GRAVITY and 12 YEARS A SLAVE Tie for PGA Best Picture Award; BREAKING BAD Wins Best TV Series

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For the past six years in a row, the winner of the Producers Guild Award has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture.  It looked like the Oscar race might be decided this evening with the 2014 PGAs, but in an unprecedented move, the Best Picture trophy was split with a tie between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity.  Many were looking to American Hustle to take the PGA given its bevy of Oscar nominations and the fact that it won top honors from the SAG awards, but after tonight it might very well have to finish third.  So now we’re back to the two films that took the frontrunners slots all the way back in September.

Elsewhere at the PGA Awards, Breaking Bad won Best Drama Series, Modern Family won Best Comedy Series, and Frozen won Best Animated Feature.  Read the full list of winners after the jump.

2014 Writers Guild Nominations Include HER, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, WOLF OF WALL STREET, and LONE SURVIVOR

by     Posted 292 days ago

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The Oscar precursors are in full swing.  Yesterday we got a look at the nominations for the Producers Guild Awards—a solid predictor for the Best Picture Oscar category—and today the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its nominations for the 2014 awards.  The Best Original Screenplay nominees include Nebraska, Her, and American Hustle, while the Best Adapted category is filled out by the likes of Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, and The Wolf of Wall Street.  The major surprise in today’s WGA announcements is the inclusion of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor script for Best Adapted Screenplay and the befuddling absence of Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis for Original Screenplay.

Hit the jump for more, including the full list of WGA nominations and my analysis with regards to what this means for Oscar.  The 2014 WGA Awards will be held on February 1st.

Director Alex Gibney Talks WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS and His Next Documentary LANCE ARMSTRONG: THE ROAD BACK

by     Posted 1 year, 157 days ago

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Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets:  The Story of WikiLeaks is a riveting, multi-layered tale about transparency in the information age and our ever-elusive search for the truth.  Unfolding like an exciting political spy thriller with a cast of complex characters, the film confirms that real life is often more compelling than fiction as it chronicles the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history.  The enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of PFC Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who was the source of all the documents that WikiLeaks is famous for.

In this exclusive interview, Gibney talked to me about his reasons for doing the film and how they evolved as he learned more, his impressions of Assange, why Manning was central to the story, how not being able to interview the two key players led to a more powerful film, the challenge of making a documentary that appeals to both men’s supporters and detractors, his response to Oliver Stone’s criticism, his thoughts about the role of media, transparency and the issue of privacy in the internet age, and his upcoming documentary, Lance Armstrong:  The Road Back.  Hit the jump to read more:

First Trailer and Poster for WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS

by     Posted 1 year, 215 days ago

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Focus World has released the first trailer and poster for director Alex Gibney’s (Taxi to the Dark Side) documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.  As the title suggests, the film focuses on the creation and effect of Julian Assange’s controversial WikiLeaks website, but this trailer also promises a look into how the information age has affected the way governments function and the moral grey area that comes with keeping national secrets.  It’s riveting stuff, and I’m happy to see that Gibney’s focus looks to expand beyond Assange/WikiLeaks to examine what the ordeal reveals about the way our world’s governments function in the 21st century.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer and poster.  We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks opens on May 24th.

Release Dates for THE WAY, WAY BACK, TURKEYS, WE STEAL SECRETS, and Nicholas Sparks Adaptation THE LONGEST RIDE

by     Posted 1 year, 241 days ago

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A few release date shifts/announcements have been made.  Briefly:

  • The Way, Way Back – This comedy/drama from the writers of The Descendants was one of the largest acquisitions from Sundance, and the Steve Carell-starrer is set to open in limited release on July 5th of this year.  Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, and Allison Janney.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • Turkeys – Relativity Media and Reel FX’s animated comedy has been moved up a full year from November 2014 to this coming November 1st.  The pic features the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler and will open opposite the comedy Last Vegas and the sci-fi adaptation Ender’s Game.
  • We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks – Director Alex Gibney’s documentary about the WikiLeaks scandal premiered at this year’s Sundance film festival and will open in limited release on May 24th.
  • The Longest Ride – Yes, another Nicholas Sparks feature film adaptation is on the way.  This book isn’t even out yet, but the film now has a release date of February 13, 2015.

Alex Gibney Talks Catholic Church Sex Abuse Documentary MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD, His WikiLeaks Film, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 260 days ago

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Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God investigates the secret crimes of a Milwaukee priest, Father Lawrence Murphy, who abused more than 200 deaf children in a school that was under his control.  At the heart of the documentary is a small group of courageous deaf men – Terry Kohut, Gary Smith, Arthur Budzinski and Bob Bolger – who set out to expose the priest who had abused them and sought to protect other children.  In addition, the film also spotlights similar sex abuse cases in Ireland and Italy, and shows the extent of the cover-up to protect the Catholic Church.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, filmmaker Alex Gibney talked about how this documentary came out, how they determined the film’s narrative structure, what most surprised him when he spoke with these heroic deaf men, the decision to have actors (Ethan Hawke, Chris Cooper, Jamey Sheridan and John Slattery) provide their voices, his reaction to the extent of the cover-up, and what it would take to change such actions.  He also talked about another documentary he’s made about the abuse of power, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and what he’s looking to do with his production company, Jigsaw Productions.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

2013 Sundance Film Festival Announces Premieres Lineup Including DON JON’S ADDICTION, STOKER, BEFORE MIDNIGHT, JOBS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 322 days ago

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Last week we saw the 2013 Sundance Film Festival announce lineups for its competition and Spotlight/Park City at Midnight programming, and today they have unveiled the list of films that will screen as part of the Premieres lineup.  It’s one hell of a program, as films that will screen include the Ashton Kutcher-fronted Steve Jobs biopic jOBS, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction, director Richard Linklater’s trilogy-completing Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the ensemble comedy A.C.O.D., director Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut Stoker, and much, much more.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup for the narrative and documentary premieres.  The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27th.

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