Steven Spielberg Reteaming with Tony Kushner for THE KIDNAPPING OF EDGARDO MORTARA; May Return to ROBOPOCALYPSE for Next Project

by     Posted 247 days ago


Though we still have no definitive word on what Steven Spielberg’s next project will be, the filmmaker is adding another incredibly promising project to his potential slate.  Variety reports that Spielberg plans to direct and produce the religious drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara for The Weinstein Company and DreamWorks, and he has enlisted his Lincoln and Munich scribe—not to mention Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright—Tony Kushner to pen the script.  Based on the non-fiction book by David Kertzer, the story concerns an Italian Jew who, in 1858, was forcibly removed from his parents at the age of six by authorities of the Papal States and raised as a Catholic.  He later became a priest in the Augustinian order, but the ordeal set off an international controversy.

Though the religious pic certainly sounds like fascinating material for Spielberg and Kushner, Edgardo Mortara will not be Spielberg’s next project.  He has now narrowed his Lincoln follow-up down to two choices, one of which is a sci-fi epic and the other a battle of leaders set against the backdrop of the Spanish conquistadors’ interaction with the Aztec peoples.  Hit the jump for much more on where we stand with regards to Spielberg’s next film.

Critics Choice Awards: ARGO Wins Best Picture, Ben Affleck Is Best Director; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Picks Up Four

by     Posted 1 year, 344 days ago

argo ben affleck critics choice

The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced the winners of the 18th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards tonight.  While Ben Affleck was noted as the lesser of the Best Director snubs when Oscar nominations were announced this morning, the BFCA named Affleck Best Director and his Argo Best Picture.  They feature genre awards—action, comedy, and sci-fi/horror all have their own Best Picture category—so there’s a bit of an “everybody gets a trophy” philosophy.  But that allowed Jennifer Lawrence to pick up two trophies: Best Actress in an Action Movie (The Hunger Games) and Best Actress in a Comedy (Silver Linings Playbook).  Silver Linings Playbook earned four total; the Best Comedy winner brought Lawrence’s co-star Bradley Cooper Best Actor in a Comedy and the rest of the cast Best Acting Ensemble.

The four primary acting awards went to major Oscar contenders Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Anne Hathaway.  But the BFCA also found room for Collider favorites Skyfall, Looper, and Cloud Atlas.  See the full list after the break.

2013 Oscar Nominations Announced; LINCOLN Leads with 12 Nominations, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck Snubbed for Best Director

by     Posted 1 year, 344 days ago


The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees.  As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11.  The big story here, though, is the Best Director category.  Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg.  The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern WildDavid O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour.  It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirtyrespectively, but shockingly neither made the cut.  Apparently those films just directed themselves.  Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.

Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly).  The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.

Adam Predicts the 2013 Oscar Nominees

by     Posted 1 year, 345 days ago


At last, Oscar is upon us.  Back in November I shared a look at the early awards season race by way of our 2013 Oscar Preview articles, and now nearly two months later there’s still quite a bit up in the air.  This truly is one of the more exciting awards races in recent years, as 2012 is so stacked with quality that there are a surprising number of uncertainties this close to the Academy Awards ceremony.  Nevertheless, I am once again foolishly going to attempt to predict how the Oscar nominations will shake out when they’re announced tomorrow morning, January 10th.  Hit the jump to check out my predictions.


by     Posted 1 year, 350 days ago


As we head into the thick of awards season, we’re starting to see how the various guilds stack up with regards to the best of 2012 (the PGA nominations were announced yesterday).  The guilds are usually a good Oscar predictor as their voting bodies overlap significantly with the Academy’s voting body, and today we have a peek into the screenplay race by way of the nominations for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards.  The list includes some pleasant surprises like Rian Johnson’s brilliantly original script for Looper and Steven Chbosky’s touching adaptation of his own novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as well as expected candidates like The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty, and Lincoln.

Each year a number of screenplays are ruled ineligible for the WGA’s, and this year is no exception as Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, and William Nicholson’s Les Miserables were all  ineligible for WGA consideration for various insignificant reasons.  Hit the jump to check out the full list of WGA nominations.  The 2013 Writers Guild Awards will be held on February 17th.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Names AMOUR Best Picture; New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics Award ZERO DARK THIRTY

by     Posted 2 years, 10 days ago


Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty continues its dominant critics awards path, as it has picked up two more Best Picture wins from the New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics groups, adding to its previous wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review.  Bigelow also won Best Director from both organizations, while Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for LincolnEmmanuelle Riva won Best Actress from New York and Boston, while she shared the award in a tie with Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Los Angeles broke from the mold a bit by naming director Michael Haneke‘s devastating French-language film Amour the Best Film of the year.  They also awarded Paul Thomas Anderson Best Director for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Dwight Henry the Best Supporting Actor honor in a couple of pleasant surprises.  Hit the jump for the full list of winners from all three critics groups.

New York Film Critics Circle Names ZERO DARK THIRTY Best Film; Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Matthew McConaughey Win Acting Awards

by     Posted 2 years, 16 days ago


The New York Film Critics Circle has kicked the awards race off in earnest, and the love was spread primarily between Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln.  The drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden took home Best Picture, Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, and Best Cinematographer, while Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was awarded Best Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.  The group also had a couple of left field choices with the Best Supporting Actor award going to Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike (alright, alright, alright) and Best Actress going to Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea.  McConaughey winning the trophy was a pleasant surprise, but Weisz’s win is a tad baffling.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of winners, and click here to peruse our recent Oscar Preview features.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 2 years, 26 days ago


We’re continuing on with our weeklong preview of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, and after running down both acting categories it’s time to take look at some of the other races.  Today we’ll be looking at the Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay categories in depth, and I’ll also make some way-too-early quick picks in the technical categories.  The fun begins after the jump.


by     Posted 2 years, 40 days ago


As I write this review, we here in the States are approaching an historic Presidential election.   For many, the voting decision comes down to individual beliefs related to the economy and civil rights.  So it was with a familiar national context that I approached Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a film as much about the man himself as it is about the fight to approve the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery and thereby put an end to the Civil War.  Much as our 16th President was equal to the task, so too was Spielberg in his effort to bring this story to the screen, complemented by the absorbing lead performance of Daniel Day-Lewis and the dynamic writing of Tony Kushner.  While the film missed on a few marks, Lincoln remains an engaging story full of heart, humor and conviction that remains culturally relevant even today.  Hit the jump for my review.

Sally Field Set to Play Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN

by     Posted 3 years, 251 days ago


Sally Field is officially set to portray Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biopic Lincoln. After years of development, it looks like Spielberg is finally moving forward with the film. Daniel Day-Lewis is set to play Lincoln himself (long-attached Liam Neeson dropped out of the picture last summer). Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright/screenwriter Tony Kushner (Munich) wrote the screenplay based on the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Spielberg had this to say regarding Field’s casting:

“I’m excited to be working with Sally for the first time. I’ve admired her films and she has always been my first choice to portray all the fragility and complexity that was Mary Todd Lincoln.”

Field had been mentioned with regards to the role for quite a while, but she’s now officially signed on. The actress recently nabbed the role of Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man. Lincoln will focus on “the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.” Filming is set to begin this fall, with an eye towards a fourth-quarter 2012 release. This one just jumped to the top of my “most anticipated” list for 2012. Hit the jump to read the full press release.

Daniel Day-Lewis to Star in Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN; Filming Set to Begin in Fall 2011 for 4th-Quarter 2012 Release

by     Posted 4 years, 31 days ago


Earlier this year, Liam Neeson dropped out of the title role in Steven Spielberg’s long-in-development Abraham Lincoln biopic, Lincoln.  DreamWorks has now issued a press release saying that Daniel Day-Lewis will play the role of our 16th President.  According to the press release, the film is still based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s excellent book Team of Rivals with a script by award-winning writer Tony Kushner.

The press release also notes that “Filming is expected to begin in the fall of 2011 for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 through Disney’s Touchstone distribution label.”  That’s curious since, as we reported earlier, Spielberg was planning to direct an adaptation of Robopocalypse in January 2012.  Presumably, that project has now been pushed back.  Hit the jump to check out the press release.

Zachary Quinto to Star in Broadway Production of ANGELS IN AMERICA; Info and Trailer Here

by     Posted 4 years, 54 days ago


Have we lost Spock to the theater? Angels in America, the Pulitzer and Tony award winning play by Tony Kushner (Munich) about AIDS in the late 80’s, has lured Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) to New York to jump start his theater career. The landmark play is being revived this week to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its publication. “This is hopefully a declaration of my intention to have theater be a much more significant part of my career from this point forward,” he said. “I look at the work that I’ve done so far as an investment to that end.” Quinto will play Louis Ironside, an accountant from Brooklyn who leaves his lover when he reveals to Louis he has contracted AIDS.  More after the jump, including a trailer for the production.

Steven Spielberg Trying to Keep LINCOLN Alive While Seeing HARVEY with Robert Downey Jr. as the Lead?

by     Posted 5 years, 97 days ago


Nothing can pull a project out of development hell faster than a similar film heading for the screen and turning it into a race.  After all, if the similar film hits first and it’s good, then the original project now has to clear that bar.  And if the similar film flops, it will probably sour audiences on the idea of watching a film with the same subject or concept.

Steven Spielberg will be damned if he lets Robert Redford steal the glory of making an Abraham Lincoln movie first even if Redford’s movie is about Mary Surratt, the woman convicted as a co-conspirator in Lincoln’s assassination.  But if Spielberg hasn’t given up on “Lincoln”, then what does he plan to do with his remake of “Harvey” and trying to get Robert Downey Jr. on board as the lead?  Attempt to find answers to Mr. Spielberg’s problems after the jump.

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