April 19, 2014

Tag Archives: the tree of life

“Descendants,” “The Artist” lead Indie Spirit noms – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Mornings won’t get much busier than this at Awards Alley. Even when Oscar reveals his annual nominations, he has the decency of being the only game in town. Tuesday, as the New York Film Critics’ Circle (slowly) revealed their selections for the Best of 2011, the Independent Spirit Awards also took over West Hollywood to pull the curtain back on their full slate of nominees. We have them below.
Just this morning, I was writing about how Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” was collecting a series of small victories that could add up to big wins at the Academy Awards. Malick’s thoughtful drama split Best Feature with “Beginners” at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. And Sight & Sound named it the Best Film of 2011 in its annual poll.
“Tree” co-star Jessica Chastain then won Best Supporting Actress for her “Tree” role (in addition to her contributions to “The Help” and “Take Shelter.” And while “Tree” wasn’t eligible for the Spirits, Chastain did get into the race for her “Shelter” performance. Well deserved.
Plenty of other films received a much-needed boost by the Indie Spirit noms. Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” Nicolas Winding-Refn’s “Drive,” Mike Mills’ “Beginners,” the Wall Street drama “Margin Call,” and “Take Shelter” all worked their way back into the race with strong showings. Expected Oscar contenders “The Descendants” and “The Artist” also scored crucial noms.
Winners will be announced on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, from the beaches of Santa Monica. The premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.
Here’s the complete list of Independent Spirit Award nominees:
Best Feature
50/50
Beginners
Drive
Take Shelter
The Artist
The Descendants
Best Director
Mike Mills, Beginners
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Best First Feature
Another Earth
In The Family
Margin Call
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natural Selection
Best Male Lead
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose, Think of Me
Rachel Harris, Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks, Drive
John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
John C. Reilly, Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll, Midnight in Paris
Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston, 50/50
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana, Gun Hill Road
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
John Cassavetes Award for films made under $500,000
Bellflower
Circumstance
Hello Lonesome
Pariah
The Dynamiter
Best Documentary
An African Selection
Bill Cunningham New York
The Interrupters
The Redemption of General Butt Naked
We Were Here
Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge, Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke, The Off Hours
Darius Khondji, [...]

Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” builds awards momentum – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: Oscar trackers will tell you that a series of relatively smaller victories for a film can build momentum and add up to one big win at the Academy Awards. So Monday, from an Oscar perspective, was a successful day for Terrence Malick’s meditative “The Tree of Life,” which added two notches to its awards belt as it hopes to generate buzz heading into the thick of Oscar season.
Early in the day, it was revealed that “Tree” topped Sight & Sound’s Best of 2011 list. An annual compilation if international critical opinion, the Sight & Sound list recognizes the “best, favorite and most important” films of the year. “Tree” edged out “A Separation” (No. 2); “The Kid With a Bike” (No. 3); “Melancholia” (No. 4); and “The Artist” (No. 5). David Fincher’s “The Social Network” led last year’s list.
Ah, yes. “The Social Network.” A warning that sweeping the early-season critical groups doesn’t necessarily make you a shoo-in to win the Oscars. So “Tree” should take these moral victories with a grain of salt, knowing that the opinions of critics don’t always mesh with those of the Academy.
“Tree” wasn’t done celebrating, however. Monday evening, Malick’s film was named co-feature of the year (opposite Mike Mills’ “Beginners”) at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, giving the movie its second “win” in a 24-hour frame.
Will the wave continue this week, as the Independent Spirit Awards reveal their annual nominations and the New York Film Critics’ Circle vote on their year-end favorites? We’ll see. This is a very busy week in the Oscar marathon, and the support shown for Malick’s challenging “Tree” can only grow.
For complete Oscar and film festival coverage, visit our awards alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
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Jessica Chastain playing Princess Diana in planned biopic

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Jessica Chastain used 2011 as a coming-out party, displaying her incredible range in such vastly different pictures as “Take Shelter,” “The Help,” “The Debt” and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” Now that Hollywood knows she exists, it’s time for the industry to use her properly. Here’s one such example of a film role Chastain was born to play.
The redheaded beauty will play the late Princess Diana in a pending biopic titled “Caught in Flight,” according to The Washington Post. It will be directed by “Downfall” helmer Oliver Herschbiegel, and will focus on a love affair the royal had with Pakistani surgeon Hasnat Khan, which reportedly last two years and ended shortly before Diana’s death.
“The project is currently being shopped around at the American Film Market,” the Post reports, adding that if “Caught in Flight” does not get proper financial backing, then plans to begin pre-production in March could change.
Chastain proved she could play virtually any shade in 2011, switching roles with ease and never failing to convince the audience of her motivations. Playing Diana would be a massive challenge. Do you like the selection? Do you think it’s too soon for a Princess Diana movie? And if they are going to do a Diana biopic, is this the story that you’d want told? Let us know below.
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‘The Help’ Cast to be Honored at the Hollywood Film Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O’Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel to be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony.
The 15th Annual Hollywood Film Festival and Hollywood Film Awards, presented by Starz Entertainment, are pleased to announce that the cast of DreamWorks Pictures and Participant Media’s “The Help” – Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O’Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel – will be recognized at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony with the “Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award.”
The announcement was made today by Carlos de Abreu, Founder of the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, which will take place on the evening of Monday, October 24, 2011, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The Hollywood Film Awards Gala launches the awards season. In the past eight years a total of 73 Oscar nominations and 27 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Awards.
The 2011 Hollywood Film Festival has announced they will also honor Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Editor Stephen Mirrione, Production Designer James Murakami and Visual Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar at their annual Awards Gala. Gore Verbinski’s “Rango” will also be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards Gala Ceremony, along with additional honorees to be announced in the coming weeks.
Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, THE HELP stars Academy Award®-nominated Viola Davis (DOUBT) as Aibileen and Emma Stone as Skeeter, two very different, extraordinary women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them both at risk at the height of the civil rights movement in 1960s Mississippi. When Aibileen enlists the help of her best friend Minny (Octavia Spencer), their improbable alliance fosters a remarkable sisterhood, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that defi ne them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed-even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, THE HELP is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change. THE HELP was written for the screen and directed by Tate Taylor and produced by Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
ABOUT VIOLA DAVIS
VIOLA DAVIS (Aibileen [...]

Movie Awards’ Projections For August: Contenders for the 2011 Awards Season – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: With “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” tearing up box office records and the last of the summer blockbusters preparing to drop — “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” appears to be the last major tent pole on the horizon — now seems like a safe time to start winding down from the muscular summer movie season so we can get in mental, emotional and physical shape for the autumn season. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR LIST OF SELECTED FILMS.
That’s when studios begin to position their awards hopefuls for lengthy Oscar-season campaigns, which can begin as early as August at the Venice Film Festival and extend all the way to the Academy Awards on Feb. 26, 2012.
At the early stage of the annual game, the field of contenders is massive. The fun, each year, comes in whittling down a pool of potential to find the pictures we hope can find their into the Oscar race. And with the added wrinkle of an undetermined number of Best Picture nominees (the Academy did away with 10 noms in favor of an as-many-as-we-need system), the debate surrounding worthy titles should be passionate.
We can’t wait. So we won’t wait. We’re gearing up for the annual awards race by amassing the movies we think will be in the discussion. Some we have seen already, though most are opening between now and New Year’s Eve, making them eligible for Academy consideration in 2011. This will be a straight list. We’ll get to commentary (lots and lots of commentary) as the season moves along … especially after we’ve been able to see the movies on this initial list.
Be sure to bookmark HollywoodNews.com for the best awards coverage the industry has to offer. This isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And while we’re pretty much just lacing up our running shoes at this point, we know the finish line is out there somewhere, and we’re getting pretty excited about crossing it.
WEEKLY LIST: Contenders for the 2011 Awards Season – By Release Date
Coming soon lists with Actors, Directors, Screenwriters, Cinematographers, Editors, Film Composers, Production Designers, Costume Designers, Sound, and Visual Effects
AUGUST
“The Help,” Buena Vista (8/12)
“One Day,” Focus Features (8/19)
“Higher Ground,” Sony Classics (8/26)
SEPTEMBER
“Contagion,” Warner (9/9)
“Drive,” FilmDistrict (9/16)
“Moneyball,” Sony (9/23)
“50/50,” Summit (9/30)
“Take Shelter,” Sony Classics (9/30)
“A Dangerous Method,” Sony Classics (TBA)
OCTOBER
“The Ides of March,” Sony (10/7)
“Dirty Girl,” Weinstein Co. (10/7)
“The Way,” Icon [...]

U.K. Rights to the Tree of Life Acquired by Fox Searchlight from River Road Ent

HollywoodNews.com: Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has acquired U.K. rights from River Road Entertainment to the epic drama THE TREE OF LIFE. Written and directed by Terrence Malick, THE TREE OF LIFE stars Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain and won the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
The film was produced by Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Grant Hill. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film July 8, 2011 throughout the United Kingdom. THE TREE OF LIFE grossed an opening weekend per theatre average of $93,230 in the U.S., a Fox Searchlight Pictures record, surpassing last year’s hit BLACK SWAN average of $80,212. The film opened exclusively in eight additional markets in its week two expansion with a per theatre average of $30,915 with twelve additional markets slated to open this week.
“We knew this was an amazing film from the moment we saw it,” said Gilula and Utley. “Based on the hugely successful opening in the United States, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be releasing this film in the United Kingdom.”
“Fox Searchlight has been an extraordinary partner distributing our film in the United States,” said Pohlad. “So we’re thrilled to have them release THE TREE OF LIFE in the United Kingdom, allowing international audiences to experience Terry’s beautiful and affecting masterpiece.”
From director Terrence Malick (BADLANDS, DAYS OF HEAVEN, THE THIN RED LINE, THE NEW WORLD) comes a thought provoking film experience. His fifth film, THE TREE OF LIFE, is a hymn to life, excavating answers to the most haunting and personal human questions through a kaleidoscope of the intimate and the cosmic, from the raw emotions of a family in a small Texas town to the wildest, infinite edges of space and time, from a boy’s loss of innocence to a man’s transforming encounters with awe, wonder and transcendence.

An impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950′s, the film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the [...]

And the Winner at Cannes fest is ‘The Tree of Life” by Terrence Malick

HollywoodNews.com: And the winner at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival is “The Tree of Life.” Bravo!
Terrence Malick’s unique drama “The Tree of Life” has won the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, Kristen Dunst took the best-actress prize for the apocalyptic saga “Melancholia.”

To read more about “The Tree of Life” click now

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Tree of Life review
Photos By PRPHotos and Cannes Film Festival AFP

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 [...]

Review: ‘Tree of Life’ creates a compelling portrait of transcendence – in cinema and in life

HollywoodNews.com: It seems fitting that just four days before the release of a new Blu-ray box set featuring ten of Stanley Kubrick’s movies, Terrence Malick’s fifth film, ‘Tree of Life,’ opens in theaters: notwithstanding both directors’ tendency to take on new projects with decidedly glacial deliberation, Kubrick and Malick are two of a very few filmmakers in Hollywood history to use the big canvas of the silver screen to ask some even bigger questions. And it’s not unfairly that ‘Tree of Life’ will inevitably be compared to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ because both films use the backdrop of the history of our universe in order to find answers about ourselves – and vice versa. But in terms of technical execution, intelligence and sheer ambition, ‘Tree of Life’ outpaces other films by such a wide margin that it feels almost like the only one worthy of succeeding the grandiosity of ‘2001,’ even if its existential aspirations eventually overwhelm its emotional impact.
At its most practical, the film is about a man coming to terms with the death of his brother, filtered through the literal creation of the cosmos from its most elemental to its most ethereal. Sean Penn plays Jack as an adult, and his reflections on the troubled childhood he and his siblings endured form the centerpiece of a stunningly gorgeous chronicle of the entirety of our universe’s history. Much as the blackness of space heaves and tumbles as it creates solar systems and planets and life itself, Jack’s father (Brad Pitt) calcifies his children’s personalities battling their mother’s (Jessica Chastain) unconditional love with his own gruff, patronizing affection, and both the heavens and their human progeny fumble through this cycle of building, destroying and building again in desperate search for some sense of purpose – or in lieu of that, meaning.
The first image Malick presents us with is a divine, womblike flame that flickers dimly in absolute darkness; depending on your spiritual proclivities, the flame might be God, the original spark that caused the “big bang,” or the human spirit itself. (Or any number of other entities, for that matter.) But the first voice that speaks is Jack’s brother R.L., addressing him and their mother, suggesting that he has gone on to a better place. As the story turns to a fully-grown Jack, he wanders aimlessly through the glossy, confining angularity of a modern life, pausing briefly to offer [...]

Brad Pitt, Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” booed in Cannes

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life,” one of the most anticipated films of the Cannes festival (if not of the entire year), finally screened for critics in France this morning and the reaction has been … well, mixed.
“Scattered audience members at its first screening in Cannes needed only one syllable: boo,” Anthony Breznican writes in EW.com. “The many supporters of the movie pushed back with counter-applause, but it was a shocking way for the movie to debut.”
Why shocking? Malick’s film has been set up to fail by uber-passionate bloggers like Jeff Wells, who practically demanded the film be excellent, sight unseen. How could anything but an instant masterpiece be deemed a success?
Maybe it’s not as bad as the boos make it seem.
Justin Chang references Stanley Kubrick’s “2001” in Variety as he writes that “Tree” is “something extraordinary,” and that the result “is pure-grade art cinema destined primarily for the delectation of Malick partisans and adventurous arthouse-goers, but with its cast names and see-it-to-believe-it stature, this inescapably divisive picture could captivate the zeitgeist for a spell.
Malick’s films divide audiences. Why would “Tree” be any different. Thankfully, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if his rumination on life an creation is art or navel gazing. “Tree of Life” opens everywhere on May 27.
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