My expectations for True Detective are becoming unfair. I have to keep telling myself that there are plenty of serial killer shows on TV right now, and just because this one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey and is directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be good. But then I see these ominous teaser trailers and I can’t help but be intrigued because this looks like it will be like nothing else on television. The framing device is two detectives (played by Harrelson and McConaughey) investigating a serial killer and then talking about it seventeen years later. These new teasers provide a better look at the main characters, and once again convey the show’s unsettling vibe.
Hit the jump to check out the teasers. True Detective premieres January 12th on HBO at 9/8c.
The Gotham Awards, established to honor the best in independent film, have announced the 2013 winners. The Coen Brothers‘s Inside Llewyn Davis won Best Picture. Matthew McConaughey took home Best Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson beat out prohibitive Oscar favorite Cate Blanchett for Best Actress. Fruitvale Station dominated the “breakthrough” categories: Ryan Coogler won Breakthrough Director for his first feature and star Michael B. Jordan won Breakthrough Actor. The Act of Killing rounds out the awards with a win for Best Documentary.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominees and winners.
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.
HBO has released a new trailer for its upcoming anthology series True Detective. Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), the eight-episode event stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. While the previous teasers have been excellent mood pieces, this new trailer delves a bit more into the intriguing plot while continuing to promise a pair of swell performances from the lead actors.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. True Detective premiered Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c.
In the last few months of covering this year’s awards race, it’s become very clear that the 2014 Oscars are going to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nowhere is this more clear than in the Best Actor category, which already seems to have congealed into a solid list of five extremely likely candidates with a number of others waiting in the wings to play the spoiler. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the race starts to firm up, now seems like a good time to start taking a closer look at the individual categories in the 2014 Oscar race.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we begin with the Best Actor category, which will see a couple of acting legends challenging the rise of McConaughey, powerful performances depicting historically important characters, Leo, and more. Read on after the jump.
Now playing in theaters is Jean-Marc Vallée’s drama Dallas Buyers Club. Based on a true story, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as a Texas electrician who, after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other patients, along with his business partner, a transgender AIDS patient brilliantly played by Jared Leto. While I’ve seen a lot of great performances this year, McConaughey and Leto are at the top of the list. Both give the film their heart and soul and they will both be rewarded with nominations during award season. Dallas Buyers Club is not to be missed. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O’Neill, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, and Kevin Rankin.
During the Toronto press day for the film, I was able to speak with McConaughey. He talked about trying to make the film for 16 years, financing problems, how eight days before shooting they still didn’t have the money, working with Jared Leto, what it’s been like working with Christopher Nolan on Interstellar, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Although I hate to naysay, I’ve gone on record several times with my lack of excitement for the upcoming RoboCop remake (here’s one example although I’m sure there are more). This past week MGM and Sony released the new trailer for the film and while I think the cast has the potential to be great, in general the movie just keeps digging itself into a bigger hole with every bit of new footage that I see. Whereas Paul Verhoeven‘s original was laced with social critique that was often ahead of its time if not at least skillfully deployed, this latest trailer goes out of its way to show that it too has something to say about social issues with on the nose references to the idea of using American resources to promote peace abroad rather than at home and the invasive nature of corporate marketing/branding. You keep up with current affairs, we get it. Speaking of marketing, probably my biggest beef with this latest cut comes in its final seconds when it shows RoboCop making a grandiose landing that essentially says “You guys liked the Iron Man movies, right?! You should definitely check this out then because it has a guy in a futuristic suit too!”. Thanks but no thanks, MGM and Sony.
Now that I’ve levied more criticism on a 2:30 trailer than is likely fair, let’s move on to something more positive. This week’s Top 5 features Thor: The Dark World interviews with Tom Hiddleston and more, Dallas Buyers Club interviews with the likes of Jared Leto, the news that Marvel will bring live-action series to Netflix featuring Daredevil and others, a recap of Steve’s 47 Ronin set visit, and a farewell to the once massive video rental chain, Blockbuster Video. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
Matthew McConaughey delivers a riveting performance in Dallas Buyers Club portraying the real-life Ron Woodruff, a homophobic Rodeo cowboy and electrician who suddenly, incredibly found himself on the front lines of the AIDS pandemic. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee from a screenplay by Craig Borten based on true events, the film chronicles how Woodruff received a death sentence but defied the odds by fighting for survival and making discoveries that changed him and helped him inspire others. Opening November 1st, the compelling drama also stars Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto.
At our roundtable interview, McConaughey talked about having the opportunity to play several wonderful and very different roles recently in Magic Mike, Mud and Dallas Buyers Club, how he approached his portrayal of Woodruff as an imperfect man facing impending mortality whose self-interest is galvanized into something much more, how the script evolved during production, the accelerated shooting schedule, his research and preparation for the role, the surprising discoveries he made while reading Woodruff’s personal diary, how his dramatic weight loss helped him focus, and what he has coming up next including Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and his new HBO’s dramatic series True Detective with Woody Harrelson. Hit the jump to read the interview.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Dallas Buyers Club opens today in limited release.]
In the early 1990s America was finally beginning to understand the AIDS epidemic, and realizing it affected more than homosexuals. Films such as Philadelphia and plays such as Angels in America began dealing with the subject manner in a serious, upright, careful manner. AIDS was physically devastating, the human cost was visible, and this art could make the pain tangible but had to so with a delicate touch. The stakes were too high and the American public’s understanding was too fragile. But the people who helped combat HIV, the people in the trenches, were rebels. They didn’t fit into the neat, clean box mainstream culture was hoping to present. But now that AIDS has become manageable, the rebels are getting their due, and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club celebrates the charming, irritating, uncouth Ron Woodroof through a narrative that occasionally punches with kid gloves, but always lands a hit thanks to the stellar performances from stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Paramount Pictures has released a new trailer for director Martin Scorsese‘s new film The Wolf of Wall Street, and it’s fantastic. Based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, the stranger-than-fiction pic stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a hard-partying, drug-addicted stockbroker who was indicted in 1998 for security fraud and money laundering and served a 22-month federal prison stretch. Whereas the film’s first trailer was more of a tone piece (a batshit crazy tone, but a tone nonetheless), this more traditional trailer lays out the film’s plot as we follow Belfort’s rise to power and struggle to stay on top. The highlight here is the chemistry between DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, which is brilliant. The two play off of each other extremely well, and just when I thought it wasn’t possible for me to be more excited about Scorsese’s return to dark comedy territory, this trailer has ramped up my anticipation even more.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Kyle Chandler, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, Margot Robbie, Jon Bernthal, and Rob Reiner. The Wolf of Wall Street opens on December 25th.
Focus Features has released a new featurette for director Jean-Marc Vallée’s upcoming drama Dallas Buyers Club. Based on a true story, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as Texas electrician Ron Woodroof who, after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other patients. The featurette does a nice job of showcasing the excellent performances by McConaughey and Jared Leto while also delving into Woodroof’s life story. I caught the film at TIFF and it’s an emotional look at the AIDS epidemic from a fascinating point of view. Expect to see McConaughey and Leto as major players in this year’s awards race.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette and click here to read Matt’s review. The film also stars Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, and Steve Zahn. Dallas Buyers Club opens in limited released on November 1st.
HBO has released a new trailer, clips, and poster for their upcoming “elevate serial narrative”, True Detective. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. Judging by this trailer, the show is going to be ridiculously dark with not only the criminal’s deeds, but the deeply messed up detectives trying to solve the case. HBO is known for their edgy programming, but this looks unlike anything they’ve done before.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer, clips, and poster. True Detective premieres Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c.
In celebration of Focus Features’ latest release, Dallas Buyers Club, we’re happy to be hosting a giveaway. Two lucky winners will take home a $50 Visa card and a Focus Features Blu-ray set including Pride & Prejudice, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Milk and Brokeback Mountain. Be sure to check out Matt’s TIFF 2013 review of the film here.
Dallas Buyers Club opens in select theaters November 1st and stars Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, Steve Zahn, Michael O’Neill, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Kevin Rankin, and Jared Leto. Hit the jump to see how you can win some swag.
HBO has announced premiere dates for three anticipated series this coming January.
- True Detective – The limited series True Detective will debut on Sunday, January 12th at 9/8c. The eight-episode show stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), directed all eight episodes. Watch the excellent trailer here.
- Girls – Season three of Girls will premiere on Sunday, January 12th with two back-to-back episodes starting at 10/9c. The show stars Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, and Alex Karpovsky.
- Looking – The new half-hour gay dramedy series Looking will debut on Sunday, January 19th. From Weekend director Andrew Haigh, the show stars Jonathan Groff and revolves around three friends in San Francisco who explore the fun and sometimes overwhelming options available to a new generation of gay men.
Hit the jump to check out first-look images and synopses for all three series.
HBO’s True Detective is one my most-anticipated TV shows. Per our previous description of the unique series, “Directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), the series is described as an “elevated serial narrative” that uses multiple perspectives and time frames. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star as two detectives whose lives collide and entwine during a seventeen-year hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana. The investigation of a bizarre murder in 1995 is framed and interlaced with testimony from the detectives in 2012, when the case has been reopened. The show is envisioned as an anthology, and these first eight episodes will tell a complete story involving McConaughey and Harrelson’s characters.” What I like about these teasers is that they’re not really selling the marquee stars. They’re selling the tone, and it’s a tone that looks excitingly off-kilter.
Hit the jump to check out the teasers. True Detective premieres in January 2014.