Earlier tonight, HBO released the first teaser trailer for The Normal Heart. Directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee), the film follows the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, and looks at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. While I’ll certainly tune in to see it, I’m not a big fan of Murphy’s work, and I’m worried this is going to come off as schmaltzy and melodramatic. I hope I’m wrong, because it’s certainly an important story and one worth telling.
Hit the jump to check out the teaser trailer. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, and Julia Roberts. The Normal Heart airs Sunday, May 25th at 9pm on HBO.
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 Hanks, Her, 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.]
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.
Though there’s normally a fairly agreed-upon shortlist of contenders for each Oscar category before the nominations are announced, every year has its fair share of surprises. More often than not, these occur in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories, and it could very well happen again this year. Though the general lack of well-written female characters tends to result in a thin crop of contenders for the Best Supporting Actress category, there are no doubt a number of excellent supporting female performances to thumb through in 2013. The contenders range from fresh newcomers to acting veterans, and the ever-popular Jennifer Lawrence has made a late surge thanks to David O. Russell’s American Hustle finally being unveiled.
In this edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the current state of the Best Supporting Actress category. Read on after the jump.
A new red-band clip from director John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy Letts play August: Osage County has been released online, and it is very NSFW. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. This new clip is a nice showcase of the complicated and tense relationship between Meryl Streep’s pill-popping matriarch and Julia Roberts’ oldest daughter. As you can see, there’s not exactly a language filter in this family, and Roberts more than holds her own opposite Streep for the film’s runtime, turning in her best performance in years.
Hit the jump to watch the new red-band clip, and click here to read Matt’s review from the Toronto International Film Festival. The film also stars Julianne Nicholson, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens in limited release on December 25th and expands nationwide on January 10th.
The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. This trailer is interesting in that it paints the film as a heartwarming story of familial reconciliation, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I caught the film at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere and it is incredibly dark, but also very, very funny. The performances are pretty fantastic all around and Meryl Streep is unsurprisingly great, but if you’re expecting a nice Lifetime movie-esque film, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on December 25th.
With regards to awards prospects, a common theme of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been outstanding performances. Chiwetel Ejiofor is incredible in 12 Years a Slave, Sandra Bullock basically carries the enormous weight of Gravity all by herself, and Kate Winslet’s work in Labor Day is beautifully understated. Many have been looking forward to director John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County for a while now, but the darkly comic film just premiered at TIFF and not only delivered with a mesmerizing lead performance by Meryl Streep, but the entire ensemble is simply fantastic.
Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects for August: Osage County in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.
It’s tough to decide if August: Osage County is foremost an insightful work about the dark, twisted, occasionally humorous nature of family, or if it’s good platform to showcase big performances. Either way, it’s an engaging picture that features memorable turns from its stellar cast, especially (and unsurprisingly) Meryl Streep, and also throws together a complicated, abrasive portrait of a shattered family that can’t put the pieces back together. They can only break into smaller pieces, and the only thing stopping the audience from breaking down is the black comedy permeating the family affair.
The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director John Wells’ (The Company Men) adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. The story follows the women of a family whose lives have splintered in many directions until a crisis bring them back to their childhood home and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. While a bit lighter in tone than the actual story, this trailer does a swell job of teasing the film’s absolutely terrific ensemble cast, led by a characteristically great Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in what could potentially be her best role in years. Given the talent involved both onscreen and behind the scenes (Argo‘s George Clooney and Grant Heslov produce), this thing is a surefire Oscar contender that also promises delectable interplay amongst the film’s incredible ensemble.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on November 8th.
It’s been awhile since we’ve had an update regarding Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy’s feature film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart, but some firm news has surfaced today. The autobiographical drama written by Larry Kramer, who also wrote the feature script, chronicles the rise of HIV/AIDS among New York’s gay community in the 1980s and features an impressive cast lead by Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, and Matt Bomer.
HBO announced today that the film will debut as an HBO movie, with production set to get underway later this year for a 2014 debut. Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons were previously attached to the project, but they don’t appear in this latest press release. This isn’t Murphy’s first foray into features, as he previously helmed Eat Pray Love and Running With Scissors. Murphy follows in the footsteps of Steven Soderbergh, who opted to debut his upcoming Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, on HBO rather than going the theatrical route. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Some major casting announcements to make today. Here they are in brief:
- Ewan McGregor (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) will join the stellar cast of John Wells’ August: Osage County, which already touts Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper among others, with George Clooney producing.
- Christian Slater (Broken Arrow) has been cast in Lars Von Trier’s pornographic duet, Nymphomaniac, two full-length features which will both be released in softcore and hardcore versions. The pictures star Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role along with Shia LaBeouf, Stellan Skarsgard, Jamie Bell and Connie Nielsen.
Hit the jump for more info.
With 2012’s Battle of Snow White more or less over, the time has come to argue about who won (he says without a trace of irony). Opinions vary – and no one over at the Walt Disney Company has lost any sleep – but I’m backing the one that didn’t have Kristen Stewart mumbling her way through a half-assed version of the Crispian’s Day Speech. Mirror, Mirror benefits from a riotous sense of fun – something Snow White and the Huntsman utterly disregarded – and from playing with our expectations instead of simply ignoring them. Hit the jump for my full review of Mirror, Mirror on Blu-ray.
We have a few new casting additions to share with you today. Here they are in brief:
- Vanessa Hudgens (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) is the latest addition to Machete Kills, the sequel directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring Danny Trejo.
- William Hurt (The Incredible Hulk) will join Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, Winter’s Tale. The adaptation of the Mark Helprin novel stars Colin Farrell and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay.
- Margo Martindale (Million Dollar Baby) joins the family in August: Osage County, based on the Tracy Letts play and starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Chris Cooper.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
Today’s cast additions include two White House themed pictures for the price of one:
Hit the jump for more details on each picture.
Nothing came along to poison Snow White and the Huntsman. After a strong Friday launch, the Universal fantasy went on to earn an estimated $56.2 million from 3,773 locations over its first three days or almost as much as the rest of this weekend’s top five films combined. Meanwhile, Marvel’s The Avengers put another big feather (actually, two) in its cap: becoming the third highest grossing domestic and global release of all time.
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