The British film director is delighted with the film's influence
Following his modern classic, 12 Years a Slave, which portrays the true story of Soloman Northrup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) kidnapping, subsequent slavery and escape, director Steve McQueen has been made a patron of the world's oldest human rights organisation.
12 Years a Slave - starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender - has been hailed as a modern classic
He joins the Anti-Slavery International, a committee set up in 1839 to lobby against slavery and related abuses, in an ambassadorial role.
Continue reading: Steve McQueen Becomes Ambassador For Anti-Slavery International
'12 Years a Slave' is impressing on both sides of the Atlantic.
Audiences are clearly in the mood for more serious movies at the moment. After lighter releases in December (from Frozen to The Hobbit), the box office shifted strongly to much more challenging fare this week as 12 Years a Slave landed atop the UK chart with £2.5m from just 207 screens. The Oscar favourite looks set to stay in cinemas now until the big night on March 2nd. Read our review of Steve McQueen's slavery drama here.
Chiwetel Ejiofor [L] and Michael Fassbender [R] have both scored Oscar nominations for '12 Years a Slave'
Meanwhile, American Hustle remains in second place. And the audience's good will even propelled The Railway Man into 6th place. It's a prestige film starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, but it hasn't had any awards attention at all. Then this weekend sees the arrival of Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, essentially unopposed for box office cash.
Continue reading: Oscar Favourite '12 Years A Slave' Takes British Box-Office By Storm
Where was the nominations for 'Inside Llewyn Davis'?
When Academy Awards nominations came out on Wednesday morning, most pundits noticed immediately that they were lacking the usual left-field touch. Last year saw French drama Amour pick up a best picture Oscar nod, along with lead actress Emmanuelle Riva. In 2012, Demian Bichir got a best actor nomination for the little-seen A Better Life. But this year's nominees are almost eerily mainstream.
Bruce Dern [L] Has Picked Up A Nomination for 'Best Actor' at the Oscars
That's not to say there weren't a few surprises. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave were expected to get the most nominations (they got 10 each), with American Hustle, Her and Nebraska. But the unexpected inclusion of Philomena and Dallas Buyers Club pushed out awards-season favourites Inside Llewyn Davis and Fruitvale Station. Read our reviews for 12 Years a Slave, Nebraska, and American Hustle.
Continue reading: Oscars Hits And Snubs: 'Gravity' And '12 Years A Slave' Lead The Charge
The cast and production team have been incredibly busy in the run-up to awards season - none moreso than McQueen himself.
With nine nominations, 12 Years A Slave is the obvious favorite at the Oscars this year. Among those nine nods are the big ones – Best Director and Best Picture. This could make McQueen the first black director to win the Best Director award, prompting the question: why did it take so long? Overdue or not, McQueen is ecstatic about the nominations and optimistic about 12 Years’ (generally great) chances.
12 Years a Slave's chances are looking great at this point.
“I am exhilarated, ecstatic,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Getting all those nominations, I’m so very happy.”
The red carpet outside the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, welcomed some of Hollywood's biggest stars to the awards show
The Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, set the stage for the latest instalment of the awards season program, playing host to some of the biggest names in showbiz and paying tribute to some of the year's biggest films for the 19th annual Critic's Choice Awards.
The latest instalment of the awards show schedule to pass us by offered another indicator of what films will continue to find success over the course of the next few months, with Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave dominating proceedings.
'American Hustle' was the night's big winner, with three major wins, but there were surprises elsewhere as even Leonardo DiCaprio won an award!
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 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.
As we swing into awards season, the drama heightens: 'Gravity' is top dog, Steve McQueen won't stoop to hecklers and Meryl Streep knows how to make a good speech.
People's Choice Selects Victors: This week saw the annual People's Choice awards handed out and what an evening it was. Hosted by the stellar Two Broke Girls' Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings, the audience were kept laughing whilst a slew of gongs were distributed to the year's finest figures in popular culture. Sandra Bullock emerged as the star of the evening after she won four awards for her roles in Gravity and The Heat, not including the overall film win for the space thriller. Check out all the winners here.
The evening also brought tears, drama and scandal as former Vampire Diaries couple Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder hinted during their acceptance speech that things are still very amicable between them whilst singer/actress Jennifer Hudson welled up with emotion when she was honoured with a 'favorite humanitarian award.' Read up on the glam evening's highlights here.
Steve McQueen has received and apology from the New York Film Critics Circle for critic Almond White calling the film-maker a "garbage man".
British film director Steve McQueen was involved in a heckling incident with film critic Armond White at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
Hollywood's award season is well underway and the unpleasant jeering on Monday night (Jan 6th) just shows how ruthless it can be.
As the '12 Years A Slave' director accepted the award for Best Director from Harry Belafonte, whose speech left him in tears, an untimely interruption broke out, The Hollywood Reporter notes.
The British director addressed what he claims is a widespread problem in Hollywood.
Director Steve McQueen has spoken candidly about his latest film, 12 Years A Slave, and how it goes drastically against the grain to what audiences, as well as studio chiefs in Hollywood, are used to seeing: a brutally honest depiction of slavery. In a recent interview with the BBC, McQueen discussed Hollywood's tendancy to sugarcoat America's dark past and considers his film a wake-up call to those who still have their heads buried in the ground.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has won wide-spread plaudits for his depiction of Northup
The new film, which is widely considered the front-runner to take home all the major prizes when awards season gets going, tells the real life story of free man Solomon Northup. Northup, played by the outstanding Chiwetel Ejiofor; another front-runner for awards glory, is a middle class free-born musician living in New York in pre-Civil War America. In 1841 he is kidnapped and sold into slavery into the the Antebellum South , where he spends ten years at the mercy of his slave masters in the backwards land.
The Daryl F. Zanuck Award is given to the PGA's favourite film of the year (and usually the film that sweeps up at the Oscars)
The members of The Producer's Guild of America have cast their vote and the list of nominee's for their annual Daryl F. Zanuck Awards - their Best Picture category - have been cast. Formerly known as the Golden Laurel Awards, the PGA's are usually pretty accurate at predicting which films will go on to be nominated in the Best Picture category at the Oscars, and their winners rarely differ too.
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street make up the full list of nominees up for awards this year, so don't be surprised to see these films still being discussed vigorously until the beginning of March.
'American Hustle' and '12 Years A Slave' are leading the pack for 19th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards with 13 nominations each.
The nominees for the 19th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards have been released and are pretty much as expected. The leaders of the pack are two of the years' most anticipated films, each boosting an ensemble cast and a unique story.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in '12 Years A Slave'
Forget the favorites, where can the best money be found? Two words: Captain Phillips.
There’s a special time in ‘Oscars season’. It comes after the standout pictures separate from the pack, but before the ceremony itself. It’s a time of conjecture, speculation and guesswork, and can often lead to wild predictions, like ‘The Counselor is going to win an Oscar’.
These guys have messed about with the Oscars odds
This unique period of Academy lingo also leads to varied odds, as great films get pushed out – sometimes as far as 66-1 – as others triumph in the various Oscars precursor awards.
Continue reading: Early Oscars Betting Guide - Make The Most Of Some Crazy Odds
'12 Years a Slave' has performed strongly on its limited run in the U.S.
12 Years a Slave is the best movie of the year. It just is. And it's hitting its key audiences ahead of its full nationwide release on Friday (November 1, 2013) - notably highbrow arty movie fans and mainstream African Americans.
Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave
According to the Los Angeles Times, Dallas and Detroit were added last weekend by Fox Searchlight as Steve McQueen's film moves towards an expanded release. Though it's only small pockets of screenings, the relatively big numbers hint at something special for the slave-drama once it opens across the U.S. It took $34,200 from the Angelika in Dallas in just three days and $33,900 at the AMC Star Southfield 20 in Dallas.
Continue reading: Will Somebody Give '12 Years A Slave' An Oscar Already?
Lee Daniels, Sandra Bullock, Jake Gyllenhaal, Steve McQueen and Jake Gyllenhaal emerged smelling sweet, but were you surprised?
Monday night saw the 17th of the annual Hollywood Film Awards take place, where the best movies of the year were honoured at the opulent Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel Ballroom. Billed as "the first stop of the awards season," the awards are generally a good barometer of who and which films will win big in the run up to next spring's Academy Awards.
Lee Daniels' 'The Butler' Lines 'Em Up To Win Big At The Oscars.
However, unlike the Oscars, the Hollywood Film Awards' honourees know that they'll be receiving their award which makes for a light-hearted and tension free evening. Though the awards may be thought of as "Oscars-lite," the glamorous evening certainly didn't hold back, with a parade of A-list presenters, emotional speeches from winners and some snazzy attires.
Continue reading: Hollywood Film Awards: Are We Looking At Oscar Winners?
The movie takes an unflinching stance on slavery through the eyes of one man.
Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave is slowly doing the rounds at international film festivals before it begins to officially open in cinemas worldwide. For those countries that have not had the privilege of the Shame director's new movie just yet, all the emphatic reviews and Oscar talk swirl around the drama movie like a tornado of excitement about to arrive.
No Critic Has A Bad Word To Say About Chiwetel Ejiofor's Performance.
The move's looking incredibly ripe on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes with a current impressive score of 95%. With Chiwetel Ejiofor ('Kinky Boots') in the main character seat, 12 Years A Slave looks at slavery in the 19th century through an unrelenting lens. Ejiofor plays Solomon Northrup in the true story, who is enjoying life with his family in upstate New York as a free black man until he is kidnapped and sold into slavery.
This harrowing depiction of slavery is getting a lot of buzz around its release.
12 Years A Slave, the historical drama based on true events, detailing the life and trials of Solomon Northup, is out in the UK and in selected US cinemas today, however it won’t see a wide release until January 24th of next year. The film centers on Northup, a free, educated man from a well-off family living in upstate New York who gets tricked and abducted on a trip to Washington. Following his abduction, Solomon is forced to work on a Louisiana plantation, despite the fact that in 1841, there are laws in place against slavery.
Ejiofor looks excellent in this challenging adaptation.
Solomon’s new life puts him under the thumb of the brutal and abusive owner Edwin Epps. However, determined to regain his freedom, Solomon befriends Samuel Bass, a Canadian carpenter, also working on the plantation. Eventually, Bass’ friendship changes Solomon’s life forever. The film is an exploration into themes of slavery freedom, racial inequality and the cruelty of mankind.
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Makes A Memorable Debut [Trailer + Pictures]
Fassbender has more important things to worry about than a golden statuette.
Michael Fassbender is following the lead set by Joaquin Phoenix and will not campaign for an Oscar at the Academy Awards in March, despite his movie 12 Years a Slave considered the strong favorite for awards glory.
Phoenix famously called the Oscars race "the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life," though his outburst wasn't enough to stop him gaining a best actor nomination for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.
"I think it's bullshit," he told The Guardian at the time, "I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other. It's the stupidest thing in the whole world."
Continue reading: The Worst Tasting Carrot: Michael Fassbender To Eschew Oscars Race
He'll win one, surely, but he's not getting ahead of himself
Michael Fassbender was supposed to be nominated for an Oscar for Shame. He just was. He wasn’t. But now he’s back with two films that could bag him a golden Statuette: 12 Years a Slave – by Shame director, Steve McQueen – and The Counselor, by Ridley Scott.
Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave
It’s the former that has the biggest chance of propelling Fassbender into the Academy’s thoughts. The slavery epic has been hailed from all corners of the press, with critics calling it “easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.” (The New Yorker).
Madonna brands movie-goer 'enslaver' after being told to stop texting during '12 Years A Slave' screening.
Madonna has been 'banned from watching movies' at the Alama Drafthouse movie theatre chain after incessantly texting on her phone during a screening of 12 Years A Slave.
The Girl Gone Wild singer annoyed attendees at the New York Film Festival screening of Steve McQueen's biopic drama last week (October 8th 2013) after verbally attacking a brave viewer who asked her to stop texting on her phone.
In a post obtained by IndieWire, film critic Charles Taylor revealed on Facebook that one attendee overheard a 'mysterious blonde in black lace gloves' snap at the woman who tapped her on the shoulder while she texted, hissing, 'It's for business... ENSLAVER!' The woman was later revealed to be Madonna when she was spotted clear as day standing at the side of the theatre after the movie was over.
Continue reading: Madonna Barred From Popular Theatre Chain After Texting Incident
Uncool, Madge. Uncool.
Rules of the cinema: no talking, no mobile phones and please, please don’t say the name of a film trailer as it comes on so the people next to you know you’re ‘into your films’. Don’t do it. But it’s the middle rule – the one regarding phones – that Madonna simply couldn’t adhere to.
She was at a screening of 12 Years a Slave, an emotive true story about Solomon Northrup – portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor – that chronicles his kidnap from a free life in New York into a world of slavery. But instead of being enamoured by the Oscar contender, which was directed by Steve McQueen, Madonna has ‘business’ to sort out… on her phone.
Salon film critic Charles Taylor wrote that he sat next to “a mysterious blonde in black lace gloves who wouldn't stop texting on her Blackberry throughout the first half of the movie,” in a Facebook post, via Indiewire.
Continue reading: Madonna Banned From Cinema For Trigger-Happy Texting Fingers
Michael Fassbender was among the cast of historical biopic '12 Years A Slave' who attended the New York Film Festival premiere of the flick. He was joined by director Steve McQueen and main star Chiwetel Ejiofor.
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.
'12 Years a Slave' receives the People Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival, making it a frontrunner for the Oscars.
Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave' won the top prize at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival.The film, based on a memoir of a free black man sold into slavery from 1853, won the Blackberry People's Choice award.
Steve Mcqueen attended the premiere of '12 Years a Slve' at the Toronto Film Festival
The drama that stars British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor won the audience over in Toronto and is a hot favourite for a successful night at the prestigious Academy Awards as past recipients of the People's Choice award such as 'The King's Speech' (2010) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008) have gone onto win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave Wins Top Prize At Toronto Film Festival 2013
In a rich week for news, it was Miley Cyrus once again at the head of things with a hugely controversial new video. Elsewhere, Universal finally showed its hand with regards to Jurassic Park 4, and the Dumb & Dumber sequel got underway.
Wrecking Ball: Hurtling through the pop world this week like a.well, wrecking ball, is of course Miss Miley Cyrus. The 20-year-old, who's been mired in controversy over the past few weeks, has turned things up a notch with the release of her new video, a collaboration with Terry Richardson. Check out the Wrecking Ball Video Here.
Jurassic World: Just when you thought Hollywood was done with taking risks, out comes the release date and title for the fourth instalment in the Jurassic Park franchise, Jurassic World. Directed by the relatively unknown filmmaker Colin Trevorrow (in blockbuster circles at least), this movie is sink or swim for Universal Pictures. Check out the Jurassic World details here.
'12 Years A Slave' premieres at Toronto Film Festival to an overwhelmingly positive reception. The shockingly brutal portrayal is a unwanted reminder of a dark and plagued time in history.
Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave' made its hotly anticipated debut at the Toronto Film Festival this week to a reception of rave reviews and standing ovations.
Brad Pitt at the Toronto Film Festival
'12 Years A Slave' engages with the brutal and violent past of slavery in North America and McQueen's chilling deception of torture, beatings and killings that slaves became accustomed to left audience members shocked and stunned, and some even walked out of the screening. The profound effect on the audience, according to Entertainment Weekly is due to the "violence spun into a daily fabric of brutality, one that's neither heightened nor exaggerated, just scarily real". The accuracy of the film is a harrowing reminder of the struggle African Americans suffered, and maybe that's a part of history the audience wanted to forget.
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Premieres At Toronto Film Festival To Rave Reviews
Tom Hanks will be everywhere at the 57th BFI ¬¬London Film Fest, with movies to open and close the event.
From the 9th October, London will play host to its annual film festival; an event increasingly becoming recognised alongside the likes of Venice, Cannes and Toronto for launching an impressive array of films as the best in world cinema head to Leicester Square to showcase the best filmmaking on the planet.
Tom Hanks Plays Captain Phillips Whose Ship Is Hijacked By Pirates.
Actor Tom Hanks will certainly hold a strong presence at the event, which will run from 9-20th October, with his two films providing the opening and closing movie of the whole festival. Captain Phillips will be the film to kick off the fortnight's celebration of cinema, having also opened the New York Film Festival.
Oscars could be heading Steve McQueen and Chiwetel Ejiofor's way
Given the build up to Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, there was a slight air of tension as it premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Expectation does horrible things to movies; luckly, this true story has been told in earnest, and the critics have lavished praise upon it.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave
The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti and Sarah Paulson, tells the story of Soloman Northrup – a man born free by stolen into poverty when he was kidknapped in New York.
Continue reading: Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' Is 100% Brilliant, So Far...
Elba is favorite for the Oscar already
Idris Elba has played some great characters in his acting career, but none more important, pertinent and challenging that than of Nelson Mandela in Mandela, which has today been handed a fantastic theatrical trailer. Take a look at Elba in action below.
Mandela sees Elba stretch his vocal chords into different shapes once again, this time with a South African accent, which, judging by the trailer, is right on the Rand. His role as Stringer Bell in HBO’s hit crime drama The Wire endeared him to an American audience, many of which weren’t aware he was an English native, born in Hackey, London no less.
Continue reading: 'Mandela' Theatrical Trailer: Idris Elba's Biggest Challenge Yet
British writer Abi Morgan will mark her return from screen to stage with 'The Mistress Contract,' a story involving sexual dominance, which will debut at the West End's prestigious Royal Court theatre.
The writer of The Iron Lady and The Hour, Abi Morgan, will take her newly penned play, The Mistress Contract, to the Royal Court Theatre next season in a debut for the British screenwriter and playwright. The play will be based on the book of the same name, originally penned by anonymous authors who simply call themselves "she" and "he."
Meryl Streep Won An Academy Award For Her The Iron Lady Performance.
The play's director and Royal Court's artistic director, Vicky Featherstone, has said the film is concerned with "whether we can stave off decay" and will look at the unique relationship between an American couple who became friends at university but after meeting again 20 years later, the woman had a proposition for the man, according toThe Guardian. She faxed her lover a contract detailing an agreement for him to sign that in return for a place to live and the permission to record all their conversations, she'd provide sex and "mistress services," becoming his "sexual property." According toThe Daily Mail, the typed documents requests the unnamed woman should receive "tasteful accommodations to her liking together with expenses accrued in the normal course of her activities." He agreed, signed the contract and the unusual and highly fascinating affair began.
Continue reading: Iron Lady Writer, Abi Morgan, To Debut At Royal Court Theatre
The iconic dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz has been sold at auction for $480,000. The auction house Julien’s Auctions have revealed that the blue and white gingham pinafore fetched the staggering sum during a two-day auction of Hollywood memorabilia. It was the highest priced item in the auction, which attracted bids from across the globe. The auction ended on Saturday (November 10, 2012).
Other memorable items to have sold included Steve McQueen’s racing jacket, which went for $50,000. The purple skirt worn by Marilyn Monroe in River of No Return sold for a similar amount and the dress worn by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music brought in $38,400. All unarguably impressive figures, but not a patch on Judy Garland’s ‘Dorothy’ dress. Sunglasses were another popular item, fetching relatively high sums The shades worn by Jean Reno in Leon sold $8,320, whilst Johnny Depp’s glasses went for $3,250.
There’s no news on who’s purchased the items or what use they’re intended for. We think anyone walking down the street wearing Dorothy’s dress would look a little incongruous in this day and age. Though, if you had the sparkly red shoes to match and a tin man, a lion and scarecrow in your entourage, you could at least convince people that you were off to a fancy dress party. Steve McQueen’s biker jacket though? Well, on the right person, there will most likely never be a time when that just doesn’t look insanely cool.
After her death last year aged 79, just two years after her great friend Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor has become the world's highest grossing dead celebrity, according to Forbes. This result sees the growth of her estate beat MJ, as that was his title in 2011.
Time report that her estate has made $210m over the past year due to an enormous Christie's auction of her belongings, which made $184m, with this, added to the sales of her perfume White Diamonds, pushed her ahead of the $145m that Jackson's estate earned. According to Dorothy Pomerantz, it's likely that Michael Jackson will hit the top spot again next year, and Taylor's success a one off due to her death. She says this is due to the multiple streams of income to his estate: "Not only does it earn from sales of his own music, Jackson owned a 50% stake in Sony's ATV catalog, which includes artists like the Beatles, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga. His estate also collects money from the successful Cirque Du Soleil show The Immortal Tour."
Other legendary characters that appear on the list include Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, Dr. Seuss, Steve McQueen, and George Harrison. The $145m made by the dead Thriller star is more than any other living artist today, proving that although he's not leading posthumous earning, he's still the King of Pop. Although, with two of the Beatles in this list, perhaps we can award that King-dom jointly. The Liz & Dick biopic about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, starring Lindsay Lohan, will be airing November 25th 2012, and may just top up Liz's account a touch more.
Date of birth
24th March, 1930
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