No one needs awards coverage this deep
'Iconic Moment' discussion will precede screening of Hitchcock's 'Vertigo'
Kim Novak in the famous gray suit from "Vertigo."
Credit: Paramount Pictures
As regular readers will know, costume design is one of the below-the-line disciplines I find most fascinating, while Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo" is one of my favorite films of all time. So I'd trade a lot to be at the Los Angeles Film Festival for tonight's "Iconic Moment" event, in honor of the Academy's newly separate Costume Designers' branch.
As the name suggests, the evening will look back on iconic moments in film costume, with Laura Dern moderating a discussion between five leading designers: Academy branch head Jeffrey Kurland (an Oscar nominee for Woody Allen's "Bullets Over Broadway"), three-time Oscar winner and Tim Burton favorite Colleen Atwood, Mark Bridges (last year's winner for "The Artist"), Michael Kaplan (unjustly never Oscar nominated, despite landmark contemporary designs for the likes of "Fight Club" and "Blade Runner") and Ellen Mirojnick (whose recent work in "Behind the Candelabra" should net her an Emmy nod). It's a formidable lineup of some of the most creative artists in the field right now, and I'd love to hear what their favorites and inspirations are.
For every 'Game of Thrones' there are plenty 'Battlestar Galacticas'
"Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage accepts the award for Best Supporting Actor at the 2011 Emmy Awards.
Credit: AP Photo
Let’s say my favorite show is "Mad Men," and I tell people as such. They’d probably think, “Good show” or, “I like when Don Draper smokes that cigarette.” They’d probably not think, “Well clearly you love period television and shows about advertising.” Because TV has the power to present layered, nuanced character studies no matter the setting. Showrunners, with multiple seasons at their disposal, have plenty of time. We all know this.
Imagine that same conversation, but instead of "Mad Men" I say "Battlestar Galactica." The new one, not the original. I bet most people would have the same thought: “Neeeeeeeeeeeerd!” Why? The answer is the core of a larger trend in Emmy voting.
From 'Get Shorty' to 'Zero Dark Thirty,' he always made you sit up and take note
James Gandolfini with Delroy Lindo and John Travolta in "Get Shorty"
I finally met James Gandolfini last year. It was Paramount's Christmas party at Spago in Beverly Hills and he was there with his "Killing Them Softly" director Andrew Dominik. He was, in a word, imposing. I shook his hand and it engulfed my own. He seemed incredibly unwilling to suffer a fool and I loved that about him, as I do people like Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, etc. But he was willing to engage, willing to give a glimpse of that soft-center.
Now, suddenly, he's dead. A heart attack in Italy. Too soon doesn't begin to say it, but as the news makes its way across the wires I find myself, as we always do at times like this, thinking back on the work. And Gandolfini had a wealth of it. You see, he wasn't always this star, this "name." He made his hay as a character actor in film after film, always leaving a deep impression, long before "The Sopranos" came calling.
Veteran composer could complete the set with a song for sitcom 'The Neighbors'
The cast of "The Neighbors" perform Alan Menken's song.
Earlier this month, as Kris reported, Cyndi Lauper got herself one Oscar away from joining the elite club of EGOT winners -- those over-achieving individuals who have managed to win competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards over the course of their careers. It is, needless to say, a pretty rare achievement: Scott Rudin became the most recent EGOTist with a Grammy win last year.
The film was recently re-scheduled for a November 27 release date
Credit: Relativity Media
When it was announced this week that Relativity has moved the release date of Scott Cooper's "Crazy Heart" follow-up "Out of the Furnace" from October 4 to November 27, I wondered what that might mean for the film's original film festival circuit plans. And indeed, as I hear it now, the plan is to skip that altogether and keep the mystery going until it hits screens in a post-Thanksgiving frame that has done well for recent Oscar players like "The King's Speech," "The Artist" and "Silver Linings Playbook."
Of course, all of those films built word of mouth at Toronto, and this is a star-studded film that therefore plays well to that environment. So things could change. Relativity, per president Robbie Brenner's quote, sees awards in this film's future and that's all certainly part of the box office strategy, too (as it always is). It'll be interesting to see how it navigates the always crowded waters of that late-November, early-December frame.
The whole of current series are at their fingertips
By now it’s clear the Emmy voting process is standardized, and flawed. Shows submit key episodes on DVD to anyone with a ballot, meaning that if voters aren’t keeping up with a series, they have only this one disc to bring them up to speed. This presents obvious problems for heavily serialized shows, and might be why "The Wire" never received any Emmy love.
The trick, it seems, is to push a show that those voters are probably watching anyways, which might explain all the "Mad Men" and "Homeland" victories. Emmy voters seem to be willfully ignorant of shows they haven’t heard about 100,000 times, quality aside. They rally behind "Game of Thrones," but can’t even throw "Happy Endings" a bone.
But there’s a new player in the game. This year, Netflix released two series that have serious Emmy potential: "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey and directed/co-produced by David Fincher, and the long-awaited fourth season of "Arrested Development." There have been original shows on streaming sites in the past (Hulu’s "Battleground," anyone?), but these two are the first ones with serious production quality and a deafening buzz even noise-cancelling headphone-wearing Emmy voters can hear.
Brotherly-love thriller is director Scott Cooper's follow-up to 'Crazy Heart'
Credit: AP Photo
One film we're keeping half an eye on for the upcoming awards season is Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace," a starry thriller about fraternal loyalties tested to the limit, with a starry cast led by Christian Bale and Casey Affleck. It's Cooper's first film since 2009's "Crazy Heart," which won two Oscars (including Best Actor for Jeff Bridges), while producers include Leonardo DiCaprio, Ridley Scott and the late Tony Scott.
Franco will foster new talent on a planned trilogy based on his own short stories
Credit: AP Photo
Upon reading the news that James Franco is the latest name talent to take the crowdfunding route on a new film project, my first reaction was, "Well, of course." My second reaction was, "Wait, is this only the first time he's doing this?" Franco's extracurricular activities beyond acting -- filmmaking, art, writing, what have you -- are so many and varied, and executed with such can-do scrappiness, that the crowdfunding model seems like something he might have invented just to keep them all going.
And has anyone turned it around like Matthew McConaughey has?
Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Credit: Paramount Pictures
The trailer for Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill among others, sent a shock wave last night when it finally dropped. Set to the pulse of Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" (releasing tomorrow as part of the rapper's already-leaked sixth studio album, "Yeezus"), it announced a whole new shade for the filmmaker that has brought us delicious bite in a wide array of films, from "Taxi Driver" to "Goodfellas" to "The Departed."
Will this take on capitalism's great shame, coming at just the right time, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those classics? Time will tell. Will Marty dance with the awards season once more after nearly owning it two years ago with "Hugo?" Time will tell. But for now, the electric new tease raises a couple of questions, so three of HitFix's staffers take a stab at answering them in a new installment of our "3 on 3" feature. Check out the conversation below.
The divisive thriller beat Sarah Polley's 'Stories We Tell,' among others
Ryan Gosling in "Only God Forgives."
Credit: The Weinstein Company
Nicolas Winding Refn's "Only God Forgives" was arguably the most contentious film at last month's Cannes Film Festival, prompting a broad spread of reactions ranging from outrage in the moral-police quarter to disappointment from genre-friendly "Drive" fans to the odd rave review. But it certainly left the festival slightly worse for wear, and when it came to the awards, no one even considered the possibility of it winning anything from Steven Spielberg's jury.