Inside Movies Breaking Movie News and Scoops | Movie Reviews

Tag: Steve McQueen (1-10 of 20)

'12 Years a Slave' screenwriter John Ridley talks supposed beef with Steve McQueen

Since his Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, John Ridley has been busy enough to tune out superfluous drama. He’s been in Austin since shooting the pilot American Crime for ABC, and promoting the U.S. premiere of the Hendrix biopic Jimi: All Is By My Side at SXSW. But he knows that failing to thank 12 Years director Steve McQueen in his acceptance speech, and the seemingly chilly body language between the two of them on the big night, sparked countless stories of behind-the-scenes beef.

“I do regret it,” says Ridley of his omission. “But just 24 hours earlier at the Spirit Awards I sincerely went on and on about Steve and my work with him. You know, the guy changed my life. At the Oscars you have 30 seconds to talk and it’s like the oxygen drops out of the room. I know [when I heard my name called] I hugged my wife twice, I know David O. Russell, again this person people think I have beef with, was the first guy to hug me, I know Meryl Streep reached out and touched my arm.”

Ridley’s real regret of the night is a more personal one. He took great pains in his brief and eloquent minute on stage to thank a script coordinator named Gayle for her early support of his work (“she was gracious enough to read everything I wrote and when she thought it was ready she’d put smiley faces at the end and I knew that it was job done,” he said). “That was my wife you know,” he says today. (Ridley and his wife Gayle met over 20 years ago working on the set of Martin Lawrence’s sitcom Martin.) “I don’t think most people got that. Wow, I screwed up. Well, I know she got it. I didn’t want to be the guy when you’re getting played off by the music ‘Oh and my wife and I love her.’ I wanted to start there and thank someone who believed in me from the beginning. I wanted the bulk of that 30 seconds to go to my wife and whatever I had remaining was going to Solomon Northup who deserves it.”

Explaining the impulse to trump up tension between himself and McQueen, Ridley blames media’s dependence on easy narratives. “I will say about 12 Years , from the jump, man, from the moment somebody said ‘Stop the year, this is the Best Picture’ the story became ‘It’s torture porn. Why are Brits doing this? This movie is only geared at liberal whites.’ In the end, I said to somebody else ‘At the very least we weren’t Zero Dark Thirty. Nobody set up a congressional investigation. This year it’s who hugged and kissed who and who didn’t.”

Directors Guild Awards: Alfonso Cuaron wins for 'Gravity'

UPDATED: Gravity does not seem to be falling on the awards circuit. Alfonso Cuarón walked away with the top honor at the Directors Guild of America Awards Saturday night in Los Angeles, beating out Martin Scorsese, David O. Russell, Paul Greengrass, and Steve McQueen.

“This is truly an honor and I am humbled by it,” Cuarón said to the audience of his peers after last year’s winner Ben Affleck presented him with the award. But Gravity was not the work of just one mind, and no one knows that more keenly than Cuarón. “Directing is about the work of your collaborators,” he said. Earlier in the evening, when Gravity was spotlighted amongst the five Feature Film nominees, Cuarón thanked his team including his first assistant director Josh Robertson, co-writer (and son) Jonas Cuarón, his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, and his visual effects team. Then he said: “I barely understand how we made the film.” The audience laughed uproariously.

The DGA Awards are generally a pretty decent indicator for who will walk away with the Best Director Oscar. Comprised of over 15,000 voting members, the Directors Guild does have a tendency to skew more mainstream when compared with the choices of the 377 voting members of the Directors branch in the Academy. But in the past ten years, the DGA winner has gone on to win the Oscar 90% of the time. In fact, in 65 years, only 7 DGA winners failed to win the Academy Award. Last year, however, was a major outlier when Ben Affleck won the DGA for Argo after he’d failed to pick up an Oscar nomination.

The DGA did deviate from the Oscars in other fairly significant ways last year. The nominees only matched 2 out of the 5 Oscar nominees. This year, it was 4 out of 5. Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass was the odd man out — the Academy included Alexander Payne for his work on Nebraska instead.

For Cuarón, the win only seems to add to his awards momentum. In addition to a host of Film Critics awards, Cuarón also won a Golden Globe earlier this month.

The DGA doesn’t just honor features, though. Oscar nominee Jehane Noujaim picked up an award for her documentary The Square, Steven Soderbergh won for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan was recognized for directing the Breaking Bad finale “Felina.” Check out the full list of winners from the 66th Annual DGA Awards after the jump.

READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' director Steve McQueen is 'exhilarated, ecstatic' over nine noms

Waking up to nine Oscar nominations is a good way to start your day, even if you are thousands of miles away from your family. Such was the case for Steve McQueen on Thursday morning when his harrowing drama 12 Years a Slave earned nine Academy Award nominations, including nods for Best Picture and Best Director, and acting recognition for his three leads: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong’o.

“I am exhilarated, ecstatic,” he told EW via phone. “Getting all those nominations, I’m so very happy.”

While the British director admits that he finds the promotional duties that accompany a movie of this subject matter and pedigree grueling, he has been energized by the quality of the discussions that have followed the screenings he’s attended.

“The subject matter conjures up such an interesting debate with the audience that every Q&A has been like a town hall meeting in a way,” McQueen said. “Everyone is talking about the past, present, and future. It’s become much more social and much more passionate in a way. We made a film that was based in 1851, but it’s actually talking about what’s happening today, so it’s been immensely stimulating.”
READ FULL STORY

'12 Years a Slave' marks MLK Day re-release with 'I Have a Dream' ad -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

How do you plan to spend Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year? Fox Searchlight has a suggestion: Go see 12 Years a Slave, which the studio will re-release into 700 theaters nationwide on Friday. To mark the occasion, the studio made a recut 12 Years promo that combines footage of the film and audio from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during 1963’s March on Washington. King gave his speech not far from where the real-life Solomon Northup was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in 1841.

Check out the stirring ad below.
READ FULL STORY

Why Armond White got kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle

This morning, the members of the New York Film Critics Circle, including me, voted to expel Armond White, the former critic of the now-defunct New York Press (and currently the editor and movie critic of CityArts), from the group. To me, it was a sad moment — pathetic, really, though Armond brought it on himself. A week ago, at the Circle’s annual awards dinner, White made a rude and bellicose spectacle of himself, as he did the year before, by heckling one of the winners — in this case, Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years a Slave, a movie that White, in his review, had dismissed as “torture porn.” Make no mistake: He has every right to dislike 12 Years a Slave, a movie that he considers not a powerful historical docudrama but a sensationalist feel-bad fantasy that is subtly designed to make white people feel good about their own guilt. READ FULL STORY

Steve McQueen heckled, NY Film Critics Circle apologizes

The New York Film Critics Circle has apologized for the heckling of 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen at the group’s awards banquet.

When McQueen was presented the best director award Monday night by Harry Belafonte, critic Armond White allegedly jeered McQueen as “an embarrassing doorman and garbage man.”

In an email to 12 Years a Slave distributor Fox Searchlight first posted online by Deadline, NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf apologized to McQueen for “the crass bit of heckling” he encountered. Rothkopf said he was “mortified” that it came from one of the group’s own members and pledged “disciplinary action.”

White did not immediately respond to an email Tuesday.

The CityArts editor is well known for his contrarian film reviews. He panned 12 Years a Slave as “torture porn.”

'12 Years a Slave' posters with Brad Pitt were unauthorized, studio says

12-years-a-slave-poster.jpg

12 Years a Slave… the story of one man’s journey from Canada to the Deep South to rescue a poor man from slavery.

If you lived in Italy and stubbornly refused to read movie reviews, that might be the impression formed by a quick glimpse at the movie’s poster. The artwork features the oversized head of Brad Pitt, while Chiwetel Ejiofor’s running Solomon Northup — the primary visual in the American marketing campaign — is shoved into a lower corner. Another similar poster makes use of Michael Fassbender’s face in the same way as Pitt’s. (It would be even more difficult to conjure up a log-line for 12 Years that tells the story from his despicable character’s point of view.)

Major movie stars like Pitt are especially crucial to the selling of Hollywood movies in international markets, but the main character of Steve McQueen’s movie is undoubtedly Ejiofor’s Solomon, whose ordeal of being kidnapped and trafficked into Southern slavery is the sole heart-wrenching narrative. Fassbender plays one of Solomon’s cruel taskmasters, and Pitt, who produced the film, has an extremely minor — but crucial — role as a sympathetic Canadian carpenter who frowns upon the Southern system of slavery. Pitt might sell better than Ejiofor, but the poster’s misrepresentation is especially egregious considering the nature of the tale.
READ FULL STORY

'12 Years a Slave': The emotional reactions that make director Steve McQueen thankful -- Q&A

Who’s afraid of 12 Years a Slave?

Not audiences — strong ticket sales at the box office have proven that. However, despite some passionate fans, many Academy voters have privately confessed to being intimidated by the drama, mostly because reviews have hyped the violence as extreme and relentless. Searing? Yes. Punishing for the audience? No more than, say, Saving Private Ryan or any other honest war picture.

In our latest issue, Entertainment Weekly named director Steve McQueen one of the Entertainers of the Year. That’s not a title one would obviously bestow on the soft-spoken British filmmaker, but “entertainment” means more than escapism. In his case, he’s one of the storytellers who simply moved people the most in 2013, bringing to the screen the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) a free black man who found himself trapped in a place where there was no such thing.

We asked him what he would say to people who say they are intimidated by the movie, and why he thinks this has been such a strong year for films about the black experience. What McQueen wanted to talk about was how grateful he was to those who have opened themselves up the movie.

READ FULL STORY

'12 Years a Slave': Steve McQueen on his epic's message of love -- VIDEO

12-YEARS-A-SLAVE.jpg

Director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, which tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black New Yorker who was kidnapped and trafficked into Southern slavery in the 1840s, is the most unflinching depiction of what historians euphemistically referred to as America’s “peculiar institution.”

Peculiar institution? The Heritage Foundation is a peculiar institution! The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a peculiar institution! Slavery was bondage, rape, and murder. For centuries. It was America’s original sin, and 12 Years‘ gripping tale washes away 100 years of cinematic gloss and shows it for what it really was. It’s a direct approach that McQueen feels strongly about, one that stretches beyond the events onscreen.

At a recent Los Angeles screening of the film that included a Q&A, music-artist Common asked McQueen what his film’s message was for today’s inner-city youth, some of whom might be ashamed of their heritage. “What I would like this film to do is almost to embrace that past, to make it yours, to own it, to tame it, to master it,” said McQueen, a Brit whose ancestors were slaves. “We have to understand it to go forward.”

Click below for an exclusive video of their conversation:
READ FULL STORY

Critical Mass: Is '12 Years a Slave' as great as the buzz?

Every year’s fall-festival season yields an Oscar front-runner or two, but from the moment that 12 Years a Slave premiered at September’s Telluride Film Festival, the industry has swooned, crowning director Steve McQueen’s epic tale of American slavery as something more than just the film to beat. Think about those wonderful Oscar montages that piece together the greatest moments of our greatest movies of the last 100 years — Cary Grant eluding a biplane in a cornfield, Sundance telling Butch he can’t swim, Henry Fonda telling the Joads he’ll be there. It’s not difficult to imagine the face of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, as part of that Oscar tribute 10, 20, or 30 years from now. 12 Years is that kind of cinematic experience.

Solomon Northup was a real person, a free New York musician with a wife and children, who was drugged, chained, and sold into Southern slavery in 1841. That his ordeal is little-known, and that Hollywood has flinched from depicting American slavery in all its evils, is unfortunate but notable, and McQueen’s eye is unsparing as he depicts the corrosive impact of slavery on all that it touches. Solomon’s odyssey south is one humiliating and brutal encounter after another, culminating in his sale to a sadistic plantation owner played by Michael Fassbender.

That’s not to say that 12 Years is something that needs to be endured by audiences. As EW’s Owen Geliberman writes, “It’s a film of such emotion that in telling the story of a life that gets taken away, it lets us touch what life is.”

With 12 Years a Slave expanding to more cities this weekend, click below to see what other critics are saying about McQueen’s Oscar hopeful.
READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos in Movies

Advertisement

From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP