And Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon to the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor races as Ramin Bahrani's "99 Homes" has landed domestic distribution after playing the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Indie upstart Broad Green Pictures has landed the film stateside with an aim to release in the spring of 2015. The film will not, however, be competing for Oscars consideration this year, despite early reports to the contrary.
Disney's upcoming musical "Into the Woods" boasts an all-star cast, but Oscar-magnet Meryl Streep takes center stage in a new poster for the film, inviting viewers to take a trip into those dark, spooky, wonderful woods.
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.