2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 186 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

Adam Predicts the 2014 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 188 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.

Full Cast and Synopsis Revealed for THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL 2

by     Posted 192 days ago

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was one of 2012′s sleeper hits.  It was the perfect summer counter-programming to the blockbusters inundating theaters.  John Madden‘s film is a nice, fluffy piece that has charming actors in a story featuring a solid balance of comedy and romance with a little bit of drama thrown in for good measure.  This mixture ended up yielding $136 million worldwide on a reported budget of $10 million, and that’s good enough for Fox Searchlight to make The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 the first sequel in the company’s history.  Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Penelope Wilton, Diana Hardcastle, Tena Desae, and Lillete Dubey are all set to return, and they’ll be joined by Richard Gere, David Strathairn, and Tamsin Greig (Episodes).

Hit the jump for the press release, which contains the synopsis for the movie.  Ol Parker and Madden will return to write and direct, respectively.

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

by     Posted 217 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.

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

by     Posted 240 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.

British Independent Film Award Nominations Announced; STARRED UP Leads with 8 Nominations

by     Posted 252 days ago

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The nominations for the 16th annual Moet British Independent Film Awards were announced today, and David Mackenzie‘s Starred Up led the pack with eight including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jack O’Connell), and two Best Supporting Actor nominations (Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend).  I haven’t seen many of the other contenders, but I caught Starred Up at TIFF, and it absolutely deserves any acclaim it receives, especially for O’Connell.

Other notable nominees included possible Oscar contenders Blue Jasmine (Best International Film) and Judi Dench for Philomena (Best Actress).  It’s a good collection of nominations, but if I had to note some absences, I would point out that The Double deserved some more love (Mia Wasikowska was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, so the film was eligible).  Also, I don’t know if Dom Hemingway was eligible, but if so, ignoring Jude Law for Best Actor is criminal.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 8th.

New US Trailer for PHILOMENA Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

by     Posted 296 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the US theatrical trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) upcoming comedic drama Philomena.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who aided Lee in the search for her son.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s much less “gooey” than this trailer would suggest, but the trailer does do a nice job of showcasing Dench’s wonderful performance as the titular Philomena, even if it does verge on giving away too much of the story.  Dench and Coogan make a truly great comedic duo, and the film is surprisingly thoughtful despite its Lifetime Movie-esque premise.  Honestly, it’s one of the more pleasantly surprising films I’ve seen this year and will like put Dench in the Best Actress race.  Read my full review here.

Hit the jump to watch the theatrical trailer.  The film also stars Michelle Fairley, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, and Charles EdwardsPhilomena opens in the US in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide on January 10th.

TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Review

by     Posted 312 days ago

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Steve Coogan and Judi Dench might not immediately jump out to most viewers as an obvious big screen dream team, but director Stephen Frears somehow saw a peanut butter and chocolate combination in the two legendary Brits and brought them together for a bittersweet dramedy (what else?) called Philomena. Mixing remorseful tragedy for Dench and sardonic a-hole comedy for Coogan, the film is an interesting combination and works fairly well. Sure, it’s not perfect. But really, what else could you expect from a clash of screen personalities this unexpected and diametrically opposed? Hit the jump for all the diddy-details. 

Oscar Beat TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Launches Judi Dench into Best Actress Race; Hugh Jackman Shines in PRISONERS

by     Posted 315 days ago

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As the first weekend of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival heads toward a close, we’ve already seen a number of serious Oscar contenders emerge.  While 12 Years a Slave and Gravity will certainly be heavy hitters in a number of categories, there are a couple of other TIFF films that could nab just one or two nods comes Oscar time.  Judi Dench’s wonderful turn in the pleasantly surprising drama Philomena may very well put her back in the Best Actress race, and Hugh Jackman’s strong performance in the taut thriller Prisoners has a slight possibility of landing him a second Best Actor nomination.

Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects of Philomena and Prisoners in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.

TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Review

by     Posted 316 days ago

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At first glance, Philomena’s premise reads like that of a Lifetime movie of the week.  An older, unassuming woman sets out in search of her long-lost son with the help of reluctant journalist.  Life lessons are learned, hearts are warmed, and humor ensues.  However, director Stephen Frears and co-writers Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope take this simple logline (based on a true story) and run with it in complete earnestness, crafting a sweet, thoughtful, and endearing story of guilt, redemption, and friendship that is buoyed by a remarkable performance from Judi Dench and excellent chemistry between the actress and her co-star, Steve Coogan.  Hit the jump for my full review.

First Trailer for Stephen Frears’ PHILOMENA Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

by     Posted 346 days ago

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The first trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Philomena has landed online.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped Lee locate her son.  While Frears’ most recent directorial effort Lay the Favorite was pretty much universally panned, Philomena looks to be a nice, simple return to form for the director.  It’s nice to see Dench stretching her comedic side, and Coogan gets a chance to shine as the straight man for once.  There is a chance that the film could be a tad overly sentimental, but this trailer is nevertheless promising.  Moreover, Dench makes a wonderfully off-color joke at the end.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  Philomena will play at the Toronto Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival and is slated to open in the UK on November 1st.  A U.S. release date has yet to be set.

First Images from THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY, DOM HEMINGWAY, ENOUGH SAID, HATESHIP LOVESHIP, and PHILOMENA

by     Posted 363 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival announced its stellar line-up for their 2013 Galas and Special Presentation programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (Directed by Ned Benson) Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Nina Arianda, Viola Davis, Bill Hader, Ciarán Hinds, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, and Jess Weixler.
  • Dom Hemingway (Directed by Richard Shepard) Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.
  • Enough Said (Directed by Nicole Holofcener) Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, and Tavi Gevinson.
  • Hateship Loveship (Directed by Liza Johnson) Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Christine Lahti, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Sami Gayle.
  • Philomena (Directed by Stephen Frears) Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

The Road to Oscar: Best Supporting Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 152 days ago

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With the 85th Academy Awards looming closer, we here at Collider thought now would be a good time to take a look back at Oscar race thus far.  It’s been a wild and somewhat nutty 12 months, as we’ve seen numerous contenders rise and fall (and some rise back up again) in the contentious hunt for Oscar gold.  We’ve already run down the ebbs and flows of the Best Supporting Actor category, and today we’ll be taking a look back and how the race played out for Best Supporting Actress.

SKYFALL Blu-Ray Review

by     Posted 1 year, 159 days ago

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We would have been happy with Casino Royale; we really, really would. Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond was such a revelation – such an infusion of modern cool into 007’s timeless sensibilities – that he could have spent the remainder of his tenure doodling on a napkin and we still would have deemed him a success.  So we accepted the flawed nature of Quantum of Solace without raising much fuss; enjoying its eccentricities and letting its middling status slide with the assumption that Craig’s ride would be more of the same. Little did we know that the best was yet to come: the inestimable Skyfall, which not only affirmed the character’s relevance for the 21st Century, but set a new standard for all future entries in the series.  Best Bond ever?  Goldfinger may edge it by the thinnest of margins, but even then, I’m inclined to give it a little space on the podium.  Hit the jump for the review.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress

by     Posted 1 year, 241 days ago

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Oscar season is in full swing, folks.  2012 has been a fantastic year in film so far, and with merely weeks to go before 2013 begins there are still a couple of highly anticipated films that have yet to be seen.  Just like last year, I’ll be running down a preview of the upcoming Oscar race during this fine Thanksgiving week, giving readers a look at what the state of the race looks like right now.  To be clear, this isn’t a personal list but rather an objective look at how things look to be shaping up.  I’ve divided each category into frontrunners, likely to be nominated, and other contenders in order to parse out where things stand at the moment.  There are multiple strong contenders in nearly every category, so this is looking to be a rather heated run to the finish line.

We’ll be looking at a couple of different major categories each day over the next four days, and we’re kicking things off with the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.  Hit the jump to read on.

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