A24 may finally be in the Oscar business with "A Most Violent Year" this season, but the indie distributor is stepping things up even more by getting into the Gillian Flynn business. The company is has just announced the co-acquisition (along with DirecTV) of Gilles Paquet-Brenner's adaptation of the "Gone Girl" author's "Dark Places," starring Charlize Theron.
’Tis the season for Oscar frontrunners to scoop awards from festivals and organizations across the nation, building momentum towards the main prize. Friday morning, the Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that "The Theory of Everything" star Eddie Redmayne is set to receive the fest’s Desert Palm Achievement Award. Why? Because he’s great!
"A Most Violent Year" is probably the year's most patient movie. It's a slow burn in the best way, not unlike "A Most Wanted Man" in that regard (which makes their similar titles all the more interesting). I was reminded of Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace" a lot while watching the film at its AFI Fest opening night gala Thursday night; it's a painterly movie about the difficulties of remaining pure and honest in a corrupt and flawed world. Masterful work.
Here’s a bittersweet win for the 59-year-old Kevin Costner: The American Association of Retired Persons will pay tribute to the "Dances with Wolves" and "JFK" actor during their annual Movies for Grownups Awards. He’ll receive the organization’s Career Achievement Award at the noteworthy ceremony, taking place on Feb. 2, 2015 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
Well, this is effective.
The first trailer for Paramount's Martin Luther King Jr. sorta-biopic "Selma" has arrived, and it's an invigorating 2 1/2 minutes that excellently encapsulates the film's major focus: the tumultuous civil rights marches between Selma and Montgomery that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
"Interstellar" marks Hans Zimmer's fifth collaboration with director Christopher Nolan. On "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," he and fellow composer James Newton Howard cooked up a new musical identity for the Caped Crusader that Zimmer then took solo into "The Dark Knight Rises" with his own added verve. On "Inception," for which he received an Academy Award nomination, he brought bombast to new heights, making the sonic experience of the film almost as important as the visuals. Now on "Interstellar," like many things with this film, he's weighing that largess with intimate strokes for a dual experience the match the movie's themes.
An actor or actress can be on the periphery of stardom for what seems like an eternity before the right role comes along at the right time and transforms his or her career. Do you know how many times you probably saw Michael Fassbender on screen before he technically broke out four years ago? Did you know Benedict Cumberbatch had been a working actor for almost a decade before he finally got Hollywood's attention after "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Sherlock" (2011)? Enter the latest star on the verge of global recognition: Eddie Redmayne.
Emboldened by "Birdman's" box office impact in limited release so far, Fox Searchlight will be expanding the film to nearly 50 more markets this week, bringing its theater count up to 450. Hopefully if it's been elusive for you, the film will finally make it close to your neck of the woods. In the meantime, however, the studio has a fun Throwback Thursday (#tbt) treat for you: the trailer for Riggan Thompson's "Birdman Returns!"
It takes a high-brow director to deliver quality low-brow entertainment. Just look at thrillers from the 1990s. Say what you will about John McTiernan, but the man knew character as well as he knew action. "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger" Philip Noyce balanced out his action resume with movies like "Rabbit Proof Fence" and the upcoming "American Pastoral." And Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, and Richard Donner shot some of the best genre movies of that decade. So it gives me great hope that Kevin MacDonald, seasoned documentarian and occasionally solid narrative filmmaker ("The Last King of Scotland, "How I Live Now"), can turn the upcoming "Black Sea" into a down-and-dirty thriller a la the best of the '90s. Early glimpses at the film point to something along those lines.
Want to know what's in contention for Best Picture? Look to Best Film Editing. No category except Best Director has as much overlap with the top category as of late. Is that how things will turn out this year? Let's take a look…