April 19, 2014

Tag Archives: the AFI Fest

Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” moves its release date – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: With the AFI Fest happening in Los Angeles and other awards hopefuls making plays in other markets, this weekend was incredibly busy with Oscar news. Let’s try and catch up with the major headlines in today’s Awards Alley Oscar roundup:
Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” has moved its release date to Dec. 30. That’s cutting it awfully close, since films in Oscar contention have until midnight on Dec. 31 to begin their one-week qualifying run. Will “Lady” be ready in time?
“The Adventures of Tintin,” “Puss In Boots” and “Rango” are among the 18 films deemed eligible for this year’s Best Animated Feature Oscar.
Speaking of family friendly fare, Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” screened for L.A. critics over the weekend and earned off-the-charts raves. Steve Pond at The Wrap even says it played like gangbusters at an official Academy screening.
Another awards screening missed its mark. Jeff Wells’ noble attempts to screen Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur,” particularly to show off the searing performance of Olivia Colman (who’s fantastic), only attracted a handful of eyeballs. The ball’s now in your court, Strand. Can you get this movie in front of enough influential voters?
“My Week with Marilyn” screened Sunday night at AFI Fest, but outside of a few puff pieces regarding Michelle Williams’ red-carpet look, I can’t find any reactions.
The other film leaping onto Oscar’s radar this weekend was Oren Moverman’s “Rampart,” which reportedly features an awards-worthy performance by Woody Harrelson playing a corrupt LAPD cop. But Hitfix says the respected actor likely will find himself on the outside of the Best Actor race looking in.
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Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar chances analyzed for “J. Edgar” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: I managed to screen Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” this morning ahead of its anticipated world premiere at the AFI Fest in Los Angeles. And while I’ve been asked to hold off official comments until the film opens next week (standard practice), I did find these columns regarding Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar chances thanks to his “J. Edgar” choices interesting.
In the film, DiCaprio plays the paranoid, power-hungry FBI director over the course of his decades-spanning career. And while the Oscar nominee is recognizable during Hoover’s early days — when he was trying to solidify his position in the bureau by single-handedly solving the disappearance of Charles Lindbergh’s baby or bringing refuted gangsters to justice — DiCaprio dons layers of remarkable make-up to play Hoover in the later stages of his career and life. The prosthetics earned a few negative comments in an early “J. Edgar” trailer (see below), but should not be a concern of anyone going into the final film.

“Most superstar actors, even those eager to catch the attention of Oscar voters, would have turned and run,” writes Brooks Barnes in a NY Times profile. “Look unhandsome and unheroic? Too big a risk, even with Mr. Eastwood at the wheel. But Mr. DiCaprio, at least the post-’Titanic’ one, has made a career of highly risky choices, and somehow it keeps paying off not only on the awards circuit — he has been nominated for three Academy Awards — but at the box office as well.”
E! Online, instead, thinks some audiences, and Academy members, might be interested in the homosexual angle of the film, as Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Oscar winner for “Milk”) spend a fair amount of time developing Hoover’s relationship with Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), Hoover’s right-hand man.
“There has been a lot of speculation over Leo’s kissing scene with Armie Hammer, and even the fact that the FBI feared the ‘gay-factor’ in the flick,” Ted Casablanca writes for E!. “Plus, the film’s director, Clint Eastwood, has been super-busy stirring the same-sex pot, too, with cryptic quotes like, ‘Whether [Hoover] was gay remains to be seen.’”
E! gambles that DiCaprio playing a reportedly gay historical figure, and undergoing a physical transformation to accomplish such a feat, will earn him an Oscar nomination.
The Academy, on the other hand, tends to focus on other factors. Like performance. And in that department, DiCaprio and Hammer should [...]

Awards Season Roundup: “Love and Other Drugs” opens AFI Fest

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: HollywoodNews.com’s Awards Season Roundup collects insights from around the Internet on films that are running in the Oscar race.
Ed Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs” kicked off the AFI Fest last night. Variety’s Justin Chang has panned it. HitFIx’s Drew McWeeny praised it. I’m with Chang. The picture changes its gears more times than an 18-wheeler on a cross-country jaunt.
Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” opens in theaters today. See it. It’s amazing. Perhaps the year’s best. Then listen to Dido and A.R. Rahman’s “If I Rise,” from the film’s conclusion. You’ll get goosebumps all over again.
Sasha Stone comes up with the “Best Moments” in some of her favorite 2010 films.
Gregory Ellwood reports from the 2010 BAFTA Britannia Awards.
Vanity Fair interviews Valerie Plame about “Fair Game.”
Ben Affleck’s “The Town” will be on DVD on Dec. 17. Just in time for a little Oscar consideration?
And finally, the Gurus have “The King’s Speech” atop their latest poll.
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