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'Inside Llewyn Davis,' The Oscar Winner That Never Was


Coen Brothers

There was a mild acceptance that Inside Llewyn Davis had only pulled in two minor Oscar nominations when the list was announced last week. 2013/2014 has been a phenomenally strong year for cinema, leaving critically acclaimed efforts like Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, The Dallas Buyers Club and the epic Captain Phillips second, third and fourth favorites in the category of Best Picture.

Oscar IsaacsOscar Isaacs as Llewyn Davis

The Coen Brothers latest effort, about a young folk singer navigating the Greenwich Village music scene in the early 1960s, failed to pull in nominations in the major categories, marking a major blot on the Academy's otherwise reasonable set of nominees. It is perhaps some consolation that the excellent Bruno Delbonnel - the man who brought Amelie to life - is rightfully nominated for Best Cinematography.

Continue reading: 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' The Oscar Winner That Never Was

Inside Llewyn Davis, Anybody? The 5 Biggest Oscar Nomination Snubs


Coen Brothers Robert Redford Emma Thompson

Ok, so the Oscar nominations pretty much played out as we expected on Thursday morning (January 16, 2013) with a minimal amount of surprise nominations and plenty for the big boys, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club and The Wolf of Wall Street. However, it was the Oscar snubs that really made the headlines, with the Coen Brothers Inside Llewyn Davis - described by critics as the filmmakers' best work - ignored completely.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis. The folksy Greenwich Village-set movie was the Grand Prix winner at last year's Cannes Film Festival and certainly warranted one of the ten best picture spots. It was one of the Top 10 movies of the year. It just was. The Academy didn't think so. It didn't receive a single nomination in the major acting categories. Not for Isaacs, not for Timberlake, not for Mulligan, not for the Coens, not for makeup, not for costumes. Nothing. 

Continue reading: Inside Llewyn Davis, Anybody? The 5 Biggest Oscar Nomination Snubs

'12 Years A Slave,' 'American Hustle' And 'Breaking Bad' Among The Big Winners At The 2014 Golden Globe Awards: Full Winners List


Golden Globe Awards Steve McQueen Amy Adams Jennifer Lawrence Coen Brothers Matthew Mcconaughey Jared Leto Leonardo Dicaprio Cate Blanchett Alfonso Cuaron Spike Jonze Andy Samberg Bryan Cranston Robin Wright Michael Douglas Elisabeth Moss

The 2014 Golden Globes came and went on Sunday, 12 January night as the stars of Hollywood gathered for the first real awards showcase of the year. The event didn't let down, with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler delivering the laughs throughout the event and with individual stars using their time in the spotlight to grand effect, resulting in a night to remember.

American Hustle
American Hustle was the night's big winner

The two top-contested awards, Best Motion Picture for Drama and for Musical or Comedy, were awarded to the early favourites and the two titles looking most likely to sweep up over the course of awards season: 12 Years A Slave and America Hustle.

Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave,' 'American Hustle' And 'Breaking Bad' Among The Big Winners At The 2014 Golden Globe Awards: Full Winners List

Awards Season 2014 So Far: Films Gear Up For Oscars With Various Wins


Oscar Isaac Coen Brothers Jennifer Lawrence Tom Hanks Leonardo Dicaprio

The awards season is full swing, and will culminate with the Academy’s statuettes being doled out in March. But the buzz has been palpable since 'Gravity' triumphed at the Venice film festival, and with plenty of films receiving awards since then, it’s time for a brief recap.

Inside Llewyn DavisOscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis

Most recently – Saturday Jan 4th in fact – the Coen Brothers’ 'Inside Llewyn Davis' won big at the National Society of Film Critics. The story of the folk singer’s experience with the New York folk scene in 1961 also kicked off gong-giving season with a win at the Gotham Independent Films Awards on December 2.

Continue reading: Awards Season 2014 So Far: Films Gear Up For Oscars With Various Wins

10 Films Vying For Producers Guild Of America Best Picture Prize, American Hustle Favorite?


Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper Christian Bale Alfonso Cuaron Chiwetel Ejiofor Michael Fassbender Leonardo Dicaprio Tom Hanks Coen Brothers

American Hustle appears to have emerged as the favorite to claim the Producers Guild of America Best Picture award when it’s handed out on January 19th. The darkly comic crime drama sees Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale play 1970s con artists.

American HustleAre these two plotting an Oscars raid?

The 'outstanding producer of theatrical motion pictures' award certainly acts as a bellwether for the Oscars, which will be taking place shortly after the Producer’s Guild awards.

Continue reading: 10 Films Vying For Producers Guild Of America Best Picture Prize, American Hustle Favorite?

'Inside Llewyn Davis' Wins Gotham Award, But What About The Oscars?


Coen Brothers Oscar Isaac Justin Timberlake Carey Mulligan

Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen Brothers' movie starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, beat 12 Years a Slave to win Best Picture at the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Awards on Monday evening (December 2, 2013).

Inside llewyn DavisOscar Isaac [L] Justin Timberlake [center] and Adam Driver [R] in 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

The award is considered a huge boost for the Coens' movie, which is set for limited release on Friday to make it eligible for consideration at the Golden Globes and Oscars in 2014. Though reviews have been highly favorable following screenings at the film festivals, the movie - a comedy-drama about a singer-songwriter who navigates his way through New York's folk music scene in the 1960s - has generally been discussed only as an outsider for the major awards behind Captain Phillips, Gravity and perhaps crucially 12 Years a Slave.

Continue reading: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Wins Gotham Award, But What About The Oscars?

'Inside Llewyn Davis' Stars Hit Wet, Wet, London For BFI Premiere


Coen Brothers Oscar Isaac Carey Mulligan John Goodman

Inside Llewyn Davis might not be out until January 2014 in the UK, but it debuted in the capital this week at the BFI film festival. Most of the stars – Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac and John Goodman included – joined director partners – Joel and Ethan Coen on the red carpet.

Oscar IsaacOscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis

The film follows one week in the life of Llewyn Davis – a young folk singer at odds with the mundane domesticity of life, trying to live rather than exist. He’s muddling through the Greenwich Village folk scene in the harsh winter of 1961, New York. The goal: make a living from his music.

Continue reading: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Stars Hit Wet, Wet, London For BFI Premiere

Lesbian Love Story Beats Coen Brothers To Palme D'Or At Cannes


Cannes Film Festival Steven Spielberg Adele Exarchopoulos Lea Seydoux Alexander Payne Berenice Bejo Coen Brothers

An intimate lesbian love story by Abdellatif Kechiche won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Palme d'Or on Sunday. La Vie d'Adele - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour) was chosen by a jury headed by Steven Spielberg as the best movie showing in competition, despite some concerns about its length (3 hours) and content, specifically its explicit sex scenes.

According to Reuters, Spielberg said the award should be shared between Kechiche and his two lead actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, such was the level of their performances in the film.  "I think it will get a lot of play ... I think this film carries a very strong message, a very positive message," Spielberg told journalists. "It was the perfect choice between those two actresses and this incredible very sensitive and observant filmmaker." Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who marched in Paris this week to protest the country's legalization of same-sex marriage should go watch Blue Is The Warmest Colour. "Everyone who is against same-sex marriage or love between two people of the same sex must see the film," he said.

Tunisian-born actor Kechiche made his directorial debut in 2000. He was virtually speechless upon accepting the award, dedicating it to the youth of France and Tunisia who "wanted only to live, speak and love freely" during the Arab spring. 

Continue reading: Lesbian Love Story Beats Coen Brothers To Palme D'Or At Cannes

Blue Is The Warmest Colour Takes Palme D’Or Amidst Gay Marriage Context


Steven Spielberg Coen Brothers

Blue Is The Warmest Colour has taken the Palme d’Or at a time when gay marriage is slowly becoming legalized around the Western World. It’s not only political and social context that has seen this film take the prestigious prize, though.

"Young people in France are often way ahead of my generation in their thinking, and they are open to the world. Tunisian youth are the same: that's why there was a revolution. The older people didn't listen," said The winning film-maker, Abdellatif Kechiche, who admitted it was unlikely that his film will be shown in his native Tunisia because of the sexual scenes. "I will do my utmost to make sure it's seen there. But there are other countries too, like Italy, that have a problem with censorship. I hope this film will help." Presiding jury president, Steven Spielberg, was very impressed by the winner. "The film is a great love story … We were absolutely spellbound by the two brilliant young actresses, and the way the director observed his young players."

Continue reading: Blue Is The Warmest Colour Takes Palme D’Or Amidst Gay Marriage Context

A Week In News: Ray Manzarek Dies, Taylor Swift's Disgusted Reaction And Brad Pitt Talks Drugs


Ray Manzarek Taylor Swift Brad Pitt The Doors Seth Macfarlane Justin Bieber Eva Longoria Coen Brothers Cannes Film Festival Jennifer Lawrence

Ray Manzarek of The Doors

End of the Night: Tributes were paid this week to Ray Manzarek, pioneering keyboardist with The Doors who died in Germany aged 74. He formed the band with lead singer Jim Morrison after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, and the pair went on to create some of the finest rock music in history.

Yukkk! Taylor Swift inadvertently created internet gold this week after making a serious "Yukkkk!" face when her pal Selena Gomez embraced with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber backstage at the Billboard Music Awards 2013. The whole thing was caught on camera - and it's hilarious.

Continue reading: A Week In News: Ray Manzarek Dies, Taylor Swift's Disgusted Reaction And Brad Pitt Talks Drugs

'The Past' Emerges As Early Favourite For Palme D'Or At Cannes Film Festival


Berenice Bejo Tahar Rahim Alexander Payne Coen Brothers

Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, who made his name in the industry with the incredible A Seperation, is potentially sitting on the Palme d'Or after his Paris-set tale 'The Past' drew boisterous applause and strong reviews following its screening at the Cannes Film Festival this week. The film boasts The Artist's Berenice Bejo in the lead role as a Parisian mother living in the multicultural suburbs who asks her estranged husband to return from Tehran to finalise their divorce.

In the meantime, Marie invites her new boyfriend - played by Tahar Rahim of the superb A Prophet - to move in with her and her two daughters from another past relationship. Unsurprisingly, her husband returns from Tehran and his arrival upsets the balance of the house. The discussion amongst critics on Twitter appears to suggest that 'The Past' will undoubtedly be amongst the favourites when the awards are handing out by jury president Steven Spielberg on May 26. Bejo was singled out for particular praise for her stunning performance and the actress concedes that he had plenty of offers from Hollywood after The Artist won big at Oscars, choosing instead to work with the one of "the world's best directors" in Farhadi.

Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian wrote of the new movie, "It is an intricate and often brilliant drama, with restrained and intelligent performances; there is an elegantly patterned mosaic of detail, unexpected plot turns, suspenseful twists and revelations." Deborah Young of the Hollywood Reporter was equally enamoured with the movie, writing, "Farhadi's nearly flawless screenplay foregoes the explosive shocks that electrified Fireworks Wednesday and About Elly and drove A Separation on to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The Past plays like a low-key adagio in the hands of a masterful pianist, who knows how to give every note it's just nuance and how every single phrase affects all the rest." 

Continue reading: 'The Past' Emerges As Early Favourite For Palme D'Or At Cannes Film Festival

Dark Rooms, Bans And Bolshy Women: How The Cannes Jury Choose The Palme D'Or Winner


Stephen Frears Cannes Film Festival Steven Spielberg Quentin Tarantino Coen Brothers Nicole Kidman Ang Lee David Fincher Nicolas Winding Refn Michael Gray Steven Soderbergh Alexander Payne

What it's like to sit on the jury at the Cannes Film Festival and have the power to present the director of the very best movie with the prestigious Palme d'Or? This year, Steven Spielberg, Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman and Christoph Waltz bring a touch of Hollywood A-list glamor to the event and will spent 10 days in darkened screening rooms debating each of the movies in competition.

British director Stephen Fears headed the jury in 2007, when he and his team chose Romanian movie 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days as the Palme d'Or winner ahead of the Coen's No Country For Old Men, David Fincher's Zodiac, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. "They were very anti-American, the jury. But I kept saying that American films are watched all over the world. This cut no ice with a few bolshy women on the jury," Frears told the BBC ahead of the Festival this week, "I don't know, you try and behave sensibly. I hear all those stories about people manipulating things, but there didn't seem to be any of that. There were no orders from above - nobody tried to interfere, but there were a few basic rules which you had to follow," he added.

Sitting in a darkened room and watching the very best movies of the year before anyone else sounds pretty fantastic right? "...you're terrified of is going to sleep," said Frears, "...so I had coffee brought to me to stay awake - it was manageable. I didn't write notes but I had a friend with me and she and I would discuss the film afterwards." On whether he still recognised that he had chosen the best movie in competition, Frears was unequivocal, saying, "Oh yes, it was a wonderful, original film. I'm sure it benefitted from winning, it was a very accessible film. I'm sure if you spoke to distributors, I'm sure they would say Michael Haneke's film [2012 Palme d'Or and Oscar-winner] Amour has done really well."

Continue reading: Dark Rooms, Bans And Bolshy Women: How The Cannes Jury Choose The Palme D'Or Winner

Cannes Line-up For 2013 Hints At Possible Oscars Race [Analysis]


Alexander Payne Joaquin Phoenix Coen Brothers

The line-up for the Cannes Film Festival 2013 has been announced and with it, a clearer picture of the possible contenders for the Oscars in February 2014. In a hugely American-heavy shortlist, Cannes will welcome the likes of Alexander Payne, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Soderbergh, James Gray, James Franco, Sofia Coppola, all opening up their latest efforts to the scrutiny of Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who sits at the head of the jury this time around. The selected movies - announced in a press conference and via Twitter on Thursday - look certain to make it an A-list affair, with the likes of Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake and Robert Redford attached to some of the movies screening. There was no place for Woody Allen (Blue Jasmine) or Lee Daniels (The Butler) however, despite speculation as to possible entries.

Of course it's possible the Oscar winner for Best Picture in 2014 will not feature at Cannes - last year's entries included Moonrise Kingdom, On The Road, Cosmopolis, Rust & Bone, Killing Them Softly and The Paperboy, with the eventual Palme d'Or winner emerging in the shape of Michael Haneke's Amour - however, this time it looks likely that we may get a glimpse of the potential Oscar winner. 

The main competition includes Alexander Payne's hotly tipped Nebraska, a father-son road-trip movie that Paramount Pictures plans to release as Oscar-bait in the fall. According to the Los Angeles Times, many had expected the film, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, to wait for the late-summer festivals, though it will now premiere in France. Elsewhere, Soderbergh's HBO financed movie Behind the Candelabra about the flamboyant pianist Liberace stars Matt Damon and Michael Douglas. It appears to the director's last work for some time. 

Continue reading: Cannes Line-up For 2013 Hints At Possible Oscars Race [Analysis]

A Serious Man Trailer


The Coen Brothers need little introduction, their career up to this point speaks for its self, they've directed some of the the 90's and 00'most memorable movies, including Fargo, The Big Lebowski and their most recent hit Burn After Reading. The duo now bring us A Serious Man, Larry Nidus is a good and loving man, a university professor with a wife and children. When his wife approaches Larry asking for a divorce without giving him a valid reason, it begins a downward spiral in his life. Larry learns his wife has a new partner and that he's also facing disciplinary proceedings at work following a series of anonymous letters accusing the professor of various treacheries Larry's life has seen better times. Not everyone's life has a silver lining, sometimes it really just is that bad.

Continue: A Serious Man Trailer

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