I still find it painful to talk or write about Philip Seymour Hoffman -- no celebrity passing in the last couple of years has hit me quite as hard as his, and I know that goes for many of us. So rewatching Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man" is going to be a strangely melancholy experience, not least because it's as strong a reminder as anything of what cinema has lost: as a rumpled German intelligence agent weary of post-9/11 paranoia, the actor gives one of his finest lead turns.
The MTV Movie Awards are coming your way on Sunday. The nominations this year, particularly for Movie of the Year, were interesting. I don't know that the wins will be, though, because frankly it seems like another young adult adaptation is poised to dominate after we got a bit of a breather from that sort of thing last year.
Back in June last year, we mentioned the theoretical likelihood of awards attention for "Theory of Everything," James Marsh-directed biopic starring Eddie Redmayne as motor neuron disease-affllicted physicist Stephen Hawking. Now, with the news that Focus Features will be releasing the British production, and has selected a November 7 release date, that looks even likelier.
Amid the presentations for Best Shirtless Performance and Conan O'Brien's comic mugging, moments of earnestness are likely to be few at this week's MTV Movie Awards -- which is as it has always been. But the levity will be suspended for at least a couple of minutes, as organizers have announced that the show will feature a tribute to the late "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker, nearly five months after the 40-year-old actor died in a car crash.
It looks like Sean Penn is set for the director's chair for the fifth time in his career with "The Last Face," a drama starring Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem and "Blue is the Warmest Color" starlet Adèle Exarchopoulos.
Hard to believe that the Cannes Film Festival is just a month away -- before you know it, people will be cranking up the Oscar conversation again. The full lineup will be announced in Paris on April 17, but another nugget was revealed this morning. The opening film of the theoretically secondary, but increasingly prestigious, Un Certain Regard competition will be a French title: "Party Girl," the joint directorial debut of Marie Amacoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis.
Let's dust off the old part-time specialty feature "Oscar Bait" with some news on an acquisition, shall we?
Now, this time last year a lot of eyes were turned toward Naomi Watts in what seemed like a baity role as Princess Diana in "Diana." Then the film waited for a distributor, and waited, and waited. The writing was on the wall by the time Entertainment One grabbed it and it went nowhere with critics, audiences and, certainly, awards-voting bodies.
The Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) is gearing up for a bow this June, having already announced Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" as the opening night premiere. Today Film Independent, which puts on the fest, announced this year's guest director and a special honor for two all-timers in the indie game.
Perhaps the film I was most disappointed to miss at January's Sundance Film Festival was "Land Ho!," an Iceland-set road comedy from directors Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens. I've been a Katz fan for some time: his third feature, the Portland semi-noir "Cold Weather," landed in my 2010 Top 10. (I also interviewed him at that year's London Film Festival.)
Last year we dug through the often heart-breaking history of the MTV Movie Awards (which seem to be leaning slightly less…bad…lately) to come up with a list of 10 fun facts for your perusal pleasure. With the 23rd annual show on the horizon, we thought we'd do a bit more searching to see if there were any other interesting factoids, and sure enough, there were a couple. (I say "we," but really I'm the only one sick enough to have bothered with this.)