Oscar Beat: The Best Picture Race at a Glance

by     Posted 9 days ago

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The awards race is off and running.  We’ve already been through the fall film festival circuit where a number of contenders emerged either as heavy hitters or non-players, and as November approaches we’re starting to get to the point where all of the big films have been seen.  As such, I thought now would be a good time to start taking a closer look at some of the big categories, seeing where things stand as far as what films and actors/actresses are most likely to be nominated.  Take a look at the Best Picture race at a glance in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat after the jump.

New BIG HERO 6 Poster Gets Colorful; Plus New Posters for THE HOBBIT, THE IMITATION GAME, and PADDINGTON

by     Posted 16 days ago

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New posters for some of the year’s most anticipated films have landed online.  Briefly:

  • Big Hero 6 – A new Big Hero 6 poster has been unveiled in anticipation of New York Comic-Con, which gets underway this weekend.  The Disney Animation film is the first adaptation of a Marvel comic for the studio and opens in theaters on November 7th.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Hot on the heels of Bilbo and Gandalf one-sheets, the latest character poster for the final chapter in the Hobbit saga features Cate Blanchett as Galadriel.  The film opens December 17th.
  • The Imitation GameKeira Knightley gets her own poster for the WWII drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing.  The awards-friendly film opens in the UK on November 14th and in the US on November 21st.
  • Paddington – A new UK poster for the live-action/CG hybrid film based on the series of childrens books shows all of the titular bear’s favorite things.  The film opens on December 25th.

Check out the new posters after the jump.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley Try to Crack the Enigma Code in U.K. Trailer for THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 22 days ago

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StudioCanal UK has released a new The Imitation Game trailer online.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  This U.K. trailer goes heavy on painting the movie as a thriller, and that’s not misleading.  Part of the movie’s pull is that it does play like a spy flick.  However, it also has enough dramatic pull to never feel light.  I liked the movie when I saw it at TIFF, and I look forward to seeing it again.

Hit the jump to check out the U.K. The Imitation Game trailer.  The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew BeardThe Imitation Game opens in the U.K. on November 14th and in the U.S. on November 21st.

Benedict Cumberbatch Is an Enigma in First THE IMITATION GAME Posters; Plus New Posters for BIRDMAN, NIGHTCRAWLER, and JOHN WICK

by     Posted 29 days ago

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New posters for some of this fall’s most highly anticipated titles have landed online.  Briefly:

  • The Imitation Game – The very first The Imitation Game posters feature some wordplay involving the Nazi Enigma Code and the man who cracked it, a genius mathematician named Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film.  Both Cumberbatch and the movie itself will no doubt find themselves in the heat of the Oscar race.  The film opens on November 21st.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • Birdman – Another potential awards contender is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s black comedy, which gets a new theatrical poster ahead of its NYFF screening and release.  The film opens on October 17th.
  • Nightcrawler – Also a highlight from TIFF was Dan Gilroy’s dark, twisted psychological thriller featuring a truly unhinged performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.  This new poster isn’t near as pretty as the previous one, but the film remains one of my favorites of the year thus far.  Click here for Matt’s review from TIFF.
  • John Wick – We also have a new poster for this upcoming Keanu Reeves actioner that seemingly came out of nowhere and has been building buzz over the past few weeks, culminating in a pretty fantastic trailer.  The film opens on October 24th.

Hit the jump to check out the aforementioned posters.

THE IMITATION GAME Wins 2014 TIFF Audience Award; Makes Headway in Oscar Race

by     Posted 40 days ago

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The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival ends today, and TIFF has announced this year’s Audience Award winner.  Audience members vote by dropping their ticket into a ballot box after a screening if they like a film, and this year they really liked Morten Tyldum’s drama, The Imitation Game.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and focuses on his efforts to break the Germans’ code during World War II.  I saw the movie and quite enjoyed it, and while it wasn’t my favorite at the festival (that would be While We’re Young), I can understand why audiences went for it.  Click here for my review.

I’ll leave the official Oscar prognosticating to Adam and his Oscar Beat column, but I will say this: five of the last six TIFF Audience Award winners have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture; three of them won (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and 12 Years a Slave).  Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the runners up as well as the Audience Award winners for Midnight Madness and Documentary.

THE IMITATION GAME Review | TIFF 2014

by     Posted 46 days ago

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In September 1933, General George S. Patton told the Calvary Journal, “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.”  Mathematician Alan Turning proved Patton’s statement was only half true when it came to World War II.  It was won by men and a machine.  Turing and his team used a computer to decipher the Germans’ “Enigma” code, which turned the tide of the war and was one of the key contributions to the Allies’ victory.  Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is a compelling look at a man treated inhumanely and the creation of his machine that helped saved humanity from evil.  The film isn’t hard to crack, but led by Benedict Cumberbatch’s outstanding performance and Tyldum’s strong direction, it’s a compelling tale of secrets, lies, and sacrifice.

Oscar Beat TIFF 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch Launches Into the Best Actor Race with THE IMITATION GAME

by     Posted 46 days ago

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The awards season is certainly prone to recognizing biopics, and luckily there are two high-profile films based on the lives of historical figures screening at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  I’ll have a full Oscar Beat report up on The Theory of Everything soon (for now read Phil’s review), but for now it’s time to focus on the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch might very well end up with a Best Actor nomination for his fantastic performance as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.  Moreover, the film itself has been receiving high praise, and I left the theater this afternoon thinking, “this feels like the kind of movie that wins Best Picture.”  More after the jump.

2014 London Film Festival Lineup Announced; TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, FOXCATCHER, SERENA, MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT and More

by     Posted 51 days ago

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The Telluride Film Festival is over and done with and Venice is coming to a close, but we’ve got the Toronto International Film Festival on the way and the New York Film Festival coming up right after.  On top of that, the lineup for the 58th BFI London Film Festival was just announced.

The list includes a bunch of titles that are already making the festival rounds like the event opener, The Imitation Game, as well as Gala selections Foxcatcher, Whiplash, Wild and Mr. Turner.  In addition, we’ve also got Testament of Youth starring Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Hayley Atwell, Emily Watson and Dominic West making its world premiere as well as The Falling with Maisie WilliamsSilent Storm with Andrea Riseborough and Damian Lewis, and Serena with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  Hit the jump for more on the 2014 BFI London Film Festival lineup.  The event begins on October 8th and wraps up on October 19th.

2014 Telluride Film Festival Lineup Announced; ’71, 99 HOMES, FOXCATCHER, WILD, MADAME BOVARY, THE IMITATION GAME and More

by     Posted 57 days ago

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As Adam pointed out in Oscar Beat yesterday, four out of the last five Best Picture winners screened at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Telluride Film Festival.  If that trend continues, we can really narrow down the Best Picture contenders now because the Telluride main program lineup was just announced.

This year’s Toronto and Telluride crossovers (not including the documentaries and foreign language selections) are the Jack O’Connell-starrer ’71, Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Madame Bovary with Mia Wasikowska, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Rosewater starring Gael García Bernal and Wild with Reese Witherspoon.  Hit the jump for more on what’s to come at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival.

Oscar Beat: Which Awards Contenders Will Emerge from the Fall Film Festival Season?

by     Posted 58 days ago

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Ready or not, the awards season is about to begin.  Every year, Oscar season kicks off with the series of film festivals in late August and early September.  It’s at these festivals—Telluride, Toronto, and Venice—that a hefty number of the year’s Oscar hopefuls debut and begin what they hope will be long and prosperous campaigns.  Four out of the last five Best Picture winners screened at both Telluride and Toronto, and as the festivals are about to start later this week, now felt like a good time to preview the block of awards hopefuls that will be screening since the odds are pretty good that this year’s Best Picture winner will have debuted by mid-September.

Hit the jump for the Fall Film Festival Preview 2014 edition of Oscar Beat.

Watch THE IMITATION GAME Trailer Starring Benedict Cumberbatch; Drama Will Open the 58th London Film Festival

by     Posted 95 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released the first The Imitation Game trailer.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, a brilliant cryptanalyst whose expertise cracked Germany’s “Enigma code” and helped turn the tide of World War II for the Allies, but his homosexuality made him a target of persecution.  Judging by this trailer, I’m sure there will be superficial Sherlock comparisons since Turing is brilliant but off-putting to those around him, but I think this looks like a solid World War II drama with some good performances.

Hit the jump to check out The Imitation Game trailer.  The film opens November 21st, and also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, and Matthew Beard.  Additionally, The Imitation Game will open the 58th BFI London Film Festival on October 8th. [Update: We've added the U.K. trailer after the jump.]

THE IMITATION GAME: New Images from the Alan Turing Biopic Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

by     Posted 141 days ago

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He’s not a superhero in the comicbook sense, but genius mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing saved many lives during World War II thanks to his deciphering of Nazi codes.  Today, new images debuted from director Morten Tyldum’s Turing bioppic, The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.  Also appearing in the new images is Cumberbatch’s co-star, Keira Knightley, who plays a woman from a very conservative background who not only forms a complicated relationship with Turing but is there for him until the end.  That end came not long after his own government convicted him on charges of “gross indecency” as a homosexual; he took his life two years later at the age of 41.

Also starring Mark Strong, Matthew GoodeRory KinnearCharles DanceAllen Leech, and Matthew Beard, the film opens November 21st.  Hit the jump to view the new The Imitation Game images.

Tim Burton’s BIG EYES Opens December 25th; THE IMITATION GAME Bows November 21st; ELEANOR RIGBY Slated for September 26th

by     Posted 176 days ago

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If you haven’t had your fill of release date news today already, The Weinstein Company has dated a trio of promising pics:

  • Big Eyes – Director Tim Burton’s next feature will open on December 25th, opposite Unbroken, Disney’s musical Into the Woods, the comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Cameron Crowe’s new film.  Big Eyes stars Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as the troubled, real life artistic couple of Margaret and Walter Keane, and sees Burton treading dramatic territory.
  • The Imitation Game – The biopic of WWII mathematician and persecuted homosexual Alan Turing opens on November 21st opposite The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, just in time for awards season.  Benedict Cumberbatch leads the pic as Turing alongside Keira Knightley.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – The ambitious relationship drama will bow on September 26th, facing off against the animated The Boxtrolls, the thriller The Equalizer, and the dramedy Laggies.  The film stars James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain and tells the story of a relationship from two points of view.

Oscar Beat: 10 Films That Could End Up in the 2015 Awards Race

by     Posted 230 days ago

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With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now.  We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony.  Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race.  After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.

The Weinstein Company Breaks Record for THE IMITATION GAME; RADiUS-TWC Acquire EVERLY with Salma Hayek; Open Road Acquires ROCK THE KASBAH

by     Posted 258 days ago

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Here’s the latest word on acquisitions at the European Film Market in Berlin:

  • The Weinstein Company has acquired U.S. rights to Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as mathematician Alan Turing, for a reported record of $7 million.
  • RADiUS-TWC has acquired U.S. rights to Joe Lynch’s action thriller, Everly, starring Salma Hayek, Togo Igawa, Masashi Fujimoto, and Hiroyuki Watanabe.
  • Open Road has acquired U.S. rights to the Barry Levinson comedy, Rock the Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Shia LaBeouf, and Zooey Deschanel.

Hit the jump for more on each picture.

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