Campaigner was returning from the premiere of 'Burlesque'
Hollywood was woken this morning to the startling news that longtime Oscar and music industry publicist Ronni Chasen was shot five times on Sunset Blvd. last night upon her return from the premiere for "Burlesque." According to the Beverly Hills Police, the 64-year-old crashed into a tree and was found by emergency medical personnel at 12:28 AM. She was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson reunite for Gothams and more
His reputation is legendary, but no one will argue Scott Rudin isn't one of the most creative and prolific producers in cinema history. Over the past 20 plus years, the New York based movie and stage producer has shepherded blockbusters such as "Sleepy Hollow," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "Sister Act," "The Addams Family," "Ransom," "In & Out," "The First Wives Club," "Clueless" and "The Village." Rudin's specialty though, is prestige filmmaking with such critically acclaimed dramas as "Notes on a Scandal," "There Will Be Blood," "The Hours," "Wonder Boys," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Doubt," "Margot at the Wedding" and "Iris" to his credit.
"Despicable Me" and "The Illusionist" battling for final slot
In a heartbreaker for fans of the Academy Award's best animated feature category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced there were only 15 qualifying submissions for the 2011 Oscar. According the organization's bylaws, that means only three films can be nominated for best animated feature. To qualify for five nominees, such as in the 2010 race, only 16 films would need to have qualified.
Some thoughts on the latest 'Potter' from London
Having just witnessed the long awaited "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1" it's fair to say director David Yates has continued his fine work of bringing a more sophisticated, stylish and modern view of the fantastical world of everyone's favorite young wizard to the big screen. Yates' experiences on "Order of the Phoenix" and "Half-Blood Prince" have served him well as it's clear his handle on the franchise is growing just in time for its final chapter. Overall, "Deathly Hallows" should be judged as the best "Potter" since Alfonso Cuaron's "Prisoner of Azkaban," but we'll know more when "Part 2" hits theaters in July, 2011.
Are there really any surprise challengers left?
It's the second week in November and the best picture field is already starting to solidify itself. Barring a stunning reception for James L. Brooks' "How Do You Know," a critic's group lovefest for "I Am Love" or an unexpected holiday flick wooing the country and industry, the players are pretty much set. "The King's Speech," "The Social Network," "Inception" and "Toy Story 3" are all considered locks for a nomination by every consultant in town with "Speech" and "Network" seemingly battling it out for the win (at least at this date). All the other contenders are in flux, but that could change by Christmas.
Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg also shine in David O. Russell's commercial comeback
David O. Russell's "The Fighter" made its debut as a not-so secret screening as part of AFI Fest 2010 tonight and the awards season contender came out swinging. Playing incredibly well to the packed Mann Grauman's Chinese Theater audience, the Paramount and Relativity Media picture proved it has the chance to be a big crowd pleaser and substantial box office hit. Oh, and as suspected, it's a legitimate Oscar player.
Plus: 'Tron Legacy' goes to Dubai and more
Robert De Niro is the latest recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's life time achievement award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The actor, filmmaker and film festival pioneer will be saluted during the 68th Golden Globes Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. For the second year in a row, the Globes will be broadcast live at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST on NBC.
Danny Boyle's latest is the second best limited opener of the year
An expected best picture contender after its critically acclaimed reception at this Fall's Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, competing studios have been salivating over the continuing stories regarding fainting spells or attacks during public screenings of Danny Boyle's latest. You see, nothing will scare off older academy members from even watching your movie than the thought of possibly dying while watching a movie. And the subject matter, Aron Ralston's real life accident in a Utah canyon which forced him to eventually sever his own arm, can easily have any moviegoer stressed out before they sit in their seats. For one weekend at least, Searchlight can breathe easy with some spectacular reviews and boffo limited release numbers for the uplifting drama.
Debuting in just four theaters, "127 Hours" grossed $266,000 or a superb $66,000 average. For 2010, that's second only to "The Kids Are All Right's" $70,282 average this past summer and easily the best of Boyle's career. At this point, the only limited openers that have a shot of besting "Kids" and "127 Hours" debuts are Searchlight's own "Black Swan," "The King's Speech" and "Rabbit Hole."
Critic's also gave their stamp of approval to "Hours" with an 84 average on Metacritic and a 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The picture also received individual raves from the New York Times, Time, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the LA Times and it should be a staple on may end of year top 10 lists.
As of now, there have been no reported attacks from any of the sold out screenings this weekend. Just like there were none at the slew of critic's screenings over the past few months. Imagine that.
"127 Hours" will expand over the coming months. Keep yourself together and don't miss it when it comes to a theater near you.
Director Derek Cianfrance's drama is even more impressive the second time around
"Blue Valentine" had its local Los Angeles premiere Saturday night during AFI Fest 2010 to an almost packed audience at Graumann's Chinese Theater. Having attended the world premiere of "Valentine" at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, I was curious what my reaction to the picture would be almost 10 months later. I came away even more impressed than the first time around.
Film leads 2010 European Film Award nods, but Oscar chances are slim
One the most entertaining thrillers of the year was Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer." With strong reviews, the Summit Entertainment release battled negative publicity over Polanski's house arrest in Switzerland over a possible extradition to the United States (which never happened) to an OK $15 million at the box office in February and March. Considering the great word of mouth, that seemed rather low, but the studio was careful not to overspend after dumping too much marketing money in "The Hurt Locker" (long before it's Oscar win) and "The Brothers Bloom" the year before. The film seemed like the sort of smart, well-acted, pedigree thriller that could thrive during awards season. Surprisingly though, that hasn't been the case.