Oprah Winfrey Talks Her Career, How THE COLOR PURPLE Changed Her Life, THE BUTLER, Refusing to Do PRISONERS, and More at SBIFF

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Drawing a fully packed house, the 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) presented the prestigious Montecito Award to hometown girl Oprah Winfrey this year, on behalf of her inspirational performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and as a celebration of her overall career.  Collider was there to cover and attend the event, and we’ve compiled the highlights of what she had to say during the Q&A.

While there, Oprah Winfrey, also known as the Queen of All Media, talked about being honored by the town she now resides in, how her experience on The Color Purple changed her life, why it had such deep meaning for her, her crazy journey to get that role, learning how to give herself over to a character, what made you want to get into producing, the disappointment she experienced with Beloved, wanting to only take acting roles in stories that having meaning and matter to her, why she felt she was poorly cast as the voice of Mother Goose in Charlotte’s Web, why she refused to do Prisoners, what made her say yes to The Butler, the types of roles she won’t do, and that she thinks she will do more films.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

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

by     Posted 337 days ago


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 345 days ago


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.

PRISONERS Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 350 days ago


It’s bizarre that Prisoners wasn’t a bigger hit last year.  It was critically acclaimed, then later appeared on numerous Best Of lists, and even my nana liked it.  The star power of Wolverine couldn’t even draw folks into theaters, where it made only $60 million domestically against its $46 million budget.  It’s less than stellar financial performance may have a lot to do with its difficult subject matter, which descends into some truly dark territory.  Escapism, this is not.  Hopefully more people check it out now that it’s available on home video.  Hit the jump for my review of the Warner Bros.’ Prisoners Blu-ray.

Edgar Wright’s Top 20 Movies of 2013 Include GRAVITY, HER, and SPRING BREAKERS

by     Posted 352 days ago


Over the past week or so, we here at Collider have been inundating you with year-end lists.  In addition to personal Top 10s from me, Matt, and Dave, we’ve also run down 2013’s best trailers, posters, movie moments, new TV series, returning TV series, and much more.  Now filmmaker Edgar Wright has chimed in with his own personal “Top 20” of 2013.  The director is plenty busy at the moment prepping to direct Marvel’s Ant-Man (starring Paul Rudd, no less), but he graciously took some time to run down a varied list of films that includes Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Pacific Rim, and Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra.  Hit the jump to take a look at the full batch.


by     Posted 1 year, 2 days ago


Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

National Board of Review Names HER Best Film of the Year; GRAVITY, PRISONERS, and WOLF OF WALL STREET Land in Top 10

by     Posted 1 year, 15 days ago


The critics awards are off and running after the New York Film Critics Circle announced its picks for the best of the year yesterday, and today the National Board of Review has named Her the best picture of 2013.  Spike Jonze was also named Best Director for the film, while the acting honors went to Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), Will Forte (Nebraska), and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station).  Always an eclectic list, the NBR’s Top 10 includes The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, Lone Survivor, and Prisoners.  Wholly absent from the Top 10 is the NYFCC’s pick for Best Film, American Hustle.

The NBR winner for Best Picture has failed to match up with Oscar since 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, as last year’s award went to Zero Dark Thirty, but for the past 13 years every NBR winner has landed a Best Picture nomination, so this bodes well for Her‘s Oscar prospects.  Read the full list of NBR winners after the jump.

Paul Dano Talks 12 YEARS A SLAVE, PRISONERS, Playing Brian Wilson in LOVE & MERCY, WARCRAFT Rumors, His Punchable Face, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 50 days ago


Over the past few years, Paul Dano has established himself as one of the best actors of his generation and someone that can morph into any role.   While most people will immediately remember his work in Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine, he’s also great in Kelly Reichardt’s Meek’s Cutoff, Paul Weitz’s Being Flynn (opposite Robert De Niro), Ruby Sparks, Looper, and many more.   Based on his work in the films I just mentioned, it’s no surprise directors Denis Villeneuve and Steve McQueen wanted him in Prisoners and 12 Years a Slave, respectively, and he delivers some of his best work in both films.

Last week I landed an exclusive interview with Dano.  He talked about how 2013 has been a very good year, working with Villeneuve, Hugh Jackman and Roger Deakins on Prisoners,  McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, getting to play Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy (which was written by Oren Moverman), if he’s involved in Warcraft and/or Akira, future projects, how he’s changed as an actor, what makes his face so punchable, and more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Weekend Box Office: PRISONERS Dominates with $21.4 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 88 days ago

prisoners-hugh-jackman-slicePrisoners took top honors at the domestic box office this weekend, with an estimated $21.4 million from 3,260 locations. That’s a solid debut for the kidnapping drama and just a bit under the $23.8 million that The Town put up on this weekend back in 2010. Meanwhile, the 3D dance pic Battle of the Year stumbled badly, though predictably, and The Wizard of Oz 3D saw the best numbers yet for an IMAX-exclusive re-release.

Title Weekend Total
1.  Prisoners $21,430,000 $21.4
2.  Insidious Chapter Two $14,500,000 $60.8
3.  The Family $7,000,000 $25.6
4.  Instructions Not Included $5,700,000 $34.2
5.  Battle of the Year $5,000,000 $5
6.  We’re The Millers $4,670,000 $138.1
7.  Lee Daniels’ The Butler $4,304,000 $106.4
8.  Riddick $3,672,000 $37.1
9.  The Wizard of Oz IMAX 3D $3,022,000 $3
10.  Planes $2,061,000 $86.5

Friday Box Office: PRISONERS Captures First with $7 Million; BATTLE OF THE YEAR Falls Flat

by     Posted 1 year, 89 days ago


Kidnapping drama Prisoners easily claimed first-place on Friday, with an estimated $7.01 million from 3,260 locations. Backed by solid reviews and a ton of promotional appearances by stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, Prisoners should end its first weekend as expected with just over $20 million. Also new on Friday, Battle of the Year earned an estimated $1.5 million from 2,008 locations. The 3D dance pic is looking at a three-day total of $4.5 million, or less than half what distributor Sony/Screen Gems was hoping for.

Insidious Chapter Two placed second yesterday, down a sizable 77% from its ‘Friday the thirteenth’ debut. Finally, The Wizard of Oz was back in theatres on Friday – with a little something extra. Seventy-four years after its premiere, the 3D re-release of Oz took in a reported $751,000 from 318 IMAX locations and should reach $3 million by Sunday. Check back tomorrow for full details, including updates on the week’s limited releases.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Prisoners $7,010,000 $7
2.  Insidious Chapter Two $4,675,000 $51
3.  The Family $2,090,000 $20.7
4.  Battle of the Year $1,500,000 $1.5
5.  We’re the Millers $1,360,000 $134.8


by     Posted 1 year, 91 days ago


[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Prisoners opens tomorrow.]

There’s enough symbolism and religious themes to give Prisoners some weight. There’s enough curiosity to keep its mystery intriguing. Director Denis Villeneuve does slightly more than expected to keep us interested in its segregated storyline where one hand provides the mystery and the other hand provides some semblance. In between is a film that’s far longer than it needs to be but is supported by Roger Deakins’ striking cinematography and a great cast with a standout performance from Hugh Jackman.

Director Denis Villeneuve Talks PRISONERS, Working with Roger Deakins, His First Three-Hour-Plus Cut, Deleted Scenes, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 92 days ago


Opening this weekend is director Denis Villeneuve‘s (Incendies) Prisoners.  The film stars Hugh Jackman as a working-class father who sets out to track down the man he believes is responsible for kidnapping his daughter and her friend.  Along the way, he runs up against the big city detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) assigned to the case.  The pic, which was shot by cinematographer Roger Deakins, also stars Paul Dano, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Viola Davis.  For more on Prisoners, watch the trailer, five clips, or read Matt’s review

Last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, I landed an extended video interview with Villeneuve.   He talked about making a movie like this within the studio system, his first assembly cut being three-and-a-half hours, deleted scenes, what it was like to work with Roger Deakins, the challenge of balancing the thriller aspect of the story with the character focus and keeping the mystery compelling, and a lot more.  While Hollywood puts out a lot of mediocre movies, this is not one of them.  I definitely recommend checking it out this weekend.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Watch 5 Clips from Denis Villeneuve’s PRISONERS Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano

by     Posted 1 year, 98 days ago


Word out of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival has Hugh Jackman, star of Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, as a potential dark horse in the upcoming Oscar race.  You can read up on Matt’s review of the film here, but we’ve got five clips from the film for you today so that you might better acquaint yourselves with it.  Co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano also feature as a big city detective and a suspect, respectively.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Maria BelloTerrence Howard, and Viola Davis.  Prisoners opens September 20th.

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

by     Posted 1 year, 101 days ago


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.


by     Posted 1 year, 103 days ago


There’s enough symbolism and religious themes to give Prisoners some weight.  There’s enough curiosity to keep its mystery intriguing.  Director Denis Villeneuve does slightly more than expected to keep us interested in its segregated storyline where one hand provides the mystery and the other hand provides some semblance.  In between is a film that’s far longer than it needs to be but is supported by Roger Deakins’ striking cinematography and a great cast with a standout performance from Hugh Jackman.

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