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.
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.
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.
2013 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Contenders: Leonardo DiCaprio and Tommy Lee Jones round out a crowded field
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).
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."
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.
BEVERLY HILLS - Ben Affleck is battling bronchitis. In fact, when he appears to introduce his acclaimed new film "Argo" at its official LA premiere a few days later, his cough and haggard voice will be even more pronounced. This day though, it's slight enough to just seem like a simple cold. Considering the love his new thriller has received since its sneak premiere at the Telluride Film Festival a month before, the momentary illness may be the toughest fight Affleck has to face at the box office or during "Argo's" expected awards season run.
NEW YORK - On Monday night, the New York Film Festival held their second (apparently now annual) 'Secret Screening.' Last year, at the first such screening, audiences were treated to Martin Scorsese's then merely award contender "Hugo," this year they got a look at Steven Spielberg's upcoming "Lincoln."
HOLLYWOOD - Florence + The Machine brought their long running Celestials tour to the famed Hollywood Bowl Sunday night for the first of two sold out shows and the acclaimed singer songwriter didn't disappoint.
BEVERLY HILLS - After triumphant screenings at Telluride and Toronto, Warner Bros. held the official Los Angeles premiere for Ben Affleck's "Argo" at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater Thursday night and it had to be characterized as a rousing success.