The critics group awards are off and running. Last week we saw the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, and the Boston Online Critics announce their annual awards, and today we have three more groups to add to the pile. 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture in the Boston and New York Online groups, but the Los Angeles voting resulted in a tie for Best Picture between Gravity and Her. Alfonso Cuaron took Best Director in the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics Online awards, while Boston went for 12 Years a Slave’s Steve McQueen. While many votes seemed to be in line with early predictions, James Franco shared the Best Supporting Actor moniker in the Los Angeles group for his work in Spring Breakers.
If there’s one takeaway from the critics group awards we’ve seen thus far, it’s that Spike Jonze’s Her has a heavy amount of love in the film community, which could very well translate to Oscar. Hit the jump to read the full list of winners for all three groups, as well as the runners up for the L.A. and Boston awards.
Oscar frontrunner 12 Years a Slave has nabbed its first critics group award in a very big way. The Boston Online Film Critics Association awarded the incredibly moving drama six trophies in all, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, and Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. Clear frontrunner Cate Blanchett continued her roll with another Best Actress award, Jared Leto landed Best Supporting Actor for his transformative work in Dallas Buyers Club, and the Best Animated Film trophy was split between Frozen and The Wind Rises. Additionally, the Boston Online Film Critics Top 10 has a few refreshingly eclectic choices, with The World’s End, Blue Is the Warmest Color, and The Spectacular Now all nabbing well-deserved spots alongside films like Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Inside Llewyn Davis.
For those keeping score at home, we now have three critics group announcements and three different Best Pictures. The New York Film Critics Circle went for American Hustle, the National Board of Review lauded Her, and now Boston has tapped 12 Years. Hit the jump to read the full list of Boston Online Film Critics awards.
The “awards” portion of this year’s awards season has officially begun. The New York Film Critics Circle is always the first critics group out of the gate, and today they named American Hustle the best film of the year. The move comes as a slight surprise given that Hustle only first screened a week ago and 12 Years a Slave and Gravity have been the Best Picture frontrunners for the past few months, but the awards race may be in for a twist. Steve McQueen was awarded Best Director for 12 Years a Slave, Robert Redford took Best Actor for All Is Lost, and Cate Blanchett began what’s sure to be an awards season sweep of Best Actress trophies. American Hustle picked up three awards in total, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence and Best Screenplay. The excellent Blue Is the Warmest Color was named Best Foreign Film, and Stories We Tell won Best Documentary.
Hit the jump to see the full list of winners and for my commentary on what this means for the coming Oscar season.
Georgle Clooney‘s Monuments Men looked like it could be a player in this year’s awards race, but it had to be pushed back to February in order to work on the special effects and find the tone of the story. For those who are unfamiliar with the film, it’s based on a true story about soldiers and historians who have to go to Germany during World War II to rescue artistic masterpieces before they’re destroyed by the Nazis. The first trailer made the film look confused and mediocre, but now an international trailer has gone online, and the movie looks like it’s in much better shape. The humor is sharper, the story is better laid out, and the stakes are more clearly defined. There’s even a little grin about the premise having a bit of an Ocean’s Eleven vibe when Matt Damon‘s character asks Clooney, “Aren’t you a little old for this?” I have high hopes for the film, and this new trailer finally makes me excited for what Clooney has put together.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray. The Monuments Men opens February 7, 2014.
The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods. The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing. The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary. The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.
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.
Principal photography has begun on Kenneth Branagh‘s live-action version of Cinderella, and Disney has provided a press release containing the first image and official synopsis. For the most part, it’s the story we all know: nice girl, treated badly by step-mothers and step-sisters, eventually gets to a happily ever after with the prince. Looking at the synopsis, there are two big changes: she meets the prince in the woods one day without knowing he’s the prince, and “a kindly beggar woman” is probably the fairy godmother considering she’s “armed with a pumpkin and a few mice.” Because if a beggar woman comes to you with a pumpkin and some mice, she’s clearly going to make your dreams come true.
Hit the jump for the image and the press release. The film stars Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Richard Madden, Sophie McShera, Holliday Granger, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, and Stellan Skarsgard. Cinderella opens March 13, 2015.
Cate Blanchett (The Aviator) is preparing The Dinner as her directorial debut. The Oscar-winning actress will go behind the camera for the first time in an adaptation of Herman Koch’s 2009 novel that centers on a dinner between two couples at a fancy restaurant. As the courses are completed and the plates are cleared, their conversation goes from civil to sinister as the topic changes to an ongoing police investigation involving each of their 15-year-old sons. The psychological thriller was adapted by screenwriter Oren Moverman (The Messenger). Hit the jump for more.
Before Midnight co-writer/star Julie Delpy has landed a pretty high-profile writing gig. Deadline reports that Delpy is closing a deal with HBO Films to pen an adaptation of the Marisa Acocella Marchetto memoir Cancer Vixen: A True Story as a star vehicle for actress Cate Blanchett. The film will tell the story of a Manhattan cartoonist for magazines like The New Yorker and Glamour who was suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer just as she was about to get married. Delpy was previously nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing Before Sunset and she also penned the script for her 2012 directorial effort 2 Days in New York.
Blanchett is an executive producer on Cancer Vixen and the idea is for her to star in the film. The actress is currently fielding a great amount of Oscar talk for her stellar performance in Woody Allen’s latest film Blue Jasmine. She’ll be seen later this year in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, and she’s next set to play the evil stepmother in Disney’s Cinderella.
Sony Pictures has released the first trailer for George Clooney’s next directorial effort, The Monuments Men. Based on a true story, the film centers on an unlikely World War II platoon made up of museum directors, curators, and art historians tasked by FDR with going into Germany and rescuing artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves before they are lost forever. This is a disappointing trailer not because the film looks bad, but because the trailer feels poorly put together. The highlight looks like the fish-out-of-water supporting characters played John Goodman, Bob Balaban, and Bill Murray. Unfortunately, the trailer feels like it’s trying way too hard to be hip, and the music playing over the whole thing is an awful choice. I still can’t wait to see this movie, but I wish the first look at it was better.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, and Hugh Bonneville. The Monuments Men opens on December 18th. [Update: We've added the teaser poster to the article.]
New images from three highly anticipated fall films have landed online. Briefly:
- The Monuments Men – The first official image from George Clooney’s latest directorial effort highlights the swell ensemble cast of the WWII heist movie, featuring Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, and Bob Balaban. The film opens in theaters on December 18th.
- American Hustle – Another new image from Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell’s next film shows off even more of the early 1980s fashions donned by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Bradley Cooper. The film opens wide on December 25th.
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – A new image from the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy takes a break from the dwarves as we get another look at Orlando Bloom’s Legolas and Evangeline Lily’s Tauriel. The film opens on December 13th.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. [Update: We've added a batch of more images from The Monuments Men, including a first look at Cate Blanchett's character.]
Woody Allen’s new film, Blue Jasmine, finds the director in peak form as he explores what happens when an elegant New York socialite, Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), moves into her sister Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins) modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together again after everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin). The film features an impressive ensemble cast that also includes Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Stuhlbarg and Louis C.K.
At the press conference in Los Angeles, Blanchett, Sarsgaard and Clay talked about how they first heard that Allen wanted to meet with them, their reaction when they read their pages of the script, what it was like working with the legendary director, how the majority of his directing happens in the script, how their wardrobe influenced their performances and revealed the chronology of their characters, why Jasmine ranks among the best of Allen’s female protagonists, and the good, the bad, the ugly and the really funny about their characters and where they end up by the end of the story. Check out the interview after the jump.
Tonight’s casting report is led by two actors who have starred in an FX drama:
- Charlie Hunnam is attached to star in Triple Nine, a crime thriller directed by John Hillcoat (Lawless). Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett are in talks to join the cast.
- Rose Byrne is in talks to join Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, and Cameron Diaz in Annie, a new adaptation of the Broadway musical directed by Will Gluck (Easy A).
Hit the jump for details on both projects.
During today’s DreamWorks Animation panel at Comic-Con, the roles of some of the new voice-casting additions were revealed for How to Train Your Dragon 2. Previously-reported star Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) will voice “Eret, a cocky dragon trapper complete with swagger and a London accent.” He’ll work for Djimon Hounsou’s character, who turns those captured dragons into an army. Newcomer Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) joins the cast as “Valka, a stealthy vigilante type set on rescuing as many of the dragons as possible.” (Thanks to BleedingCool for the casting update!) Be sure to check out our panel recap for DreamWorks Animation later today.
The film also features the voices of Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig and Gerard Butler. How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens in 3D on June 20, 2014.
A number of new images from Woody Allen’s latest film Blue Jasmine have made their way online. The pic stars Cate Blanchett as a New York City housewife who travels to San Francisco to be with her sister (Sally Hawkins) after losing all of her money when her husband (Alec Baldwin) turns out to be a white collar criminal. As we saw from the fantastic first trailer, the film finds Allen navigating considerably darker territory than his recent efforts, and the culture clash between Blanchett’s socialite character and the more blue collar sensibilities of Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, and Bobby Cannavale is incredibly enticing.
Hit the jump to take a look at the images. The film also stars Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Max Casella. Blue Jasmine opens on July 26th. [Update: We've updated the article with more high-resolution images.]