April 21, 2014

Tag Archives: English people

Thinking Out Loud: Oscar® nominees/winners and the ‘Star Wars’ casting rumors

For this week’s random assortment of Thinking Out Loud ideas, I wanted to start by focusing in on the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII casting rumors briefly. Specifically, how J.J. Abrams and company have recently seemed to be honing in on Oscar nominees and winners for the cast. I’ll have some other small things below as well, but that’s the main bent that the column will have today. Anyway, let’s get started!
-Star Wars loves awards darlings, that much seems to be true. Just look at the names being mentioned for roles in the sequel…Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Saoirse Ronan to name a few. What do all of them have in common? With the exception of Cumberbatch and Jordan, they’re all Oscar nominees, and in the case of Nyong’o, she’s an Academy Award winner to boot. If nothing else, Abrams and company seem to be meeting or at least considering folks who’ve given a few acclaimed performances over the last couple of years. That’s a good way to keep me interested this sequel, though in all honesty, we’re all going to be seeing the film, regardless.
-Could Godzilla be worth considering for some bigger Oscar categories than just the technical ones? Trust me, I’m not saying we’ve got a Best Picture nominee on our hands, but at the same time, those two trailers have been outstanding, and with an up and coming director in Gareth Edwards inspiring confidence in its potential, I’m starting to wonder if there’s at least an outside chance that we’ll discuss it at some point. Remember, a few years ago we had a similar situation with Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I’m 99% sure that it won’t get that nomination (or Best Director, though I suppose a Screenplay citation is an outside possibility), but hey…you never know.
-Finally, I’m writing this from Atlantic City, where I’m spending my birthday weekend (yes, happy birthday to me), and it made me wonder what the last movie was to use the town in a contemporary setting. Was it that Nicolas Cage flick Snake Eyes? Well, I hope not. Anyway, that was on my mind when I arrived last night, so I figured I’d share it with you all. If any screenwriters are reading this, perhaps you might want to consider setting your next project here? Just a thought…
Until next weekend [...]

Oscars®: Will either of the movies about doppelgangers be up the Academy’s alley?

Today, a small movie called Enemy opened in limited release, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and, well…Jake Gyllenhaal. In May, another small flick called The Double comes out, and that one stars Jesse Eisenberg alongside, you guessed it…Jesse Eisenberg. 2014 seems to be the year of the doppelganger, in addition to biblical epics as I mentioned a week or so ago. These are acting showcases through and through, so could Oscar bite for one or both of them? Honestly, I think they’re both too offbeat and weird for Academy attention, so instead of doing specific preview pieces on them and just going through the motions of talking about a likely to be ignored pair of films, I wanted to sort of discuss both of them a bit here in this sort of an article. These could be independent contenders for other awards, so it’s important to give the pair a moment in the sun here, if nothing else.
First up we have Enemy, which is partially notable for being the other movie that Gyllenhaal shot with his Prisoners director Denis Villenueve (and actually was filmed first, though it’s coming out this year as opposed to last…both played festivals around the same time however). Written by Javier Gullón and costarring Mélanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon, this is a very dreamlike and Kafka-esque (you’ll understand why if you see it) look at identity. Gyllenhaal plays a teacher who sees a doppelganger of his when watching a movie and set out to meet the man. Things obviously don’t go as intended. This is a psychosexual thriller of sorts and about as far from mainstream as it gets. That being said, it’s impeccably made by Villenueve and expertly acted, so an open minded audience member or Oscar voter could find something to like here, particularly in terms of Gyllenhaal’s performance(s).
Now we come to The Double, which is co-written (along with Avi Korine) and directed by Richard Ayoade. Eisenberg costars here with Sally Hawkins, Wallace Shawn, Mia Wasikowska, Chris O’Dowd, and Noah Taylor, to name a few. This is a pitch black comedy about a meek office drone driven mad by the appearance of a smooth talking doppelganger who at first seems interested in helping him before attempting to take over his life. This is very much a dark comedy that almost seems uninterested in laughs, so that immediately will turn off some voters, but Eisenberg has rarely [...]

Oscars: Get to know the Best Actor race

Best Actor
Nominees: Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Notable precursor wins: Dern wins National Board of Review Award, DiCaprio wins Golden Globe Award (Comedy), Ejiofor wins BAFTA Award, and McConaughey wins Broadcast Film Critics Association, Golden Globe (Drama), and Screen Actors Guild Awards
Current frontrunner: Matthew McConaughey
Next in line: Chiwetel Ejiofor
Dark horse: Bruce Dern
Time for the next version of my “Get to know” series, as we turn our attention now to the Best Actor race. As you can see above, the gentlemen making up this category are Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. This was a wide open and highly competitive race for most of the season, though lately the tide has greatly turned in McConaughey’s favor. Right now, he’s the odds on favorite to win the Oscar.
Basically, once the crowded field competing to be nominated was whittled down to these five, things clarified a bit. Bale was just happy to be nominated, while the other four shuffled back and forth a bit. Then, the major precursors really rallied around McConaughey, resulting in his current frontrunner status. Dern hasn’t had a win in a while that gives him much of a shot, while DiCaprio and Ejiofor have some, but not nearly on the level of McConaughey.
Now, with the Academy Awards just days away, McConaughey is the smart bet for Best Actor. If there’s going to be an upset, it’s going to be from Ejiofor. A Dern or DiCaprio win would be shocking at this point. Still, Ejiofor is pretty far behind McConaughey, so look for him to pick up a statue on Sunday evening. Anything could happen, but things seem pretty cut and dried now to me…
Stay tuned for the rest of the acting categories this week, with Best Actress up next!

Oscars®: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “12 Years a Slave”

12 Years a Slave
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Written by: John Ridley
Main cast members: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, and Alfre Woodard
Number of Oscar nominations in total: Nine
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (McQueen), Best Actor (Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Fassbender), Best Supporting Actress (Nyong’o), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ridley), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, won Best Drama at the Golden Globe Awards, won Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and and USC Scripter Award.
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders and main frontrunners for the award
Chances at other Academy Award wins: Frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay races

12 Years a Slave is the first film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s one of the main contenders in the category. The film is about the true life tale of Solomon Northrup, a free black man who was tricked into slavery and kept for the dozen years that gives the movie its name. Ever since it was announced that the film was being made, pundits like myself speculated that it was going to be an awards juggernaut. Well, it didn’t disappoint and after being the most cited flick among the precursor season, it’s now one of the most nominated films by the Academy and deep in the fight for Best Picture.
Working in 12 Years a Slave’s favor is that it is basically a universally beloved film. There might be more passionate support for other contenders, but it’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t think that the movie is at least very good, if not great. That creates a situation where voters are basically assured of placing it high up on their ballot. Consensus is the key to victory in this category, and this is a flick that will not want for number one votes. The question is simply if the other two main competitors (American Hustle and Gravity) can amass a wider range of Academy members to vote for them as opposed to this one.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s [...]

12 Years a Slave wins three London Critics Circle Film Awards

Across the pond another in the sometimes seemingly endless stream of precursor awards was given out, and this one was the London Critics Circle Film Awards. Last night, 12 Years a Slave took home three big prizes, including the Film of the Year award. The other wins were for Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o in their respective acting categories (Best Actor and Supporting Actress). The movie was also nominated for Best Director (Steve McQueen), Screenwriter (John Ridley), Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), and Technical Achievement.
While McQueen lost to Alfonso Cuaron (for Gravity), Ridley lost to the Coen Brothers (for Inside Llewyn Davis), Fassbender lost to Barkhad Abdi (for Captain Phillips), and Bobbit’s cinematography lost to the special effects of Gravity, it was still a big night for 12 Years a Slave, as it took home more awards than any other film. Especially with the upcoming BAFTA awards the final prize before the Oscars, seeing that the British critics supported this film over Gravity definitely says something.
As for the Academy Awards, it’s still a three way race in Best Picture between 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity, with those same three fighting it out for Director as well. The tide was previously thought to have turned in Gravity’s favor, but this could be a sign of 12 Years a Slave making a late push before the Oscar ceremony in March. Time will tell, but it’s an incredibly close and exciting race, that’s for sure!
Here are all of the winners from the London Critics Circle Film Awards:
Film of the Year
12 Years a Slave – Winner
Blue Is The Warmest Color
Blue Jasmine
Frances Ha
Gravity
The Great Beauty
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Foreign-Language Film of the Year
Blue Is the Warmest Color – Winner
Caesar Must Die
Gloria
The Great Beauty
A Hijacking
British Film of the Year
A Field In England
Filth
Philomena
Rush
The Selfish Giant – Winner
Documentary of the Year
The Act of Killing – Winner
Beware Of Mr Baker
Leviathan
Stories We Tell
We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks
Director
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity – Winner
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty
Screenwriter
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis – Winner
Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope, Philomena
Spike Jonze, Her
John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Actor
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave – Winner
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine – Winner
Sandra Bullock, [...]

Adele Will NOT Sing at Golden Globe Awards

Just so we’re all on the same page: Adele will perform “Skyfall” on the Academy Awards show on February 24th– only. She will simply appear, but not sing, on Sunday’s Golden Globes.
I told you last week that the mega-hit British singer had to choose, and that she wouldn’t sacrifice her Oscar slot for the wonky Golden Globes. The Globes are to the Oscars as the American Music Awards are to the Grammys.
Adele, a source close to her says, will arrive in Los Angeles today and remain here through the next six weeks until the Oscar show. Since Adele will be here though the Grammy Awards on February 10th, it’s likely she will show up there and maybe sing “Set Fire to the Rain” – for which she was nominated this year.
It’s unknown at this point if Adele–with her new baby in tow–will take time to explore writing or recording a new album. Her “21″ album remains a bestseller with over 10 million copies sold.
To read more go to www.showbiz411.com
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Kristen Stewart allegedly frustrated with Robert Pattinson

HollywoodNews.com: Although Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have reunited after her cheating scandal, it seems that things are not in a great place.
Pattinson has allegedly been holding back a bit in their relationship which is reportedly frustrating to Stewart, states RadarOnline. Stewart allegedly feels like she has been punished enough and wants to move forward.
At this point, Pattinson has allegedly still not fully committed back to her. Now, she is doing all that she can to prove her devotion to him.
Do you think they’ll work things out?
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Image by PR Photos

Kristen Stewart allegedly focusing on relationship with Robert Pattinson

HollywoodNews.com: Kristen Stewart is apparently trying to make up for cheating on Robert Pattinson with her ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ director by focusing on their rekindled relationship.
As Stewart and Pattinson recently reunited, she is allegedly working hard to make things work, states UsMagazine.com. Stewart is reportedly spending time with him and his friends in order to show she is serious about being with him.
She even allegedly spent Thanksgiving in London with his family. Next, the two might be spending time apart as they could be working on new projects.
Do you think they will last?
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Lindsay Lohan talks relationship with Samantha Ronson

HollywoodNews.com: Lindsay Lohan famously dated Samantha Ronson, and while she didn’t speak much about the romance then, she is talking about it now.
Lohan opened up to talk about the backlash she got for the relationship and how it made her feel, states Amy Grindhouse. “I was bold enough to say, ‘Yeah, I like a girl. And?’ That’s not fair [to be attacked for that]. And what am I left with? Heartbreak. That was three years ago. It was my last serious relationship,” Lohan commented.
She also referred to Ronson as “toxic” as she commented that the relationship didn’t work because “two toxic people cannot be together.”
What do you think about her comments?
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Anne Hathaway has babies on the brain

HollywoodNews.com: Anne Hathaway recently married Adam Shulman, and it sounds like if she has things her way she will soon be welcoming a baby.
The actress recently revealed the ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ that she is very ready to start a family with her husband, states UsMagazine.com. “I really want a baby!” Hathaway revealed.
Hathaway and Shulman married just this September in a quiet ceremony in Big Sur. She has reportedly been ready to start a family with him for some time but wanted to get through the wedding first.
When do you think they will start having kids?
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