In Collider’s ongoing awards feature Oscar Beat, we recently took a look at the state of the Best Actor Oscar race, which is looking to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Likewise, this year’s Best Actress race is chock-full of fantastic performances and serious contenders, but we’ve had a frontrunner for the category since July and Cate Blanchett’s name remains atop the pile as we head into the thick of the race. Will Blanchett remain the favorite over the next three months or is there another contender more worthy of the trophy? Can any of the brilliant performances from this year’s smaller indies crack the top five? Read on after the jump as we examine the current state of the Best Actress category.
A new clip from director John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy Letts play August: Osage County has been released online. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. That pill-popping matriarch is played by Meryl Streep, and this new clip is from focuses on Streep’s character grilling one of her daughters’ (Juliette Lewis) new beau (Dermot Mulroney). It’s a nice tease of what to expect from Streep’s dark portrayal, and it comes in the middle of an extended dinner sequence that acts as the fantastic dramatic centerpiece of the film.
Hit the jump to watch the clip and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF. The film also stars Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on December 25th.
Director John Wells‘ feature film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ beloved stage play August: Osage County finally comes to theaters this Christmas, and in anticipation of the film’s release (and awards campaign), The Weinstein Company is live-streaming a fan Q&A event with some of the film’s cast and producer George Clooney. Tonight at 8pm PST/11pm EST, fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to Clooney, Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, and Dermot Mulroney. I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and found it to be an entertaining and darkly comic family drama packed with swell performances and biting wit courtesy of Letts’ screenplay. Read Matt’s review here.
Hit the jump to watch the Q&A, which will go live tonight at 11pm EST. August: Osage County opens in theaters on December 25th.
We’ve got a few new images from the following films for you to check out:
- Vampire Academy - Mark Waters’ adaptation of Richelle Mead’s novel, starring Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry and Olga Kurylenko. Vampire Academy opens February 14, 2014.
- Endless Love – Shana Feste’s romantic drama starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. Endless Love also opens February 14, 2014.
- August: Osage County - John Wells’ adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play presents the mother-daughter duo of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in appropriate fashion. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Margo Martindale and opens on December 25th. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
Hit the jump to see the images.
American Film Institute’s annual festival, AFI Fest, is setting up to be damned impressive. Although they were set to host the world premiere of Foxcatcher, the movie was delayed until 2014. However, as we previously reported, they’ve found a strong replacement with Out of the Furnace. They’re also hosting the North American premiere of Saving Mr. Banks as the festival opener. Today, they’ve announced additional films to their “Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings” line-up. The festival will include August: Osage County, The Last Emperor 3D, Her, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Philomena, The Unknown Known, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the world premiere of Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor. When you throw in the previously announced Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska, you have an absolutely killer line-up and a chance for folks in Los Angeles to get a jump on some likely awards contenders.
Hit the jump for the press release and to find out how you can attend. AFI Fest 2013 runs from November 7 – 14th.
In 1976, Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was ushered into our world; in 2013, his incredibly British moniker became a household name when he landed a starring role in the global hit, Star Trek Into Darkness. Cumberbatch is anything but a one-hit wonder, however, having built a fan following with roles in Atonement, War Horse, and of course, playing the title character in Sherlock. Cumberbatch continues to test his skills by taking on roles across the spectrum, from voice roles in television with The Simpsons and Peter Jackson’s blockbuster trilogy, The Hobbit, to awards-worthy turns in 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate and August: Osage County. Hit the jump for more on Cumberbatch’s career, including where he’s been, what we’ll see him in this year, and what films are yet to come.
A number of new posters have landed online. Briefly:
- August: Osage County – The new poster for director John Wells’ adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play presents the mother-daughter duo of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in appropriate fashion. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Margo Martindale and opens on December 25th. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Labor Day – The UK poster for writer/director Jason Reitman’s upcoming drama highlights Josh Brolin’s escaped convict character embracing Kate Winslet, who plays a single mother. The film also stars Gattlin Griffith, Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek and opens in limited release on December 25th. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- The Double – A couple of UK quads for writer/director Richard Ayoade’s dark comedy plays on the film’s premise of a man who comes across his doppelganger. Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, and Wallace Shawn star. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Blood Ties – A collection of French character posters for director Guillaume Canet’s crime thriller starring Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Delivery Man – A new poster for the Vince Vaughn-fronted comedy, also starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders. The film opens November 22nd.
Hit the jump to check out the posters.
The Fall Film Festival season has come and gone, and with that we now have a pretty clear idea of the early state of the Oscar race. While initial awards projections were made mostly on conjecture and blind faith, a number of the major contenders have now had a chance to screen at the prestigious Telluride, Toronto, and Venice film festivals allowing critics and industry folk to assess the quality of heavy hitters such as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and August: Osage County. Last year, an early Oscar frontrunner came out of nowhere at the Toronto International Film Festival in the form of Silver Linings Playbook, but this year an incredibly strong frontrunner has emerged with near-unanimous praise.
Hit the jump for a rundown of the Oscar race as it stands now, including our first Oscar Beat power rankings for the major categories.
When a feature film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County began to move forward, fans were understandably apprehensive. It’s a brilliant piece of writing and those that cared so deeply about the play didn’t want to see it muddled in the transfer to the screen. Writer/director John Wells—aided by producers George Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Harvey Weinstein—set out to assemble an all-star cast that would do the play justice, and he succeeded in putting together a phenomenal ensemble that includes Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Margot Martindale, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this week and critics appeared to be split right down the middle. I thought it was wildly entertaining and Matt was a fan, but many who had seen the play took issue with the film’s altered ending. Now Wells has confirmed that the ending is still in flux and may very well be changed before release. Hit the jump for more on why the conclusion was reworked in the first place, but beware of spoilers.
The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. This trailer is interesting in that it paints the film as a heartwarming story of familial reconciliation, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I caught the film at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and it is incredibly dark, but also very, very funny. The performances are pretty fantastic all around and Meryl Streep is unsurprisingly great, but if you’re expecting a nice Lifetime movie-esque film, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on December 25th.
With regards to awards prospects, a common theme of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been outstanding performances. Chiwetel Ejiofor is incredible in 12 Years a Slave, Sandra Bullock basically carries the enormous weight of Gravity all by herself, and Kate Winslet’s work in Labor Day is beautifully understated. Many have been looking forward to director John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County for a while now, but the darkly comic film just premiered at TIFF and not only delivered with a mesmerizing lead performance by Meryl Streep, but the entire ensemble is simply fantastic.
Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects for August: Osage County in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.
It’s tough to decide if August: Osage County is foremost an insightful work about the dark, twisted, occasionally humorous nature of family, or if it’s good platform to showcase big performances. Either way, it’s an engaging picture that features memorable turns from its stellar cast, especially (and unsurprisingly) Meryl Streep, and also throws together a complicated, abrasive portrait of a shattered family that can’t put the pieces back together. They can only break into smaller pieces, and the only thing stopping the audience from breaking down is the black comedy permeating the family affair.
The Venice Film Festival is already underway, the Telluride Film Festival begins this weekend, and the Toronto International Film Festival will be in full swing by this time next week. With those three festivals underway, the Oscar Race will have officially begun. Right now, no one knows how Gravity will stack up against August: Osage County or whether Labor Day is a major contender or more of a minor player like Jason Reitman’s 2011 feature Young Adult. By next week, though, the aforementioned films and plenty more will have finally screened for critics and prognosticators, and an early lay of the land—based in fact instead of blind speculation—will arise.
I will be attending TIFF for the first time this year, so I’ll be right there in the trenches with the first reactions to plenty of 2013’s awards contenders, but before the festival madness begins, I thought it would be fun to do one last overview of the Best Picture race. Hit the jump for part one of a way too early look at the potential Best Picture Oscar nominees.
It’s that time of year again, folks. The explosion-filled summer blockbusters will soon be fading from multiplexes, and in will flow a number of smaller, more dramatic films poised to dominate the Oscar conversation as the awards machine gets up and running. Some will meet high expectations, some will be disappointing, and some will come out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise. We here at Collider ran a few awards-centric articles last fall that examined the Oscar race as it drew closer, but this year we’re happy to expand our awards coverage to a regular column titled “Oscar Beat.”
We’ll be covering anything and everything Oscar up through the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2nd, and if years past are any indication, there will be plenty to discuss. In our inaugural installment of Oscar Beat, we’ll be taking a look at the upcoming Fall Film Festival circuit, which is where the heavy hitters of awards season traditionally premiere. Hit the jump for more.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013. The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime. In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more. Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it. Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.
Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations. Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.