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Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Actor include Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and …

  • Gold Derby
Oscar predictions: Top 10 frontrunners for Best Actor include Adam Driver, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and …
Frontrunners are already forming for the Oscar Best Actor race, according to early predictions at Gold Derby. Now that the three major fall film festivals — Telluride, Venice and Toronto — have premiered many of the most anticipated titles, the predictions reflect the flux now that some film critics and industry leaders have passed judgment on possible contenders. The top 10 for male leads have completely shifted save for Taron Egerton (“Rocketman”), who retains the eighth spot. Whereas Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”) held first place for a while, he has dropped to third while Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) zoomed up to No. 1. Similarly, Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) bumped Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”) out of the second place and down to the fifth spot. We’ve confirmed most category placements with studios or campaigners, but — as awards season veterans know — some decisions aren’t yet final and changes may occur.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Dan Berger Joins Amblin As Evp & Head Of Communications; Marvin Levy Named Steven Spielberg’s Senior Advisor

  • Deadline
Former 20th Century Fox Global Corporate Communications Evp Dan Berger has joined Amblin Partners as their new Evp & Head of Communications. At the same time, publicity vet Marvin Levy is transitioning into a new role at the studio as Senior Advisor to the company’s Chairman, Steven Spielberg.

Berger will oversee Amblin’s corporate communications, marketing and publicity efforts, while also serving as Spielberg’s chief spokesperson.

“I am incredibly grateful to Steven and the entire Amblin Partners family for welcoming me to this amazing team and affording me the opportunity to support such an iconic and beloved brand,” said Berger. “I can’t wait to get started.”

The changes were announced today by Mr. Spielberg, who commented: “The term ‘second family’ is often used to reference the very closest relationships we build in the workplace, but that term does little justice to the collaboration that Marvin Levy and I
See full article at Deadline »

Marvin Levy Transitions to Spielberg's Senior Adviser; Dan Berger Joins as Head of Amblin Partners Comms

Veteran marketing executive and spokesperson Marvin Levy is transitioning into a senior advisory role to Steven Spielberg at Amblin Partners, the company said Friday, as Dan Berger comes on board as executive vp and head of communications.

Levy, 90, has been with Spielberg since 1977's Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and worked on blockbuster campaigns such as the Back to the Future franchise, Et, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator. He will continue to work full time in his new role, and is currently working on Spielberg's upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story, scheduled for release Dec. 18, 2020. ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

‘Greed’ Review: Steve Coogan Stars in a Tepid Feature-Length Episode of ‘Succession’

  • Indiewire
‘Greed’ Review: Steve Coogan Stars in a Tepid Feature-Length Episode of ‘Succession’
A serrated but superficial portrait of how capitalism distances the rich from its consequences, Michael Winterbottom’s damning sendup is often right on the money, but its broadside attacks on the ultra-rich are too obvious to draw any blood or raise our hackles. What more could you really expect from a bitter comedy about a Branson-esque billionaire named Rich McGreedy? Okay, technically the business tycoon that Steve Coogan plays is called Sir Richard McCreadi, but no one in the movie (nor anyone watching it) is fooled by the spelling; Winterbottom isn’t exactly trying to get away with it.

Greed” likens Richard’s lifestyle (and the tax-dodging schemes through which he maintains it) to a magic trick, and the case could be made that the film only exists for the gallows humor it gleans from a system that’s allowed the world’s 28 richest people to have more money than its 3.8 billion poorest.
See full article at Indiewire »

Greed review – Steve Coogan gleams in knockabout satire of the mega-rich

Michael Winterbottom’s entertaining mockumentary about a high-street fashion tycoon presents a hideous carnival of obscene wealth, vanity and moral squalor

That exhilaratingly prolific film-maker Michael Winterbottom – working with additional material from Sean Gray from The Thick of It – has served up a breezy, funny, unsubtle scattershot satire-melodrama all about the moral squalor of the super-rich. They are epitomised by a fictional high-street fashion mogul called Sir Richard “Greedy” McCreadie as he prepares for a monumentally tasteless, Fyre festival-ish, Roman-themed 60th birthday party on the plutocrats’ island of Mykonos. (Rome in Greece? Why not?)

McCreadie has just suffered a nightmare of bad publicity following a catastrophic performance in front of a parliamentary select committee, and all the celebs are starting to pull out of his bash. One star who will be there is Clarence, a real, live lion for a re-creation of the Coloseum scene from the movie Gladiator. There
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Joaquin Phoenix Baffled ‘Joker’ Cast by Walking Off Set in Middle of Filming

Joaquin Phoenix Baffled ‘Joker’ Cast by Walking Off Set in Middle of Filming
Critics agree Joaquin Phoenix gives an unnerving and astonishing lead performance in “Joker,” and it turns out channeling that dark energy every day on set was not easy for both Phoenix and the production at large. In Phoenix’s new cover story for The New York Times, “Joker” co-writer and director Todd Phillips reveals his leading actor “lost his composure on the set, sometimes to the bafflement of his co-stars.”

“In the middle of the scene, he’ll just walk away and walk out,” Phillips said. “And the poor other actor thinks it’s them and it was never them — it was always him, and he just wasn’t feeling it.”

Phoenix might have walked off set, but he always returned after taking a breather. Phillips remembered Phoenix reassuring him after an especially tense moment, “We’ll take a walk and we’ll come back and we’ll do it.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Greed’ Review: Dir. Michael Winterbottom (2019) [Tiff]

Courtesy of Tiff

Michael Winterbottom’s latest, Greed, a film that couldn’t be more of a departure from his last Tiff entry The Wedding Guest. A comedy-satire led by frequent collaborator Steve Coogan as an ageing billionaire high street magnate, is a huge magnifying glass on the society in which we live today. It also might be the director’s funniest, and best feature yet.

Greed opens on the Greek island of Mykyonos, preparations in full swing for billionaire high street tycoon Sir Richard McCreadie’s 60th birthday celebrations. Themed around Ridley Scott’s Oscar-magnet Gladiator, the shindig promises toga-wearing celebrities, tons of booze and drugs and even a lion. Yes, a real lion. The film flits forward and back from the preparations – and eventually the party – to McCreadie’s time at boarding school as a teenager, to his early years on the rag trade in his twenties, through
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Tiff Quickies: Animated Bollywood, Mother/Daughter Science, and Annette Bening

by Nathaniel R

Hope Gap

Have you ever wanted to see Annette Bening play a retired British poet attempting to create her own 'Martha & George'  dynamic with her unwilling elderly husband (Bill Nighy)? That was a rhetorical question. Of course you want to see The Bening do that as you'd want to see her do all things onscreen if you have any taste. Hope Gap, the second directorial effort from long time screenwriter William Nicholson, is about a married couple of 29 years whose marriage has died. The wife just doesn't know it yet and continually "has a go" at her husband, eager to see him fight back or express anything at all. Their loving but avoidant son is completely out of his depth as he is forced into the role of shoulder-to-cry on, referee, and messenger boy all at once. Though Bening struggles a bit with the accent, she's on
See full article at FilmExperience »

Tiff 2019: Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix, Paying Tribute to Late Brother River, Launch Oscar Bids

September’s Toronto International Film Festival has long been a launching pad for Oscar contenders, and its coveted People’s Choice award often presages the Best Picture Oscar winner. “Green Book” last year was no exception.

So it was inevitable that Tiff would jump-start the awards season with its own Awards Gala. This year’s first installment gave out two acting awards, to Joaquin Phoenix, star of DC’s “Batman” spin-off “Joker”, which surprisingly won the Golden Lion in Venice, and Oscar perennial Meryl Streep (21 nominations). Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, Her costars in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat”, came onstage to remind us that Streep breaks the record for the most nominations of all time every time she gets a nod — because it’s a record she set herself.

The Streep sizzle reel stretched back to “Kramer vs. Kramer,” through “Sophie’s Choice,” “Silkwood,” “Bridges of Madison County,” “The Devil Wears Prada,
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Tiff 2019: Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix, Paying Tribute to Late Brother River, Launch Oscar Bids

  • Indiewire
September’s Toronto International Film Festival has long been a launching pad for Oscar contenders, and its coveted People’s Choice award often presages the Best Picture Oscar winner. “Green Book” last year was no exception.

So it was inevitable that Tiff would jump-start the awards season with its own Awards Gala. This year’s first installment gave out two acting awards, to Joaquin Phoenix, star of DC’s “Batman” spin-off “Joker”, which surprisingly won the Golden Lion in Venice, and Oscar perennial Meryl Streep (21 nominations). Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, Her costars in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat”, came onstage to remind us that Streep breaks the record for the most nominations of all time every time she gets a nod — because it’s a record she set herself.

The Streep sizzle reel stretched back to “Kramer vs. Kramer,” through “Sophie’s Choice,” “Silkwood,” “Bridges of Madison County,” “The Devil Wears Prada,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Hope Gap’ Film Review: Divorce Drama Showcases Annette Bening and Little Else

  • The Wrap
‘Hope Gap’ Film Review: Divorce Drama Showcases Annette Bening and Little Else
When a great actress like Annette Bening walks along the radiant white cliffs of England’s coast, you expect the impact of the movie around her to merit the bid for majesty and solitude. But “Hope Gap,” a shattered-family drama from “Shadowlands” and “Gladiator” screenwriter William Nicholson (who also directs) is something drearily smaller and plainer: a late-middle-aged divorce saga so dead-set on scrubbing any notion of emotional villainy that it’s as thin as a postcard with a view of that presentably beautiful, chalky seaside.

That’s not to say “Hope Gap,” essentially a three-hander with Bill Nighy as the husband and Josh O’Connor as the grown son, isn’t what it promises to be — well-acted, understanding, and literate. But when the emotional honesty still doesn’t make for compelling drama, you’re left wondering why, even with all the lights on, there’s a conspicuous lack of
See full article at The Wrap »

Toronto Film Review: Annette Bening in ‘Hope Gap’

  • Variety
Toronto Film Review: Annette Bening in ‘Hope Gap’
In “Hope Gap,” Annette Bening plays a fiercely intelligent but not nearly independent enough English housewife who has been toiling away on a project for years. A lover of literature, and poetry in particular, Bening’s character Grace is compiling a book of verses for the full range of human experience. She intends to call it “I Have Been Here Before,” and it will serve as a kind of life preserver for the dejected and depressed, reminding that no one is experiencing hardship for the first time, and that others more eloquent have managed to put those feelings to paper, signaling the way through for all who follow.

Writer-director William Nicholson intends “Hope Gap” to work in much the same way. , it’s the story of a marriage that ended almost entirely out of the blue after the couple had been together for 29 years. Except the split wasn’t unexpected
See full article at Variety »

Don’t laugh! 45% say it’s about time that Joaquin Phoenix wins an Oscar for ‘Joker’ [Poll Results]

  • Gold Derby
Don’t laugh! 45% say it’s about time that Joaquin Phoenix wins an Oscar for ‘Joker’ [Poll Results]
Even before “Joker” took its bow before the crowd at the Venice film festival on Saturday and earned an eight-minute standing ovation, Gold Derby-ites had already chosen its star Joaquin Phoenix as the most overdue lead actor who is likely to show up on the 2020 Oscar ballot in a poll.

Jack Nicholson cackled and leered his way through his role as the Caped Crusader’ arch-nemesis in Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” while Heath Ledger brought a quiet damaged-goods menace to the Joker in Chris Nolan’s 2008 “The Dark Knight” and won a posthumous supporting Oscar for his efforts. Both Jared Leto in 2016’s “Suicide Squad” and Cesar Romero on the campy ’60s TV series also gave the Clown Prince of Gotham City a spin.

But Phoenix and director Todd Phillips go the origins story route and get to the root of Arthur Fleck’s personality crisis that eventually builds up quite a body count.
See full article at Gold Derby »

"Joker" - Put On A Happy Face

Sneak Peek more new footage from writer/director Todd Phillips' stand-alone "Joker" feature film, starring Joaquin Phoenix ("Gladiator") opening October 4, 2019:

Created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, the 'Joker' debuted in the first issue of DC Comics' "Batman"...

...inspired by the German Expressionist film "The Man Who Laughs" based on the novel by author Victor Hugo

Actor Conrad Veidt plays 'Gwynplaine', whose face is permanently disfigured into a grotesque grin, after offending 'King James II'. 

Gwynplaine becomes a traveling freak, selling his disfigurement for money, while falling in love with a blind woman.

DC's 'Joker', is usually portrayed as a deranged, criminal mastermind, with a warped, sadistic sense of humor. 

He evolved into a 'goofy prankster' in the late 1950's in response to regulations by the 'Comics Code Authority'...

...before returning to his darker roots.

The most common origin story sees him
See full article at SneakPeek »

Joaquin Phoenix Stars In Finals Trailer For Joker

Warner Bros. Pictures has released the final trailer for director Todd Phillips Joker.

The film will be in theaters nationwide October 4.

Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

Photo Credit: Niko Tavernise

Three-time Oscar nominee Phoenix stars in the titular role alongside Oscar winner Robert De Niro as Franklin. The film
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

New Trailer and Poster Explore the Unsettling Origins of Joker

"When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker?" Before the Clown Prince of Crime returns to the big screen this October, the final trailer for Joker has been unveiled by Warner Bros., offering a deeper look into the unsettling origin of one of Gotham's greatest villains.

"Director Todd Phillips “Joker” centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.
See full article at DailyDead »

Which overdue lead actor might finally find gold at the end of Oscar season — Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy or Joaquin Phoenix? [Poll]

Which overdue lead actor might finally find gold at the end of Oscar season — Antonio Banderas, Eddie Murphy or Joaquin Phoenix? [Poll]
One of the best things about the Academy Awards is that, unlike the Golden Globes with its two sets of lead actor and actress lineups, is that genres don’t matter when it comes to the four acting categories. Therefore, it is a more meaningful honor. But it also makes getting recognition for worthy work can be more difficult.

That often creates a pool of performers who have had several nominations but no wins. Or someone who always comes in sixth on the ballot and has yet to receive any gilded acclaim. If you check out Gold Derby’s combined Oscar odds, there are more than a few lead actors in the running who fit these descriptions that pop right out. Here is the list of the overdue according to their standing on the prediction site:

No. 3: Antonio Banderas,”Pain and Glory”: The Spanish heartthrob has already won
See full article at Gold Derby »

Russell Crowe Stars as an Angry Driver in First Look at ‘Unhinged’

  • Variety
Russell Crowe Stars as an Angry Driver in First Look at ‘Unhinged’
Cut off Russell Crowe in traffic at your own peril!

That’s the takeaway from the first look at “Unhinged,” an upcoming thriller that stars the Oscar-winning “Gladiator” actor as a man who takes road rage to frightening new levels. Crowe appears in the Solstice Studios release alongside Caren Pistorius, who portrays Rachel, a mother who hits the horn at the exact wrong moment. In the first look image, Crowe smolders with the fury of a thousand Maximuses.

“The mark of a great film is one that both entertains and sparks conversation,” director Derrick Borte said. “I believe, in a very terrifying way, ‘Unhinged’ does exactly that.”

Production on the film wraps on Sunday in New Orleans. “Unhinged,” planned for a third quarter 2020 release, marks Solstice Studios’ first production since launching last October. The studio aims to produce between three and five movies per year, with most films carrying budgets between $20 million and $80 million.
See full article at Variety »

Watch Mumford & Sons Interview to be David Spade’s House Band

Watch Mumford & Sons Interview to be David Spade’s House Band
Mumford & Sons apparently have a new career goal: become the house band for David Spade’s Comedy Central talk show Lights Out with David Spade. In a new clip, the musicians interview with Spade and it doesn’t quite go as well as expected.

“You know I’m looking for a house band and not a vacuum cleaner repair store in the Valley that’s going out of business,” Spade tells the band after they introduce themselves. He adds, “I love you guys. You guys are great. You’re like Aerosmith for people with allergies.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Jacob’s Ladder’ Film Review: Michael Ealy’s Powerful Performance Gets Lost in a Shabby Remake

  • The Wrap
‘Jacob’s Ladder’ Film Review: Michael Ealy’s Powerful Performance Gets Lost in a Shabby Remake
Watching Adrian Lyne’s classic “Jacob’s Ladder” raises a lot of complex psychological and spiritual questions. The film stars Tim Robbins as a Vietnam veteran who suffers from horrifying visions and persecution nightmares, but Lyne’s film dares to ask if nightmares are, perhaps, beautiful experiences viewed from the wrong angle. What is existential truth? What is sanity? What is the difference, if any, between heaven and hell?

David M. Rosenthal’s remake of “Jacob’s Ladder” doesn’t have the same ambition as Lyne’s 1990 film, but it does re-use much of the same imagery to tell a vaguely similar story. Michael Ealy stars as Jacob Singer, a veteran who lost his brother in Afghanistan, and now works at a V.A. hospital in Atlanta. When he’s not helping other traumatized veterans get pharmaceutical help for their conditions, he’s having flashbacks of his own.

The plot
See full article at The Wrap »
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