Inside Movies and Pop Culture with Gregory Ellwood
is it just a three-way race?
"Is it over yet?"
Usually, that's a common refrain you hear during awards season at the beginning of February after countless pseudo awards shows, screenings, cocktail parties, interviews and film festivals. Instead, it seems to be the nation's collective mindset about the upcoming presidential election. Since the conventions at the end of August, the nation's attention has been distracted or bombarded by election coverage, debates and commercials. And while few of the latter even air in Los Angeles, the movie industry is spending just as much time checking the latest poll results as a soccer mom in Kansas might be. Compound the last few months with three highly rated debates and 72 hours of Hurricane Sandy coverage (and concern) and you'll understand why it sort of feels like this year's Oscar race has been in a bit of a holding pattern.
Is he 2012's Ryan Gosling?
BEVERLY HILLS - Is last year's Ryan Gosling this year's Joseph Gordon-Levitt? The "Inception" star has been on a tear in 2012 with four films hitting theaters within five months. Gordon-Levitt became the new hope for Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises"; a bicycle messenger in the surprisingly well reviewed "Premium Rush"; a younger Bruce Willis in the hit Sci-Fi thriller "Looper"; and now he has a key supporting role in Steven Spielberg's new potential Oscar player "Lincoln."
Plus: Richard Armitage, Jackson's joy and more
WELLINGTON, NZ – It’s our second day on the set of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and we’ve finally gotten a chance to chat with the man steering the ship of the massive undertaking, Peter Jackson. But it was never supposed to be the New Zealand filmmaker’s job.
The legendary actor speaks from the set of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'
WELLINGTON, NZ – After almost a year and a half of shooting two, er, now three “Hobbit” films, no one would fault Sir Ian McKellen for being a tad bored. That’s a long time to work on any movie or spend away from home (granted there were two long breaks). The 73-year-old acting icon has ventured to the set of “The Hobbit” this May day to spend what was supposed to just be 20 minutes talking to visiting press, but it soon became clear McKellen was excited to have a live audience again. 20 minutes soon turned into something closer to 40.
How wide open is the category this year?
Now it's time for the supporting ladies. The actresses who usually steal the movie out from under their leading lady or gentleman co-stars. And unlike the past few years, 2012 seems to be something of a wide open race at the moment.
If there's one movie she could leave behind it might be this one
BEVERLY HILLS - Helen Hunt may be incredibly nervous on the inside, but she projected an unexpected regal confidence during our short interview for her work in "The Sessions" last week. Obviously, playing a real life character is always daunting. Playing a real life person who was a sexual surrogate to a disabled poet hoping to have his first sexual experience in his late 30's is something else.
Is it a wide open field or a battle for two slots?
Predictably, awards season begins with almost every major category either being characterized as too competitive or more wide open then you could possibly imagine. The 2012 best supporting actor field is somehow an intriguing mix of both (at the moment).
It's been a busy year for the Emmy winner
BEVERLY HILLS - It's been a busy year so far for Bryan Cranston. Two films he shot long ago were finally released ("Red Tails" and "John Carter") and he appeared in three big summer releases ("Madagascar 3," "Rock of Ages" and "Total Recall"). Oh, and he just happened to land his fourth Emmy nomination for best actor in recognition for his stellar work as the iconic Walter White in "Breaking Bad." Plus, "Bad" aired eight of its last sixteen episodes to continued critical acclaim (which sort of makes up for the duds "Rock of Ages" and "Total Recall"). In September, he received another gift, Ben Affleck's "Argo."
'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'The Impossible' and 'Central Park Five' will also screen
LOS ANGELES - After already setting "Hitchock" as its opening night gala and "Lincoln" as its closing night gala, AFI revealed its slate of centerpiece galas and special screenings for the 2012 AFI Film Festival.
This year's centerpiece galas include best animated picture contender "Rise of the Guardians," Ang Lee's 3D visual extravaganza "Life of Pi," Walter Salles' already well traveled "On the Road" and Jacques Audiard's Cannes breakout "Rust and Bone." The latter ties into a special Tribute to Marion Cotillard that will be held during the eight day event. Cotillard, a prime best actress contender, received a similar honor at the Telluride Film Festival last month.
An in depth video interview with the - yep - acclaimed filmmaker