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.
A number of new posters have landed online. Briefly:
- August: Osage County – The new poster for director John Wells’ adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play presents the mother-daughter duo of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in appropriate fashion. The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Margo Martindale and opens on December 25th. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Labor Day – The UK poster for writer/director Jason Reitman’s upcoming drama highlights Josh Brolin’s escaped convict character embracing Kate Winslet, who plays a single mother. The film also stars Gattlin Griffith, Clark Gregg and James Van Der Beek and opens in limited release on December 25th. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- The Double – A couple of UK quads for writer/director Richard Ayoade’s dark comedy plays on the film’s premise of a man who comes across his doppelganger. Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, and Wallace Shawn star. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Blood Ties – A collection of French character posters for director Guillaume Canet’s crime thriller starring Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, and Zoe Saldana. Read Matt’s review from TIFF here.
- Delivery Man – A new poster for the Vince Vaughn-fronted comedy, also starring Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders. The film opens November 22nd.
Hit the jump to check out the posters.
A few new posters tonight:
- Labor Day - Josh Brolin plays an escaped convict who forms a makeshift family with a single mother (Kate Winslet) and her son (Gattlin Griffith) in the latest from Jason Reitman (Up in the Air).
- Charlie Countryman – Formerly known as The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. Shia LaBeouf plays the title character who “enters into the hallucinatory, Romanian underworld filled with violence and, strangely enough, love.” Evan Rachel Wood and Mads Mikkelsen also star.
- Bad Grandpa – Johnny Knoxville brings back his 85-year-old Irving Zisman character from the Jackass movies and adds an 8-year-old grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll).
See the posters after the break.
The Fall Film Festival season has come and gone, and with that we now have a pretty clear idea of the early state of the Oscar race. While initial awards projections were made mostly on conjecture and blind faith, a number of the major contenders have now had a chance to screen at the prestigious Telluride, Toronto, and Venice film festivals allowing critics and industry folk to assess the quality of heavy hitters such as Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Labor Day, and August: Osage County. Last year, an early Oscar frontrunner came out of nowhere at the Toronto International Film Festival in the form of Silver Linings Playbook, but this year an incredibly strong frontrunner has emerged with near-unanimous praise.
Hit the jump for a rundown of the Oscar race as it stands now, including our first Oscar Beat power rankings for the major categories.
Filmmaker Jason Reitman is no stranger to Oscar attention. His second directorial feature, 2007’s Juno, landed nods for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, with Reitman finding himself a surprise nominee for Best Director. His next feature, Up in the Air, once again landed a number of nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, but after a rigorous campaign the film went home empty handed. Following a more minor turn with 2011’s Young Adult, Reitman enters the fray this year with a wholly different kind of film: Labor Day.
I caught Labor Day earlier this afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival and can attest that it is an excellent picture all around that just might be Reitman’s best to date. Hit the jump for my rundown of the film’s Oscar prospects in a special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.
Let’s take a look at some clips from the following films:
- Labor Day – Jason Reitman’s drama starring Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Tobey Maguire, James Van Der Beek and Clark Gregg, opening January 31, 2014.
- Tim’s Vermeer – Teller (of Penn & Teller) directs this documentary centering on inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to understand the painting techniques of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.
- The Face of Love - Arie Posin’s romantic drama starring Ed Harris, Annette Bening and Robin Williams.
Hit the jump to watch the clips.
As the fall film festival season kicks this year’s Oscar Race into high gear this weekend, we thought it fitting to take one last early look at the Best Picture contenders before the nuttiness ensues. Yesterday we ran down 11 films that have a decent shot at becoming part of the upcoming Best Picture race, and today in the second part of this particular Oscar Beat column, we complete the list with 10 more potential contenders. Hit the jump to read on.
The lineup for this year’s Telluride Film Festival was announced this morning just before the Colorado fest gets underway this weekend, and with it comes some serious expectations. As I outlined in the inaugural edition of Oscar Beat, the fall film festivals mark the official start of awards season, as the studios use the festivals to announce their heavy hitters and Oscar hopefuls. Four of the last five Best Picture winners played at Telluride (Argo, The King’s Speech, The Artist, and Slumdog Millionaire) and this year’s lineup certainly has the potential to launch our eventual winner with fare from the Coen Brothers, Jason Reitman, and Alfonso Cuaron all on tap.
Hit the jump for more, as we take a closer look at the Telluride lineup with an eye towards sussing out our 2013 Best Picture winner.
It’s that time of year again, folks. The explosion-filled summer blockbusters will soon be fading from multiplexes, and in will flow a number of smaller, more dramatic films poised to dominate the Oscar conversation as the awards machine gets up and running. Some will meet high expectations, some will be disappointing, and some will come out of nowhere to take everyone by surprise. We here at Collider ran a few awards-centric articles last fall that examined the Oscar race as it drew closer, but this year we’re happy to expand our awards coverage to a regular column titled “Oscar Beat.”
We’ll be covering anything and everything Oscar up through the 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2nd, and if years past are any indication, there will be plenty to discuss. In our inaugural installment of Oscar Beat, we’ll be taking a look at the upcoming Fall Film Festival circuit, which is where the heavy hitters of awards season traditionally premiere. Hit the jump for more.
It may only be August, but studios are already starting to make moves with regards to their awards fare. Today, the first official image from Thank You for Smoking and Up in the Air writer/director Jason Reitman’s upcoming drama Labor Day has been released. Based on the Joyce Maynard novel of the same name, the film takes place over the course of a Labor Day weekend and tells the story of a 13-year-old boy who convinces his reclusive mother to take in a drifter, who turns out to be an escaped convict on the run. Kate Winslet plays the mother and Josh Brolin plays the convict, and Labor Day sees Reitman navigating decidedly different territory as he weaves the character drama with shades of a thriller. The film also involves flashback and flashforwards, with Tobey Maguire playing the grown-up version of the young boy. Given its pedigree, the pic is sure to be a contender in this year’s awards race.
Hit the jump to check out the image. The film also stars Gattlin Griffith, J.K. Simmons, Clark Gregg, and James Van Der Beek. Labor Day opens in limited release on December 25th before expanding wide on January 31st.
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013. The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime. In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more. Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it. Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.
Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations. Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned. The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.
We’ve got a few release dates to share today. Briefly:
- Labor Day – Writer/director Jason Reitman’s drama starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin will hit theaters in limited release on December 25th of this year (just in time for awards season, natch), before expanding wide on January 31st.
- Exodus – Director Ridley Scott’s Biblical epic about the life of Moses has been dated for a prime holiday release of December 12, 2014, confirming that this will indeed be Scott’s next project. Christian Bale may star.
- Assassin’s Creed – The feature film adaptation of the popular video game series has been dated for Memorial Day weekend of 2015, with a firm May 22, 2015 release date. Michael Fassbender is producing the film and will also star.
Hit the jump for much more on all of the aforementioned projects.
Opening this weekend is director Ruben Fleischer’s (Zombieland) Gangster Squad. The movie is set in 1940s Los Angeles and stars Sean Penn as real-life gangster Mickey Cohen, who became the target of special task force known as the “Gangster Squad” made up of Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Peña, and Robert Patrick. The film also stars Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Mireille Enos. For more on the film, be sure to check out our set visit coverage here, and watch six clips.
During the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Josh Brolin. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about what the last few years have been like as he’s been in some high profile movies, how he got involved in Gangster Squad, what changed on set, future projects like Spike Lee’s Oldboy, Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Sean Penn’s Crazy for the Storm, Pitz and Joe, Under and Alone, a possible project with Jessica Chastain, and a lot more. Hit the jump to read.
When it was first announced that an American remake of director Park Chan-wook’s South Korean revenge film Oldboy was in the works, fans were understandably wary of the prospect. Then Spike Lee signed on to direct. If anything can be assumed of a Spike Lee film, it’s that it’s definitely not going to be a commercial cash-in. Lee cares deeply about artistic integrity, so it’s with cautious optimism that his remake of Oldboy is being anticipated.
Steve sat down with star Josh Brolin last weekend to talk about his upcoming crime drama Gangster Squad, and the actor also took some time to discuss Oldboy. During the interview, Brolin talked extensively about how Lee’s Oldboy differs from the original, reaching out to Park Chan-wook for his blessing, the action scenes, and he revealed that Lee shot some extended, improvised takes for Brolin’s scenes in the motel room. The actor also talked a bit about writer/director Jason Reitman’s upcoming adaptation of Labor Day, in which he stars alongside Kate Winslet. Hit the jump for the full comments.
The romantic sports dramedy Backwards, now available on DVD, tells the story of Abi Brooks (Sarah Megan Thomas), who has spent her life trying to win an Olympic rowing medal, only to be named an alternate at the age of 30. Deciding instead to quit the team and move back home, Abi gets a coaching position at her alma mater, where her old boyfriend (James Van Der Beek) is the head of athletics, and struggles to adjust to life off the race course.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor James Van Der Beek talked about what made him want to help tell this story, being a big sports fan himself (even though he knew nothing about rowing, prior to doing Backwards), the challenge of playing a nice guy, how impressed he was with Sarah Megan Thomas (who also wrote and produced the film), and why he typically loves to shoot as many takes as possible. He also talked about the experience of working with Jason Reitman on his next film Labor Day, the success he’s found in playing a highly exaggerated version of himself on the ABC comedy series Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23, being more fearless since having kids, and why he felt the hiatus he took from acting after the end of Dawson’s Creek was necessary. Check out what he had to say after the jump.