Critics' year-end lists are beginning to trickle out and that's a good thing for a number of movies vying for your attention. One benefactor may just be Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice." The critically acclaimed film (which is almost un-categorizable) also hits Los Angeles and New York on Dec. 12. That might be just enough time to pump up the film's deserved awards season prospects.*
Earlier today Sony streamed a special announcement about the forthcoming James Bond film, revealing not just the new title ("Spectre"), but a list of new cast members, including Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz. And of course, we broke the news a few weeks ago that "Interstellar" cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema would be stepping into Roger Deakins' shoes behind the camera. Exciting stuff, and a good enough reason, I suppose, to look back through the history of Bond at the Oscars.
The Academy Award for Best Original Score is one of the categories I find most interesting and most frustrating. First, the good: I love the awarding of film music, which can immeasurably improve the experience of a film and can become iconic in its own right. There is also much about the music branch that I love, particularly its international flavor, both in terms of the composers cited and the types of music rewarded. Moreover, while the category tends to favor Best Picture nominees and epic movies, it is not excessively exclusionary in this respect.
"Wild," which Reese Witherspoon shepherded from bestselling memoir to 2015 Oscars contender as both producer and actress, arrived in theaters this week. Witherspoon’s chances at a Best Actress nomination are strong. A win is a different story — if "Wild" performs like gangbusters over the next month, anything could happen. Helping the process are awards-friendly bumps like the Palm Springs Film Festival. PSIFF announced today that Witherspoon would receive its Chairman’s Award at the annual gala.
LOS ANGELES — Al Pacino is wiped out. He's tirelessly promoting an independent film after hitting the red carpet circuit (or "syndrome," as he puts it) in the fall and he is, as ever, balancing a number of on-going projects, the most recent one being a David Mamet play written for him specifically. On top of it all, old rotator cuff injuries from his sporting days are acting up. But Pacino is a warrior. "No problem," he says after wincing from the pain. "I'll be fine."
It’s a good day to be a television fan. No matter what you’re watching, the WGA has you covered, honoring an eclectic round-up of small-screen entertainment for its annual awards ceremony.
Noah Baumbach movies are prickly. Characters in films like "The Squid and the Whale," "Margot at the Wedding," "Greenberg" get under the each other’s skins, even with the best intentions. "Frances Ha" offered the writer-director a more "likable" lead, but even Greta Gerwig’s wayward millenial whittled her friends and family down to their most caustic cores. This is not a grievance — the world is prickly. Baumbach picks up on it. In the trailer for is new film, "While We’re Young," the filmmaker again dredges up a grey-shaded ensemble and weaponizes for uncomfortable laughs.
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?