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.
One of the unique fixtures of an opening weekend in Los Angeles, whether it's an art house release or a studio blockbuster, are filmmakers and sometimes stars popping their heads into a theater to see how their baby plays. Well, if you're going to a screening of the new animated feature "The Book of Life" in the Southland this weekend, there's a good chance you might see Jorge R. Gutierrez dropping by your theater.
A month after attending the world premiere of Chris Rock's "Top Five" at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, I still can't get it out of my head. I have not laughed louder or more often in a theater this year. "Top Five" is also the one movie from Toronto I cannot wait to see again. It's simply the truth.
Oscar finally has a host, Neil Patrick Harris, but does she have a frontrunner yet? Not really.
This has been a curious awards season so far in terms of the Best Picture race. There are a number of potential contenders that could win it all, but even the films that have already screened such as "The Imitation Game," "The Theory of Everything," "Birdman" and "Boyhood" haven't really separated themselves from the pack (not yet, anyway). That will all change when Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" begins to screen for critics, pundits and the industry soon.
Maybe the critics were wrong.
Maybe "Dracula Untold" is the entertaining fantasy action-adventure moviegoers have been waiting for since, um, "Guardians of the Galaxy" opened at the beginning of August. Maybe Luke Evans has a huge following know one really knew about. Maybe America has just been waiting for Dracula to be a hero like those Vamps in "Twilight" and "True Blood." Whatever it was, "Dracula Untold" almost won the weekend at the box office and somewhat over performed with $23 million at the box office.