April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: spike jonze

Oscars®: Alfonso Cuaron – Which director/screenplay winner is most likely to win again?

After looking at which of the four acting winners would be the most likely to make it back to the Academy Awards telecast and emerge victorious a second time, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at the other three major Oscar winners…the Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay winners. They were all first timers, with two of the three writer-directors as well. Alfonso Cuarón parlayed his first Director citation into a win for Gravity, while filmmaker Spike Jonze (who’s been nominated in the Director category before) managed a win in Original Screenplay for Her, and scribe John Ridley saw his first ever nomination turn into an Adapted Screenplay win for 12 Years a Slave. All are now entering potentially fruitful stages of their careers, so who’s going to be back?
Most likely has got to be Cuarón, since he’s already such a highly respected figure. Part of the reason he won Best Director and caused the split between that category and Best Picture was due to the love for him, or else it’s very possible that Steve McQueen would have emerged victorious and prevented the split. Gravity on the whole might not have even been as big a contender. Whatever project that this filmmaker chooses next will almost immediately be considered an Oscar frontrunner, and more or less rightfully so. He’s definitely earned that distinction at this point in his career.
Next I’d say Jonze, who finally was able to entice voters to do more than just nominate him. They’ve long appreciated his work, but this was the first time that they really out and out loved it. Her was only ever so slightly more accessible than his prior movies, but it just hit them in the heart and got him not only a nod for his first solo screenplay, but a win too. The next stage will be to try and turn his next Director nom into a win, and while he’s a unique enough filmmaker that you can never bank on what he’s going to try next, I’d say he certainly has it in him to craft another winner in the near future.
Finally, Ridley is very much an X factor, since it just all depends on which sorts of projects he pursues next. Could a permanent move behind the camera to direct be next? He’s directed before and has a Jimi Hendrix biopic [...]

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 www.createspace.com/4497564

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 [...]

Oscars: 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards

After months and months of lead up and speculation (not to mention an endless string of precursor awards), the Academy Awards were finally given out, and the results were almost as unpredictable as we’d all been saying. 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture despite only winning two other Oscars and losing in the Best Director and Best Film Editing categories (both of which Gravity took), normally categories that go to the Best Picture winner. Gravity was the biggest winner of the night in terms of numbers though, taking seven prizes, including the aforementioned Director (for Alfonso Cuaron) and Editing fields.
In terms of the other prizes, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were once again awarded for their performances in Dallas Buyers Club (McConaughey in Best Actor and Leto in Best Supporting Actor), while Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for Blue Jasmine and Lupita Nyong’o edged out Jennifer Lawrence in the Best Supporting Actress category. Best Original Screenplay went to Spike Jonze for Her (my personal favorite award of the evening) and John Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave. Other winners included Frozen (Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song), 20 Feet from Stardom (Best Documentary Feature), and The Great Beauty (Best Foreign Language Feature).
Here now are all of the results from the 86th Academy Awards:
BEST PICTURE
“12 Years a Slave” – WINNER
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
BEST DIRECTOR
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity” – WINNER
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” – WINNER
BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” – WINNER
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen
“Her” – Written by Spike Jonze – WINNER
“Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley – WINNER
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence Winter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” – WINNER
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
Sally [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Her”

“Her”
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Written by: Spike Jonze
Main cast members: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, and Portia Doubleday
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 5
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Original Screenplay (Jonze), Best Production Design, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards, Won Best Screenplay at the Golden Globe Awards, and Won Best Film/Best Director from the National Board of Review
Chances at winning Best Picture: It’d be an absolute shock if it managed to win Best Picture, so it’s slim to none here
Chances at other Academy Award wins: It’s the frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay, while it’s not impossible for any of its tech nominations to turn into upset wins.
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Her is the six film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another nominee that has to consider the nomination itself to be the real reward, at least in this category. That being said, the nod (along with all of its noms overall) is really something to admire. Such a singular and unique movie being nominated for more than a token Oscar or two is a nice change of pace for the Academy. Especially considering that it scored not just a Best Picture citation but a Best Original Screenplay as well, there are voters here who are very fond of this film, and that pleases me to no end. Regardless of anything else, it’s nothing like any other nominee this year, or really in history I’d argue, so kudos to Spike Jonze and company for such fine work. He may not be a serious Best Picture contender, but Jonze is likely to win the Original Screenplay Oscar, so the flick isn’t too likely to go home empty handed regardless.
Working in Her’s favor is just how different and romantic it is. The film has connected with so many people, arguably in a way that no other nominee has been able to do. Members of the Academy were taken by this movie in more than one way, honoring not just the film itself and it’s writing, but the production design and musical components as well. Multiple tech nominations are a sure sign of widespread support. Without it, you have no chance at [...]

Congratulations to all Oscar® Nominees

Congratulations to all Oscar® nominees, as well as the Hollywood Film Awards® honorees: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyer Club),Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyer Club), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Year A Slave), Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), Michael De Luca (Captain Philipps), Steve McQueen (12 Year A Slave) Michael Wilkinson and Judy Becker (American Hustle), for their well deserved nominations today. Bravo!
Check below complete list of the 2014 Oscar® nominees:
Performance by an actor in a leading role

Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”
Performance by an actress in a leading role
Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
Judi Dench in “Philomena”
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
June Squibb in “Nebraska”
Best animated feature film of the year
“The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki
Achievement in cinematography
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins
Achievement in costume design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris
Achievement in directing
“American Hustle” David O. Russell
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese
Best documentary feature
“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined
Best documentary short subject
“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens
Achievement in film editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” [...]

Winners Announced for 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival, handed out top honors to The Artist, The Descendants and Margin Call at this afternoon’s 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards. My Week With Marilyn, Beginners, 50/50, A Separation and The Interrupters also received awards at the ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
Tune in to IFC tonight at 10:00 pm ET/PT to catch all the action at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards, with actor, writer and producer Seth Rogen hosting. Highlights include: John Waters as the Voice of God, musical performances by My Morning Jacket and K’Naan.
The Spirit Awards was the first event to exclusively honor independent film, and over the past 27 years, has become the premier awards show for the independent film community, celebrating films made by filmmakers who embody independence and originality. Artists receiving industry recognition first at the Spirit Awards include Joel & Ethan Coen, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ashley Judd, Robert Rodriguez, David O. Russell, Edward Burns, Aaron Eckhart, Neil LaBute, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Hilary Swank, Marc Forster, Todd Field, Christopher Nolan, Zach Braff, Amy Adams and many more.
This year’s major category winners were The Weinstein Company’s The Artist, which won Best Feature, Best Director, Best Male Lead and Best Cinematography and My Week With Marilyn, which won Best Female Lead; Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants, which won Best Supporting Female and Best Screenplay; Focus Features’ Beginners, which won Best Supporting Male and Pariah, which won the John Cassavetes Award; Summit Entertainment’s 50/50, which won Best First Screenplay; Roadside Attractions’ Margin Call, which won Best First Feature; Sony Pictures Classics’ A Separation, which won Best International Film; and The Cinema Guild’s The Interrupters, which won Best Documentary.
The 5th annual Robert Altman Award was given to one film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. J. C. Chandor’s Margin Call received this award, along with casting directors Tiffany Little Canfield and Bernard Telsey and ensemble cast members Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey and Stanley Tucci.
Film Independent, in partnership with NowLive and Yahoo!, streamed a Live Arrivals Show exclusively on Yahoo! Movies (http://movies.yahoo.com) to its audience of more than 26 million US users, across the web, mobile and iOs devices.
Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.
Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, [...]

David O. Russell getting career retrospective at N.Y. museum

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: David O. Russell is about to be honored with a very cool event, and if you happen to live in the vicinity of New York City, you’re going to want to check it out.
Russell, who is busy promoting his awards contender “The Fighter,” will be recognized by the newly expanded Museum of the Moving Image with a career retrospective that’s set to run from Jan. 19 through Feb. 6. Russell is the first director to be feted with such a distinction since the renovated museum has re-opened to the public.
Moving Image plans to screen all five of Russell’s feature films, starting with 1994’s “Spanking the Monkey” and running up to “The Fighter,” with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams.
“Fighter” will kick start the retrospective on Wednesday, Jan. 19, with a special screening in the museum’s new 267-seat Moving Image Theater. Russell will be in attendance for a post-screening conversation moderated by his friend, director Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich,” “Where the Wild Things Are”).
Here is a complete schedule of the museum’s planned events:
The Films of David O. Russell
January 15–February 20, 2011
Special screening: The Fighter
Wednesday, January 19, 7:00 p.m.
A CONVERSATION WITH DAVID O. RUSSELL AND SPIKE JONZE
2010, 115 mins. Paramount Pictures. With Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa
Leo, Amy Adams.
Russell’s vibrant new film is a true-life boxing drama and a family drama about the rivalry between two brothers and between a controlling mother-manager and her son’s girlfriend. Gaining atmosphere from its Lowell, Massachusetts setting, this film features four of the year’s most indelible performances. A labor of love for producer/star Wahlberg, the film is also a dazzling comeback of sorts for Russell, making his first feature film in six years.
TICKETS: $15 public / $10 Museum members / Free for Silver Screen members and above. Order online at movingimage.us or call 718 777 6800.
Spanking the Monkey
Friday, January 21, 7:30 p.m.
1994, 100 mins. With Jeremy Davies.
In his impressive debut, which won the Audience Award at Sundance, Russell brings deadpan humor and emotional complexity to what could have been very lurid subject matter: the improper relationship that develops over a summer between a housebound mother and her college-age son.
Flirting with Disaster
Saturday, January 29, 6:00 p.m.
1996, 92 mins. With Ben Stiller, Tea Leoni.
Madcap road movie meets screwball romance meets dysfunctional family comedy in Russell’s wild and assured film about an adopted man who decides to track down [...]

Interview: Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman power up for ‘Scott Pilgrim’

By Todd Gilchrist
hollywoodnews.com: Although they can often be tedious, sometimes roundtable interviews can be great simply because of who you’re talking to. Others become memorable for what the people you’re talking to actually say. And still others end up working out because of who you are doing them with. At the recent junket for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I enjoyed a remarkable afternoon of great conversations with great people while sharing the table with some great journalists.
In particular, Chud.com’s Devin Faraci is not just a good friend or junket wingman, he’s a great interviewer – sharp as a tack, funny, insightful, and gets into territory that most roundtables don’t even flirt with. And thanks to a comparatively modest number of questions asked by other reporters in our room, Devin and I dove into chats with different members of the cast and crew, including Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman, who provided plenty of real information about Scott Pilgrim, and yet they managed to be incredibly entertaining at the same time.
[Note: Although "Hollywood News" is used to distinguish questions from answers in the text below, our journalist was just one of many reporters asking questions of the filmmakers.]

Hollywood News: How likeable is Scott? Because the thing that’s really effective about the movie is not just that he’s trying to win Ramona’s love, but that he learns to take responsibility for himself. And especially early in the movie he makes some decisions that aren’t particularly sympathetic.

Michael Cera: I agree. It’s interesting – watching the movie I realized that, yeah, he’s doing some really selfish things. But for some reason, I don’t know, maybe you feel sympathetic because he’s being constantly attacked (laughs). That kind of makes you feel sorry for him. But yeah, he doesn’t really consider Knives in the beginning when he breaks up with her. She’s just kind of written off and he moves on, so he’s an idiot. He just doesn’t think of other people, but he’s kind of a doofus, you know. And by the end he realizes a very simple truth that you need to care about people’s feeling and the people around you. You need to be responsible for your actions, and yeah – that’s sort of his growth in the film, I guess.
Hollywood News: As an actor do you yourself have to sort of be oblivious in those scenes, or do you have [...]

Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker in ‘Spider-Man’

HollywoodNews.com: After a comprehensive worldwide casting search, Andrew Garfield has been chosen to portray Peter Parker when Spider-Man swings back onto the screen in 3D on July 3, 2012. The new film will begin production in early December directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt. Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad will produce the film from Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios.
Today’s confirmation culminates what has been one of the most eagerly anticipated casting announcements in recent memory. Bloggers, pop culture speculators, and everyday fans have pored over and analyzed every conceivable online rumor in an attempt to discover the identity of the next actor to play Peter Parker. Garfield will immediately begin preparing for the coveted role.
The Spider-Man franchise is one of the most successful in film history and the three previous motion pictures have collectively grossed more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office.
On selecting Garfield, director Marc Webb said, “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”
Commenting on the announcement, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, President of Columbia Pictures said, “Spider-Man is a classic superhero — a young man who balances his responsibility to serve humanity and crush evil with the shyness and normalcy of someone struggling to find himself. The role demands an extraordinary actor. You need someone who can magically transform himself from Peter Parker into Spider-Man. An actor who will depict the vulnerability of youth and the strength and confidence of a legendary figure at the same moment. We have found that actor in Andrew Garfield. From the first time we saw him in the upcoming film The Social Network, to his glorious screen test, which floored all of us, we knew that we had found our new Peter Parker.”
Producer Avi Arad added, “I’m incredibly excited about Andrew Garfield. In the Spider-Man tradition, we were looking for a smart, sensitive, and cool new Peter Parker who can inspire us and make us laugh, cry, and cheer. We believe we have found the perfect choice to take on this role and lead us into the future.”
Producer Laura Ziskin said, “We are thrilled to have Andrew Garfield for this new incarnation of Spider-Man under Marc [...]

Stefani, Rossdale don’t fret Love; No Doubt front-girl busy with AIDS cause

By Staff
According to Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani: Love don’t come around here any more.
Responding to Courtney Love’s blabbing about her affair with Rossdale, the Bush guitarist took to his Facebook exclaiming, “Gwen and Gavin Rossdale would like to assure their fans that anything that may have occurred prior to their marriage has no impact on theircurrent situation. All is well with the Rossdale family.”
Faded Youth blog was keeping tabs on Rossdale’s social page.
Stefani’s response to the his whole mess: she has better things to do like get her nails done and lend her participation to “The Lazarus Effect,” an HBO AIDS documentary chronicling the amazing effects of antiretroviral drugs on African patients. (RED) campaign which collects funds from the sale of products to pay for HIV treatment in Africa is behind the film, which is directed by Lance Bangs and produced by Spike Jonze and Susan Smith Ellis per Tonic.

“Lazarus” will air on HBO on May 24.

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