Dom Hemingway just got out of jail. Dom wants what he's owed. That may turn out to be a tall order.
Well, I said in my review that the high-tension Brazilian kidnap thriller "A Wolf at the Door" was highly impressive stuff, and it seems the jury at the Miami Film Festival agreed. Not only did Fernando Coimbras' debut feature take the top prize at last night's festival awards ceremony, beating nine other films in the Knight Competition for Spanish and Latin American narrative cinema, but Coimbras was further rewarded with the Best Director award.
MIAMI - One of the pleasures of smaller film festivals, where one's viewing is less dutifully structured around competitions and mandatory big-name premieres, is pick-and-mix scheduling -- selecting the day's viewing on a mixture of gut instinct and chance convenience, and seeing what unexpected patterns and conflicts emerge.
Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny and June Carter Cash, Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, Cate Blanchett as (more or less) Bob Dylan -- playing an iconic musician has been a successful route to awards attention for several actors in recent years. That may be the long-term goal for Tate Taylor's glossy-looking James Brown biopic "Get On Up," but the more immediate goal suggested by the film's first trailer is launching 31-year-old leading man Chadwick Boseman to major-league stardom.
The film industry lives to surprise us, but if I were to compile a list right now of Directors Least Likely To Direct A Romantic Comedy In The Near Or Distant Future, I'd feel comfortable placing Québécois atmosphere merchant Denis Villeneuve in the top five. For better or worse, Villeneuve's cinema thrives on a kind of precision-cut, cultivatedly fetid dourness. At its worst, it produces damp, philosophically aspirational melodrama like the abhorrent, Oscar-nominated "Incendies"; last year's gorgeous, luxuriantly trashy thriller "Prisoners" suggested he's better suited to material that knows its own daftness, even if Villeneuve himself doesn't.
It may only be March, but I already feel comfortable saying that if 2014 winds up producing five films (hell, make that three) better than Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin," it'll have been a very good year indeed. After an uneven start at the fall festivals -- as he showed in "Birth" nearly a decade ago, uniting critical opinion isn't among Glazer's hobbies -- this dreamily desolate adaptation of Michel Faber's sensual sci-fi novel has acquired a justly ardent following, and is finally set to be unleashed on the general public. UK audiences get it on Friday; Americans have a short wait until April 4.
MIAMI - Let it never be said that the Miami Film Festival doesn't know its competition. I'm not talking about South By Southwest, running concurrently in Texas at a pace so comparatively frantic that they scarcely seem like equivalent events, but the glorious spring sunshine, currently bathing the city's Art Deco-staggered skyline in honey-clear warmth too delicious to ditch for even the comfiest movie theater. Fully aware of this, Miami is the festival that comes out at night, concentrating its screenings in the evenings and following them up with parties that shoot for Cannes levels of razzle -- all without the shadow of a 7am wake-up call. If there's a more coolly considerate festival on the circuit, I haven't been to it.
Hey, who's ready to talk about the next awards season? No, me neither. But the Screen Actors' Guild is -- at least notionally -- as they've followed other guilds by announcing their 2014/15 awards dates. Mark your diaries, if you're so inclined.
Well, if anyone deserves an award from MTV for a career that bridges the channel's generations, it's actor, producer, former underwear model and onetime Funky Bunch leader Mark Wahlberg. The 42-year-old star will be honored at the MTV Movie Awards next month with the MTV Generation Award -- the irreverent ceremony's slightly more youthful answer to a career achievement award.
A week ago the 86th Academy Awards wrapped up what was one of the closest Best Picture races in history. An awards season full of unexpected distractions, pretenders and results came to an end. Many in Hollywood could finally take a deep breath and exhale.