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Oscar Film Season: Movie Watching Checklist

November 21, 2014

Jack O’Connell in UNBROKEN (photo courtesy of Universal Pictures. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

If you’re anything like me, you make a point to watch as many “Oscar films” as possible before the February ceremony. To help me with this, I assemble a checklist of sorts every fall, ordering each film by release date. To that end, listed below are some of this year’s biggest prospects that are either currently in theatres or set to be released in the upcoming weeks. In the event that I’ve seen one of the films listed, I included my rating out of 10.

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Anatomy of a Short Film: Launching a Social Media Campaign

November 7, 2014

My latest entry in the “Anatomy of a Short Film” section of this blog is all about kicking off a social media campaign. This week, my partners and I launched the Facebook and Twitter accounts for our next short film, “In-Kind.” (Read more about our progress throughout all phases of production in “Anatomy of a Short Film.”)

Check out our film on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to like and follow for regular updates about our progress and for great and easy tips on how you can be kind to others every day (a core theme of the film).

Official Trailer: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper Reunite in SERENA

October 29, 2014

 

Directed by Oscar-winning Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier (In a Better World, 2010), Serena reunites Silver Linings Playbook players Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.

Synopsis: North Carolina mountains at the end of the 1920s–George (Cooper) and Serena Pemberton (Lawrence), love-struck newly-weds, begin to build a timber empire. Serena soon proves herself to be equal to any man: overseeing loggers, hunting rattle snakes, even saving a man’s life in the wilderness. With power and influence now in their hands, the Pembertons refuse to let anyone stand in the way of their inflated love and ambitions. However, once Serena discovers George’s hidden past and faces an unchangeable fate of her own, the Pembertons’ passionate marriage begins to unravel, leading toward a dramatic reckoning.

Magnolia Pictures will release Serena on iTunes and VOD on February 26, and in theatres on March 27.

 

BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Independent Film Award Nominations

October 23, 2014

Ellar Coltrane in BOYHOOD

This morning, the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) announced the nominees for its 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards, honoring the best in independent cinema. The Gothams are regarded as the first major award show of the awards season. Richard Linklater’s 12-year odyssey, Boyhood, leads the pack with four nominations, including Best Feature.

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New York Film Festival Review: Foxcatcher

October 13, 2014

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell in FOXCATCHER

Series: Main Slate

Haunting. There’s perhaps no better word to describe the true story of DuPont chemicals heir John E. du Pont and his curious relationship with Olympic champion wrestlers, brothers Mark and David Schultz. In filmmaker Bennett Miller’s third feature, Steve Carell plays against type (superbly) to embody the eccentric—if not mildly psychopathic—du Pont in this 1980s-set true story. To call Foxcatchera “sports movie” is providing it a disservice. Yes, wrestling provides more than just a backdrop for the narrative, but the most compelling aspect of the two-hour-plus drama is the character study it provides, especially among the three leads. These include du Pont, a man who’s perhaps never heard the word no in his life, striving to gain his mother’s approval; Mark (Channing Tatum), a man, who despite his champion status, struggles to step out of his older brother’s shadow; and David (Mark Ruffalo), a family man who must balance what’s best for his wife and children with his brotherly duties.

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New York Film Festival Review: Citizenfour

October 13, 2014

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Edward Snowden and reporter Glenn Greenwald in CITIZENFOUR

Series: Special Presentation (World Premiere)

Who would have thought the year’s greatest thriller would be a documentary? In the days following Citizenfour’s world premiere at the New York Film Festival last Friday, various news and entertainment outlets have been lauding filmmaker Laura Poitras’s achievement, and rightfully so. Of all the films this reviewer screened at the 52nd New York Film Festival, none has left an impact quite as deep as Citizenfour.

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New York Film Festival Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

October 12, 2014

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart in CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

Series: Main Slate (US Premiere)

Set in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, veteran actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) prepares to star in the revival of a play that made her famous many years earlier. The role that catapulted her into stardom, that of Sigrid, a savvy vixen who engages in a power struggle with her older boss, Helena, will be played by troubled “it girl” Jo-Ann Ellis (a mesmerizing Chloë Grace Moretz). Enders will be taking on the role of Helena, one that she is not mentally prepared to play. With the help of her loyal assistant, Valentine (Kristen Stewart), Maria reluctantly faces the challenge head on, and in the process must come to grips with themes of aging—both in terms of the play and in her own life.

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