July 26, 2016
        A Teaser Trailer for "Justice League" suggests a really fun blockbuster                "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders                "Captain Fantastic" is one of the year's most pleasant surprises                This week brings an adorable bit of animation in "The Secret Life of Pets"        

Tag Archives: Sienna Miller

Ben Affleck’s new directorial project “Live by Night” might be jumping into 2016

Well, it’s just speculation right now, but this is potentially some very exciting news. Word trickled down over the weekend that Warner Brothers has moved the release date of Ben Affleck’s next project behind the camera, the crime epic Live by Night. Originally, we were scheduled to get it in October of this year, before it was delayed a year to October of 2017, partly to accommodate Affleck becoming Batman. Now, we’ve gotten notice that the WB has it opening in early January of 2017, which is right where American Sniper hit a few years back. As such, it’s almost a foregone conclusion now that it’ll get a qualifying run in December and be a part of the 2016 awards season. Make room folks, as a huge new contender could be joining the early stages of the race, potentially as the last player we’ll get this year.
This film is an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, the second time that Affleck has gone to Lehane for inspiration. It is set during the era of Prohibition and follows Joe (Affleck), the son of a cop who begins rising through the ranks of organized crime. Things will take place in Miami, Cuba, and elsewhere, as this is a generational and large scale tale. It seems incredibly ambitious too, with Affleck writing, directing, and starring. He’s got an interesting cast here too, including Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Scott Eastwood, Chris Messina, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, Anthony Michael Hall, and more. Big time DP Robert Richardson is the cinematographer, while William Goldenberg edits and Harry Gregson-Williams handles the score. All the ingredients are here for something special.

Assuming it does hit in 2016, this movie does appear to be a big deal. First off, Affleck has gotten better and better with each outing, and his debut was something special to begin with. Gone Baby Gone was great, The Town was a step up in every way, and Argo deservedly won the Oscar for Best Picture. Live by Night could be a huge juggernaut, if the trend continues. My guess is that it likely won’t be quite that amazing, but the potential is there. At the very least, it sounds like something that Affleck knows how to do well and it should play well to Academy members. I’m certainly very excited for it, if nothing else.
Awards wise, it’s […]

Bradley Cooper will try to cook up another hit with “Burnt”

Over the past half decade or so, Bradley Cooper has gone from an up and coming supporting player to one of Hollywood’s biggest A-listers. Right now, he’s a huge movie star, one who is a favorite of both Academy members as well as theater goers. With the release starting this week of his new star vehicle Burnt, I wanted to discuss that flick as well as his standing in the industry currently. Cooper is as big an A-list actor as anyone in the business, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time we discuss him. If this new film does well, we may even be talking about him as an Oscar nominee once again.
The movie in question is a culinary drama starring Cooper as chef Adam Jones, who was once a rising star in the kitchen but flamed out, partially due to bad behavior and partially due to drug addiction. Newly clean, he sets out to dominate the food industry once again, starting by opening a restaurant in London that can gain the elusive rating of three Michelin stars. John Wells directs a script from Steven Knight (with story credit going to Michael Kalesniko as well), while the cast besides Cooper includes Daniel Brühl, Sarah Greene, Lily James, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, and Alicia Vikander. Of course, the star here is Cooper, with this a vehicle here for his charm and talents.
What gives me hope here is that Cooper has more or less been catnip for Oscar voters. He’s been nominated three years running, with a total of four nominations to his credit. First up was his Best Actor citation for Silver Linings Playbook, with the year after being a Best Supporting Actor nod for American Hustle, while last year he got a pair of noms, one being for producing American Sniper while the other was in Best Actor for his performance in that flick. At this point, he’s due for a win, so a classy star vehicle like this could potentially have him in the running once again.
In terms of awards, it could be one shot or nothing for Burnt. If it turns out that The Weinstein Company has a hit on their hands, which is possible, if not amazingly likely, they could try to campaign the film in Best Picture, Best Director (for Wells), Best Actor (for Cooper), Best Supporting Actor […]

Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders

As you fine ladies and gentlemen must all know by now (since I’ve pretty much hammered it into your heads), it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what folks like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing my yearly ritual of running 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 on with another of the big acting categories…you guessed it, it’s Best Supporting Actress time.
Here are the ten particular women that I have currently in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Rooney Mara (Carol) *Could go Lead – I wrote a bit about Mara earlier this week when I got into the awards possibilities for Carol, but Mara is sitting in the lead here due to her Cannes Actress win. She could easily go Lead, but I have a feeling she’ll wind up going Supporting so Cate Blanchett can contend in Lead. The silver lining? That will easily make her the early odds on favorite here, at least in my book. A lot can and will change, but right now, I have her in the pole position.
2. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) – I’ve spent some time writing about the gentlemen of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming flick, but what about the notable lady of the cast? Just like Bruce Dern and Kurt Russell seem like they’ll be in play for The Hateful Eight, so too will be Leigh, so is the favorite here to some. I obviously have her as the main runner up, but it’s hard not to see her as a likely nominee at this point. Especially with the potentially light competition, she might have a surprisingly easy time scoring her first ever nomination.
3. Ellen Page (Freeheld) […]

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 […]

Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta and Kerry Washington to present at 87th Oscars®

Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, Chris Rock and John Travolta will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Aniston has starred in such films as “Cake” (2014), “We’re the Millers” (2013), “Horrible Bosses” (2011), “Marley & Me” (2008) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003). She also starred in all ten seasons of “Friends,” for which she won the 2002 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Miller co-stars in “American Sniper” and “Foxcatcher,” both of which have garnered multiple Oscar® nominations this year. She previously appeared in such features as “Factory Girl” (2006) and “Layer Cake” (2005). Her upcoming films include “High-Rise,” “Adam Jones” and “Lost City of Z.”
Oyelowo portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. in this year’s Best Picture nominee “Selma.” His other recent feature credits include “A Most Violent Year” (2014), “Interstellar” (2014), “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” (2013) and “Jack Reacher” (2012). He will next be seen in “Captive” due out later this year.
Pratt starred in two of 2014’s biggest box office hits, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “The Lego Movie.” He previously appeared in the Best Picture nominees “Her” (2013), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and “Moneyball” (2011), and co-starred in all seven seasons of the comedy series “Parks and Recreation.” He will next be seen in “Jurassic World,” in theaters June 12th of this year.
Washington is the star of the hit television drama “Scandal,” and received two Emmy® nominations for her role. Her film roles have included “She Hate Me” (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), “I Think I Love My Wife” (2007), “Lakeview Terrace” (2008), “For Colored Girls” (2010) and “Django Unchained” (2012).
Travolta is a two-time Oscar nominee, for his leading roles in “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977). He also has starred in such features as “Savages” (2012), “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” (2009), “Hairspray” (2007) “Face/Off” (1997), “Get Shorty” (1995) and “Grease” (1978). His upcoming film, “The Forger” will be out later this year.
The 87th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The Oscars, produced by Zadan and Meron, also will be televised live […]

21st annual Hollywood Vanity Fair cover by Annie Leibovitz

For the 21st annual Hollywood cover, Annie Leibovitz captured an intimate portrait of the year’s most celebrated actors. The iconic three-panel foldout features 10 actors who had noteworthy performances over the past year: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), David Oyelowo (Selma), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), and Miles Teller (Whiplash).
The men wear bespoke white-tie, while the women channel Old Hollywood glamour in slinky gold and red. Taking advantage of Amy Adams’s years of dance training for the panel’s front panel, Leibovitz had Channing Tatum lift her up on his shoulder, which prompted Tatum to joke, “I’m wearing Amy Adams.”
“We made the picture in the same studio where we did the first Hollywood cover,” Leibovitz, who shot the first Hollywood Issue cover in 1995 and all but three times since, tells West Coast editor Krista Smith. “It looks fairly simple, but in fact it was difficult to shoot. We choreographed it over two days. Usually you shoot from fairly far away, but we wanted to get really close to the actors. We made an effort to create a feeling of intimacy. I pushed into them, shooting to the left and then the right, coming in as tight as I could. It was hair-raising, at least for me.”
Amy Adams recently earned her second Golden Globe for her performance as painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes.
Channing Tatum revealed his dramatic chops as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz in Foxcatcher.
Reese Witherspoon received her second best-actress Oscar nomination for her spectacular performance in Wild. She served as a producer on that film, as well as on the Oscar-nominated Gone Girl.
Eddie Redmayne’s stunning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything recently won him an Oscar nomination.
Benedict Cumberbatch cracks the enigma code—and earns an Oscar nomination doing it—as computer scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.
Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo perfectly conjured Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma.
Sienna Miller marks a grand return to American cinema with her heartbreaking performance as Bradley Cooper’s wife in American Sniper.
Oscar Isaac gives a tour de force performance in A Most Violent Year.
Miles Teller stars in Whiplash, which won the Audience and Grand Jury Prizes at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The March issue of Vanity Fair will be available in New […]

Movies to look forward to at the Sundance Film Festival

This week, the Sundance Film Festival gets underway, seeking to highlight the best in independent film. I won’t be in Park City this year, sadly, though I have been in the past and can vouch for it as a really unique and enjoyable (if exhausting) festival to attend. In honor of its 2015 start, I wanted to run down some of the higher profile titles that could make a dent on the awards season later on this year. If not Oscar players, these could at least become the indie darlings of the season, or perhaps just crossover successes. Had I been in attendance at Sundance, there’s almost two dozen movies that I’d be hoping to catch, but I whittled a list down to just ten of the ones I want to highlight most. Take a look…
Here are ten films to look forward to once they leave Sundance:
10. Digging For Fire – In the last few years, Joe Swanberg has really upped his game, not only in terms of casting bigger names, but also coming up with compelling plots that still fit his unique filmmaking personality. Hopefully he continues the trend with this latest venture, which features a great cast, including Rosemarie DeWit, Jake Johnson (who co-wrote the script), Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Ron Livingston, Chris Messina, Sam Rockwell, and Jenny Slate, along with many others. Swanberg is on a high, so fingers crossed here.
9. I Smile Back – I was impressed by Sarah Silverman’s partly dramatic turn a couple years ago in Take This Waltz, so a full on serious role has me very intrigued. Silverman co-stars with Josh Charles and Thomas Sodoski in the story of an unhappy married woman lashing out with numerous vices. Silverman deserves this sort of a role, so I’ll be eager to see if she aces it.
8. A Walk in the Woods – Festival godfather Robert Redford stars here with Nick Nolte in a movie about old men talking, essentially. Doesn’t immediately sound too amazing, but I have to say, the chance to witness them going back and forth is rather appealing. It’ll likely be a mellow film, but I’m down to check it out.
7. Brooklyn – The latest script from novelist turned screenwriter Nick Hornby is a period piece set in 1950’s Ireland. Saoirse Ronan is the star, along with supporting players Jim Broadbent, Emory Cohen, and Domhnall Gleeson. This one seems to […]

How “American Sniper” became Clint Eastwood’s biggest hit to date

Over the past few weeks, Clint Eastwood’s second 2014 release (after the mostly ignored musical Jersey Boys) American Sniper has gone from an also ran in the awards race to a Best Picture nominee and a huge financial success. What started with an incredibly profitable limited opening has morphed now into a wide release that has set all the records for the box office in the month of January. How did this happen? This was once thought of as a second tier film through and through, so what makes it the blockbuster among the Academy’s Best Picture lineup. Let’s look at the movie now and try to find out.
First of all, if you know nothing about the movie, here’s a quick primer. It’s a biopic/war film about decorated sniper Chris Kyle, known as perhaps the United States’ best ever in that field. During the Iraq War, he had more confirmed kills than anyone, leading to some calling him a hero. Back home, he struggled with being away from the field, which put a strain on his marriage. His story ultimately ends in tragedy, which is best left for viewers unaware of Kyle’s life to discover. Eastwood directs a cast led by Bradley Cooper a Kyle, with Sienna Miller as his wife. The script is by Jason Hall, which at one point was going to be directed by Steven Spielberg (and then actually David O. Russell, due to his relationship with Cooper). Eastwood came on board and utilized his quick filmmaking skills, leading to a last minute 2014 release. The rest now is literally history, both in terms of the box office and potentially also the Oscars.
Secondly, it’s important to realize just how strong this box office opening actually is for American Sniper. It played like a superhero movie, frankly, opening to a three day total of $89.5 million and including today, it’ll make for a four day weekend gross of $105.3 million. Honestly, that’s insane. It’s easily the biggest January opening of all time, an all time great opening for an R rated film, and almost unheard of for a biopic. It certainly wasn’t the plan. This weekend was initially thought to be Selma’s time, due obviously in part to it being MLK weekend, but still…these numbers are above and beyond any one single factor. It’s definitely a combination of things.
So what are the factors fueling all of this? On […]

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

Directed by: Bennett Miller
Written by: E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
Main Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo Vanessa Redgrave, and Sienna Miller, among others…
Past Oscar relations: Futterman, Miller, and Ruffalo are previous Oscar nominees, while Redgrave is an Academy Award winner on top of her multiple citations
Today we have another brand new article in this ongoing 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 more honored contenders of the year already in Foxcatcher. It’s a festival favorite that’s hoping to become one of the top prestige works in the Best Picture race. Does it have a strong chance? Well, let me get into that a little bit right now…
This movie is a drama based on the infamous true story of Jon du Pont and brothers David and Mark Schultz. In short, du Pont is a disturbed millionaire who becomes interesting in coaching wrestling and recruits Mark to be his prized pupil. He eventually also hires well respected coach David to head up the team, though he quickly feels inferior to him, much like Mark has as well. Tension rises until the real life tragedy occurs. It’s a powerful film, to say the least. Bennett Miller directs, while Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, and Anthony Michael Hall head up the cast. E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman co-wrote the screenplay, and now the film begins its official run this weekend, hoping to attract solid Oscar attention.
What this film has going in its favor is the top notch performances by Carell, Ruffalo, and Tatum, as well as the direction from Miller. They’re all at the top of their game, doing tightly wound and uncomfortable yet unforgettable work. There’s an undercurrent of humor here as well that really gives it an added bit of darkness. It’s uncompromising, but in the best way possible. Miller won Best Director when the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, so the pedigree is already there. If Oscar voters are as taken as the jury at Cannes was, Best Picture, Best Director (for Miller), Best Actor (for Carell and/or Tatum), Best Supporting Actor (for Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original […]

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Supporting Actress

Ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve been mentioning to you over the past couple of weeks, it’s getting to be go time, as it were. With the festival season well underway/now nearing completion and just about all of the major contenders for the Academy Awards having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the big eight categories to see what’s what in an updated/more expanded fashion. I did this with the major categories a few months back, but that was when almost everything was still just speculation. We have some facts to go on now, so while much of this is still mostly an educated guess, I’m once again not completely relying on overt hunches this time around. It’s more of an even mix, depending on the film/director/performer in question, of course. Today I’m turning my attention once again to the Best Supporting Actress field, which, like the other categories, won’t necessarily match up with Best Picture in any overtly noticeable way, but likely won’t be too far off from the pack in the end either. Read on to see what I’m talking about for this one here…
One special note about Best Supporting Actress this year is that, unlike the other categories, it seems to be the weakest of the lot. There’s a de facto frontrunner, but aside from her, no one seems to be talking about any of the contenders as potential winners. In fact, just filling up a list of the hopefuls can be a bit challenging. At best, there are four ladies who can feel like they have decent shots at a nomination. More so than anywhere else, that fifth spot is just wide open, so in that sense it’s really anyone’s game.
Here are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) – Our frontrunner by default, Arquette is of course terrific in Boyhood, but in other years she certainly wouldn’t be the odds on favorite this early on. That being said, if Boyhood is seriously contending for a Best Picture win, her chances only improve. I wouldn’t be shocked if someone else managed to wrestle the crown from her, but I also wouldn’t be shocked at all if Arquette just winds up waltzing to not just […]

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