THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and BIRDMAN Lead Critics Choice Awards Nominations

by     Posted 6 days ago

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Individual critics groups are starting to weigh in with their picks for the very best of the year, and now the largest group of critics has unveiled its list of nominees for the 20th Critics Choice Movie Awards.  Made up of members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Critics Choice Awards recognize films and performances from all genres, with separate categories for Comedy, Action, etc.  Leading the pack in terms of quantity is Birdman with 13 nominations, followed by The Grand Budapest Hotel which raked in 11 nominations including Ralph Fiennes for Best Actor.  The brilliant Selma also fared well with 6 nods overall, and Unbroken rebounded a bit after being shut out of SAG and the Golden Globes with 6 nominations.  Additionally, you’ll find plenty of love for Guardians of the Galaxy and Edge of Tomorrow in the Action categories.

Check out the full list of nominees after the jump.  The 2015 Critics Choice Movie Awards will be telecast live on A&E on January 15th.

New INHERENT VICE Trailer Cuts through the Paranoia to Clarify the Plot; Film Screening in Select Cities This Saturday

by     Posted 12 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new Inherent Vice trailer, and while it doesn’t play up the comedy as much as the previous trailer, it does provide a more straightforward view of the film, or at least as straightforward as a Paul Thomas Anderson movie can be.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello, a pot-smoking private eye who agrees to help an ex (Katherine Waterson) track down her new lover, real estate tycoon Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), and runs into a number of curious characters in the process.  This trailer highlights other plot points like the involvement of the Golden Fang as well as how the setting factors into the themes.  However, it doesn’t provide much in the way of the movie’s tone, which, admittedly, is harder to pin down in the span of less than two minutes.

Hit the jump to check out the new Inherent Vice trailer.  The film opens in limited release on December 12th before going wide on January 9th, and also stars Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse, Joanna Newsom, and more.  Click here to check out six clips from the movie, and click here to find out if there’s an advanced screening in your area.

Check out Six INHERENT VICE Clips Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, and Owen Wilson

by     Posted 14 days ago

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Warner Bros. has releases six new Inherent Vice clips.  Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest stars Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello, a pot-smoking private eye who agrees to help an ex (Katherine Waterson) track down her new lover, real estate tycoon Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), and runs into a number of curious characters in the process.

Hit the jump to check out the Inherent Vice clips.  The film opens in limited release on December 12th before going wide on January 9th, and also stars Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse, Joanna Newsom, and more.

Over 45 New INHERENT VICE Images Featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson and More

by     Posted 16 days ago

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Inherent Vice’s December 12th limited release is just a week away now, so Warner Bros. just unveiled a slew of brand new images from the film.  Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest stars Joaquin Phoenix as Doc Sportello, a pot-smoking private eye who agrees to help an ex (Katherine Waterson) track down her new lover, real estate tycoon Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), and runs into a number of curious characters in the process.

Hit the jump to check out all the new Inherent Vice images featuring Phoenix, Waterston, Roberts, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse, Joanna Newsom and more.  Inherent Vice will open nationalwide on January 9th.

Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Author Cheryl Strayed Talk WILD, Reaction to the Script, How It’s a Universal Tale, and More

by     Posted 18 days ago

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Wild, director Jean-Marc Vallee’s impressive follow-up to last year’s Dallas Buyer’s Club is a compelling film about determination, rebirth and taking the road less traveled featuring a fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon and a strong supporting turn by Laura Dern.  Inspired by a true story of personal triumph, Nick Hornby’s script and Witherspoon’s portrayal of Cheryl Strayed and her 1,100 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail are refreshing in the way they never play into stereotypes.  Wild opens today in New York and Los Angeles and additional select cities on December 5th.

At the film’s recent press day, I sat down with Witherspoon, Dern ,and Strayed who talked about their reaction when they first read the script, how they felt lucky to be part of the world Strayed created in her novel, what they think makes the film so fresh and compelling, how it’s a universal and timeless tale about a transformative journey that’s been told throughout human existence, Reese and Laura’s personal version of Cheryl’s epic trek, Witherspoon’s upcoming comedy with Sofia Vergara and Dern’s new drama, 99 HomesCheck out our interview after the jump.

WILD Review

by     Posted 18 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my Wild review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  The movie opens in limited release today.]

Perseverance is easier said than done.  We all understand that if we can just get through this, push a little harder, fight through the pain, then we will more than likely come out on the other side better off than we were before.  But it is so easy to stop trying.  Laze seems to be some kind of natural instinct that takes over and tells us to just give up and accept our life as it is.  Director Jean-Marc Vallée follows up last year’s Dallas Buyers Club with a much more solitary drama in Wild, which recounts author Cheryl Strayed’s three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace.  That’s a trite enough premise, but through Vallée’s confident, dynamic direction and a truly fearless lead performance by Reese Witherspoon, Wild turns out to be an honest, surprising, and unabashedly feminist chronicle of determination and rebirth. 

Watch Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette, and More in 50-Minute Roundtable Discussion

by     Posted 24 days ago

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As many are spending the Thanksgiving holiday with relatives, some may find they need a breather or two.  Luckily, THR has released a new roundtable interview from its Oscar series that makes for a fascinating and entertaining watch.  This 50-minute discussion involves a group of actresses that are in the mix for awards consideration this year: Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Hilary Swank (The Homesman), and Laura Dern (Wild).  The resulting video is a candid talk that touches on topics like the pressure of playing real people, the uncomfortableness of sex scenes, and more.  It’s well worth a watch.

Check out the actress roundtable video after the jump, and be sure to check out the writers roundtable if you missed it.  For more on the current state of the Best Actress Oscar race, peruse my recent Best Actress edition of Oscar Beat.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon to Star in Limited Series BIG LITTLE LIES from David E. Kelley

by     Posted 26 days ago

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It’s no secret that the “limited series” (ie. a fancy new word for miniseries) is now one of the most popular trends in television.  Telling a close-ended story over a short amount of episodes not only allows the material to remain creatively fresh and satisfying, but the relatively short time commitment allows for bigger actors to make the move to TV.  True Detective did it, Fargo did it, and now a pair of high-profile actresses are taking the limited series dive.  Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are poised to lead a limited series adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s book Big Little Lies with veteran TV producer David E. Kelley set to pen the script.  More after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actress Race at a Glance

by     Posted 38 days ago

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Every year it seems like Oscars’ Best Actor category is crowded, while the number of contenders for the Best Actress trophy feels relatively thin.  It’s a result of the sad fact that there just aren’t as many interesting lead roles for women in Hollywood as there are for men; many times the “female lead” is relegated to existing only in relation to the film’s male lead.  It’s disappointing to be sure, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any noteworthy female roles out there, and this year’s Best Actress race is an excellent showcase of both talent and range, from brilliant sociopaths to Alzheimer’s patients.

After the jump, I take a look at the current state of the Best Actress Oscar category in this new edition of Oscar Beat.

Reese Witherspoon Gets Mistaken for a Hobo in Excellent New WILD Clip

by     Posted 39 days ago

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Fox Searchlight has released a new Wild clip from director Jean-Marc Vallée’s (Dallas Buyers Club) upcoming drama, and it’s a fantastic representation of the film as a whole.  Based on the Cheryl Strayed memoir of the same name (adapted by Nick Hornby), Reese Witherspoon stars as a woman who attempts a three-month long hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, during which she reflects on past mistakes and hardships, and struggles to find some inner peace.  While the premise may sound trite and predictable, the film is anything but.  It’s funny, surprising, and emotionally affecting, and Witherspoon gives quite possibly the best performance of her career.  This new clip comes from a scene in which Witherspoon’s character gets mistaken for a hobo and responds in sharp fashion.  Again, I highly recommend seeing the film when it comes to a theater near you; it’s one of my favorites of the year.

Check out the new Wild clip after the jump, and click here to read my full review from TIFF.  The film also stars Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Kevin Rankin, W. Earl Brown, Mo McRae, and Keene McRaeWild opens in theaters on December 5th.

WILD Clip: Reese Witherspoon Really Needs Some Potato Chips and a Snapple

by     Posted 41 days ago

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Ready to get a taste of a possible Oscar-worthy performance?  Fox Searchlight just unveiled the very first clip from Jean-Marc Vallée’s Wild.  The film is based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which chronicles her 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the border of Washington State while revealing what sparked the need to make the lengthy journey along the way.  In a TIFF edition of Oscar Beat, Adam dubbed Witherspoon’s work in the film “her best performance to date.”

This new Wild clip doesn’t really have “Academy Award” written all over it, but it is a charming scenario and Witherspoon does make a convincing plea for chips and a lemonade Snapple upon her arrival at the very first stop on her 1,100-mile trek, Kennedy Meadows.  Hit the jump to check it out for yourself.  Wild arrives in select theaters on December 5th and also stars Laura DernMichiel HuismanGaby HoffmanThomas Sadoski and Kevin Rankin.

Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, Sarah Paker, Writer Margaret Nagle, and Producers Talk THE GOOD LIE

by     Posted 83 days ago

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The Good Lie is an inspiring film about love, survival and triumph over adversity and a powerful reminder of what’s really important in life.  Philippe Falardeau directs the moving story of “The Lost Boys” who were uprooted by the brutal Sudanese Civil War that lasted from 1983 to 2005.  Young orphans of war, both boys and girls, trekked thousands of miles on foot through hostile, treacherous terrain to escape the violence and find safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 of them from Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp to America.  The entertaining drama stars Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, Corey Stoll, Kuoth Wiel, and Sarah Baker.

At a recent press conference in Nashville, Witherspoon, Oceng, Duany, Wiel, Stoll, Baker, screenwriter Margaret Nagle, producers Molly Smith, Thad Luckinbill and Trent Luckinbill, and UNICEF’s Kent Page talked about the importance of telling the story with integrity, Nagle’s exhaustive research, the lengthy development process, the struggle for financing, finding the right cast for the film’s central roles, how the part of Carrie was written with Witherspoon in mind, why they chose not to play up the white girl coming to the rescue angle, how the African actors found making the film a difficult but rewarding experience, and their hope that it will raise awareness and create change.  The film opens limited October 3rd and goes wide October 24th.  Check out the interview after the jump:

INHERENT VICE Trailer: Joaquin Phoenix Leads Paul Thomas Anderson’s Psychedelic Detective Romp

by     Posted 83 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released the highly anticipated first Inherent Vice trailer for filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel, and it is glorious.  The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as private detective Larry “Doc Sportello” who is enlisted to help a former lover thwart a potential kidnapping involving her current billionaire boyfriend.  While PTA has trended a bit darker with his past few films, Inherent Vice looks to be a delightfully goofy romp that’s closer in tone to Boogie Nights than There Will Be Blood.  I found myself laughing multiple times during this trailer, and Joaquin Phoenix looks to be absolutely perfect casting as the pothead protagonist.  Moreover, the supporting cast appears to be phenomenal as well, with Josh Brolin getting a particularly hilarious standout moment here.  Anderson cuts his own trailers so this is likely a very accurate snapshot of the film’s vibe as a whole, and all I can say is it’s made the wait for the film’s release feel so, so, so much farther away.

Hit the jump to watch the Inherent Vice trailer.  The film also stars Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna NewsomInherent Vice opens in limited release on December 12th.

First Look at Reese Witherspoon in New INHERENT VICE Image

by     Posted 88 days ago

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We have seen a couple stills and a brief flash of footage from Inherent Vice, but Warner Bros. is happy to keep the flow of publicity materials slow and steady up until the October 4 New York Film Festival premiere.  A new image surfaced tonight that offers our first look at Reese Witherspoon.  Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel, the plot of the movie is set into motion when an ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) hires private detective Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) to investigate a case in early 1970s Los Angeles.

Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newsom also star.  Inherent Vice opens in limited release December 12 and expands nationwide January 9, 2015.  See the full Inherent Vice image after the jump.

Reese Witherspoon’s THE GOOD LIE Gets a Featurette on the True Story Behind the Film

by     Posted 93 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new featurette for The Good Lie that focusses on the real-life Sudanese backdrop that inspired the film.  Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar) directed the picture, which stars Reese Witherspoon (who is already generating Oscar buzz with one of her other films this year, Wild).  If you’ve seen the trailer for the movie you know that its overall aim is one of uplift, and it looks well done for one of these types of stories.

Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel JalNyakuoth Weil, and Corey Stoll star in the October 3 release.  Brian GrazerRon Howard, and Molly Smith (The Blind Side) are producing.  Check out The Good Lie featurette after the jump.

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