We’ve got a few casting stories to attend to this afternoon. Briefly:
- Meryl Streep has signed on to a small but pivotal role as a historical figure in the feminist movement drama Suffragette starring Carey Mulligan.
- Sir Ben Kingsley has joined the cast of director Anton Corbjn’s drama Life, starring Dane DeHaan as James Dean.
- Paramount has set its sights on its two leads for the big-budget Monster Trucks movie in Jane Levy (Suburgatory) and Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class).
Hit the jump for more on the aforementioned casting.
Wes Anderson has made many good films over the course of his career, but Fantastic Mr. Fox is among his best. The 2009 stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s childrens book is an absolute delight from start to finish, and it’s finally getting a proper Criterion Collection release next week. In anticipation of the Blu-ray/DVD dual format release, Criterion has put together a swell new trailer that offers a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes material that will be included on the Criterion disc. The director-approved release includes the film’s digital master as well as a host of extras, including audio commentary, footage of the actors voicing the characters, an hour-long documentary about Dahl, and much more.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to see the full list of extras included on the Blu-ray, and click here to pre-order the disc. Fantastic Mr. Fox Criterion Collection Blu-ray/DVD will be available starting February 18th.
Producer Harvey Weinstein is not afraid to speak his mind. He did just that on a recent appearance on The Howard Stern Show, (via Washington Times), where he revealed that he and Meryl Streep are working on a project that will take on the National Rifle Association. After making some strong statements against the NRA, Weinstein said, “I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take [gun rights] head-on. And [the NRA is] going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” Weinstein revealed that the project won’t be a documentary, but will instead be a big movie in the vein of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. His vision for the project is for people to leave the theater thinking, “Gun stocks – I don’t want to be involved in that stuff.”
No further details on the project are given, and a timetable is unknown at this point. Streep recently wrapped the big Disney musical Into the Woods and is currently filming the long-awaited childrens book adaptation The Giver.
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.
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.
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 new clip from director John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tracy Letts play August: Osage County has been released online. 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. That pill-popping matriarch is played by Meryl Streep, and this new clip is from focuses on Streep’s character grilling one of her daughters’ (Juliette Lewis) new beau (Dermot Mulroney). It’s a nice tease of what to expect from Streep’s dark portrayal, and it comes in the middle of an extended dinner sequence that acts as the fantastic dramatic centerpiece of the film.
Hit the jump to watch the clip and click here to read Matt’s review from TIFF. The film also stars Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Margot Martindale, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, and Sam Shepard. August: Osage County opens on December 25th.
Director Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) started filming Into the Woods last week in London. Tonight brings our first look at the film with an image of Meryl Streep as The Witch. The Disney musical is full of stars in such flash fairy tale roles. Johnny Depp is The Wolf, Anna Kendrick is Cinderella, and Chris Pine is her prince. James Corden and Emily Blunt play the baker and his wife at the center of the story, on a quest to reverse a curse that keeps them from starting a family. The couple encounter Brothers Grimm fairy tale characters along the way in the feature adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical.
Into the Woods is scheduled for a Christmas 2014 release. See the image after the jump.
Filming is underway in London on director Rob Marshall’s (Chicago) feature film adaptation of James Lapine’s Tony-winning stage musical Into the Woods. The Disney prouduction stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple. Along the way, they run into a number of familiar characters like Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Meryl Streep plays the villainous witch, Johnny Depp is set to portray the Big Bad Wolf, Chris Pine is Cinderella’s prince, and Anna Kendrick steps into the role of Cinderella.
Talented actors and actress from the stage and screen fill out the rest of the cast, and Stephen Sondheim has contributed a new original song to the feature. Lapine penned the screenplay, and the behind-the-scenes team includes legendary costume designer Colleen Atwood. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which runs down every role. Into the Woods opens in theaters December 25, 2014.
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.
Here’s today’s latest casting news:
Hit the jump for more on both films.
Two veteran Academy Award-winners are looking to team up once again. FilmNation Entertainment announced today that Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro are attached to star in the adaptation of author Ann Leary’s bestselling novel The Good House. The darkly comic drama tells the story of Hildy Good (Streep), a New England realtor and alcoholic who strikes up a relationship with an old flame (De Niro) when her new friend Rebecca becomes the subject of the town gossip. Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Cunningham (The Hours) will pen the screenplay for the adaptation, but no director is attached just yet.
Streep will next be seen this fall in the ensemble adaptation August Osage County, while De Niro stars in the actioner The Family, the comedy Last Vegas, and David O. Russell’s American Hustle. Hit the jump to read the press release.