7 Films Advance in Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar Race as INTO THE WOODS Misses the Cut

by     Posted 5 days ago

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As the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards draws nearer, the Academy has been busy announcing the contenders that are advancing in certain categories.  We’ve seen the Best Visual Effects shortlist, a few days ago we got a look at the eligible contenders for Best Original Song and Best Original Score, and today seven films advanced in the race for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.  Surprisingly, the lavish Disney musical Into the Woods failed to make the cut, as did The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (though Desolation of Smaug was left out too) and, more disappointingly, Snowpiercer.  Regardless, the seven finalists showcase a number of fantastic pieces of work from the year, from Foxcatcher’s subtle and seamless transformations to more showy work like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Even The Theory of Everything made the list.  But only three films will be nominated, so this list will be whittled down by more than half.

Check out the full list of Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar finalists after the jump, along with a bit more analysis.

AFI Announces Top Films and TV Shows of the Year; Includes NIGHTCRAWLER, SELMA, and SILICON VALLEY

by     Posted 12 days ago

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The American Film Institute has announced its official AFI Awards 2014 selections for the best films and TV programs of the year, and the results are a little surprising.  On the film side of things, AFI expanded its Top 10 to a Top 11, included some welcome additions like Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher alongside this year’s awards staples such as Boyhood and Birdman, but they also singled out Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which is frankly a not-so-great film (though AFI did name The Dark Knight Rises one of 2012’s finest, so their track record isn’t spotless).  And no love for Gone Girl, although they did recognize Into the Woods and Interstellar.  As for TV, the stellar The Americans and The Knick made the Top 10, as did Amazon’s critically hailed Transparent, HBO’s hilarious Silicon Valley, and ABC’s addictive How to Get Away with Murder.

Check out the full AFI Awards 2014 Top 11 Films and Top 10 TV Programs after the jump. 

Oscar Beat: The Best Supporting Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 14 days ago

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By the time the Academy Awards nominations are announced every year, there’s already been so much prognosticating and discussion about the race itself that in actuality, there aren’t a great deal of surprises.  Sure, every now and then you’ll have something like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting into the Best Picture race or Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow being left off the Best Director shortlist (that one still baffles me), but by and large, things mostly seem to fall into place as expected.  Where you can find many of the true surprises, though, is in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories.  This is where beloved character actors can finally get their due, or burgeoning newcomers can find themselves nominated alongside acting veterans; and these kinds of nominees actually have good shots at winning.  This year, the bench for the Best Supporting Actor category is yet again deep with talent, offering plenty of opportunities for some pleasant surprises.

After the jump, I run down the current state of the Best Supporting Actor race in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat.

Oscar Beat: The Best Director Race at a Glance

by     Posted 22 days ago

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As we head out of the Thanksgiving holiday, studios have been scrambling to get screeners out to critics and voters before early December deadlines, and some of the year’s later releases are finally starting to be seen, which means the Oscar race is becoming much clearer.  We already have one potentially huge game-changer in the form of Selma, which has enjoyed enthusiastically positive response from its initial screenings, but that film also throws a curious prospect into the mix: for the first time in history, could we actually have two female directors nominated for the Best Director Oscar?

After the jump, I consider this question as I take a look at the current state of the rather crowded Best Director race in this edition of Oscar Beat.

TOP 5: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1, PITCH PERFECT 2, Chris Pratt in COWBOY NINJA VIKING, THE STAND Will Be Four Movies, FANTASTIC MR. FOXCATCHER Trailer

by     Posted 28 days ago

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Available now on VOD is writers/directors Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer‘s horror film Starry Eyes. Starring Alex Essoe as an aspiring actress who is desperate to land a role she’s convinced will jump start her career, the pic puts a devilish twist on a familiar tale of ambition, sacrifice, and obsession. Humorous at times (the very concept of a Hooters-esque restaurant called “Big Taters” comes to mind) and wholly bizarre/frightening at others, Starry Eyes owes a great deal of its effectiveness to Essoe’s fantastic turn as the determined Sarah Walker and Jonathan Snipes‘ (Room 237) tantalizing score. The way things escalate in the final act will make it a hard sell to non-horror fans, but for those who hold the genre near and dear I predict it will go down as one of the most beloved entries of 2014 due to its undeniable style, memorable performance, and pertinent themes.

My creepy as hell recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, the first trailer for Pitch Perfect 2, Chris Pratt landing the lead role in Universal’s Cowboy Ninja Viking adaptation, news regarding Josh Boone‘s The Stand adaptation, and a disturbingly well made FoxcatcherFantastic Mr. Fox mash-up trailer. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Bennett Miller Talks FOXCATCHER, His 4 Hour and 15 Minute First Cut, Collaborating with Megan Ellison, Shooting on Film, His Editing Process, and More

by     Posted 29 days ago

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Now playing in limited release is one of my favorite films of 2014: director Bennett Miller’s (Moneyball, Capote) Foxcatcher.  With career best performances and phenomenal direction, the film tells the true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and their troubled relationship with eccentric millionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell).  The film also stars Sienna MillerVanessa Redgrave, and Anthony Michael Hall.  For more on Foxcatcher, watch the trailer, read Matt’s review, or click here for all our previous coverage.

At the recent Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive interview with Bennett Miller.  He talked about the long editing process, how his first cut was over four hours, shooting on film, producer Megan Ellison (who deserves a huge thank you from all of us for supporting films like this) and the way she likes to collaborate, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what he had to say.

Heavy Drama Gets Animated in FANTASTIC MR. FOXCATCHER Trailer

by     Posted 32 days ago

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Director Bennett Miller’s drama Foxcatcher is certainly one of the darkest and most somber films of the year, so obviously it makes a fine companion to the visual stylings of director Wes Anderson.  Someone has taken the audio of the Foxcatcher trailer and quite successfully dubbed it over footage from Anderson’s incredible (not to mention wildly entertaining) 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox.  It’s an odd match but it actually works quite well, and it even has the Megan Ellison Seal of Approval.  Both films are great and I highly recommend seeking out Foxcatcher—which includes three of the best performances of the year—when it comes to a theater near you.

Watch the Fantastic Mr. Foxcatcher trailer after the jump.  Foxcatcher is now playing in select cities. 

THE COLLISION: Episode 112 – BIRDMAN and FOXCATCHER

by     Posted 32 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we look back the new indie releases Birdman and Foxcatcher.  We talk about the films’ strengths and weaknesses, how they relate to their respective directors’ bodies of work, where they fit into the awards race, and much more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Interstellar and the Films of Christopher Nolan“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Weekend Box Office: DUMB AND DUMBER TO Claims First with $38 Million

by     Posted 34 days ago

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After a decisive victory on Friday, Dumb and Dumber To held on to the top spot this weekend and beat most expectations in the process.  An expected challenge from Disney holdover Big Hero 6 fell a bit short, which left the comedy sequel the undisputed box office champ.  DDT opened with an estimated $38 million this weekend – easily surpassing the high end of its projections.  The sequel now ranks as the highest domestic debut ever for the Farrelly Brothers, topping 2000’s Me, Myself and Irene even after adjusting for inflation.  Both Big Hero 6 and Interstellar  had strong sophomore holds, though neither was able to overtake Harry and Lloyd in the end.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Dumb and Dumber To $38,053,000 $38
2.  Big Hero 6 $36,010,000 $111.6
3.  Interstellar $29,100,000 $97.8
4.  Beyond the Lights $6,500,000 $6.5
5.  Gone Girl $4,625,000 $152.7
6.  St. Vincent $4,025,000 $33.2
7.  Fury $3,810,000 $76
8.  Nightcrawler $3,038,000 $25
9.  Ouija $3,025,000 $48.1
10.  Birdman $2,450,000 $11.57

 

Full story after the jump.

FOXCATCHER Review

by     Posted 36 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my Foxcatcher review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The film opens today in limited release.]

For those who aspire to be champions, it’s a horrible thing to know you’ll never be the best. Successful people will engender only envy and further self-loathing. You will only see your weakness. You will live in shadows. Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher is an incredibly sad and poignant portrait of two men desperate for greatness they’ll never achieve, and destroyed by the failings they’ll always feel. They can lie about confidence, achievements, and relationships, but there’s no escape. Led by astounding performances from Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo, Miller has created a quiet, brooding picture of doubt, depression, and destruction.

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum Talk FOXCATCHER, the Physical Demands of the Film, Going to Emotionally Dark Places, and More

by     Posted 37 days ago

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From director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote), Foxcatcher tells the story of Olympic gold medal winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), who is invited to be a part of the team being put together by wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carell) to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.  Having come from obscurity and poverty, and with a desire to step out of the shadow of his older brother Dave (Mark Ruffalo), Mark is eager and excited about the opportunity, until he realizes that it has all become way more than he bargained for.

During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Steve Carell and Channing Tatum talked about the physical demands of this movie, bonding through wrestling, finding their performances of these real-life men, coming out of the dark places that these roles required, and how an experience like this has changed them.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 49 days ago

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Every year in the awards race, it seems like the Best Actor field is the most crowded category.  That is certainly the case with this current crop of contenders, as there is no shortage of formidable talents vying for one of the five Best Actor Oscar slots.  While it’s still a tad early to start talking about possible winners, there’s plenty to discuss with regards to chances of being nominated.  The contenders range from well-respected underdogs to recent winners, and yes, spoiler alert, many of them are playing real people.  After the jump, I take a look at the Best Actor race at a glance in this edition of Oscar Beat.

Poster Round-Up: Michael Mann’s BLACKHAT, Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER, and Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA

by     Posted 52 days ago

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Some new posters have landed online.  Briefly:

  • BlackhatChris Hemsworth‘s head looms large in the poster Michael Mann‘s upcoming film about cyberterrorism.  The movie opens January 16, 2015 also stars Viola Davis, Tang Wei, and Wang Leehom.
  • FoxcatcherSteve Carell takes center stage as the creepy John du Pont in Bennett Miller‘s tragic story of ambition and failure.  The film opens November 14th, and also stars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.  Click here to read my review from TIFF.
  • Ex MachinaAlicia Vikander has a case of robot-neck in the U.K. poster for Alex Garland‘s new sci-fi film.  The movie opens on April 10, 2015, and also stars Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. [We've added the U.S. teaser poster as well as the official synopsis]

Hit the jump to check out the posters.

New FOXCATCHER Images Highlight the Quiet Intensity of Bennett Miller’s Dark Drama

by     Posted 60 days ago

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A batch of new Foxcatcher images have landed online from director Bennett Miller’s (Capote) upcoming dark drama, and they do an excellent job of evoking the tone of the film.  Steve Carell stars as John du Pont, an eccentric millionaire who decided to host an Olympic Wrestling training camp on his grounds despite having no experience with the sport himself.  The crux of the film revolves around du Pont’s relationship with Olympic Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), and in particular du Pont’s mentorship of the younger brother Mark, who lived in the shadow of his more successful brother.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s magnificent.  The performances by Carell, Tatum, and Ruffalo are positively transcendent, as each actor wholly disappears into his role.  Don’t miss this one, folks.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Foxcatcher images, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Sienna Miller, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa RedgraveFoxcatcher opens in theaters on November 14th.

Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

by     Posted 66 days ago

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

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