Kristen Wiig is taking the road less traveled, and after a bumpy start, it's starting to show signs of life.
The Sony hack story is going to keep unfolding and there will be no shortage of opinions and takeaways. Writer Aaron Sorkin already took aim at the media for its behavior in the early days of the dust-up, sentiments echoed by "Nightcrawler" writer/director Dan Gilroy, whose film is very much about ethical slippage in journalism. Well, the "Newsroom" creator and "Social Network" screenwriter fired back yet again today after news broke that North Korea was, according to the FBI, "centrally involved" in the hack.
At this point we're pretty far along on the Sony hack story. But a number of morally and ethically suspect pieces were published a week ago and, of course, news organizations rationalized their behavior. Since then, things have taken a darker turn with terrorist threats and the decision, first by theater owners and then by a corporate giant, to bow to those whims. But before all that started happening, I got "Nightcrawler" writer and director Dan Gilroy on the phone earlier this week to talk about the media's role and responsibilities when something like that arises. Reporters devouring a hacked carcass, scavenging for ratings under the thin guise of integrity — I was, to say the least, quite reminded of his film.
I imagine you've been paying attention since yesterday as theater chain after theater chain has opted out (with Sony's blessing) of showing the Seth Rogen/James Franco film "The Interview" in the wake of terrorist threats. With major chains like AMC and Regal joining others like Arclight, Bow Tie and Cinemark, perhaps the studio was left with little choice but to pull the film from release. Some might argue, though, that a day-and-date VOD release would be a good way of getting a film out there that clearly someone (supposedly) wants suppressed, but for now, Sony has simply decided not to move forward with the Christmas Day release. Read the official statement below.
HOLLYWOOD — "Unbroken" is Angelina Jolie's second directorial effort to date, but she bit off a whole lot more than she expected to chew. The production became a huge undertaking, particularly at the script stage when a number of various elements could have been included from the epic life of Louis Zamperini. So it was as important as ever to do a lot of heavy lifting on the page.
The Foundation for the Advancement of African-Americans in Film (FAAAF) announced its nominees for the 15th Annual Black Reel Awards Wednesday morning. Justin Simien's "Dear White People" and Ava DuVernay's "Selma" led the way with 10 nominations each. They were joined by "Belle," "Beyond the Lights" and "Top Five" in the organization's best picture category.
Critics in the UK obviously aren't immune to the charms of "Boyhood," as the film did well with the London Film Critics Circle. Now the Dublin Film Critics Circle has named it the year's best across the channel. The group also revealed its long lists throughout the categories, giving you some insight into which films were in the running. (Personal shout-out to my friends who made the documentary "Showrunners," which got a little love on the documentary list.)
Yeah, the Austin Film Critics Association naturally dug the Austin-set "Boyhood," and yeah, they showed a lot of love for "Nightcrawler." But the single coolest thing they did Wednesday in their awards announcement was single out "Joe" star Gary Poulter, a homeless local non-actor who tragically died after completing work on the David Gordon Green film but who delivered one of the most startling performances of the year. He belongs on any supporting actor ballot, in my humble opinion.
Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 films to be named to the National Film Registry, a proclamation of commitment to preserving the chosen pictures for all time. They can be big studio pictures or experimental short films, goofball comedies or poetic meditations on life. The National Film Registery "showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant" and by preserving the films, the Library of Congress hopes to "a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.” This year’s selections span the period 1913 to 2004 and include a number of films you’re familiar with. Unless you’ve never heard of "Saving Private Ryan," "The Big Lebowski," “Rosemary’s Baby” or "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
During her Gotham Awards tribute speech, Tilda Swinton name-checked one unexpected collaborator just before exiting stage: Chris Lyons, the man behind Fangs FX. A prosthetic effects company specializing in dental wonders, Swinton personally rang Lyons for four films that played in 2014: "Only Lovers Left Alive," "Zero Theorem," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Snowpiercer." For Swinton, the makeover is part of the job. If she can use special effects makeup to inch just a little closer to her vision of the character, she’ll leap at the chance. A new behind-the-scenes video gives those who bow at the Swinton altar a chance to see her undergo this metamorphosis, going from "Snowpiercer" makeup chair to on-set rehearsal with director Bong Joon-ho.