12 Years a Slave becomes Oscar frontrunner, Don Jon premieres in New York, Naomi and Nicole are princesses, Bruce Dern walks to Nebraska, and Rocky faces off against Raging Bull...
As the Toronto Film Festival wrapped up earlier this week, 12 Years a Slave, the new film from Steve McQueen (Shame), took home the top prize, which makes it the frontrunner for Oscar nominations. It stars Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch. Read more about the win here.
One of the festival's most talked-about films was Don Jon, the writing-directing debut of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a womanising gym-obsessive who meets his match in the feisty Scarlett Johansson. Both actors were on hand for the film's gala New York premiere this week. Here's a video of Scarlett Johansson at the event and in this video you can see director/actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the event.
Woody Grant is an alcohol-swigging old man who's never had much in the way of luxury over his long life, but when he receives a letter from a marketing company about a huge sweepstakes prize, he believes that things are about to change for good. Thus, he starts to travel by foot from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska in order to claim his $1 million award, accompanied by his supportive but extremely sceptical son David who believes it's all a scam. Along the way, they meet various relatives and old friends of Woody desperate for a piece of his wealth as the gossip spreads around the neighbouring towns like wildfire. Some are interested in being paid back with interest, and Woody's about to see just how far his debts spread.
Continue: Nebraska Trailer
Blue Is The Warmest Colour appeared to be a deserved winner of the Palme d'Or.
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
Could 'The Past' be even better than the Oscar winning 'A Separation'?
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."
Stephen Frears remains confident he arrived at the correct Palme d'Or winner in 2007.
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."
Alexander Payne and James Gray could feature heavily during this year's awards' season.
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]
Matt King is a Hawaiian land baron who has never had time for his two daughters; rebellious teenager Alexandra and her younger sister Scottie. But when his wife Elizabeth is in hospital on life support following a boating accident off the coast of Waikiki, he has no choice but to start looking after his children.
Continue: The Descendants Trailer
Date of birth
10th February, 1961
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