This will be the first time Midler has sung on the show
Also: An anti-feminist moment in 'Frozen,' and Rob Reiner's Lincoln Center award
"Dallas Buyers Club" is looks likely to win the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, not least because AMPAS members might feel happier checking that off than "Bad Grandpa" or "The Lone Ranger." If it does, though, it'll surely be the humblest achievement ever to take the award, as Katey Rich learns that makeup artist Robin Mathews' entire budget for the film was just $250: "'The Academy just gasped when they heard that,' Mathews says, with no lack of pride in her voice ... 'We had to take them back and forth from their sickest look to their healthiest look, up to five times in one day ... They maintained that 40-pound weight loss throughout. So when you see them in the film, and they look like they’re 25 pounds heavier and healthier because of the medication, that’s just makeup.'" [Vanity Fair]
Meanwhile, he's readying for a Robert Ludlum adaptation with Universal
There's a lot going on in the world of Zhang Yimou these days. Only last week, it was announced that he'll be directing his first U.S. feature with Universal -- a rare instance of a Chinese director getting to steer an English-language film with an American studio. The project is an adaptation of Robert Ludlum's bestselling thriller, "The Parsifal Mosaic" -- not exactly the first match of director and material that comes to mind, but Zhang has already proven his deftness as a genre stylist, so we'll see. (Just as long as he fares better than his compatriot Chen Kaige did in "Killing Me Softly.")
How an unassuming romantic comedy defined and defied a generation
It was February 18, 1994. Kurt Cobain was still with us, but the grunge revolution had already begun to morph into something more palatable: "alternative." A generation labeled "X" was struggling to enter the work force amid a recession, that economic reality yielding "slackers" and "sell-outs" in equal measure — labels that would soon enough become little more than pop cultural shorthand.
Ben Stiller's "Reality Bites" had already premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and an intense marketing campaign had the film aimed squarely at a target audience destined to deny it. It was an unassuming romantic comedy invested in its characters more than its setting, but it registered — rightly or wrongly — as an attempt to define a generation. Two decades on, it exists less as a snapshot of an era than an emotional Polaroid of what it's like to go out and make your way in the world.
On the occasion of the film's 20th anniversary, HitFix talked to 10 individuals involved with the production of the film: stars Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo and Steve Zahn; screenwriter Helen Childress; producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher; cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki; and singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb. What follows is their recollection of how it all came to be.
Also: Daniel Day-Lewis to present at Oscars, and Steve McQueen's UN date
Matthew Eng makes the case for this year's Best Actor race boasting several parallels with the Best Actress race of 2000, likening Matthew McConaughey's Ron Woodroof to Julia Roberts' Erin Brockovich: Roberts and McConaughey’s performances force us to rethink the performer him/herself and to firmly reconsider their reliable if occasionally misguided talents, right at the moment when everyone began to wonder if that was all there is ... Much like McConaughey, Roberts’ nomination initially seems like a longtime celebrity going through the standard biopic motions [but both are] stellar, indelible examples of two time-tested and admittedly type-cast stars giving peak performances by using the vitality of their respective star personas." [The Film Experience]
Heath Ledger, Julie Andrews, Jack Nicholson and who else?
We're in the 86th annual Oscar voting window and two weeks from today, we'll know the champions of the 2014 Academy Awards. Winners in the performance categories seem to be all lined up, though we've gotten a surprise in those four arenas the last couple of years. Maybe we'll get a few this year, too, but come what may, a quartet (or maybe more if there's a tie — who knows, given the events of this season) will join the echelon of Oscar winning actors dating back to inaugural victors Emil Jannings and Janet Gaynor on March 2.
With that in mind, HitFix's awards staff put our heads together to come up with a list of the best of, well, the best. We dug through the 325 actors and actresses to win (competitive) Academy Awards for screen performances over the years and we were left with 25 sterling examples from AMPAS' gallery of titans — well, in our opinion, anyway. Click through the gallery story below to see who came out on top and feel free to offer your thoughts and own picks in the comments section below.
Oh, and in the way of a teaser, the handful of names that juuuuust missed the list include Sissy Spacek ("Coal Miner's Daughter"), Faye Dunaway ("Network"), Liza Minelli ("Cabaret"), Dianne Wiest ("Bullets Over Broadway"), Cloris Leachman ("The Last Picture Show") and Philip Seymoure Hoffman ("Capote"). If those top-notch performances couldn't squeeze in, who did?
Also: BAFTA ratings down, and Patton Oswalt's Spirits plan
Most would say Spike Jonze is one of the more charming, genial people on the circuit, but even nice guys have their bad PR moments, and Jonze had his on the UK current affair show "Newsnight," where he clashed awkwardly with host Emily Maitlis. Avoiding her questions while probling her about her own emotional reaction to "Her," he eventually drew an admission that she was "moved," only for Maitlis to take to Twitter to call the film "a sad male festish fantasy ... like 'Lost in Translation' but nowhere near as good." Ouch. [The Guardian]
'Game of Thrones,' 'Sons of Anarchy' and 'Breaking Bad' win TV awards
Continuing its dominance in below the line guilds Sunday night was Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," which took the top honor of Best Sound Effects and Foley in a feature film at the 2014 Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards. "Captain Phillips," meanwhile, won for dialogue and ADR.
The film is set for Christmas Day 2014
Calling something "Oscar bait" can be fairly diminishing and suggest that artists don't have a certain purity at heart, but it's not always meant that way. Sometimes it just becomes obvious that an epic narrative that needed to be told on screen could be all lined up for year-end awards, because it has a certain spirit, a certain pedigree. Angelina Jolie's upcoming "Unbroken" is one such film, and Universal Pictures smartly tapped the on-going Sochi Winter Olympics to tease out a little bit of footage from the film, which only recently wrapped in Australia.
No Jennifer Lawrence? No problem as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt hit the 2014 BAFTA Awards red carpet
Youre favorite stars on one of the worst lit red carpets of the year
"American Hustle" star and this year's BAFTA Awards best supporting actress winner Jennifer Lawrence couldn't make the show because of production commitments to "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay," but more than enough Hollywood star power graced this year's red carpet. First and foremost, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt still rule any red carpet they grace and let's not forget: this is likely the last time you'll get to force Emma Thompson into uncomfortable heels anytime soon (she'll be missed at the Oscars).