January 02, 2015

Tag Archives: matt damon

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

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan
Main Cast: Matthew McConaughey, 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, among others…
Past Oscar relations: Burstyn, Caine, Damon, Hathaway, and McConaughey are previous Oscar winners, while Affleck, Chastain, and both Nolans are Academy Award nominees in prior years
Today we have another brand spanking new article in this particular series of mine concerning certain high profile 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 one of the biggest contenders of the year in Interstellar. It’s an epic that’s hoping to become the blockbuster in the Best Picture race. Does it have a strong chance? Well, let me get into that a little bit now…
This movie is a science fiction adventure/drama set in the near-ish future. Earth is dying and a last ditch mission to save it is set up by what remains of NASA. A former engineer and pilot turned farmer is chosen to lead the way and must leave his children behind in order to save mankind. I could say more, but the less you know going in, the more wonder that’s going to be in store for you all. Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, John Lithgow, Mackenzie Foy, Bill Irwin, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, David Gyasi, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn, Timothée Chalamet, David Oyelowo, and Collette Wolfe. Christopher Nolan directs and co-writes with his brother Jonathan Nolan. They all combine to literally make magic happen. Now, will Oscar recognize these achievements?
What this film has going in its favor is the incredible ambition on display. Not only do I feel that this is Nolan’s best work behind the camera to date, it’s also his most emotional by far. There’s a ton of heart here, which voters will probably respond to. Not only is his direction flawless, the writing is complex and super compelling. Throw in the top notch performances, especially by McConaughey (as well as by Chastain and Damon), and that makes for across the board potential, including the technical achievements of cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, composer Hans Zimmer, and editor Lee Smith, just to name a few. If the Academy goes for this flick […]

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 […]

Mark Ruffalo: 2015 Best Supporting Actor contenders

As you fine folks all already know by now, it’s one thing to just read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen in six months, but it’s an entirely separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing to run down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what or who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor.
Here are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) – Especially considering that I’ve recently been informed that Channing Tatum (who I’d previously been predicting for one of the other Supporting slots) is going Lead here, this category seems like Ruffalo’s to lose right now. He’s someone who fits as a winner, apparently is excellent in Foxcatcher, and is just a warm person to be around. That’s a big help, as he’d be great on the campaign trail. At this juncture, Ruffalo makes a lot of sense as the number one here, so that’s where I have him currently.
2. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) – If there’s an under the radar contender of sorts who can really upend the race, it’s Simmons, who blew folks away at Sundance in Whiplash. A few people out there even have him winning (including myself at one earlier point), though right now he has to be behind Ruffalo. Simmons is overdue his first citation, so I have a feeling that his run of bad luck is about to come to an end. He deserved to be in bigger play for Juno, but now could very well be his time.
3. Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes) *could go Lead – It seems a little unlikely that Waltz could wind up winning his third Best […]

The 2015 Awards Race: Best Picture contenders – Unbroken, Foxcatcher

It’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once or twice a week for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet.
Today I’m beginning with the big one…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. Unbroken – To me, Angelina Jolie’s sophomore directorial outing is the one to beat out right now. It’s a World War II survival tale starring up and comer Jack O’Connell, written by a group that includes the Coen Brothers, and is shot by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. There’s such a tremendous pedigree on display, this would have to be an absolute disaster not to crack the lineup. As it stands now, it’s the one I have winning it all.

2. Foxcatcher – Bennett Miller’s passion project got a nice boost this past week at the Cannes Film Festival. Raves were given not just for Miller, but for star Steve Carell and co-stars Mark Ruffalo/Channing Tatum as well, so there’s across the board potential here. Right now, it’s the only film that I’m basically 100% sure will be in the Best Picture lineup, barring something unexpected.
3. Men, Women, & Children – I’m perhaps higher on Jason Reitman’s latest than most, but I’m also a big fan of the book by Chad Kultgen and see real potential here. Along with giving Adam Sandler a rare chance to be serious, the talented ensemble cast includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson, Kaitlyn Dever, Ansel Elgort, Dennis Haysbert, and J.K. Simmons, so Reitman has tons of toys to play with here. If Oscar can handle the sexual frankness of the story, Ivan’s son could again be a nominee and see his film nominated for Best Picture.
4. Big Eyes – Of late, Tim Burton movies have been the exact opposite of Oscar bait, but this sees him returning to something […]

Critics’ Choice: Joey Berlin from BFCA

Joey Berlin from the Broadcast Film Critics Association – Critics’ Choice Awards
By ROBERT W. WELKOS
In 1995, Joey Berlin and Rod Lurie, two entertainment reporters and film critics who had written for rival publications, joined forces to create the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.
While Lurie would go on to carve out a successful Hollywood career as a screenwriter and director with such films as “The Contender” and “The Last Castle,” Berlin hasn’t faired too badly, either, as the president of the BFCA.
Starting with 44 members the first year, the BFCA’s voting membership today hovers between 285 and 290 and the organization bills itself as the largest film critics group in the U.S. and Canada.
At the same time, the BFCA created the Critics’ Choice Awards, a glitzy tux-and-gown gala now televised on the CW Network that features red carpet celebrity arrivals, drawing worldwide media attention and plenty of Oscar buzz since the show coincides with the run-up to the Academy Awards.
But as the show has catapulted the broadcast critics into the Oscar conversation each movies awards season, tax records show that the nonprofit group Berlin leads has paid his privately-owned company, Berlin Entertainment, Inc., hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for production services.
Read prior Broadcast Film Critics Association story here at Hollywoodnews.com
IRS Form 990 filings list Berlin Entertainment, Inc., receiving a combined $992,270 from the nonprofit between fiscal 2009 and 2011.
Berlin notes that his members seem to be satisfied with the job he’s doing since he has been repeatedly re-elected president every two years.
The tax files show that Berlin’s base compensation and benefits were a combined $1,297,133 for the three-year period spanning fiscal 2009 to 2011. But his compensation is listed as coming from “related organizations” and not directly from the BFCA, according to the Form 990 documents, which all nonprofits are required to file with the IRS to qualify for tax-exempt status.
When asked about his sizeable compensation, Berlin told HollywoodNews.com in a recent telephone interview: “I did this for five years for zero compensation, but this is what I do all day, every day. I’m really proud of what we’ve built and accomplished….
“My compensation has grown with the growth of the show,” he adds without apology. “The television show is an incredible benefit to the members.” He notes that these benefits include such things as access and awards screeners. “That seems a comfortable arrangement for everybody.”
One […]

A biopic of R.A. Dickey could be an Oscar winner

As a longtime New York Mets fan, one of my great recent delights in the sporting world was seeing R.A. Dickey come of age while in his thirties. A supposedly washed up pitcher, Dickey developed the knuckleball (a very unique pitch that is almost impossible to master and even harder to hit) and eventually caught on with the Mets, where he went on to dominate for a few years, culminating in winning a Cy Young Award, which is the baseball equivalent of an Oscar win. He wrote a memoir about his life around that time called “Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity and the Perfect Knuckleball” and a documentary called Knuckleball! was made, centering heavily on his story. Now, he’s actually sold the rights to his memoir to actors Logan Marshall-Green and Ben McKenzie, who’ve started a production company and want to take Dickey’s life to the big screen. Friday Night Lights scribe Buzz Bissinger is writing the screenplay, and I personally can’t wait to see this flick. Beyond that though, I think that this has a real chance to become an awards vehicle.
The reason that I think Dickey’s story is tailor made for Academy voters is the fact that it reads like a movie on its own. He was molested as a child, yet still rose to become a high draft pick, though he lost most of his bonus money and was told his career would never amount to much after doctors found out he was missing an important ligament in his arm. Unfazed, Dickey pressed on, bouncing around the minor leagues and making unremarkable appearances in the bigs, until of course he harnessed the knuckleball. The rest is literally history. That triumphant tale is exactly the sort of one that Oscar voters flock to.
So who could play Dickey? Apparently neither Marshall-Green nor McKenzie are looking to take on the role, so it’s going to go out there for some talented actors to circle. While he most closely resembles Timothy Busfield, I don’t see that bit of casting coming about. A decade ago, I wouldn’t have discounted Kevin Costner playing the role either, but that’s also not happening. In my eyes, I actually would like to see Matt Damon potentially play Dickey, but that’s just something off of the top of my head. Another top notch pick that actually looks a touch like Dickey in the […]

Oscars®: The Top 25 (Best Original Screenplay)

Continuing a new weekly series I’m doing…we’re talking the top 25 Oscar winners in just about every single one of the Academy Award categories. Aside from the shorts and something like Best Sound Mixing like I mentioned previously, I’ll be hitting them all over the coming weeks and months, including of course the big eight categories.
Today I’ll even knock off the first of those big ones, the ever interesting Best Original Screenplay category. Depending on the category in question, I may wind up discussing the individual winners I’m citing specifically or just giving more of a broad overview of the winners, but for now, I’ll still keeping it simple early on. Like I said last week though, in all honesty, you all mostly just want to see the list anyway, so I have no problem obliging you there in that particular regard. All you have to do is just be patient over the next few paragraphs…
Best Original Screenplay is personally one of my favorite Oscar categories, due to the absolute creativity that you can see on display here. Voters sometimes even go out of their comfort zone in honoring scripts written for projects that they’d never touch in the Best Picture category (though that’s begun to change a bit). I think you’ll be able to see a pattern emerging among my winners, as some of their more out there choices have been my favorites. Maybe that says more about me than it does about members of the Academy, but hey, we should all be thankful that some of these screenplays were able to win those Oscars, as they’ve inspired countless other writers in the years since.
This week, for this screenplay category, what I’m going to do is give you the list right now, with a few words about each of the top 25 victors that I’ve chosen. The big eight categories cater to this style nicely, so that’s likely how it’ll go for all of those. Here we go:
25. American Beauty (Alan Ball) – The film hasn’t aged well, but the script itself remains scathingly funny to me. A satire of middle class life and mid life crises, Alan Ball hit on something here, at least at the time. He hasn’t been able to get back to that level since then with his work, but man did he deserve the Oscar for this one, no question about that.
24. Pillow […]

Celebs: How Close Is Too Close?

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
Actor Matt Damon enters the green room backstage at NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show’ and is immediately confronted by comedian and fellow Jay Leno guest Larry the Cable Guy wielding a camera phone.
‘Okay, everybody, I promised, this is my dressing room after the big ‘Tonight’ show, Larry the Cable Guy says, and we zip around and there is my new buddy ‘go Big Red!’ Matty Damon!
‘Go Big Red,’ a pleasant but subdued Damon replies into the camera.
‘My gosh, it’s me and Matt!’ exclaims the clearly awestruck Larry the Cable Guy.
And who’s watching this live video from the green room? Why,anybody anywhere around the world who follows Larry the Cable Guy on a free mobile app called Hang With, or as it’s officially known, Hang W/.
Larry the Cable Guy, the blue collar stage persona created by comedian Daniel Lawrence Whitney, clearly relishes bringing his mini-broadcast to his followers on their iPhone, iPad or Android device.
And he’s not alone.
Rapper 50 Cent and more than 100 other celebrities and athletes have broadcast live on Hang W/. They include singer Paula Abdul,football great Terrell Owens, comedians Cheech and Chong and Jamie Kennedy, and popular DJ’s Chuckie and Kaskade.
Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas used Hang W/ at this year’s Super Bowl to take his followers on a personal tour inside the Broncos’locker room. ‘It’s just a little quick behind the scenes view of the locker room,’ he tells his viewers. Then zooming in on the gear in his locker, heads, ‘It’s what it’s all about right there.’
Record producer and rapper Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Mosley) even did a broadcast while relaxing at home with his adorable little daughter, Reign, as they sang a short rap tune for the hit maker’s fans. Itends with Timbaland asking Reign, ‘That’s it’ That’s all we doing ‘ Say,Goodbye, people.’ And she says, ‘Goodbye. Love you all.’
So what, exactly, is Hang W/?
It’s an app that connects people through live streaming and simultaneous chat, allowing anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android device tobroadcast live to thousands of viewers. And, it could revolutionize how celebrities connect with their fans, whether it’s live streaming themselves at parties,performances, the red carpet or just taking followers along with them on their daily routines.
But celebrities have to be mindful of what information they put out since anyone can […]

Hollywood Film Awards Honors Jerry Weintraub with the “Hollywood Legend Award”

The 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards announced today that it will be honoring Jerry Weintraub, the prolific and celebrated producer behind the Ocean’s Eleven and Karate Kid film series, among others, with the inaugural “Hollywood Legend Award,” a special award of merit bestowed to an individual that has made outstanding contributions to film and the entertainment industry.
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, founder and executive producer of the Hollywood Film Awards. He said, “It is a great honor to recognize Jerry Weintraub, a visionary and true Hollywood legend, with the inaugural ‘Hollywood Legend Award’.”

The award will be bestowed at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony on Monday evening, October 21, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
This year Weintraub produced the HBO film Behind the Candelabra, starring Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, which was nominated for an impressive 13 Emmy Awards. His career includes promoting Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin and managing such talents as John Denver, The Carpenters and The Moody Blues among others. His remarkable list of film hits include Nashville, Diner, The Karate Kid, and the Ocean’s Eleven series.

The Hollywood Film Awards honors cherished stars, filmmakers and up-and-coming talent, and traditionally kicks off the film awards season with the biggest stars and top industry executives in attendance.
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last ten years, a total of 96 Oscar® nominations and 34 Oscars® were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said de Abreu.
Last year’s 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.
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ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS®
The Hollywood Film Awards® founded in 1997 were created to celebrate Hollywood and launch the awards season. The recipients of […]

Ben Affleck, Matt Damon reunite to allegedly plan movie

HollywoodNews.com: Although their lives have been busy with plenty of work and kids, it looks like Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have found some time to reunite.
The best friends were reportedly spotted attending a meeting together in Santa Monica where they were allegedly talking about a new project, states UsMagazine.com. It is rumored they are working on bringing the story of mobster Whitey Bulger to the big screen.
Affleck will reportedly direct while Damon is allegedly scheduled to star in the film.
The two haven’t worked together recently but have remained close friends all these years.
Are you looking forward to them working together?
Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
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