J.C. Chandor’s A MOST VIOLENT YEAR to Open AFI Fest 2014

by     Posted 30 days ago

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J.C. Chandor’s only got three feature films under his belt, but there’s a good chance every single one of them will wind up with some awards season glory.  His feature directorial debut, Margin Call, earned him a Best Writing Oscar nod, then All Is Lost scored Robert Redford a Best Performance nomination at the Golden Globes and now we’ve A Most Violent Year poised to earn some acclaim of its own.

The American Film Institute just announced that the movie will celebrate its world premiere as the Opening Night Gala of AFI Fest 2014.  Hit the jump for more on A Most Violent Year.  The film is set to hit theaters on December 31st and stars Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola and Albert Brooks.

Oscar Beat: Patricia Arquette Going Supporting for BOYHOOD While A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Enters Awards Race

by     Posted 36 days ago

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A couple of interesting developments have surfaced in the past 24 hours with regards to the current awards race.  While you may be saying, “Adam, it’s September, the awards race is still months away,” I’d counter by pointing out that the fall film festivals traditionally signal the start of the very long Oscar season—by this time last year, critics were already buzzing after the debuts of 12 Years a Slave and Gravity on the festival circuit.  I provided live Oscar Beat updates from TIFF just last week, but now we’ve got a couple of news-y bits of awards content to attend to.  Firstly, IFC Films has opted to submit Patricia Arquette in the Best Supporting Actress category for Boyhood instead of Best Actress, greatly increasing her chances of winning.

And secondly, A24 Films has officially set director J.C. Chandor’s highly anticipated All Is Lost follow-up A Most Violent Year for limited release on December 31st, crashing the awards race with an Oscar-qualifying run.  Much more after the jump.

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR Trailer and Poster; J.C. Chandor’s Film Starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac Opens Dec 31 in NY and L.A.

by     Posted 36 days ago

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J.C. Chandor is definitely on the rise, with a surprising amount of people favoring his dark horse Robert Redford film All Is Lost over Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity juggernaut in last year’s “solo and in peril” sweepstakes.  And A Most Violent Year definitely looks like it could be the film that really solidifies his place on the map.  The film is set in New York in 1981 and revolves around “an American immigrant (Oscar Isaac) and his wife (Jessica Chastain) trying to expand their business as violence and corruption threaten to destroy all they have built.”

A24 has just released a trailer for the film that’s incredibly intense and foreboding and surprisingly successful in making you feel like you know these characters already.  Oscar Isaac is such a chameleon, I had to look twice to make sure this was in fact the same Isacc from Inside Llewyn Davis. And of course Jessica Chastain has never delivered a bad performance.  The trailer doesn’t even really show Albert Brooks, but after Drive I’m hoping he plays a similarly menacing figure.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster for A Most Violent Year.  The film opens in NY and LA on December 31st.

DEEPWATER HORIZON Movie Finds Potential New Director in ALL IS LOST Helmer J.C. Chandor

by     Posted 105 days ago

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Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura’s film Deepwater Horizon has been in development for quite some time.  About two years ago, we reported that director Ric Roman Waugh was in talks for the project.  But things never stay the same in Hollywood and, needless to say, at some point during the development process he fell off the project.  The new helmer in talks for the project is All ls Lost writer/director J.C. Chandor.

I actually have yet to see All Is Lost, but I hear it’s a total knockout (some people I trust prefer it to the similarly structured Gravity), so on paper this seems like a wise decision.  Lionsgate/Summit and Participant are going to need someone who can craft a taut piece of work without coming across as disrespectful to the lives that were lost (and the environmental damage that ensued) that day.  Hit the jump for more on Deepwater Horizon.

ALL IS LOST Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 241 days ago

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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.

ALL IS LOST Helmer J.C. Chandor to Write and Possibly Direct Vince Lombardi Film for Legendary

by     Posted 326 days ago

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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.

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

by     Posted 332 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: Box Office, Best Picture, and GRAVITY

by     Posted 1 year, 5 days ago

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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.

New Image of Robert Redford Alone at Sea in J.C. Chandor’s ALL IS LOST; Release Date Set for October 25

by     Posted 1 year, 193 days ago

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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.

ALL IS LOST, the New Film from MARGIN CALL Director J.C. Chandor, Is Dialogue-Free

by     Posted 1 year, 280 days ago

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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.

First Image of Robert Redford in ALL IS LOST, Which Just Finished Shooting in Mexico

by     Posted 2 years, 77 days ago

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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.

2012 Oscar Nominations Announced; HUGO and THE ARTIST Lead the Pack

by     Posted 2 years, 273 days ago

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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.

MARGIN CALL Director J.C. Chandor to Helm Drama ALL IS LOST; Robert Redford in Talks to Star

by     Posted 2 years, 313 days ago

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.

Independent Spirit Awards Nominations Announced; DRIVE, 50/50, and THE ARTIST Up for Top Prize

by     Posted 2 years, 329 days ago

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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.

MARGIN CALL Review

by     Posted 3 years, 3 days ago

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.

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