Imagine sitting in on Deep Throat's first meeting with Woodward and Bernstein. Not like "All the President's Men," shrouded in Gordon Willis shadows or dramatized by William Goldman's cunning ear, but watching as a fly on the wall, witnessing men risk careers, futures and lives in the name of uncovering conspiracy.
He may have missed that Oscar nomination in January for "Bob on a Boat" — aka, "All is Lost" — but Robert Redford will be collecting some more hardware this year after all. The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced that the 77-year-old industry legend will be honored at the 42nd annual Chaplin Award Gala.
In the eight days since "Gone Girl" debuted it has gone from a critical success to a box office wonder to something of a pop culture phenomenon. People can't stop talking about it. The New Yorker, er, online outlets can't stop writing essays about it. And moviegoers are going back for a second viewing. Chances are you've already seen David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's best-selling novel. We hope you have because we have something very special to share with you…
…but you really need to have seen the movie.
Chances are Jennifer Garner realized early on that the two films she was starring in this fall would appeal to two very different audiences. What she probably didn't expect was that the Disney family film "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" would be the one that would have the bigger impact on her career, especially considering her other movie, "Men, Women & Children," features an ensemble cast with talent such as Adam Sandler, Rosemarie DeWitt, Judy Greer and up-and-comer Ansel Elgort. Oh, and did we mention that movie is directed by four-time Oscar nominee Jason Reitman, who she previously collaborated with on Best Picture nominee "Juno?" Yes, sometimes life has a way of throwing expectations completely out the window.
Clint Mansell is a long ways away from his days as frontman of alt. rock band Pop Will Eat Itself. Since his first stab at it on Darren Aronofsky's "Pi," he has forged a singular career as a film composer, working on productions as varied as "Knockaround Guys," "Sahara," Moon" and "Stoker." But it seems whenever he comes back to the table with Aronofsky, that's when something magical happens.
David Ayer bit off a whole hell of a lot on the World War II drama "Fury." I'm not sure he could chew it all, but it's fascinating to watch the bevy of ideas bounce around on the screen nevertheless. It's a loud, bloody, gut-punching depiction, one that may or may not be too unsettling to appeal to Academy types but is still the best work Ayer has done, the most unflinching, and the most intriguing, certainly.
Sean Durkin knows farms.
In his spine-tingling, 2011 directorial debut "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Durkin explored the inner-workings of modern cult life, an organic brainwashing operation set against a lush plantation. John Hawkes' Old McManson was creepy as hell, but the backdrop — just lovely! Durkin has taken time and deviations in putting a follow-up feature together (he recently directed the British mini-series "Southcliffe," which earned him a BAFTA), but his next project is coming to light — and takes him back to the homestead.
At 46, after 20 years in the business, Will Smith is still the coolest guy in the room.
Say that his recent output reflects a former heavyweight star waning into obscurity and I'll show you a man who transcends the biggest duds. He still made those stuffy men in black look good in "MIB3," wound up overshadowing his kid successor as Cypher Raige in "After Earth," and joined Godly ranks as a wickedly funny Devil in mystifying "Winter's Tale." (And for fact-checkers: He only played the creation of the gods in "Hancock.") Smith isn't versatile, but he's reliable. The trailer for "Focus," the actor's latest, puts a darker spin on that established cool, Smith playing a confidence man in the thick of conspiracy. The man knows confidence.
We pointed out yesterday that we already had a record number of submissions for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. Well, the Academy released the official list this afternoon and we actually ended up blowing past last year's record of 76: 83 countries have submitted for consideration in the 2014-2015 Oscar race.
Jeff Cronenweth grew up with cinematography in his bones. His father, Jordan Cronenweth, shot such unique achievements as "Altered States" and "Blade Runner" and it was never much of a question that Jeff would follow in his footsteps. Of late, he's forged a solid, on-going partnership with director David Fincher. Their latest collaboration, "Gone Girl," is another bold step for the icy aesthetic they've been cultivating for decades now.