Inside Movies and Pop Culture with Gregory Ellwood
Everyone's favorite Foreign Press Assocaition is back
As Amy Poehler succinctly noted last January, it's once again time for the Golden Globes. The one night a year where the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television (we kid). Of course, that also means some of Hollywood's biggest names need to socialize with the dreaded Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) in order to get that Golden Globes boost. While the Globes mean little in terms of actual Oscar nominations or final wins, they have been a big help at the box office. And, when it all comes down to it, that's what really matters most in awards season: money.
The HFPA is doing its best to avoid some of the more embarrassing nominations over the past few years that often come with their split "drama" and "comedy or musical" categories. So, as we look over the major contenders for this year's nominations you'll be surprised to see few red flags. The only eyebrow-raiser -- in some respects -- is "The Heat" stars, but that's because the field for best actress in a comedy or musical is slightly weak.
While the HFPA is a small organization, approximately 90 members, they are not the most secretive bunch. Therefore, every studio in town mostly knows what they really like and what they really don't. "Lee Daniels' The Butler"? Just Oprah and that's about it. "Philomena"? They love it. "American Hustle"? Ditto.
With that in mind, check out the story galley below to see who's in and who clearly isn't before the nominations are announced next Thursday.
Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
A complete look at the U.S., World and Next competition slate
The Sundance Institute announced the initial wave of narrative films and documentaries for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival today and it features one of the more star-studded competition lineups in the film's history.
Only seven weeks until dreams are shattered
Leonardo DiCaprio in "Wolf of Wall Street."
Credit: Paramount Pictures
We've reached a critical phase of the season, Oscar watchers. We're not talking about the shortened shopping season or families reuniting across the country for the holidays. No, Hollywood is heading into the high season. A time when we stop talking about who's going to get a nomination and who's going to actually win.
Oh, and Oscar Isaac too
Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake singing "Please Mr. Kennedy" in the Coen Bros' "Inside Llewyn Davis."
Credit: CBS Films
It's hard to believe that the Coen Bros.' "Inside Llewyn Davis" debuted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival over six months ago. Now, after numerous festival screenings and events, its theatrical release is finally around the corner. Sure, it won't be anywhere near nationwide yet, but Coens fans will take it.
Don't pay attention to these dates, really
Julianne Moore in Legendary Pictures' "Seventh Son" which Universal will now release in 2015.
Credit: Legendary Pictures
Any publicity expert will tell you that if you need to announce bad news, the best day to do it is when no one is paying attention. That's often why Hollywood studios and networks time cancellations, firings, er, "transitions" and negative news late Friday afternoon or evening Los Angeles time. East Coast media and investors are out partying the night away and their West Coast equivalents are likely on their way out of the office. It's no surprise then, that Universal Pictures revealed some big release date changes on the Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving when most people are traveling home for the holiday weekend.
It's great, but not let's get crazy here
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" torched the box office last weekend and has already grossed over $186 million. That was pretty much expected based on the franchise's fan base and the strength of the first film in the franchise, 2012's "The Hunger Games." What had to be a happy surprise to Lionsgate and director Francis Lawrence were some of the glowing reviews the film has received. Some pundits even throwing out that "Catching Fire" is so good it's the best sequel since "Empire Strikes Back." OK, the HitFix team thinks it's a really good flick, but let's not get crazy here people. "Catching Fire" isn't destined to make most critic's best of year lists. Obviously, "Catching Fire" isn't aiming for Oscars (or maybe it is?), but as pure old-fashioned cinematic entertainment it features more than enough obvious highlights and lowlights to wax on. And, yes, we can't wait for "Mockingjay, Pt. 1" either.
Could she be back for more than one episode?
Margo Martindale during a dramatic moment in the first season of FX's "The Americans."
Poor Margo Martindale. On a brisk Sunday morning in New York, the Emmy Award winner was paired with Oscar winner Chris Cooper to discuss their impressive performances in John Wells' big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts' acclaimed stage play "August: Osage County." Both actors have outside chances at best supporting Oscar nominations and, of course, what do I want to talk about? All I want to do is ask Martindale questions about a television show she isn't "officially" a regular guest star on anymore, "The Americans."
Plus: Did Raven-Symoné make her first 'out' appearance?
Jane Fonda at the 2013 Outfest Legacy Awards.
LOS ANGELES — If you've ever met Lee Daniels or seen an interview with him, you'd quickly ascertain that the director of "Precious" and "The Butler" is his own force of nature. He has a charisma and passion that has helped fuel his success as a filmmaker. So, to be fair, only a true diva could upstage him and especially on a night he's receiving a prestigious lifetime achievement award.
Enter Jane Fonda.
You might be surprised who is in the winners list
It's been a little over a year since the "Twilight" saga said goodbye with the final chapter, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2." In the 12 months since Hollywood just hasn't been the same. Studios have tried to recreate the screaming tween magic with numerous faux franchises such as "The Host" and "Mortal Instruments," but moviegoers just won't have it. Sure, there's "Hunger Games" and potential future players like "Divergent" and "The Maze Runner," but where is our pop culture phenomenon to fill the "Twilight" void?
Lionsgate throws a big party for their new blockbuster
Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson pose at the Los Angeles premiere of "Catching Fire."
Credit: AP Photo/Jordan Strauss
LOS ANGELES - Can you imagine how hard it is to keep topping yourself on the red carpet when you're literally "the girl on fire"? Somehow Jennifer Lawrence managed to do it again as jaws dropped when she appeared in a gorgeous see-thru swimsuit-esque dress at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" Monday night.