The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences today unveiled its list of the nine films that are eligible for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The films include Wong Kar-wai’s Hong Kong entry The Grandmaster, the Belgian film The Broken Circle Breakdown, and Denmark’s The Hunt starring Mads Mikkelsen. We already knew that Palme d’Or winner Blue Is the Warmest Color would be deemed ineligible given that it wasn’t released in France until after the theatrical run deadline, but one of the most glaring omissions is A Separation director Asghar Farhadi’s new film The Past. There was some controversy surrounding the pic given that it’s officially Iran’s entry even though the film’s primary spoken language is French.
Also absent is Saudi Arabia’s well-received Wadjda. That film marked the country’s very first entry in the Oscar race, directed by a woman (Haifaa Al-Mansour) no less. Alas, trying to make sense of the Best Foreign Language category year after year, given the Academy’s strict and strange rules, is a fruitless endeavor. Hit the jump to see the full list of contenders.
Here’s a brief overview of this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
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.
Directed and co-written by Thomas Vinterberg, The Hunt is a disturbing and unsettling depiction of what happens when a lie becomes the truth, igniting a witch hunt that threatens to destroy and innocent man’s life. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) has been forced to start over after a tough divorce, but just as things are looking up, his life is shattered and he is forced to fight for his life and dignity.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Mads Mikkelsen talked about why The Hunt appealed to him, wanting to work with filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg, being as honest as possible on screen, how exhausting this role was, working with the kids in the film, and how proud he was to win Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. He also talked about why he ultimately chose to play Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s Hannibal, how Hannibal’s love life worries him a bit, the experience of making the Western The Salvation, how he hopes to work with filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn again soon, voicing a character for Kung Fu Panda 3, and what makes him either take or refuse a role. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
Paul Rudd gets caught in the middle of Megan Fox and Leslie Mann in this new clip from writer/director Judd Apatow’s This Is 40. Lucky guy. When Desi (Fox) starts working for Pete (Rudd), her youth stirs up some trouble in the almost-forty Debbie (Mann). The clip also features hilarious contributions from Robert Smigel (Conan) and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids). This is 40 opens December 21st.
Pulling a complete 180, we have two very serious clips from co-writer and director Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. Centering on a school teacher, played by Mads Mikkelsen, who is accused of molesting a kindergartner, these two clips show the young accuser during her initial confession and later, her attempted retraction. There is no domestic release date for the picture as of yet, but you can check out Phil Brown’s review here. Hit the jump to watch the clips.
Film buffs will forever give director Thomas Vinterberg a special place in movie history for co-creating the minimalist 90s film movement Dogme 95 along with professional provocateur Lars Von Trier. Vinterberg made the first and best Dogme movie The Celebration. That incendiary tale of secret child abuse in a wealthy family earned him a Palm D’or in 1998 and launched his career. Since then he’s produced some interesting films like It’s All About Love and Dear Wendy, but never one that made quite the same impact. Well, until now anyways.
This year Vinterberg returns to TIFF with another film hinging child abuse in The Hunt. Madds Mikkelsen stars (in a role that already earned him a Best Actor statue in Cannes) as Lucas, a kindly kindergarten teacher who is accused of abusing one of his student Klara. The town instantly turns on Lucas en mass, doling out psychological and physical abuse. The only thing is that Mikkelsen is completely innocent of the accusations and can’t seem to prove it, making the unfortunate witch hunt painful to watch. It’s one of the most powerful and unforgettable films of not just the festival, but inevitably the year as a whole. We got a chance to chat with the director about his latest film at this during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Hit the jump for more.
It wouldn’t be right to attend a major film festival without sampling at least one soul-crushingly depressing feature and this year the drama making the fest rounds to bum out viewers (in the best possible sense of course) in Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. The latest Danish film out of Lars Von Trier’s delightfully twisted Zentropa Entertainment already scored a Best Actor trophy at Cannes and now premieres in at The Toronto International Film Festival with considerable expectations. The good news is that it lives up to the hype, providing unconventional gut-ripping drama that takes on the subject of child molestation without a hint of sentimentality or emotional manipulation. The movie will put your through the ringer, but in such a thoughtful and cleverly constructed way that you might not mind.
The line-up for the 2012 Telluride Film Festival has been announced. The program will include Michael Haneke’s Palm d’Or-winning Amour, the Bill Murray-fronted Hyde Park on Hudson, Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday, the Michael Shannon crime thriller The Iceman, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, and many more. The festival will also include some special surprise screenings, with Ben Affleck’s highly anticipated drama Argo rumored to appear. Additionally, the 2012 Silver Medallion Awards will be given to Roger Corman, Marion Cotillard, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Hit the jump to read the full press release which includes the entire line-up. The 2012 Telluride Film Festival runs from August 31 – September 3rd.
The line-up for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival has been announced and it is a doozy. The festival will play host to some of the year’s biggest world premieres including Rian Johnson‘s Looper (which will be the festival’s opening night film), The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer‘s Cloud Atlas, Ben Affleck‘s Argo, David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, Joss Whedon‘s Much Ado About Nothing, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, and Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium. Films making their International/North American debuts (which means that they’ll like show up at the Venice Film Festival first) include Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina, Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, and Billy Bob Thornton‘s Jayne Mansfield’s Car.
Hit the jump for the first wave of announced films. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th.
Another Cannes, another win for Michael Haneke. Haneke won the Grand Jury Prize in for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the festival’s top honor, the Palme d’Or, for The White Ribbon in 2009. With no brass ring left, Haneke settled for another Palme D’Or at this year’s fest for his typically harrowing tale of elderly marriage, Amour (aka Love). Haneke is now the eighth director to win Best Film twice*, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and the Daredenne brothers.
Beyond the Hills was the only film to win multiple awards, earning both Best Screenplay (by writer/director Cristian Mungiu) and a tie for Best Actress between co-stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur. The only winner I can guarantee we Americans will be able to see anytime soon is Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is set for release on June 27 after writer/director Benh Zeitlin won the Caméra d’or (Best First Feature). The jury also awarded Reality, The Angels’ Share, Post Tenebras Lux, and The Hunt. Hit the jump for the full list of award winners.