As the legendary Judi Dench nears her 80th birthday, she is enjoying as great a third act as any actor ever has. In January, for her performance as a mother searching for her long-lost child in Stephen Frears‘ Philomena (which is based on the true story of Philomena Lee), she landed her seventh Oscar nomination; all of them, including her best supporting actress win for just eight minutes of work in Shakespeare in Love, have come in the past 16 years, since she turned 63.
Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Frears’
I recently had an opportunity to chat for about 20 minutes with Jeremy Thomas, the 62-year- old British producer who won the best picture Oscar for The Last Emperor(1987) 24 years ago and hopes to be back in the running for it again this year for A Dangerous Method, his third collaboration with director David Cronenberg.
- NPR: Terry Gross spends 37 minutes of “Fresh Air” discussing “Toy Story 3” (which will be released on DVD on November 2), much of it with the film’s director Lee Unkrich, who has worked at Pixar since 1994, and screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won the best original screenplay Oscar for “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006). “We wanted to treat this third film like the completion of a saga, as if we had been telling one grand story of the course of the three films,” Unkrich tells her, so “it was vital to have Andy grown up and be at that transition where the toys were no longer being needed or wanted or loved.”
- Deadline Hollywood: Pete Hammond writes up what many of us have been hearing off-the-record for weeks and what Scott indicated on his most recent projections chart — namely, that the ailing Michael Douglas, who won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” (1987), will probably be pushed by 20th Century Fox for best supporting actor Oscar for his reprisal of the character in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” The studio is “heavily leaning” towards the shift because, despite being top-billed and the perceived star of the film, Douglas has much less screen time than his co-star Shia LaBeouf; Anchor Bay is already pushing him in the lead category for “Solitary Man“; and he himself “feels that Gekko is really a supporting role this time around.”
- Gold Derby: Tom O’Neil believes that Disney’s awards season campaign for “Alice in Wonderland” will include a push for Johnny Depp’s performance as the Mad Hatter. Though comedic roles of this sort rarely register during the awards season, O’Neil thinks that it stands a strong shot at a Golden Globes nod in the category of best actor in a musical or comedy, and could even snag an Oscar nod if the studio can then pivot and convince Academy members that (a) it actually belongs in the supporting category, and (b) they owe Depp, whom they have nominated three times but never made a winner.
- New York Post: Lou Lumenick learns that Disney has decided to indefinitely delay the release of John Madden’s “The Debt,” a remake of an Israeli film about Mossad agents (Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington) that was to hit theaters on December 29, just in time to qualify for awards consideration. Now, it — like Julian Schnabel’s “Miral,” which The Weinstein Company recently delayed, as well — will be lucky just to get a token release sometime next year.
- USA Today: Anthony Breznican interviews 13-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, who will soon be seen as “a pigtailed, angel-faced frontier girl who recruits Jeff Bridges’ one-eyed bounty hunter for bloody vengeance” in Ethan Coen and Joel Coen‘s “True Grit,” which also stars Josh Brolin and Matt Damon. “I actually started what I called the Bad Boy Jar,” Steinfeld says. “If they were to curse, they had to pay… they did that pretty often… the f-word was $5 and every other word was $1… they would say the f-word, and then realize they’d said it, and then they would say the s-word. So I’d be like, ‘OK, that’s $6!’” Steinfeld, however, was charged 50 cents every time she said the word “like.”
- New York Times: Michael Cieply believes that “truly memorable” lines of dialogue, which “were everywhere as recently as the 1990s,” are sorely lacking in recent films. This, I’m sorry to say, is nonsense — Daniel Day-Lewis’s “I drink your milkshake” from “There Will Be Blood” (2007) and Christoph Waltz’s “That’s a bingo!” from “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), which he only passingly acknowledges, are instant classics, as are — per Scott — Paul Giamatti’s “I am not drinking any fucking Merlot!” from “Sideways” (2004), Javier Bardem’s “What business is it of yours where I’m from, friendo?” from “No Country for Old Men” (2007), Rainn Wilson’s “That ain’t no etch-a-sketch; this is one doodle that can’t be un-did, homeskillet” from “Juno” (2007), and George Clooney’s “How much does your life weigh?” and/or “Anybody who ever built an empire…” from “Up in the Air” (2009), to name just a few.
- FX Guide: Mike Seymour speaks with Edson Williams, the visual effects supervisor at Lola (a firm that is “arguably the world’s leader in human face and body manipulation”), to learn how Williams’s team was able to convincingly make the face of one actor (Armie Hammer) appear on the tops of two bodies (Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss) in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also explains the differences between the technology employed for this film and for Fincher’s previous film, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (2008).
- The Envelope: Ben Fritz analyzes the box-office receipts of Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” and Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction,” both of which opened in limited release last weekend, and finds that “moviegoers preferred a tale of the afterlife over one about a man saved from it” by a more than 2-to-1 margin ($231,000 to $110,000 margin) even though the former played in just six theaters while the latter played in 11.
- Movie Crazy: Leonard Maltin interviews the jaw-droppingly beautiful 24-year-old British actress Gemma Arterton about her latest film, Stephen Frears’s “Tamara Drewe,” for which many believe she might score a Golden Globes nod for best actress in a musical or comedy, if not a best actress Oscar nod itself. Though you may not have seen Arterton in that film yet, chances are you saw her as a Bond girl opposite Daniel Craig in the franchise’s most recent installment, “Quantum of Solace” (2008). It turns out she’s got the chops to match the looks!
Photo: A scene from “Toy Story 3.” Credit: Pixar.