The Golden Globes are one of the biggest film and television awards in the world. Winning an award from them will almost always top the C.V.s of anyone involved in film. 2012 has been one of the best years in film for a long time, with many films being deemed 'instant classics'. Although, of course, that's said every year, with just a quick glance at the calibre of performances, narrative and cinematography this year it's easy to see why it's being said.
2012's nominations were revealed today with few surprises. The favourites during speculation included Argo, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty and The Master, and they haven't failed to impress in the Globes' nominations. Lincoln's set to be a big winner with seven nominations, while Argo has 5 nominations, Zero Dark Thirty has 4 and The Master has 3. All four, except The Master, are also in the running for Best Motion Picture, competing alongside Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Quentin Tarantino's re-envisioning of a slave narrative, Django Unchained.
Tarantino's film received 5 nominations, which included two in the category for Best Supporting Performance by an Actor, for Christoph Waltz and Leonardo Dicaprio, which proves to us that it's more than worth the watch. Best Director nominations mirrors the Best Motion Picture, and include Ben Affleck (Argo), Stephen Spielberg (Lincoln), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), which is no surprise really.
Continue reading: The Golden Globes Nominations, No Surprises For A Great Year Of Film
The Sessions, an indie-drama about a paralyzed poet who hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity, is creating quite a buzz as awards' season approaches. The movie, directed by Ben Lewin and starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes, hits theaters in the U.S. this weekend and has received rave reviews.
The movie holds a quite stunning 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 53 reviews from some of the most revered critics in the business. Writing in the New York Times, Stephen Holden said, "The Sessions is a pleasant shock: a touching, profoundly sex-positive film that equates sex with intimacy, tenderness and emotional connection instead of performance, competition and conquest." Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times praised the movie for tackling its subject matter, writing, "In a country that embraces cinematic violence with such ease but blushingly prefers to keep sex in the shadows or under the sheets, the grown-up approach of "The Sessions" is rare." Bookmakers don't fancy the movie's chances to land Best Picture at the Oscar, though we see the current 14/1 odds as a real steal. As with 'The Artist' last year, word-of-mouth can really enhance a movie's chances heading into the Golden Globes and the Oscars, and the Academy has favoured indie movies in recent years. If you're of the opinion that 'Best Picture' is a bridge-too-far for 'The Sessions', you could do worse than backing Hawkes for Best Actor. He's currently the second favourite (behind Daniel Day Lewis) for the gong, and recently discussed his chances with Just Press Play.com , saying, ".who knows what will happen? The buzz, the talk, in a way makes me nervous to think about it, the Oscar evening, and the events leading up to it. But, it brings more people to the movie and that makes me really happy."
So, why not eschew the latest Paranormal Activity movie this weekend and go see The Sessions?
Fringe director Ben Lewis' newest work, The Sessions has sparked a buzz among film crowds. Not only does it feature some of the top names in Hollywood - Helen Hunt and John Hawkes - but the premise is more than enough to spark moviegoers' interest. The film centers around the relationship between writer and polio survivor Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes) and his sex therapist, played by Helen Hunt. As the storyline unfolds, the relationship between therapist and patient develops into more than a strictly professional affair.
The film is based on a real-life story and deals with some heavy subjects like long-term illness, relationships and intimacy. Somewhat surprisingly, though, The Sessions is marketed as a comedy and Lewis himself says that he aimed to bring humour to something that could have turned into a very depressing story.
"There are always those early moments where the audience kind of gets the cue, "OK you have permission to laugh," Lewis has said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. His own experience with polio and paralysis is bound to bring some realism to the plot, as well as hopefully a few laughs in the right places. Whether or not he succeeded still remains to be seen, but the film has been generating early Oscar buzz. This seems like a very different process from Lewis' previous works, not least of all in terms of the marketing, which has been much heavier for The Sessions, than any of the director's other films. It looks like this may well be the flick which turns Lewis from a fringe filmmaker into a mainstream success.
It's only right that a film about a dog named Sparky being brought back to life by his school-boy owner, firstly, be the creation of king of Halloween Tim Burton, and secondly that it be the first spark of hopefully many to set the BFI Film festival ablaze in filmic glory. Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie' opened the festival in London today (Oct 10th 2012), not far from where the film was created in the east of the city.
The festival has been running for over fifty years and is a celebration of the world's most creative, inspiring and enjoyable films. Every year the festival is divided into categories, that differ year on year. For 2012 the assemblages are “Love, Laugh, Cult, Thrill and Debate.”
The festival will close with a new version of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations', adapted by Mike Newells. There will be a whole host of other premières including 'Hyde Park on Hudson' (a comedy about Franklin D. Roosevelt, starring Bill Murray), Ben Affleck's thriller 'Argo' and 'The Sessions' starring Helen Hunt and John Hawkes.
Continue reading: Frankenweenie Brings The BFI Film Festival 2012 To Life
'Lincoln' will show the last four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life as he campaigned for freedom before he was tragically assassinated in 1865. It will reveal in detail the extent of his conflict with various members of the cabinet over his decision to abolish the slave trade towards the end of the American Civil War. His very close success in the House of Representatives over the proposition of the Thirteenth Amendment which outlawed slavery is portrayed as one of the most crucial steps in his work against the trade. The last months of his life also saw him fail to negotiate an end to the War and saw the Union's ultimate victory.
This drama-fuelled biopic is the important story of one of the most influential and inspiring presidents of the United States that have ever been in office. It has been based on some of the biography 'Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln' by Doris Kearns Goodwin with an adapted screenplay by Oscar nominee Tony Kushner ('Munich') and the directing genius of the legendary Steven Spielberg ('Jaws', 'E.T.', 'Jurassic Park', 'Schindler's List', 'War of the Worlds') who wanted to show Lincoln 'at work' and not just 'posing for the history books'. Spielberg has described the former president as 'arguably the greatest working President in American history'. The movie is set for release in the UK on January 25th 2013.
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones , Michael Stuhlbarg, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Lee Pace, Sally Field, James Spader, Julie White, John Hawkes, David Strathairn, Bruce McGill, Hal Holbrook and Adam Driver.
When Beth Emhoff returns home after visiting an opening ceremony for a new factory, she complains of jet lag and her husband, Thomas Emhoff, thinks nothing of it. He becomes concerned when she falls ill, even more so when she has a seizure in front of him and has to be rushed to hospital. It comes as a shock to Thomas when she dies; her cause of death: a highly contagious and rapidly mutating bird flu virus that spreads via human contact. The virus is spreading so fast there is no vaccine or cure for it.
Continue: Contagion Trailer
John Hawkes, Independent Spirit Awards and Spirit Awards - John Hawkes and Dale Dickey Los Angeles, California - The 2011 Film Independent Spirit awards held at Santa Monica Beach - Press Room Saturday 26th February 2011
John Hawkes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver and Lesley Manville - John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld and Jacki Weaver Sanata Barbara, California - Attend The Vituosos Awards held at the Lobero Theatre Friday 4th February 2011
An idea man, you see.
Continue reading: The Amateurs Review
Wristcutters: A Love Story takes place in a barren landscape littered with the detritus of consumer culture, where the unsmiling populace eat grayish junk food, hang around dingy bars and dilapidated apartments, and listen to audio cassettes of Joy Division and Gram Parsons. Welcome to Purgatory, a drab and monotonous dead zone, appearing like a cross between the Mojave Desert and Trenton, New Jersey. This is the depository of all the unhappy folk who have offed themselves in life and are now in limbo, not quite dead but certainly no longer among the living. Dukic tells the tale in a literally deadpan style road movie, resembling a George Romeo version of The Wizard of Oz, filtered through a sardonic sensibility; a quieter, gentler version of the Dylan song "Ain't Talkin'" or Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
Continue reading: Wristcutters: A Love Story Review
All that's needed is a guy getting hit in the nuts and a food fight to have the first film solely based on cinematic clichés. I can't wait to see the deleted scenes when it comes out on DVD.
Continue reading: Hardball Review
After spending 90 minutes in a screening during which the highlight was a print that caught on fire and melted halfway through the performance, I'm not terribly closer to knowing myself.
Continue reading: Identity Review
Making up the odd little microcosm of Me and You (recently chosen for competition at Cannes) are characters ranging in size, color, age and desires. Christine (July), a woman who chauffeurs the elderly around in her car, longs for two things: her own art installation and the affections of a scruffy shoe salesman named Richard (John Hawkes, of HBO's Deadwood). Richard is nursing a broken heart and a bit of self-flagellation since separating with his wife and moving his mixed race sons (Miles Thompson and amazing six-year-old Brandon Ratcliff) into a tiny apartment.
Continue reading: Me And You And Everyone We Know Review
Evie Decker (Lili Taylor) lives with her sedentary and semi-senile father (Tom Bower) in a modest house on an uneventful street (shot around Austin, Texas) and works in a demeaning job at a rundown amusement park. Her moment of magic comes when, on a radio interview, the voice of struggling musician Drumstrings Casey (the cheeky faced Guy Pearce) says things that the interviewer has no possibility of relating to but with which Evie is in perfect harmony. He has plucked the right chord on her heartstrings and she wastes no time getting down to see him perform at the roadhouse with her closest friend, Violet (Sara Rue).
Continue reading: A Slipping-Down Life Review
Like a mini-"Short Cuts," the story follows severallost and lonely characters as they cross paths in funny, sad and sometimesdisturbing ways. A six year-old boy chats on an internet sex site, a manlights his hand on fire and a woman practically throws herself at him,not comprehending how dangerous or unhinged he may be. Yet none of thissets off any alarm bells, thanks to July's wide-eyed dreaminess and eternalhope.
A former performance artist and video maker, her featuredebut plays both with memorable visuals and lovingly written words. Fromthe opening sequence -- in which she records two voices for a potentialvideo art piece -- she raises our hopes and manages to keep them there.
July plays Christine, a video artist who falls for Richard(John Hawkes), a newly divorced father of two boys, one a teenager andthe other only six. Christine also drives an Elder Cab and becomes involvedwith some of her aged clients. Otherwise, we meet a couple of teenage girlsexperimenting with sex, Richard's African-American ex-wife, who alreadyhas a new boyfriend, and a lonely art museum curator.
Continue reading: Me & You & Everyone We Know Review
Surprisingly, the redemption-by-baseball picture "Hardball" is not some warm-fuzzy "Bad News Bears" clone transplanted to the projects. It's considerably better than that.
Yes, it is about a drunk, gambling-addicted ticket scalper who spitefully agrees to coach a ghetto little league team for $500 a week to pay off a two angry bookies. Yes, the scalper is played by the historically vacuous Keanu Reeves, and yes, he's going to learn What's Really Important In Life from endearingly foul-mouthed street kids who live cautionary-tale type lives of inner city strife.
But as fast as "Hardball" sets up such eye-rolling clichés, director Brian Robbins knocks them down. There are no inspirational montages of the squad pulling together and honing their skills. The well-financed rival team? Present and accounted for, but not a major subplot. Ditto for the schoolteacher romantic interest (Diane Lane) and the headstrong tenement mom whose respect Reeves must earn.
Continue reading: Hardball Review
"Identity" is supposed to be a psychological thriller with a shocking twist, so I'll try to not give much away in this review. But I don't know why I should bother since the film is carpeted wall-to-wall with such blatant clues that even before the opening title sequence draws to a close, it's put all its cards on the table.
In that sequence, a legal-defense shrink pours over a montage of newspaper clippings and police files about a schizophrenic serial killer who may have witnessed his parents' murder as a child. The killer is scheduled for execution the next day, and the doc (Alfred Molina) is working on an 11th-hour appeal.
Director James Mangold ("Kate & Leopold, " "Girl Interrupted") cuts back to this story from time to time as a midnight sanity hearing is held for the heavily drugged convict. But for reasons I won't divulge here, 95 percent of the picture takes place at a remote Nevada strip motel where 10 strangers (including a washed-up actress, bickering newlyweds and a family that had been in a bad car accident) have been stranded by a flash-flood rainstorm -- and one by one they're turning up gruesomely slain.
Continue reading: Identity Review
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