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‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees on Mud as an Allegory for Race: Awards Season Spotlight Profile

‘Mudbound’ Director Dee Rees on Mud as an Allegory for Race: Awards Season Spotlight Profile
Mudbound” stands on its own as an artistic statement, but to hear Dee Rees describe her vision adds another layer to this dense tale. Sundance regulars have had their eye on Rees since 2011’s “Pariah,” an understated coming-of-age tale about a young lesbian growing up in Brooklyn. Rees’ career took a giant leap when “Mudbound” sold to Netflix for a whopping $12.5 million, becoming the biggest acquisition at this year’s Sundance. A sweeping, Southern-set period drama, “Mudbound” lays bare the stark realities of race in America through the lens of two families—one black and one white—and their parallel lives.

Read More:Jason Mitchell on the Extreme Empathy of ‘Mudbound’: Awards Season Spotlight Profile

“I wanted to give weight to what is it to not be able to come home, to be self-reliant,” Rees told IndieWire in an interview for our Spotlight Awards series. “It’s this pioneer story,
See full article at Indiewire »

10 Best Uses of Music in Movies in 2017

10 Best Uses of Music in Movies in 2017
Music and film formed a potent partnership over the past 12 months, whether it was Hans Zimmer’s jarring score for Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” which served as another character in providing the on-screen tension, or the choreographed mayhem of Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” and David Leitch’s “Atomic Blonde,” or Iggy Pop’s sepulchral presence in Oneohtrix Point Never’s stunning soundtrack for the Safdies’ “Good Time.”

Here is a countdown of the individual songs — some original, others re-contextualized — which provided those magic cinematic moments where sound and vision perfectly meshed to become seamlessly part of a greater whole.

1. The Damned, “Neat Neat Neat” (“Baby Driver”): Wright’s heist movie re-genrefication is a feature-length music video choreographed to the nines with a decibel-raising soundtrack of ‘70s and ‘80s new wave, none better than this revved-up speed-punk blaring in star Ansel Elgort’s ubiquitous headphones as he gets set to put pedal to the metal. “Wait
See full article at Variety - Film News »

A new set of December Oscar predictions

The precursors are almost a daily occurrence now, so why not make new Academy Award predictions a weekly one too? That’s the goal here, as we enter the middle of December. The weather on the east coast is frigid, but the Oscar season is heating up, that’s for sure. The last X factors are revealing themselves (at least for me today, as I go see All the Money in the World and The Greatest Showman right after publishing this), so the guilds and precursors are separating things into contender and pretender categories. It’s almost all done. Yet, there’s still plenty to figure out. Working off of the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations, plus the announced short lists for Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Language Feature, among others, we have some changes here. Notably, Get Out has shot up in a number of categories,
See full article at Hollywoodnews.com »

‘Good Time’ Tops Film Comment’s 20 Best Films of 2017; Safdies to Remake ’48 Hrs.’

One of the most electrifying, thrilling, and funny films of the year was Safdies’ Good Time, featuring Robert Pattinson in a career-best performance. While it didn’t exactly ignite the box-office, as the crime drama is now available to stream we hoped it would spur more year-end conversation and that looks to be the case. It’s now topped Film Comment’s best films of 2017, an eclectic list which also includes personal favorite such as A Quiet Passion, Nocturama, Personal Shopper, Dawson City: Frozen Time, Phantom Thread, and more.

In related news, Benny and Josh Safdie have found a new major project. THR reports the duo will remake Walter Hill’s 1982 buddy comedy 48 Hrs., which starred Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte. Scripting the project will be Josh Safdie, frequent collaborator Ronald Bronstein, and Jerrod Carmichael. There’s no word yet on casting or how updated the plot will be (the
See full article at The Film Stage »

Jason Mitchell on the Extreme Empathy of ‘Mudbound’: Awards Season Spotlight Profile

Jason Mitchell on the Extreme Empathy of ‘Mudbound’: Awards Season Spotlight Profile
There are scenes so brutal “Mudbound” that actor Jason Mitchell found himself assuring white audiences that yes, the movie is in fact an accurate portrayal of the violence black people experience. “This is still happening today. They might not make you leave out the back of the store, but they also might not let you in,” Mitchell told IndieWire in the first interview for this year’s Awards Spotlight series. Directed by Dee Rees, “Mudbound” follows two families — one white, one black — living in the Deep South and their parallel journeys adjusting to life after WWII. The film’s hype has grown steadily since its Sundance premiere, where it sold to Netflix for a whopping $12.5 million in the biggest acquisition of the year.

Mitchell enjoyed playing a character unafraid to challenge racists, though he acknowledged that part might have been a touch unrealistic. “Most black men in his situation wouldn’t have said anything,
See full article at Indiewire »

Golden Globes Go Heavy on Adaptation Nominations in TV but Not Film

Golden Globes Go Heavy on Adaptation Nominations in TV but Not Film
In a world of 500 scripted television series, one way creators are vying for the very limited attention of the audience — and to attract big-name talent — is by adapting already well-known works. Rather than having to start from the ground up when it comes to building the world, creating its characters and hooking viewers, adaptations come with a lot of the work already done. And with less risk, the rewards that are reaped automatically look that much bigger.

“It’s a massive draw because you have so much more information than you do when you just have a pilot script or a couple of episodes or even a full season. With the book, the format is so totally different [and] you have the ability to describe and develop and have so much character backstory, so it’s rife with things to help you bring these characters to life and tell the story really thoroughly,” says [link=nm
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Awards Spotlight: IndieWire Celebrates the Year’s Best Films With the Women of ‘Lady Bird,’ James Franco, and More

Awards Spotlight: IndieWire Celebrates the Year’s Best Films With the Women of ‘Lady Bird,’ James Franco, and More
Today, we launch Indiewire’s annual IndieWire Awards Season Spotlight series, presented by Xfinity. We’ve recognized many of the great films produced in 2017 across two dozen candid video interviews. The IndieWire team talked to a fantastic range of talent, including Golden Globes and SAG nominees Gary Oldman and Saorise Ronan, Gotham Awards winners James Franco and Timothee Chalamet, and Globes-nominated filmmakers Angelina Jolie and Guillermo Del Toro. Over the next month, we’ll unveil them all.

Read More:Sofia Coppola on the Dangerous Femininity of ‘The Beguiled’: Awards Season Spotlight Profile

In addition to our sponsors at Xfinity, major thanks to our production team who include Adrien Fulle and Holly Dillon from the Variety Content Studio, IndieWire Awards editor Anne Thompson, and Nikki Ganz and Jackson Stahl from Nik & Jax Productions.

Read More:Jason Mitchell on the Extreme Empathy of ‘Mudbound’: Awards Season Spotlight Profile

The full
See full article at Indiewire »

How Lena Waithe Is Using Her Newfound Success for Everyone (Exclusive)

How Lena Waithe Is Using Her Newfound Success for Everyone (Exclusive)
For Lena Waithe, slowing down is not an option.

Coming off her 2017 Emmy win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the Master of None episode “Thanksgiving,” Waithe feels like she still has a lot to prove. “I was very blessed to be nominated and receive an award from an industry that I respect a lot. But my hustle doesn’t stop. I don’t rest on that,” she tells Et of the many upcoming projects she has coming up, including Step Sisters, about the president of a black sorority who is forced to help repair the reputation of a white sorority by teaching them how to step, on which she’s a producer, and a supporting role in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. “I’m still out here grinding -- you know, I got things in the pot.”

That pot also happens to contain her highly anticipated Showtime series, The Chi, which she created
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Women In Hollywood: Dee Rees Stripped Mary J. Blige Emotionally Bare For ‘Mudbound’

Women In Hollywood: Dee Rees Stripped Mary J. Blige Emotionally Bare For ‘Mudbound’
Mary J. Blige spends much of Dee Rees' southern tragedy Mudbound holding her tongue. As Florence Jackson, the matriarch of a sharecropper family continually bossed around by the white folks who own their land, she's swollen with words she's not allowed to say, starting with "No" to the McAllan jerk who's always interrupting her dinners to demand that she, or her husband, or her children, obey his commands. "She's an observer," says Rees. "She sees everything, but she'll…
See full article at Deadline »

2017’s Best Films By and About Women

Girls Trip”: Michele K. Short/Universal Pictures

The big screen had a lot to offer in 2017: Amazonian warriors kicking ass (and breaking box office records), tennis stars smashing misogyny, a wildly inventive and Nsfw use of a grapefruit, and so much more. We’ve collected some of our favorite films by and about women this year, and they include biopics about athletes, war movies, and a game-changing super hero film. That’s part of what stands out about this year — the fact that women finally had the opportunity to shine in different genres, both on-screen and behind the scenes. This year’s Best Actress frontrunners aren’t playing the wives of powerful men — they are at the center of their own stories. Finally.

Here are some the year’s best films directed by women and/or about female protagonists, according to us:

Girls Trip” — Co-Written by Tracy Oliver
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Why Wonder Woman's Golden Globe Snub Is a Huge Deal

Nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes were announced on Monday, and much to our surprise, Wonder Woman isn't included on the list. Despite being the biggest movie of the Summer and one that set a new ground for female directors worldwide, no nod of recognition is being given, making it one of the biggest snubs of award season. DC's Wonder Woman raked in a staggering $103 million on opening weekend, skipping past the $400-million mark for a chart-topping domestic total. Beating out other big-name titles like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming, it became the highest-grossing movie of the Summer. Standing behind the live-action depiction of Beauty and the Beast, the movie remains the second largest box office haul of the year in North America. It has become a feminist fan favorite as well as a massive success amongst critics. Ultimately, Wonder Woman proved that a strong, fierce female
See full article at BuzzSugar »

SAG Awards Nominations Continue Strong Diversity Showing

SAG Awards Nominations Continue Strong Diversity Showing
Wednesday’s SAG Awards nominations showed plenty of diversity as the actors union continued supporting movies and television shows with multi-racial casts — as they have in recent awards seasons.

Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” scored nominations for ensemble cast and for Mary J. Blige in the supporting actress categories even though Netflix gave the Mississippi-based movie only a cursory theatrical release last month. Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” found plenty of traction with a cast nomination and a best actor nod for Daniel Kaluuya — even though the film opened 10 months ago.

The Big Sick,” based on Kumail Nanjiani’s true-life romance with his wife, took a cast nomination. And there were two surprise nominations in the supporting categories — Hong Chau for “Downsizing” and Denzel Washington for “Roman J. Israel Esq.” Washington won the 2016 SAG Best Actor category for “Fences.” Chau also received a Golden Globe nom for supporting actress.

On the television side, “Orange Is the New Black,” “[link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2017: ‘Lady Bird’ Wins Big, but ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Has Strong Showing as Well

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2017: ‘Lady Bird’ Wins Big, but ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Has Strong Showing as Well
Lady Bird” won big at the Chicago Film Critics Association Awards last night, taking home Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), and Most Promising Filmmaker (Greta Gerwig) from the Windy City. “Call Me by Your Name” had a strong showing as well, picking up prizes for Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet, who also won Most Promising Performer) and Best Supporting Screenplay.

Christopher Dunkirk was named Best Director for his work on “Dunkirk,” with Willem Dafoe of “The Florida Project” winning yet another Best Supporting Actor laurel and Jordan Peele being honored with Best Original Screenplay for “Get Out.” Full list of winners below.

Read More:2017 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Wins Both Best Picture and Best Actor

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Dunkirk

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro
See full article at Indiewire »

SAG Nominations: 16 Biggest Snubs and Surprises

SAG Nominations: 16 Biggest Snubs and Surprises
This year’s Oscar race is still as undecided as a swing state voter. On Wednesday, the Screen Actors Guild nominations failed to offer much clarity. Fox Searchlight’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” led with four nominations, more than any other film. However, other sure bets — such as “Shape of Water,” “Dunkirk,” and “The Post” — were left out of the best SAG ensemble category, usually a predicator of things to come at the Academy Awards.

On the TV side, the SAG Awards has a spotty track record when it comes to recognizing new shows. Last year, the group embraced “Stranger Things” (and did so again). This year, it also bestowed plenty of love to “Glow” and “Ozark,” two of the buzziest shows from Netflix. But in doing so, it snubbed critically acclaimed new offerings like Amazon’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” as well as Showtime’s “Smilf” — both of which picked up multiple Golden Globe nominations.

The
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Awards Round-Up: Honors for “Mudbound,” “I Am Not a Witch,” and More

I Am Not a Witch

Awards season is heating up and while the Golden Globes didn’t show much love for women directors, the British Independent Film Awards and New York Film Critics Online sure did. “I Am Not a Witch” helmer Rungano Nyoni took home the Best Director prize as well as the The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director at the BIFAs on Sunday. Meanwhile, Nyfc Online named Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” Best Picture (in a tie with “The Florida Project”). “Mudbound” also won Best Ensemble Cast and Rees received the Best Director award.

I Am Not a Witch,” the story of an eight-year-old girl who is accused of witchcraft, also netted a Bifa for Breakthrough Producer (Emily Morgan). And “Mudbound” — which follows two families, one black and one white, in the WWII-era American South — was among Nyfc Online’s Top 10 Films of 2017. The only other woman-directed flick
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

The Golden Globes have ignored female directors. In the year of #MeToo, this won’t wash

Films including Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Dee ReesMudbound have been hotly-tipped – but not a single woman was nominated in the best director category

The nominations for the Golden Globes were announced on Monday, and for the umpteenth time, not a single woman picked up a nod for best director. Instead, the voters of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association came up with what feels like a list of the usual white male suspects: Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Guillermo del Toro, Martin McDonagh and Christopher Nolan.

Often, you will hear exclusion of female film-makers rationalised away. Awards, the argument goes, merely reflect the gender gap in Hollywood. And since women have fewer opportunities to prove themselves behind the camera (just 7% of the top 250 films in 2016 were directed by women), it stands to reason that they will be less represented in awards.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Golden Globes Nominations 2018: Greta Gerwig, Patty Jenkins Among Women Shut Out of Directing Category

There’s no doubting that 2017 has been a strong year for women both onscreen and behind the scenes. Take, for instance, the Primetime Emmys, which saw women dominate with big wins for Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ava DuVernay, Master of None writer Lena Waithe and director Reed Morano.

On the film side, Sofia Coppola became the second woman ever to win the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Director for The Beguiled, while Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, is the best reviewed movie ever on Rotten Tomatoes. Patty JenkinsWonder Woman earned over $800 million at the worldwide box office, far surpassing the recent wave of DC Comic films. Meanwhile, DuVernay finished production on Disney’s upcoming adaption of A Wrinkle in Time, becoming the first woman of color to helm a $100 million movie.

But when the nominations for the 2018 Golden Globes were announced on Monday, women were not among
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Garrett Hedlund Gushes Over Mary J. Blige's 2018 Globe Nomination: "She Did a Wonderful Job"

Garrett Hedlund Gushes Over Mary J. Blige's 2018 Globe Nomination:
No one is more qualified to sing Mary J. Blige's praises than Garrett Hedlund, who celebrated her Golden Globe-nominated role as a supporting actress in Mudbound Monday. E! News had the chance to catch up with the star after he, along with Kristen Bell, Sharon Stone and Alfre Woodard, announced the 2018 Golden Globe Nominations at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. During their time working together on Dee Rees' WWII film, Hedlund said  he saw Blige dedicate herself to her role of Florence. "She stripped off a lot of layers in this film," he said, "so I am happy for her people to get to see her and see everything that Dee Rees did." Of his friend, the 33-year-old said, "She did a...
See full article at E! Online »

Golden Globes Nominations: At Least It Was a Good Year for Strong Female Roles

Golden Globes Nominations: At Least It Was a Good Year for Strong Female Roles
Looking across the Golden Globe film and TV nominations, it’s a banner year for movies driven by some of the most unlikely female characters to get the big-screen treatment.

In “The Shape of Water,” Sallie Hawkins plays a mute cleaning woman in 1962 Baltimore who has an supernatural encounter. In “The Post,” Meryl Streep plays a woman in her mid-50s who is thrust by circumstance into a leadership role. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney deliver tour de force performances in “I, Tonya,” a movie that on paper sounds like B-grade cable material. And the great Laurie Metcalf is the hero of “Lady Bird” and its touching look at mother-daughter and familial dynamics, for which Saorise Ronan received a best actress, comedy nom.

None of these are projects tailored to the conventional notions of the audiences who drive movie-going or indie film success. The shutout of female directors from the Globes race is particularly striking this year
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Historical Dramas Are Difficult to Score, but Attract Awards Attention

Historical dramas and those rooted in real-life events can be among the most challenging to score, but also yield a proportionally high number of Oscar winners. Four such live-action releases are among the most talked-about this awards season.

All the Money in the World

Music by Daniel Pemberton

For Ridley Scott’s film about the 1973 kidnapping of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty’s grandson, now completing post-production after the last-minute replacement of lead Kevin Spacey by Christopher Plummer, English composer Pemberton made a bold choice: voices of many kinds, from operatic to Italian folk singers.

“Getty sees himself as this grand figure,” Pemberton explains. “We have medieval voices, which refer back to his belief that he was descended from [Roman emperor] Hadrian; and the more grand operatic music, which was a slight reflection of Rome [where much of the film was shot] but also Getty’s own vision of self-identity.”

For the kidnappers, whose world is “grubby, rural, coarse and out in the middle of nowhere
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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