Palm Springs: The place to be during Oscar season. The California town’s annual film festival is a hotbed of potential nominees, actors and actresses wrangled for speciality honors that amplify existing buzz. Currently receiving accolades from Palm Springs International Film Festival: Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"), Julianne Moore ("Still Alice"), and J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash"). Time for another name: Rosamund Pike.
Over the past decade, Lee Smith has worked alongside Christopher Nolan as the director has climbed to the highest peaks of Hollywood, with "Batman Begins," "The Prestige," "The Dark Knight," "Inception," and "The Dark Knight Rises." I recently had the chance to speak to Smith about his approach to editing, Nolan, their relationship, and their change of pace (both literal and figurative) that is "Interstellar."
Marion Cotillard has had what can only be described as a remarkable seven years. Truly.
Since winning the Best Actress Oscar for her breakthrough performance in "La Vie en Rose" she's starred in Woody Allen's best film this century ("Midnight in Paris"), Christopher Nolan's Best Picture nominee ("Inception"), worked with Michael Mann ("Public Enemies"), smartly joined a Steven Soderbergh ensemble ("Contagion"), headlined a massive French-language hit ("Little White Lies"), was already robbed of a second Best Actress Oscar nomination ("Rust and Bone") and was the center of an acclaimed drama already well on its way to cinephile cult film status ("The Immigrant"). Throw in one flick for her life partner ("Blood Ties"), a paycheck too hard to turn down ("The Dark Knight Rise") and a musical that just didn't work ("Nine") and Cotillard is already well on her way to living legend status. Now, get ready to add "Two Days, One Night" to her glowing resume.
When you make movies about people, an eye for casting becomes an auteurist stamp. Richard Linklater knows his characters so well — their personalities, their movements, their sounds — that by the time he inserts actors into each part, the choices feel like absolutes. Take the "Before" series. It’s a war crime to fantasy cast alternatives for Celine and Jesse. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke are too perfect. Just try. Nope. Not the same movie. Can’t do it. Impossible.
I hated waking up to the Mike Nichols news this morning. That's losing one of the titans right there. That's a loss that you don't fully register until the lack of that artistic voice is later felt in a deep way. But as I always say, we have the work. We have the movies. So the voice, in its way, does endure. And what Nichols' gift to cinema really was, in so many ways, was how fruitful his collaborations with his actors were and the truths that seemed to only be discovered under his watch.
BEVERLY HILLS — It's that time of year, when studios reunite cast and crew from some of their earlier releases to attract a little awards season spotlight. Today, 20th Century Fox had a swanky afternoon lunch at Craft to celebrate "The Fault in Our Stars." The film's premier awards player in the Best Actress race, Shailene Woodley, was on hand as was Ansel Elgort, screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, Laura Dern, producer Wyck Godfrey and the novel's author John Green. Most notably, you realize how important this film is to the studio and how proud they are of it when Jim Gianopulos, the Chairman and CEO, takes time out of his busy day to sit down for lunch with the cast and press on hand.
Hoyte van Hoytema has shot up through the ranks since his career has shifted over to the states. He caught most people's attention with "Let the Right One In," which hit theaters the same year as Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight." Now the fruits of his own collaboration with the blockbuster filmmaker, "Interstellar," finds itself in theaters.
The Academy has announced the 10 live-action short films that have advanced in this year's Oscar race. Five nominees will be announced along with all other categories on Jan. 15, 2015.
Normally, by mid-November, we have a pretty good idea of many of the likely nominees in most of the crafts categories. But in this year's race for Best Sound Mixing, I see things as extremely open — there's not a single film that strikes me as assured of a spot and more than a dozen appear to have very good chances. That makes for an exciting race.
When people pass away, we often praise them with, "What couldn’t they do?" Exaggeration. With Mike Nichols, there’s really no answer to the theoretical. A seasoned comedian, a pillar of New York City theater, a successful film director — earning a Best Picture nomination, four Best Director nominations, and one win in the latter category — and one of only 12 people to successfully collect the coveted EGOT, when it came to the entertainment industry, there really wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He went out on a high. Thursday morning, we learned that Nichols passed away at the age of 83.