New to Blu-ray: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, RIDE ALONG, REALITY BITES: 20th Anniversary Edition, and More

by     Posted 100 days ago

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include two directorial projects from Ben Stiller (one from 1994 and one from 2013), a recent Best Picture Oscar nominee, a surprise comedy hit, a directorial effort from Sam Rockwell, and more.  Briefly:

12 YEARS A SLAVE Named Best Film at BAFTA Awards; GRAVITY Wins Best Director and Best British Film

by     Posted 158 days ago

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts handed out its awards this evening, and while the BAFTAs have increasingly become a solid bellwether of how the Oscars will vote, tonight’s tallies do little to settle the virtual tie between Gravity and 12 Years a SlaveGravity won the most awards of the night with six, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Best British Film, but 12 Years a Slave took the top honors as Best Film as well as Best Actor for Chiwetel EjioforAmerican Hustle also had a fairly strong showing with three awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence over 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’Oone of this year’s toughest categories.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and to catch up on our awards coverage be sure to take a look at our running Oscar Beat column.

Best Picture Nominee Posters Recreated in LEGO Form

by     Posted 161 days ago

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The LEGO Movie was massive hit with both audiences and critics when it opened last weekend, and deservingly so given that the film is an absolute joy to take in.  I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t make the Best Animated Feature shortlist for next year’s Oscars, but before we start talking about the 2015 ceremony, we’ve got this year’s Academy Awards to take care of.  In a bit of zeitgeist synergy, the posters for all nine of this year’s Best Picture nominees have been recreated in LEGO form, making for a pretty amusing series of one-sheets.  It’s shaping up to be one of the closest Best Picture races in years, with Gravity and 12 Years a Slave in a virtual tie for first and American Hustle playing the very possible spoiler.  We’ve still got a few weeks to go before the awards season comes to a close, but for now take some delight in seeing LEGO-fied versions of the nominees, complete with American Hustle’s plunging necklines.

Hit the jump to take a look at some of the posters.  The 2014 Oscars will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres on Sunday, March 2nd.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 189 days ago

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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 HanksHer, 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.]

3-Way Tie Leads to Seven Nominations from Cinematographers Society; Costume Designer Guild Nominates Braless Wonder AMERICAN HUSTLE

by     Posted 197 days ago

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The major guilds have all chimed in with their nominees, and as Adam has pointed out in his Oscar Beat column, this gives us a clearer picture of who might be getting Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week.  But it’s important to remember that guilds usually share members with the Academy, and now the American Society of Cinematographers and the Costume Designers Guild have chimed in with their nominees.

If you need proof that 2013 featured some beautifully shot pictures, the ASC ended up nominating seven films instead of five because there was a three-way tie.  As for the costume designers, the plunging necklines of American Hustle earned a nomination as did the also-glamorous The Great Gatsby.  I’m also pleased with the nomination for Her.  One of the things I noticed on my third viewing was the subtle way that designer Casey Storm provided a “futuristic” fashion by having the men wear high wool pants and button the top button of collared shirts.  It’s just another nice touch to a great movie.  Hit the jump for a full list of the nominees from both guilds.

BAFTA Nominations Announced; GRAVITY Leads with 11; AMERICAN HUSTLE and 12 YEARS A SLAVE Follow with 10

by     Posted 197 days ago

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Next week, the Academy will announce the Oscar nominations, but today we have the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) handing out their nods.  Gravity led the pack with 11 nominations including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), and Best Actress (Sandra Bullock).  Close behind were 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle, which also picked up Best Film nominations.  Additionally, American Hustle was nominated in all of the acting categories with Christian Bale for Best Actor, Amy Adams for Best Actress, Bradley Cooper for Best Supporting Actor, and Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress.  Additionally, because Behind the Candelabra was a theatrical release in the U.K., it earned five nominations including Best Supporting Actor (Matt Damon) and Best Adapted Screenplay.  Finally, the Best Director nominees lined up perfectly with yesterday’s DGA nominations.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  The winners will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 16th.

Oscar Beat: Best Picture – 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GRAVITY, and Everything In Between

by     Posted 214 days ago

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We launched our awards column Oscar Beat earlier this fall, and over the past month or so we’ve been taking an in-depth look at some of the individual Oscar races: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.  With the holidays approaching and the Oscar nominations poised to be announced in just under a month, now feels like a good time to survey the Best Picture category.  The critics continue to weigh in, and while 12 Years a Slave currently leads with the most “Best Film” wins, the results have surprisingly been a bit all over the place as Gravity, Her, and American Hustle received top honors as well.

Hit the jump to read on as I take a look at the current state of the Best Picture race in this edition of Oscar Beat.

71st Golden Globes Award Nominees Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE and AMERICAN HUSTLE Lead with 7 Nominations Each

by     Posted 224 days ago

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The 71st Golden Globes Awards nominations have been announced, and while the show isn’t much of a barometer in terms of how the Academy will vote, it’s still another marker on the awards race.  12 Years a Slave continues to be the favorite, earning seven nominations including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director (Steve McQueen) Best Screenplay (John Ridley), Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer), Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), and Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o).  However, American Hustle managed to match the number of nominations, and I’m sure Adam will be able to say in Oscar Beat how much that changes the awards race.  Looking solely at the Golden Globes, I have to say there aren’t really any big surprises both in terms of nominees and snubs.  Some people gained some heat, and others lost a little bit of it, but I don’t see anything that’s going to significantly alter the awards conversation.

Hit the jump for the full list of nominees, including those for television.   Winners will be announced on January 12, 2014 at the televised ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race – Can Anyone Beat Blanchett?

by     Posted 243 days ago

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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.

British Independent Film Award Nominations Announced; STARRED UP Leads with 8 Nominations

by     Posted 255 days ago

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The nominations for the 16th annual Moet British Independent Film Awards were announced today, and David Mackenzie‘s Starred Up led the pack with eight including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Jack O’Connell), and two Best Supporting Actor nominations (Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend).  I haven’t seen many of the other contenders, but I caught Starred Up at TIFF, and it absolutely deserves any acclaim it receives, especially for O’Connell.

Other notable nominees included possible Oscar contenders Blue Jasmine (Best International Film) and Judi Dench for Philomena (Best Actress).  It’s a good collection of nominations, but if I had to note some absences, I would point out that The Double deserved some more love (Mia Wasikowska was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, so the film was eligible).  Also, I don’t know if Dom Hemingway was eligible, but if so, ignoring Jude Law for Best Actor is criminal.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 8th.

AFI Fest Adds AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, JODOROWSKY’S DUNE, THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, HER, LONE SURVIVOR, and More

by     Posted 280 days ago

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American Film Institute’s annual festival, AFI Fest, is setting up to be damned impressive.  Although they were set to host the world premiere of Foxcatcher, the movie was delayed until 2014.  However, as we previously reported, they’ve found a strong replacement with Out of the Furnace.  They’re also hosting the North American premiere of Saving Mr. Banks as the festival opener.  Today, they’ve announced additional films to their “Centerpiece Galas and Special Screenings” line-up.  The festival will include August: Osage County, The Last Emperor 3D, Her, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Philomena, The Unknown Known, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the world premiere of Peter Berg‘s Lone Survivor.  When you throw in the previously announced Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska, you have an absolutely killer line-up and a chance for folks in Los Angeles to get a jump on some likely awards contenders.

Hit the jump for the press release and to find out how you can attend.  AFI Fest 2013 runs from November 7 – 14th.

PHILOMENA Set for November 22nd Release, ST. VINCENT Dated for April 11, 2014, and GRACE OF MONACO Pushed to March 13, 2014

by     Posted 297 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has announced a trio of release date shifts.

  • Philomena – Director Stephen Frears’ pleasantly surprising comedic drama will now open in US theaters on November 22nd.  Judi Dench stars as a woman who, with the help of a BBC journalist (Steve Coogan) sets out to find the child she was forced to abandon.  Read my review from TIFF here.
  • St. Vincent – The Bill Murray/Melissa McCarthy dramedy will open in theaters on April 11, 2014 opposite the Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner Sabotage and the animated film Rio 2.  Murray stars as an alcoholic war veteran who befriends his 12-year-old neighbor.
  • Grace of Monaco – The biopic starring Nicole Kidman has been pushed out of this year’s awards contention and dated for March 14, 2014, where it will open opposite Need for Speed and the comedy Walk of Shame.

New US Trailer for PHILOMENA Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

by     Posted 299 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the US theatrical trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) upcoming comedic drama Philomena.  Based on a true story, the film centers on Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), an Irish woman seeking the illegitimate son she was forced to put up for adoption.  Steve Coogan plays former BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, who aided Lee in the search for her son.  I caught the film at TIFF and it’s much less “gooey” than this trailer would suggest, but the trailer does do a nice job of showcasing Dench’s wonderful performance as the titular Philomena, even if it does verge on giving away too much of the story.  Dench and Coogan make a truly great comedic duo, and the film is surprisingly thoughtful despite its Lifetime Movie-esque premise.  Honestly, it’s one of the more pleasantly surprising films I’ve seen this year and will like put Dench in the Best Actress race.  Read my full review here.

Hit the jump to watch the theatrical trailer.  The film also stars Michelle Fairley, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, and Charles EdwardsPhilomena opens in the US in limited release on Christmas Day and expands nationwide on January 10th.

TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Review

by     Posted 315 days ago

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Steve Coogan and Judi Dench might not immediately jump out to most viewers as an obvious big screen dream team, but director Stephen Frears somehow saw a peanut butter and chocolate combination in the two legendary Brits and brought them together for a bittersweet dramedy (what else?) called Philomena. Mixing remorseful tragedy for Dench and sardonic a-hole comedy for Coogan, the film is an interesting combination and works fairly well. Sure, it’s not perfect. But really, what else could you expect from a clash of screen personalities this unexpected and diametrically opposed? Hit the jump for all the diddy-details. 

Oscar Beat TIFF 2013: PHILOMENA Launches Judi Dench into Best Actress Race; Hugh Jackman Shines in PRISONERS

by     Posted 318 days ago

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As the first weekend of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival heads toward a close, we’ve already seen a number of serious Oscar contenders emerge.  While 12 Years a Slave and Gravity will certainly be heavy hitters in a number of categories, there are a couple of other TIFF films that could nab just one or two nods comes Oscar time.  Judi Dench’s wonderful turn in the pleasantly surprising drama Philomena may very well put her back in the Best Actress race, and Hugh Jackman’s strong performance in the taut thriller Prisoners has a slight possibility of landing him a second Best Actor nomination.

Hit the jump for my rundown of the Oscar prospects of Philomena and Prisoners in this special TIFF edition of Oscar Beat.

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