Portraying Stephen Hawking on Screen ... Ten Potential Oscar Contenders That Will Premiere by the End of the Year ... Santa Barbara Film Fest: ‘Birdman’ Star Michael Keaton Tapped as Modern Master ... Edgier Films Do Well in Best Original Screenplay Category at the Oscars ... FEINBERG FORECAST: The Oscar Landscape Post-Hamptons, Pre-AFI ... Could ‘Birdman’ Join These 10 Best Picture Nominees About Show Business? ... Watch the Trailer for Mauritania’s First-Ever Oscar Submission ‘Timbuktu’ (Exclusive) ... ‘Birdman’ Swoops Into Theaters, Will Attempt to Fly All the Way to Oscars With Clipped Wings ...
Countdown to Oscars

Posts Tagged ‘Cher’

Tuesday November 22nd, 2011

VH1 Divas – benefiting the Save The Music Foundation – has announced additional performers to join this year’s tribute to soul music.

By Josh Abraham

VH1 Divas – benefiting the Save The Music Foundation – has announced additional  performers to join this year’s tribute to soul music.

Click to read more…

Friday November 18th, 2011

‘The Iron Lady’ Star Meryl Streep is Under-Appreciated… Yeah, You Heard Me Right! (Analysis)

It’s hard to argue that the actress Meryl Streep — who has garnered 16 Oscar nominations (more than any other male or female in history), two of which resulted in wins — is under-appreciated by the Academy. That, however, is precisely what I’ve felt the urge to do since screening the latest film in which she stars, Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, earlier this week.

Click to read more…

Wednesday November 16th, 2011

Bravo to the HFPA for Bringing Back Ricky Gervais as Golden Globes Host (Opinion)

Kudos to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for asking Ricky Gervais to host the  Golden Globe Awards for a third consecutive year, even after he blisteringly insulted them  and many of their guests at last year’s ceremony. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think they  had it in them.

Click to read more…

Monday October 17th, 2011

Sue Mengers, Hollywood super agent, was truly “A-List”

By: Roger Friedman

You’ll read a lot about Sue Mengers today. In the 1960s and 70s she was a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood.

Click to read more…

 

Friday May 27th, 2011

INTERVIEW: NORMAN JEWISON (AND FSLC) LOOKS BACK ON HIS GREAT CAREER

Yesterday, I had the great honor of chatting for just over an hour with the legendary director Norman Jewison in New York, where the Film Society of Lincoln Center is in the midst of hosting “Norman Jewison: Relentless Renegade,” the first-ever retrospective of his work on the east coast.

Jewison, who is now 84 years old (but looks and moves like he’s 20 years younger), is, of course, the man behind such classics as “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming” (1966), “In the Heat of the Night” (1967), “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968), “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1975), “…And Justice for All” (1979), “A Soldier’s Story” (1984), “Agnes of God” (1985), “Moonstruck” (1987), and “The Hurricane” (1999), among many others that have stood the test of time. Indeed, who can ever forget Sidney Poitier’s “slap heard around the world” in “In the Heat of the Night,” or Topol’s stomping rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man” in “Fiddler on the Roof,” or Cher’s demand to “Snap out of it!” in “Moonstruck”?

The Canadian-born Jewison started out in television in the 1950s before moving into film in the early 1960s, and has employed both mediums — and virtually every genre — not only to entertain (although they certainly do that), but also to enlighten (highlighting issues of social importance for the masses). He has long been a favorite of actors (12 have received Oscar nominations and three have won Oscars for their work in his films), if not auteur theorists (who struggle to reconcile the quality of his films with his lack of a consistent style and sensibility). Of the 24 feature films that he has directed, five — or 21% — have been nominated for best picture (and I can’t identify any other filmmaker who has also directed 20 or more features and has a higher batting average). And, with the recent passing of his friend and contemporary Sidney Lumet, Jewison is now among the last survivors — if not the last survivor — of his generation of directors who successfully made the transition from TV to film, and in so doing changed the pacing and style of films and filmmaking. For all of these reasons, it was a great thrill to be in his company, and I hope that you’ll enjoy watching our interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

Congratulations on the retrospective, Norman — it is long overdue!

 

Friday January 7th, 2011

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 1/7/11

  • Company Town: Ben Fritz writes that “pre-release audience polling” suggests that none of the films that will be debuting in theaters over the weekend, including “Country Strong” and “Season of the Witch,” have mustered enough interest to prevent “Little Fockers” and “True Grit” from staying atop the box-office leaderboard for a third consecutive week. (“The first weekend of January is typically one of the slowest of the year at movie theaters,” he notes.) “Fockers” edged “Grit” for the top spot both of the last two weekends, but “Grit,” which has outperformed all expectations, edged “Fockers” on several individual days and might prove to have longer legs.
  • The Odds: Steve Pond speaks with Kathryn Bigelow — who last year became the first woman to win the best director Oscar and the first woman to direct a film that won the best picture Oscar — about why she has recently begun to speak out publicly on behalf of Debra Granik’s best picture hopeful “Winter’s Bone,” which was released theatrically way back in June. Bigelow, who introduced two special screenings of the film on Wednesday night at West Hollywood’s Soho House, said that she hadn’t met Granik until recently, but reached out to her to offer her support and assistance because she found “Winter’s Bone” to be “so perfectly crafted… it’s just a magnificent film.”
  • Entertainment Weekly: Dave Karger offers his predictions about which specific Oscar nominations will be awarded to this year’s top awards contenders when the Academy unveils this year’s field on January 25. He prefaces his breakdown by noting, “Last year no movie earned more than nine nominations; that’s because the top two contenders, ‘The Hurt Locker and ‘Avatar,’ only had one acting nod between them. But by my guesses, three films — ‘The Social Network,’ ‘The King’s Speech,’ and ‘Inception‘ — could feasibly score a nomination count in the double digits” this year. (He adds, “I have ‘True Grit‘ close behind with nine nominations… ‘The Fighter and ‘Black Swan,’ meanwhile, could top out around eight nominations.”)
  • The Hollywood Reporter: THR staff have provided a running list of exclusive parties that will take place after the conclusion of this year’s Golden Globes ceremony. As has historically been the case, most will take place at spots within or adjacent to the sprawling Beverly Hilton, where the ceremony also takes place, but a few have also been scheduled at off-site locations.
  • Hitfix: Greg Ellwood reacts to the news that the legendary actor Robert De Niro, who will be presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes later this month, has also received — and accepted — an invitation to head the jury at the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival in May. The festival released a statement indicating that it wanted “to pay tribute to the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2011.” Ellwood, however, suggests that De Niro’s selection marks a somewhat “disturbing trend,” as he is the third American to lead the international film festival’s jury in the last four years (the other two being Sean Penn in 2008 and Tim Burton in 2010).
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells shares a YouTube video that presents facts about and scenes from “The Fighter” alongside facts about and scenes from the actual Micky Ward fights that largely inspired it, illustrating both the ways in which the filmmakers stuck closely to established facts and areas in which they took creative liberties. The video’s closing side-by-side footage, which describes Amy Adams’s performance as “Oscar-worthy” (with a minor caveat), is quite cute.

Photo: Matt Damon in “True Grit.” Credit: Paramount.

Thursday December 16th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 12/16/10

  • Sports Illustrated: The most popular sports publication in America has released the cover of its 2010 “Year in Sports Media” edition, and the stars of the boxing drama “The Fighter” — best actor hopeful Mark Wahlberg and best supporting actor hopeful Christian Bale — grace the cover. Inside the magazine, coverage is also devoted to the horse-racing thriller “Secretariat,” the soccer doc “After the Cup,” and the mountain-climbing saga “127 Hours.”
  • Time: Lev Grossman reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old billionaire who is portrayed in “The Social Network” by Jesse Eisenberg, has been named Time’s 2010 “Person of the Year.” This only reinforces the narrative that the film’s backers are trying to push for the film — namely, that it is “the movie of the moment,” a timely, relevant reflection of the current zeitgeist and world in which we live today, unlike, say, “The King’s Speech,” which has little connection to the present.
  • Awards Campaign: Greg Ellwood reports that Fox Searchlight — the same studio that famously hired a Volkswagen minibus to drive around Hollywood to promote “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) and mailed hamburger phones to journalists to promote “Juno” (2007) — has come up with yet another crafty marketing tactic to promote its 2010 hopeful “127 Hours.” This week, industry insiders were sent a T-shirt reading, “I KEPT MY EYES OPEN FOR 127 HOURS” — the film’s subject Aron Ralston did that literally; the studio would be thrilled if you would do that figuratively.
  • Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey questions the sanity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in light of the group’s many questionable selections for the upcoming Golden Globes. Among them: best actor and best actress nominations for Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, respectively, for laughable performances in “The Tourist,” but nary a mention in those same categories for Robert Duvall for “Get Low” or Tilda Swinton for “I Am Love.” As Sharkey puts it, in light of Depp’s second nomination for “Alice in Wonderland,” “If this is Wonderland, even Alice wouldn’t want to live here any more.”

Photo: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, the stars of “The Fighter.” Credit: Sports Illustrated.

Tuesday November 30th, 2010

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: 45 MINUTES WITH OSCAR CONTENDER JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO OUR CONVERSATION!

Justin Timberlake is the guy who virtually every girl wants and virtually every guy wants to be — he’s smart, he’s sexy, he’s charming, he’s funny, and, most impressively, he’s super-talented at a wide variety of things. Timberlake is a six-time Grammy-winning singer (you first heard him as the lead singer of the immensely popular ’90s boy band ’N Sync and subsequently as a charts-topping solo artist); a two-time Emmy-winning TV comedian (both for unforgettable guest appearances on “Saturday Night Live”); and, in January, might well add yet another impressive credential to that resume: Academy Award-nominated actor.

Timberlake has given standout performances in a number of films in the past — among them “Alpha Dog” (2006), “Black Snake Moan” (2006), and “Southland Tales” (2006) — but he has earned the best reviews of his career, by far, for his performance in this year’s “The Social Network” as Sean Parker, a young Web entrepreneur who founded Napster and subsequently helped Mark Zuckerberg turn Facebook into a worldwide phenomenon. The David Fincher film has been a critics’ darling (it’s at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and recently topped the annual Sight & Sound poll); a commerical success (it cost roughly $40 million to make and has grossed over $90 million, thus far); and it is shaping up to be a strong Oscar contender in a large number of categories (based on Academy members’ reactions at its first official screening, as well as substantial anecdotal evidence gathered by this awards site and others). Although three members of its cast — Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, and Timberlake — are all vying for slots in the best supporting actor category, I believe that it’s highly possible, if not probable, that two will get in, and that he will be one of them.

I first met Timberlake at the Harvard Club after-party that followed the world premiere of “The Social Network” back on September 24. We chatted only briefly at the time, but subsequently scheduled a telephone interview for November 24 that was supposed to last for 20 minutes, but wound up running for 45 minutes thanks to his insistence providing carefully-considered and thorough answers to my questions about every facet of his life, career(s), and especially the film that has changed the way that he looks at film — and that we look at him.

I hope that you’ll check out the audio of our conversation (click here) — in my humble opinion, it only gets more interesting as it goes along — and/or check out a summary of our discussion (click below).

Read the rest of this entry »

Friday November 19th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/19/10

  • The Hollywood Reporter: Daniel Miller writes that sources close to the investigation into the murder of veteran Oscar publicist Ronni Chasen have told him that their “working theory” is that Chasen’s death “was planned in advance and not the result of road rage or a carjacking gone awry.” Apparently, “police have obtained relevant footage from one or perhaps multiple security cameras located at… the home of Sherry Hackett, widow of the late comedian and actor Buddy Hackett.”
  • Deadline Hollywood: Pete Hammond documents this week’s frenzy of screenings and Q&As on both coasts for members of the WGA, PGA, DGA, SAG and countless media organizations. (Full disclosure: our own Scott Feinberg moderated two of this week’s New York Q&A’s, for “Frankie and Alice” with best actress hopeful Halle Berry and for “Black Swan” with best director hopeful Darren Aronofsky, best actress hopeful Natalie Portman, and best supporting actress hopeful Mila Kunis.) Pete notes that “one group that really has been making the rounds is the gang from ‘The Kids Are All Right,'” namely best director/best original screenplay hopeful Lisa Cholodenko, best actress hopefuls Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, and best supporting actor hopeful Mark Ruffalo (who told Pete, “I did six days working on this film and I have done 60 days of press”).
  • The Wrap: Daniel Frankel reports that The Weinstein Company “has hired some big legal guns” to wage its battle against the MPAA over the hard-to-comprehend/audience-limiting ratings that the group gave to its awards hopefuls “Blue Valentine” (NC-17) and “The King’s Speech” (R). Studio co-chief Harvey Weinstein said in a statement, “While we respect the MPAA, I think we can all agree that we are living with an outdated ratings system that gives torture porn, horror and ultraviolent films the same rating as films with so-called inappropriate language.”
  • Esquire: John H. Richardson interviews best supporting actor hopeful Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) and learns that the notoriously temperamental actor would not choose to spend time with him or any other reporter if it was up to him. “I want to be able to just act and never do any interview, but I don’t have the balls to stand up to the studio and say, ‘I’m never going to do another interview in my life!’ So I tip my hat and go, ‘Okay, mister! All right, mister! I’ll go do the salesman job.” He further explains his resistance to interviews by noting, “If you know something about somebody, it gets in the way of just watching the guy as the character.”
  • New York Times: Frank Bruni — in a piece that has been compared with Gay Talese’s famous 1966 Esquire profile of Frank Sinatra — brings to life his recent visit with the legendary singer and Oscar winning actress Cher, who is now 64 years old and promoting the new film “Burlesque,” which includes her first big screen appearance in seven years (opposite Christina Aguilera in her motion picture debut). Cher tells him, “Look, I have a very narrow range… I’ve never tried anything more than playing who I am. If you look at my characters, they’re all me.”
  • Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson congratulates Alex Gibney, the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker, on both pieces of exciting news that he received on Thursday — first, “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” his doc about the former New York governor, made the Academy’s short-list of 15 films from which this year’s 5 best documentary feature Oscar nominees will be chosen; and second, he was named as this year’s recipient of the International Press Academy’s auteur award, which will be presented at the IPA’s Satellite Awards gala on December 19.
  • Twitter: A spokesman for Zeitgeist Films, the small distributor of “Last Train Home” and “The Oath,” two of this year’s most acclaimed documentaries, Tweeted the studio’s great disappointment at the Academy’s exclusion of both films from the aforementioned documentary short-list. Blogger Peter Knegt suggested that members of the Academy’s documentary branch must have some “personal vendetta” against Zeitgeist, but the studio quickly rebutted that notion, noting that one of its films has previous won the best documentary feature Oscar — for “Nowhere in Africa” (2001) — while four others have garnered nominations in the category over the years.
  • The Guardian: Xan Brooks passes along some recent remarks from British prime minister David Cameron suggesting that the UK film industry needs to make more films ‘Harry Potter’ if it is to survive and prosper. “We have got to make films that people want to watch and films which will benefit beyond themselves as they will also encourage people to come and visit our country,” Cameron stated. UK Film Council [UKFC] chief executive John Woodward later described the suggestion as “short-sighted and potentially very damaging.”

Photo: Ruffalo, Bening, and Moore in “The Kids Are All Right.” Credit: Focus Features.