Welcome to one of the most unique categories at the Oscars. Best Makeup & Hairstyling is the only category to still feature the "bake-off” phase, where three nominees are chosen from seven finalists after those finalists each make a pitch-via-reel to the branch. Every year features surprise omissions and inclusions, both among the final seven and the final three.
The 2014 best-of-the-year lists have begun rolling in. I've seen Ann Hornaday at The Washington Post speak up (props for the "Edge of Tomorrow" inclusion) and Sight & Sound's annual poll has just landed as well. The critics phase of awards season has commenced.
Musical theorist Michel Chion coined the term "synchresis" to define the forging of picture and sound, the way artistry on both sides of the line blurs into our favorite movie moments. Sound design can manifest and warp reality, but film scoring has its own synchresistic effect, albeit one that's rather bizarre.
Ladies and gentlemen, Emily Blunt can sing. Like almost of all of her co-stars in Rob Marshall's "Into The Woods," she proves that not only does she have a lovely singing voice, but that she can pull off Sondheim as well.
Documentarian Morgan Matthews’ feature debut "X+Y" played quietly at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. The voters involved with this year’s British Independent Film Awards are clearly noticing something fest-goers overlooked. Based on Matthews’ own BBC documentary "Beautiful Young Minds," which followed the selection process and training of Britain's 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad team, "X+Y" stars "Hugo" and "Ender’s Game" actor Asa Butterfield as a young math whiz coping with his emotionally and logistically complex mind. The first trailer for the film plays like a mix between "A Beautiful Mind" and Mark Haddon’s novel "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," meaning the BIFA’s may not be the only ones prone to falling for it.
Turn on the news this past week and you’ll see people from around the country amassing in protest of the recent decision that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The inaction provoked conversation of race and authority in present day America, with politicians, human rights groups, and driven individuals rallying for reconsideration on the case and justice for all who’ve suffered in similar situations. This includes many in the entertainment industry, who will join forces with the Blackout for Human Rights network this Friday, Nov. 28, to keep the conversation going.
This year's line-up of documentary short Oscar finalists is a heavy bunch. Three deal with terminal diseases, one touches on post-traumatic stress, another focuses on the heart-wrenching fallout of natural disaster and social policy and still another observes the psychological rigors of a particularly gruesome occupation. Only one of the films fully eschews troubling stories of struggle. Perhaps that's less a commentary on the films themselves than the world they're documenting.
It's turning out to be another great year for Tilda Swinton. In February, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" premiered to raves at the Berlin Film Festival and made a ton of money in the months following. Cannes 2013 player "Only Lovers Left Alive" gained more critical traction as it continued to play around the world, eventually earning Swinton a surprise Best Female Lead Independent Spirit Award nomination. She filmed a key role in Judd Apatow's new Amy Schumer comedy "Trainwrecked," set for theaters in 2015, and re-teamed with old buddy George Clooney and the Coen brothers for the comedy "Hail Caesar!," which is currently filming and scheduled to debut in 2016. Perhaps most importantly, her performance in Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" finally saw the light of day stateside.
LOS ANGELES — A week ago the film world lost one of the masters, legendary director Mike Nichols. Naturally the news sent a shockwave through the tight-knit community as Nichols' reach was pretty deep, the lives he had touched, and certainly, the careers he had affected. One of them was Al Pacino.
Richard Linklater’s direction on "Boyhood" has won Berlin’s Silver Bear, and honors from the San Sebastián, Seattle, and SXSW film festivals, Gotham and Indie Spirits Awards nominations, and special honors from the Casting Society of America. And yet, this is just the beginning. With Oscars on the horizon, Palm Springs International Film Festival has announced that Linklater will receive another year-end prize: Sonny Bono Visionary Award.