It’s only natural to begin our four-month Oscar discussion with what’s sure to be the most contentious race of all: the Best Actor category. Though it’s only November, this is already one crowded arena, filled with performances that span continents, explore disease, and wrestle with failure. And unfortunately, the race can’t hold them all. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Oscars (11-20 of 529)
Brazil is the home to more Roman Catholics than any nation on Earth, and though Rome has recently sent signals that it might be softening its stance on homosexuality, the South American country is still relatively conservative when it comes to matters of gay rights. So it’s been a pleasant surprise that The Way He Looks, a gay coming-of-age film from first-time filmmaker Daniel Ribeiro, became a modest indie hit at the box office and was named Brazil’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film.
“It’s an independent film about an issue people are talking about back in Brazil,” Ribeiro says. “We have problems with the violence against gay people, too, so it’s a film that is talking about an important issue, and I guess people were excited about this film portraying a gay character in a very natural way.” READ FULL STORY
While the Oscar races for prizes like Best Picture will remain a mystery for the next few months, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has narrowed the field for another Oscar category: Best Documentary Short Subject.
It’s September, so why wouldn’t we start predicting an Oscar race that won’t finish for another five months?
To be fair, Venice, Telluride, and the Toronto film festivals have all concluded. Many films have screened. Many films have connected with audiences, and a rough draft of the Oscar race is beginning to come into focus. Sure, no Academy member will even begin popping in those screener DVDs for another couple of months, but it’s still worth discussing what has buzz and what is likely to still be on voters’ minds once the weather finally begins to cool off.
Here’s a very early look at what the race looks like now. READ FULL STORY
To those who know their whole history, it may seem surprising that there was never any bad blood between Steven Spielberg and the late Richard Attenborough — unless you want to count the prehistoric kind drawn from those amber-encased mosquitos in Jurassic Park, the one big project they made together.
The two filmmakers, separated in age by more than a generation, were rivals who became collaborators and eventually friends. When Attenborough died at age 90 on Sunday, he left behind a legacy as an actor, director, and philanthropist — but the story of his relationship with Spielberg is evidence of another defining trait: gentleman.
Their complicated camaraderie began after the pair crossed paths at the most critical point in each of their careers — 1982, when Attenborough finally completed his 20-year quest to make the biographical drama Gandhi, and Spielberg finished a deeply personal film that stands as one of the best movies ever made about families: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Those two films couldn’t have been more different, but were destined for eternal comparison after becoming competitors at the 55th Academy Awards.
The top prize-winner at this spring’s Cannes Film Festival will represent Turkey in the foreign-language Academy Award race. Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, a provocative drama about a former actor who has alienated just about everyone—including his wife (Melisa Sözen, above)—in the mountain community where he now runs a hotel, won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in May. Ömer Cerik, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, tweeted, “I hope Ceylan will show the same success during his Oscar journey as he has many times in the international arena.”
No Turkish film has ever been nominated for a foreign-language Oscar. Winter Sleep will be released in the U.S. later this year by Adopt Films. READ FULL STORY
If this weekend’s number one movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — the second entry in the rebooted Apes franchise — has a spiritual sibling in the original series of films, it is 1972’s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. While Conquest was the fourth movie in the franchise to arrive in cinemas it is, like Dawn, the second according to the interior timeline of its series and, again like director Matt Reeves’ new film, features an apocalyptic showdown between apes and humans. Thus, it seems appropriate that this weekend Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comprehensively conquered the domestic box office by earning an estimated $73 million, exceeding both expectations and the $54.8 million opening weekend of its predecessor, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o of 12 Years a Slave were two of the 271 artists and industry leaders invited to become members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which determines nominations and winners at the annual Oscars. The entire list of Academy membership—which numbers about 6,000—isn’t public information so the annual invitation list is often the best indication of the artists involved in the prestigious awards process. It’s worth noting that invitations need to be accepted in order for artists to become members; some artists, like two-time Best Actor winner Sean Penn, have declined membership over the years.
The Academy has been criticized in recent years for being too white, too male, too old, and too American; and this year’s class makes efforts to be more well-rounded and international. Hany Abu-Assad, Jean-Marc Vallée, Denis Villeneuve, and Thomas Vinterberg are some of the international directors invited—though they’re all men. Joining Nyong’o in the actors branch are June Squibb, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Sally Hawkins, among other women.
Click below for the list of invitees: READ FULL STORY
In an effort to touch base with movie lovers outside of award season, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has launched a new video series talking about all things moving-picture.
The digital documentary series “Academy Originals” kicks off today with three programs about cult fandom (featuring Patton Oswalt and a favorite neo-noir of his), an exploration of how the blind experience movies, and how filmmaker Tina Gordon Chism (Drumline, Peeples) nourishes new ideas.
New videos will premiere every Monday.
NOT MUCH TO SEE
Upcoming Academy Originals will feature Lucasfilm president and Star Wars: Episode VII producer Kathleen Kennedy, Crash filmmaker Paul Haggis, stop-motion animator Phil Tippett, School of Rock screenwriter Mike White and Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Many of the videos will seek participation from the Academy’s more than 6,000 members, and dive into its archive collection. “Our membership represents the most creative minds and talented storytellers in the world – professionals with incredible expertise to share,” said Josh Spector, who oversees the videos as the Academy’s managing director of digital media and marketing.
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