It should have been bad. It should have been terrible. A live broadcast of the Hollywood Film Awards with Queen "People's Choice" Latifah as host? A network spotlight on the most fake awards show of them all? Even with low expectations, how could talent go on stage and pick up these, cough, "awards" in front of a national audience? An award given to them because they were available to show up and their studios lobbied for it? (At least fans vote for some of the Teen Choice Awards!) Well, watch out Critics Choice Awards because CBS and Dick Clark Productions figured out a way to fashion a much more entertaining two hours than you've delivered the past few years.
It's the awards show that isn't really an awards show, but that didn't stop almost every major contender in town for stopping by to pick up their awards or present one to someone else. Yes, the 2014 Hollywood Film Awards brought out some big names, even if we'll all forget this event happened tomorrow.
Director Bennett Miller has waited for "Foxcatcher" to hit theaters longer than you might have thought. He was actually hoping to shoot the film before 2011's "Moneyball," but got sidetracked stepping in for Steven Soderbergh on what eventually became a Best Picture-nominated smash. In fact, "Foxcatcher" has been in the works for so long that it was actually the first project Annapurna Pictures was prepared to fund before they found success with such films as "The Master" and "Zero Dark Thirty." After earning critical acclaim at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Miller has had to wait another six months for his passion project to finally hit theaters. Which brings us to today.
HOLLYWOOD — It was an emotional evening at the Egyptian Theatre Wednesday night as "Still Alice" finally came "home."
Co-directors and husbands Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland are longtime Los Angelinos and the latter remarked how both men had spent many nights watching films in this same venue, which is the Hollywood home of the American Cinematheque. More importantly, this AFI Fest screening afforded Glatzer, who is in advance stages of ALS, to finally see the movie on the big screen with an audience. He missed the amazing reception at the Toronto Film Festival. He missed the Rome Film Festival. He missed the Hamptons Film Festival. He was not going to miss seeing "Still Alice" in his hometown.
Like a number of actors still in the awards season mix, Hilary Swank has been talking about her contender along with films from Sundance or Cannes for a long time. In fact, she's been promoting Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman" from one film festival to another across the country for the past six months. Sitting in a Beverly Hills Hotel room the morning before its last stop, AFI Fest, the two-time Oscar winner admits she's happy to have something so good to talk about.
Often we put our heroes on pedestals. Yet, even the greatest men in history have made mistakes, suffered because of their personal vices and doubted themselves at the most critical junctures of their lives. Ava DuVernay's powerful new drama "Selma" tells the tale of the Selma to Montgomery marches that spearheaded the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but at its center is one historically prominent hero who finds himself at a crossroads, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Eight months after it hit theaters, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is back in business, and here's hoping Hollywood is paying attention.
Ralph Fiennes joined co-stars Tony Revolori and Jeff Goldblum for a final SAG nominating committee Q&A Monday night in Los Angeles that this pundit was lucky enough to moderate. Most in the packed theater had already seen "Budapest" but wanted a chance to hear the film's stars discuss their journey into Wes Anderson's latest creation in person.
Ladies and gentlemen, Emma Stone has come out of the "Amazing Spider-Man" fire and survived.
After almost three years of pretty much filming the Sony franchise flicks back to back, she's finally getting to stretch her wings again. The latest reminder of her incredible talent is her performance as Sam, Michael Keaton's big screen daughter in Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman." The drama, centered on a former Hollywood superstar (Riggan Thompson) attempting to revive his career on Broadway, is one of the most acclaimed films of the year. Stone brings an unexpected depth to Sam and she's generated serious Best Supporting Actress buzz for her work.
HOLLYWOOD — You'd never guess it from the reviews, but after Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" screened at the New York Film Festival last month, the word on the street wasn't great.
The iconic filmmaker's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel earned immediate respect, but numerous industry attendees spread the word it wasn't Academy friendly and potentially not commercial enough to really be a player for Warner Bros. It even prompted questions on whether the reaction to the uniquely Los Angeles tale would have been better suited for a hometown debut. Following "Vice's" Southern California unveiling at the 2014 AFI Film Fest Saturday night, the answer to that question is still up for debate, but one thing's for sure: it's time to start the "don't forget Josh Brolin in the Best Supporting Actor race" campaign. Yes, a "reminder" campaign usually occurs after a film has at least hit limited release, but with "Vice" not arriving in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles until Dec. 1,2 there might be no time like the present.
An actor or actress can be on the periphery of stardom for what seems like an eternity before the right role comes along at the right time and transforms his or her career. Do you know how many times you probably saw Michael Fassbender on screen before he technically broke out four years ago? Did you know Benedict Cumberbatch had been a working actor for almost a decade before he finally got Hollywood's attention after "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Sherlock" (2011)? Enter the latest star on the verge of global recognition: Eddie Redmayne.