When A24 first asked Academy Voters to consider James Franco‘s performance as Alien in Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers many, myself included, viewed it as a marketing stunt. Since then however the studio has never stopped believing in the film and the iconic character it managed to create. Last week cult director John Waters singled out Spring Breakers as his favorite film of the year. The film holds a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and also got mostly favorable reviews on Meta Critic. Continue reading
It looks like Jason Reitman‘s career is taking a turn in a different direction with his upcoming drama Labor Day. Up until this point all of his films had comedic elements to them, yes, even Young Adult. However Labor Day looks to be a dead serious drama, with a heavy/tense atmosphere and possibly featuring some thriller elements. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin play the lead roles. Eric Steelberg, cinematographer extraordinaire is once again on board and Reitman himself is back to writing and hoping to be nominated for best adapted screenplay. As a matter of fact the film will open in limited release on December 25th, 2013 just to make sure it eligible for Oscars, but most people will be able to see it only on January 31st, 2014.
The film is about a Adele (Kate Winslet), a single mother and her son (Gattlin Griffith), who help out a wounded mysterious man (Josh Brolin). Turns out Brolin’s character is wanted by the police and so it seems that Adele and her son will find themselves in a tricky situation. The supporting cast includes Tobey Maguire, Clark Gregg, James Van Der Beek and Brooke Smith. On a personal note I must say that even though I’m quite the Jason Reitman fan and this trailer looks good, I’m a bit skeptical about the end result. In theory I’m all for director’s branching out and trying new things, but deep down I guess there’s a certain comfort, similar to brand consistency and knowing what to expect. I’m sure it will turn out fine though, but I am worried that there hasn’t been more buzz or people talking about Labor Day so far. Then again, people mostly ignored Young Adult and that was a masterpiece, so…
After being confirmed for a 2013 Christmas Day release, and thus still eligible for the Oscar race, here comes the second trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s 165 minutes 80s epic The Wolf of Wall Street. Personally, I won’t be watching this, because I’ve heard it shows a lot more story, and since I’m already sold on the movie I don’t really need spoilers at this point. However some of you might be too curious to wait and so this one’s for you!
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. Like I’ve been saying all along this might just be the year Di Caprio gets his golden statue. Every year however the best actor category is one of the most crowded and difficult ones between Weinsteins, Academy darlings and locks it’s hard to say who’s going to win. It is also true however that the Academy has a tendency to make up for past “mistakes” and many feel that Di Caprio should have won best supporting actor for his portrayal of Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained last year.
We’ll see how this all works out for Martin and Leo. First of all let’s hope the movie is good, but if the first trailer was of any indication we’re in for a treat.
Italy is the country that has won more foreign language films than any other in the world, 13 wins so far. The peninsula is second, after France, when it comes to nominations – 27 total, against 36 – I guess we have a better chances of winning. Unfortunately most of this Oscar gold was won when Vittorio De Sica and Federico Fellini were making movies. Today, Giuseppe Tornatore is our biggest chance of winning the coveted statue, and he did so back in 1989 with Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Since Tornatore’s newest film, The Best Offer, doesn’t qualify as a foreign language film this year Paolo Sorrentino will represent our country with The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza).
The Great Beauty was chosen over Viva la libertà (Roberto Andò), Miele (Valeria Golino), Razza bastarda (Alessando Gassmann), Salvo (Antonio Piazza & Fabio Grassadonia), Viaggio sola (Maria Sole Tognazzi) and Midway tra la vita e la morte (John Real). Having not seen those I can’t say if that was the best move, but considering how much I enjoyed The Great Beauty I am pretty satisfied with this outcome. As I’ve mentioned in my review, Sorrentino’s film is very reminiscent of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Toni Servillo’s performance alone is Oscar-worthy. Since La Dolce Vita was never even nominated for an Oscar and the Academy has a tendency to make up for things like this, at the very least it was a smart “political” move. Also as mentioned Fellini’s films are the ones that won Italy the most awards (La strada, Nights of Cabiria, 8½ and Amarcord).
Italy hasn’t been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film since 2005, when Christina Comencini’s Don’t Tell (La bestia nel cuore) was considered. As for actual wins it’s been since 1998 when Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) managed to win. Like Sorrentino himself said, when asked about how he felt about the news: “It’s going to be very difficult, I know, but we’ll do anything it takes to make it to the Oscar ceremony”. As a fellow Italian, a fan of his film and someone who loves to watch the Oscars I wish him all the luck in the world and hope that the Weinstein Company doesn’t have a film they’re promoting. La Grande Bellezza will hit American theaters November 2013 and critics are already calling it “a metaphor for Italian decline”. In other words: It’s awesome, go see it!
Finally! The first trailer for the much-anticipated and critically acclaimed new film from Alexander Payne: Nebraska. The film premiered at Cannes this year and Bruce Dern, who is co-starring with Will Forte, won the best actor award. This looks like a funny, quirky road-trip comedy/drama from the director who has brought us great films such as About Schmidt and Sideways.
The film was shot in black and white and looks gorgeous. As a fan of the director, the talent involved and the good buzz it’s been getting I can’t wait to see this film. The film opens November 22nd, 2013 and already seems to be a top contender for next year’s Academy Awards. Take a look yourself! Oh, and here’s the first b&w poster as well. Looking good?