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Winner of the Gotham Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, ‘Mudbound’ Has the Best Ensemble of the Year

Winner of the Gotham Jury Award for Ensemble Performance, ‘Mudbound’ Has the Best Ensemble of the Year
Set in rural Mississippi during World War II, “Mudbound” focuses on two families—one white (the McAllans), and one black (the Jacksons)—who navigate life on a small farm and realize that not all battles ended with the war. Based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 best-selling novel of the same name, the film, co-written by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, progresses through different characters’ perspectives, giving the audience a chance to experience an intimate story about race, friendship, power and love. The film is anchored by a cast that includes Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan and music legend Mary J. Blige like you’ve never seen her before. The stellar ensemble also features Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Jonathan Banks and Garrett Hedlund.

Blige, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning R&B singer, disappears into her role as Florence, the matriarch of the Jackson family, who is fighting to ensure a safe future for her children.
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ and ‘Mudbound’ Vie Against Fall Box Office Hits

‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ and ‘Mudbound’ Vie Against Fall Box Office Hits
Leading fall Oscar contenders “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight) and “Lady Bird” (A24) continue to pull crowds as they both expand after limited openings. They are the top performers by far among specialized films this weekend, including the platform debut of “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” (Sony).

The Denzel Washington legal drama had a modest debut in four New York/Los Angeles theaters before its wider release on Wednesday. The fate of Dee Rees’ acclaimed “Mudbound” (Netflix) is the compelling story of the weekend. The ’40s southern farm drama opened in a handful of big city theaters parallel to its home-viewing debut, with grosses unreported by Netflix. We are estimating its performance based on limited indications from several theaters.

Also getting strong reviews for its New York-Los Angeles debut, the Chilean Oscar submission “The Fantastic Woman” (Sony Pictures Classics) opened for a qualifying week with no grosses reported. It
See full article at Indiewire »

Hungary’s ‘On Body and Soul’ Wins Top Award at Camerimage Film Festival

Hungary’s ‘On Body and Soul’ Wins Top Award at Camerimage Film Festival
Poland’s Camerimage fest wrapped Saturday with the Golden Frog top prize for “On Body and Soul,” a Hungarian story of shared dreams filmed by Mate Herbai and directed by Ildiko Enyedi.

The jury, headed by British director Michael Apted, honored Russian family drama “Loveless,” with cinematography by Mikhail Krichman and directing by Andrei Zvyagintsev (“Leviathan”), with a Silver Frog, while the Bronze Frog went to Angelina Jolie’s account of the Cambodian guerilla war, “First They Killed My Father,” filmed by Anthony Dod Mantle.

The jury honored Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country,” an Australian outback thriller filmed by Dylan River and Thornton, with the Fipresci award, while “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” shot by Ben Davis and directed by Martin McDonagh, won the fest’s first-ever audience prize.

The gala closing ceremony at the Opera Nova hall in Bydgoszcz topped a week of 283 film screenings and scores of workshops, filmmaker talks and
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Brimstone & Glory’ Review: A Euphoric Documentary About Fireworks from the People Behind ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’

  • Indiewire
‘Brimstone & Glory’ Review: A Euphoric Documentary About Fireworks from the People Behind ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’
Remember the first 10 minutes of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” when Hushpuppy was just running around with sparklers and the music was blaring and you were profoundly moved for reasons you couldn’t quite understand? Well, Viktor Jakovleski’s “Brimstone & Glory” is essentially the feature-length adaptation of that feeling. Produced and scored by “Beasts” mastermind Benh Zeitlin, this euphoric documentary is a veritable orgy of lights and sounds, a pyroclastic symphony of explosions in the sky that makes you happy to be alive, even if you’re not entirely sure why.

Largely experiential, though laced with pearls of narration that pull it back from being quite as impressionistic as the likes of “Baraka” or “Leviathan,” “Brimstone & Glory” opens with a title card that gives us most of the context we’ll need for the hour that follows. Every year, the Mexican town of Tultepec holds a week-long celebration of San Juan de Dios,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Ranked, From ‘Anomalisa’ to ‘Spirited Away’

  • Indiewire
The Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Ranked, From ‘Anomalisa’ to ‘Spirited Away’
Pixar and Studio Ghibli tend to spring to mind first when discussing great animation, but there’s a world beyond those two giants. Animated films have grown ever more artful and affecting as more and more folks realize that it’s never just been a medium for kids, with studios and indies alike creating stop-motion marvels, hand-drawn standouts, and CGI spectacles.

The genre has grown so much since we entered the current century, in fact, that it can be easy to forget the Academy Awards didn’t even recognize animation until 2001. As few as three movies were nominated per year until 2010, but since then animation’s increased prominence has been reflected in the race’s competitiveness. Not every worthy movie could make the cut on either the awards circuit or this list, sadly, but rest assured that “The Red Turtle,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Ernest and Celestine,” to name just a few,
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Breadwinner’ Review: Angelina Jolie Helps Deliver the Best Animated Feature of 2017

  • Indiewire
‘The Breadwinner’ Review: Angelina Jolie Helps Deliver the Best Animated Feature of 2017
More imaginative than “Coco,” more soulful than “Moana,” more everything than “Despicable Me 3,” Nora Twomey’s “The Breadwinner” cements Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon as an animation powerhouse worth mentioning alongside the likes of Pixar, Laika, and the great Studio Ghibli. A deeply anguished story that’s told with the same vivid style as Cartoon Saloon’s two previous features, “The Secret of Kells” and “Song of the Sea,” “The Breadwinner” triumphs with a sense of emotional sobriety that strikes far deeper than anything that passes for children’s entertainment in this part of the world — it may be aimed at (older) kids, but it’s certain to hit their parents twice as hard.

Executive produced by Angelina Jolie and adapted from Deborah Ellis’ 2000 novel of the same name, “The Breadwinner” is immediately set apart by its setting. The film begins in Taliban-controlled Kabul, where an 11-year-old girl named Parvana
See full article at Indiewire »

Is Errol Morris’s ‘Wormwood’ a Documentary? Netflix Says Yes, Oscars Say No

  • Indiewire
Errol Morris has been ahead of the curve ever since he broke out with pet cemetery documentary “Gates of Heaven” in 1978. A decade later, “The Thin Blue Line” wowed critics but alienated the hidebound documentary community with its use of “reenactments” and a rousing Philip Glass score. Decades before Netflix created “Making a Murderer,” “The Keepers,” and “Witness,” Morris’ film actually solved a murder mystery and freed an innocent Death Row convict in a Texas prison.

Since then, Glass became a go-to movie composer, earning three Oscar nominations — and could score a fourth for this year’s Oscar documentary frontrunner “Jane.” Reenactments have become standard issue for nonfiction films, filling the void between talking heads, archival footage, cinéma vérité observation, and what isn’t visually available. And Morris isn’t the only filmmaker who is a presence in his films, yelling at his subjects from behind his invention, the Interrotron.
See full article at Indiewire »

Kids From ‘The Florida Project’ Talk About the Shoot — and the Importance of Ice Cream

Kids From ‘The Florida Project’ Talk About the Shoot — and the Importance of Ice Cream
Brooklynn Prince, Valeria Cotto and Christopher Rivera, the three child stars of Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project,” stopped by the Variety offices to discuss the poignant coming-of-age drama set in a welfare motel outside Disney World. In the film, Prince plays Moonee, a precocious 6-year-old left to her own devices while her spirited mom struggles to make ends meet, and Cotto and Rivera are her two best friends. Over the course of one summer, this ragtag trio embarks on a series of mischievous adventures, winning over the hearts of everyone on their path, including the motel’s craggy manager, played by Willem Dafoe.

How did you all get cast in this film?

Valeria Cotto: Can I tell you the story? Once upon a time, there lived my mom, my uncle, myself and my siblings. We were walking around a Target store, and Sean [Baker] approached us. And he gave us this business card that had his
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Angelina Jolie Addresses Sexual Violence in Hollywood During United Nations Speech

Angelina Jolie Addresses Sexual Violence in Hollywood During United Nations Speech
Angelina Jolie is urging United Nations peacekeepers to crack down on sexual violence. While attending the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, the actress and philanthropist delivered her keynote address. During the powerful speech, Angelina couldn't help but reference the sexual misconduct allegations in and around Hollywood. "Sexual violence is everywhere – in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world," she said according to People. "All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some...
See full article at E! Online »

Angelina Jolie Alludes to Hollywood Sexual Misconduct Scandal in Emotional U.N. Speech

  • PEOPLE.com
Angelina Jolie Alludes to Hollywood Sexual Misconduct Scandal in Emotional U.N. Speech
Angelina Jolie referenced the outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations in Hollywood while urging United Nations peacekeepers to crack down on sexual violence in an emotional speech.

“Sexual violence is everywhere – in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world,” she said during her keynote address to the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver on Wednesday.

“All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Angelina Jolie Gives Powerful Speech On Sexual Violence In Vancouver

  • ET Canada
Angelina Jolie delivered a powerful keynote speech at the Un Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference in Vancouver on Wednesday, calling on international conflict negotiators to take their role in preventing and punishing sexual violence more seriously. Jolie called on those gathered to recognize sexual violence as a weapon and “a critical obstacle to achieving women’s equality […]
See full article at ET Canada »

‘Florida Project’ Breakout Brooklynn Prince Joins Angelina Jolie in ‘One and Only Ivan’

‘Florida Project’ Breakout Brooklynn Prince Joins Angelina Jolie in ‘One and Only Ivan’
“Florida Project’s” breakout star Brooklynn Prince is in talks to join Angelina Jolie in “The One and Only Ivan,” Disney’s live-action/animated adaptation of the award-winning book penned by Katherine Applegate.

Thea Sharrock will helm the pic from a script by Mike White. Brigham Taylor has come on as a producer, joining Allison Shearmur and Jolie.

The book centers on a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in a cage in a shopping mall along with an elephant named Stella and a stray dog called Bob. Ivan does not remember life before the mall, but when a baby elephant named Ruby enters and Ivan finds himself taking care of her, he begins to rediscover his previous life and concocts a plan to take the baby elephant away from their abusive owner.

Prince will voice Ruby opposite Jolie’s Stella. The studio will now start to cast the non-voice actors of the film.

The young star
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Call Me by Your Name’ Looks So Incredible You’d Never Guess It Was Shot During a Historic Rainstorm

  • Indiewire
‘Call Me by Your Name’ Looks So Incredible You’d Never Guess It Was Shot During a Historic Rainstorm
When Luca Guadagnino came on board as the director of “Call Me by Your Name,” he immediately moved the film from the Italian Riviera – where it was set in André Aciman’s novel – to the town of Crema in Lombardy where he lived. “I don’t understand how you create a story if you don’t start from the principal of figuring it out through the landscape – it’s how a movie has to be made,” said Guadagnino in an interview with IndieWire. “We are all who we are because of the way we behave in a given space.”

Thai cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom had never worked with Guadagnino before, but when he visited the region three years prior to production on “Call My by Your Name,” he could instantly see how the landscape and summer light shaped how the director saw the film.

“I’m from South East Asia and
See full article at Indiewire »

Golden Globes’ 11 Most Ludicrous Comedy or Musical Picks, From ‘The Martian’ to ‘Get Out’ (Photos)

  • The Wrap
Golden Globes’ 11 Most Ludicrous Comedy or Musical Picks, From ‘The Martian’ to ‘Get Out’ (Photos)
Get Out” is being submitted to the Golden Globes in the “Musical or Comedy” category for Best Picture. It’s funny in that queasy, racially tense and awkward way, but make no mistake, it’s a horror movie. But this isn’t the only time that a movie strategically played category fraud to get a nomination. Here are 10 other instances that raise an eyebrow: “The Tourist” (2010) How can we invite Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp to the awards ceremony? Let’s nominate this romantic, action caper with a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and stick it in the Musical or Comedy category!
See full article at The Wrap »

Harvey Weinstein and Weinstein Co. Sued By Women Who Claim Massive Cover-Up

  • TMZ
The Weinstein Company and Harvey Weinstein have been slapped with a class action lawsuit, claiming the Company had a long-running practice of isolating and blacklisting Weinstein's alleged victims and covering up his alleged predatory tactics. The suit was brought on behalf of "all women who met with Harvey Weinstein in person to audition for or to discuss involvement in a project to be produced or distributed by The Weinstein Company." The lawsuit says the women
See full article at TMZ »

‘Hell on Earth’: Two New Shorts Provide a Harrowing Look Into the War in Syria — Watch

  • Indiewire
‘Hell on Earth’: Two New Shorts Provide a Harrowing Look Into the War in Syria — Watch
In light of the horrifying and long-lasting war in Syria, Oscar-nominated filmmakers Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested have directed a documentary called “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of Isis,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

The film’s purpose was to capture the harrowing socio-political situation in Syria and to be a relentless portrayal of the death and violence that surrounds the population on a daily basis. IndieWire’s editor-at-large Anne Thompson highlighted the film as a potential Oscar contender for Best Documentary Feature.

“You can’t sugarcoat the suffering of the Syrian people. We didn’t go out to shock people. We went to show people how it really is. It’s entirely documentary, exactly as it is happening. This is the reality,” said co-director Nick Quested.

Read More:How Women Made the Documentary Community

Below are two exclusive shorts that
See full article at Indiewire »

‘The Breadwinner’: How Nora Twomey Made an Animated Oscar Contender About Female Empowerment with Help from Angelina Jolie

  • Indiewire
‘The Breadwinner’: How Nora Twomey Made an Animated Oscar Contender About Female Empowerment with Help from Angelina Jolie
With her debut feature, “The Breadwinner,” which took home both Grand Prize and Audience awards at the inaugural Animation Is Film Festival, Irish director Nora Twomey has delivered a powerful animated movie that should yield GKids’ 14th Oscar nomination. The drama tackles a serious story of political oppression with sensitivity and hope.

Based on the popular Ya novel by Deborah Ellis, “The Breadwinner” concerns a strong-willed 11-year-old Afghan girl who poses as a boy to help her family survive under threat from the Taliban after her father is imprisoned as a dissident.

Balancing the Personal with the Political

The biggest storytelling challenge was respecting the time period that had passed between the publication of the novel in 2000 and the start of the project in 2014. “It was such an extraordinary time in the world,” Twomey said, “everything from 9/11 to the fall of the Taliban, the rise of Isis, and the resurgence of the Taliban.
See full article at Indiewire »

Genre, Indie and Blockbuster Directors Jostle for Awards Attention

Genre, Indie and Blockbuster Directors Jostle for Awards Attention
From Paul Thomas Anderson to Guillermo del Toro to Patty Jenkins, a wide variety of directors across genres are vying for attention this awards season.

Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Phantom Thread

Not a frame of Anderson’s latest has yet been seen by the public, nor is much known about it, but he’s the rare filmmaker whose name alone can stoke anticipation. The fact that this 1950s-set film about the fashion world also stars Daniel Day-Lewis, who plans to retire from acting, only piques interest further.

Darren Aronofsky

Mother!”

Easily the most divisive studio film of 2017, and presumably intentionally so, Aronofsky’s “Mother!” could curry favor among his fellow directors for the sheer boldness of his vision, as he and star Jennifer Lawrence ascend ever-escalating levels of madness.

Sean Baker

The Florida Project

An indie darling du jour thanks to his sleeper “Tangerine,” Baker returned with yet another warm, sly-humored study of
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Agnès Varda Has Mixed Feelings About Her Honorary Oscar, But Loves Creating Art on the Margins

  • Indiewire
Agnès Varda Has Mixed Feelings About Her Honorary Oscar, But Loves Creating Art on the Margins
The morning after receiving her honorary Oscar at the Governors’ Ball, visions of dancing with Angelina Jolie still danced in Agnès Varda’s head. “Can you believe they were surrounding me, protecting me?” she said, holding court on the brick Beverly Hills patio at the French Consul’s residence in Beverly Hills, wreathed by French journalists. Among those who came to see her receive the award were National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image president Frédérique Bredin, Unifrance president Serge Toubiana, and Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux.

“I’m totally honored, I’m totally pleased, I’m touched to tears that they did such a long trip to be with me,” said Varda, grasping an actual pair of rose-colored glasses. She sat poolside at a circular table, beside a teapot, echoing Faye Dunaway’s famous morning-after Oscar photograph 40 years prior. However, instead of a satin robe and stilettos,
See full article at Indiewire »

'Florida Project' Breakout in Talks to Join Angelina Jolie in 'The One and Only Ivan' (Exclusive)

'Florida Project' Breakout in Talks to Join Angelina Jolie in 'The One and Only Ivan' (Exclusive)
Brooklynn Prince, the breakout lead of acclaimed indie drama The Florida Project, may have just nabbed her first big studio feature.

Prince is in talks to join Angelina Jolie in The One and Only Ivan, Disney's adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao.

Thea Sharrock, director of the tearjerker Me Before You, is helming Ivan, which has a script by Mike White and is intended to be a live-action hybrid. Prince and Jolie will make up part of the voice cast for the movie.

Published by HarperCollins in 2011, the book centers on a...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »
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