advance Academy Award predictions. These are actually the ones that I came up with back in March the night of the Oscars, so they’re not the most up to date, but they’re a good starting point for the season. I’m also excluding winners this time out, just so we can start slowly. Depending on how the season progresses, these can evolve into weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly posts, so for now we’ll play it by ear. I’m always keen to share predictions though, so it’s safe to say that this won’t be an infrequent series.
Basically, I see this season as one that could really favor Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children, and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If I had to pick way too early frontrunners, Foxcatcher and Unbroken would be the two. They seem to have potential for across the board appeal, and that’s something an early contender always wants to have in its corner. Nobody knows anything at this point, but if you had a gun to your head, those two are the ones that seem safest to back right now.
Other titles you should keep in mind are Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Josh Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, just to name a few. The vast majority of contenders are sight unseen right now though, so everything is purely speculation, and will be well until the fall. We’ll know some more soon, but all won’t be revealed for many months. That’s part of the fun of all this though, at least for me. I love seeing how it all unfolds and tracking how my predictions evolve/if any of my long shots wind up coming to fruition. It’s all educated guesswork, but I pride myself on being a decent prognosticator, so I try to keep track of it all. You’ll all get to be the judge throughout 2014, and this isn’t a bad place to begin. My final predictions rarely resemble these initial ones, but it could be fun to compare those as well too…later on, of course.
Below you can find my aforementioned initial set of predictions for the big eight categories at the Oscars. Next time I’ll do all of the categories and give […]

“Gangster Squad” Review by Kirk Honeycutt

“Gangster Squad” is a western masquerading as a gangster movie. It takes place in the Wild West — a virtually lawless 1949 Los Angeles — and some very bad dudes hold the town hostage.
All the law can do is round up a bunch of good guys willing to be as bad as the bad guys and then run ‘em out of town.
As these things go, this Warner Bros. production has an unusually starry cast and striking look with vintage cars and glistening period effects that pop off the screen.
To read more about ‘Gangster Squad’ go to honeycuttshollywood.com
Opens: January 11, 2013 (Warner Bros.)
Production companies: Warner Bros. Pictures presents in association with Village Roadshow Pictures a Lin Pictures/Kevin McCormick production
Cast: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Emma Stone, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Mireille Enos
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenwriter: Will Beall
Based on the book by: Paul Lieberman
Producers: Dan Lin, Kevin McCormick, Michael Tadross
Executive producers: Ruben Fleischer, Paul Lieberman, Bruce Berman
Director of photography: Dion Beebe
Production designer: Maher Ahmad
Music: Steve Jablonsky
Costume designer: Mary Zophres
Editor: Alan Baumgarten, James Herbert
R rating, 113 minutes
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