Oscar Beat: The Best Supporting Actress Race At a Glance

by     Posted 8 days ago

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There are complaints every year that while the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories are stacked with talent, the low number of quality female roles that appear in movies makes for frustratingly thin Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress races.  Those complaints are entirely valid, and while there are indeed a plethora of excellent male roles that were on display this year, the Best Supporting Actress field has actually filled out quite nicely.  In this edition of Oscar Beat, I take a look at where the category stands right now.

Keira Knightley Talks THE IMITATION GAME, Working with Benedict Cumberbatch, Balancing Fact and Fiction, EVEREST, and More

by     Posted 22 days ago

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Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality still made him a target of persecution.  The film is really more about Turing than the war, but Tyldum weaves the Enigma plot throughout the film in a way that makes it feel like a spy thriller.

During my exclusive video interview with Keira Knightley, she talked about balancing fact versus fiction in the movie, what it’s like being part of such an important and special film, what it was like working with Benedict Cumberbatch, if the script changed during production, her role in Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.  The Imitation Game is currently in theaters and also stars Matthew GoodeCharles DanceMark StrongRory KinnearAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  For more on the film, watch six clips, the trailer, or click here for all our previous coverage.

THE IMITATION GAME Review

by     Posted 23 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The Imitation Game opens today in limited release.]

In September 1933, General George S. Patton told the Calvary Journal, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.” Mathematician Alan Turning proved Patton’s statement was only half true when it came to World War II. It was won by men and a machine. Turing and his team used a computer to decipher the Germans’ “Enigma” code, which turned the tide of the war and was one of the key contributions to the Allies’ victory. Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is a compelling look at a man treated inhumanely and the creation of his machine that helped saved humanity from evil. The film isn’t hard to crack, but led by Benedict Cumberbatch’s outstanding performance and Tyldum’s strong direction, it’s a compelling tale of secrets, lies, and sacrifice.

Benedict Cumberbatch Has Secrets in New THE IMITATION GAME Trailer

by     Posted 37 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new The Imitation Game trailer for director Morten Tyldum’s (Headhunters) critically acclaimed Alan Turing biopic.  The World War II drama features an absolutely terrific lead performance by Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, a genius mathematician who worked to crack the Enigma Code—the code the Nazis were using to transmit messages back and forth—and bring an end to the war.  The film is really more about Turing than it is the war (he was later convicted of the “crime” of homosexuality and sentenced to chemical castrastion), but Tyldum weaves the Enigma plot throughout the film as a sort of spy thriller.  It’s a really good movie that also features a swell Keira Knightley performance and one of the best scores of the year thanks to composer Alexandre Desplat.

Check out the new The Imitation Game trailer after the jump, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch nine clips Matthew GoodeCharles DanceMark StrongRory KinnearAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  The Imitation Game opens in the U.K. today and in the U.S. on November 28th.

Watch 6 New Clips from THE IMITATION GAME Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Mark Strong

by     Posted 39 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released six new clips from The Imitation Game online.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  I saw the film at TIFF, quite enjoyed it, and am very eager to see it again.  Also, if you don’t need to worry about these clips spoiling the best moments from the movie.  They’re definitely good, but they won’t diminish your experience when you see the entire film.

Hit the jump to check out The Imitation Game clips.  The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew BeardThe Imitation Game opens in the U.K. on November 14th and in the U.S. on November 28st.

LAGGIES Review

by     Posted 58 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Laggies opens today in limited release.]

There is certain kind of movie that I would describe as a “Sundance Comedy”. They’re technically indie films even though they feature movie stars, and they’re almost always fairly tame. They’re cute at best and forgettable at worst, and Lynn Shelton’s Laggies has the distinction of being both. What begins as a moderately interesting coming-of-age tale eventually devolves into something so light and airy that it’s on the verge of floating away, especially when the characters’ implausible actions do nothing to keep the story grounded.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley Try to Crack the Enigma Code in U.K. Trailer for THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 80 days ago

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StudioCanal UK has released a new The Imitation Game trailer online.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  This U.K. trailer goes heavy on painting the movie as a thriller, and that’s not misleading.  Part of the movie’s pull is that it does play like a spy flick.  However, it also has enough dramatic pull to never feel light.  I liked the movie when I saw it at TIFF, and I look forward to seeing it again.

Hit the jump to check out the U.K. The Imitation Game trailer.  The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew BeardThe Imitation Game opens in the U.K. on November 14th and in the U.S. on November 21st.

THE IMITATION GAME Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 104 days ago

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In September 1933, General George S. Patton told the Calvary Journal, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.”  Mathematician Alan Turning proved Patton’s statement was only half true when it came to World War II.  It was won by men and a machine.  Turing and his team used a computer to decipher the Germans’ “Enigma” code, which turned the tide of the war and was one of the key contributions to the Allies’ victory.  Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is a compelling look at a man treated inhumanely and the creation of his machine that helped saved humanity from evil.  The film isn’t hard to crack, but led by Benedict Cumberbatch’s outstanding performance and Tyldum’s strong direction, it’s a compelling tale of secrets, lies, and sacrifice.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch Launches Into the Best Actor Race with THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 104 days ago

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The awards season is certainly prone to recognizing biopics, and luckily there are two high-profile films based on the lives of historical figures screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  I’ll have a full Oscar Beat report up on The Theory of Everything soon (for now read Phil’s review), but for now it’s time to focus on the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch might very well end up with a Best Actor nomination for his fantastic performance as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  Moreover, the film itself has been receiving high praise, and I left the theater this afternoon thinking, “this feels like the kind of movie that wins Best Picture.”  More after the jump.

Watch THE IMITATION GAME Trailer Starring Benedict Cumberbatch; Drama Will Open the 58th London Film Festival

by     Posted 153 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first The Imitation Game trailer.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  Judging by this trailer, I’m sure there will be superficial Sherlock comparisons since Turing is brilliant but off-putting to those around him, but I think this looks like a solid World War II drama with some good performances.

Hit the jump to check out The Imitation Game trailer.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  Additionally, The Imitation Game will open the 58th BFI London Film Festival on October 8th. [Update: We've added the U.K. trailer after the jump.]

LAGGIES Trailer: Keira Knightley Runs from Adulthood with Chloe Grace Moretz in Tow

by     Posted 158 days ago

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A24 Films has released the first Laggies trailer for director Lynn Shelton’s (Your Sister’s Sister) coming-of-age comedy.  The film stars Keira Knightley as Megan, a 28-year-old woman who, being unable to cope with the pressures of adulthood when her longtime boyfriend proposes, runs off and befriends a 16-year-old named Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz).  I caught the film at Sundance and despite charming performances from Knightley and Sam Rockwell as Annika’s father, unfortunately the pic is pretty forgettable.  Though the film begins strong, it becomes quite frustrating as Megan’s actions grow more implausible and irresponsible.  This trailer does a fine job of conveying the tone and direction of the pic, so you should be able to gauge your interest accordingly.

Hit the jump to watch the Laggies trailer and to check out a teaser poster, and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Mark Webber, Jeff Garlin, Gretchen Mol, and Kaitlyn DeverLaggies opens in limited release on October 24th.

BEGIN AGAIN Review

by     Posted 176 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Begin Again opens this weekend in limited release.]

John Carney’s 2007 film Once was a surprising, touching musical about two musicians falling in love through their love of music. It felt authentic thanks to the naturalistic direction, and real-life musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, who made their acting debuts and fell in love in real life. That kind of chemistry is lightning in a bottle, but it provided Once with a unique and vibrant feel that expertly wove together a love of music and a love between two people. Carney’s new film, Begin Again, returns to similar territory but with a more polished approach that diminishes the charm in favor of a more Hollywood-friendly feel. The movie is still funny, good-natured, and most importantly, stresses the joy of sharing music with others. It’s even a little acerbic in its tone towards the music business, but Carney’s film is guilty of the some of the same critiques regarding watered-down entertainment.

THE IMITATION GAME: New Images from the Alan Turing Biopic Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

by     Posted 199 days ago

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He’s not a superhero in the comicbook sense, but genius mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing saved many lives during World War II thanks to his deciphering of Nazi codes.  Today, new images debuted from director Morten Tyldum’s Turing bioppic, The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.  Also appearing in the new images is Cumberbatch’s co-star, Keira Knightley, who plays a woman from a very conservative background who not only forms a complicated relationship with Turing but is there for him until the end.  That end came not long after his own government convicted him on charges of “gross indecency” as a homosexual; he took his life two years later at the age of 41.

Also starring Mark Strong, Matthew GoodeRory KinnearCharles DanceAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard, the film opens November 21st.  Hit the jump to view the new The Imitation Game images.

Adam Levine Is Famous in New BEGIN AGAIN Trailer Featuring Keira Knightley

by     Posted 206 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new Begin Again trailer for Once director John Carney’s upcoming music-centric dramedy.  While the previous trailers have focused on the core relationship between Mark Ruffalo’s washed-out A&R man and Keira Knightley’s undiscovered musician, this new trailer offers a closer look at Knightley and Adam Levine’s characters.  Levine plays Knightley’s ex-boyfriend in the film, a famous musician whose growing stature caused a rift between the two.  The Maroon 5 frontman is actually quite good in the movie, and this trailer offers a preview of his original song “Lost Stars.”

Hit the jump to watch the new Begin Again trailer, and click here to read Matt’s review of the film.  The pic also stars Hailee SteinfeldCatherine KeenerYasiin BeyJames Corden, and Cee-Lo Green.  Begin Again opens in the US in limited release on June 27th.

New UK Trailer for BEGIN AGAIN Starring Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, and Adam Levine

by     Posted 226 days ago

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A new Begin Again trailer has been released, this time in the form of a UK cut.  Directed by Once helmer John Carney, the pic (formerly titled Can a Song Save Your Life?) stars Mark Ruffalo as a washed up A&R man who discovers a young singer-songwriter (Keira Knightley) soon after being fired.  The two set out to change each other’s fortunes for the better while crafting a unique concept album.  This new trailer provides a better look at the film’s songs, which are fine if not all that memorable.  I caught the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and it’s pretty good, but it never really kicks into the next gear to become something all that noteworthy.  Ruffalo is, as always, excellent in the lead role, and Adam Levine is a surprise standout as Knightley’s famous musician boyfriend.

Hit the jump to watch the UK Begin Again trailer and click here to read Matt’s review.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Catherine Keener, Yasiin Bey, James Corden, and Cee-Lo GreenBegin Again opens in the US in limited release on July 4th.

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