Could Disney's "Into the Woods" be a Christmas surprise for moviegoers and Oscar? Judging by the film's second trailer, let's just say we're pleasantly surprised. Here are five quick thoughts to ponder on Rob Marshall's latest endeavor before or after you watch the new preview.
Frankly, many of us saw this coming. As soon as A24 Films confirmed that J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" would be released just in time for Oscar consideration, the questions began. Was Jessica Chastain's performance a leading or supporting proposition? Moreover, how would that relate to her work in Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," which Paramount Pictures was clearly positioning (accurately) for Best Supporting Actress consideration? Once the film began to screen, word got out that her turn in "Year" was clearly supporting and at some point a choice was going to have to be made. A24 probably hoped things would work out for everyone and Chastain would be considered a lead for Chandor's film, but based on the news The New York Times broke tonight, it might not have mattered.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the 20 films that have submitted for this season's best animated picture Oscar. The films in contention, if they qualify, include:
For an actor who didn't get the respect he deserved until almost 20 years into his now legendary career, Matthew McConaughey has certainly been lucky enough to work with some amazing filmmakers. Last year's Best Actor Oscar winner has honed his craft under the eyes of Steven Spielberg ("Amistad"), Steven Soderbergh ("Magic Mike"), Martin Scorsese ("The Wolf of Wall Street"), Ron Howard ("Edtv"), John Sayles ("Lone Star"), Robert Zemeckis ("Contact"), William Friedkin ("Killer Joe") and his longtime friend Richard Linklater, who gave him his big break in "Dazed and Confused." Surprisingly, McConaughey more or less tells HitFix they all come up short compared to his helmer for the expected blockbuster "Interstellar," Christopher Nolan.
The beginning of the show-and-tell portion of awards season has often been marked by many with the Hollywood Film Awards (sigh) or, more recently, the Academy's Governors Awards. This year that designation actually falls on BAFTA's Britannia Awards. The latest incarnation of the show took over the Beverly Hilton Hotel Thursday night with some of the world's biggest stars taking part. And, surprise, a number of those famous faces are fighting for the Oscar spotlight.
It's hard to believe, but we are just a few weeks away from "Foxcatcher" finally hitting theaters. It will arrive almost six months to the day following its world premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. In the weeks since, Bennett Miller's drama has earned more strong reviews at the Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, just to name a few. Steve Carell has solidified himself as a legitimate Best Actor contender for his transformative performance as John du Pont, Channing Tatum has earned some of the best notices of his career for his portrayal of former Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz and Miller finds himself with a third-straight Best Picture contender. Yes, things are still moving steady on the "Foxcatcher" train.
It's been a week since "Interstellar" finally screened. Critics were allowed to officially voice their opinions on Monday morning and, well, the reaction was sort of all over the place. There was some high praise, some qualified praise and a small, but vocal group of reviewers who clearly were not happy (perhaps if they had only seen it without that IMAX sound mix). In general, it was the sort of response you'd get for a film that currently has a a 77 on Metacritic and a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Considering the hype, is that the profile of a Best Picture nominee?
Los Angeles has been the subject of too many films to mention. Some moviegoers may often wonder if Hollywood's gaze ever looks beyond Southern California or the New York Metro area. But every once in a while a filmmaker shows an unexpected side of the City of Angeles. It's the LA you don't see on Bravo reality shows, or in the formulaic studio flicks where every family lives in a beautiful home in Pacific Palisades (aka ritzy Santa Monica) while thirtysomething jr. executives can somehow afford a apartments right off Venice beach. That's just one (exclusive) part of the city. Recent releases such as "Sound of My Voice," "Drive," "Beginners" and now "Nightcrawler" have provided a peak into a different perspective of Los Angeles. Dan Gilroy's new thriller is particularly intriguing because, according to star Jake Gyllenhaal, the main character was inspired by the landscape of the city itself.
It's only the last week of October, but conversations are already starting about year end top 10 lists around the HitFix offices. Looking back over the past 10 months there are a number of films that are worthy of consideration. Some more obvious than others. One film that probably won't make a number of lists, but probably needs to be seen again because it's too good to ignore, is Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man."
TORONTO — Let's hope Keira Knightley never changes. Having interviewed the "Pride & Prejudice" star at least five times over the past decade I can attest that she's as blunt, energetic and smart as ever. This is one actress who no doubt rolls her eyes at studio talking points. Take for instance our interview last month about her role in the beloved new Best Picture contender "The Imitation Game" where she was at the top of her, um, game.