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.
The list of top per-screen averages tends to be dominated by Disney fare, everything from "The Lion King" to "Frozen" putting up staggering numbers. But sometimes something on the art house circuit can put up a whopper of a number, such as "Red State" or "The Master." Late last year, "American Hustle" surged in this frame, and just a few years ago, Wes Anderson proved his fan base was hungry for "Moonrise Kingdom" on just four screens, averaging over $130,000 per screen.
Well, this weekend Anderson broke his own record and entered the top 10 of limited releases as "The Grand Budapest Hotel" averaged over $200,000 on four screens for an opening weekend tally of $800,000.
Denis Villeneuve's "Enemy" won the most hardware at this year's Canadian Screen Awards, as the freaky psychological thriller (which Villeneuve shot back-to-back with his Hollywood debut "Prisoners") took home five awards, including Best Director, Supporting Actress and Cinematography. But it lost the top prize to something a little more warm and fuzzy. The tender, sentimental "Gabrielle" -- a love story between two special-needs choir singers -- took Best Film, as well as Best Actress for developmentally disabled lead Gabrielle Marion-Rivard. (The film was Canada's savvy submission for the foreign-language Oscar last year, but didn't make the shortlist.)
Wes Anderson is on fire lately, what with "Moonrise Kingdom" (for my money his best film to date) finding welcome waters in the 2012-2013 film awards season and with "The Grand Budapest Hotel" lighting up critics upon its Berlinale arrival. Our own Greg Ellwood pondered whether it might just be the first serious awards season player of this year, while Guy Lodge found it to be "dizzy but unexpectedly touching" (and had high marks to offer star Ralph Fiennes besides). The film opened in limited release this weekend, so many of you will have had a chance to see it. If so, tell us what you thought in the comments section below and feel free to vote in our poll.
Is it just me or are the MTV Movie Awards trying to be a little more respectable? Yeah, stuff like "Identity Thief" and "We're the Millers" picked up multiple nominations this morning, but prestige Oscar players "American Hustle" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" led the field with eight each, besting even "The Hunger Games." And Best Picture Oscar winner "12 Years a Slave" is in there for Movie of the Year. Color me surprised, that's all.
We've been waiting a while for a complete trailer for The Weinstein Company's "Grace of Monaco" -- a teaser was unveiled before the film was postponed from its initial November 2013 release slot, but it was all flash and champagne and satin drapery, withholding Nicole Kidman's actual performance as Oscar-winning actress turned European princess Grace Kelly. Now, with director Olivier Dahan's film just over two months away from opening the Cannes Film Festival, we get to see a little more, and... well, it's still flash and champagne and satin drapery, but there's more of a sense of what the stakes are, and the commitment with which Kidman is interpreting a tricky role.