The “awards” portion of this year’s awards season has officially begun. The New York Film Critics Circle is always the first critics group out of the gate, and today they named American Hustle the best film of the year. The move comes as a slight surprise given that Hustle only first screened a week ago and 12 Years a Slave and Gravity have been the Best Picture frontrunners for the past few months, but the awards race may be in for a twist. Steve McQueen was awarded Best Director for 12 Years a Slave, Robert Redford took Best Actor for All Is Lost, and Cate Blanchett began what’s sure to be an awards season sweep of Best Actress trophies. American Hustle picked up three awards in total, including Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Lawrence and Best Screenplay. The excellent Blue Is the Warmest Color was named Best Foreign Film, and Stories We Tell won Best Documentary.
Hit the jump to see the full list of winners and for my commentary on what this means for the coming Oscar season.
The 2014 Independent Spirit Awards nominations have been announced, and director Steve McQueen’s excellent drama 12 Years a Slave tops the nominees with seven nods, including Best Feature, Best Director, and Best Actor. Nebraska is not far behind with six nominations, and the Robert Redford drama All Is Lost also did well with four nods. The much-beloved Short Term 12 failed to land a Best Feature nomination, but Primer director Shane Carruth’s twisty second feature Upstream Color landed nods for Best Director and Best Editing. The Best Actor category is a strong mirror of the very tight Oscar race in the same category, and the wonderful Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress nominations for The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12, respectively.
Hit the jump for the full list of nominations and additional commentary. The Independent Spirit Awards will be hosted on March 1, 2014.
In the last few months of covering this year’s awards race, it’s become very clear that the 2014 Oscars are going to be one of the most competitive in recent memory. Nowhere is this more clear than in the Best Actor category, which already seems to have congealed into a solid list of five extremely likely candidates with a number of others waiting in the wings to play the spoiler. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the race starts to firm up, now seems like a good time to start taking a closer look at the individual categories in the 2014 Oscar race.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we begin with the Best Actor category, which will see a couple of acting legends challenging the rise of McConaughey, powerful performances depicting historically important characters, Leo, and more. Read on after the jump.
Yesterday, we got the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and it was pretty great. For those of you not familiar with the plot (and you might not be since the trailer is heavier on the theme), the story has Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) teaming up to face off against an assassin known as “The Winter Soldier”. We’ve now grabbed 50 images from the trailer, and they highlight two things. First, there’s a lot more Winter Soldier than you think since the character flashes by quickly and is in the far background of the shots. Second, this trailer gives away some big plot points, but you probably wouldn’t notice them because, again, everything is going by so fast. Consider that a minor spoiler warning.
Hit the jump to check out the images. The film also stars Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Maximiliano Hernández, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4, 2014.
The first trailer for Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is now available. In the upcoming sequel, Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) team up to face off against Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who has been survived and become an assassin known as “The Winter Soldier”. However, the trailer doesn’t explain the Winter Soldier’s origin. That’s okay because it does an excellent job of conveying the moral conflict at the center of the movie: Captain America’s values of right-and-wrong versus the grey area inhabited by S.H.I.E.L.D. Beyond that central conflict, you have plenty of terrific looking action and a bad day for the helicarrier.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Cobie Smulders, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Maximiliano Hernández, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens April 4, 2014.
Though it’s only October, we’re already in the thick of awards season. We’ve seen frontrunners emerge from the fall festival circuit, and now some of the year’s potential heavy hitters are starting to open in theaters, providing some hard data for the all-important “audience reception” factor in the Oscar race. Gravity emerged as a potential frontrunner for a number of awards—including Best Picture—when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Venice, and Telluride earlier this year, and now the film can add “box office hit” to its resume, as the pic opened to a record-breaking $55.5 million in its first weekend and only dropped an incredible 21% in its second weekend.
In today’s edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the importance of box office in the Oscar race and what this means for Gravity and the other awards contenders going forward. Additionally, I update my predictions to reflect movements in the recent weeks. Hit the jump to read on.
One of the many reasons The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of my favorite films is the opening. There is no dialogue. It’s a lesson in how much can be said without words and the skill of a talented director. J.C. Chandor’s All Is Lost is a masterpiece of visual storytelling. The movie not only has a single actor, but it refuses to even let him have the solace of talking to himself. He is a man of action in a fight for his life against the elements, and there’s no time to walk us through thought processes or the finer points of sailing. There’s only the old man, the sea, and the present.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have released the trailer for the survival drama, All Is Lost. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), the film stars Robert Redford as “one man lost at sea and his battle against the elements to stay alive.” Although Redford previously said that this character had no dialogue, the trailer shows that to be a slight overstatement, although I assume he’ll have almost no dialogue. The film received rave reviews when it played at Cannes earlier this year, and I would really like to see Redford add another memorable performance to his career.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. All Is Lost opens October 18th.
So much for the notion of Richard Linklater directing the adaptation of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. The film has been in development for a number of years with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte attached to star as two childhood friends who meet up later in life to attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, making observations about the world around them and catching up with their own lives during the journey. It was reported last month that Linklater was in discussions to direct the comedic pic, but now Screen Daily reports that Redford will instead be taking on directing duties himself.
The film has a script by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) and is on track to start production later this year should everything come together. Redford most recently helmed the political thriller The Company You Keep and is set to appear in Marvel’s sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’ll next be seen onscreen in J.C. Chandor’s survival drama All Is Lost.
All Is Lost is a very intriguing project. It first caught our eye because Robert Redford stars in “a solo performance of one man lost at sea and his battle against the elements to stay alive.” The twist: Redford says he has no dialogue. That is a brave choice for writer/director J.C. Chandor in his second feature film, especially after a Best Original Screenplay nomination for his debut, Margin Call.
Despite the intrigue, we know little about All Is Lost other than the logline, the dialogue-free tease, and this image. Steve is at CinemaCon right now and found a little more info. First, we will be able to see what All Is Lost has to offer sooner than expected, as we’ve learned Roadside Attractions has set an October 25 release date. Second, Steve snapped a picture of a new image of Redford weary at sea that Roadside has on display. Check out the full image after the jump.
Check out the latest major casting news below:
- Robert Redford (The Natural) will star in The Old Man and the Gun for writer/director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints).
- Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) has joined the cast of Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence, which also stars Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall and Kate Mara. The film is due out April 25, 2014.
Hit the jump for more on both pictures.
Marvel has sent out a press release announcing that filming has begun on Joe and Anthony Russo‘s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Few details about the film are known, but the press release provides a brief yet informative logline: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier will pick-up where Marvel’s The Avengers left off, as Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.” That’s a lot of new information, including the large role for Black Widow, and the setting, although we know there will be flashbacks to World War II. Also, for those who don’t know, the “shadowy enemy” is the eponymous Winter Soldier, a.k.a. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). The press release also confirms our earlier report that Hayley Atwell will return to play Peggy Carter.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release along with the first image, and click here for recently released concept art. The film also stars Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Georges St-Pierre, Frank Grillo, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp, Maximiliano Hernández, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson. Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens on April 4, 2014.
In the new film directed by and starring Robert Redford, The Company You Keep, lawyer and single father Jim Grant (Redford) is living a quiet life in the suburbs when a housewife (Susan Sarandon) is arrested and revealed as part of a 1970’s radical gang, known as the Weather Underground. Young and thirsty reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) digs into her history and uncovers Grant’s secret- that he is in fact another member of the gang in hiding. Grant goes on the run across the country- closely followed by the FBI and a truth-hungry Shepard- to try and clear his name and win back his daughter. Along the way, both men discover things they can’t outrun about the past and about themselves. The film also stars Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brit Marling, Sam Elliot, Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Root and Jacqueline Evancho.
Collider was on hand at a press conference given by Redford, and co-stars Tucci, Marling and Evancho. Redford had a lot to say about his costars (upon all of whom he lavished extreme praise), the material upon which the screenplay is based and drawing from the story of Les Miserables when creating his character. Redford was not shy to open up about his political beliefs regarding the radical movement, nor to buck talk of Academy Awards, claiming he is “not in that business,” but he did speak about his Sundance Institute, which is actually where he met Marling as she got her start in the industry. The other actors also had nothing but admiration and praise for their leader and the rest of the all-star cast. Click here to read more.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. The Company You Keep opens tomorrow in limited release.]
Chase films probably shouldn’t feature septuagenarians. Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep is two movies: one is a surprisingly entertaining investigative thriller, and the other is the most casual, least threatening chase flick I’ve ever seen. Redford has lined-up a tremendous cast, yet spreads them around in weak bit parts, leaving the majority of the picture to himself and Shia LaBeouf. Mixed between their characters’ two stories are confused messages about the value of the truth and rallying for your beliefs (provided it’s not too much of an inconvenience).
With his highly anticipated third film in the “Before” series, Before Midnight, set to hit theaters next month, director Richard Linklater is closing in on his next project. The LA Times reports that Linklater is in talks to take the helm of the long-in-development adaptation of Bill Bryson’s travel memoir A Walk in the Woods. The comedic story centers on two childhood friends who meet up later in life to attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail, making observations about the world around them and catching up with their own lives during the journey.
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte have been attached to star in the film since June 2011 with Redford also producing, and this actually seems like a perfect fit for Linklater, a director who has plenty of experience crafting thoughtful, emotional, and even powerful films out of two people talking. Redford is set to play Bryson while Nolte will play his friend Stephen Katz, and production on the indie film might get underway as soon as this fall. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the book.