September 18, 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: Entertainment/Culture

Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean- Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley to appear on the Hollywood Film Awards, November 14, 2014 on CBS

Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean- Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley to appear on the Hollywood Film Awards, November 14, 2014 on CBS
The Hollywood Film Awards today announced the first group of A-list stars scheduled to appear at the live inaugural broadcast of the Hollywood Film Awards, hosted by Queen Latifah, from the Hollywood Palladium Friday, November 14, 2014 (8:00-10:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Scheduled to appear are Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O¹Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean-Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 17 years, honoring some of the world¹s biggest stars. Additional stars attending will be announced soon.
Over its 17 year history, the Hollywood Film Awards has celebrated some of the biggest names in film. Previous honorees include: Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Glenn Close, Russell Crowe, Penelope Cruz, Robert DeNiro, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirk Douglas, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Diane Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Jack Lemon, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Sean Penn, Joaquin Phoenix, Julia Roberts, Geoffrey Rush, Susan Sarandon, Hilary Swank, John Travolta, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams and Robin Williams, among others.
The Hollywood Film Awards kicks off at 7:30 PM live ET/delayed PT on CBS with a special half-hour red carpet show featuring fashion and interviews with the stars as they arrive. Following the Hollywood Film Awards broadcast, the festivities will continue with a live one-hour show that will feature interviews with honorees and look back at the evening¹s highlights. ³CBS This Morning² anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O¹Donnell and Gayle King will host, (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT).
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997 by Carlos de Abreu, who also executive produces, is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco and R. A. Clark are executive producers along with de Abreu.
CBS Extended Primetime Schedule for Friday, Nov. 14:
7:30-8:00 PM (live ET/delayed PT) COUNTDOWN TO THE HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS
8:00-10:00 PM […]

Could ‘Interstellar’ be an Oscar winner?

Last week, I was one of the lucky first members of the press to lay eyes on Christopher Nolan’s new opus Interstellar. Now that the embargo has lifted, I can say without hesitation that it’s his best work to date, an absolutely enthralling and deeply moving science fiction drama that makes both your heart and your mind soar. More important than my thoughts though (which I’ll get into more below), is how its debut could impact the Oscar race. I know that only a few of my fellow pundits love it as much as I do and some aren’t even fans of it at all, but this is a legitimate contender folks. The only question is to what extent…
For those somehow in the dark about this, Interstellar is a sci-fi movie set in the future from Christopher Nolan. It details a dying Earth and the last ditch attempt to save it by going in search of a new planet to colonize. Matthew McConaughey stars as the pilot turned farmer/single dad turned hero, with an incredible supporting cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, David Gyasi, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn, and David Oyelowo. Nolan directs and co-writes with his brother Jonathan Nolan.
Even with high expectations, I was floored by this film. It’s visually stunning, powerful, and surprisingly emotional. Nolan has never been one to move me to tears, but on more than one occasion I got choked up. Particularly in terms of how he deals with relationships between fathers and daughters (McConaughey and Chastain/Foye, as well as Caine and Hathaway), it’s actually quite beautiful and sad. That’s really something special and unique, compounded by how intelligent the science fiction is here. The details about black holes and the Theory of Relativity is handled with the sort of faith that assumed the audience will come on this journey without turning off their brains. If they/you do, you’ll be in for something amazing.
So how can it impact the Oscar race? Well, it’ll depend on how the precursors and guilds take to it, but there’s a potential narrative where it could become one of the top contenders for Best Picture as well as Best Director. If all goes perfectly for Interstellar from this point on, it could be in line for up to a dozen Academy Award nominations. Pie in […]

Golden Globe predictions for October

With the month of October almost complete and the precursor season having officially kicked off yesterday morning with the Gotham Award nominations (I’ll be writing about that on Monday or Tuesday as part of something more substantial about precursors), now’s a perfect time for my monthly set of Golden Globe predictions. Some might consider it a bit too early still, but not me. It’s time. Especially considering some of the embargoed things I’ve seen this month (including one big one I can’t talk about yet), it’s high time to discuss the Globes again.
To reiterate the basics to you all one more time, the biggest difference that 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 well as more European fare at times. So yes, some films that do better here might not do quite as well with Oscar. Certain titles will do about the same with both groups, like potentially Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, or Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game. You also still might lose certain indie players here, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (though that one can go either way considering it’s potentially a frontrunner for Best Picture), 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, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent 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 (or just harder to come by) 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 (since we all know that you’re really here just to see what I have below in each category), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions. Behold:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Interstellar
3. Unbroken
4. Boyhood
5. The Theory of Everything
If there’s a sixth: Gone Girl
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. […]

18 Awards Announced by the Hollywood Film Awards

Los Angeles, CA (October 22, 2014) – The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season™, announced the 18 award categories to be featured during the inaugural broadcast hosted by the multi-talented Academy and Emmy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning musician and talk show host Queen Latifah. The show will broadcast live from the Hollywood Palladium on Friday, November 14 (8:00-10:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. The Hollywood Film Awards have recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for over 17 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars.
The categories are:
Hollywood Career Achievement Award
Hollywood Film Award
Hollywood Director Award
Hollywood Actor Award
Hollywood Actress Award
Hollywood Supporting Actor Award
Hollywood Supporting Actress Award
Hollywood Ensemble Award
Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress Award
Hollywood Breakout Performance Actor Award
Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award
New Hollywood Award
Hollywood Screenwriter Award
Hollywood Song Award
Hollywood Animation Award
Hollywood Blockbuster Award
Hollywood Documentary Award
Hollywood Comedy Film Award
Winners will be announced during the broadcast.
The Hollywood Film Awards kick off at 7:30 PM live ET/delayed PT on CBS with a special half-hour red carpet show featuring fashion and interviews with the stars as they arrive. Following the Hollywood Film Awards broadcast, the festivities will continue with a live one-hour show that will feature interviews with honorees and look back at the evening’s highlights. “CBS This Morning’s” Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King will host from the Hollywood Palladium, (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT).
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997 by Carlos de Abreu, who also executive produces, is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco and R. A. Clark are executive producers along with de Abreu.

CBS Extended Primetime Schedule for Friday, November 14:
7:30-8:00 PM (live ET/delayed PT) COUNTDOWN TO THE HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS
8:00-10:00 PM (live ET/delayed PT) HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS
10:00-11:00 PM (live ET/delayed PT) “CBS This Morning” Post-Awards Show (Working Title)
CHEAT TWEET: 18 prestigious award categories to be featured @ the star-studded @HollywoodAwards live on #CBS 11/14!
Twitter: @HollywoodAwards
Facebook: HollywoodAwards
Instagram: […]

2014 Hollywood Film Awards Announces Host – Queen Latifah

The HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS to be Broadcast Live from the Hollywood Palladium, Friday, Nov. 14 on CBS
The “Hollywood Film Awards” today announced that multi-talented Academy and Emmy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning musician and talk show host Queen Latifah, will host the inaugural broadcast of the HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS, live from the Hollywood Palladium Friday, November 14, 2014 (8:00-10:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. The “Hollywood Film Awards” have recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 17 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. They are considered the official launch of the awards season.
“I’m honored to be a part of such a legendary award show,” stated Latifah. “The HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS have been a staple in the awards season for years, and I’m excited to be the first host to bring them to television!”
“Queen Latifah is the real deal. She is a triple threat, she can act, she can sing, she can dance, she is beloved by audiences across multiple genres and she entertains millions of people every day,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President of Specials, Music and Live Events for CBS. “We look forward to having her as our host for the inaugural broadcast of the HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS.”
“Queen Latifah is a world-class entertainer,” said Carlos de Abreu, Founder and Executive Producer of the Hollywood Film Awards. “From film and music to television, her humor, quick wit and ability to entertain live audiences make her the perfect choice to host the HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS.”
Latifah was anointed hip-hop’s first lady of rap at the age of 19 with the release of her highly successful debut album, “All Hail The Queen.” She went on to release multiple Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling albums, and in 2006 she became the first hip-hop artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Latifah has enjoyed similar success in television and film. Her first TV series was “Living Single,” and she has starred in nearly 40 films, including, “Jungle Fever,” “Living Out Loud,” “The Bone Collector,” “Chicago,” “Hairspray,” “Bringing Down the House,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Last Holiday,” “Beauty Shop” and “Joyful Noise.” Also, she executive produced and starred in the HBO true-life drama “Life Support,” for which she won a Golden Globe award, a SAG award and an Emmy nomination. Her production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, was […]

“Birdman”: What’s Up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Armando Bo, and Alexander Dinelaris
Main Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, and more…
Past Oscar relations: Iñárritu was nominated for directing and co-producing Babel, Norton has been nominated twice (Best Supporting Actor for Primal Fear and Best Actor for American History X), Ryan has been nominated once (Best Supporting Actress for Gone Baby Bone), and Watts has been nominated twice (Best Actress for 21 Grams and The Impossible)
Today we have another article in this particular series of mine concerning certain 2014 releases hoping to compete for some sort of actual Oscar attention as a contender at the upcoming 2015 ceremony. Next up for here for us is a festival favorite in Birdman that’s looking to take its sensational festival screenings and use that buzz in order to appeal to the Academy. Can it actually do it in the face of myriad competition? Let us discuss that possibility a little bit now below…
This dramedy is a real change of pace for the normally super serious Iñárritu. It surrounds an actor who used to play a superhero and is trying to stage a comeback through a broadway production of a Raymond Carver story. Michael Keaton stars as the actor, with the supporting cast including Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, Damian Young, and others. All of whom are fantastic from top to bottom, with special praise so far being given to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and his work. Now, it hopes to become an Oscar nominee.
What this film has going in its favor is how technically proficient and well acted it is. It’s also perhaps the most overtly funny Academy Award contender of the year, which never hurts either. Keaton, Norton, and Stone are almost surefire acting nominees (Best Actor for Keaton, Best Supporting Actor for Norton, and Best Supporting Actress for Stone), while Iñárritu is locked into Best Director and likely Best Original Screenplay as well. Lubezki could very well win Best Cinematography and Antonio Sanchez is likewise in play for Best Original Score. Across the board, Birdman is looking like a really heavy player. A winner? Well, that could be a harder sell, but a nominee seems like a pretty sure thing in a number of categories.
Working against Birdman is that it’s not exactly a traditionally […]

Spotlight on the Stars: Brad Pitt

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to take a look at one of Hollywood’s absolute bigger stars. He’s about as A-list as the A-list gets…the name? Well, Brad Pitt of course. Not only is he a movie star with all capital letters (MOVIE STAR!) and a top tier celebrity, he’s also developed into one of the industry’s best and most interesting actors as well. Pitt is the type of star that doesn’t rest on his laurels and often seems to attach himself to challenging material, something that will win the man an acting Oscar one day (he already won his first one last year for helping to produce Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave). As high as he’s soared already, the best could still be to come.
Pitt got his noticeable start in the business (after some uncredited acting jobs on the big screen and small spots on TV shows like 21 Jump Street, Another World, Dallas, and Growing Pains) with a supporting role in Thelma & Louise. The next year or so brought roles in films like Johnny Suede, Kalifornia, A River Runs Through It, and True Romance, but it was Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles that really began his ascent to the A-list. He certainly didn’t hurt his cause with work like Legends of the Fall, Se7en, and Twelve Monkeys (which got him his first Academy Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actor). Factor in other work like The Devil’s Own, Meet Joe Black, Seven Years in Tibet, and Sleepers…well, the end result is that the man was a star.
Pitt has really become an A-lister with work like Fight Club. Ocean’s Eleven, Snatch, and Spy Game. That elevated him and allowed him to become a megastar in things such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ocean’s Twelve, and Troy. He also made Babel, which helped signal that he’d be interested in helping auteurs tell stories as well. Sure, he cultivated celebrity status with Ocean’s Thirteen, but in the same breath he’d make The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Burn After Reading as well. The young A-list movie star Pitt was now officially one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Since then, he’s continued to lend his talents to interesting work, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Inglourious Basterds, Killing Them Softly, Moneyball, and The Tree of Life, just to name […]

“Fury” announces itself as a potentially big time Oscar contender

Earlier on today, the embargo lifted on David Ayer’s new film, the World War II tank tale Fury. While some critics weren’t blown away by the movie, plenty of others were like myself and very fond of the flick. In fact, for the most part, Ayer’s film, which stars Brad Pitt as a tank commander in the final days of the second World War, has established itself as an awards contender. After all, Oscar loves WWII and killing Nazis, something this movie has in spades. One might be tempted to take the lack of unanimous praise as a warning sign, but I think the combination of prestige, likely box office, and subject matter will make this something a voter heavily considers.
For those who don’t know anything about Fury, it’s a World War II set action-drama that depicts a 24 hour period during the final days of the war. Set deep in Germany, a tank commander played by Pitt takes part in the last of the fighting. Along with his remaining regular crew, played by Jon Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf, and Michael Pena, plus his newest addition played by Logan Lerman, their tank (aptly named Fury) moves forward, taking out whatever Nazis they can find. Of course, despite victory being imminent, that’s easier said than done. Ayer writes and directs, showing off much of the same skill that made End of Watch an underrated classic in my eyes.
There’s a solid cast on display in this film, with memorable performances from Lerman and Pitt, in addition to the best turn from LaBeouf in some time. While the Best Actor race is far too crowded for Pitt to have any hope of a nod, a Best Supporting Actor nom for Lerman certainly isn’t out of the question. The cast play their parts as closely to those from classic war films as possible, while also attempting to bring something new to the roles. For the most part, they succeed too.
One of the best elements of Fury is the technical prowess that it shows off. From the costumes and production design to the cinematography to the film editing (done by End of Watch alum Roman Vasyanov), not to mention the score (from last year’s category winner Steven Price), sound effects, and visual effects, it’s all top notch. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the movie managed to score a handful of nominations in those fields, […]

“Whiplash”: What’s Up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Written by: Damien Chazelle
Main Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, and more…
Past Oscar relations: None (yet)
Today we have another article in this particular series of mine concerning certain 2014 releases hoping to compete for some sort of actual Oscar attention as a contender at the upcoming 2015 ceremony. Next up for us here is a small yet potentially major player in Whiplash, which hopes to be the latest Sundance sensation to appeal to the Academy. Can it actually do it after high profile subsequent showings at the Cannes Film Festival and New York Film Festival? Let us discuss that possibility a little bit now below…
This character/drama is an expansion of the short film by writer/director Damien Chazelle, who pulls the same double duty here with the feature. The cast is comprised of J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller in the main roles, though Paul Reiser has a supporting part alongside the likes of Melissa Benoist, Chris Mulkey, and others. The story surrounds a talent musical student at the best conservatory in the country and his dealings with a brutal jazz band instructor. Teller is the student while Simmons is the instructor, and their interactions will likely remind you of Full Metal Jacket to some degree.
What this film has going in its favor is tremendous work all around by its cast and crew. From the performances of Simmons and Teller to Chazelle’s filmmaking, everything is on an insanely high level here. The flick is nearly perfect, with Teller portraying dedication/obsession in such a compelling way, while Simmons gives you a monster you come to really understand (or do you?) by the end of the movie. Chazelle’s writing supports his phenomenal directing, all of which is worthy of consideration. Simmons is all but a lock for Best Supporting Actor, while Teller finds himself somewhere among the glut of Best Actor contenders. If Academy members take to this like everyone else has so far, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay could certainly be in play as well (the former really only possible if the latter becomes a reality though). Best Director is a long shot, but stranger things have happened.
Working against Whiplash is that this is one of the smallest Oscar contenders this year, which can sometimes wind up getting the film lost in the shuffle. Many a worthy movie has ultimately ended up with few nominations […]

Bill Murray could upend the Best Actor race with “St. Vincent”

The already overcrowded Best Actor race is about to get even tighter folks. Last night I attended the premiere of St. Vincent and got to see Bill Murray’s performance, which is awards worthy, let me tell you. Murray combines his comedy and drama skills in such a way that I think Academy members might find it hard to resist him. As I’ve said for months now, the Best Actor race is going to be a bloodbath, something that’s only more true now that contenders are screening and performances are showing that they are indeed worthy of consideration. The latest here is Murray’s in St. Vincent, one that could ultimately wind up going a lot further than some think.
For those of you who don’t know, the movie is a comedy/dramedy about a curmudgeonly older man (played by Murray) in Brooklyn who winds up babysitting his frazzled neighbor’s son. He gives him the sort of real world/bad advice you’re used to in things like this, but then the second half of the film goes in a very different direction and winds up tugging at your heartstrings in a big way. Murray obviously stars, with Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Naomi Watts, and Jaeden Lieberher in the other main roles. Theodore Melfi writes and directs.
This is a pretty good film, but it’s Murray who elevates things, along with the cast on the whole. While McCarthy and Watts are strong in roles that are reversed from what they normally do, Murray gets to combine all of his skills to give what I think is one of his top five performances to date. At times he’s channeling his early comedic persona while at other moments he’s playing it completely straight. I won’t spoil things by saying some of the situations where he’s forced to really go dramatic, but he absolutely nails them.
What will help St. Vincent out is of course the fact that Harvey Weinstein is behind it. He knows how to make this sort of push happen, which is only helped by the fact that Murray is out and about promoting it. He’s done Q and A’s, gone to parties, etc…all of which helps to endear him to Academy members. As we all know, voters like to be courted, so if Murray is willing to play the game, that could give him a leg up on some of his competition.
On the flip side, Weinstein […]

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