July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: Viola Davis

“Suicide Squad” is shaping up to be one of the most interesting upcoming superhero movies

At the very tail end of the weekend, filmmaker David Ayer unveiled his first look at most of the costumed cast of Suicide Squad, his DC superhero/anti-hero/villain movie that’s scheduled to follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. This comes on the heels of Ayer also officially showing off Jared Leto as The Joker recently, making for an unusual amount of promotional material for a film coming second in line during 2016. At the same time though, it suggests something pretty different for DC and Warner Brothers, perhaps even in a way becoming their version of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Not in tone, of course, but in terms of being a possibly top tier outing due to a different feel from the rest of the pack. Having a recent Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in the cast playing an iconic part won’t hurt either.
For those who have never hard of Suicide Squad, it’s a comic book adaptation, obviously, surrounding a government agency that recruits currently imprisoned supervillains to participate in black ops missions in exchange for clemency on their sentences. Ayer writes and directs, while the cast includes Jared Leto as Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Care Delevingne as Enchantress, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, along with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, plus Common, Scott Eastwood, and Karen Fukuhara in unnamed roles, as well as cameos from Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, among potentially others. It takes place in the same universe that DC/WB is creating to lead up to a Justice League film, as well as possibly a stand alone Batman movie. It’s got a solid filmmaker and a very strong cast in place, so there’s plenty here to work with on all ends, I must say.
Obviously one of the big things here is getting to see a new interpretation of the clown prince of crime, this time portrayed by Leto. The first look at him suggested a very aggressive and dark new take, separated him in a big way from Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman for sure, but also Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as well. Leto has emerged as a real exciting actor after his Oscar winning turn […]

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley Maclaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts to present at 87th Oscars®

Ben Affleck, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Kevin Hart, Shirley MacLaine, Chris Pine, Miles Teller and Naomi Watts will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.
Affleck, a two-time Academy Award® winner, received an Original Screenplay Oscar® for “Good Will Hunting” (1997) and a Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” (2012), on which he served as a producer, director and star. His most recent role was opposite Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl” (2014). He will play Batman in the upcoming feature “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “The Accountant.”
Chastain has received two Oscar nominations, one for Actress in a Leading Role for “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012) and one for Actress in a Supporting Role for “The Help” (2011). Her most recent films include 2014’s “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year” and “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby.” She will next be seen in “Crimson Peak” and “The Martian.”
Davis has been nominated for two Oscars, one for her supporting role in the 2008 film “Doubt” and one for her leading role in 2011’s “The Help.” She currently stars in the ABC primetime hit “How to Get Away with Murder.” Davis’s film credits include “Get on Up,” “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them,” “Ender’s Game” and “Prisoners.” She will next been seen in “Lila and Eve,” due out this year.
Hart, who currently stars in the feature comedy “The Wedding Ringer,” appeared in last year’s “Ride Along,” “About Last Night,” “Think Like a Man Too” and “Top Five.” His previous credits include “Think Like a Man” (2012) and “The Five-Year Engagement” (2012). He will star opposite Will Ferrell in “Get Hard” later this year.
MacLaine won an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for 1983’s “Terms of Endearment.” She also received nominations for her leading roles in “The Turning Point” (1983), “Irma La Douce” (1963) “The Apartment” (1960) and “Some Came Running” (1958), as well for the documentary feature “The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir” (1975), which she produced. Her next role is in “Wild Oats.”
Pine most recently appeared as Cinderella’s Prince in “Into the Woods” (2014). He also has starred in such features as “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (2014), “Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013), “People
Like Us” (2012), “Unstoppable” (2010), “Star Trek” (2009) and “Bottle Shock” (2008). […]

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Supporting Actress

Ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve been mentioning to you over the past couple of weeks, it’s getting to be go time, as it were. With the festival season well underway/now nearing completion and just about all of the major contenders for the Academy Awards having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the big eight categories to see what’s what in an updated/more expanded fashion. I did this with the major categories a few months back, but that was when almost everything was still just speculation. We have some facts to go on now, so while much of this is still mostly an educated guess, I’m once again not completely relying on overt hunches this time around. It’s more of an even mix, depending on the film/director/performer in question, of course. Today I’m turning my attention once again to the Best Supporting Actress field, which, like the other categories, won’t necessarily match up with Best Picture in any overtly noticeable way, but likely won’t be too far off from the pack in the end either. Read on to see what I’m talking about for this one here…
One special note about Best Supporting Actress this year is that, unlike the other categories, it seems to be the weakest of the lot. There’s a de facto frontrunner, but aside from her, no one seems to be talking about any of the contenders as potential winners. In fact, just filling up a list of the hopefuls can be a bit challenging. At best, there are four ladies who can feel like they have decent shots at a nomination. More so than anywhere else, that fifth spot is just wide open, so in that sense it’s really anyone’s game.
Here are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) – Our frontrunner by default, Arquette is of course terrific in Boyhood, but in other years she certainly wouldn’t be the odds on favorite this early on. That being said, if Boyhood is seriously contending for a Best Picture win, her chances only improve. I wouldn’t be shocked if someone else managed to wrestle the crown from her, but I also wouldn’t be shocked at all if Arquette just winds up waltzing to not just […]

Joaquin Phoenix: Oscar veterans hoping for another nomination this year

Each and every single awards season, there are tons of both newcomers and veterans to the Oscar game. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a bit of a look at those seeking their first nominations from the Academy, but today I’m going to be going ahead and listing some of the major players who’ve already been nominated before, and in some cases are already winners. It’s leading up to me re-ranking the contenders in the major categories next week, but right now it’s just going to be a preview of which old hands to the Oscar ranch are saddling up for another ride on the awards season pony.
In the Best Actor race, the highest profile former nominee is Joaquin Phoenix, who will look for his first win this year with Inherent Vice. He represents the most likely non first time nominee who could win the Oscar in this category, though one level down we have Bradley Cooper for American Sniper and Bill Murray for St. Vincent, with Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler and Brad Pitt for Fury as other possibilities, plus Ben Affleck, who I’m counting here since he’s an Oscar winner, even if he’s never received an acting citation to date. Longer shots for nominations who’ve been to the dance before include Christian Bale for Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Philip Seymour Hoffman for A Most Wanted Man, Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar, Al Pacino for Manglehorn, Jeremy Renner for Kill the Messenger, and Mark Walhberg for The Gambler. Those fellas will be fighting it out with a bunch of first timers in this category, and it’s going to be a bloodbath.
Over in Best Actress, we have perennial bridesmaid Amy Adams hoping that this year she’ll finally be the bride with her work in Big Eyes. She’s going to be getting a challenge from both Jessica Chastain (for either The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Miss Julie, or A Most Violent Year) and Reese Witherspoon for Wild though. One level down you have Julianne Moore for Still Alice and Meryl Streep for Into the Woods, with other former nominees/winner on the hunt including Marion Cotillard for The Immigrant or Two Days One Night, Keira Knightley for Begin Again, Hilary Swank for The Homesman, Kate Winslet for A Little Chaos, and Robin Wright for The Congress. The newbies could seriously vie for a win here, but the vets have […]

The 84th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Once again today I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright, here goes nothing:
Best Picture – Moneyball
The nominees here for this ceremony were The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, and War Horse. Obviously The Artist took it in real life, and Drive would have been my clear pick had it been nominated, but if I had been a voter my choice would have been between The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, and Moneyball. At the time, The Descendants would have been my pick, but now I think I lean towards Moneyball, so that would wind up getting my vote for Best Picture.
Best Director – Alexander Payne for The Descendants
I’d have voted for Nicolas Winding Refn here for Drive, but unsurprisingly he wasn’t nominated. The actual nominees were Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris, Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, Terrence Malick for The Tree of Life, Alexander Payne for The Descendants, and Martin Scorsese for Hugo. Without Refn, I don’t have anyone I’m too wild about, but I think Payne might be the best of the bunch. The aforementioned Refn is easily my personal pick overall, but Payne is my choice of the actual nominees.
Best Actor – Brad Pitt for Moneyball
In a perfect world, I’d have seen either Michael Fassbender rewarded for Shame, Ryan Gosling in the lineup for Drive, Tom Hardy cited for Warrior, or Michael Parks in for Red State and subsequently any of them would have been my vote (likely Fassbender), but such is life. The actual nominees here though were Demián Bichir for A Better Life, George Clooney for The Descendants, Jean Dujardin for The Artist, Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Brad Pitt for Moneyball. The choice of these […]

Rosamund Pike: 2015 Best Supporting Actress contenders

As you fine ladies and gentlemen all know by now, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what folks like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing to run down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what or who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with another of the big acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actress.
Here are the ten particular women that I have in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) *could go Lead – I also have Pike as a contender in Best Actress, but if she goes Supporting, she very well could win the Oscar this year. David Fincher’s film seems like it could be an acting showcase, so unless you have her in Lead already, there’s absolutely no reason to not have her listed prominently in Best Supporting Actress. It could be her year.
2. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year) – The other actress I think is highly in contention to win this category is Chastain. She’ll have some other Lead performances vying for Oscar’s attention, but this seems like the bait and flashy sort of supporting turn that the Academy loves to give a prize to. She’s getting to the point where a win makes a lot of sense, so keep a close eye on her ladies and gentlemen.
3. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) – If there’s one supporting role that will really have critics pulling for a nomination, it’s Arquette’s in Boyhood. I’ve seen the film and know how great she is, so I feel like a nod is very possible. Turning that nom into a win will be a challenge, but she could certainly contend, no doubt about that much.
4. Jena Malone (Inherent Vice) – One of my hunches […]

Screen Actors Guild Awards is Star Central!

Jude Law was named as a presenter at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards® Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.
He joins and completes the roster of actors who will honor their colleagues at the SAG Awards including Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin, Rose Byrne, Jessica Chastain, Bradley Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert De Niro, Taye Diggs, Peter Facinelli, Sally Field, John Goodman, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Damian Lewis, Julianna Margulies, James Marsden, Alfred Molina, Julianne Moore, Dev Patel, Busy Philipps, Amy Poehler, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, Carl Reiner, Liev Schreiber, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington, Naomi Watts, Sigourney Weaver, Alfre Woodard and Noah Wyle.
Jude Law was a SAG Awards nominee in 2005 alongside the cast of Martin Scorsese?s ?The Aviator.? He was recently seen in Joe Wright?s ?Anna Karenina? opposite Keira Knightley. His next project is Steven Soderbergh?s ?Side Effects? co-starring Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, one of the awards season?s premier events, will be simulcast live coast-to-coast on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, at 8 p.m. (ET)/5 p.m. (PT) from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. An encore primetime telecast will begin immediately following on TNT at 10 p.m. (ET)/7 p.m. (PT). The ceremony will also be telecast internationally, as well as to U.S. military installations overseas through the American Forces Network Broadcast Center.
Recipients of the honors for Outstanding Action Performances by Film and Television Stunt Ensembles announced at 6:15 p.m. (ET)/3:15 p.m. (PT) during the red carpet pre-show webcast on tntdrama.com, tbs.com and People.com which begins at 6 p.m. (ET)/3 p.m. (PT)
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SAG Awards: Stars galore… Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway

Alan Arkin, Jessica Chastain, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, John Goodman, Damian Lewis and Julianne Moore will be presenters at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.
They join a growing roster of actors who will honor their colleagues at the SAG Awards that already includes Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Bradley Cooper, Jeff Daniels, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Neil Patrick Harris, Anne Hathaway, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Julianna Margulies, Busy Philipps, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon, Carl Reiner, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Justin Timberlake, Kerry Washington, Naomi Watts and Sigourney Weaver.
Oscar nominee Alan Arkin received his first SAG Award in 2007 as a member of the ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ cast and was nominated for his supporting role in the film. He is currently nominated for his supporting role in ‘Argo’ and as a member of the film’s cast. He’s got two comedies on tap: ‘Stand Up Guys,’opposite Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, and ‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,’ opposite Steve Carell and Jim Carrey.
Golden Globe recipient and Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain earned a SAG Award in 2012 along with her fellow cast members in ‘The Help’ and was nominated in the supporting actress category, as well. This year, she is nominated for her lead performance in Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ She currently stars in the Guillermo Del Toro-produced ‘Mama’ and will soon be seen in the double feature ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His’ and ”The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Hers.’
Oscar nominee Daniel Day-Lewis was a Screen Actors Guild Award recipient in 2003 for his work in ‘Gangs of New York’ and in 2008 for his role in ‘There Will Be Blood.’ In 2010, he was nominated along with the cast of ‘Nine.’ He has received a total of five SAG Awards nominations, including two this year for his title role in Steven Spielberg?s ?Lincoln? and as a member of the film’s cast.
Oscar nominee Sally Field is an eight-time SAG Awards nominee and the recipient of one Actor® statuette, for her role as Nora Walker in ‘Brothers & Sisters.’ She’s nominated twice this year, for her performance as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ and as a member of the film’s cast. Last summer, she was seen as Aunt May in the blockbuster ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ opposite Andrew Garfield.
Along with his co-stars, four-time SAG Awards nominee John Goodman […]

Bradley Cooper, Viola Davis, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Timberlake and Sigourney Weaver to Present at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Justin Timberlake will be presenters at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, Executive Producer Jeff Margolis announced today.
First-time SAG Awards nominee Bradley Cooper is recognized this year for his lead role in David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and as a cast member in the film. In addition to ‘Playbook,’ Cooper had three other films in release in 2012: ‘The Words,’ ‘Hit and Run,’ and ‘The Place Beyond the Pines.’ In May, he’ll be seen in ‘The Hangover Part III’ and later this year will star opposite his ‘Playbook’ co-star Jennifer Lawrence in the suspense drama ‘Serena.’ He’ll also reunite with Russell to work on the director’s film about the Abscam scandal, also starring Christian Bale.
Viola Davis is a four-time Screen Actors Guild Award® nominee and two-time recipient of the Actor® in 2012 for her lead performance as Aibileen Clark and as a cast member in ‘The Help.’ Davis’ previous nominations were for her supporting and cast performances in ‘Doubt’ opposite Meryl Streep. She was recently seen in ‘Won’t Back Down’ and will next star in the drama ‘Beautiful Creatures’ opposite Emma Thompson.
Anne Hathaway, who just received a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Fantine in ‘Les Miserables,’ earned her first SAG Awards nomination in 2006 as a cast member of Ang Lee’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and her first lead female actor nod in 2009 for ‘Rachel Getting Married.’ This year, she?s nominated twice: As supporting female actor in ‘Les Miserables’ and as a member of the film’s cast. In 2012, Hathaway starred opposite Christian Bale in director Christopher Nolan’s third and final installment of his Batman trilogy, ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ Next year, she will give voice once again to Jewel the macaw in the animated sequel ‘Rio 2.’
Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe winning actor Hugh Jackman is a two-time SAG Awards nominee this year for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in ‘ Les Miserables’ and as a member of the film’s cast. In July, audiences will see him reprise the role of Wolverine in the 6th installment of the ‘X-Men’ franchise, ‘The Wolverine.’ He is currently filming ‘Prisoners’ with Melissa Leo, Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
In 2010, Jennifer Lawrence earned her first SAG Award nomination for her performance in ‘Winter’s Bone.’ The Golden Globe recipient is a double nominee this year, […]

Oscar nominations have many of us scratching our heads this morning…

What a crazy morning. As Oscar tends to do, they delivered their annual “WTF?” but instead of them inserting their nominees, they took out the nominees. Insane. Simply insane.
My reactions to the nominees are below:
Best Picture
• Amour
• Argo
• Beasts of the Southern Wild
• Django Unchained
• Les Miserables
• Life of Pi
• Lincoln
• Silver Linings Playbook
• Zero Dark Thirty
I’m so happy I was wrong about Amour getting trumped by all the loud December openings. It’s well deserved. The only surprise (and to some it isn’t a surprise) is Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained making the cut here over Moonrise Kingdom, who many thought would make the cut. As we trickle down through every category, and if you already saw the Best Director lineup, this looks like a race between Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Silver Linings Playbook at this point.
Prediction – 7 for 9 (missed Amour and Django for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Moonrise, and The Master at #10)
Predicted Winner – Lincoln
Snub – Moonrise Kingdom, The Master, The Impossible
Best Achievement in Directing
• Michael Haneke – Amour
• Ang Lee – Life of Pi
• David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
• Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
• Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
I spoke about the possibility of Benh Zeitlin sneaking in for Best Director when DGA was announced and his film is a director’s type of film. What’s more insane is it came at the expense of three big Oscar favorites, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and David O. Russell. When it comes to Affleck, I discussed back in November that Oscar may not have fully forgiven him or take him seriously yet as a director to be taken seriously here. It’s sad because he’s delivered three solid films under his directorial belt that are worthy of citation. I’m glad Argo managed the Picture nom though but George Clooney as a Producer probably had something to do with that more than Affleck.
I can’t explain why Bigelow missed. Is it the woman card? The controversy surrounding the film at the moment? Not sure at all. Tom Hooper directing a musical and missing makes sense. They Academy at large doesn’t go all the way for musicals unless the Weinstein Company is pushing it or its 40 years ago. Congratulations Ang Lee, you are officially in the running to win your second Directing Oscar. Russell is in the heat of the race too. Can’t believe what we […]

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