12 YEARS A SLAVE and NEBRASKA Top 2014 Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

by     Posted 148 days ago

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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.

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

by     Posted 151 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.

New to Blu-ray: MAN OF STEEL, FRANCES HA Criterion, DEXTER: THE COMPLETE SERIES, and More

by     Posted 162 days ago

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New to Blu-ray this week, Superman flies to home video, Noah Baumbach’s latest film gets the Criterion treatment, and a controversial Oliver Stone classic (which one?) receives a collector’s edition upgrade.

TOP 5: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, Lost Episodes of DOCTOR WHO, AMERICAN HUSTLE, Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 So Far

by     Posted 193 days ago

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Having missed it during its highly successful theatrical run, I made an early trip to the video store (remember those?) this past Tuesday to pick up The Purge on Blu-ray. Like many, I was intrigued by the premise of a dystopian future America in which an annual night of crime-free killing known as “The Purge” is the key to the new U.S. of A.’s unprecedented prosperity. For an elevator pitch, my last sentence is intriguing stuff that leaves you wanting to know more about the world created by writer/director James DeMonaco. Unfortunately, I found the stellar logline to be the best thing going for The Purge as a majority of the film’s execution felt flat. I cared little to nothing about the Sandin family, was taken out of the movie during long stretches of characters searching aimlessly around the house with a flashlight, and felt the pic exchanged discernible commentary on societal violence for an all-out bloodbath that was not as much scary as it was a welcomed break from said extensive flashlight searching. Final verdict? Watch The Purge for the interesting premise, but don’t expect much in the way of scares or social commentary.

All new to home video discussion aside, this week’s Top 5 is filled to the brim with Captain Phillips interviews with Tom Hanks and more, a new trailer for Ben Stiller‘s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty including Matt and Steve’s impressions of the film, 106 lost episodes of Doctor Who potentially popping up in Ethiopia, a new trailer for David O. Russell‘s American Hustle, and Quentin Tarantino‘s top 10 films of 2013 to date. As you may be expecting, a brief recap and link to each of the above awaits after the jump.

Quentin Tarantino Elaborates on His Criticism of THE LONE RANGER; Comments on Ben Affleck as Batman

by     Posted 195 days ago

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There’s no telling when we’ll see the next film from Quentin Tarantino, but the filmmaker has become quite chatty as of late with regards to what 2013 had to offer by way of new films and comic book movie news.  Last week, Tarantino revealed a list of his top 10 films of 2013 so far, and the compilation was unsurprisingly a grab bag of everything from indies to blockbusters; in addition to pics like Gravity and Frances Ha, the filmmaker included This Is the End and The Lone Ranger.  Many were a tad disappointed that Tarantino didn’t elaborate on any of his choices, but now the director has decided to comment on his list, specifically focusing on his criticisms of The Lone Ranger.  While he was at it, he also chimed in on the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman.  Hit the jump to read on.

Quentin Tarantino’s Top 10 Films of 2013 So Far Includes GRAVITY, THIS IS THE END, and THE LONE RANGER

by     Posted 200 days ago

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Quentin Tarantino loves, loves, loves movies.  The filmmaker has made this abundantly clear not only through the various and obscure influences gleaned in his own films but also in his many lengthy discussions on any number of topics relating to film.  Tarantino makes a point to go to the movies as often as possible, and recently he has taken to publicly publishing a list of his Top 10 movies from each year.  He took 2012 off since he was understandably busy working on Django Unchained, but his 2011 and 2010 lists were gleefully varied, with movies like Midnight in Paris and The Social Network ranking right up there with The Three Musketeers and Jackass 3D.

It appears that Tarantino plans on publishing another full Top 10 list later this year, but he’s gotten a jump on things and released a list of his 10 favorite films of 2013 thus far.  As expected, there are more than a couple of surprising choices.  Hit the jump to take a look.

2013 Oscar Preview: Possible Contenders from the First Half of the Year

by     Posted 291 days ago

It’s never too early to start talking Oscar, right?  We’re officially at the midway point of 2013, and while the bulk of awards season is normally concentrated towards the latter third of the year, there have been some strong contenders in the past that were released closer to the beginning of the year—Silence of the Lambs is probably the most famous example, having won Best Picture after being released in February of 1991.  The first half of 2013 has seen at least a couple of potential Best Picture contenders, and in addition to more than a handful of standout performances in smaller indie fare, we may very well have already seen the release of the film that will go on to take home the Oscar in technical categories like Best Visual Effects or even Best Production Design.

Hit the jump to read on as we examine the possible Oscar contenders from the first half of 2013.

Mickey Sumner Talks FRANCES HA, Working with Director Noah Baumbach, Shooting in New York City, THE BORGIAS, CBGB, and More

by     Posted 344 days ago

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Mickey Sumner shines in a fantastic supporting role playing Sophie, the lifelong best friend of Greta Gerwig’s titular heroine, in Frances Ha, co-written by Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach.  Shot in black and white against the backdrop of New York City, this modern comic fable about the 20-something generation explores love, friendship, self-doubt, and finding your way in life.  Sumner and Gerwig’s natural on-screen chemistry makes their characters funny and relatable and fuels some of the film’s most insightful and best comedic moments.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Sumner who talked to me about the liberating experience of playing a role without a script, how she identified with her character, working with an amazing cast, Baumbach’s directing style, her reaction to seeing the film premiere at Telluride, why she loves being in front of the camera, and what she learned interning during summer holidays with her godmother, costumer designer Colleen Atwood, on the sets of Beloved and Planet of the Apes.  The daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, Sumner also discussed landing her first serious acting role in The Borgias, playing out her rock star fantasy as Patti Smith in CBGB, and her new romantic comedy, Misconnections.  Hit the jump to read more.

Noah Baumbach Talks FRANCES HA, Partnership with Greta Gerwig, His DreamWorks Animated Movie, WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, and THE EMPEROR’S CHILDREN

by     Posted 345 days ago

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Filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Noah Baumbach’s charming and quirky dramatic comedy, Frances Ha, is a modern comic fable that examines the human condition and explores New York, friendship, ambition, failure and redemption.  Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the screenplay with Baumbach and starred earlier in Baumbach’s Greenberg, plays the title role.  Opening May 17th, the film was shot on location in New York City and features a terrific cast of up-and-coming actors that include Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen and Patrick Heusinger.

In an exclusive interview, Baumbach talked about how the finished film compared to his original vision, what fuels his creative collaboration with Gerwig, writing a story populated by intelligent, funny and relatable characters, what his casting choices brought to the film, why he is drawn to Gotham, the challenges of filming in NYC, why he decided to shoot in black and white, and how he used music to elevate and expand the movie.  He also discussed his upcoming projects including reteaming with Gerwig on a new film set in New York City, an animated feature in development at DreamWorks, directing the Ben Stiller drama While We’re Young, and adapting The Emperor’s Children for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Greta Gerwig Talks FRANCES HA, Filming on Location in NYC, Collaborating with Noah Baumbach, Her DreamWorks Animation Project, and More

by     Posted 347 days ago

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Indie actress Greta Gerwig gives an engaging performance in the funny and charming dramatic comedy, Frances Ha, which she co-wrote with director, Noah Baumbach.  Gerwig plays an apprentice dancer in New York who aspires to become a regular member of her modern dance company.  Living her life with joy, optimism and self-delusion, she throws herself headlong into her dreams even as she struggles with friendship, love, ambition, and frequent setbacks.  Opening in theaters on May 17th, the film is shot in black and white and also features Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen and Patrick Heusinger.

I recently landed an exclusive interview with Gerwig who talked to me about writing and starring in her second film with Baumbach, their effortless creative collaboration, what inspired her quirky character, how they auditioned all the roles to find a perfect cast of New York’s best actors, the immersive directing process, and the excitement of shooting on location on the streets of New York.  She also revealed what she has coming up next: a film with director Mia Hansen-Love about the 90’s French club music scene, plans to re-team with Baumbach on a new film in New York, and their DreamWorks Animation project.

Collider’s Most Anticipated 2013 Movies: April to June

by     Posted 1 year, 20 days ago

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The spring is usually a dumping ground for studios, and while there were big misfires in spring 2013 like A Good Day to Die Hard and Jack the Giant Slayer, there were also some nice gems like Warm Bodies, Stoker, and the great The Place Beyond the Pines.  Now we move towards the heavy hitters of summer, and it’s tough to choose just five among the many choices headed our way.  Summer 2012 was a slog, but hope begins anew with summer 2013.

Hit the jump to see the films that Matt, Adam, and Dave are most anticipating in from April to June.

First Trailer for Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA Starring Greta Gerwig

by     Posted 1 year, 49 days ago

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The first trailer for director Noah Baumbach’s (The Squid and the Whale) upcoming comedy Frances Ha has been released online.  The film is described as “a modern comic fable” and stars Greta Gerwig as the titular character.  A straight plot is unclear, but the film looks to follow the exploits of Frances as she meanders her way through late 20s irresponsibility, juggling friendships, love, and everything in between while living in New York City.  I adore the black and white aesthetic and the tone that this trailer conveys (Gerwig appears to be unendingly charming), so consider my hopes for this one high.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read our review of the film from TIFF.  Written by Baumbach and Gerwig, the film also stars Mickey Summer, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, and Patrick HeusingerFrances Ha opens on May 17th.

TIFF 2012: FRANCES HA Review

by     Posted 1 year, 219 days ago

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Even though his films are most easily classified as comedies, you rarely feel good coming out of project by writer/director Noah Baumbach. That’s not a bad thing as his caustic wit and insightful observations about terrible, self-obsessed people have lead to some great films like The Squid And The Whale. However, his latest feature is a little different. Teaming up with mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig following their collaboration on the underappreciated Greenberg, Baumbach has surprisingly delivered his most warm and sweet movie to date in Frances Ha. After being produced almost in secret, the film premiered at TIFF to a far more positive reception than he has ever received before. Hit the jump for additional appreciation for the appropriately frivolous and insightful ode to late 20s irresponsibility.

Line-Up Announced for 2012 Telluride Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 235 days ago

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The line-up for the 2012 Telluride Film Festival has been announced.  The program will include Michael Haneke’s Palm d’Or-winning Amour, the Bill Murray-fronted Hyde Park on Hudson, Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday, the Michael Shannon crime thriller The Iceman, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, and many more.  The festival will also include some special surprise screenings, with Ben Affleck’s highly anticipated drama Argo rumored to appear.  Additionally, the 2012 Silver Medallion Awards will be given to Roger Corman, Marion Cotillard, and Mads Mikkelsen.

Hit the jump to read the full press release which includes the entire line-up.  The 2012 Telluride Film Festival runs from August 31 – September 3rd.

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.

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