Writer-director David Ayer is all about in-your-face verisimilitude. For 2005's "Harsh Times," he relayed his South Central childhood directly to screen. With 2012's "End of Watch," he flocked to those same streets for a found footage exercise. And despite it's World War II setting, Ayer's ambition for raw intensity should keep his latest film, "Fury," squarely in the real. Not every director would pull strings to get an actual 1943 tank out on his recreated battlefield.
Daniel Radcliffe will win an Oscar, eventually. He's driven, he's eclectic, he's riding Leonardo DiCaprio-esque blockbuster momentum that he's happy to cash in for provocative material, and, most importantly, he's good. And getting better. Holding his own against Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes for a decade certainly helped.
Actress Virginia Madsen worries that we aren't doing "Network" justice. "It's one of those great films that isn't seen enough, isn't talked about enough," she admits in the latest installment of "Let's Go to the Movies," the Academy's wish fulfillment video series. When invited to pluck a print from the Academy archive to take in on the big screen, Madsen went straight for Sidney Lumet's 1976 TV news satire, a remnant of a bygone era when movies were political, dangerous, and as prickly as their film grain.
George Clooney's latest film "The Monuments Men" may have turned out to be an awards season bust (I still quite liked what he tried to do with that picture), but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a place in the season. Courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, he'll need to dust off the tux and head to the Beverly Hilton for the Golden Globes in January because he's this year's recipient of the organization's Cecil B. DeMille Award.
Becoming a man of "true grit" earned John Wayne his only Oscar back in 1970. Could the same broken heroism push Tommy Lee Jones into the Oscar conversation?
David Fincher isn't a comedy director by trade, but his work has a wicked sense of humor. The violent psyches of "Fight Club," the plentiful frustration in "Zodiac" and Jesse Eisenberg's love him/hate him work as Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" were dramatic explorations tinged with comedy. Though the trailer for his latest, "Gone Girl," sets up a haunting thriller crafted with Fincher's meticulous style, recent comments from the director warn audiences to brace themselves: This could be his "funniest" movie yet.
The race for Oscar is akin to a political campaign, and the first three Fall film festivals have made a significant impact on all the major races. Consider that Venice, Telluride and Toronto take place within three weeks of each other and you have a huge indicator of how the season will progress. With that in mind, here are eight major takeaways that are still buzzing in our heads as the Oscar race begins.
After dominating a lot of the on-the-ground chatter at the Telluride Film Festival and then transitioning to the Toronto fest with a headwind, The Weinstein Company's Alan Turing biopic "The Imitation Game" has won Toronto's coveted People's Choice Award.
Another edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is effectively over and the powers that be have a lot to ponder before the planning for 2015 begins. Yes, there were famous faces such as Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Jennifer Aniston and Channing Tatum strutting their stuff on the venues' red carpets. Yes, the festival got extremely lucky with five buzzworthy world premieres ("Still Alice," "The Theory of Everything," "Nightcrawler," "Top Five" and, no joke, "Tusk"). Yes, they made some unexpected awards season noise with Julianne Moore and, in some people's eyes, Jennifer Aniston. And yes, they had a lot of fun with Bill Murray Day. But…
What else can you really say about Susanne Bier's "Serena?" We're still waiting. "Silver Linings Playbook" and "American Hustle" have come and gone (the latter having begun and ended production with "Serena" wrapped) and still the Depression Era drama has yet to come out and play. The cards will be on the table next month, though, as the film premieres at the London Film Festival ahead of an Oct. 24 UK bow. Will it be worth the wait?