When you’ve got Robert Redford starring in your movie, that’s really all you need. Sure, having a talented cast is nice, and shooting in exotic, far-flung locales is a perk for everyone involved, but sometimes the best storytelling just comes down to a man and his boat. In writer-director J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost, all of Hollywood’s movie-making pageantry is cast aside in favor of a stripped-down style of storytelling that follows one man in his repeated attempts to defy death using nothing but his wits and meager provisions. The solo survivalist angle is a tough task for any actor, but if Redford can’t do it, then no one can. Hit the jump for my review of All Is Lost on Blu-ray.
Filmmaker J.C. Chandor took on the recent financial crisis in his talky director debut Margin Call and then chronicled one man’s nearly dialogue-free attempt to survive on the open ocean in All Is Lost, and now he’s setting his sights on something entirely different yet again for another upcoming feature. Deadline reports that Chandor is writing with an eye to direct a film about legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, who as head coach led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships and won the first two Super Bowls. Hit the jump for more on the project.
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.
Though it’s only October, we’re already in the thick of awards season. We’ve seen frontrunners emerge from the fall festival circuit, and now some of the year’s potential heavy hitters are starting to open in theaters, providing some hard data for the all-important “audience reception” factor in the Oscar race. Gravity emerged as a potential frontrunner for a number of awards—including Best Picture—when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice, and Telluride earlier this year, and now the film can add “box office hit” to its resume, as the pic opened to a record-breaking $55.5 million in its first weekend and only dropped an incredible 21% in its second weekend.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the importance of box office in the Oscar race and what this means for Gravity and the other awards contenders going forward. Additionally, I update my predictions to reflect movements in the recent weeks. Hit the jump to read on.
All Is Lost is a very intriguing project. It first caught our eye because Robert Redford stars in “a solo performance of one man lost at sea and his battle against the elements to stay alive.” The twist: Redford says he has no dialogue. That is a brave choice for writer/director J.C. Chandor in his second feature film, especially after a Best Original Screenplay nomination for his debut, Margin Call.
Despite the intrigue, we know little about All Is Lost other than the logline, the dialogue-free tease, and this image. Steve is at CinemaCon right now and found a little more info. First, we will be able to see what All Is Lost has to offer sooner than expected, as we’ve learned Roadside Attractions has set an October 25 release date. Second, Steve snapped a picture of a new image of Redford weary at sea that Roadside has on display. Check out the full image after the jump.
Writer-director J.C. Chandor landed a breakthrough flick with 2011′s Margin Call. Chandor picked up an Oscar nomination for his screenplay, and his follow-up feature, All Is Lost, nabbed Robert Redford for the lead. According to the press release from August, “Redford stars in a solo performance of one man lost at sea and his battle against the elements to stay alive.” As we saw from Life of Pi, it’s not easy to make a movie where a single actor is stranded in the middle of the ocean. But at least Pi Patel had a tiger for conversation. Redford’s character will be silent.
Hit the jump for more.
Director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) has just wrapped principal photography on his next feature, All Is Lost. To celebrate, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released the first image of Robert Redford, who stars in “a solo performance of one man lost at sea and his battle against the elements to stay alive.” Actually, I’ll have to take their word for it. Redford’s beautiful face is obscured in a severe battle with those elements.
Redford is the only credited actor, which automatically qualifies All Is Lost as one to watch—at the very least as an intriguing formal exercise anchored by one of the greats. Hit the jump for the full image and a press release with all the details on the production.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.
There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.
How’s this for a success story: after making his feature directorial debut with the low-budget financial crisis drama Margin Call, director J.C. Chandor is set to helm a man vs. nature drama as his follow-up and legendary actor-director Robert Redford is in talks to star. Deadline reports that Chandor will next direct All Is Lost, a drama that mainly focuses on a single character and takes place on the water. The film is described as a “one man show” in which the lead braves the elements in order to survive. Chandor premiered Margin Call this past January at the Sundance Film Festival, and the writer-director was apparently so taken with the festival’s founder Redford that he wrote All Is Lost just for him.
I’ve yet to see Margin Call but I’m intrigued by this success story. It’ll be interesting to see how Chandor sets the film apart from the similarly plotted Cast Away. They’ve apparently scouted Baja Film Studios in Mexico as a possible filming location. James Cameron and Michael Bay have both previously used the studio for Titanic and Pearl Harbor, respectively, obviously (though one wonders what James Cameron’s Pearl Harbor and Michael Bay’s Titanic would have looked like), and it’s a prime location for extended water shoots. Zachary Quinto’s Before the Door will produce and they hope to start filming by next May.
The nominations for the 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning with The Artist and Take Shelter each nabbing five nominations. In addition to The Artist and Take Shelter, Drive, 50/50, The Descendants, and Beginners will duke it out for the top prize. Absent from the Best Feature list is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, though the film was recognized in Best Supporting Male (Corey Stoll) and Best Cinematography. Also of note, Elizabeth Olsen and John Hawkes landed nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Male for Martha Marcy May Marlene, and Ryan Gosling and Woody Harrelson were both singled out in Best Actor for Drive and Rampart respectively.
Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominations. Recognizing the best in independent film, the awards will be handed out on February 25th, the day before the Oscars.
The 2008 economic collapse is one of the major events of our lifetimes and some filmmakers have rushed to turn the events into A Very Serious and Important Movie. J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call would like to be that movie. It dresses up its respected cast in fine suits, puts them in the financial world, and then has them look at computer monitors and say “Fuck me…” in astonishment about 80-90 times throughout the course of the film. Chandor wants to bury the audience in the world of financial intrigue and corruption without doing the hard work of explaining the machinations of that world in any kind of detail. He gets away with it for the first half-hour as the audience becomes wrapped in a propulsive, plot-driven drama, but by the end the only saving grace is Kevin Spacey playing against type.
The first trailer for the financial thriller Margin Call has been released. The film debuted at Sundance, and judging from the trailer it looks to be a fairly intense morality piece. The cast is great, and Steve caught the film at the festival and said it was really good. I like the tone here, and the idea of the film’s events playing out over a single day and night is definitely intriguing.
The story centers on the key people at an investment bank during the 24-hour period before the recent financial crisis. The cast includes Demi Moore, Simon Baker, Penn Badgley, Zachary Quinto, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and Kevin Spacey. You can check out Steve’s interview with all of the above here and here. Margin Call opens October 21st. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
We’ve got some release date news for you this afternoon. First up, a couple of movies that premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival have been slated. The financial crisis-centered drama Margin Call is now set for an October 21st, 2011 release (via Box Office Mojo). The film stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore and Stanley Tucci. Additionally, Jeff Nichols’ intense psychological drama Take Shelter is set for a limited release on September 30th (via The Playlist) before going wide on October 7th. Starring Michael Shannon, the film generated a good amount of buzz at Sundance.
The release date for Pedro Alomodovar’s next film The Skin I Live In has been shifted from October 7th to October 14th. Based on Thierry Jonquet’s novel Tarantula, the film stars Antonio Banderas as a plastic surgeron out for revenge on the man who raped his daughter. Finally, IFC Films will release Julia Leigh’s dark psychosexual drama Sleeping Beauty on October 28th (via The Playlist). The film stars Emily Browning and was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival.
While at Sundance, I was able to sit down with Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey and writer/director J.C. Chandor for a quick interview about Margin Call. Premiering at this year’s Festival, Margin Call is a really well done economic thriller that revolves around the key people at an investment bank during the 24-hour period before the recent financial crisis. As the film unfolds, we learn who knew what and when, and what lines are you willing to cross to stay ahead. While it often takes Hollywood years to tell a story about something that just happened, Margin Call has already done it and the results are fantastic.
During the interview, the cast talked about what drew them to the project and what does it mean for each of them to be at Sundance. As usual, you can either read or listen to the interview after the jump.
Earlier this week, we brought you the poster for the upcoming drama Margin Call. Today, we’re bringing you four clips from the film, which will premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film takes place at an investment firm and looks at a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crisis.
Hit the jump to check out the clips and click here to see images from the film. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor, Margin Call stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 – 30th.