December 03, 2016

Tag Archives: Marton Csokas

“Loving” announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer

Last week, we got two big Oscar friendly Trailers. The one I’m going to be talking about today is Loving, coming to us from filmmaker Jeff Nichols. He’s a writer/director who has been growing in stature the last few years, though this is his first overt play at awards. From the look of Loving, it’s a true life civil rights drama/biopic that should have real appeal across the board, and undoubtedly will be of interest to the Academy and its voters. Reviews were very strong out of the Cannes Film Festival and this Trailer debut was excellent as well. You’ll see it below, but first…let’s discuss it a bit.
The film is a biopic of the Loving family, Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred (Ruth Negga). An interracial couple living in the south in the 1950’s, they run into even more bigotry when they decide to get married. Virginia law in 1958 makes that illegal, resulting in jail time for them. The Lovings don’t take this insult to their union lying down though, and eventually their case is before the Supreme Court of the United States. Nichols writes and directs, with the cast, besides Edgerton and Negga, including Bill Camp, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, Michael Shannon, and more. Cinematography is by Adam Stone and the score is done by David Wingo, both longtime Nichols collaborators. From the looks of the Trailer, everyone is more than pulling their weight. It appears moving and powerful without being overtly manipulative. That’s certainly a promising start to an awards campaign.

Frankly, this sort of baity biopic could easily come off preachy and potentially even a bit tone deaf if not handled with the correct firmness. Nichols though, seems to have the right approach for the material, never going for the big emotion, but just playing this indignation matter of factly. Edgerton and Negga look really great, with Edgerton quietly breaking your heart, the cinematography looks supple, and Nichols could very well have his biggest hit to date here. Between Take Shelter, Mud, and earlier this year’s Midnight Special, he’s been building a larger and larger following, so Loving may just hit the mainstream, along with potentially the Oscar red carpet.
Awards wise, Loving has across the board potential. I’m very confident we’ll see a big Academy Award campaign, centered on Best Picture, Best Director (for Nichols), Best Actor (for Edgerton), Best Actress (for Negga), Best Supporting Actor (for […]

Oscars®: Noah – What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Written by: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel
Main Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Marton Csokas, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, and Frank Langella
Past Oscar relations: Crowe won Best Actor for Gladiator and has two other acting nominations, Hopkins won Best Actor for The Silence of the Lambs and has three other acting nominations, Connolly won Best Supporting Actress for A Beautiful Mind, Nolte has three acting nominations, Langella has one acting nominations, Aronofsky has a nomination for Best Director, and DP Matthew Libatique has a nomination for Best Cinematography
Here we go now with our first true article in this new series on 2014 contenders. First up is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which again brings him together with the likes of Jennifer Connelly, composer Clint Mansell, co-writer Ari Handel, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique, along with newcomers like Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman. It’s a retelling of the story of Noah (shockingly enough), though apparently more in line with Aronofsky’s prior work like The Fountain than more straightforward biblical tales to date.

What this movie has going in its favor is quite simply Aronofsky. He’s a visionary director and this has long been a passion project of his. I’ll have a bit more to say about passion projects this weekend, but I’m someone who’s always interested in them and how much potential they have. Aronofsky finally caught the Academy’s attention last time around with Black Swan (though both Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler scored acting citations), so if Oscar voters are now on his wavelength, we could see them look to honor his ambition here.
Working against Noah is publicity that the flick will get because of its origins, as opposed to the final product itself. Early reviews have been mixed but mostly positive, so it’s not a question of if the film is any good or not, but if it’ll be given a real chance. My heart wants to say that folks will look past the potential protests from the religious right, but my head thinks that it’ll become something all too easy to ignore for voters. Taking into account that it’s an early year release as well, and the movie clearly will have an uphill battle for any major recognition, to say the least.
So, can this be a player at all? My gut says […]

Weekend Box Office: The Help is still on top

HollywoodNews.com: Summer must be over, as grownups as seemingly returning to the marketplace. In what was always going to be a light moviegoing holiday weekend, the low-key adult thriller (on 1,826 screens) defeated the more heavily advertised and wider-playing genre entries. First of all, The Help once again topped the box office for the third weekend in a row ($18 million for its four-day holiday weekend, with a $14.2 million Fri-Sun total, dipping just 2.3% from last weekend).
I’m not sure what the record is for the most consecutive weekends at number one for a movie that did not debut in first place, but the crowd-pleasing period drama has to be high on the would-be list. With $122 million in a month come tomorrow, the film now sits as the eighth-highest grossing drama of all-time released in the summer, a list that becomes even shorter when you discount war-themed action pictures (Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator). It is still outpacing Bridesmaids by a significant margin ($106 million after four weekends) and could very well flirt with $180 million if it can hold onto screens and fend off adult-skewing pictures (Warrior, Contagion, Moneyball) in the next month.
The somewhat surprising story of the weekend was the excellent performance of Focus Features’ The Debt. The relatively well-reviewed film stars Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Jessica Chastain, Ciarán Hinds, Marton Csokas, and Tom Wilkinson in a time-jumping thriller (a remake of an Israeli film from 2007) about the hunt for a Nazi war criminal. The film opened with $9.7 million over Fri-Sun and about $12 million for the four-day holiday, and a $14 million total since opening on Wednesday. To be honest, I genuinely disliked the picture, finding it poorly paced and relatively unengaging after the first half.
Plus, minor note, it was a bit confusing. Sam Worthington looked more like a young Tom Wilkinson than a young Ciarán Hinds, and Marton Csokas looked EXACTLY like a young Ciarán Hinds, yet he played the young Tom Wilkinson, leaving me waiting for a climactic twist that never came. Having said that, this is just the kind of movie I like to see the studios releasing: adult-skewing, adult-starring, and R-rated purely because it is a film for adults with adult sensibilities (why that is a rare thing since 2001 – HERE). So this opening, […]

“The Tree” to close the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival has just announced the closing film of the festival. In a press release they stated the following:
Julie Bertucelli ’s film, “The Tree”, with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marton Csokas and Aden Young, will be presented at the Closing Ceremony of the 63rd Festival de Cannes. Shot in Australia, the film is an adaptation of Judy Pascoe’s novel, “Our Father Who Art in the Tree”.
The film will be screened on Sunday May 23rd once the Award ceremony, presided by the American filmmaker Tim Burton, is over. The Festival de Cannes opens on Wednesday May 12th with Robin Hood, by Ridley Scott.