Thursday, November 27, 2014

Independent Spirit Nominations/Predictions for NBR, AFI and NYFCC/Gurus of Gold



Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone and welcome to this truncated version of MTFB/FAC.  The FAC is taking the day off and will return with an updated assessment of the Oscar race next Thursday.  Have a lovely holiday everyone!



2015 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS



BEST FEATURE
(Award given to the producer. Executive producers are not awarded.)
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
“Boyhood”
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
“Love Is Strange”
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
“Selma”
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
“Whiplash”
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak
DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle
“Whiplash”
Ava DuVernay
“Selma”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Richard Linklater
“Boyhood”
David Zellner
“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”
SCREENPLAY
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
“Big Eyes”
J.C. Chandor
“A Most Violent Year”
Dan Gilroy
“Nightcrawler”
Jim Jarmusch
“Only Lovers Left Alive”
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
“Love Is Strange”
BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Producers: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah
“Dear White People”
Director-producer: Justin Simien
Producers: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe
“Nightcrawler”
Director: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak
“Obvious Child”
Director: Gillian Robespierre
Producer: Elisabeth Holm
“She’s Lost Control”
Director-producer: Anja Marquardt
Producers: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones
FIRST SCREENPLAY
Desiree Akhavan
“Appropriate Behavior”
Sara Colangelo
“Little Accidents”
Justin Lader
“The One I Love”
Anja Marquardt
“She’s Lost Control”
Justin Simien
“Dear White People”
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000. Award given to the writer, director and producer. Executive producers are not awarded.
“Blue Ruin”
Writer-director: Jeremy Saulnier
Producers: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani
“It Felt Like Love”
Writer-director-producer: Eliza Hittman
Producers: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner
“Land Ho!”
Writers-directors: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens
Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy
“Man From Reno”
Writer-director: Dave Boyle
Writers: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman
Producer: Ko Mori
“Test”
Writer-director-producer: Chris Mason Johnson
Producer: Chris Martin
FEMALE LEAD
Marion Cotillard
“The Immigrant”
Rinko Kikuchi
“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”
Julianne Moore
“Still Alice”
Jenny Slate
“Obvious Child”
Tilda Swinton
“Only Lovers Left Alive”
MALE LEAD
André Benjamin
“Jimi: All Is by My Side”
Jake Gyllenhaal
“Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
John Lithgow
“Love Is Strange”
David Oyelowo
“Selma”
SUPPORTING FEMALE
Patricia Arquette
“Boyhood”
CIO, CTO & Developer Resources
Jessica Chastain
“A Most Violent Year”
Carmen Ejogo
“Selma”
Andrea Suarez Paz
“Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
Emma Stone
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
SUPPORTING MALE
Riz Ahmed
“Nightcrawler”
Ethan Hawke
Boyhood
Alfred Molina
“Love Is Strange”
Edward Norton
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
J.K. Simmons
Whiplash
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Darius Khondji
“The Immigrant”
Emmanuel Lubezki
“Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Sean Porter
“It Felt Like Love”
Lyle Vincent
“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Bradford Young
“Selma”
EDITING
Sandra Adair
“Boyhood”
Tom Cross
“Whiplash”
John Gilroy
“Nightcrawler”
Ron Patane
“A Most Violent Year”
Adam Wingard
“The Guest”
DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
“20,000 Days on Earth”
Directors: Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
Producers: Dan Bowen, James Wilson
“CitizenFour”
Director-producer: Laura Poitras
Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky
“Stray Dog”
Director: Debra Granik
Producer: Anne Rosellini
“The Salt of the Earth”
Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
Producer: David Rosier
“Virunga”
Director-producer: Orlando von Einsiedel
Producer: Joanna Natasegara
INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
“Force Majeure”
(Sweden)
Director: Ruben Östlund
“Ida”
(Poland)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
“Leviathan
(Russia)
Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Mommy
(Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan
Norte, the End of History
(Philippines)
Director: Lav Diaz
Under the Skin
(United Kingdom)
Director: Jonathan Glazer
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
Inherent Vice
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis
Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio Del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Michael Kenneth Williams, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon
SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD
Foxcatcher
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller
Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik
Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman
Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum
18th ANNUAL PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD – The 18th annual Producers Award, sponsored by Piaget, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality, independent films. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Piaget.
Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson
21st ANNUAL KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The 21st annual Someone to Watch Award, sponsored by Kiehl’s Since 1851, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by Kiehl’s Since 1851.
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
H.
Directors: Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia
The Retrieval
Director: Chris Eska
20th ANNUAL LENSCRAFTERS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The 20th annual Truer Than Fiction Award, sponsored by LensCrafters is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition. The award includes a $25,000 unrestricted grant funded by LensCrafters.
Approaching the Elephant
Director: Amanda Rose Wilder
Evolution of a Criminal
Director: Darius Clark Monroe
The Kill Team
Director: Dan Krauss
The Last Season
Director: Sara Dosa

A big day for TFF #41 film "Birdman" which led all films with six nominations.  The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the nominations here:
PREDICTIONS FOR NBR, AFI AND NYFCC




Awards Daily's Sasha Stone takes a look at the first wave of year-end superlatives list of films from The National Board of Review, American Film Institute and the New York Film Critics that will be announced in the next few days and makes some predictions about what we might see when those are announced:

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/2014/11/predicting-afi-producers-guild

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/2014/11/predicting-new-york-film-critics-national-board-of-review-and-los-angeles-film-critics/
GURUS OF GOLD



Here's the latest update from The Movie City News Gurus of Gold  predictions for Best Picture:

Have a great weekend everyone...more on Monday!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bits and Pieces About TFF #41 Films: Crossing the Streams-Birdman and Imitation Game/ Foxcatcher/Wild/The Imitation Game/The Homesman/and Marion Cotillard

Good Monday Everyone and Welcome to Monday...


BITS AND PIECES FROM TFF #41 FILMS:

CROSSING THE STREAMS-BIRDMAN AND IMITATION GAME:



Variety inventively got Benedict Cumberbatch of "The Imitation Game" and Edward Norton from "Birdman" together in its "Actor on Actors" video forum.  See it here:

http://variety.com/video/benedict-cumberbatch-and-ed-norton-actors-on-actors-conversation/

FOXCATCHER




The Playlist's profile of "Foxcatcher" director  Bennett Miller:


http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/bennett-miller-the-invisible-auteur-behind-foxcatcher-moneyball-capote-20141119


WILD



The Playlist talks with the director of "Wild" Jean Marc Vallee about the film.  Check that here:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/interview-jean-marc-vallee-talks-shooting-wild-making-playlists-and-the-one-song-he-really-wants-for-a-film-20141121

THE IMITATION GAME

The Weinstein Company has posted this interview on YouTube with Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley talking to Walter Issacson:



THE HOMESMAN



Gold Derby posted this interview with "The Homesman" director, co-writer and star Tommy Lee Jones:

http://www.goldderby.com/news/7673/tommy-lee-jones-the-homesman-oscars-hilary-swank-entertainment-13579086-story.html


AND MARION COTILLARD



Marion Cotillard talks to HitFix's Greg Ellwood about "Two Days, One Night" and "Macbeth":

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/marion-cotillard-on-macbeth-i-lost-control-of-everything



Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Moment for Mike/Film Awards Clearinghouse Vol. 4B/More "Foxcatcher" Blitz/Starting to Pump for "The Imitation Game"/Hilary Talks "The Homesman"/Coming Attractions: Steve McQueen

Good Thursday Y'all...

A MOMENT FOR MIKE



Word early this morning that visionary director Mike Nichols has died.  Nichols was one of the most important directors that has ever worked this biz.  Among his credits were "The Graduate" (Oscar winner for Best Director) and "Angels in America" both were ground breaking.  I'd place each of those projects on their respective top ten all time lists for their medium.  Then there was "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?".  There was so much more.  In a year that had already produced two gut punches: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams...count Nichols death as a third.  He was 83.

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/mike-nichols-graduate-director-dead-at-83-1201360933/

http://www.hitfix.com/news/mike-nichols-director-of-the-graduate-passes-away-at-83

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/21/movies/mike-nichols-celebrated-director-dies-at-83.html



THE FILM AWARDS CLEARINGHOUSE VOL. 4B



Here's the latest FAC focused on the Supporting Acting and Screenplay categories.

The FAC uses the published predictions of the following to develop its list of likely Oscar nominees:

Kristopher Tapley/InContention/HitFix
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Bred Brevet/Rope of Silicon
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter


Telluride #41 films are Bold (with their last rating in parentheses).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS



1) Patricia Arquette/Boyhood (1)
2) Kiera Knightley/The Imitation Game (2)
3) Emma Stone/Birdman (3)
4) Meryl Streep/Into the Woods (4)
5) Laura Dern/Wild (5)
6) Jessica Chastain/A Most Violent Year (NR)
7) Jessica Chastain/Interstellar (6)
8) Carmen Ejogo/Selma (7)
9) Kristen Stewart/Still Alice (NR)
10) Katherine Waterston/Inherent Vice (8)

Hot: Chastain/Most Violent...The AFI screening has her knocking on the door of another nomination.  K Stew returns to the top ten for "Still Alice"

Not: Octavia Spencer and Anna Kendrick who both drop from the top ten.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR



1) J.K. Simmons/Whiplash (1)
2) Edward Norton/Birdman (2)
3) Ethan Hawke/Boyhood (4)
4) Mark Ruffalo/Foxcatcher (3)
5) Tom Wilkinson/Selma (5)
6) Miyavi/Unbroken (6)
7) Josh Brolin/Inherent Vice (8)
8) Robert Duvall/The Judge (NR)
9) Christoph Waltz/Big Eyes (7)
10) John Goodman/The Gambler (9)

Hot: Duvall, who makes a return to the top ten.

Not: Waltz and Tyler Perry.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY



1) The Theory pf Everything (1)
2) The Imitation Game (2)
3) Gone Girl (3)
4) Unbroken (4)
5) Wild (5)
6) American Sniper (6)
7) Inherent Vice (7)
8) Still Alice (8)
9) Into the Woods (9)
10) Rosewater (10)

Comment: The category hasn't moved in two weeks.  Wow.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY



1) Boyhood (1)
2) Birdman (2)
3) Whiplash (3)
4) The Grand Budapest Hotel (4)
5) Foxcatcher (5)
6) Mr. Turner (6)
7) Selma (7)
8) A Most Violent Year (8)
9) Interstellar (9)
10) Wild Tales (10)

Comment: Also no movement in this category in the last two weeks.


MORE FOXCATCHER BLITZ



Here are two interviews with writer/director Bennett Miller as the "Foxcatcher" media blitz continues:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/11/bennett-miller-interview/382742/

http://thedissolve.com/features/interview/818-foxcatcher-director-bennett-miller-on-the-essentia/

STARTING TO PUMP FOR THE IMITATION GAME



With the release of "The Imitation Game" now just days away, that film also is cranking up the P.R. campaign.  I have included interviews and clips with co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightley:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/imitation-game-benedict-cumberbatch-explains-749513

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/benedict-cumberbatch-keira-knightley-making-748838

http://news.moviefone.com/2014/11/18/benedict-cumberbatch-imitation-game-clip/


HILARY TALKS THE HOMESMAN



Hilary Swank continues to be a part of the Oscar conversation for her role in Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman"  She has consistently been at the #6 spot in the FAC assessment of the Best Actress race.  She talked recently to Gold Derby about the film:

http://www.goldderby.com/news/7653/hilary-swank-the-homesman-tommy-lee-jones-oscars-movies-entertainment-13579086-story.html


COMING ATTRACTIONS: STEVE MC QUEEN AND PAUL ROBESON



Mark it down as a real possibility for TFF #43...Steve McQueen's next feature project appears to be set and it's a film about the life of the legendary Paul Robeson.  The only casting news at this point?  Harry Belafonte will have some role to play.  My question is: "What role will Michael Fassbender play in the film?"  Fassbender has been featured in all three of McQueen's features: "Hunger", "Shame" and "12 Years a Slave" and all three played Telluride.  Here's some of the posts announcing the McQueen/Robeson project:

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/steve-mcqueen-teams-with-harry-belafonte-on-paul-robeson-biopic-1201359755/

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/steve-mcqueen-to-direct-film-centered-on-paul-robesons-life

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-mcqueen-making-paul-robeson-750183


More on Monday...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Foxcatcher Blitz/Two Days, One Night U.S. Trailer/Rosewater Opens/Last Imitation Trailer/Coming Attractions: Maybe Not Trumbo


Apologies for this morning's late and truncated post...Blogger ate the earlier version of this which was lengthier and delightful...

FOXCATCHER BLITZ



Many interviews from Bennett Miller, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum:


http://variety.com/2014/film/news/steve-carell-foxcatcher-oscars-1201352920/

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/bennett-miller-foxcatcher-steve-carell-1201354874/


http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/interview-steve-carell-talks-going-dark-for-foxcatcher-make-up-madness-more-20141112

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/interview-director-bennett-miller-talks-foxcatcher-and-wrestling-with-the-american-dream-20141113

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/bennett-millers-long-road-with-foxcatcher-appears-to-have-been-worth-the-wait

http://www.indiewire.com/article/watch-channing-tatum-never-wants-to-wrestle-again-and-more-in-foxcatcher-academy-conversation-20141113



TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT U.S. TRAILER

After a number of international trailers, a U.S. trailer has appeared for The Dardennes "Two Days, One Night":




http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-marion-cotillard-fights-for-her-dignity-in-the-first-us-trailer-for-two-days-one-night-20141113


ROSEWATER OPENS

Telluride Inside talks to Jon Stewart:

http://www.tellurideinside.com/2014/11/telluride-film-fest-interview-with-jon-stewart-about-rosewater.html


LAST IMITATION TRAILER

The final trailer for "The Imitation Game" has dropped prior to its Nov. 28th opening:



http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-new-trailer-for-the-imitation-game-plus-15-minute-google-talk-clip-tv-spot-20141114

http://www.firstshowing.net/2014/watch-one-final-trailer-for-the-imitation-game-is-full-of-accolades/

COMING ATTRACTIONS: MAYBE NOT TRUMBO

Last month I wrote that "Trumbo" starring Bryan Cranston might be a cool TFF #42 pick...now you may be watching it on HBO...

http://thedissolve.com/news/3957-first-look-at-good-actor-bryan-cranston-playing-go/


More, and hopefully better, on Thursday...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Film Awards Clearinghouse Vol. 4A/Birdman Assault Continues/Wild and Wild Tales/ The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher and Leviathan/More on Payne

FILM AWARDS CLEARINGHOUSE VOL. 4A



Here's the latest Film Awards Clearinghouse for the categories of Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.

The FAC uses the published predictions of the following to develop its list of likely Oscar nominees:

Kristopher Tapley/InContention/HitFix
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Bred Brevet/Rope of Silicon
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter


BEST PICTURE



1) Boyhood (2)
2) Birdman (3)
3) The Imitation Game (1)
4) The Theory of Everything (4)
5) Unbroken (5)
6) Whiplash (8)
7) Interstellar (6)
8) Gone Girl (7)
9) Selma (11)
10) Foxcatcher (9)
11) Mr. Turner (12)
12) American Sniper (10)
13) Into the Woods (13)
14) A Most Violent Year (19)
15) The Grand Budapest Hotel (15)

Hot: "Boyhood", "Whiplash", "Selma""A Most Violent Year".

Not: "American Sniper", "The Imitation Game"

Comment:  AFI Fest screenings of "Selma" and "A Most Violent Year" are already having an effect.  My feeling at this point is that we'll see "Interstellar" fade as well as "Gone Girl".


BEST DIRECTION



1) Richard Linklater/Boyhood (2)
2) Alejandro G. Inarritu/Birdman (1)
3) Morten Tyldum/The Imitation Game (4)
4) Christopher Nolan/Interstellar (3)
5) Angelina Jolie/Unbroken (5)
6) David Fincher/Gone Girl (6)
7) Ava DuVernay/Selma (10)
8) Damien Chazelle/Whiplash (15)
9) Bennett Miller/Foxcatcher (7)
10) Clint Eastwood/Sniper (8)

Hot: DuVernay and Chazelle and both are RED hot.  If I was making book, I'd suggest that they might bump out Jolie, Nolan and Fincher.

Not: Miller and Eastwood.


BEST ACTRESS



1) Julianne Moore/Still Alice (1)
2) Reese Witherspoon/Wild (2)
3) Felicity Jones/ The Theory of Everything (3)
4) Rosamund Pike/Gone Girl (4)
5) Amy Adams/Big Eyes (5)
6) Hilary Swank/The Homesman (6)
7) Emily Blunt/Into the Woods (7)
8) Shailene Woodley/The Fault in Our Stars (9)
9) Marion Cotillard/Two Days, One Night (11)
10) Jessica Chastain/A Most Violent Year (8)

Hot: Cotillard
Not: Chastain...mostly, I believe, as a result of the screening of the film at AFI Fest.  The word from there is that it's a great supporting performance from Ms. Chastain.  An interesting side note is that she has been the focal point of a tug of war.  It appears that she has a contractual obligation in as far as "Interstellar" is concerned that has kept her from doing much promotion for "A Most Violent Year".  Since she is supporting in that film as well, it'll be interesting to see how that all pans out as we go through the rest of Oscar season.

Other comment:  At this point, I feel like the top four women are in good shape.  That fifth spot is a doozy, though.  I don't feel confident about Adams, Swank or Blunt.  The fifth nominee could be a real surprise.


BEST ACTOR



1) Michael Keaton/Birdman (2)
2) Eddie Redmayne/The Theory of Everything (2)
3) Benedict Cumberbatch/The Imitation Game (1)
4) Steve Carell/Foxcatcher (4)
5) David Oyelowo/Selma (7)
6) Timothy Spall/Mr. Turner (5)
7) Oscar Issac/A Most Violent Year (14)
8) Bradley Cooper/American Sniper (8)
9) Jack O'Connell/Unbroken (6)
10) Jake Gyllenhall/Nightcrawler (13)

Hot: Oyelowo, Issac.

Not: Cumberbatch, O'Connell and Ralph Fiennes who falls out of the top ten.

Comment:  Oyelowo has been edging up for a awhile and I have thought all along that Spall was vulnerable.  Cumberbatch falls two spots but those top three are still tightly bunched.  Issac has exploded into the conversation and I suspect we'll see a resurgence of O'Connell's fortunes as we get closer to "Unbroken's" actual release on Dec. 25.


BIRDMAN ASSAULT CONTINUES



The wave of promotional articles, spots and such has continued unabated as it expends into more markets and theaters.  I hope to catch it again in Albuquerque over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Below are interviews with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki:



http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/michael-keaton-reveals-the-birdman-scene-that-scared-him-the-most

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/watch-oscar-contenders-keaton-and-norton-dissect-acting-in-birdman-at-afi-fest-20141110

http://www.cinematographydb.com/2014/11/cinematography-birdman-emmanuel-lubezki-asc/




WILD



Jean Marc Vallee's "Wild" starring Reese Witherspoon is set to open on Dec. 5th.  I have included a link to a story and clip about some of the most intense scenes in the film.  From The Playlist:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-new-clip-from-wild-reese-witherspoon-used-a-hypnotist-to-calm-her-nerves-to-shoot-sex-scenes-20141110



WILD TALES



Foreign Language Oscar hopeful and big Telluride hot "Wild Tales" director and writer Damian Szifron talked to Anne Thompson about the terrifically entertaining film and Anne posted that this week on her Thompson on Hollywood blog.  Here that is:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/video/damian-szifron-talks-wild-tales


THE IMITATION GAME



The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and Anne Thompson with posts this week on TFF #41 films "The Imitation Game", "Foxcatcher" and "Leviathan":

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cracking-code-how-two-work-745734


FOXCATCHER



http://variety.com/2014/film/news/steve-carell-foxcatcher-oscars-1201352920/

LEVIATHAN



http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/russia-submits-leviathan-after-all-andrey-zvyagintsev-talks-20140929


MORE ON PAYNE



In my last post I wrote that we might see Alexander Payne's next project, "Downsizing" at Cannes and then Telluride in 2016.  The film is said to star Matt Damon. The Playlist reported since Monday that the film is set for a 2016 release and that Payne would like to cast Alec Baldwin as well.  The post also reveals that the Damon casting is likely but not set in stone.  Check the post here:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/alexander-payne-eyes-alec-baldwin-for-downsizing-with-matt-damon-says-film-will-arrive-in-2016-20141111


More on Monday...have a great weekend...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coming Attractions: Bring the Payne; New Jobs/Birdman Flies/Foxcatcher Interview/The Homesman: TLJ and the Times

Welcome one and all to the three dimensional production we'll call Monday...

COMING ATTRACTIONS



Periodically, as you know, I like to highlight some news that comes from the film world about films that may have some possibility of ending up as a part of a Telluride Film Festival of the future (or that I just happen to be captivated by).  There was some news toward the end of last week and over the weekend that fit into that category, so, as you might expect, here it is:



BRING THE PAYNE


Alexander Payne


Director/writer Alexander Payne has become an incredibly consistent part of the Telluride Film Fest landscape over the past five years.  He's guest directed, presented "The Descendants" and "Nebraska" and curated films as well so when news broke this week that he's set to put together his next project my ears perked up.

Announced at the end of last week was "Downsizing" expected to star Matt Damon (more about him in a sentence or two).   The film is described as a social satire that features Damon as a man who is shrunk...("Honey, I Shrunk Matt Damon").

I fully expect that Payne (who co-wrote with frequent collaborator Jim Taylor) and Damon's project will shoot in 2015.  My guess would be a shot at Cannes in May 2016 followed by a Telluride #43 presentation.  I'd also expect Damon to show up in the San Juans as Damon pal George Clooney did for "The Descendants" in 2011 and other pal and fellow member of "The Unified Clooney Theory", Ben Affleck with "Argo" in 2012.

Below are links to the announcement story from Variety, The Playlist, The Wrap, Rope of Silicon and Deadline:

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/matt-damon-downsizing-casting-alexander-payne-1201348813/

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/matt-damon-to-star-in-alexander-paynes-long-gestating-sci-fi-ish-geopolitical-comedy-downsizing-20141105

http://www.thewrap.com/matt-damon-to-star-in-alexander-paynes-downsizing/

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/alexander-paynes-downsizing-finally-moving-forward-matt-damon/

http://deadline.com/2014/11/matt-damon-alexander-payne-downsizing-1201274509/


NEW JOBS


Danny Boyle


Meanwhile, another Telluride favorite, Danny Boyle, is still trying to land the lead for his Steve Jobs biopic as Christan Bale, who appeared to be set to play the title role has left the project.  The hot story over the weekend was that Michael Fassbender might be Boyle's answer.

Other casting rumors focus on Jessica Chastain and Seth Rogen (as Steve Wozniak).

Boyle presented "Slumdog Millionaire" at Telluride in 2008 and "127 Hours" in 2010.  Fassbender was in Telluride for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" in 2013 and was the star of McQueen's other two T-ride presentations: "Hunger" also in 2008 and "Shame" in 2011.

The script is by Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin.

All of that sounds promising for a Telluride slot.  The fly in the ointment is that the film is currently set for domestic distribution from Columbia which has no history to speak of with TFF...

Still, a guy can hope and maybe this is finally the film that gets Jessica Chastain to T-ride.  Please!

Here's some of the hubbub about the Fassbender possibility from Variety and The Playlist:

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/michael-fassbender-in-talks-to-play-steve-jobs-in-biopic-1201346741/

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/michael-fassbender-now-eyed-to-play-steve-jobs-in-danny-boyles-jobs-20141104


BIRDMAN FLIES


Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in "Birdman"


Alejandro G. Inarittu's "Birdman" continues to soar and expand to more theaters.  As it does so, Fox Searchlight continues to feed the P.R. machine and sometimes in very, very clever ways.

The first article below from Entertainment Weekly focuses on the play within the film that serves as the vehicle for Riggan Thompson's (Michael Keaton) possible redemption.

The second article takes a look at the trickier involved in the mind-blowing editing and cinematography involved to create the illusion that film looks like a series of incredibly long takes.

The third, and one of my favorite things of the week, from The Playlist, is the story about Fox Searchlight releasing a faux teaser for "Birdman Returns".  Presumably the second film of the "Birdman" trilogy that starred Riggan Thompson.  I've loaded the teaser from YouTube.  Watch it and then read the story.


http://insidemovies.ew.com/2014/11/06/birdman-michael-keaton-exclusive/?hootPostID=80028e897d946a70d795d93af35511f1

http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/watch-birdman-achieved-seamless-one-shot-look/



http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-awesome-teaser-trailer-for-birdman-returns-starring-riggan-thomson-20141106


FOXCATCHER INTERVIEW



Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" is just a couple of weeks away from release and this week Radio Times Marty Ross Coane talked to him and Dave Schultz's widow Nancy.  That interview is here:

http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2014/11/03/bennett-millers-new-film-foxcatcher/

THE HOMESMAN: TLJ AND THE TIMES


"The Homesman" trailer via YouTube


Tommy Lee Jones talks to The New York Times about "The Homesman" starring Hilary Swank and Jones who also directed and co-wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/movies/tommy-lee-jones-on-the-homesman.html



More on Thursday...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Film Awards Clearinghouse Vol. 3C: Foreign, Doc, Editing and Cinematography/"Birdman's" Beat/"Rosewater's" Tone/BIFA Loves " '71" and Others

Welcome to Thursday everyone...

THE FILM AWARDS CLEARINGHOUSE VOL. 3C



I thought I'd use the FAC this week to drop in on four Oscar races outside the Big Eight and see what's going on in them.  I'll return next Thursday with The FAC for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.

The FAC uses the published predictions of the following (for these four categories) to develop its list of likely Oscar nominees:

Kristopher Tapley/InContention/HitFix
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

Telluride #41 films are Bold.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



1) Citizenfour
2) Life Itself
3) Red Army
4) Keep On Keepin' On
5) The Overnighters
6) The Case Against 8
7) Salt of the Earth
8) Tales of the Grim Sleeper
9) Last Days in Vietnam
10) Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me


Comment: Telluride #41 boasts 2 possible nominees with another couple of possibles.  At this point, "Citizenfour" looks like the only lock.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM



1) Ida*
2) Leviathan
3) Two Days, One Night
4) Mommy
5) Wild Tales
6) Winter Sleep
7) Force Majeure
8) Timbuktu
9) White God
10) Gett: The Trail of Viviane Amsalem

Comments:  The dream of an all Telluride slate of nominees in an Oscar category could happen this year in the Foreign Language category albeit with an asterisk for "Ida" which actually played Telluride #40.  Realistically, I believe it's unlikely that the current top five end up as the five nominees announced in February and looking at the numbers that I crunched, none of these five would be termed locks at this point.


FILM EDITING



1) The Imitation Game
2) Birdman
3) Boyhood
4) Interstellar
5) Gone Girl
6) Unbroken
7) Whiplash
8) Fury
9) American Sniper
10) Foxcatcher


Comment:  It says something that "The Imitation Game" sits at the top of the list.  Much has been over the past several years about the connection between Best Picture winners and a film editing nomination.  It happens a lot.  It happened last year with "12 Years a Slave".  The notion isn't that a film has to win editing to win Best Picture, but it almost always has to have a nomination.  The same could be said about the appearance of Richard Linklater's "Boyhood's" #3 spot on this first chart for Editing.

You wouldn't be surprised at the nomination of such "flashy" editing as "Birdman" or "Interstellar" so the pundits' inclusion of "Imitation" at the top makes you think that it's Best Picture chances are rather good.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY



1) Birdman
2) Interstellar
3) Mr. Turner
4) Unbroken
5) The Theory of Everything
6) Gone Girl
7) Inherent Vice
8) The Imitation Game
9) The Grand Budapest Hotel
10) Wild

Comments:  Every film through the #8 Spot looks like a potential nominee.  "Birdman" is a lock.

Ultimately, in these four categories, Telluride #41 films (if The FAC is 100% accurate) would have 10 nominations plus another nomination for a TFF #40 film and an additional 5 possibilities.

In all, looking at the totality of Volume 3 FAC for the dozen categories suggests the following:

"Birdman" nominated for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Film Editing and Cinematography. (Nominations in 8 of the 9 categories it could be nominated in...and realistically, there isn't a Lead Actress candidate in the film).

"The Imitation Game" nominated for Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress and Film Editing with a possibility of a nomination for Cinematography.

"Foxcatcher" nominated for Best Picture, Actor and Supporting Actor with possibilities for Original Screenplay, Director and Film Editing.

"Mr. Turner nominated for Best Actor, Original Screenplay and Cinematography with a possibility for Best Director.

"Wild" nominated for Best Actress, Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay with possibilities for Best Picture and Cinematography.

Additional films with possibilities include "Rosewater" for Best Adapted Screenplay, The Homesman foe Best Actress and "Wild Tales" for Best Original Screenplay.

Totals for these ten categories plus Documentary Feature and Foreign Films have 29 nominations for TFF #41 films with an additional 12 possible nominations.  Of course, still not included are the remaining feature film categories.


BIRDMAN'S BEAT



One of the many distinctive qualities about Alejandro G. Inarritu's masterpiece, "Birdman", is the jazz percussion score.  Now, frankly, it is the one element of the film that I'm not crazy about but I also can't deny that it's propulsive and unique.  Matt Patches writing for HitFix posted an interview with Antonio Sanchez, the man behind the sounds.  That interview is here:

http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/how-alejandro-inarritu-directed-drummer-antonio-sanchezs-birdman-score


ROSEWATER'S TONE



Jon Stewart may well have a shot at an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of Maziar Bahari's book, "Then They Came for Me".  "Rosewater" had some champions critically coming out of Telluride but also some detractors (put me in the second camp...I thought it was a noble experiment that failed to connect and included too many warring impulses).

This week Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood posted interviews and Telluride panels that included Stewart and actor Gael Garcia Bernal as the film moves to theaters next week.  Here's that collection of material from Anne:


http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/watch-rosewaters-jon-stewart-and-gael-garcia-bernal-talk-purposeful-inauthenticity-exclusive-20140903


BIFA LOVES " '71" AND OTHERS



Nominations were announced this week for the British Independent Film Awards and a number of Telluride #41 films made the cut.  Best Indie Film nominations included " '71", "The Imitation Game" and "Mr, Turner".  As a matter of fact " '71" lead the pack with nine total BIFA nominations.  "Mr. Turner" was nominated for five BIFA's and "Imitation" was nominated for four.

The Playlist has the complete breakdown of the BIFA nominees here:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/71-starring-jack-oconnell-leads-the-17th-british-independent-film-awards-nominees-20141103



More on Monday...hope your weekend is terrific!