National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 140 days ago

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The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013.  Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station).  Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners.  Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.

The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects.  Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.

First Trailer for Cristian Mungiu’s BEYOND THE HILLS

by     Posted 1 year, 67 days ago

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The first official trailer is now available for writer/director Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills.  The Romanian drama centers on two best friends who grew up together in an orphanage.  When one of the women seeks refuge in a convent and refuses to leave, their predicament grows ever darker and more disturbing.

Mungiu, who was inspired by the non-fiction accounts of demonic possession in the novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran, won the award for Best Screenplay at Cannes 2012 and received a nomination for the festival’s top honor, the Palme d’Or.  Starring the Cannes 2012 winners for Best Actress Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, Beyond the Hills opens in limited release on March 8th.  Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.

AMOUR, THE INTOUCHABLES and 7 Other Foreign Films Make Oscar Shortlist

by     Posted 1 year, 122 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have reduced the number of eligible foreign films to nine.  For those who don’t know how the Best Foreign Language Film category works, every foreign country can submit one movie for consideration.  That list has now been whittled down to nine movies, and five of these nine will get Oscar nominations.  The films on the shortlist are Amour (Austria), War Witch (Canada), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), The Intouchables (France), The Deep (Iceland), Kon-Tiki (Norway), Beyond the Hills (Romania), and Sister (Switzerland).

Amour is the frontrunner for the win based on critical acclaim, but I’ll put my money on The Intouchables since I think the Academy will go with the feel-good caretaker movie as opposed to the remind-us-of-our-fragile-mortality caretaker movie.

TIFF 2012: Michael Haneke’s AMOUR and Michael Winterbottom’s EVERYDAY to Premiere in Masters Line-Up

by     Posted 1 year, 244 days ago

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Last week, I noted how Michael Haneke‘s Palme d’Or-winning film Amour was skipping the Venice and Toronto, and going straight to the New York Film Festival.  Today, TIFF has announced that Amour will be gracing their festival as part of the “Masters” line-up.  The film will be joined by the world premiere of Everyday, the new movie from Michael Winterbottom (A Mighty Heart).  The Masters line-up also includes Bernardo Bertolucci‘s Me and You, Olivier AssayasSomething in the Air, and the new film from Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days), Beyond the Hills.

Hit the jump for the full line-up.  The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.

2012 New York Film Festival Line-Up Announced; Includes AMOUR, LIFE OF PI, and FLIGHT

by     Posted 1 year, 249 days ago

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The full line-up for the 2012 New York Film Festival has been announced.  I’ve been impressed with the line-ups for the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, but they both have a surprising omission: Michael Haneke‘s Amour, which one the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  However, it won’t be bypassing the fall festival circuit entirely, and it will make its North American debut at NYFF.  The festival will also open with Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi and Robert ZemeckisFlight.  In between, you have other exciting films like David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, Roger Michell‘s Hyde Park on Hudson, Brian de Palma‘s Passion, and more.

Hit the jump for the full line-up.  Tickets for the 2012 New York Film Festival go on sale September 9th.  The festival runs from September 28 – October 14th.

Cannes 2012 Winners: Michael Haneke Wins His Second Palme d’Or for AMOUR

by     Posted 1 year, 330 days ago

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Another Cannes, another win for Michael Haneke.  Haneke won the Grand Jury Prize in for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the festival’s top honor, the Palme d’Or, for The White Ribbon in 2009.  With no brass ring left, Haneke settled for another Palme D’Or at this year’s fest for his typically harrowing tale of elderly marriage, Amour (aka Love).  Haneke is now the eighth director to win Best Film twice*, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and the Daredenne brothers.

Beyond the Hills was the only film to win multiple awards, earning both Best Screenplay (by writer/director Cristian Mungiu) and a tie for Best Actress between co-stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.  The only winner I can guarantee we Americans will be able to see anytime soon is Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is set for release on June 27 after writer/director Benh Zeitlin won the Caméra d’or (Best First Feature).  The jury also awarded Reality, The Angels’ Share, Post Tenebras Lux, and The Hunt.  Hit the jump for the full list of award winners.

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