It the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals have come to an end it means you can pretty much start seriously talking about Best Picture nominees. We haven’t written much about Oscar over the past few months, but as I personally say goodbye HitFix today it seems appropriate to leave with one last Contender Countdown (well on this site at least).
The Ricki of “Ricki and the Flash” is a rocker, a Hollywood lifer who has given up everything to pursue her dreams of stardom. There are probably thousands of Rickis still hoping for that big break in Los Angeles. The one city where a dream doesn't die once you hit retirement age.
Is Cate Blanchett going for the triple crown this year? The two-time Academy Award winner already delighted audiences as the wicked, but semi-sympathetic step mother in Kenneth Branaugh’s live action “Cinderella” in March. In May she earned critical acclaim for her work as the title character in Todd Haynes’ “Carol.” The Weinstein Company is going to release that highly anticipated awards player in November. But, Blanchett fans can rejoice because they’ll have one more shot to enjoy the incredible Aussie’s talents before the end of 2015 and it promises to tell the “Truth.”
Movies that slip under the radar are nothing new. Just last year the press thought so little of "Still Alice" that only HitFix and the entertainment trades were on hand to review its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. We all know how silly that must have seemed when Julianne Moore was taking home Oscar gold five months later.
In 2009 "Precious" (then known as "Push: A Novel by Sapphire") debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to an rapturous audience filled with few members of the media because some "other" film was the hot ticket at the same time (a movie that was so hot no one remembers what it was now). "Precious" starred Mariah Carey and Mo'Nique. How good could it be? Well, quite amazing it turns out.
While there will no doubt be a surprise or two amongst the deluge of new films screening at Venice, Telluride and Toronto, the new teaser for A24's "Room" will make sure this indie drama isn't a complete unknown when it makes its expected debut at that annual Colorado film festival held over Labor Day weekend.*
Movie trailers are starting to scare us a bit. Last week Lionsgate released a preview for "Freeheld" which made the gay rights drama look like a Lifetime movie. Today we have the first look at "Spotlight," the new ensemble drama centered on The Boston Globe's investigation into child abuse by Catholic priests and the Church's subsequent cover-up. We're hoping the movie is better than the first preview.
Here, the Girls on Film, Miri Jedeikin, Alicia Malone, and Roth Cornet talk about one of Hollywood’s icons, Hedy Lamarr, and the scientific inventions that she was behind that changed our lives forever.
Take a look at the clip in the player above and the full show below and chat with us here or on Twitter.
One of the most controversial things I've ever published, based on the sheer volume and intensity of the mail sent to me afterwards, was my statement of belief that Eddie Murphy is, in fact, done.
I am happy to say that Eddie proved me wrong this weekend, if only for a single moment. If that happened, then anything could happen. That's good to know. I still don't believe he's ever going to get back out there in a major way. The occasion was Murphy's acceptance of the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor from the Kennedy Center, a major award at this point considering it's only been around for 18 years. That means that Eddie's been retired from comedy a full decade longer than they've been giving out this award. And to be fair, Eddie really only has two comedy albums to his name. One had a TV special that accompanied it, and there was also a full-length theatrical concert film. That's not a lot of material if we're talking about Murphy as a stand-up.
Fans got a first taste of Arcade Fire's "The Reflektor Tapes" -- the rock band's first feature-length film -- through a teaser trailer last month.
Now, the film has not only confirmed a festival debut at TIFF, but it's theatrical release has been pushed up to start sooner, so Arcade Fire followers can jump right in.
The band dropped a new, fuller, artier trailer today (Aug. 11) with even more footage from concerts, interviews and behind-the-scenes of their "Reflektor" touring stints.
As a release describes the Kahlil Joseph-helmed flick, "It is a film quite unlike any other; an authentic cinematic experience, meeting at the crossroads of documentary, music, art and personal history... each and every screening of this limited release will be part of a unique cinematic event to be shared by audiences around the world."
That must include its worldwide premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 12. The movie also promises a brand-new, previously unreleased Arcade Fire song and 15-minutes of exclusive footage for its theatrical audiences.
"The film recontextualizes the album experience, transporting the viewer into a kaleidoscopic sonic and visual landscape. It charts the band’s creative journey as they lay foundations for the album in Jamaica, commence recording sessions in Montreal and play an impromptu gig at a Haitian hotel on the first night of Carnival, before bringing their breathtaking live show to packed arenas in Los Angeles and London," the post reads.
I'm interested to see how Joseph deals with the group's fantastical, costumed live shows and cutting the film with these shots of Carnival and in Jamaica versus, say, Arcade Fire's Halloween show at the Palladium in L.A., dealing with how cultural ideas influence the group's sonic palate and how much registers with its fans.
"The Reflektor Tapes" heads to theaters starting on Sept. 23. Ticket info and additional details can be found via The Reflektor Tapes website.
Joseph has directed commercials and music videos like FKA Twigs' "Video Girl" and Kendrick Lamar's "mAAd" short film.
What made Noah Baumbach's film "Frances Ha" effective was the aching and very real emotional weight of friendship. "Growing up" doesn't have to be painful, but "moving on" -- regardless of circumstances -- typically is.
Greta Gerwig gave her role in that film serious dignity and hilarity, eschewing hip 20s-something hip girl archetypes that lack depth and feminine understanding.
"Mistress America," out Aug. 14, reunites Baumbach and Gerwig, with the two co-writing an even funnier and more physical story about friends. Gerwig's character Brooke seemingly keeps her life together with only scotch tape; she drills into dealing with the feeling that she's "over the hill" at only age 30, as prospective stepsister Tracy (Lola Kirke) enters her life.
Check out some of the behind-the-scenes and screen stills from "Mistress America" below.
Some of the most anticipated movies of the Fall will make their debut at the four major festivals that annual suck up the movie world's attention during a five-week period beginning in September. The New York Film Festival has already revealed that "The Walk," "Steve Jobs" and "Miles Away" will be its major galas. The 40th Toronto International Film Festival announced its initial wave of selections on Tuesday giving away many of the "secret" premieres at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend. Earlier this month Venice announced it would open with Universal Pictures' "Everest" and debut Scott Cooper's "Black Mass" with Johnny Depp out of competition. Now, the festival has unveiled a majority of its slate with some very exciting surprises.