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Posts Tagged ‘Sean Penn’

Friday September 25th, 2015

‘The Walk’ Hopes to Follow in Oscar Footsteps of Past NYFF Opening Night Films

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

The 53rd New York Film Festival will begin this Saturday (postponed from today due to Pope Francis‘ visit) with Robert Zemeckis‘ high-wire biopic The Walk opening the event.

The Joseph Gordon-Levitt-starring picture, in which he plays French high-wire artist Philippe Petit, is Zemeckis’ first film since 2012’s Flight which earned two Oscar nominations, but none for Zemeckis himself.

Premiering on opening night in New York has led to Oscar success for films in past years, and with a season that has so far not seen a frontrunner, The Walk is hoping to capitalize.

Here’s a look at films that have premiered on New York Film Festival’s opening night and gone on to receive recognition from the Academy:

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Tuesday December 10th, 2013

Race, Gender, and Sexuality at the Oscars, Part III

By Mark Pinkert

* * *

This is the third article in a three-part series.

Though many Academy Award Best Picture nominees contain—or are predominantly about—sex and relationships, very few have been about sex issues in law and politics. In recent years there has been Milk (2008), the biopic of Harvey Milk, a California politician and gay rights activist, and otherwise not much else. Even in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the AIDS epidemic was a hot button issue, few films of this genre made it to the Best Picture ticket (remember, Philadelphia was snubbed from the category in 1993). Sexual issues topics, though, have been more popular within the documentary medium: there was Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), which won for Best Documentary, and which was the first AIDS-related film to win an Oscar, the The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), which also won Best Documentary, and How to Survive a Plague (2012), which was nominated for Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards earlier this year.

The Oscar race this year, though, does feature an important film about sex issues, Dallas Buyers Club (2013), which will likely make the Best Picture ticket and has a shot to win. Though the sociopolitical scope of this film is generally contained within the Dallas locale of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) and his HIV-positive buyers club, the film is quite relevant today. Through the growth of Woodroof—a once outspoken homophobe turned sympathetic activist—we see the real dangers of sex-related stigmata in society.

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Monday January 28th, 2013

With Affleck A New Example, How Does The Academy Treat Films Directed By Actors?

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor


No matter how we talk about the Oscar race right now, the discussion is fed through the prism of both the Best Picture candidacy of Argo and the Best Director snub of Ben Affleck. Especially now that the Producers Guild crowned Argo with their top prize over the weekend and the Screen Actors Guild did the same just hours ago, all roads of discussion go through that flick and Affleck.

One angle that I haven’t really discussed much yet is the fact that Affleck is still primarily an actor transitioning to being a director as well. This is only his third film, and while he’s seen Oscar nominations for supporting roles in both of his films (Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone and Jeremy Renner for The Town), no wins have come for any of his directorial outings.

This time around, Argo was supposed to be the movie that got him over the hump. In one regard, it did, since the film is nominated for seven Academy Awards and is in serious contention to win at least three or four of them. Obviously, the one place it’s notoriously not competing in is the Best Director category. Affleck was looked at as perhaps the leader of the pack for much of the season, but he wound up out in the cold on nomination morning.

The snub begs the question of whether the Academy truly has the soft spot for films directed by actors that some presume exists. Did Argo get the love it did because of — or in spite of — the admiration voters had for Affleck’s efforts?

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Friday January 25th, 2013

10 Outrageous Oscar Snubs Of Directors With Films Nominated For Best Picture

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor


Anyone who’s been following the Oscar race this year, especially after the nominations were announced, is well aware that some very surprising Best Director snubs occurred. Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper have top-tier Best Picture hopefuls, but all three were left out in the cold for director. The same can be said for Quentin Tarantino, who also saw his film cited but not his own directorial work.

People have been flipping out over those Oscar omissions, but when you think about it, they’re only the latest in a long line of fine directorial efforts not rewarded by the Academy. With only five slots for Best Director, there are always going to be a group of directors snubbed for the prize. It’s the nature of a shortlist.

What you’ll see below are 10 directors who saw their films nominated for Best Picture but were snubbed by Oscar in Best Director. In a pair of cases, I came close to cheating by citing two films for the filmmakers, but I don’t think anyone here will mind too much. Some of the filmmakers listed will surprise you. Others won’t, but one thing is certain: They all deserved the nominations they didn’t receive.

Keep this in mind as we begin this look at some of the impressive names that Affleck, Bigelow, Hooper and Tarantino have joined. Also, we’re only looking at the last 50 years — I needed to cut things off somewhere, so that seemed like as good a number as any.

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Friday January 4th, 2013

The 10 Most Surprising Oscar Nominations Of The Last 10 Years

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor
And Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter


The morning of the Oscar nominations is always an interesting time for me. A full year of predictions, hunches and plain old guesses comes down to an announcement that either humbles or validates all of my work.

Sometimes, it does both at the same time, and often, it just plain puzzles me. Once in a while, though, there are some real surprise Oscar nominations that come down the pike and take nearly everyone by surprise.

For this Top 10 list, I’m teaming up with the namesake of this site, Scott Feinberg, to tackle a piece on some of the most surprising Oscar nominations of the last 10 years. With the Academy Award nominations just around the corner on Jan. 10, we’re writing this post to remind people that there’s simply no such thing as a slam-dunk with these awards. Does the name Dreamgirls ring a bell?

We’re only going to be looking at the big six categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, but as a bonus, Scott picked a special 11th choice. Consider this a super-sized Top 10 list!

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Wednesday October 31st, 2012

The 10 Best Halloween Episodes On Comedy Television

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist


Happy Halloween, readers!

It’s my favorite day of the year, so I couldn’t neglect it in this week’s list. Because All Hallows Eve is so fun, below are the top 10 best Halloween comedy episodes.

Sadly, dramas are not on this list (I never would’ve been able to cut it to 10 if there had been), but feel free to leave your picks in the comments —”Home” from Fox’s The X-Files, anyone?

For me, though, I’ll leave it to laughs. So put on your best TV-themed costume, grab that bowl of fun-sized candy and check out my choices!

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Monday May 21st, 2012

Cannes Helps Haiti with Celebrity Benefit

By Josh Abraham

The Festival de Cannes celebrated Haiti: Carnival in Cannes, Friday night, a benefit event presented by Giorgio Armani in support of Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) and Petra Nemcova’s Happy Heart’s Fund (HHF), for their united and extraordinary work in Haiti. The charities? unity reflects their collective belief that more can be accomplished by working in partnership than alone. This event is the first of its kind for the Festival de Cannes since holding benefit screenings in 1984 and 1996. Additionally, this is the first time that three charities have come together with the support of the festival for one very important cause. Preliminary calculations of money raised total over $2 million.

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Sunday January 29th, 2012

SBIFF, Day 3: Christopher Plummer Christened ‘Modern Master,’ Insists He’s Still a Beginner

On Saturday night, the 27th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival honored legendary thespian Christopher Plummer with its highest honor, the Modern Master Award, in front of a large crowd at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre. (Previous recipients include Michael DouglasJodie Foster, Sir Anthony HopkinsDiane Keaton,Sean PennJeff BridgesPeter JacksonGeorge ClooneyWill SmithCate BlanchettClint EastwoodJames Cameron, and Christopher Nolan.)

The 82-year-old was in fine form, answering questions, sharing stories, and telling jokes for over two hours before being presented with his statuette by Santa Barbara native Mike Mills, the writer-director of the 2011 dramedy Beginners, in which Plummer gave a colorful supporting performance (as Mills’ late father) that earned him a Critics’ Choice Award and Golden Globe Award this month and is widely expected to win him his first Oscar next month.

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Friday January 13th, 2012

ANALYSIS: “The Artist” is the Critics’ Choice for Best Movie of 2011

By Sean O’Connell

If the “Critics” have their way this year, the Academy Award will be a silent affair.

That’s because Michel Hazanavicius’ silent, black-and-white “The Artist” has claimed the Best Picture award from the Broadcast Film Critics Association at the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, a relatively accurate predictor of the Oscars. Though the BFCA went with “The Social Network” last year, a movie that went on to lose to “The King’s Speech,” the group usually lines up with the Academy, and I expect that they will in several categories this year, as well.

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Thursday January 12th, 2012

DiCaprio, Clooney and Bob Dylan Confirmed for the Critics’ Choice

By Sean O’Connell

Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman, Sir Ben Kingsley and more have been announced as presenters at Thursday night’s 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which are being held at the Hollywood Palladium and televised live on VH1.

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