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

by     Posted 316 days ago


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.

Oscar Beat: Best Supporting Actress – Could Jennifer Lawrence Play the Spoiler?

by     Posted 1 year, 13 days ago


Though there’s normally a fairly agreed-upon shortlist of contenders for each Oscar category before the nominations are announced, every year has its fair share of surprises.  More often than not, these occur in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories, and it could very well happen again this year.  Though the general lack of well-written female characters tends to result in a thin crop of contenders for the Best Supporting Actress category, there are no doubt a number of excellent supporting female performances to thumb through in 2013.  The contenders range from fresh newcomers to acting veterans, and the ever-popular Jennifer Lawrence has made a late surge thanks to David O. Russell’s American Hustle finally being unveiled.

In this edition of Oscar Beat, we examine the current state of the Best Supporting Actress category.  Read on after the jump.

Watch: Mark Wahlberg, David Heyman, and More Discuss Filmmaking Challenges, Backlash, and BOOGIE NIGHTS in Producers Roundtable

by     Posted 1 year, 29 days ago


Last week, we shared an enlightening roundtable video interview with the directors of some of this year’s awards contenders like Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, and Steve McQueen.  Today, THR has released a new roundtable interview this time focusing on producers, as Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor), David Heyman (Gravity), Dede Gardner (12 Years a Slave, World War Z), Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips), Charles Roven (American Hustle, Man of Steel), and Pam Williams (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) sat down for 50-minute discussion on all things moviemaking.  The conversation covers a lot of ground, touching on why Wahlberg almost fired his agent over Fifty Shades of Grey, Roven showing Heath Ledger the IMAX prologue for The Dark Knight, Entourage salary disputes, horrible test scores for Boogie Nights, and so much more.

Hit the jump to watch the full conversation.

Oscar Beat: The Best Actor Race – Acting Veterans Square Off Against McConaughey, Ejiofor, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 38 days ago


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.

Oscar Beat: A Way Too Early Glimpse at the Best Picture Field – Part 2

by     Posted 1 year, 111 days ago


As the fall film festival season kicks this year’s Oscar Race into high gear this weekend, we thought it fitting to take one last early look at the Best Picture contenders before the nuttiness ensues.  Yesterday we ran down 11 films that have a decent shot at becoming part of the upcoming Best Picture race, and today in the second part of this particular Oscar Beat column, we complete the list with 10 more potential contenders.  Hit the jump to read on.

Watch Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo and the Cast of LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER in Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

by     Posted 1 year, 126 days ago


Making a push for number one at the box office this weekend is Lee Daniels’ The Butler, starring Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as long-serving Presidential butler, Cecil Gaines.  This new behind-the-scenes featurette offers up commentary from Whitaker, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo, Jesse Williams and Yaya Alafia concerning their experiences on the film.

Also starring Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, John Cusack, and Alan Rickman, Lee Daniels’ The Butler is in theaters now.  Check out Matt’s review of the film here and then hit the jump to watch the new featurette.


by     Posted 1 year, 127 days ago


Lee Daniels has no place for subtlety in his movies, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It can translate to earnestness.  It can also translate to bugfuck insanity that makes the audience uncomfortable in a way that feels incredibly exploitative.  Lee Daniels’ The Butler (formerly titled “The Butler” but forced to change due to a petty dispute between The Weinstein Company and Warner Bros.) disconcertingly hints towards the latter before thankfully settling into the former.  Daniels takes his passion towards race relations, and brings a fresh perspective to the civil rights movement by providing not only the unique viewpoint of a White House butler, but also from the butler’s son, who was fighting on the ground while those in government wrestled with the increased racial tension of the 1960s and 70s.  The film could stand to lose 15 minutes of unnecessary material regarding Oprah Winfrey‘s character, but it’s a solid story of a father and son pulled apart by the tides of history.

4 Clips from Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo, Oprah Winfrey, and Cuba Gooding Jr.

by     Posted 1 year, 137 days ago

the butler john cusack richard nixon slice

The Weinstein Company has released four clips from director Lee Daniels’ upcoming historical drama The Butler.  The film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986, and tells his life story against the important historical events of the time as seen through the eyes of the many inhabitants of the White House.  Whitaker leads the pic alongside Oprah Winfrey as his wife and David Oyelowo as his son, but Daniels has filled the rest of the cast out with a litany of familiar faces on tap to play the many Presidents and First Ladies over the years, including John Cusack as Nixon, Robin Williams as Eisenhower, and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Mariah Carey, Cuba Gooding Jr.Terrence HowardMinka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa LeoAlan RickmanAlex PettyferVanessa Redgrave, and Liev Schreiber.  The Butler opens on August 16th.

Forest Whitaker Discusses Freedom Riders with James Marsden’s JFK in New Clip from THE BUTLER; Plus New Poster

by     Posted 1 year, 140 days ago


The Weinstein Company has released a new clip and poster from director Lee Daniels’ star-studded historical drama The Butler.  Based on a true story, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986.  This clip focuses on a meeting between James Marsden’s John F. Kennedy and Whitaker’s titular character, as the two discuss the issue of the Freedom Riders.  The tone veers heavily towards schmaltz, and I’m hoping that the full film isn’t just a revolving door of familiar faces that each “touch the Butler’s life” in a saccharine way.  Nevertheless, Whitaker is a phenomenal actor and I’m genuinely looking forward to seeing what he does with the lead role.

Hit the jump to watch the clip and to check out a new poster.  The film also stars Oprah WinfreyDavid OyelowoMariah CareyJohn CusackJane FondaCuba Gooding Jr.Terrence HowardMinka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa LeoAlan RickmanAlex PettyferVanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams.  The Butler opens on August 16th.

New Images, Featurette/Clip, and TV Spots from THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker

by     Posted 1 year, 144 days ago

the butler alan rickman jane fonda reagans

The Butler follows White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) over several decades, serving from Eisenhower to Reagan.  For better or worse, director Lee Daniels (Precious) recruited a name cast to play the presidents: Robin Williams (Dwight D. Eisenhower), James Marsden (John F. Kennedy), Liev Schreiber (Lyndon B. Johnson), John Cusack (Richard Nixon), Alan Rickman (Ronald Reagan).  Probably best they seem to skip Jimmy Carter, because Daniels openly laments: “We had to finance it through bringing in names that meant something overseas.  It’s a very sad testament that [co-star] Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker can’t greenlight a film.”

If you want more names, Cuba Gooding Jr.Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Mariah Carey, Jane Fonda, Minka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa Leo, Alex Pettyfer, and Vanessa Redgrave also star.  Hit the jump for new images, a Fonda-centric featurette with the first clip, and two TV spots.

New Images from Ridley Scott’s THE COUNSELOR and Lee Daniels’ THE BUTLER

by     Posted 1 year, 171 days ago


New images have been released from the upcoming awards season films The Counselor and The ButlerThe Counselor centers on an attorney (Michael Fassbender) who teams with Reiner (Javier Bardem) to sell $20 million worth of cocaine.  As for The Butler, it’s a based on the ture story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986.  Judging by the trailers, one looks tense and intriguing; the other looks like it could be unintentionally hilarious.  Regardless of the advertising thus far, both movies have stacked casts.  The Counselor co-stars Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer, and Goran Visnjic, and The Butler has got Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Mariah CareyJohn CusackJane FondaCuba Gooding Jr.Terrence Howard, Minka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa LeoJames MarsdenAlex PettyferVanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber, and Robin Williams.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The Counselor opens October 25th and The Butler opens October 18th.


by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago

Here’s a look at the new posters available for the following films:

  • Man of Steel -Starring Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Michael Shannon, Amy Adams, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel opens June 14th.
  • Killing Season – Director Mark Steven Johnson’s thriller starring Robert De Niro, John Travolta and Milo Ventimiglia opens July 12th.
  • The ButlerLee Daniels’ biopic of Cecil Gaines starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Robin Williams, Alan Rickman and Cuba Gooding Jr. opens August 16th.
  • The HeatPaul Feig’s buddy cop comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock opens June 28th.
  • CarrieKimberley Peirce’s horror remake starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer opens October 18th.
  • World War ZMarc Forster’s adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale, David Morse and Matthew Fox opens June 21st.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.


by     Posted 1 year, 199 days ago

We’ve got a few new posters to share today.  Briefly:

  • Machete Kills – A new character poster for director Robert Rodriguez’s sequel shows off Sofia Vergara and her unique set of weaponry.  The film opens on September 13th.
  • The Butler – The first poster for director Lee Daniels’ historical drama highlight’s the film’s impressive ensemble cast, led by Forrest Whitaker.  The film opens on October 18th.
  • The Frozen Ground – A couple of debut posters for this crime thriller starring Nicolas Cage and John Cusack.  The film opens on November 30th.
  • Girl Most Likely – A new poster for the dramedy starring Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening.  The film opens on July 19th.

Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.

First Trailer for THE BUTLER Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Robin Williams, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 227 days ago


The Weinstein Company has released the first trailer for director Lee Daniels’ (Precious, The Paperboy) historical drama The Butler.  Based on a true story, the film stars Forrest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a butler who served at the White House from 1952 to 1986.  The trailer plays up the film’s awards prospects as we see a flash of famous faces playing the many notable persons who walked the halls of the White House throughout this period (Alan Rickman is particularly striking as President Reagan), and that’s balanced with an overview of Gaines’ life in a racially tense America.  While the film certainly looks like it has the potential to be powerful, cautious optimism is key whenever Lee Daniels is involved.

Hit the jump to watch the debut trailer.  The film also stars Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Mariah CareyJohn CusackJane FondaCuba Gooding Jr.Terrence Howard, Minka KellyLenny KravitzMelissa LeoJames MarsdenAlex PettyferVanessa Redgrave, Liev Schreiber, and Robin WilliamsThe Butler opens on October 18th.

RED 2 and NOW YOU SEE ME Expected to Open Earlier While THE BUTLER Gets a New Release Date

by     Posted 1 year, 284 days ago


Here are the latest release dates for the following films:

  • Red 2 – The Dean Parisot-directed sequel centering on ex-operatives played by Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich will now open two weeks earlier on July 19th.
  • Now You See MeLouis Letterier’s magical heist film starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher will now open a week earlier on May 31st.
  • The ButlerLee Daniels’ biopic of long-time White House butler Cecil Gaines, played by Forest Whitaker, will open October 18th.

Hit the jump for the synopses and posters for these films.

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