The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced today that it will bestow its highest honor, the Modern Master Award, to "Saving Mr. Banks" star Emma Thompson at the 29th edition of the fest on Feb. 8, 2014.
I know, I know, I link to Mark Harris a lot in these roundups. But he's always a pleasure to read, and rarely more on-point than in his impassioned piece about last weekend's Governors' Awards -- the separation of which from the Oscar telecast is an issue that still gets his goat, particularly in a year when the speeches of Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury and Steve Martin would all have made good television for a relatively mainstream audience. "Of all the ways of nodding to the past, it is grotesque that the only one that has survived on the main telecast is the in memoriam roll call," he writes. "It’s pious sentiment, and also profound hypocrisy, to bow to Hollywood history by honoring those who are no longer around while shoving its living representatives off to November lest they ruin your TV show." Do you think he has a point? I do. [Grantland]
I honestly didn't know my iCal application could hold this many events. The reminder jingle on my phone is going off constantly, jogging my memory of this shindig or that Q&A. The circuit has, in no uncertain terms, become unhinged with phase one glut, and it seems like it's only getting worse...depending on how you look at it.
LOS ANGELES — Paramount brought out some artillery on behalf of "Nebraska" star Will Forte Sunday afternoon as the actor's fellow "Saturday Night Live" alum Jason Sudeikis moderated a post-screening Q&A with the Best Supporting Actor hopeful for a capacity audience filled with mostly Screen Actors Guild members.
Joel and Ethan Coen discuss 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' long-time collaborations and the allure of New York
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — "Inside Llewyn Davis" is the Joel and Ethan Coen's 16th feature to date. Starring Oscar Isaac as a shade of New York folk singer Dave Van Ronk, it tells the story of the scene that Bob Dylan came into, the calm before a storm. It's a love letter to music of the era, making for a potent collaboration — their fourth — with music maestro T Bone Burnett.
The filmmaker siblings are notoriously difficult interviews, though in most of my experiences with them it's been pleasant. You just can't drop the usual mundane queries and expect excitement. But when you key on to something they really want to discuss, usually something that has nothing to do with the film at hand, they light up. They don't suffer too much heady consideration about their work and remain pragmatic, almost refreshingly so, in the face of such things. Nevertheless, they collectively make for one of the most vital voices in all of American art.
I recently sat down with the duo to discuss, among other things, long-standing collaborations, the allure of stardom and the romance of New York City. Read our back and forth below.
As I wrote last week, the Palm Springs Film Festival makes a habit of giving their annual Desert Palm Achievement Awards to surefire Best Actor and Actress Oscar nominees, and they've almost certainly maintained that record this year. Matthew McConaughey was recent named the first recipient; now he's joined by "Gravity" star Sandra Bullock -- "the epitome of cinematic talent and versatility," in the words of fest chairman Harold Matzner. (I bow to no one in my love for Bullock, but... the epitome?) The actress, currently Cate Blanchett's chief challenger in the Best Actress race, will be presented with the honor at the festival's awards gala on January 4. [PSIFF]
At the AFI Fest premiere of "Out of the Furnace" last weekend, director Scott Cooper pardoned the absence of Christian Bale by quipping, "He's parting the Red Sea as Moses in the Canary Islands, but he really wanted to be here." Indeed, Bale has been hard at work filming Ridley Scott's "Exodus" these last few weeks, and the actor told HitFix in a recent interview that audiences can expect a far cry from what Charlton Heston and Cecil B. DeMille delivered 60 years ago.
As awards season trudges forward, the two weeks surrounding AFI Fest have easily been more packed with fetes and soirees than ever before. And on Sunday afternoon, it was Universal and Focus holding events for Oscar hopefuls "Rush" and "Dallas Buyers Club" respectively.