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Tag: Lincoln (11-20 of 63)

'Lincoln' behind-the-scenes special debuts on iTunes

If 150 minutes of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln just wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck — DreamWorks just released a 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that details the film’s 12-year-long development on iTunes.

The special, called Lincoln: An American Journey, features interviews with the movie’s creative team — including Spielberg, screenwriter Tony Kushner, and Team of Rivals author Doris Kearns Goodwin, on whose book the movie is largely based — as well as stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field. Though it’s available to watch anytime online, the featurette will also air on Los Angeles’s CBS affiliate on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 9 a.m. PT.

(Hear that, Academy members?)

Read more:
Owen’s Oscar scorecard: Who’s up, who’s down, and why
Oscar Upheaval: What does ‘Argo’ Globes victory mean?
Las Vegas Oddsmakers like ‘Lincoln’, but you could win a bundle on ‘Beasts’

Owen's Oscar scorecard: Who's up, who's down, and why

Last Thursday, when the Academy Awards nominations were announced, it was one of those moments when the nominations were very clarifying. Lincoln leading the pack (with 12), combined with the shocking roll call of snubs in the Best Director category (No Affleck! No Bigelow! No Quentin! No guy-who-made-The King’s Speech-and-Les Miz as if he’d been placed on this earth to be the 21st-century answer to middlebrow Oscar taste), instantly brought a fuzzy, multi-movie race into absolute focus, with Lincoln and its director and screenwriter, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, the obvious — and, to my mind, deserving — front-runners, and everything else fading to the sidelines. I don’t necessarily think any of that is wrong. Yet the whole reason I like writing about the Oscars is that, while I don’t pretend to have any special powers of prognostication (especially when compared to the reigning odds-makers at EW), I do think that the reasons that certain movies, and actors and actresses, and writers and directors triumph over others on awards night is not a question that can be divorced from critical/aesthetic analysis. Even mediocre choices reflect an aesthetic, and also a way that movies interact with the world; the critic’s task is to define what that is. In that spirit, here are a few observations about why I think the winners will win. READ FULL STORY

Oscar Upheaval: What does 'Argo' Globes victory mean?

prize_fighter1_bannerEvery time it seems like the dust is settling, something kicks it back up again.

Just days after Ben Affleck’s epic directing snub for Argo seemed to invalidate that movie’s chances of winning Best Picture, it seems to be emerging as … the frontrunner?

Note the question mark in bold.

Argo won both best director and best drama at the Golden Globes last night (after claiming similar honors at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards on the night of the snub-tastic nominations), and even though there is no crossover between those groups and Academy voters, the victories have become rallying points for those who feel Affleck was done a grievous wrong. (The more divisive Kathryn Bigelow of Zero Dark Thirty and Tom Hooper of Les Miserables, also left off the Academy’s director list, don’t seem to be generating the same backlash. At least, not that I’ve heard so far.)

Could Argo claim the Oscar for Best Picture as the rest of the Academy tries to compensate for the directors branch overlooking him?

That was a theory put forth by many awards insiders and Academy voters at the parties last night. “If I were the frontrunner, I’d be worried,” said one member.

That means, once again, somebody needs to keep an eye on Lincoln’s back. READ FULL STORY

Oscar analysis: Bad day for 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

prize_fighter1_bannerYou could hear the gasp when Benh Zeitlin’s name was read. It reverberated throughout Hollywood, which has to feel good if you’re the first-time feature director.

Even he didn’t expect himself to get a nomination. “For director, I honestly didn’t think there was any possibility that that was going to happen,” he told EW’s Karen Valby this morning. “And I thought they’d finished announcing the names so I wasn’t even nervous. … I just sort of tuned out and then I just heard my name out of the back of my head and I went into a black-out.”

If you’re three particular veteran directors … it didn’t feel quite so great.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild director wasn’t considered a favorite at all for a best director nomination … And where was Argo‘s Ben Affleck, Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, and Les Miserables‘ Tom Hooper?

The directing category provided the most shocks, differing from the Directors Guild Awards contenders not just by one (which is typical) but by three. The other two surprises in addition to Zeitlin: Silver Linings Playbook‘s David O. Russell and Amour‘s Michael Haneke.

Here’s a breakdown of how some of the top categories shook out: READ FULL STORY

Oscar 2013: The nominations revealed ...

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prize_fighter1_bannerWho’s in, who’s out?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally settled the debate with its announcement of nominees for the 85th Academy Awards. Lincoln leads the pack with 12 nominations, followed by Life of Pi with 11.

There was a surprisingly strong showing for Beasts of the Southern Wild, which scored a directing nomination for Benh Zeitlin that few saw coming. Directing snubs for Argo‘s Ben Affleck, Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, and Les Miserables‘ Tom Hooper does not bode well for those films going forward.

Below are the contenders for the ceremony, which will take place Feb. 24.

And here is some deeper analysis. READ FULL STORY

'Skyfall,' 'Les Mis,' 'Lincoln' nominated by cinematographer society

Those who truly love movies tend to particularly appreciate the work of a good cinematographer, and the American Society of Cinematographers has come out with its list of the best in the field this past year.

Here’s the line-up: READ FULL STORY

Best & Worst of 2012: Rating this year's movie scenes

lincoln-daniel-day-lewis

You’ve seen their lists of best and worst movies of the year — now take a look at EW critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum’s picks for best and worst scenes of the year.

Best scene — Owen’s pick

A president strategizes in Lincoln
At a cabinet meeting, Abraham Lincoln makes a startling ­confession: He has no idea if his Emancipation Proclamation is even legal. He just…did it. In fact, he’s been winging the legality of his actions through most of the Civil War. But then he floats a head-spinning case for why his push against slavery is legal—and why the courts, with no 13th amendment, may still overrule him. This spellbinder of a monologue seizes us with the intricacy of Lincoln’s mind, even as Daniel Day-Lewis’ acting shows us his secret renegade spirit. And Steven Spielberg uses a very slow zoom to mythically echo the scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone ”joins” his family. That’s great filmmaking.

READ FULL STORY

Box Office Report: 'The Hobbit' holds number one spot, 'Jack Reacher' and 'This is 40' disappoint

AN-UNEXPECTED-JOURNEY_510x317.jpg

It was a fairly slow weekend at the box office.

Despite a record-breaking opening, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey experienced a significant 57% drop off in its second week, bringing in an estimated $36.7 million, with an $8,952 per screen average. This brings The Hobbit’s ten-day gross to $149.9 million, tracking about 8% behind The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’s ten-day gross.

Paramount’s Jack Reacher (Cinema Score: A-) opened this past weekend in second place with a modest $15.6 million. Based on the popular Lee Child-created character, the Tom Cruise action flick has been somewhat of a box office wild card and will have to struggle to maintain momentum to make up the costs for the $60 million production. The weekend prior to the Christmas holiday isn’t usually the strongest at the box office, but last year Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol opened wide on December 21 at $29.6 million. As many have already mentioned, Jack Reacher fans are perhaps put off by the casting, since the character is supposed to be physically imposing at 6’5″.

Judd Apatow’s comedy This is 40 (Cinema Score: B-) also opened this weekend at $12 million to take third place. Though not abysmal, it doesn’t hold a candle to the $22.7 million, number one opening for Funny People, Apatow’s last directorial effort. But of course, Funny People starred Adam Sandler, which likely contributed to the strong opening. A sort of-sequel to Knocked Up (which opened at $30.7 million), This is 40 stars Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, and Albert Brooks, and boasts an impressively large cast including John Lithgow, Jason Segel, Chris O’Dowd, Megan Fox, Michael Ian Black, and Lena Dunham. But the 134-minute run time and Paul Rudd’s relatively low box office draw may have contributed to the low first weekend earnings.

Things did not fare as well for other weekend openings, including the Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogen road trip comedy The Guilt Trip (Cinema Score: B-) and Monsters, Inc. 3D, both of which failed to break the top five, bringing in $5.4 million and $5 million, respectively.

READ FULL STORY

Box office report: 'The Hobbit' breaks December record with $84.8 million weekend

Bilbo-Baggins

As expected, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, crushed the competition at the box office in its debut weekend, setting a new December record in the process.

The Middle-earth-set film grossed $84.8 million over its first three days, handily surpassing I Am Legend‘s $77.2 million bow, which has held the record for best December debut since 2007. The Hobbit earned that $84.8 million from 4,045 theaters, giving it a powerful $20,958 per theater average. Included in that theater count were 326 IMAX locations, which accounted for $10.1 million of the weekend gross, as well as 461 locations that showed the film in the controversial 48 frames per second rate — those screenings, thankfully, had no surcharge. About 49 percent of The Hobbit‘s weekend take came from 3-D showings.

All told, The Hobbit‘s debut weekend was obviously strong, but it must be said that it finished at the low end of pre-release expectations, most of which had the film earning more than $100 million in its debut frame. The Hobbit, the first in a trilogy produced by New Line and MGM (with Warner Bros. distributing) for a reported $600 million, earned $37.5 million on Friday, yet it only managed an internal multiplier (that’s weekend gross divided by Friday gross) of 2.25 — a very low number that signifies front-loaded performance. Judging by The Hobbit‘s 25 percent plummet on Saturday, it appears that the Tolkien faithful rushed out for the film early in the weekend. READ FULL STORY

Box office update: 'The Hobbit' walks away with $37.5 million on Friday

UNEXPECTED-JOURNEY

We already knew that The Hobbit earned a whopping $13.0 million during midnight showings, but over the course of its first full day in theaters the film took in an estimated $37.5 million, the highest gross ever for a December opening day.

The next best December bow was also of the Middle-earth variety – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King grossed $34.5 million on its opening day, a Wednesday, in 2003. Notably, The Hobbit sold fewer tickets on its opening day than Return of the King, but its gross was higher because of ticket price inflation and 3-D/IMAX surcharges. Still, huge is huge — and The Hobbit is headed for a mammoth debut. READ FULL STORY

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