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Posts Tagged ‘The Company Men’

Friday March 1st, 2013

Joey Magidson’s Initial Predictions for the 86th Academy Awards in 2014

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

***

Being an Oscar prognosticator for over a half decade now, I’ve developed some odd habits. One of the things that I do that I know makes people question my sanity is posting my Oscar predictions for the another season as soon as the previous one has ended. I like getting a jump on things and actually started organizing contenders for the 2014 show a few months ago, but unless you’re as hardcore a film junkie as me, that’s crazy-talk.

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Wednesday July 27th, 2011

THE GOP GOES TO “TOWN”

As we near the August 2nd deadline by which the United States government must either raise its debt limit or default on its credit for the first time in our nation’s 235-year history, I find it interesting — “disheartening” might be a better word — that leading Republicans are drawing their negotiating strategy from the Ben Affleck film “The Town” (2010)… literally.

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Monday December 6th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 12/6/10

  • The Hollywood Reporter: Stephen Galloway interviews Michael Douglas, a best actor hopeful for “Solitary Man” and a best supporting actor hopeful for “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” about his rollercoaster of a year. The 66-year-old, “looking surprisingly well” and “nothing whatsoever like the haggard figure that graces the National Enquirer and its kin,” tells him, “After all the adversity I’ve had this year with my health and my son’s incarceration, my ex-wife and the lawsuit — to be able to sit here and talk to you, I’m so happy.”
  • New York Times: Dennis Lim chats for 45 minutes with Christian Bale, a best supporting actor hopeful for “The Fighter,” during which Bale restates his aversion to interviews. “There’s only one reason to talk about a movie ahead of time, and that’s to let people know it’s coming out,” Bale says. “I want people to go see movies that I make. If I knew they’d go see them anyway, if I knew that I’d keep working, I’d never do another interview in my life.” Upon being asked about awards campaigning, Bale adds, “I’ll campaign for the movie, but I won’t campaign for myself.”
  • Inside Movies: Adam Markovitz shares a letter that Rooney Mara, a best supporting actress hopeful for “The Social Network,” sent to Entertainment Weekly from the Stockholm, Sweden set of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” In it, the 25-year-old up-and-comer pokes poking fun at the tendency of David Fincher, her director in both of the aforementioned films, to demand dozens of takes from his actors. “It’s -9 degrees Celsius. 37 takes down, only about 42 more to go,” she writes. “Every time he says, ‘Okay, last one,’ I fall for it. Every. Single. Time. If only I could get this damn shrug right, then maybe I could go inside and my nipple ring would have time to thaw out.”
  • Deadline Hollywood: Nikki Finke confirms that The Weinstein Co. has moved the theatrical release date of John Wells’s “The Company Men” from December 10 to January 21, apparently due to December’s overcrowded lineup of big releases. Finke notes, however, that the studio still plans on giving the film an Oscar-qualifying run, meaning that it will play for one week at one theater in New York and one theater in Los Angeles before the end of the year.
  • Celebuzz: Jamie Patricof, one of the producers of “Blue Valentine,” posts a picture of the full-page ad that The Weinstein Co. took out in last Friday’s Los Angeles Times on behalf of the film in advance of the MPAA’s decision on whether or not to reduce its rating of the film from NC-17 to R. The ad reads: “Before the MPAA makes their decision, MAKE YOURS.”

Photo: Michael Douglas in “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Thursday November 4th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/4/10

  • The Rundown: James Rocchi talks with Lane Kneedler, associate director of programming for the AFI Film Festival, about the decision to host the Los Angeles event free of charge throughout its span from Nov. 4 through the 11. Kneedler explained, “From a programming perspective, it was very liberating and encouraging… We found that audiences would go see more challenging films, would take more risks, and were more adventurous in their choices if tickets were free.” The fest kicks off at 7:30pm PST tonight with the world premiere of “Love and Other Drugs.”
  • 24 Frames: Steven Zeitchik believes that studios with politically-themed flicks this year made a calculated decision to wait until after the midterm elections that took place on Tuesday — consider “Fair Game” and “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” (this Friday), “The King’s Speech” (11/26), “The Company Men” (12/10), and “Casino Jack” (12/17) — because “it was better to steer clear of the election traffic than to try to navigate it.” He wonders, however, if “Hollywood might have tapped into a growing interest by coming out earlier.”
  • Rope of Silicon: Bred Brevet monitors the best animated feature film race as it enters its homestretch — the public has already seen “Toy Story 3” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” and will be introduced to DreamWorks’s “Megamind” this weekend and Disney’s “Tangled” over Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The last yet-to-be-released animated contender? Sony Pictures Classics’s “The Illusionist,” which won’t hit theaters until Christmas Day.
  • Movie Line: S.T. VanAirsdale looks over The Weinstein Company’s newly-released poster for “The King’s Speech” and mutters, “Looks like someone needs needs more than just speech therapy.” Why does VanAirsdale feel that it’s “terrible”? He points to incorrect spelling and grammar in the tagline; poor selection and photoshopping of the image; and the absence of any mention of the fact two of the film’s three stars are previous Oscar nominees (Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter) and the other is a previous Oscar winner (Geoffrey Rush).
  • USA Today: Claudia Puig provides her annual list of films and performances that came out prior to the awards season rush but, she feels, “should not be forgotten by Oscar.” Among those name-checked: “Nowhere Boy,” the tale of John Lennon’s teenage years in Liverpool; “The Ghost Writer,” Roman Polanski’s comeback thriller; and best supporting actor long-shot John Hawkes (“Winter’s Bone”), of whom Puig writes, “Of all the year’s performances, his keeps the viewer most on edge and off balance.”
  • WaxWords: Sharon Waxman believes that few of this year’s Oscar contenders have “female characters of any great consequence,” singling out “127 Hours,” “Biutiful,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network,” and “True Grit” as particularly egregious offenders. Waxman’s complaint is off the mark, though: female characters are central to “Biutiful” (Maricel Alvarez’s), “The Fighter” (Amy Adams’s and Melissa Leo’s) and “True Grit” (Hailee Steinfeld’s); are absent from “127 Hours” and “The Social Network” because they were largely absent from the true stories on which those films are based; and are more prevalent in awards films this year than any other in recent memory (no fewer than two dozen are in serious contention for a best actress nod).
  • Awards Tracker: Tom O’Neil warns audiences not to rule out Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” because of its initial lukewarm critical reception, noting that Jerry Zucker’s “Ghost” (1990), another film about the afterlife, was greeted similarly but still managed to snag five Oscar nods (including one for best picture) and win two (best supporting actress for Whoopi Goldberg and best original screenplay). A key difference that Tom neglects to mention, though, is that “Ghost” was a blockbuster (it took second place at the box-office the weekend that it opened and went on to gross over $200 million internationally) whereas “Hereafter” has been a flop (it has been in wide-release for two weeks, and was in limited release before that, but has still earned back only $23 million of its $50 million budget).
  • The Wrap: Jeff Sneider finds that the MPAA — on the heels of issuing surprisingly harsh ratings to “Blue Valentine” (NC-17) and “The King’s Speech” (R) — is at it again, this time slapping James L. Brooks’s upcoming rom-com “How Do You Know” with an unexpected R for “some language.” “Individuals familiar with the project have confirmed that producers are planning to appeal the rating,” Sneider reports, but no official statement has been released yet.
  • The Odds: Steve Pond compliments the unconventional, simplistic creativity of Fox Searchlight’s most recent promotional mailing, two feathers, one black and one white, inside a black envelope sent from a “Nina Sayers” — the name of the character portrayed by Natalie Portman in the upcoming dramatic-thriller “Black Swan.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Gregg Kilday previews the first Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival, which will run from November 13-22 at the Los Angeles Museum of Toleranceopen, and will open with Peter Weir’s “The Way Back,” a film about “a small group prisoners who escaped a Siberian gulag in 1940 and made their way across five countries.” Fellow awards hopeful “Made in Dagenham,” a film inspired by the true story of female factory workers in England who went on strike in the sixties seeking equal pay for equal work, will also play the festival.

Photo: Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in a promotional photo for “Love and Other Drugs.” Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Monday October 25th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 10/25/10

  • Collider: Jeff Ames comments on a report from an Australian Web site that Warner Brothers “has expressed interest in a sequel” to Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” which was released domestically this summer and has earned nearly $811 million internationally. Ames writes, “Nolan clearly enjoyed the experience of making the film and has recently stated plans to develop a video game based on the concept,” but “there really isn’t a logical way to further explore the world” portrayed in the film aside from a prequel — especially after Sir Michael Caine’s spoiler-slip on BBC Radio last month — so it will all depend on Nolan’s personal level of interest.
  • Cinematical: Chris Campbell reviews the history of celebrity narration of documentaries, a phenomenon that he says “has been around since the early days of sound cinema.” Originally, the primary candidate was seen as one who had a “deep and/or distinguished speech easily associated with either the ‘voice of god’ concept of omniscient narration or a kind of informed, journalistic quality.” More recently, however, filmmakers have turned to “subject-appropriate” talent. Matt Damon, for instance, was recruited to narrate “Inside Job” not only because he has a familar voice and character, but because is also “known to have political concerns in an intelligent way,” according to director Charles Ferguson.
  • The Wrap: Steve Pond explains the rules that determine the number of nominees in the best animated feature category — “it requires 16 qualifying films in order to reach a five-film ballot; any less would result in the nominations of only three, as it has in seven out of the nine years of its existence” — and confirms that the Japanese anime film “Summer Warswill be among the 2010 qualifiers, bringing the year’s total to 14, thus far. He notes that there are “enough question marks remaining to conceivably put the 16-film mark within reach,” but with the November 1 paperwork-deadline fast approaching, the number will probably stay at three. (The most likely nominees: “Toy Story 3,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” and “Tangled.”)
  • New York Times: Michael Cieply discusses the long history of American movies that “have helped get the country in gear when the solution to a crisis depends at least in part on new resolve and a boost to the spirits,” but mourns the fact that present-day filmmakers have been comparably slow to offer the same sort of cinematic salve. “They have been quick enough to spot Wall Street gone awry,” he writes, but “have offered little in the way of solace for Main Street… mostly, Hollywood has offered escape into fantasies.” He singles out John Wells’s upcoming “The Company Men” as an exception, noting that the film celebrates “a resilience in the American character.”
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells fears that Anne Hathaway may be denied a best actress nod for “Love and Other Drugs” because of “one of the oldest award-season prejudices” — namely, a strong distaste for romantic-comedies and people who are a part of them. Jeff scans the blogosphere and finds that “awards handicappers aren’t biting” — he cites Scott as one of just two who currently have her listed as a serious contender — but the truth is that many prognosticators simply haven’t yet seen her film.
  • Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson questions the awards potential of Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” an adaptation of a hit Broadway play that boasts an all-star cast of black women. “If you’re serious about an Oscar campaign,” she writes, “you don’t hesitate to show your movie.” Thus far, the film has only been screened for Hollywood’s trade papers, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter — both of which trashed it in their reviews — leading Thompson to believe that Lionsgate’s awards campaign for the film may just be the studio’s way of “making nice to a favorite house director” who has made them a ton of money over the years.
  • New York Times: Dexter Filkins reports that Joao Silva, 44, one of the four original members of “The Bang Bang Club” — a group of war-zone photographers chronicled in an upcoming film of that same name — and one of only two still alive, was severely wounded on Saturday after stepping on a land mine in southern Afghanistan, where he was on assignment for the Times. (Meanwhile, Greg Marinovich, the club’s only other surviving member, pays tribute to “my best friend and soul brother” in a post on his Web site.)
  • Awards Daily: Sasha Stone observes that latest sort of “clever marketing” that some studios are doing on behalf of their awards hopefuls is creating Web sites that use a memorable quotes from a film as a URL and iconic images from it as a welcome page  — for instance, Columbia’s for “The Social Network” (http://www.youknowwhatscool.com/) and Fox Searchlight’s for “Black Swan” (http://www.ijustwanttobeperfect.com/). As Stone notes, it’s “a fairly low-tech way of [potentially] getting the film and its themes to go viral.”
  • Moviefone: Erik Childress scans the list of best actor contenders and concludes that Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), James Franco (“127 Hours”), and Robert Duvall (“Get Low”) are all “locks.” He then makes his way through the numerous options for the category’s other two slots, before arriving at the realization that all of his efforts might prove irrelevant if Paramount decides to campaign for Christian Bale (who is really Mark Wahlberg’s co-lead in “The Fighter”) in the best actor — rather than best supporting actor — category.
  • Political Ticker…: Former spy Valerie Plame Wilson and former ambassador Joseph Wilson, the married couple who are portrayed by Naomi Watts and Sean Penn in Doug Liman’s “Fair Game,” stopped by CNN’s “The Situation Room” on Friday for a lengthy segment with host Wolf Blitzer to promote the film.
  • New York Magazine: Kevin Gray sits down with Valerie Plame Wilson, the former spy, and Naomi Watts, the actress who portrays her in “Fair Game.” His objective was ostensibly to interview the two women, who have become friends, but they wind up largely chatting with each other about similar challenges that they have faced in their careers, marriages, dealing with the media, and more.
  • The Film Experience: Nathaniel Rogers marks the 93rd birthday of 1941 best actress Oscar winner Joan Fontaine (“Suspicion”) by listing the 50 oldest living Oscar nominees, noting, “We want the following to know that their past accomplishments are acknowledged by new generations.” (Scott tells me has interviewed 11 of them for his in-progress book about old movies for young people, including the oldest, 100-year-old 1936 and 1937 best actress Oscar winner Luise Rainer (“The Great Ziegfeld” and “The Good Earth,” respectively).
Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Nolan on the set of “Inception.” Credit: Warner Brothers.

Thursday October 14th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 10/14/10

  • Variety: Andrew Stewart notes that Julian Schnabel’s “Miral” isn’t the only film from The Weinstein Company with a release date change this week. According to the studio, Ben Affleck’s “The Company Men” has also been pushed back — but, unlike “Miral,” not out of this year’s race — from October 22 to December 10. No reason for the move was provided.
  • Deadline Hollywood: Nikki Finke passes along the Academy’s announcement that it has chosen eight short subject documentaries (from a list of thirty that were eligible) for its short list of contenders for a 2011 Academy Award, three to five of which will receive actual nominations and one of which will take home a statuette.
  • New York Times: Maureen Dowd calls “Fair Game” — the story of Valerie Plame Wilson (Naomi Watts) and Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) — “a vivid reminder of one of the most egregious abuses of power in history,” noting, “They were the Girl and Boy Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and we should all remember what flew out.”
  • The Film Experience: Nathaniel Rogers spots the fun stat that Jesse Eisenberg would bump Matt Damon off the list of the top 10 youngest nominees for the best actor Oscar if — as he is widely expected to — he receives a best actor nomination for “The Social Network.” Eisenberg would be 27 years old, as was Damon when he was nominated for “Good Will Hunting” (1997), but 14 days younger.
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells writes that Rosamund Pike “easily gives the most arresting performance” in both “Made in Dagenham” and “Barney’s World,” portraying “elegant, well-educated wives of character and principle” in both, and urges Academy members to look beyond those films’ flaws and nominate one of her performances for best supporting actress. (Scott agrees.)
  • The Washington Post: Tim Craig and Bull Turque report that Michelle Rhee, the no-nonsense chancellor of Washington, D.C. public schools (who is featured prominently in Davis Guggenheim’s doc “Waiting for ‘Superman’”), has resigned from her post after 3.5 years. The city’s “presumptive mayor-elect” (who, in a recent primary, ousted the mayor who appointed Rhee) said it was a “mutual decision” to part ways, but Rhee described it as “heartbreaking.”
  • The Wrap: Steve Pond reports that Bruce Davis, the Academy’s executive director and “highest-ranking salaried employee,” will be retiring after 30 years spent overseeing some of the most monumental shifts within AMPAS. In an email to his staff, Davis wrote, “Organizations and individuals both benefit from periodic shifts in perspective.”
  • The Playlist: Oli Lyttelton believes there are “plenty of viral Internet comedy shows out there competing for your procrastination time,” but “none of them have managed to be as consistently funny and generally excellent” as Zach Galifianakis’s “Between Two Ferns” on the Funny or Die site. In the latest installment, Galifianakis sits down with “Red” star Bruce Willis, and hilarity quickly ensues.

Photo: Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Affleck in “The Company Men.” Credit: The Weinstein Company.

Monday October 4th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 10/4/10

  • Deadline Hollywood: Nikki Finke reports that “The Social Network” made $23 million over the course of its opening weekend, topping the box-office but failing to meet some insiders’ expectations of a $25 million cume. (“Too bad those Harvard pretenders in the pic didn’t have more sex or dress better,” she writes.) Also opening this weekend was “Let Me In,” which earned a disappointing $5 million.
  • Los Angeles Times: Ben Fritz notes that “The Town” brought in about the same amount of money as “The Social Network” over its opening weekend and has stayed strong at the box-office over the three weeks since thanks to strong word-of-mouth. If the newer film follows the same trajectory it would easily make back its $40 million budget (plus marketing expenses). The fear, however, is that it could be “a hype-driven, one-weekend phenomenon in large cities that fails to ignite much conversation interest nationwide.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit gathered reactions after the first official Academy screening of “The Social Network” on Saturday night — which was attended by actor Robert Forster, actress Angie Dickinson, and hundreds of others voters “playing on the back nine of life” — and report that “the dreaded generational split was not in evidence,” as the response to the film was overwhelmingly favorable.
  • New York Times: Miguel Helft learns that “much of the staff from Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto” took a company field trip on Friday, renting out two theaters at the local movie theater to see “The Social Network.” (“Word is that Mark Zuckerberg was planning to be there, even though he had told The New Yorker that he was not planning to see it.”) Company spokesman Larry Yu issued a statement confirming the outing and explaining, “To celebrate a period of intense activity at Facebook, we decided to go to the movies. We thought this particular movie might be amusing.”
  • PopWatch: Adam Markovitz learns that “Black Swan” actress Natalie Portman, who attended Harvard University at the same time as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and dated a member of one of its secretive final clubs, got in touch with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin when she first heard he was penning the “The Social Network” and provided him with some “really helpful” information. In return, Sorkin included a tongue-in-cheek reference to Portman in the film: Eduardo Saverin says that Zuckerberg was “the biggest thing on a campus that included 19 Nobel Laureates, 15 Pulitzer Prize winners, two future Olympians, and a movie star,” prompting a curious lawyer to ask who the movie star was, to which Divya Narendra, one of the litigants, responds, “Does it matter?”
  • Cinema Blend: Eric Eisenberg catches another inside joke in “The Social Network“: the name on the fake Facebook page that Mark Zuckerberg creates in order to cheat on his art history final is “Tyler Durden,” which also happens to be the name of the character that Brad Pitt plays in “Fight Club” (1999), another film directed by David Fincher.
  • The Huffington Post: Jose Antonio Vargas, who has interviewed Mark Zuckerberg on numerous occasions, most recently for a profile in The New Yorker, speaks up on behalf of the Facebook CEO and calls “The Social Network” “a simplistic take on a complex character masquerading as an important film.”
  • Cinema Blend: Eric Eisenberg, Katey Rich, and Josh Tyler argue that “The Social Network” actors Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake should — and will — each receive an Oscar nomination for their work in the film. (One could make the argument that Armie Hammer should be included in that group, as well.)
  • Vulture: Lane Brown comes up with a humorous list of 10 ways in which Harvey Weinstein, the co-chief of The Weinstein Company and chief proponent of this year’s “The King’s Speech,” could sabotage that film’s primary rival for the best picture Oscar, “The Social Network,” over the course of the coming awards season. The funniest suggestion: unleashing “the Mo’Nique” on Jesse Eisenberg.
  • USA Today: Erika D. Smith catches up with Mark S. Zuckerberg, a 48-year-old bankruptcy lawyer of no relation to the Facebook founder with whom he shares a first and last name, who is struggling to hold on to his identity now that “The Social Network” has made Mark Zuckerberg a household name, and who “swears” the social networking site ruined his marriage.
  • Pop Eater: Rebecca Macatee speaks with the real Cameron Winklevoss, who is played in “The Social Network” by Armie Hammer, and who — unlike Mark Zuckerberg — saw the film and supports it. “I think David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin did a great job getting their facts right,” he says. “We’ve all definitely moved on with our lives. But it’s something that gets to me still.” He adds, “I’m actually developing a new project as we speak. I’d tell you about it but, you know, I don’t want to get Zuckerberged and have someone run off with my idea.”
  • Showbiz 411: Roger Friedman, in questionable taste, discusses rumors about the family of awards hopeful Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right” and “Mother and Child“) that might explain her absence from much of this year’s awards circuit, thus far.
  • Awards Daily: Sasha Stone profiles 10 “relative unknowns” who “have a chance to be this year’s big breakout stars” as the awards season progresses: actress Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone“), actor Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network“), actor Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network“), co-writer/director Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone“), co-writer/director Lisa Cholodenko (“The Kids Are All Right“), director Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine“), actress Lesley Manville (“Another Year“), Frankie McLaren (“Hereafter“), and Cecile De France (“Hereafter“). The most glaring omission: Chloe Moretz (“Let Me In“), who Scott interviewed last week.
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Matt Belloni wonders if best picture winner “Crash” (2005) might be “the most litigated movie in Hollywood history” now that actor Matt Dillon has joined a long list of people associated with the production who have sued executive producer Bob Yari, alleging that they were cheated out of payment.
  • Deadline New York: Mike Fleming reports that Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts have signed on to appear in a big screen adaptation of Tracy Letts‘s Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play “August: Osage County” that will be directed by John Wells, whose “The Company Men” will be out later this month.

Photo: Rooney Mara in “The Social Network.” Credit: Colubmia.

    Sunday September 12th, 2010

    INTERVIEW: CHRIS COOPER GOES TO “TOWN” IN AFFLECK’S NEW FILM

    By John H. Foote, ScottFeinberg.com contributor

    Chris Cooper might be our finest character actor… yet he spent his early adult years working on a ranch. After graduating college with double majors in agriculture and drama, he and his family worked the ranch — hard work — but he always knew he was going to give acting a try one day. When the economic meltdown of the seventies hit and devastated the farming industry, he packed up and headed for New York, where his work in regional theater eventually led to even better gigs.

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