Oscar Beat: The Best Supporting Actress Race At a Glance

by     Posted 6 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.

New THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT Trailer, Poster, and Images Find Shailene Woodley on the Run

by     Posted One week ago

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Summit Entertainment has released a new theatrical trailer for The Divergent Series: Insurgent, the second in what will be a four-film adaptation of author Veronica Roth’s dystopian sci-fi series.  The Divergent sequel finds the principal characters on the run in the fringes of society and searching for answers after breaking open the world as they knew it.  To be honest, I have no earthly idea what the hell is going in in this Insurgent trailer, but this new installment does have come compelling visuals and interesting concepts at play.  Though this is the most stiff I have ever seen the normally vibrant Winslet. 

Watch the new Insurgent trailer, check out a new poster, and new images for the film after the jump.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo JamesAnsel Elgort, Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Daniel Dae Kim, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, and Zoe Kravitz.  The Divergent Series: Insurgent opens on March 20, 2015.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Trailer Has Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts Trying to Reclaim Their Youth by Hanging with Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried

by     Posted 15 days ago

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A24 has released the first While We’re Young trailer online.  Noah Baumbach‘s new film follows a childless married couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) who decide to reclaim their youth by hanging out with a young, hip couple (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried).  I’m not a big Baumbach fan (although I really liked Frances Ha), but when I heard good things about the movie at TIFF, I decided to check it out and it ended up being my favorite movie of the festival.  If it was theatrically released this year, it would easily be in my Top 10 of 2014.  Sadly, I’ll have to wait until 2015 to see it again.

Hit the jump to watch the While We’re Young trailer, and click here to read Phil’s review from TIFF.  The film opens in limited released on March 27, 2015 and expands nationwide in April.  It also stars Charles Grodin, Maria Dizzia, Adam Horovitz, and Ryan Serhant.

Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough Talk BIRDMAN, Reaction to the Finished Film, Working with Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki, and More

by     Posted 30 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of 2014: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of the year and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

At the New York City press day I landed a video interview Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough.  They talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, their reaction to the finished film, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT Trailer: Shailene Woodley Defies Reality and Rides a Flying Building

by     Posted 37 days ago

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When the first film of a franchise scores $152.5 million opening weekend like The Hunger Games, the sequel is basically a guaranteed hit.  Even if the numbers do drop, it’s still bound to take big money to the bank.  On the other hand, the second Divergent film, Insurgent, is going to have its work cut out for it if it’s going to match the first film’s $54.6 million start and justify the studio’s decision to stretch the final book of the trilogy into two films.

I hoped the first bit of promo material from Insurgent would be something to ease fans back into the world and possibly even pull in newcomers. However, not only does this teaser trailer feel nothing like the original film, but it’s also highly unlikely that anyone who isn’t familiar with the first film or the books will have any idea of what’s going on.  Hit the jump to check out the Divergent Series: Insurgent trailer for yourself.  The film stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate WinsletOctavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz, Daniel Dae Kim, and Suki WaterhouseThe Divergent Series: Insurgent opens in theaters on March 20, 2015.

BIRDMAN Review | NYFF 2014

by     Posted 68 days ago

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You would think that one movie that blurs the line between reality and fiction to convey the challenges of being an actor would be enough for one week, but Birdman is just as absorbing as Clouds of Sils Maria and also offers up a totally unique experience.  It’s neat that Michael Keaton portrays a former superhero movie star after having played Batman himself and the one-shot shooting style is an absolutely astounding technical achievement, but the best part is that both are used in ways that serve the story, not as alluring gimmicks.  If it were the other way around, Edward Norton’s Mike Shiner wouldn’t approve of it.

9 New BIRDMAN Images Fly Online Featuring Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone

by     Posted 84 days ago

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Now that the year is winding down, there are only a handful of movies I can’t wait to see, and Birdman is near the top of the list.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ambitious black comedy, which was made to look like one long shot, stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Nine new Birdman images have been released, and looking at the diversity of the images, I have no idea how they can be connected by one shot, but I can’t wait to find out.  The movie has picked up rave reviews at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, and we’ll be hearing word out of the New York Film Festival soon.

Hit the jump to check out the new Birdman images.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens in select theaters on October 17th.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 102 days ago

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Film festivals are a good time to sample the latest work of Noah Baumbach.  The caustic comedic filmmaker’s work can feel a bit nasty when held up against the tripe that often qualifies as mainstream comedy.  Shove it in amidst a series of screenings of art house exports, documentaries, and Oscar bait and suddenly it doesn’t feel so odd.  Baumbach’s work tends to be at it’s best when he’s at his most visious and uncompromising.  His newest film While We’re Young is a bit softer than much of his work, which is mildly disappointing.  Thankfully, Baumbach playing nice is still harsher than 95% of comedies and this flick features easily one of his funniest scripts.  Hit the jump for all the dirty deets.

ST. VINCENT Images Show Off Bill Murray’s Unusual Babysitting Techniques

by     Posted 120 days ago

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Theodore Melfi’s feature directorial debut, St. Vincent, is just about two weeks away from making its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  We’ve already got a trailer and a small handful of images, but now there’s three more stills from the film to go along with them.

St. Vincent features Bill Murray as Vincent, Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) and Oliver’s (Jaeden Lieberher) retired neighbor with a drinking problem, bad attitude and no money in his bank account.  When Maggie gets stuck working long hours, she lets Vincent watch Oliver while she’s gone, giving him a chance to make a quick buck.  Hit the jump to check out those new stills to get a sense of what babysitting means to Vincent.  The film also stars Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts.  It’s set to screen at TIFF on September 5th and will begin its theatrical run on October 14th.

Production Begins on Gus Van Sant’s SEA OF TREES Starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts

by     Posted 142 days ago

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“The McConaissance” continues as Gus Van Sant’s new project Sea of Trees starts shooting today.  As you may have guessed, the film stars Matthew McConaughey as well as Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts.  Penned by Chris Sparling, the story follows a man who enters the “Suicidal Forest” at Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life.  When he is interrupted by a Japanese man who is having second thoughts about his own suicide, the two “begin a journey of reflection and survival.”

This sounds exactly like the kind of film I feel Van Sant should be doing and it makes me glad that 50 Shades of Grey dalliance ended for him when it did.  Hit the jump for the full press release on Sea of Trees starting up.  The film will shoot on location in Massachusetts and Japan with no release date set as-of-yet.

First Images From WHILE WE’RE YOUNG, COMING HOME, FORCE MAJEURE, and A SECOND CHANCE

by     Posted 150 days ago

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Earlier today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced additions to their Galas and Special Presentations programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • While We’re Young (Directed by Noah Baumbach) starring Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried and Charles Grodin.
  • Force Majeure (Directed by Ruben Östlund) starring Johannes Bah Kuhnke, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Clara Wettergren, Vincent Wettergren, Kristofer Hivju and Fanni Metelius.
  • Coming Home (Directed by Zhang Yimou) starring Chen Daoming and Gong Li.
  • A Second Chance (Directed by Susanne Bier) starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lykke May Andersen.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4th-14th.

Matthew McConaughey May Be THE COMPANY MAN; Four More for Spielberg & Hank’s UNTITLED COLD WAR THRILLER; Naomi Watts Joins DEMOLITION

by     Posted 151 days ago

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A few casting items crept up in today’s second half.  In short:

  • Mathew McConaughey is said to be in talks to join The Company Man.  The former Black List script is currently looking for a director.
  • Amy Ryan, Eve Hewson, Alan Alda and Billy Magnussen look to be joining Steven Spielberg’s Untitled Cold War Thriller starring Tom Hanks.
  • Speaking of talks, Naomi Watts is apparently in them to join Jake Gyllenhaal in Demolition, the new picture from Dallas Buyers Club-director Jean-Marc Vallée.

Hit the jump for more on each announcement.

BIRDMAN, Starring Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, to Open the Venice Film Festival; Early Awards Contender

by     Posted 162 days ago

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Alejandro González Iñárritu’s new film Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, will be the opening film of the 71st Annual Venice Film Festival.  This move obviously conveys a high amount of confidence in the film not only on the part of the Fest, but on behalf of distributor Fox Searchlight as well.  So far everything bodes well for what looks to be a truly original work.

Hit the jump for more on Birdman opening the Venice Film Festival.  The film also stars Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman (aka The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) opens October 17th. And if you haven’t checked out the trailer, please do so. It’s wonderful. 

ST. VINCENT Trailer: Bill Murray Makes an Unlikely Friend

by     Posted 171 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first St. Vincent trailer for writer/director Theodore Melfi’s upcoming dramedy.  Bill Murray stars as a curmudgeonly, misanthropic veteran who begrudgingly agrees to look after his divorced neighbor’s (Melissa McCarthy) young boy while she’s at work, making an unlikely new friend in the process.  The film looks like a solid vehicle for Murray to do his thing, and I’m definitely interested in seeing how McCarthy handles a more dramatic role.  The pic was a heavily sought-after item in development, and with a fall release date, it’s possible The Weinstein Company could be going after some awards love for Murray and/or McCarthy.

Hit the jump to watch the first St. Vincent trailer.  The film opens in theaters on October 14th and also stars Chris O’Dowd and Naomi Watts.

New BIRDMAN Images Hint at Epic Fight between Michael Keaton and Edward Norton and More

by     Posted 182 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released five new Birdman images.  Michael Keaton plays Riggin Thomson an actor, who once played an iconic superhero, and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway production of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love in a bid to reclaim past glory.  Edward Norton co-stars as an actor in the play and Emma Stone plays Thomson’s daughter.  Birdman is already one of my most-anticipated films for the remainder of 2014, and these images (the one with Keaton and Norton preparing to fight, in particular) make me want to see the movie even more.

Hit the jump to check out the Birdman images, and in case you haven’t seen the great teaser trailer, click here.  The film also stars Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, and Amy RyanBirdman opens October 17th.

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