If it's January that means Sundance is once again upon us and the Park City institution appears ready to make some noise in what has become a very busy month for entertainment fans. Before the festival begins, much of the publicity and hype usually centers on the star-driven films in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and Premieres categories, but by the time Saturday rolls around it's a jaw-dropping documentary or unexpected surprise ("Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Little Miss Sunshine") that really have people talking and have film lovers wondering when these titles will find their way to a theater in their hometown. It's a recurring scenario that has made Sundance America's premiere and, arguably, most important film festival.
Unless this is your first visit to HitFix (and if so, welcome), you might have noticed some branding on the site over the past few days touting the "Entertainment Avalanche 2014." And if you're wondering, "What the heck is that?" Well, you're in the middle of it and it's only going to get crazier over the next week.
BEVERLY HILLS - There was a roar of cheers when Steve McQueen entered the FOX/Fox Searchlight Golden Globes party Sunday night. I know because I was standing right behind McQueen and his cast as they tried to walk into the packed Globes after party. The "12 Years a Slave" win for Best Picture - Drama and the surprising wins for FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" Andy Samberg in the TV Series - Comedy or Musical categories made it (initially) the place to be.
The day before the Golden Globes has always been packed full of industry events and pre-show parties. 2014 was no different, especially if you were anywhere near Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.
The ballots have been cast. Voting is over (for the moment). There is nothing any pundit, actor, director, studio head or awards season sweet talker can do to affect the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. It's done. Now, all anyone in the game can do is wait. And maybe try to shake off their nervousness with a few drinks over this busy event weekend.
HOLLYWOOD - Academy members may have already submitted their ballots to determine this year's Oscar nominations, but determining the industry's guild winners is coming down to the wire. That was just one reason why Warner Bros. hosted an IMAX screening of Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" with an impressive Q&A afterward at the Chinese Theater Thursday night for all of the major guilds. And if it ends up rubbing off on some Academy members in attendance down the road, that won't hurt either.
NEW YORK - I'm somewhat torn as to whether to communicate just how awkward my interview with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams was for Spike Jonze's masterful "Her" last month. Our video editing team did a wonderful job of making it seem less so, but let's just say that Mr. Phoenix lived up to his well deserved reputation. It's one reason you hear a lot more from the wonderfully charming Ms. Adams in the interview embedded at the top of the post than the movie's leading man. Granted, we were able to discuss a bit about Jonze's vision of a future Los Angeles and the changes to the project through production, but it certainly wasn't what I'd hoped for when I walked in the interview room. Certainly not for a film that ended up at no. 9 on my top ten list of 2013.
No one likes to be told what to do, but with just two real days left for Academy members to submit their votes for the 86th Academy Awards ask our Oscar friends to indulge us in some unsolicited advice. It may be their last chance to do the right thing before history is signed, sealed and delivered.
A slew of former Oscar winners and nominees headed to the desert for the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards gala Saturday evening. The reason for the 2 hour plus ride from Los Angeles? Well, almost all of the famous faces on hand are hoping to earn Academy Award nominations later this month or assist a specific film in landing a best picture nod. It's become a staple on the awards season circuit and one reason stars from "American Hustle," "12 Years A Slave," "August: Osage County" and "Gravity" were on hand.
The National Society of Film Critics announced its 2013 honorees this afternoon and gave a much needed boost to the Oscar nomination chances for "Inside Llewyn Davis."
"Davis" earned best film, best director (Joel and Ethan Coen), best actor (Oscar Isaac) and best cinematography (Bruno Delbonnel) honors. The NFSC also gave kudos to "American Hustle's" Jennifer Lawrence for best supporting actress and "Spring Breakers'" James Franco for best supporting actor. Cate Blanchett once again won another best actress honor for "Blue Jasmine."
The NSFC has over 60 members from publications around the nation and their choices have historically not always lineup with their own local critics groups. The past five previous best film winners include "Amour," "Melancholia," "The Social Network," "The Hurt Locker" and "Waltz with Bashir." "The Hurt Locker" and "Million Dollar Baby" are the only films the organization has chosen as best film that also won the Oscar for best picture in the past 20 years. You can find a somewhat dated list of the membership on their official website here.