If Christopher Nolan’s emotional plots don’t strike you, his elaborate design choices will on some level. He’s a guy who decided he needed to build all of Gotham City’s "The Narrows" on a stage, thought to put a ornate hotel hallway on a gimbal, and built a full-scale spaceship with windows displaying actual scenic black hole shots. He’s a crazyman when it comes to realizing his vision, and for that, the Art Directors Guild is praising him this awards season.
Bradford Young is easily one of the most exciting cinematographers working today. Since igniting on the indie scene with films like "Pariah," "Middle of Nowhere," "Mother of George" and "Ain't Them Bodies Saints," his stock has continued to rise. This holiday season he'll have two very distinct, rich and exquisite films on display in theaters nationwide: Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King biopic "Selma" and J.C. Chandor's NYC crime drama "A Most Violent Year."
The Sundance Film Festival has announced its competition slate for 2015 and color us…satisfied? So far, so good?
Dan Gilroy’s sadistic, mesmerizing "Nightcrawler" did well during its theatrical run, making nearly $30 million at the domestic box office. Jake Gyllenhaal commanded critical attention (in our review, Drew Mcweeny declared that it may well be the best performance the actor has given in his career) and everything from Gilroy’s tight script to Robert Elswit’s hazy photography snowballed the praise. "Nightcrawler" made a splash — and now it’s going to take a second dip in the pool.
How important is the Sundance Film Festival's NEXT program? The yearly slate of edgier fare has led to critically acclaimed art house hits such as "Obvious Child," "Listen Up Phillip" and "Sound of My Voice." It also has inspired the Los Angeles-based Sundance Next Festival, which just wrapped up its second edition this past August. So while it may not have the prestige of the U.S. dramatic competition, NEXT films are something any movie lover should pay attention to.
The Sundance Institute announced the first wave of selections for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and the world cinema dramatic competition features a number of familiar faces. Most notably, Michael Fassbender in "Slow West," Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving in "Strangerland" and Jack Reynor, Toni Collette and Will Poulter in "Glassland."
The Sundance Film Institute announced the U.S. dramatic, world dramatic, U.S. documentary, world documentary and NEXT selections for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival today. The premier film festival in the United States, Sundance is coming off a banner 2014 edition that brought films earning year-end kudos such as "Whiplash," "Boyhood," "Dear White People," "Obvious Child" and "The Skeleton Twins" into the world. The 2015 slate just looks just as intriguing and, according to the festival, perhaps more emotional and challenging.
Louis Zamperini was very aware of his inspirational potential. This is not a knock at the Olympian/war veteran. He has reason to believe his story could motivate millions. In 1936, he ran himself to the Berlin Summer Olympics, he became a bombardier World War II, he survived a plane crash, and he suffered through two years as a Japanese POW. In his post-war days, Zamperini became a born again-Christian and made a living giving speeches about his harrowing war days. His mantra is tagged on to the end of a new featurette for his biopic, "Unbroken." It’s simple and absolute: "To persevere, I think, is important for everybody. Don't give up, don't give in."
"The Shawshank Redemption," "Fargo," "Kundun," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "The Man Who Wasn't There," "No Country for Old Men," "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "The Reader," "True Grit," "Skyfall," "Prisoners." Surely one of those films won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, right? Nope. Roger Deakins has 11 Oscar nominations but, to date, has not been granted access to the Dolby Theater stage (or the Kodak Theater…or the Shrine Auditorium…he's a veteran of multiple Oscar venues at this point). Could that change with Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken?" Possibly.
A common refrain you hear every year during awards season is something hyperbolic along the lines of, "It's the most competitive class of [insert Oscar category] contenders ever!" You can almost predict it. One year it's Best Adapted Screenplay. Another it's Best Supporting Actor. There have even been years when the Best Cinematography nominees could have been replaced by another list of five and it would be hard to quibble. This year's embarrassment of riches? Best Actor.