"The Great Gatsby" turned out to be a bone of contention between director Baz Luhrmann and his wife, costume designer and production designer Catherine Martin. He had loved F. Scott Fitzgerald's book for many years, while it didn't exactly bowl her over when she first read it as a teenager in Australia. As a 15-year-old, it alienated her, and she couldn't quite understand the central love story.
Probably the story that caught the most traction over the holiday yesterday was Harvey Weinstein's recent comments on violence in films on CNN's "Piers Morgan Live." Said the Weinstein Company co-chairman, "You have to look in the mirror," he said on the program. "I have to just choose that aren't as violent as they used to be. For me, personally, I can't continue to do that. So change starts here." Of course, Weinstein hasn't really traded in violence beyond his relationship with Quentin Tarantino. [CNN]
It may have been left out of the Oscar race entirely, but Cannes champion "Blue is the Warmest Color" reigned supreme at France's Lumiere Awards -- which hold a similar place in the French awards calendar to the Golden Globes. (The French Oscar equivalent, the Cesar Awards, announced their nods on January 31.) "Blue" won all four categories in which it was nominated: Best Film, Director, Actress for Lea Seydoux (shared with her work in "Grand Central") and Breakthrough Actress for Adele Exarchopoulos. Roman Polanski took Best Screenplay honors for "Venus in Fur"; Bertrand Tavernier's "The French Minister," which led the field with five nods, won nothing. Full list of winners below; everything else at The Circuit.
PARK CITY - Four features into his career, any words along the lines of “look out for Jim Mickle” are beginning to feel somewhat redundant – we’re looking, and he keeps showing up, nailing one nifty little genre film after another. To describe him as “going places” is to imply that there’s somewhere else he needs to be: Hollywood, perhaps, where his jacknife formal discipline and rowdy sense of humor would enliven any number of multiplex entertainments.
PARK CITY - Michael C. Hall is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival (he was in Park City only last year for "Kill Your Darlings"), but representing a film as the leading man is a new experience for the TV star, best known for his Emmy-nominated roles in "Six Feet Under" and, of course, "Dexter." With the latter show having finished its long run last year, however, Hall is free to switch things up a bit.
I remember a few years ago, one of the more surprising Oscar nominees for both Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing was Edward Zwick's "Blood Diamond." It made sense in hindsight. Not only was it great work from respected artists, but Zwick has always had an ear for quality sound work; four of his films have been recognized with Oscar nominations by the branch. So he's a nice choice for this year's Filmmaker Award at the 50th annual Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards.
Alexander Payne's vision for "Nebraska" was always in black and white. Going way back to prep on 2004's "Sideways," he told his director of photography, Phedon Papamichael, that he had this little road trip movie he was keen to do free of color, which of course was appealing to Papamichael. Nearly a decade later they finally set out to make the movie, but they had a bit of a roadblock.
PARK CITY - One of the more intriguing aspects of the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival is just how unconventional it has been. Dramedies and films with slight sci-fi elements have been a mainstay of the festival's premier category, but straight comedies, zombies and supernatural horror? Well, that's something very new to the mix. One picture that mixes serious drama and supernatural elements in this year's dramatic competition premiered Sunday night, "Jamie Marks is Dead."
It's wonderful when an exemplary year of filmmaking yields an awards season as unpredictable and wide open as this one is. "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" won Globes. They each led guild nominations. "Gravity" and "Hustle" led Oscar nominations, but "12 Years" wasn't far behind. "Gravity" and "12 Years" tied for the PGA Award, but "Hustle" won the SAG ensemble award. And each film was given a Best Picture prize of some sort at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. (Some of them dubious but that was clearly the point of the BFCA adding those categories: the opportunity to spread wealth.)
Do you know how difficult it is to tie on a preferential ballot? Do you know how even the distribution of votes has to be? It's mind-boggling that that happened. I thought 2000 was a tight year. Three different films won the top guild honors. A Best Picture/Best Director split happened at the Oscars. But three films this evenly dispersed? Call it. This is the most competitive Oscar season I've ever covered.
PARK CITY - The unexamined life, to tinker brashly with the words of Socrates, is not worth filming. That, at least, appears to be the key tenet behind much of Richard Linklater's work, in which ordinary lives are put under the most exacting of microscopes, and granted the level of scrutiny and detail usually reserved for the extraordinary. After the 18-year relationship study of the "Before" trilogy – currently a trilogy, at any rate – it seemed Linklater could hardly push his interest in magnified realism and time-lapse chronology any further. Turns out he can, and "Boyhood" is the astonishing result.