If you're still not over the fact that France's "Blue is the Warmest Color," Japan's "Like Father, Like Son" and India's "The Lunchbox," among other titles of note, aren't eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, here's some cold comfort -- any one of them could yet pick up a Golden Globe in the same category. Over at The Wrap, the ever-diligent Steve Pond has done some digging and found the longlist of 48 films up for consideration in the category by the HFPA, which has a somewhat laxer qualifying system -- and unsurprisingly, all three controversial Oscar non-submissions are on it.
A couple of our readers have been getting shirty with us over the inclusion of Peter Jackson's latest "Hobbit" chapter in our Oscar contenders galleries, and it's true that nobody is expecting anyone but the below-the-line artists of "The Desolation of Smaug" to feature much in the awards race. But here's at least one gong the Oscar-winning New Zealander will be taking home this season: the Vanguard Award from the Producers' Guild of America.
George Clooney, Kathryn Bigelow, Idris Elba, Ben Kingsley, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sacha Baron Cohen were all honored at last night's Britannia Awards, an annual shindig held by BAFTA's Los Angeles outpost to foster Anglo-American industry relations -- or, you know, to throw what is reputedly always a pretty good party. Scott Feinberg gives a comprehensive rundown of the event, where the likes of Julia Roberts, Judd Apatow and Chiwetel Ejiofor were also on hand to present. Receiving his award from his recent co-star, Cumberbatch offered this pointed soundbite: "Chiwetel, it feels bizarre that I'm standing here getting the British Artist of the Year Award after watching your performance in '12 Years a Slave.'" [Hollywood Reporter]
She may remain an outsider when the bigger awards have their say, but it's turning into a pretty good, and pretty unusual, awards season for Scarlett Johansson. She got a surprise Best Actress nod at the Gotham Awards for her delicious comic turn in "Don Jon," while her acclaimed voice work in "Her" has sparked talk of her becoming the first actor to score an Oscar nomination for an invisible performance. And they're digging her across the pond, too: for her remarkable work as a seductive alien in Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin," the actress has cracked the Best Actress lineup at the British Independent Film Awards.
Scott Cooper’s "Out of the Furnace" received its close-up at AFI Fest Saturday night as the mystery around Relativity Media's late-breaking entry finally dissipated. The director’s "Crazy Heart" follow-up brought an array of reactions, and "shell-shocked," as The Wrap’s Steve Pond put it, may be as apt a description as you'll find. The film seemed to linger at the Roosevelt Hotel after-party with more than a few willing to admit they weren’t entirely sure what to make of it immediately after the credits rolled.
HOLLYWOOD — AFI organizers expected some star power on their red carpet when they booked "August: Osage County" for the film festival's prime Friday night gala, but they probably didn't expect it to be from the movie's producer. With Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep officially "unavailable" (the two-time Oscar winner was in London shooting "Into the Woods"), George Clooney was the biggest name at "August's" LA premiere and - like the pro's pro he is - he graciously charmed the press on hand with the soundbites and smiles they so desperately wanted.
LOS ANGELES — In the new drama "Out of the Furnace," premiering tonight at the 2013 AFI Fest in Hollywood, Scott Cooper has finally delivered a follow-up to his 2009 debut "Crazy Heart." That film, which won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Original Song, came about as a vessel through which the Virginia-born director could, in some way, tell the story of singer Waylon Jennings (something he could not do directly due to legalities surrounding the country crooner's life). Indeed, Jennings' Nashville smack-down "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?" made it onto the soundtrack, part of the DNA of a film that aimed to strip away the flashy rhinestones and fancy bolos and tell a straightforward story of a musician's life on the road, no place for the weary kind.
Given how entrenched that film was in its musical identity, it's only natural that one might be curious about the musical pulse of his latest, an account of life and death and the thin line between in the mountains of Pennsylvania Appalachia. And make no mistake, there is a musical soul to "Out of the Furnace," perhaps one even deeper than that of "Crazy Heart."
Well, in the heated war of words between the director and stars of "Blue is the Warmest Color," the European Film Awards have (albeit probably not intentionally) taken a side. In this afternoon's nominations announcement, Abdellatif Kechiche came away with two nods for Best Film and Best Director, but Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux were both left out of the Best Actress category -- a shock for a film that's so performance-driven. (Still, it's something of a surprise to see the film nominated at all, given that it wasn't on the initial longlist of eligible titles announced in September.)
20th Century Fox's "The Book Thief" opens in limited release today and it's landed with something of a thud. Reviews are very mixed (and that might be kind) and there's little pre-release buzz about the film. That being said, this was always a tough sell for Fox. The film's biggest names are Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, the movie did not make a splash at any of the major fall festivals (it debuted at Mill Valley) and feels more like an Oscar bait movie than it probably should, being based on a popular novel by Markus Zusak set in Germany during WWII. That period is almost the definition of an Oscar bait movie these days.