Demian Bichir Talks A BETTER LIFE, Chris Weitz, Auditioning for TWILIGHT: NEW MOON, and More at SBIFF

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Honored for his extraordinarily moving, and now Oscar-nominated, portrayal of an undocumented worker in A Better Life, Demian Bichir was presented with a Virtuoso Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF). Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what the well-respected actor had to say, both on the press line and during the Q&A.

While there, Demian Bichir talked about what the whole award season experience has been like for him, getting to bond with some of his fellow nominees, what it means to him to be recognized for this powerful character, how he initially met director Chris Weitz a couple years prior when he auditioned for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, flying back and forth to Mexico so that he can continue a play that he’s currently doing, and how his nomination is dedicated to the 11 million human beings who work with pride, power and dignity to help this society go forward. Check out what he had to say after the jump.

National Board of Review Names HUGO Best Film of the Year; DRIVE, THE ARTIST, and THE DESCENDANTS Make Top 10

by     Posted 3 years, 20 days ago


The National Board of Review has announced their honors for 2011.  As always, the wide selection allows the NBR to technically have a say in directing awards season, and their picks remain solid.  While I didn’t go nuts over Hugo, a lot of people did and so it’s not surprising NBR gave it Best Picture and named Martin Scorsese as Best Director.  For the most part, I like all of NBR’s choices.  I’m glad any time Drive gets attention, the acting picks are all worthy, and I’m happy Crime After Crime and 13 Assassins got some love.  Notable snubs include Young Adult, Moneyball, and Martha Marcy May Marlene.  Of course, anything Clint Eastwood does has to make NBR’s Top 10 so that’s why a spot is wasted on J. Edgar.

Hit the jump for the full list of winners.

Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced; DRIVE, 50/50, and THE ARTIST Up for Top Prize

by     Posted 3 years, 22 days ago


The nominations for the 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning with The Artist and Take Shelter each nabbing five nominations. In addition to The Artist and Take Shelter, Drive, 50/50, The Descendants, and Beginners will duke it out for the top prize. Absent from the Best Feature list is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, though the film was recognized in Best Supporting Male (Corey Stoll) and Best Cinematography. Also of note, Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes landed nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Male for Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Ryan Gosling and Woody Harrelson were both singled out in Best Actor for Drive and Rampart respectively.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations. Recognizing the best in independent film, the awards will be handed out on February 25th, the day before the Oscars.

Galas and Special Presentations for 2011 Toronto Film Festival Announced; BUTTER, MONEYBALL, RAMPART, THE DESCENDANTS, and More to Debut

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In my article yesterday about the Venice Film Festival, I made some predictions on which films would make their world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and not Venice.  It turns out a few of my guesses were only the tip of the iceberg.  Moneyball, 50/50, and The Descendants are all going to premiere at TIFF.  But my lord, does Toronto have an incredible line-up this year.  I’m praying my application gets approved because when you hit the jump and check out this line-up, you’ll understand my agony if I’m stuck in Atlanta while these films are premiering.

Hit the jump for the line-up of Galas and Premieres for this year’s festival.  The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th – 18th.

Trailer for Chris Weitz’ A BETTER LIFE

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The trailer for the indie drama A Better Life has gone online.  Directed by Chris Weitz (The Twilight Saga: New Moon), the story centers on an illegal immigrant gardener (Demián Bichir) whose truck is stolen and bonds with his teenage son (José Julián) in their quest to find it.  So is this a heartfelt piece of cinema about the plight of migrant workers or is it exploitative pandering?  We’ll find out when the film hits theaters on June 24th.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer.


by     Posted 3 years, 323 days ago


We have new posters for a pair of films I’m really rooting for in 2011.  The first is Something Borrowed, an adaptation of the first in a series of novels from Emily Giffin.  Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, and John Krasinski star.  Hudson’s name is a big red flag, but there are hints that Something Borrowed could be more than your average romantic comedy.

The second is A Better Life (formerly titled The Gardener), the latest from Chris Weitz.  For a brief minute, Weitz was the promising co-director behind the charming About a Boy before he was swallowed up by the big budget filmmaking of The Golden Compass and New MoonA Better Life scales things back down to the indie level: a gardener (Demian Bichir) and his son (Jose Julian) scour Los Angeles for a stolen truck vital to their livelihood in this tale inspired by The Bicycle Thief.  Hit the jump to view both posters.

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