Well, this isn't exactly a vote of confidence in France's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Eyebrows were raised when Gilles Bourdos' attractive but not notably acclaimed period biopic "Renoir" was selected to represent the country at the Academy Awards, and those same skeptics will feel vindicated by today's shortlist for the most prestigious individual award in French cinema, the Louis Delluc Prize: eight films have been nominated, and "Renoir" is not among them.
'Blue is the Warmest Color' the frontrunner for France's most prestigious award
Orson Scott Card adaptation credits its young audience with some intelligence
Why open on this purely circumstantial note? The situation is not of the film's making, after all – Hood's adaptation is even at pains to remove whatever evidence of the author's dubious personal beliefs had seeped onto the page. (Sure, it's just a coincidence that Card settled on the term “Buggers” for the alien race threatening to wipe out humanity.) Meanwhile, a boycott is the last thing “Ender's Game,” a carefully constructed, serious-minded commercial entertainment that treats its young audience with an unusual degree of intelligence, deserves.
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You could hardly ask for a better illustration of the current equality in status between film and television that the fact that the arguable frontrunner for this year's Best Director Oscar is already developing a new project at HBO. Following in the footsteps of Steven Soderbergh and Todd Haynes, among others, "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen is collaborating with writer Matthew Michael Carnahan ("World War Z") and producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Oscar winners for "The King's Speech," they also worked on McQueen's first two features) on a drama series about a young African-American man entering New York high society. Could the British artist-turned-filmmaker get an Emmy to go with his possible Oscar? [Deadline]
Surveying the field of helmers from debut filmmakers to weathered vets
This year's Best Director race got thinned out a bit recently as such heavy hitters as Bennett Miller and George Clooney took their leave of the 2013 film awards season. But there's still a healthy crop of hopefuls, from debut filmmakers to veteran craftsmen. How will the final line-up shake down?
And it will be campaigned as a comedy for the Golden Globes
Were you fretting over the release date of Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street?" Well, you didn't really have to do that. We told you on Sept. 23 it was going to move off its Nov. 15 release date but that the goal was to release on Christmas Day. I Tweeted on Oct. 15 that the film was going to make that date. And today, after a few weeks of other outlets tripping over themselves to "exclusively" report that very simple information, you can "officially" rest easy, as Paramount has gone ahead and confirmed the Christmas release.
Separate trips to Greenland inspired a thoughtful addition to the space thriller
As you might recall from HitFix's Telluride Film Festival coverage, Jonás Cuarón's short film "Aningaaq" is a companion piece to Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity." It depicts the other side of an SOS radio conversation between that film's main character, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and an Inuit fisherman named Aningaaq (Orto Ignatiussen) on the icy mass of Greenland. The short works both in tandem with the feature and separately as an emotional sliver of the greater work's themes. It could also join "Gravity" in the Oscar discussion later this season as Warner Bros. has submitted it for consideration in the Best Live Action Short category.
Is this a preview of the documentary Oscar race?
When it comes to the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, there's no particularly reliable precursor -- that branch of the Academy has a history of doing things their own way, after all. But the Independent Documentary Association (IDA) Award is among the most prestigious documentary prizes on the trail. Last year, they (along with pretty much everyone else) foreshadowed the Oscar win for "Searching for Sugar Man," and also pre-empted the Academy's nomination for "The Invisible War"; the year before, the Academy nominated none of their five chosen features. "Independent" is the operative word, then.
Also: Pixar saves Ken Loach, and who are 2013's Usual Suspects?
The actor lost himself in researching the charismatic figure
BEVERLY HILLS — Matthew McConaughey doesn't exactly make for a sound bite sort of interview. Well, particularly not when you walk into the room and inquire as to whether he happened to know that his Longhorns had just taken it to the Sooners on the gridiron. Everything after that is a conversation, full of all the tangents and tributaries toward other conversations equally bereft of easy bites and bits to be plugged into the usual interview format. If you're from the south, too? The drawls kick in, feeding on one another. The parables take hold. Soon you find yourself wondering, "Wait, what were we talking about?"
On this particular afternoon, we're talking about "Dallas Buyers Club," the Jean-Marc Vallée indie production that provided McConaughey with more to chew on than perhaps any other role he's taken in his two-decade career. So there’s plenty to discuss, beginning with the obvious: the 45 pounds the actor dropped to play a man diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live.
The DP has been collaborating with Steve McQueen since the early art gallery days
Filmmaker Steve McQueen’s relationship with cinematographer Sean Bobbitt goes farther back than their 2008 collaboration on McQueen’s feature debut “Hunger.” For some six or seven years before transitioning to the cinema, the two worked together on a series of film and video installations designed for gallery-based presentation. These early works were silent, stark pieces, often with a focus on the body (frequently McQueen’s own body). That aesthetic has deepened through their work on the big screen.