Robert Redford is one of the movie stars of our time, yet I would contend that he’s always been an underrated actor. There are a host of reasons for that, and they feed into each other in subtle, at times mythic ways. You could say, on the one hand, that Redford was too golden-boy pretty (always a surefire way to not get nearly the respect you deserve), or that he was too understated as a screen presence, or that he was too openly skeptical of the Hollywood game. Redford had his first major big-screen role in 1965, in Inside Daisy Clover, and by 1969, when he starred in the independently financed Downhill Racer, he was already seeking ways to work outside the system, and that echoed his dynamic as an actor: He played men who stood apart, who created their own private space of action and wary observation. That was the Redford mystique, and it’s what attracted audiences to him and, at the same time, allowed him to come off on screen as self-contained and even aloof. From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) onward, Redford had the glow of a larger-than-life star, but as the 1970s rolled forward, it was his special karma to be the last WASP god in a Hollywood that was busy leaving the world he stood for — the world of WASP gods — behind. READ FULL STORY
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Daniel Day-Lewis spoiled us. Last year, the Best Actor race was an easy call, but this time around, it’s the hardest of the Oscar fields to predict. The race is jam-packed with worthy contenders, each with an equally strong chance of finding his name in that winning envelope on March 2.
With a month to go before voting opens we could still see some shifting. Who could still sneak in? Forest Whitaker for The Butler or Joaquin Phoenix for Her have the potential to rise in the ranks. So does Oscar Isaac for his musical, downtrodden turn in Inside Llewyn Davis.
Most Academy members haven’t seen the ’70s grifter drama American Hustle yet, but since it began screening for the press earlier this week reactions have been ecstatic. Expect to see that film in as many as eight Oscar categories this year, including each of the acting fields.
Christian Bale’s comically seductive, balding, pot-bellied con artist from that film should soon be joining the list of Best Actor contenders. The question is: Who will he knock out?
Right now, if you ask voters to pick front-runners, they almost always name the five below. Each delivers an impressive performance, but also have a compelling backstory, which can help make the difference in a tough race.
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Robert Redford has had one of the greatest and most interesting careers in Hollywood history, starring in iconic movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men, directing movies like Ordinary People, and making the Sundance Film Festival the premiere indie showcase. So it’s really a surprise to some when they discover that he’s only been nominated for one Academy Award for his acting (The Sting). That could change this year with All is Lost, a daring cinematic and acting challenge that places Redford’s mariner at the center of a looming ocean disaster. He plays a man whose sailboat becomes crippled as he battles one deep-sea misfortune after another.
Like his character, Redford is alone in the film. There are no other characters. There are no pet dogs, or flashbacks, or video-camera confessions. There is hardly any dialogue. The movie is Redford fighting the elements with every ounce of his strength. With so much riding on the audience’s relationship with the unnamed main character, who writer/director J.C. Chandor simply refers to as Our Man in the script, casting someone with Redford’s history on film turned out to be essential. “There are so many similarities between the Redford persona, Redford the actual person he is on the planet, and then the performances that he’s given,” says Chandor. “Obviously, that’s sort of his biggest weakness, it almost seems: people have a hard time disconnecting all three of those things from each other. What I thought I was going to be able to do in this movie was use that weakness as a strength. So instead of just ignoring that relationship the audience has with him, I want you to have it but then I want you to forget it a couple of minutes into the movie — but subconsciously it’s always going to be there.” READ FULL STORY
Alice Guy-Blaché isn’t a name that many members of Hollywood recognize, and that is exactly what co-directors Pamela Green and Jarik van Sluijs are trying to change.
Green and van Sluijs, along with executive producer Robert Redford, recently reached their Kickstarter goal of $200,000 to make a documentary, titled Be Natural, about Guy-Blaché, the 23 year old who became the first female director in 1896. READ FULL STORY
A lot of movies give their trailers the silent treatment, with powerful images and an evocative musical score responsible for conveying the drama. But in All Is Lost, which stars Robert Redford as an old man whose sailboat is slammed with one misfortune after another, the spare trailer accurately reflects the film, which is practically devoid of dialogue. Not that you’ll miss it, or wish there was a Bengal tiger or Wilson volleyball stowed aboard as he tries to stay alive. It’s just Redford, the camera, and the cruel winds of mother nature.
The movie, directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), won raves when it premiered at Cannes in May, with some predicting an Oscar nomination for Redford, who has never won for Best Actor despite iconic turns in Butch Cassidy, The Sting, and Out of Africa.
Watch the new trailer for All Is Lost below:
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Cannes 2013: With hardly a line of dialogue, Robert Redford is marvelous as a man lost at sea. Plus, Liz Taylor's bling
All Is Lost is a man-stranded-at-sea movie, starring Robert Redford, in a role that has almost no dialogue, as a fellow who wakes up in his small yacht, somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, only to discover that a random floating shipping crate — who knows how it got there? — has gashed a hole in the boat’s hull. It’s like his own miniature iceberg scrape: All of a sudden, his boat could go down, and him with it. Most movies that strand a solitary figure at sea, like Life of Pi, or on a desert island, like Cast Away or the template of the whole genre, Robinson Crusoe, are lonely but upbeat tales of invention and survival. J.C. Chandor, the writer and director of All Is Lost, does a radical existential twist on those tales. The film opens with Redford in voiceover, reading a farewell note to his family (confessing his selfishness, he says “I’m sorry,” and explains that he has only half a day’s rations left, and that he’s resigned to his fate, and that “all is lost”). It’s quite a bummer of a beginning, and when the movie then flashes back eight days, we’re already primed to experience Redford’s journey not as a series of small, ingenious acts of self-salvation but as a gradual downward spiral, the story of a man getting sucked into the void. READ FULL STORY
If you paid attention only to the internet hub-bub generated by Shia LaBeouf’s tweets, quotes, and late-night bar brawls, you might forget that he’s still a darn good young actor who’s only beginning to tackle the mature adult roles that will eventually define his career. In The Company You Keep, he plays Ben Shepard, an Albany newspaper reporter who lucks into a huge national news story when a former member of the Weather Underground (Susan Sarandon) wanted for murder is captured in his backyard. Chasing down leads by hook or by crook, Ben follows all the clues back to Jim Grant, an upstate lawyer played by Robert Redford — appearing in his first starring role since 2005′s An Unfinished Life. It’s a clever conceit that fans of All the Presidents’ Men — Redford’s classic movie about the two real-life Beltway reporters who cracked the Watergate scandal — will appreciate. Redford certainly did — he directed this thriller.
In an exclusive video clip from the movie, Ben charms his way into some crucial information by visiting an old flame (Anna Kendrick) who now works in law enforcement. Watch it below: READ FULL STORY
The new Captain America film is probably the most unusual of the upcoming wave of Marvel sequels, since — thanks to the first film’s climactic time-jump forward — most of the original supporting cast probably won’t be returning. (Although since the movie is subtitled The Winter Soldier, there’s probably at least one supporting cast member returning, NO SPOILERS.) But the film could be adding a genuine film legend to its cast. EW has confirmed the news, initially reported by the Hollywood Reporter, that Robert Redford — Oscar winner, Sundance founder, Sundance Kid — is in negotiations to join the cast of the Star-Spangled Sequel. READ FULL STORY
The good news: Sundance is holding a second film festival this year. The better news: For once, attendees can leave their fashionable parkas at home.
The Sundance Institute announced today that it will be hosting a four-day summer film festival called Next Weekend in Los Angeles this August. Next Weekend will be an extension of Sundance proper’s “Next” section, which launched in 2010 and features “stylistically adventurous films that take a bold approach to storytelling,” such as Zal Batmanglij’s sound of my voice and Mike Birbiglia’s Sleepwalk With Me. READ FULL STORY
Robert Redford still knows how to wrangle up a cast of A-listers. His recent projects have showcased Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, Will Smith, and James McAvoy, and the living legend has lined up another impressive cast of actors for The Company You Keep. Out front and center is Redford himself — in his first major starring role since 2005′s An Unfinished Life — portraying a former Weather Underground radical who’s exposed by a journalist played by Shia LaBeouf. Toss in esteemed vets Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Chris Cooper, Sam Elliott, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Jenkins, Stanley Tucci, as well as Terrence Howard, Anna Kendrick, and Brit Marling, and the title takes on a whole new positive meaning.
The new trailer digs deeper into the thriller aspects of the story, which evolves into a manhunt after Redford’s left-wing suspect sets out to prove his innocence, Fugitive style. Throw in echoes of Sneakers and All the President’s Men, and you have Redford’s most promising box-office picture since The Horse Whisperer.
Watch the trailer below: READ FULL STORY
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