Emma Thompson to Star in Robert Carlyle’s Directorial Debut THE LONG MIDNIGHT OF BARNEY THOMSON; Jake Gyllenhaal & Amy Adams Join EZEKIEL MOSS

by     Posted 77 days ago

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Here’s more of today’s casting news:

Hit the jump for more on both pictures.

Adam Predicts the 2014 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 94 days ago

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Well, folks, the time has finally come.  I’ve been covering this year’s awards season since last fall when we launched our awards column Oscar Beat, and after running through the ups and downs of the season thus far, it’s now time to predict which films, performances, screenplays, and other cinematic achievements from 2013 the Academy will choose to single out.  I feel very confident about some of my choices while others feel like more of a crapshoot.  One thing’s for sure: this has been quite an interesting season thus far, and there’s still no consensus with regards to some of the big winners.

Hit the jump as I take a stab at predicting the 2014 Oscar nominees.  The nominations will be announced at 5:30am PST on January 16th.

Emma Thompson Talks SAVING MR. BANKS, Her Preparation Process, Getting Input from Richard Sherman, Terrence Malick’s VOYAGE OF TIME, More

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is Saving Mr. Banks, the new film from The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock.  Based on a true story, the pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood.  Loaded with great performances, a strong script, and the first time Walt Disney has been portrayed on screen, Banks is a likely contender for this year’s award season.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell.

At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Emma Thompson.  She talked about how she got involved in the project, the way she prepared for the role, getting to talk with Mary Poppins songwriter Richard Sherman about P.L. Travers, and more.  She also talked about how people always want to talk to her about Nanny McPhee and what it was like to work for Terrence Malick and narrate Voyage of Time.

Production Begins on Jason Reitman’s MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN Starring Adam Sandler and Rosemarie Dewitt; Full Cast Revealed

by     Posted 123 days ago

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Though writer/director Jason Reitman’s latest feature Labor Day doesn’t open in theaters until later this month, production is already underway on his follow-up film Men, Women & Children.  Based on the novel of the same name by Chad Kultgen, the film “follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives.”  Reitman co-wrote the screenplay with Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary), and the ensemble cast includes Adam Sandler, Rosemarie Dewitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, J.K. Simmons, Ansel Elgort, and Emma Thompson.

Filming is currently underway in Austin, Texas, with Paramount onboard to distribute.  No word on when the film might hit theaters, but one imagines Reitman could make the fall festival circuit with the finished pic next year.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the cast list and extended synopsis.

12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Lead Critics Choice Award Nominations

by     Posted 123 days ago

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The Broadcast Film Critics Association has unveiled its list of nominees for the upcoming Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle lead the pack with 13 nominations each—though three of Hustle’s nominations come from “Comedy” categories.  The BFCA added some genre categories last year for Action, Sci-Fi/Horror, and Comedy, so the list of nominations is a bit more diverse than those we’ve seen previously.  That being said, Brie Larson made the overall Best Actress cut for her excellent turn in Short Term 12, and it’s nice to finally see The World’s End and star Simon Pegg getting some attention (nicer still that BFCA recognizes actual comedies in the Best Comedy category, unlike the Golden Globes).  Other notable additions include Scarlett Johansson nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nod for her voice-only role in Her and Christian Bale landing a Best Actor nomination for the aforementioned American Hustle.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations and to find out how closely the Critics’ Choice Awards correlate with Oscar.  The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on January 16, 2014.

SAVING MR. BANKS Review

by     Posted 127 days ago

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All films based on real events should have historical license.  The most important thing is trying to tell the best story possible, and if that means playing a little fast and loose with the facts, then so be it.  But when those facts become elastic in order to serve an agenda coated in mawkish sentiment, then history a serious consideration rather than a suggestion.  In the case of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney is attempting to rewrite history in service of bolstering the argument of corporate wisdom seducing the misguided artist who doesn’t understand that synergy is the best way to catharsis.  The film pays a bit of lip service to cold studio pragmatism, and Tom Hanks is at his most charming, but Saving Mr. Banks‘ warm, sunny attitude can’t mask calculating, self-congratulatory motives.

2 New Featurettes for SAVING MR. BANKS Delve into the Music and Tom Hanks’ Performance as Walt Disney

by     Posted 128 days ago

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Disney has released two new behind-the-scenes featurettes for director John Lee Hancock’s upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks.  The film’s story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  The film is considered a potential Oscar contender, especially as far as Hanks and Thompson’s performances are concerned.  One of these two featurettes explores how Hanks approached playing Walt Disney in what will be the first time the visionary has ever been portrayed onscreen, while the second featurette delves into the music of Mary Poppins, as B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman play the legendary Sherman Brothers.

Hit the jump to watch the new featurettes, and if you missed Steve’s lengthy and wide-ranging chat with Hanks, click here.  The film also stars Bradley Whitford, Paul Giamatti, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, and Colin FarrellSaving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before expanding wide on December 20th.

Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks Talk SAVING MR. BANKS, Bringing the Essence of Their Characters to the Screen, and How P.L. Travers Would Have Reacted

by     Posted 130 days ago

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Saving Mr. Banks tells the tale of when Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) invited Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to his studio in Los Angeles in 1961, to discuss his interest in obtaining the movie rights to her beloved book and character.  While there, Travers, who had been resistant for 20 years, spent two weeks uncompromisingly fighting every idea and suggestion, on the road to bringing this classic to the big screen.

At a press conference to promote the film’s release, co-stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks talked about bringing the essence of these people to life without doing an exact imitation, what they learned about these individuals from playing them, the characters they were each obsessed with, growing up, and what P.L. Travers might have thought of this film.  Thompson also addressed whether there might ever be another Nanny McPhee movie.  Check out what they had to say after the jump. 

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

by     Posted 135 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.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race – Can Anyone Beat Blanchett?

by     Posted 146 days ago

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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.

First Clip and Two Featurettes for SAVING MR. BANKS Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Disney has released the first clip and two featurettes for John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks.  The story focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  Judging by the brief clip, which centers on the first meeting between Disney and Travers, the two lead actors look like they’ll have some good chemistry.  As for the featurettes, one explains the appeal of the story, and the other celebrates Thompson’s performance.  The latter is a bit confusing since everyone is praising the complexity of the character and the depth of Thompson’s performance, but all we’re seeing is a prim-and-proper fish-out-of-water.  At the end of the featurette, we get a glimpse of the dramatic side, but I’m worried these moments will feel forced in the movie.  My current prediction is that Hancock has created a nice picture that will invite backlash if it picks up any awards steam.

Hit the jump to check out the clip and featurettes.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley WhitfordJason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin FarrellSaving Mr. Banks will premiere at AFI Fest in November and opens in theaters on December 20th.

James McTeigue to Direct Thriller SURVIVOR; Milla Jovovich, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, and Angela Bassett to Star

by     Posted 193 days ago

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The Raven director James McTeigue is lining up his next project, and things are moving rather quickly.  Deadline reports that McTeigue will helm the thriller Survivor for Millennium Films, with Milla Jovovich, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, and Angela Bassett set to star.  Jovovich leads the cast as a State Department employee stationed in London who is tasked with preventing terrorists from entering the United States.  When she is targeted for death and framed for crimes she didn’t commit, she must race to clear her name and stop a large-scale attack from reaching Times Square on New Year’s Eve.  Fingers crossed this is really the long-awaited prequel to the 2012 celebrity-filled romcom New Year’s Eve.

Production on Survivor is set to begin in London on January 20th with a script by Bill Shelby.  McTeigue, who also directed V for Vendetta, has a number of other projects in various stages of development, including a remake of the Jean-Claude Van Damme martial arts pic Bloodsport for Relativity Media.

4 New Images from SAVING MR. BANKS Featuring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and Jason Schwarztman

by     Posted 200 days ago

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Disney has released a few new images from director John Lee Hancock’s (The Blind Side) upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks.  The pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  All eyes are on this one as a potential crowd-pleasing Oscar contender, and the first trailer definitely teased a pair of excellent performances from Hanks and Thompson.  In these new images, we also get a look at Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, who composed the score and songs for the eventual Mary Poppins film.

Hit the jump to take a look at the images.  The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin FarrellSaving Mr. Banks will premiere at AFI Fest in November and opens in theaters on December 20th.

First Trailer for SAVING MR. BANKS Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

by     Posted 281 days ago

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The first trailer has been release for John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks.  The first trailer has been release for John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks.  The film focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  In some ways, it’s pure Oscar-bait and easily digestible as well as a little on the sappy side, but it also looks quite charming.  Hanks and Thompson look like they have great chemistry, and  I got a big laugh when they come across the problem of trying to sell Travers on “supercalifragilousexpialadocious”.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Kathy BakerSaving Mr. Banks opens in limited release on December 13th before going wide December 20th.

First Image from SAVING MR. BANKS Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

by     Posted 282 days ago

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Disney has released the first image from their potential awards contender, Saving Mr. Banks.  The film focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two.  Once you have two respected actors playing famous people, you’re already on the awards radar, and the outstanding cast also includes Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwarztman, and Paul Giamatti.  The image above takes place at Disneyland in 1961, and as you can see, Travers’ is less than impressed.  Thompson says that while she usually plays characters with clear moral guides, “[Travers] was not like that at all. She was far more chaotic and confused and morally various.”  I have full faith in Thompson’s ability, and I’m eager to see how director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) brings the picture together.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  Saving Mr. Banks opens December 20th.

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