PARK CITY - Not all screenwriters are meant to be directors, and there are many directors who should be kept arm's length away from a keypad. After winning a best adapted screenplay Oscar along with Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon ("Ben and Kate") and Jim Rash ("Community ") move to the director's chair with the funny, but rocky "The Way Way Back."
PARK CITY - The past few years have seen a number of films focus on the writers of the Beat Generation and iconic writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Keroac. This year's entry to the growing genre is John Krokidas' "Kill Your Darlings" which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Friday afternoon and opens the door to a historical incident which had remain mostly unchronicled for almost 60 years.
PARK CITY - As a movie pitch "Austenland" seems like a no-brainer. A devoted and sadly single Jane Austen fan (appropriately named Jane and played by Keri Russell) decides to spend her life savings to visit Austenland, an immersive vacation resort which promise her a personal Mr. Darcy experience. Of course, nothing goes as planned, but our heroine still finds love where she wouldn't have expected it. Throw in some quirky British characters trying to pull off the 19th Century in the 21st Century and you have numerous comedic opportunities. Based on the novel by Shannon Hale and co-produced by Stephenie Meyer, Jerusha Hess' "Austenland" should quickly evoke a bidding war that will make the numerous studios regret passing on the first time around.
PARK CITY - They are the voices in the chorus. That extra kick that turns a solid song into a massive hit. They are the background singers who transformed the music industry in the '60s and '70s often to the detriment of their own solo careers. Finally, these legendary artists step into the spotlight in Morgan Neville's entertaining and enlightening documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom" which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday night.
PARK CITY - The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is only hours away from kicking off with four premieres tonight: the documentary mystery "Who is Dayani Cristal?", U.S. dramatic competition entry "May in the Summer," "Crystal Fairy" with Michael Cera and the music doc "Twenty Feet from Stardom" (oh yeah, and "Shorts Program 1"). The early buzz is all about James Franco and his two sex movies ("Interior.Leather.Bar." and "Kink"), but by Saturday night the conversation will likely have shifted to the "big surprise" and hot acquisition targets. With that in mind, here are 10 predictions for the next week of festival going in Park City.
Before they "Star Trek Into Darkness," U.S.S. Enterprise crew members Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana are reuniting to host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards in February.
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is only days away and, as usual, it will be a welcome breath of fresh air for the industry after weeks of award season campaigning and holiday blockbusters. On the outset, this year's slate of U.S. dramatic competition films and premieres appear friendlier than usual to mainstream audiences. A number of the dramatic competition films have more recognizable than previous years stars such as "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" (Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck), "Afternoon Delight" (Kathryn Hahn, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch), "Austenland" (Keri Russell), "Kill Your Darlings" (Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C. Hall), "Fruitvale" (Octavia Spencer, Chad Michael Murray), "The Lifeguard" (Kristen Bell) and "Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes."
Did we just experience the greatest awards show program this century? From Amy Poehler and Tina Fey's hilarious opening monologue to nary a weak speech among the winners, the 70th Golden Globe Awards was three hours of (mostly) well paced drama that miraculously fit around a now legendary speech from Jodie Foster that many in Hollywood will still be thinking about when they wake up Monday morning. This is where live television excels as a medium and, no joke, we have the HFPA to thank for it.
It's that time of year. The few hours a year when the worlds of film and television come together in a drunken mess (well, until they reconvene at the SAG Awards in two weeks). Yes, it's Golden Globes time people. And if anyone can throw a party, er, find movie studios and networks to pay for fabulous parties it's the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Using our connections with those that are the "inside" of the approximately 80-something member organization and our ability to predict the HFPA's need to please everyone, HitFix's Executive Editor Daniel Fienberg and I present you our predictions for the 70th Golden Globe Awards.
It's been two days since the Academy Awards nominations were announced and Hollywood is still getting over the snubs and surprises. Like Nancy Kerrigan's primal cry of "Why? Why? Why?" echoing through time, industry pundits, critics across the globe, a plethora of Sony Pictures employees and Academy members not in the directing branch are opening questioning how Kathryn Bigelow could have been overlooked in the best directing category. And the outrage over Ben Affleck's omission is only slightly quieter. Clearly, it's never to late to review the lessons the Academy's collective membership have taught us so far this year. With that in mind, here's 10 things we've learned so far.