September 19, 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: film

Oscars: “The Descendants,” “The Artist” and the Oscars Nominees Luncheon – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Now that the Super Bowl is over, the next BIG game on our nation’s horizon is the Oscar telecast, better known as the Super Bowl for movie fans.
We’ll have plenty of news items crossing the wire from now until Feb. 26, when the Academy gets together to hand out their annual Best Of trophies, starting with today’s headlines:
– Alexander Payne (“The Descendants”) has been selected by the Board of Directors of the American Cinema Editors (ACE) to be honored with the organization’s prestigious ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the 62nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 18, in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “Alexander Payne is a consistently fresh, exciting voice in film,” stated the ACE Board of Directors. “From the socially conscious and satirical “Citizen Ruth” to the rich and poignant comedies of “Sideways,” “About Schmidt” and most recently “The Descendants,” he is a filmmaker with unique vision and the ability to illuminate the humanity in every story he tells. We are delighted to recognize him with our most distinguished honor.”
– Awards Daily wonders if any film can upset “The Artist” at the Oscars. Good question.
– On that topic, Jeff Wells left Santa Barbara charmed by “Artist” star Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. Good for him.
– makes the case for “Shame,” which was shut out of the Oscars.
– Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia” swept the Danish Film Academy Awards. Well, yeah. Of course. What was it’s competition?
– The BAFTAs have picked Miss Piggy as their official red carpet host. That should be fun.
– And finally, the Oscars Nominees Luncheon will be held today, Feb. 6. Here’s a list of who’s expected to attend, including George Clooney, Viola Davis, Glenn Close, Rooney Mara, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Demian Bichir, Jean Dujardin, Gary Oldman and Brad Pitt.
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.”
– Producer Jim Burke for “The Descendants.”
– 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 […]

Clint Eastwood wins Super Bowl with stirring Chrysler ad

By Sean O’Connell As Hollywood debates which blockbuster better helped its cause with a winning Super Bowl ad campaign, America needs to rally behind this outstanding Chrysler ad featuring a solemn yet hopeful Clint Eastwood reminding us that unity is pretty much the only thing that can get our nation through its toughest times.
It’s a car ad, but only in the sense that it calls to attention the rebound of the automotive industry in Detroit.
Instead, this is a shot in the arm, a call to arms for Americans to believe in each other again … and to believe in themselves.
Eastwood uses the halftime analogy, saying that our country is figuring out how to come back, how to win. It’s a stirring ad, perhaps more effective than Eastwood’s last few films. (Sorry, sir, but the truth is the truth.)
“This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We’ll get back up again and when we do the world’s gonna hear the roar of our engines. Yeah. It’s halftime, America,” he said. “And our second half’s about to begin.”
Can the former politician run for president?
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‘Rango’ took top honors as the Best Animated Feature at the Annie Awards Pictures ‘Rango’ took top honors as the Best Animated Feature at the 39th Annual Annie Awards, Saturday, February 4 at UCLA’s Royce Hall. With the expanded list of categories from 25 to 28, and the addition of two new categories – Editing and Best Animated Special Production – this year’s show honored more nominees than in the past. Also new to the ceremony was the live streaming of the event at The complete list of winners can be viewed at The newly created ‘Member’s Favorite’ award voted on by the entire ASIFA-Hollywood community also went to ‘Rango.’
Newcomer Minkyu Lee’s ‘Adam and Dog’ won for Best Short Subject while Psyop’s Twinings ‘Sea’ was selected Best Television Commercial. ‘The Simpsons’ took Best Animated TV Production and Shadow Planet Production’s ‘Insanely Twisted’ was selected as Best Video Game.
“This was a great evening, with a lot of fun and surprises, “ said ASIFA-Hollywood President Frank Gladstone. “Annies went to a huge variety of individuals and studios. This goes directly to ASIFA-Hollywood’s vision of celebrating the best in animation across project, studio and geographic boundaries.”
Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt ‘s hosting duties kept the show moving at a lively pace. He was joined on stage by animation luminaries, celebrity presenters and comedic talent including animation legend June Foray, J.K. Simmons, Judy Greer, Zachary Levi, Peter Baynham, Mace Heufeld, Weird Al Yankovic, Bruce Boxleitner, Ahmed Best, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Jim Cummings, Phil Lamarr, Diedrich Bader, Daran Norris, Tara Strong, Kelly Stables, Dee Bradley Baker, Nika Futterman, Ariel Winter, Logan Grove, James Hong, Brian Posehn, Greg & Evan Spiridellis and Jim Meskimen (Jib Jab), Bridgit Mendler, Brittany Snow, Jason Marsden and Joe Letteri.
Honored with the Winsor McCay award were Walt Peregoy, Borge Ring and the late Ronald Searle. The Winsor McCay Award stands as one of the highest honors given to an individual in the animation industry in recognition for career contributions to the art of animation.
Art Leonardi was honored with the June Foray award which is presented to an individual who has given significant and benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation.
Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 28 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation, and effects animation to […]

The Hunger Games – Jennifer Lawrence Photo Gallery We knew “The Hunger Games” was going to be huge. We didn’t know it would be IMAX-sized. Yet Lionsgate just confirmed via a press release that the film will be presented on IMAX’s giant screens for a one-week, limited engagement.

“With this news, the release of The Hunger Games has truly become an epic event,” said Lionsgate’s Joe Drake, in a statement.
“The Hunger Games and IMAX are a match made in heaven — fans love this book because its world is so vividly imagined and seeing the film in IMAX will make them feel as if they have landed right in the middle of the action. It is the ideal way for fans to experience this film for the first time,” he added.
Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson star in this anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel. Gary Ross directs the film, which will be out on March 23. And now it will be bigger.

By Sean O’Connell. Photos by Murray Close.
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Super Bowl commercial: G.I. Joe: Retaliation brings the cheese

By Scott Mendelson I liked G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra more than most people did, so it heartens me to say that this short 30 second spot feels more larger-than-life than the first full trailer. Point being, I don’t want a G.I. Joe movie that is ‘dark, gritty, and realistic’. Obviously having two genuine movie stars leading the pack will probably allow this picture to be taken more seriously than the last one, although it will be interesting to see how much Channing Tatum actually appears in this sequel, since he’s obviously being hidden in the marketing thus far. As I’ve said before, the most promising element is the fact that they are actually honoring the crazy cliffhanger from the first picture and frankly the fact that they are treating this as a sequel at all, as opposed to a ‘reboot’. Anyway, considering how much ink has been spent of late discussing the costumes for female characters in franchises like this, it is refreshing to see that Elodie Yung (Jinx) and Adrienne Palecki (Lady Jane) will be allowed to wear full outfits during their big moments. And Faran Tahir (allegedly playing Cobra Commander) once again returns to the Paramount franchise fold, having had small roles in Iron Man and Star Trek (he’s apparently a good luck charm). Point being, this does look like the kind of big-scale fun we want out of a G.I. Joe movie, so here’s hoping that Jon Chu pulls it off. The picture opens on June 29th, 2012. As always, we’ll see…

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memo
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Third ‘Bridget Jones’ film reportedly still in works It looks like ‘Bridget Jones’ fans are going to still have something to look forward to as it is being reported that a third film is being worked on in hopes of filming it soon.
While it was recently rumored that Hugh Grant didn’t want to be involved due to script issues, it is now reported that the stars are still on board with working things out, states E! News.
Grant’s rep recently commented, “Hugh is keen that ‘Bridget Jones 3′ happens, but Renée [Zellweger], Colin [Firth] and he all have some issues with the present script. They are hoping to help work them out.”
It is rumored that the third film will be called ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby.’
Do you want it to be made?
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Image by PR Photos

The Hunger Games: Lionsgate releases a spoiler-free second trailer

By Scott Mendelson I have now seen three Hunger Games previews, the teaser, the wonderful full trailer from a few months ago, and now this 69-second second trailer. And I still know next-to-nothing about how the film plays out.
I know the concept, I know large chunks of the first and second act, and I know some of the actors I can expect to see. Other than that, nadda. No mega-money shots from the climax, no thrill-spilling montage, no expository narration or on-screen text. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you market a would-be franchise. You explain the core story, you tease a character relationship or two, offer a few tantalizing bits and pieces, and you get out. This final teaser, combined with the news that the film will play in IMAX for the first week of release, is a sign that Lionsgate feels it has the goods and can deliver not just to the fans of the source material but to general audiences as well. The Hunger Games opens on March 32rd.
As always, we’ll see… Oh, and the IMAX press release is after the jump.
To see trailer and read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

Olivia Wilde opens up on being grateful for past TV career Olivia Wilde rose to fame with her role on ‘House,’ something that she will never take for granted as she feels it has given her the film career she has now.
Wilde admitted that she is happy to have had the chance to play a role that required more of her than just being attractive, states Hollyscoop.
“I spent four years on ‘House’ and learned so much from Hugh [Laurie]. I owe my entire film career to him. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am not without Hugh and the series. It was the first time I’d been allowed to play somebody not defined by my looks,” Wilde admitted.
Did you like her on the show?
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The Help: The Power of Film to Create Social Change There is a vibrant tradition in American cinema of films that tackle compelling social issues. Seminal films, including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Norma Rae” remind everyone that the smallest acts of courage can inspire social change. This tradition continues with the recent film “The Help,” which examines the relationships between black maids and their white employers in 1960s Mississippi. The film reminds audiences that popular culture has the power to affect change and illuminate the plight of those without a voice.
ABOUT “THE HELP”: Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon, “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed—even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.
The ensemble cast also features Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Emmy® Award winner Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Oscar® winner Sissy Spacek, Academy Award® nominee Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel.
From DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment, in association with Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi, “The Help” is directed and written for the screen by Tate Taylor, based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan.
ABOUT USC SCHOOL OF CINEMATIC ARTS: The mission of the USC School of Cinematic Arts is to develop and articulate the creative, scholarly and entrepreneurial principles and practices of film, television and interactive media, and in doing so inspire and prepare the women and men who will become leaders in the field.
With the school’s launch, USC became the first university in the country to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in film. The school’s founding faculty included Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, William C. DeMille, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving Thalberg, and Darryl […]

Oscar® Nominees to be Honored At Awards Luncheon Eighteen of the 20 nominees in the acting categories will be among more than 150 Oscar nominees who will gather at noon on Monday, February 6, at the Beverly Hilton when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors this year’s Oscar contenders at its annual Nominees Luncheon. Additional confirmations are expected to come in over the weekend.
From the Best Actress and Actor categories all the nominees – Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Rooney Mara, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Demián Bichir, George Clooney, Jean Dujardin, Gary Oldman and Brad Pitt – are expected to attend. Kenneth Branagh, Jonah Hill, Nick Nolte, Max von Sydow, Bérénice Bejo, Melissa McCarthy, Janet McTeer and Octavia Spencer will represent the Supporting Actor and Actress categories.
Three of the five nominees in the Directing category – Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese – also are expected to attend.
Academy Awards® for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.
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