January 02, 2015

Tag Archives: United States

Oscar stock watch: 5 contenders up and 5 contenders down

With an almost daily influx of awards to make note of, this is the sort of time where things change for Oscar contenders quickly. As such, I wanted to try out a new segment, where I periodically take the temperature of the race and list some of the Academy Award hopefuls who have seen their stock rise or fall of late, relating to the precursor season. It’s the sort of thing I can check in with every week or every other week, depending on what’s appropriate. Anyway, I wanted to give it a shot now and see how it played for you all.
Below you’ll see ten different contenders, broken up into two separate groups. One group of films/performances have seen their stock trend upwards, while the other group has seen the exact opposite happen. It’s almost a quick snapshot of the major changes in the season, though by no means is it all encompassing. Anyway, I hope this is of interest to you all…
Here are five contenders who have seen their stock rise of late:
1. Boyhood – As mentioned yesterday, Richard Linklater’s film has solidified its frontrunner status in Best Picture for Linklater, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette, and Best Original Screenplay for Linklater as well. That sort of early precursor dominance only helps increase its Oscar stock. As long as the Golden Globes and Guilds don’t bring it back down to Earth, this is a blue chipper, to say the least.
2. Nightcrawler – One of the surprises of the early precursor season has been to see Dan Gilroy’s thriller slowly but surely establish itself as more than a fringe awards player. Star Jake Gyllenhaal has received (justly) some attention, but the film itself is popping up more than initially expected. I’m not ready to predict it for a Best Picture nomination, but I’m at least toying with the idea.
3. Jennifer Aniston/Cake – What was initially a real long shot/Hail Mary pass in the Best Actress race has become a viable contender. Jennifer Aniston’s vehicle Cake doesn’t have a ton of money to campaign with a huge distributor backing it, but it’s still managing to create a buzz. That easily affirms it as a player with its stock trending in an upward direction.
4. American Sniper – Despite some originally mixed reviews at its AFI Fest premiere, Clint Eastwood’s latest showed up on their Best of the […]

Laura Dern’s awards season…Supporting herself and two potential Best Actress nominees

2014 has been one of the best years for Laura Dern in some time. The veteran actress is well respected in the business, very talented, and a pleasure to interact with. Last year, she was part of the campaign to get her father Bruce Dern cited for Nebraska. This year however, she’s front and center in a way, giving two of the most effective supporting performances of 2014. If one or both of Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley become Best Actress nominees, it’ll certainly be in part because of their scenes in Wild and The Fault in Our Stars with their on screen mother Dern. She’s fueling their fire, but can she also score a Best Supporting Actress nomination for herself.
I think Dern is one of the more interesting contenders this year. She’s a previous Academy Award nominee (she was nominated in Best Actress for Rambling Rose), five time Golden Globe nominee (and two time winner on the television side), and one of the few hopefuls in 2014 who can boast multiple films to contend with. She’s far more likely for Wild than The Fault in Our Stars, yes, but one could wind up helping with the other, at at the very least helping to push her co-stars to the Best Actress nomination finish line. No one else this year can say that, so Dern finds herself in a spot all her own this year.
In the case of The Fault in Our Stars, she has a film that’s reached blockbuster status and brought her a very solid amount of acclaim. True, Shailene Woodley took most of the praise, but Dern was hardly forgotten about either. Her turn as Woodley’s mother was easily one of the best supporting performances of the first half of the year, so that’s a plus. The odds say that voters will only consider her for Wild due to the release date and such, but if they pop in this one in order to consider Woodley in Best Actress, they could certainly notice Dern and mark her down in the back of their minds. Dern is going to be one of the reasons why Woodley gets nominated, if that does come to pass.
When it comes to Wild though, she’s firmly in the thick of things. Her co-star Reese Witherspoon is almost assuredly scoring a Best Actress nomination, so it might be that Witherspoon helps bring Dern along […]

Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room – Patrick Stewart

In the crime thriller GREEN ROOM, a young punk rock band find themselves trapped in a secluded venue after stumbling upon a horrific act of violence, fighting for their lives against a gang of white power skinheads intent on eliminating all witnesses.
Patrick Stewart plays Darcy Banker, the unflinching and industrial leader of a ferocious white supremacist fiefdom based in the Pacific Northwest. Rounding out the cast is Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Kai Lennox, Eric Edelstein and Saulnier’s BLUE RUIN star Macon Blair.
BGP is producing and financing the film and plans to release the movie in 2015. The film is written by Jeremy Saulnier (BLUE RUIN), who will also direct. Anish Savjani and Neil Kopp of filmscience will produce the film along with BGP’s Victor Moyers. Gabriel and Daniel Hammond of Broad Green Pictures and Vincent Savino of filmscience will be executive producing the project.
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Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean- Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley to appear on the Hollywood Film Awards, November 14, 2014 on CBS

Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean- Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley to appear on the Hollywood Film Awards, November 14, 2014 on CBS
The Hollywood Film Awards today announced the first group of A-list stars scheduled to appear at the live inaugural broadcast of the Hollywood Film Awards, hosted by Queen Latifah, from the Hollywood Palladium Friday, November 14, 2014 (8:00-10:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Scheduled to appear are Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Jack O¹Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean-Marc Vallée, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 17 years, honoring some of the world¹s biggest stars. Additional stars attending will be announced soon.
Over its 17 year history, the Hollywood Film Awards has celebrated some of the biggest names in film. Previous honorees include: Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Glenn Close, Russell Crowe, Penelope Cruz, Robert DeNiro, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirk Douglas, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Richard Gere, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Diane Keaton, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Jack Lemon, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore, Sean Penn, Joaquin Phoenix, Julia Roberts, Geoffrey Rush, Susan Sarandon, Hilary Swank, John Travolta, Christoph Waltz, Naomi Watts, Forest Whitaker, Michelle Williams and Robin Williams, among others.
The Hollywood Film Awards kicks off at 7:30 PM live ET/delayed PT on CBS with a special half-hour red carpet show featuring fashion and interviews with the stars as they arrive. Following the Hollywood Film Awards broadcast, the festivities will continue with a live one-hour show that will feature interviews with honorees and look back at the evening¹s highlights. ³CBS This Morning² anchors Charlie Rose, Norah O¹Donnell and Gayle King will host, (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT).
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997 by Carlos de Abreu, who also executive produces, is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco and R. A. Clark are executive producers along with de Abreu.
CBS Extended Primetime Schedule for Friday, Nov. 14:
7:30-8:00 PM (live ET/delayed PT) COUNTDOWN TO THE HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS
8:00-10:00 PM […]

A second stab at Golden Globe predictions

I was originally planning on waiting to take another look at the Golden Globe awards and my predictions for that precursor until the summer was over, but with the festival announcements in full swing, it seems like a nice time to approach these again. Next week brings new Oscar predictions on my part (also informed by the New York and Toronto Film Festival announcements), so this is a good way to bide our time until then. There’s certainly a bit of a separation between the two, so it’s a far cry from the same sort of predictions, as you’ve probably already gathered by now. The Globes and the Oscars are very different animals, to say the least. You can argue about the actual impact that the former has on the latter, but at the very bare minimum, it influences perception, so it must be reckoned with to some degree.
Once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I won’t have the same sort of lineup when you see my Oscar predictions at the start of August (stay tuned for that, obviously). You also potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. Interstellar
5. Rosewater
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Birdman […]

Spotlight on Billionaire David Ellison

NAME: DAVID ELLISON
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Family
BIO: Son of Oracle’s Larry Ellison, whose net worth is estimated between 41.8 billion (Bloomberg) and $48 billion (Forbes). Brother of uber-producer Megan Ellison. USC film school graduate. Accomplished acrobatic pilot.
MARITAL STATUS: Married to actress/singer Sandy Modic.
HOLLYWOOD CONNECTIONS: His father once co-owned the 450-foot, $200 million yacht Rising Sun with fellow billionaire and DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen. David Ellison began career as an actor, appearing in and co-financing the 2006 MGM flop “Flyboys.” Founded Skydance Productions label, named for his love of flying. Raised $350 million to co-finance movies with studio partner Paramount Pictures. Re-upped co-financing pact with Paramount through 2018.
FILMS OF NOTE: “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol,” “Jack Reacher,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “World War Z.” Combined, those films have made more than $2.4 billion at the global box office—Deadline.
FILM PROJECTS IN THE WORK:
*“Terminator: Genesis.” Director: Alan Taylor. Cast: Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney. Producers: Ellison, Dana Goldberg.
*“Mission: Impossible 5” Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner. Producers: Ellison, J.J. Abrams, Tom Cruise.
*“Top Gun 2” Cast: Tom Cruise.
*”Geostorm” Cast: Gerard Butler. Director: Dean Devlin. Producers: Ellison, Devlin, Goldberg, Rachel Olschan, Marc Roskin.
*Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” Cast: Tom Cruise.
REAL ESTATE VENTURES: Skydance Productions purchased the historic Santa Monica post office on Fifth Street which was opened as part of FDR’s Works Project Administration in the ‘30’s, but was shuttered last year after walk-in traffic dwindled, according to Santa Monica Daily Press. No price was disclosed.
QUOTABLES: “I got sick my first flight.”—2006 Q&A with Air & Space magazine.
SCIENTOLOGY CONNECTION: All those Tom Cruise movies. TMZ featured a 2011 video of Cruise doing the worm during a “dance battle” at Ellison’s Palm Springs wedding.

New Movie “America” shows Hillary Clinton Meeting With Saul Alinsky

America, the new film from bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza and the Academy Award-winning producer of Schindler’s List, Gerald R. Molen which hits theaters July 2nd will feature a teenaged Hillary Clinton being introduced to the radical philosopher Saul Alinsky for the first time. In the film, Hillary Clinton is played by actress Jennifer Pearson and is introduced to the political activist by her Methodist youth minister.
AMERICA, a follow up by the team that created the runaway hit 2016: Obama’s America deals with the question: “Where would the world be if America had never existed?”
According to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, D’Souza said: “In 2016 I focused on the mis-education of Obama. Here we explore the mis-education of Hillary Clinton. Is Hillary more like Bill Clinton or is she more like Obama? That is the question we answer in this film.”
Producer Gerald R. Molen continued, “We didn’t know of any footage that exists of Hillary Clinton at that age. We had hoped to have her in the film to talk about her life, including that period of it. When she didn’t agree to an interview we did the next best thing: re-create what actually happened.”
In a clip obtained by the magazine, scholar Stanley Kurtz is interviewed about the encounter. After the taping Kurtz wrote an essay about the experience which can be read here. http://m.nationalreview.com/corner/370188/dsouzas-case-and-my-role-his-film-stanley-kurtz
To read the original article please click here: www.hollywoodreporter.com

Academy Reveals Medal Placements at 2014 Student Academy Awards®

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight honored fifteen student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 41st Student Academy Awards ceremony, held at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Hollywood.
The gold, silver and bronze medals were announced and presented by actors Adrian Grenier, Nate Parker and Oscar® nominee Demian Bichir, and the Oscar-winning directing/producing team from the animated feature “Frozen,” Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck and Peter Del Vecho.
The 2014 Student Academy Award® winners are:
Alternative
Gold Medal: “Person,” Drew Brown, The Art Institute of Jacksonville, Florida
Silver Medal: “Oscillate,” Daniel Sierra, School of Visual Arts, New York
Animation
Gold Medal: “Owned,” Daniel Clark and Wesley Tippetts, Brigham Young University, Utah
Silver Medal: “Higher Sky,” Teng Cheng, University of Southern California
Bronze Medal: “Yamashita,” Hayley Foster, Loyola Marymount University, California
Documentary
Gold Medal: “The Apothecary,” Helen Hood Scheer, Stanford University
Silver Medal: “White Earth,” J. Christian Jensen, Stanford University
Bronze Medal: “One Child,” Zijian Mu, New York University
Narrative
Gold Medal: “Above the Sea,” Keola Racela, Columbia University, New York
Silver Medal: “Door God,” Yulin Liu, New York University
Bronze Medal: “Interstate,” Camille Stochitch, American Film Institute, California
Foreign Film
Gold Medal: “Nocebo,” Lennart Ruff, University of Television and Film Munich, Germany
Silver Medal: “Paris on the Water,” Hadas Ayalon, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Bronze Medal: “Border Patrol,” Peter Baumann, The Northern Film School, United Kingdom
This year saw first-time honors go to Tel Aviv University, Israel, and The Northern Film School, United Kingdom, in the foreign competition.
The Academy established the Student Academy Awards in 1972 to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking at the collegiate level. Past Student Academy Award winners have gone on to receive 46 Oscar nominations and have won or shared eight awards. They include John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Trey Parker and Spike Lee.
# # #
ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners­—the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related […]

The Talent Search: Christians in Hollywood Part 2

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
Seventeen-year-old Nicole Smolen is an actress and Christian who works in Hollywood.
Smolen has appeared on such network TV shows as “Criminal Minds” and “Brothers & Sisters” and has been cast in feature films and a national TV commercial. But it’s her role in a new small-budget indie film called “8 Days” that makes her particularly proud.
In the yet-to-be released film, Smolen plays Amber Stevens, a 16-year-old from a well-off home who sneaks away to a high school party with friends and winds up drugged, kidnapped, raped and forced by pimps into the netherworld of sex trafficking.
But because those gritty elements contained in the plot are only the beginning of the storyline, Smolen believes she is not compromising her Christian faith.
“It’s a very inspirational story and I believe it will touch a lot of lives” Smolen told HollywoodNews. “All the profits go to safe houses (for victims of human trafficking) and people in need. It’s not like we’re profiting off of this.”
The role appealed to her, she noted, because “it’s a film that will benefit people and inform (moviegoers) about human trafficking….I don’t want to just be a typical teenaged girl (in films) who’s crazy about boys. I want films that cause change in people’s lives.”
Smolen credits Actors, Models & Talent for Christ, a faith-based nonprofit based in Tyrone, Ga., with helping hone her talents to the point where she and her parents decided to sell their home in Lawrenceville, Ga., and move to L.A. so that she could pursue an acting career. She said she still remains friends with people she met through AMTC and the network helps keep her grounded in an industry where success is often accompanied by rejection and periods of unemployment.
Never heard of Actors, Models & Talent for Christ? Since 2012 alone, the organization says it has trained between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the in’s and out’s of the entertainment and modeling industries.
The training isn’t cheap. This summer’s intensive six-day International Shine Conference scheduled July 1-6 in Orlando, Fla., costs $3,895 to $4,995 per person (a $300 discount applies if paid in full).
To attend the Shine conference, performers must first audition and be accepted. These auditions are held in cities throughout the United States. The next L.A.-area auditions are scheduled for June 21 in Pasadena and July 19 in Anaheim.
AMTC has its roots in a modeling convention that began […]

“Foxcatcher” by Bennett Miller: A June Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re well into the month of June, I’m coming to you again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. They won’t be too different from what I put up last month, or obviously what I’ve written about in my articles on the Best Picture and Best Director fields, but honestly, that’s kind of the point. We still have a very long way to go in the season and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting a bit more confident in backing these particular horses as opposed to the previous ones I’ve mentioned. If that sounds repetitive, well…that’s the nature of the beast right now. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive, especially when precursor season kicks into gear in the fall/winter.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the biggest winners at this year’s ceremony, with Foxcatcher now dominating at this early point in the season, though with Unbroken still doing terrifically as well, at least in terms of nominations. A lot can and will still change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, it’s really either Foxcatcher or Unbroken right now. There are some small changes elsewhere in most categories, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about those two contenders here for me.
I could go on about the tinkering that I’ve done (there’s a noticeable change in Picture and Director, one of which goes against a recent article of mine, but I’m experimenting) this time around, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this eearly juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Foxcatcher
2. Unbroken
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Big Eyes
5. Rosewater
6. Gone Girl
7. Interstellar
8. Mr. Turner
9. Boyhood
10. A Most Violent Year
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
2. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
3. David Fincher – Gone Girl
4. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
5. Tim Burton – Big Eyes
BEST ACTOR
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
3. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
4. Oscar Isaac – […]

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