Few filmmakers are as easily identifiable as Wes Anderson in terms of knowing their work when you see it. For some, he’s a constantly quirky delight, while for other’s his films are a struggle to sit through. I find myself usually somewhere in the middle, and that’s again where I find myself with his latest flick ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. As visually stimulating as anything he’s done, but as indifferently plotted, this is a perfect example of how Anderson the director and Anderson the writer (or co-writer, to be more precise) are pretty much two different people. For all the obvious care that he puts in behind the lens, he seems to just be writing for the sake of it, not really caring what the movie is going to actually be about, so long as it looks good. This is the core of my issues with Anderson. Now, he’s got a surprisingly compelling young love story at the center, but not enough time is spent there, leaving us instead with an A list supporting cast with too little to do, even if they all turn in good performances. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are both rather great and the film is at its best when they’re on the screen. Sadly, that’s not as often as it should be. Still this might be Anderson’s easiest film to digest in quite some time. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns into a surprisingly big hit and makes a play for a Best Picture nomination. I wouldn’t necessarily support it, but I can see it happening if a perfect storm of sorts occurs.
Read more on Moonrise Kingdom (**½)…
Categories: Film Reviews
Tags: Bill Murray
, Bob Balaban
, Bruce Willis
, edward norton
, Frances McDormand
, harvey keitel
, jared gilman
, jason schwartzman
, kara hayward
, Moonrise Kingdom
, Oscar hopeful
, Tilda Swinton
, Wes Anderson
Actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley continues to explore love in a very unique way with the romantic drama ‘Take This Waltz’, a tremendously acted and emotionally wrenching film that’s about much more than initially meets the eye. Michelle Williams again is doing excellent work in the lead role, and Seth Rogen is as good as he’s ever been (and far more serious than ever as well) as her husband, while the supporting cast shines as well. Polley herself continues to grow as a director in all sorts of ways, and if her screenplay occasionally doesn’t seem to be on the same level as everything else, it only prevents the movie from reaching the heights of being an incredible flick, settling instead of just being excellent instead. It’s a bit slowly paced and might be too mellow at times for some, but there are rewards to be found if you give it a chance. The film opens at the end of June, and it’s a welcome respite from what likely will be yet another summer filled with pointless explosions, car chases, and a general lack of intelligence (hopefully excluding the likes of certain titles like ‘Prometheus’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, and a few others if all goes well). This is one definitely not to miss, as it’s among the finest titles of 2012 so far.
Read more on Take This Waltz (***½)…
On Sunday, Michael Haneke won the Palme d’Or (the highest prize awarded at The Cannes Film Festival) for his new film, Amour, making it the second time he has won the coveted award in his career. Amour was one of the best received and reviewed films of the fest, and tells the story of an elderly couple struggling after one of them suffers a stroke.
The film is thought by many to be an early favorite for the Foreign Language Oscar, but first it has to be the official selection of its country (France), and then it has to get around that fickle Foreign Language committee that Oscar has struggled with in recent years.
Check out the wonderful pair of flip-side posters that give us a chance to see each lover through the others perspective after the jump…
Read more on Two Reflective Posters for Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’…
That’s right folks, The Avengers is out of the top spot this weekend after Men in Black 3 raked in over $55 million (domestically) to dethrone the former champ. MiB3 took in an additional $132 million overseas, and is well towards earning back its massive $230 million budget (read Michael’s 2-star review of the film here). But fans of The Avengers need not worry, as their film still brought in another $37 million, passing the ridiculous $500 million mark in 23 days, breaking yet another record (it took Avatar 32 days to get to $500 mil). Battleship (10.8 mil), The Dictator (9.6 mil), and Chernobyl Diaries (8.0 mil) took what scraps were left by these two juggernauts to finish 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively this Memorial Day weekend.
Read more on Box Office Report: There’s a New Sheriff in Town…
Now that the Cannes Film Festival has come to a close, we can take a breath and look at just how the films that played In Competition at the fest were received. Screen Daily came up with a handy graph that you can see in full after the jump, but keep in mind…this isn’t the be all/end all in terms of how the flicks did. A lot of films have a higher average on the chart than the actual reviews would suggest, so simply remember this is a small gathering of critics. Just something to chew on as you take a gander at it. Anyhow, give it a look and see what you think…
Read more on Here’s a chart of how all the in competition films did at Cannes!…
Essentially the British version of the Emmys, the 58th annual BAFTA Television Awards took place tonight at London’s Royal Festival Hall, with the big winners including Dominic West, Emily Watson, and Rolf Harris, who was inducted into the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship.
Presented by Irish comedian Dara O’Briain, the show takes a more fun and mischievous tone than its film-based sibling, which fell uncharacteristically flat this year. The nominees here are somewhat less A-list, but an eclectic bunch nonetheless, with the best of comedy, soaps, reality TV and serious drama all crammed under one roof.
More coverage and full list of winners after the jump…
Read more on Fred West drama ‘Appropriate Adult’ wins big at TV BAFTAs…
The 65th Cannes Film Festival has ended and the jury have announced their prizes. The Palme d’Or was awarded to Amour directed by Michael Haneke, his 2nd Palme d’Or win making him the first director ever to win back to back Palme d’Or prizes. American director Behn Zeitlin picked up the Camera d’Or for his first film Beasts of the Southern Wild. The full list available after the jump.
Read more on Cannes Film Festival Award Winners…
- Another week has come and gone at The Awards Circuit. This week was especially important because we began our first ever ACCA TV. I hope everyone has voted for their favorites in television, because your nominations will be announced very soon! Personally, I absolutely have no idea which shows or performances jive with everyone, but that’s all part of the excitement. I suspect we’ll have a worthy nomination list after all the votes have been tallied. Read more on Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 5/27)…
Read more on Circuit Round-Up (Week Ending 5/27)…
Categories: Circuit Round-Up
Tags: american idol
, anna belickis
, award profiles
, circuit 3
, clayton davis
, Daniel Ashtiany
, Joey Magidson
, joeys dvd pick of the week
, John H. Foote
, Joseph Braverman
, Mark Johnson
, Michael Ward
, Robert Hamer
, Terence Johnson
, The Awards Circuit Power Hour
, Weekend Openings
And so the most prestigious film festival in the world comes to an end, with the “awards season” taking a vague shape right behind it. Cannes, usually to its credit, has almost always been far outside of Oscar’s wheelhouse, opting for indie and world cinema superstars over Hollywood royalty that make the cinema snobs raise their pinkies in solidarity. However, recently the spotlight has increased on the festival in recent years as more and more of their darlings have been getting some love from the Academy as well. Earlier this year we saw no less than five films from Cannes receive Oscar nominations, including opener Midnight in Paris, Palme d’Or champ The Tree of Life and eventual Best Picture winner The Artist. Going back further sees Oscar nominees from the likes of Biutiful, Inglourious Basterds, The White Ribbon and Waltz with Bashir. Read more on Predicting the 2012 Cannes Film Festival Winners…
, Beyond the Hills
, Cannes Film Festival
, Denis Lavant
, Emmanuelle Riva
, Holy Motors
, Killing Them Softly
, Like Someone in Love
, Moonrise Kingdom
, Nanni Moretti
, On the Road
, Palme d'Or
, Rust &Bone
, The Hunt
, The Paperboy
, Thomas Vinterberg
If you are going to invest the time and money to see Men In Black 3, the investment comes for one reason and one reason only…Josh Brolin. As a younger version of Tommy Lee Jones, Brolin is fantastic and not only nails Tommy Lee Jones’ temperament, voice, mannerisms, and caricatures, but he almost makes you hope for a Men In Black 4, just to see Brolin continue his take on the younger version of Jones’ grumpy and grumbling Agent K. Will Smith comes alive in his scenes with Brolin and for awhile Men In Black 3 is engaging and amusing. Without Josh Brolin, Men In Black 3 unfortunately resembles the ill-advised and wheezing Men In Black 2, where it appeared Smith and Jones were stumbling around scene after scene looking for an ATM to deposit their robust sequel paychecks.
Read more on Men In Black 3 (**)…
And the reign of The Avengers may finally come to an end during – of all times – Memorial Day weekend. The film itself isn’t exactly a notable release, but then again, giant killers usually do not appear as such in the movie business. I am of course referring to…
…Men in Black3, which marks now two more films than I expected this series to go. This installment finds the ever-sassy Agent J going back in time to stop a murder plot against his straight-laced partner K by teaming up with his younger (still straight-laced) self in 1969. But then…if K was killed in 1969 by Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords, wouldn’t all of his future actions have been erased as well? Meaning that he never would have recruited J into MIB, meaning that he still would have been an NYPD officer, meaning…ah best not think of these things. Time travel plots always have more holes in them than Swiss cheese. Besides, the critics have given this a slightly warmer reception than its stupid predecessor, calling it a clever and even somewhat touching romp with an impressive mimicry of the TLJ persona by Josh Brolin. Despite a sluggish midnight showing, Men in Black3 has rebounded with an impressive $18 million gross on Friday and should be able to actually dethrone The Avengers with $54-59 million by the end of the three-day weekend. Read more on Weekend Openings (May 25-28)…
Categories: Weekend Openings
Tags: Bill Murray
, Bob Balaban
, Bruce Willis
, Chernobyl Diaries
, edward norton
, Emma Thompson
, Found Footage
, Francis McDormand
, Josh Brolin
, kara hayward
, Men in Black 3
, Moonrise Kingdom
, Roman Coppola
, Tommy Lee Jones
, Wes Anderson
, Will Smith
If you’re like me, you can’t wait to see more of Andrew Dominik’s new film ‘Killing Them Softly’. Especially after the film screened to somewhat positive reviews and apparently features quite a political undertone, it’s got my attention more and more. Well, those who are anticipating this flick like me can rejoice a bit, as we have a short new clip to share with you from the movie. It shows off Brad Pitt and we see where the flick gets its new title from. You can see it after the jump, and stay tuned for a full trailer hopefully very soon. In the meantime, enjoy the clip below…
Read more on Clip from ‘Killing Them Softly’ hits!…
It’s really not like any of us need another reason to be excited to go see ‘Prometheus’, but in case someone does, I can oblige…how about seeing a teaser trailer for ‘Django Unchained’ as well? Yes, Collider is reporting here that audiences sitting down for Ridley Scott’s latest will also get a peek at Quentin Tarantino’s next epic. Sounds like a nice bonus to me. After the jump I’ll show you where the source of this news came from (hint, it’s Social Media), but I think this is exciting news for fans of both films. I know it makes me happy…
Read more on Teaser for ‘Django Unchained’ will play in front of Prometheus!…
Over at Cannes both David Cronenberg and his son Brandon have debuted new film, and apparently the son is following in his father’s footsteps. Brandon Cronenberg has a body horror film called ‘Antiviral’ that’s gotten some nice, if reserved, word so far. As for the elder Cronenberg, his highly anticipated flick ‘Cosmopolis’ has been seen, and the early reviews are incredibly mixed. Some thing it’s a return to form of sorts for the director, while others were rather disappointed. After the jump you can see what some of the reactions have been, but I don’t think this is surprising at all (Cronenberg is always divisive). What’s somewhat surprising is that Brandon’s film has been slightly better received overall than David’s. Anyway, check out the festival buzz on ‘Cosmopolis’ below…
Read more on What’s the word on David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis at Cannes?…
An enjoyable enough crowd pleaser that was heavily nominated by France’s César Awards (winning one for Best Actor and receiving another 8 nominations), ‘The Intouchables’ is a mature comedy that handles its potentially tough subject matter well, but never elevates things to the level of something more than simply entertaining. There’s nothing really wrong with the flick, but numerous opportunities to make itself into something unique and more than a slightly different version of something we’ve seen many times before are either outright ignored or simply glossed over. My issues with the story and the choices that the screenplay makes for its characters notwithstanding, the direction by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (who also wrote the script) is solid and the acting is all around excellent by the cast, especially leads Omar Sy and François Cluzet. Happily, each time I was worried that film was about to begin disappointing me, the acting and humor in the flick brought me back in. I’m not as big a fan of this movie as many seem to be, but I had a pleasant time with it and it’s definitely a movie that audiences willing to deal with subtitles will enjoy. It’s just not as good as it could/should have been in my eyes. That being said, it’s far from bad.
Read more on The Intouchables (***)…
I was a pretty big fan of Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, as the film just missed out on my top 10 list for 2011. So I’m somewhat excited about the controversial director’s new film, Nymphomaniac, which delves into the story of a woman exploring her erotic nature. The woman is played by Charlotte Gainsbourg (her third film with von Trier, and pictured above with her director), and the man that helps her uncover this knowledge is played by Stellan Skarsgard.
Check out the official synopsis for Nymphomaniac after the jump…
Read more on Synopsis for Lars von Trier’s ‘Nymphomaniac’ Unveiled…
Wes Anderson’s newest film “Moonrise Kingdom,” which opens in theaters today is currently hitting large with critics who have seen it so far. The film currently sits with high 96& fresh rate on Rotten Tomatoes. Wes Anderson has been, for the most part, a blip on the Academy’s radar with his unique and quirky takes on film. In 2002 he was nominated along with co-writer Owen Wilson for penning the hit, The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Since then, Anderson has tried to show versatility with films like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007). With Anderson’s Oscar nominated animated work, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), which is arguably his best work to date, signs of breaking through to the mainstream seemed to be coming to fruition.
Reviews for Moonrise Kingdom thus far have praised the fresh comic elements with many saying it’s his best work to date. With a May 25th release, if the studio is looking to make a push in categories like Original Screenplay and Best Picture, an early and well publicized campaign will be needed all season long.
Will Anderson find himself in contention this year? Too early to tell but things might be looking up. After the jump, look at some of the things critics have been saying with the trailer as well. The film stars newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward along with stars Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel.
Read more on “Moonrise Kingdom” opens to very positive reviews!…
I’m not a Lee Daniels fan at all, having not cared for either of his first two films, and finding his direction to be distracting and often porous. That all being said, I’m always open to a filmmaker surprising me. ‘The Paperboy’ has an intriguing cast (including John Cusack Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew McConaughey) and plot, so I was hopeful that Daniels could finally sway me here. The early word from critics is incredibly divided, though most agree that the film is trashy and not especially great…they’re just undecided on how intentional that is (they also are rather obsessed over a certain scene I won’t mention here involving Efron and Kidman). After the jump I’ll share some reviews with you, but it doesn’t look like Daniels has another date with Oscar. Take a gander below…
Read more on Did The Paperboy deliver at Cannes?…
Directed By: Salim Akil
Written By: Mara Brock Akil
Cast: Jordin Sparks, Carmen Ejogo, Whitney Houston, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Curtis Armstrong, Omari Hardwick, Ceelo Green, Tika Sumpter, Michael Beach, Brely Evans, Linda Boston
Read more on Awards Profile: ‘Sparkle’…
Continuing our pseudo-coverage of the Cannes Film Festival, we now can report on the first reviews for ‘On the Road’, a film that we at The Awards Circuit have been keeping an eye on for years now. Perhaps not surprisingly, the film is getting a mixed response from critics (also as noted by Pete Hammond on Deadline here), with some falling under its spell and others being left rather cold overall. Clayton and myself are certainly looking forward to seeing this one and deciding for ourselves (though he’s slightly more skeptical of its Oscar hopes than I am…not that either of us are predicting an awards powerhouse), but after the jump you all can see what the early word is on the flick. It’s probably going to be a rather divisive one in general release, and so far that’s been the case over in Europe as well. Check out what some of the reviews said below…
Read more on What path has “On the Road” taken at Cannes?…
It’s been 40 years since The Exorcist took the world by storm, but the property still has a lot of commercial heat. On top of the recently announced stage adaptation, Vulture is reporting that Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) is set to adapt and direct it for a 10 episode TV series. The project, which won’t be shopped around for two weeks, will stray from the iconic film and follows the events leading up to a demonic possession and especially the after-effects of how a family copes with it. When medical and psychiatric explanations fail, the desperate family turns to the church, with Father Damien Karras finally brought in to attempt the exorcism.
Read more on ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ director to bring “The Exorcist’ to a TV near you!…
Even though there’s not a whole lot of excitement overall for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, but I’m looking forward to it quite a bit. My (along with other fans anticipating the film) only real concern is the character of The Lizard, which the filmmakers have shielded from us a bit. Well, that’s different now, as a real good look has made its way onto the web (no pun intended). After the jump you can take a look at the image, but I like the look enough, as it’s more classical comic book Lizard as opposed to the more recent animated series version. Take a look below…
Read more on Here’s a new look at The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man!…
It’s taken about 3 decades, but it looks like ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ may actually be finally going from book to film. Directors from Harold Ramis to David Gordon Green have tried to make it, and the hard to cast title role has been poised to be taken up by the likes of John Belushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley, but now it seems that James Bobin and Zach Galifianakis could be taking up the mantle, according to Vulture here. I’ll speculate on if this pairing will actually wind up happening after the jump, but I’m honestly just excited that this flick could actually be happening. It’s been a long time coming…
Read more on ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ coming to the big screen!…
The legendary John Wayne was born Marion Mitchell Morrison, and had he been alive today would be turning 105 this Saturday. Born May 26th, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, John Wayne is an American icon who oozed robust masculinity and appeared in over 250 films, most of which were Westerns.
Read more on Circuit 3: John Wayne…