January 03, 2015
        A January Oscar Predictions Update                American Cinema Editors (ACE) Announces Nominees                2015 releases to look forward to                The best films and performances of 2014                A look at the second spot in each of the main Oscar categories                The late breaking major Oscar contenders of 2014                Golden Globe post nomination predictions for December                Cinematic gifts from 2014                Spotlight on the Stars: Bradley Cooper                Which film will lead the nomination totals for Oscar this year?                A look at some potential first time Academy Award nominees this year                A Mid-December Oscar Predictions Update                Oscars: 9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar® Race                Audiences are missing out on a funny film in Seth Rogen's "The Interview"                Spotlight on the Stars: Christian Bale        

Tag Archives: the Cannes Film Festival

The Toronto Film Festival will again play host to scores of Oscar hopefuls

With today’s announcement that David Dobkin’s film The Judge will open the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, I figured that it was a good time to talk about the TIFF lineup. That Robert Downey Jr. vehicle will seek to become an awards player, and it’s not alone. Each year, scores of titles descend on Toronto in order to distinguish themselves to Academy members and various precursor voters everywhere. The festival has a solid history of producing Oscar nominees, though the big time competition this year from the New York Film Festival will certainly shine a light on just how essential a stop this fest still is. For now though, it’s a big one, and well worth a bit of discussion.
As mentioned above, the opening film is The Judge, which could be a Best Actor player for Downey Jr. or perhaps even a Best Picture contender if it’s better than expected. It’s definitely one of the most anticipated flicks starting up their run at the festival, along with the closing selection, which is Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos. Along with those two, the highest profile titles include Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild, Jason Reitman’s Men, Women, & Children, Liv Ullmann’s Miss Julie, Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, and James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything. Each of these is considered a major awards hopeful to one degree or another, so it’ll be their first test of viability. Strong reactions set it off on a path to potential Oscar glory, while mixed to poor reactions could sent it straight down the drain into oblivion.
Other big debuts at the fest will be Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, Mike Binder’s Black and White, Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Equalizer, Ed Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice, Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club, Shawn Levy’s This Is Where I Leave You, Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, Chris Evans’ directorial debut Before We Go, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy, Barry Levinson’s The Humbling, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, as well as other works like The Drop and The Imitation Game, all of whom have some level of awards hope to them. Most won’t take on that kind of narrative, but at least one or two will, so it becomes almost a game trying to figure out which ones it will be ahead of time.
The other titles of note are Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher of course, along with David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, Mike Leigh’s […]

Ryan Gosling: the next actor turned director to watch out for?

HOLLYWOOD ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK: A few days ago at the Cannes Film Festival, A list actor Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River (which was originally titled by him as the more compelling How To Catch a Monster) screened to a rather divisive response from critics. Some praised his skill behind the camera and the way he worked in many influences from other filmmakers, while others panned the movie for being derivative and an imitation of better works. That more or less takes the film out of major awards contention, but it does leave me still contemplating Gosling’s future as a director. He may not have hit a home run his first time out, but very few actors turned directors do. My hunch is that he’s a few years away from making a flick that really wows folks.
Why do I think that? Look at other A-listers who stepped behind the camera. George Clooney’s debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind wasn’t rapturously received either, but his next outing was Good Night and Good Luck, which was nominated for Best Picture and got Clooney a handful of nominations himself. For another example, look at Angelina Jolie. She made her debut with the foreign war flick In the Land of Blood and Honey, but this year she’s back with the Oscar frontrunner Unbroken. Gosling certainly wouldn’t be the first to have his sophomore feature be the one that’s really embraced. In fact, it seems to almost be the path of choice for many of his colleagues. Get a perhaps overly ambitious debut out of the way first and then go hit him with something a bit more accessible the next time out.
If you look at the filmmakers that Gosling is apparently referencing, you can see that he’s only beginning to develop his own filmmaking identity. If you mix the work of Derek Cianfrance, David Lynch, Gaspar Noe, and Nicolas Winding Refn, you’re bound to get something rather off the beaten path. Now that he’s basically thrown everything at the wall to see what stuck, he’s got the opportunity to show off his own vision next time out. If not, he can even just begin to figure out which influences to play up and which ones to sort of keep on the back burner.
Right now, Lost River is probably little more than a curiosity, but it’s the start of something. There’s no way of knowing […]

“Foxcatcher” has announced itself as an awards player at Cannes

Earlier this week, Bennett Miller’s third directorial outing Foxcatcher debuted at the Cannes Film Festival to pretty much rave reviews. In an instant, it went from a potential Oscar hopeful to a likely nominee. Ever since pundits like myself first thought the movie was hitting last year, it’s been spoken of a possible big player. Now, we can firmly discuss it in slightly more sure terms. To be fair, nothing is guaranteed for the film, but right now, nothing has better buzz than Foxcatcher. If it can sustain until its theatrical release this fall, it may very well even become a Best Picture frontrunner.
Many of my colleagues at Cannes have said that this is Miller’s best film yet. Considering that his first two films are Capote and Moneyball, both of which were Best Picture nominees, that’s saying something. Miller is a previous Best Director nominee as well, so not only is he likely to be back in that race, he’ll probably contend seriously for the win as well. I recently spoke of the danger filmmakers face when making passion projects, but it seems like Miller has avoided all of the traps there, resulting in what a ton of folks are calling a brilliant film.
The cast are receiving tons of praise as well. Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum are the subject of career best reviews, while Mark Ruffalo is being highly spoken of as well. With Sienna Miller and Vanessa Redgrave also on hand, there’s no shortage of talent in play for awards consideration now. I can’t imagine Carrell being snubbed now, whether it’s in Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor, while Ruffalo and Tatum will likely be in contention now as well. Miller and Redgrave weren’t given too many notices, but if Best Supporting Actress turns out to be a weak field, one could certainly sneak in there as well.
Of course, anything is possible for the movie. Sometimes the acclaimed films from Cannes don’t sustain throughout an entire season. Sometimes a similar flick can take the wind out of this one’s sails. Sometimes a different work just captures all the attention. There’s no way of knowing what’s going to happen to Foxcatcher between now and then, so there are absolutely no guarantees. There is, however, educated guesswork to be done, and that puts the film in a solid spot. It doesn’t seem like the sort of one to be forgotten […]

Foxcatcher will debut at Cannes and might be on a collision course with Oscar

About a month ago, I wrote a piece here that speculated on some of the Academy Award hopefuls that might be debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. Well, the lineup for Cannes has been announced (at least the preliminary list of titles…look for some movies to be added in the coming weeks), and while a few flicks I mentioned in that article like The Homesman, How to Catch a Monster, and Maps to the Stars are set to unspool in France, the film that probably is the most anticipated, especially in terms of awards potential, is Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. In fact, I’ve listed it as a Best Picture frontrunner in my Oscar predictions, if you haven’t already noticed.
In case you’re not up to speed on this movie, it’s obviously directed by Miller based on a script from Dan Futterman and based on a true story. The plot surrounds Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and how, while training with paranoid schizophrenic millionaire John duPont, Schultz’s brother, Olympic Champion Dave Schultz, was killed by duPont. The cast is led by Steve Carrell as duPont, Mark Ruffalo as Dave, and Channing Tatum as Mark, with Anthony Michael Hall, Sienna Miller, and Vanessa Redgrave in supporting turns as well. That’s pretty baity stuff if I do say so myself, especially in terms of the potential it holds for Carrell and Ruffalo.
Miller has so far been perfect at getting his films into Best Picture lineups, with both Capote and Moneyball scoring citations. This is also a passion project of his, which could put an extra chip on his shoulder to really nail this one. He’s also gotten multiple performers of his nominated each time out (along with his screenplays getting nominated both times to go along with one Best Director nomination for himself as well), so the odds are really in this cast’s favor. Assuming the debut at Cannes goes well, it’d be pretty foolish to bet against this one not turning into a major awards player.
So, what are the odds of Foxcatcher going from Cannes to the Oscar ceremony? Well, it’s not incredibly uncommon, though winners are a bit more on the rare side. The last movie to pull that off was No Country for Old Men, so while Foxcatcher (along with The Homesman, for example) might not have any statistics out there in the universe to suggest that a strong debut at this […]

Kristen Stewart: Why is “On the Road” opening everywhere but the U.S.A.?

HollywoodNews.com: By the time the film version of the quintessential American novel, “On the Road,” opens in America, it will be the movie’s very last stop. The Walter Salles directed adaptation of the famed Jack Kerouac classic has already opened in four countries. It will open in two dozen more before it finally hits American theaters on December 21, 2012. A movie about being lost in America is lost in distribution.
Indeed, “On the Road” is so screwed up at this point that it had its UK premiere in London three days ago. But it doesn’t actually open there until October 12th. Neither of its big stars–Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund–even showed up for that premiere. It’s not clear what the point was at all.
The movie had its worldwide debut back in May at the Cannes Film Festival. Critics were lukewarm. Rottentomatoes.com has given it a 40% score, with pretty much everyone checking in. In the four countries where it has played to audiences, “On the Road” has a total box office of just over $4.2 million.
Now it will roll out in spurts around the world. In early September, “On the Road” will get a premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. It almost seems like an afterthought since it won’t be released in the U.S. for three more months. There’s no momentum whatsoever marketing wise.
What a shame. “On the Road” was published in 1957. The saga of its journey to film is a long, storied one. Francis Ford Coppola tried to do in the 1990s. Casts came and went. Salles, a very good director, made such a success of “The Motorcycle Diaries,” that he seemed like a good choice. But something went wrong in the translation.
“On the Road” also now comes with a little unwanted baggage. Kristen Stewart, who’s a minor part of the film, has been played up as one its stars. But this summer she earned a scarlet “A” for her affair with the married director of her “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Rarher than be stoned in public, Stewart skipped the throwaway UK premiere. Her level of promo participation in the future is unknown.
To read more go to www.showbiz411.com
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Killing Them Softly New Photos – Brad Pitt

HollywoodNews.com: KILLING THEM SOFTLY, a new thriller from The Weinstein Company about three guys who cause the local criminal economy to collapse after robbing a Mob protected card game. The film, starring Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini recently had it’s debut at the Cannes Film festival

Three dumb guys who think they’re smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order. KILLING THEM SOFTLY also features Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR), James Gandolfini (?The Sopranos?), Ray Liotta (NARC), Scoot McNairy (MONSTERS), Ben Mendelsohn (ANIMAL KINGDOM), and Vincent Curatola (“The Sopranos”). Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine and Sam Shepard also make appearances. KILLING THEM SOFTLY is written for the screen and directed by Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), and is based on the George V. Higgins novel, “Cogan’s Trade.”
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, and Anthony Katagas produced the film, with Roger Schwartz, Matthew Budman, Will French, and Douglas Saylor Jr. serving as co-producers. Director of photography Greig Fraser, and production and costume designer Patricia Norris led the creative behind-the-camera team.
Casting for KILLING THEM SOFTLY was handled by Francine Maisler, and Brian A. Kates, A.C.E., served as editor. Executive producers are Megan Ellison, Marc Butan, Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna.

Photos courtesy Cogana’s Productions and the Weinstein
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Kim Kardashian joins Kanye West for his film premiere

HollywoodNews.com: Kanye West recently spent some time in London to support Kim Kardashian’s businesses, and now she is doing the same for him.
Kim joined Kanye in Cannes for his film premiere as he was showing off his latest project, ‘Cruel Summer,’ states UsMagazine.com. The two then hit up the after party where they celebrated with his good friend Jay-Z.
This is Kim’s first time at the Cannes Film Festival.
Do you like how these two support each other?
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Image by PR Photos

Kanye West debuting a film at Cannes

HollywoodNews.com: Kanye West is a busy man as he has been traveling with girlfriend Kim Kardashian as she promotes her businesses, but now he has his own business to take care of these days.
West will reportedly be debuting a short film at the Cannes Film Festival this upcoming Wednesday, states Hollyscoop. The film will reportedly not be involved in the competition.
The short film making its debut is reportedly called ‘Cruel Summer.’
Do you think his film will be any good?
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This Week In Movies by Pete Hammond ‘Pirates of Caribbean’

By Pete Hammond
HollywoodNews.com: It was a week for setting records on wide release and specialty fronts as the Cannes Film Festival (where I’ve been the last two weeks) ended but two of its big premiere titles exploded at the domestic and international boxoffice. Disney’s fourth go-round with Pirates of the Caribbean was on the weak side domestically with about $90 million and the studio apparently was hoping for at least a tad more than $100 million. Poor Mickey , right? Not really since the business is basically international now and this Rob Marshall-directed sequel with Johnny Depp back in his signature role as Captain Jack chalked up the best ever international bow not only for those Pirates but just about everyone else with $256 million adding up to a stunning worldwide total of $346 in just three days. There has been four years instead of the usual two between Pirates sequels and the delay may have affected stateside enthusiasm for the series. Still $90 million smackeroos is a bountiful treasure by any measure. The filmmakers told me they had to find a way to reinvent the series since the storyline between Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightley had been played out in the poorly reviewed second and third chapters. Now they have been jettisoned in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides replaced by new characters including Penelope Cruz as a con lady pirate with a past emotional involvement with Jack Sparrow and Ian McShane as the legendary Blackbeard. Chicago director Rob Marshall brings almost a rhythmic quality to the swordplay and action scenes that makes this version move along with more verve than the previous two. Of course Depp is the secret weapon and he never disappoints in the role that brought him a SAG award for Best Actor and an Oscar nomination. Plus he seems to be enjoying himself and even suggests that another sequel should be set on the actual Disneyland ride itself and the characters can just go around and around. He’s kidding. I think. Disney , new chief Rich Ross and producer Jerry Bruckheimer really need this one to work and based on its opening its right in line to become the biggest selling Pirates yet thanks to the rest of the world. It’s B+ Cinemascore rating also indicates fairly good word of mouth ahead even if critics balked giving it a […]

Sean Penn: Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day

HollywoodNews.com: Our selected celebrity to be included in our “Hot Hollywood Celebrity Photo Gallery of the Day” is Sean Penn. Sean was at the premiere of Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sean Justin Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his political and social activism. He is a two-time Academy Award winner for his roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008), as well as the recipient of a Golden Globe Award for the former and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the latter.
Penn began his acting career in television with a brief appearance in a 1974 episode of Little House on the Prairie, directed by his father Leo Penn. Following his film debut in 1981’s Taps and a diverse range of film roles in the 1980s, Penn emerged as a prominent leading actor with the 1995 drama film Dead Man Walking, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and the Best Actor Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Penn subsequently received another two Oscar nominations for Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and I Am Sam (2001), before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for Mystic River and a second one in 2008 for Milk. He has also won a Best Actor Award of the Cannes Film Festival for She’s So Lovely (1997), and two Best Actor Awards at the Venice Film Festival for Hurlyburly (1998) and 21 Grams (2003).
Penn made his feature film directorial debut with 1991’s The Indian Runner, followed by the drama film The Crossing Guard (1995) and the mystery film The Pledge (2001). In 2002, Penn directed one of the 11 segments of 11’09″01 September 11, a compilation film made in response to the September 11 attacks. In 2007, Penn directed his fourth feature film Into the Wild, which garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations.
In addition to his film work, Penn is known for his political and social activism, most notably his criticism of the George W. Bush administration, his contact with the Presidents of Venezuela and Cuba, and his humanitarian work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Penn also attracted media attention for his previous marriages to pop icon Madonna and actress Robin Wright.
Penn appeared in a 1974 episode of the Little House on the […]

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