September 17, 2015
        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                59th BFI London Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup        

Tag Archives: harvey weinstein

Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in “Burnt”

By now, it seems like a perennial contender for Oscars is none other than Bradley Cooper. He’s on quite the run of late, between his collaborations with David O. Russell, the stunning success that was American Sniper, and just being one of our most charismatic A-list stars. Later this year, he’ll look to again appeal to Academy voters, not just with a supporting turn for Russell in Joy, but also in the culinary comedy/drama Burnt, which has taken a bit to develop. Cooper has helped shepherd it to the screen (it’s now test screening, leading to some early reactions to his performance), and judging from the recent Trailer that dropped (which you can see at the end of the piece), this is going to be one intense flick. If things break the right way for it, you could also see it becoming another Oscar vehicle for Cooper.
The film is a look at the obsession that can go into being a chef. Adam Jones (Cooper), was once considered to be one of the best chefs in the world, but his fast rising career flamed out when he got lost in diva antics, drug addictions, and other such bad behavior. Now having cleaned himself up, he’s determined to essay a rags to riches redemption story by taking a top level restaurant and making it even better, earning the elusive full level Michelin Star rating in the process. John Wells directs from a script by Steven Knight (with a story credit going to Michael Kalesniko), while the cast besides Cooper includes Daniel Brühl, Lily James, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, and more.
Without question, the big selling point here for Burnt is Cooper. He’s become one of our bigger A-list stars over the last handful of years, so anything he chooses to make is of course noteworthy in and of itself, but this one seems especially worthy of our time. Not only is he again playing a chef after having done so briefly on television before he hit it big, he’s utilizing his star power as the sole big star here. He’s carried movies before, but perhaps never to this extent. The film could be an interesting test of his drawing power, not only at the box office but with awards season voters as well.
Awards wise, it could be Cooper or bust for this flick. That being said, if […]

“Carol” gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race

Hollywood Contenders: Depending on who you ask, one of the very first contenders for Academy Awards mentioned this year was Carol, the latest film from Todd Haynes. With a cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, under the direction of Haynes, this has been pegged pretty much from day one as an Oscar hopeful. The buzz at the Cannes Film Festival did nothing to dissuade anyone either, with Mara taking Best Actress at the fest. Now, with fall approaching and a winter awards season release pegged for Carol, The Weinstein Company has unveiled a Teaser Trailer (which you can see below) in order to get us even more excited for the flick. Spoiler alert: it worked.
The film is an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel and concerns the relationship between two women in 1950’s New York City. One is young department store clerk Therese Belivet (played by Mara), while the other is an older married woman named Carol Aird (Blanchett). What starts as a friendship slowly blooms into something more, even if they can’t explicitly speak it out loud. From there, it’s a choice of whether or not to risk everything for love in a time where this was not acceptable behavior. Haynes directs from a Phyllis Nagy screenplay, with the cast in addition to Blanchett and Mara including Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and Sarah Paulson.

Ever since Cannes, it’s been pretty clear that Carol is going to be a contender. The question is just to what degree Harvey Weinstein and company can make it play. A period piece forbidden romance with zeitgeist type story elements could be catnip to Academy voters, but it will all depend on how it’s campaigned and what the competition is. Chief among the decisions will be how to go forward category wise with the Oscar hopes of Blanchett and Mara. Many (including myself) have speculated that Blanchett will go Lead while Mara will go Supporting, but it was the former who took the Best Actress prize at Cannes, so that clouds matters a bit. It’s a good problem to have though, believe me. The Weinstein Company could even be bold and campaign them both in Actress and hope for a double dip.
Speaking of awards, I think it’s fair to say that Carol should be a big time player across the board, especially if the precursors are as kind to it as I […]

Cate Blanchett in “Carol”: Our first big Oscar contender from Cannes 2015

Over the past week or so, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival has slowly unveiled some big time releases. Some, like Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, have turned out to be longer shots for any Academy Award attention. On the other hand, Cannes has seen Todd Haynes’ Carol launch towards the top of quite a few Oscar contention lists. Yes, while the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone saw their chances fade, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson certainly had their stock rise. Carol is the cream of the Cannes crop so far…
As a primer, the film is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol). In it, Blanchett plays a married older woman who begins a flirtation and then an affair with a younger woman, played by Mara. Chandler plays Blanchett’s possessive husband, while the cast also includes the aforementioned Paulson in a vital role, alongside the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and more. Haynes directs, obviously, while the adaptation of Highsmith’s book has been penned by Phyllis Nagy. In some ways, this sounds like similar material to Far From Heaven, but if that is the case, that doesn’t mean that Oscar won’t be very interested, regardless.

I think that this one has some huge awards potential, both at Cannes and beyond as we move towards Oscar season. For starters, it’s certainly a contender now for the Palme d’Or prize as well as citations for Haynes and Blanchett at the fest. At the end of the year, when The Weinstein Company puts it out, it’ll likely be one of the bigger Academy Award players as well. This is one that you really can’t ignore, especially after the glowing reviews from the festival. Before that, it was still a strong possibility given its pedigree, but now…well, things are all that much better for Harvey Weinstein’s likely big shot at Oscar gold.
How good could this one do? Well, I don’t think Carol will wind up leading the field, but Best Picture, Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actress (for Mara and/or Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score represent potential nominations. Yes, a double digit total is something that […]

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 […]

The Impact of the Toronto Audience Award on the Oscar race

Over the weekend, the Toronto International Film Festival gave out its extremely prestigious Audience Award, a prize that’s often considered to be a harbinger of future Oscar success. To one degree or another, almost all movies that win the prize tend to receive some level of Academy Award attention. The award is highly sought after and a number of films were thought to be in the running at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Well, for those of you who don’t know which flick took the prize, I’ll save that for a little later in the article, but right now I want to get into what the Audience Award means and which titles were thought to be eying it up in a big way.
Historically, the Audience Award at Toronto has really been a signifier for the Academy, especially of late. The award was first given out in 1978, with 1981’s Chariots of Fire really starting the trend of Oscar taking notice of what wins this prize. Since then, we’ve seen (in alphabetical order) The Big Chill, Places in the Heart, The Fisher King, Shine, Life is Beautiful, American Beauty, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Amelie, Hotel Rwanda, Eastern Promises, Slumdog Millionaire, Precious, The King’s Speech, Silver Linings Playbook, and 12 Years a Slave among the winners, with all going on to be nominated in some regard by Academy voters. That trend shows no signs of slowing down in 2014.
This year, TIFF had a number of contenders seemingly in play. Early on, it seemed like prior 2014 festival success stories like Foxcatcher and Whiplash were potential favorites, while Telluride fave The Imitation Game began to make noise as well. A little later on in Toronto, St. Vincent and Theory of Everything emerged to give us five likely contenders for the Audience Award. By the time Sunday rolled around, any of them could have easily been able to claim that they were the frontrunner for the crown (though some had tipped St. Vincent as the one with the best chance overall). Only one could win though, and the audience members were about to have their say in the matter.
Ultimately, the winner of the Audience Award was The Imitation Game, with out of nowhere Learning to Drive the first runner up. The second runner up was St. Vincent, which as mentioned above was considered to potentially even be a likelier winner than The Imitation Game. […]

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Picture

With the festival season well underway and a good portion of the contenders for Best Picture having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the category and see what’s what in an expanded fashion. I did this with the major categories a few months back, but that was when almost everything was still speculation. We have some facts to go on now, so while much of this is still just an educated guess, I’m not completely relying on hunches this time around. It’s more of an even mix, depending on the film in question, of course.
Here now are ten movies that are sitting the prettiest in my mind right now for Best Picture:
1. Gone Girl – The highest profile unseen player gets my number one spot at this point and time. If it hits during its upcoming Opening Night spot at the New York Film Festival, then we could have a real frontrunner on our hands. David Fincher is overdue to have an Oscar winner in my book, so with the right reception, this could go where The Social Network came so close to going. Until proven otherwise, I’m going to stick with this one as potentially the one to beat.
2. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Even though the love fest for this one died down a bit between the start of the Venice Film Festival and the end of the Toronto Film Festival, it’s still sitting pretty. A Closing Night spot at New York will keep it in the conversation too. Especially with Michael Keaton potentially being the top dog in Best Actor, you really can’t bet against this one being a huge player all across the board.
3. Foxcatcher – The buzz has quieted down a bit, but slow and steady could still ultimately win the race. Bennett Miller’s tale was initially a frontrunner, but now has faded a bit due to newer players, but something tells me that this will move up again before all is said and done. Watch out for Steve Carell especially, regardless of whether he ends up in the Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor race.
4. The Imitation Game – The past week or two has seen this biopic/period piece become not just a major player, but also likely Harvey Weinstein’s horse to back. Benedict Cumberbatch appears likely to […]

The Oscars® were no enormous shame, a few good jokes, no great shocks

I’m a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her understated, often brilliant humor. This was most evident when she hosted the 2001 Emmy Awards after the horrific events in New York and Washington that year. The show was postponed twice, and when it finally aired a couple of months later the big question was how it could be entertaining?
Almost from the outset Ellen delivered. To paraphrase what she said, it was something like the terrorists could not break our spirit. Then she paused and deadpanned that only network executives could do that.

It was funny, unexpected yet absolutely true. It related to the events just passed, but broke the ice and allowed the show to go on to its true purpose after the long delay.

The Oscars Rate a B-Minus.
I wish I could say Ellen’s performance last night rose to that occasion. Though it generally retained the dignity and glamour that audiences expect, something lost in last year’s show hosted by Seth MacFarlane, it was mostly bland with repetitive jokes and occasional good moments. Having said that, I cringed a bit when Ellen repeated out loud and very slowly a compliment to Nebraska supporting actress nominee June Squibb, whom Ellen had termed the oldest Oscar nominee ever, as if the actress were almost deaf and needed careful attention to hear her remarks.

Throughout the ABC show, Ellen drew from a past playbook and redid bits from the last time she hosted in 2007, often appearing in the audience, talking with this celebrity or that and taking photos. In one segment she asked if anyone was hungry, which drew very few responses and went on much too long. However, when a pizza man arrived later in the show, though only with three pizzas, it was amusing to see how many celebrities accepted a slice, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford. And that no one initially responded to Ellen’s request for donations to pay the man.
To read Michael Russnow’s latest book, “Hollywood on the Danube,” go to

I’d thought sometime later it would have been funny if the delivery man, denied payment, started taking back the pizza slices from Meryl, Julia and the others. However, they eventually paid the bit off when Ellen passed a hat into which producer Harvey Weinstein threw two hundred dollars and several celebrities forked over twenty or more dollars each. By my count that was over three hundred […]

Django Unchained – Kudos for Quentin Tarantino @ Rome Film Festival

The 7th Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma) will confer its Lifetime Achievement Award to Quentin Tarantino. The American director, screenwriter, actor, and producer, winner of an Oscar® for Pulp Fiction, the author of extraordinary works such as Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill:Vol.1, Kill Bill:Vol.2 and Inglourious Basterds, will receive the award on January 4th on the occasion of the gala screening of the new film he has written and directed, Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Di Caprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, and Kerry Washington. The celebrated film-composer Ennio Morricone will be presenting the award to the director.
“Quentin Tarantino’s vision has radically influenced our collective imagery over the past twenty years – explains Marco Müller, artistic director of the Rome Film Festival – Tarantino is a profoundly American yet very European filmmaker, because the relationship he has established with cinema and its history is as analytical as it is passionate. He has cultivated a coherent project of mise-en-scene, an authorial project that has grown richer thanks, to his experimentation with language and also to constant cinematic cross-references. As a result his films are both alive and vivacious to the extreme, they blast away the codes and conventions of film genres but each of them does express the spirit of his time”.
In Quentin Tarantino’s explosive new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx stars as Django, a plantation slave who partners with Christoph Waltz’s (Inglourious Basterds) bounty hunter to seek vengeance on his former owners and rescue his wife (Kerry Washington). One of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the season, the film also stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the villainous plantation owner, Calvin Candie, and Samuel L. Jackson as Candie’s trusted house-servant, Stephen. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained is produced by Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin, and Pilar Savone. The executive producers are Harvey and Bob Weinstein, Michael Shamberg, Shannon McIntosh, and James Skotchdopole.
About The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been […]

Ben Affleck’s “Argo” earns raves after debut Telluride screening – AWARDS

By Sean O’Connell Ben Affleck’s “Argo” has been building a steady stream of buzz behind the scenes from people in the know claiming that the seasoned actor and full-fledged filmmaker had a third consecutive hit on his hands. This afternoon, the political thriller held a not-so-secret debut screening at the Telluride Film Festival, and the response was off-the-charts positive.
“Terrific,” “outstanding,” “amazing,” “smart” and “absorbing” were the adjectives tossed around Twitter by scribes from sites like Variety, HitFix and The Playlist. Best Picture and Director nods seems very possible at this early stage of the game, as Affleck earned Academy cred with “The Town” (a Best Supporting nod for co-star Jeremy Renner) and “Gone Baby Gone” (a win for the great Amy Ryan).
By all accounts, Affleck has hit another home run with this true-but-strange story of a CIA operative cooking up a bizarre scheme to help extradite U.S. hostages from a compromised embassy in Iran. Affleck stars, and surrounds himself with an awards-worthy ensemble that includes John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler and Victor Garber.
The Telluride screening was a warm up for Affleck’s Gala screening in Toronto. That’s when I plan to get my first look at what sounds like a winner. We hope to cover “Argo” through the bulk of the awards season. Could this be the one that earn Affleck his well-deserved seat at the Best Director’s table? We shall see.

Read more of our exclusive Awards interviews:
Producer Harvey Weinstein
“Lawless” director John Hillcoat
“Writers” director Josh Boone
Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

Los Angeles Times to be Presenting Sponsor for 2012 Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards Entering their sixteenth year, the Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards announced today that the Los Angeles Times will be the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s festival and star-studded gala.
“We are very honored and excited to have the Los Angeles Times as our Presenting Sponsor,” said founder and CEO Carlos de Abreu. “The Times is a Hollywood institution, and their support and leadership will help take the festival and awards to the next level.”
The festival, which starts October 18, encompasses five days of screenings at ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood and culminates with the prestigious Hollywood Film Awards Gala on October 22. The event honors cherished stars and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance. Times publisher and Tribune Company CEO Eddy Hartenstein will present one of the evening’s special awards, with details to be announced next month.
“The Los Angeles Times is Hollywood’s hometown news source and we have been at the forefront of entertainment coverage since trailblazing filmmakers and producers invented the industry,” said Times Vice President, Film Advertising, Francie Berns. “We’re excited to present the first marquee event of the all-important film awards season and support the creative community.”
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last nine years, a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
The 2011 awards show reached a total TV audience of more than 41 million media impressions, in addition to more than 300 million online and print readers’ impressions.
“In addition, we are very happy to continue to bridge the gap between established Hollywood and emerging filmmakers. Craig Brewer, director of “Footloose,” “Hustle and Flow,” and “Black Snake Moan,” was discovered by the Hollywood Film Festival with the world premiere of his first film, “Poor and Hungry,” added de Abreu.
Aside from celebrating accomplishments on screen, the Hollywood Film Awards established the “Hollywood Gives Back” program to expand and continue highlighting and assisting important local and national charities to raise funds. Over the years, the Hollywood Film Awards has contributed to such charities as the following: The Art of Elysium, Artists For Human Rights, Artists for Peace and Justice,, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the Enough Project, and Variety The Children’s Charity of So. CA, among others.
Further, the Hollywood Film Awards […]

Page 1 of 712345...Last »