Netflix has been struggling lately against competitors like Redbox, OnDemand services, and the reluctance of major studios to license their films to the streaming service. However, The Weinstein Company are (thankfully) going against the grain by licensing some of their latest movies to Netflix over U.S. pay TV services. According to THR, The Artist, Coriolanus, Undefeated, as well as foreign-language, documentary, and other films will be exclusively available for Netflix streaming in the U.S.
It’s obviously a great deal for Netflix and its streaming subscribers, especially since a lot of folks probably missed some of TWC’s limited-release movies like Coriolanus and Sarah’s Key. No date has been announced for when these movies will roll out, but since The Artist is due out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 24th, we can presumably expect it by then.
The nominations for the 84th Annual Academy Awards have finally been unveiled. Many of the categories have fallen in line just as most have predicted (I fared alright with my predictions, but not great), with Hugo scoring 11 nods, followed closely by The Artist with 10. The biggest surprises are War Horse and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting in for Best Picture, the exclusion of The Adventures of Tintin from Best Animated Feature, and The Tree of Life nabbing Best Picture and Best Director nods (hooray!). On the snub side of things, despite landing the most precursor critics awards of any other actor in the race thus far, Albert Brooks was denied a Best Supporting Actor nod for his stellar work in Drive (boo). Additionally, Tilda Swinton was overlooked for giving the best performance of the year in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and AMPAS has no love for Michael Fassbender‘s haunting work in Shame.
There’s still plenty to be happy about, as Gary Oldman has his first ever Oscar Nomination (yes, that’s right) and Melissa McCarthy is a Best Supporting Actress nominee. Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees. The 84th Academy Awards will be presented by Billy Crystal on February 26th.
Though many are busy finalizing their predictions for the Best Actor and Best Picture Oscar categories, the Costume Designers Guild today announced nominees for excellence in wardrobe. The nods are split into three categories: contemporary, fantasy, and period. Among the films singled out are superhero fare like X-Men: First Class and Thor, blockbusters franchises Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and dramatic critical favorites like Drive and The Descendants. Personally, I’m thrilled to see the excellent work in X-Men: First Class singled out, and I’m still waiting for a reasonably priced way to own Ryan Gosling’s ridiculously cool jacket from Drive.
Hit the jump to see the full list of nominees. The winners will be announced on February 21st, and the nominees for the upcoming 84th Annual Academy Awards will be revealed this coming Tuesday, January 24th.
I’ve just spent the past three hours watching and live-blogging the 2012 Golden Globe Awards. My brain feels mushy. After the jump and presented without comment is a list of this year’s winners. If you don’t even want to hit the jump, The Artist and The Descendants won Best Comedy/Musical and Best Drama, respectively. If you want to awards prognosticate, I’ll save you the trouble: both were nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Those nominations haven’t been announced yet, but they were nominated. Trust me. I’m a professional.
Also, feel free to sound off on the winners and losers. Lord knows I’ve been doing it for the past three hours.
As the 84th Academy Awards move closer, we’re starting to get a better sense of how things will pan out. We recently shared the 39 songs that will contend for the Best Original Song category, and now the Academy has announced the 97 original scores eligible for the Best Original Score award. AMPAS is notoriously picky when it comes to eligibility in this category, and as we feared the scores for both Drive and Attack the Block have been deemed ineligible. Also disappointing is the ineligibility of Alexandre Desplat’s mesmerizing score for The Tree of Life.
While it’s upsetting to see some of the year’s best work side-lined, there’s plenty to be happy about. I was a huge fan of Howard Shore’s work in Hugo and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as The Chemical Brothers’ brilliant work in the criminally underseen Hanna. Hit the jump for the full list, as well as who I think will make the cut.
If TIFF approves my application, I’ll be making sure I get in to see the satire Butter. The movie is set in the competitive world of butter carving and the story parodies the 2008 Democratic Primary. Jennifer Garner plays an ambitious Midwestern woman whose philandering husband (Ty Burrell) previously won the title. Garner’s character believes the title is her but then she’s challenged by a teenage African-American girl (Yara Shahidi). The outstanding cast also features Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Kristen Schaal, Rob Corddry, Alicia Silverstone, and Ashley Greene. There’s also the first image from Madonna’s W.E. I don’t much care about that movie.
Hit the jump to check out the W.E. image . The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 – 18th. [We've removed the Butter image at the request of the studio]
In my article yesterday about the Venice Film Festival, I made some predictions on which films would make their world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival and not Venice. It turns out a few of my guesses were only the tip of the iceberg. Moneyball, 50/50, and The Descendants are all going to premiere at TIFF. But my lord, does Toronto have an incredible line-up this year. I’m praying my application gets approved because when you hit the jump and check out this line-up, you’ll understand my agony if I’m stuck in Atlanta while these films are premiering.
Hit the jump for the line-up of Galas and Premieres for this year’s festival. The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8th – 18th.
At this point in my life, the possibility I could go to the Venice Film Festival is about the same as me going to Mars. However, this fall I would much prefer to go to Venice because Mars doesn’t have an amazing selection of films lined up for their film festival (at least not that I know of). We already knew that George Clooney’s The Ides of March would be opening the festival but Variety has now confirmed some must-see films will be premiering in Venice as well. Among the high-profile movies playing in competition are Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method.
Hit the jump for the complete list of movies announced thus far for Venice and my speculation on what will be left to debut at Toronto. The 2011 Venice Film Festival runs from August 31st through September 10th.
Madonna’s directorial debut Filth and Wisdom was widely panned but The Weinstein Company clearly has some faith in her follow-up W.E. (or at least in their ability to market it). The studio has sent out a press release announcing that they’ll release the movie on December 9th in the heart of awards season. It makes sense that TWC would try pushing the film into the awards race since the story of W.E. is what was happening off-screen in The King’s Speech. Whereas King’s Speech made King Edward VIII look like a selfish, short-sighted romantic, W.E. will recount his love story with American Wallis Simpson by viewing their relationship through the modern life of Wally Winthrop. Wally is unhappy in her own marriage and looks for answers in the story of Edward VIII and Simpson. The film stars features Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D’Arcy, and Oscar Isaac.
W.E. will be given a platform release and open in New York and LA on December 9th and go wide sometime in January. The other films set to open on December 9th are the star-studded rom-com anthology New Year’s Eve and David Gordon Green’s comedy The Sitter starring Jonah Hill. Hit the jump for the press release.
W.E. is a curious project. The romantic drama is the feature directorial debut of Madonna — in accordance with Blond Ambition, the narrative is split into two parts by more than six decades. In 1998, Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) obsesses over her vision of the ideal romance between King Edward VIII (James D’Arcy) and Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). I suppose the conceit is not too far removed from Julie & Julia, but W.E. feels decidedly less commercial. The Weinstein Company believes in the film and its director, though, and today acquired the U.S. distribution rights for release later in 2011. Hit the jump for the announcement details, including an official synopsis.
The Cannes Film Festival is only halfway finished but we’re already looking ahead to another major European film fest: Venice. Early selections have been announced for the 68th Venice Film Festival and there are already some fantastic additions. Roman Polanski’s Carnage and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method will both be making their world premieres at the festival along with Steve McQueen’s Shame, Todd Solondz’ Dark Horse, Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam documentary PJ20, and more. Variety also reports that films submitted but not yet approved for the festival include Madonna’s W.E., Walter Salles’ On the Road, and Luc Besson’s The Lady. Then there’s the film that are being tipped to premiere at Venice: Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, Steven Sodebergh’s Contagion and Haywire, and a toss-up between Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.
So if you’re already seething with jealousy that you’re not attending Cannes this year, hold on to that jealousy because it looks like you’re going to need it when Venice rolls around. The 68th Venice Film Festival runs from August 31st to September 10th.
Here’s a couple quick pieces of casting news for your enjoyment. First up, Screen Daily reports that Ewan McGregor will play King Edward VIII in Madonna’s W.E. The English monarch abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga will play Simpson while Abbie Cornish will play a contemporary character in a parallel timeline. SD says it’s like Julie & Julia but it sounds more like 2002′s Possession to me.
Next up is a project I find far more interesting. According to Variety, Jennifer Connolley, Greg Kinner, and Marisa Tomei will join Pierce Brosnan, Jim Gaffigan, and Ed Harris in the comedy-thriller Salvation Boulevard. The film is about, “a former Deadhead who finds himself on the run from fundamentalist members of his mega-church who will do anything to protect their larger-than-life pastor.” That’s a great cast with a great premise so I hope that director George Ratliff (Joshua) can deliver a great film.