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.
It's a common misconception that winning an Academy Award can significantly alter an actor's earnings or even turn them into movie star with serious box office clout. Speak to movie fans or even people who work in the industry and you'll find them making one false assumption after another.
“Big Brother is Watching You," wrote George Orwell in his eternal novel "1984." If only the author had lived to see "CITIZENFOUR."
As the age of NSA snooping comes into the light, Orwell’s dystopian novel remains as pertinent as ever (this month, an Egyptian college student was arrested while carrying a copy of the novel, a move many reporters saw as a moment of life-imitating-art). Sony Pictures agrees: The studio has setup a new adaptation of the film with the project-hoarding Paul Greengrass attached to direct. Scott Rudin and Gina Rosenblum will produce the project, Deadline reports.
BEVERLY HILLS — It's been over two months since Jean-Marc Vallée's "Wild" premiered at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, but the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir finally arrived in Los Angeles, and just in time for the heart of awards season.
I stumbled out of the haze that is Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" this afternoon and I didn't know which way was up. This is immersion of the highest order, a seductive ride that pulls you in if you're willing to go with it and not try to put the pieces together (I'm convinced the narrative makes sense, but I admit I failed to make sense of it, and I couldn't care less). And though it could in all likelihood hit a brick wall with the Academy (as has been the word on it for months, dating back to pre-NYFF), there are a few elements that I absolutely demand receive attention. If I may…
There's been an interesting misconception around DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon 2" that seems to need correcting. Most eyes tend to be on domestic box office tallies, so the film's $176.8 million haul feels like a failure stacked against the 2010 original film's $217.5 million. But globally, "Dragon 2" blew past the original's $494.8 by over $100 million, settling in at $618.8 million, enough to make it the highest grossing animated film of the year.
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has named its nominees for the organization’s 29th Annual Outstanding Achievement Awards. HBO is the top network contender with three nominations, while Fox and Lifetime each earning two.
As awards contenders rise and fall in the last-minute deluge of film premieres and screenings that is November, one movie that continues to stick with this particular writer is J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year." Sure, that seems silly considering the picture only debuted two weeks ago, but context is everything. We'll spare the names of the three other contenders I've seen since, that I need to remind myself I've actually seen. That's how impressive Chandor's period thriller is.
Patrick Radden Keefe's New Yorker story "The Hunt for El Chapo" is a terrifying, bizarre, and occasionally funny look at modern drug trafficking. Delving into the lavish world of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, Keefe finds a quirky character pulling strings for a murderous bunch who love their Instagram. The DEA manhunt for Loera, that ended this past February, lasted a decade. The best kingpins can live a life of luxury and still avert paramilitary. Loera was the best of the best. Those are the types that get movies made about their lives.
Before Steve McQueen directed features like "Hunger," "Shame," and the Best Picture-winning "12 Years a Slave," he was a video artist whose work appeared in museums and galleries. "End Credits" was one such work, an audio/video installation projecting pages of the FBI’s McCarthy-era investigation of actor-activist Paul Robeson while a voiceover reads the reports’ cringe-worthy details aloud. McQueen’s topical explorations took experimental shape, many fascinations that first popped up in visual art have crept into his big screen work. According to the director, "End Credits" will undergo the same evolution — McQueen has announced that he’ll direct a feature film based on Robeson’s life.