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Review: Jake Gyllenhaal gets "Stronger"

5 hours ago

by Eric Blume

Have patience watching director David Gordon Green’s film Stronger, which captures real-life Boston native Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) as he’s caught in the 2013 Marathon bombing.  After a rickety start, Green relaxes into a nice rhythm and delivers an almost extinct creature: a true adult movie drama.

The first few scenes of Stronger come on a little, ahem, strong.  They’re written to show what a great guy Bauman is (he cuts out from work so he and his lucky beer can help the Red Sox win, he stands up for his gay boss), and Green has all the actors pushing too hard.  The initial scene where we meet Bauman’s family (including mom Miranda Richardson and girlfriend Tatiana Maslany) in a bar reeks of Boston cliché.  It’s a very tricky thing, honestly capturing that lower-middle-class Beantown language and attitude, and Green overplays »

- Eric Blume

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Oscar Chart Updates: Actor & Supp Actor

8 hours ago

All sorts of things could yet throw the Best Supporting and Best Lead Actor races into confusion. In a  somewhat uncommon development the former is much more crowded than the latter. The shallow pool of viable Lead Actors is very good news for candidates like Timothée Chalamet (someone Oscar might normally resist due to his age) and Jake Gyllenhaal (someone Oscar has resisted for reasons inexplicable to us).

What do you make of the Supporting Actor race in particular? They way it looks now it could be made up almost entirely of character actors with worthy careers who have never won an Oscar and that's a very exciting thing. More exciting if you happen to be a fan of either Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins, or Willem Dafoe. I doubt that all four of them will make it all the way to the shortlist but the buzz is currently in their favor. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Tom Hanks To Be "A Man Called Ove"

12 hours ago

by Ilich Mejía

In 2015, Sweden selected Hannes Holm's A Man Called Ove as their submission for the Academy's Foreign Language Film race. The selection payed off, as the country earned their 15th nomination in the category. Now, Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone have acquired the rights to develop an English version of the film. »

- Ilich Mejia

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50th Anniversary: Two for the Road

13 hours ago

Tim here. This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of one of the tiny gems in the careers of Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney, and director Stanley Donen: Two for the Road. It's a British film that picked up a handful of important awards nominations – writer Frederic Raphael at both the Oscars and Baftas, Hepburn at the Golden Globes, Donen with the DGA – and went on to be largely overlooked in the following five decades.

That's understandable; it's not a film primed to appeal to the fandom that it seems like it should have. Donen in the director's seat and Hepburn as the top-billed lead both suggest certain kinds of films, if not necessarily the same kind of film: bubbly comedies in his case, elegant Continental romances in hers (splitting the difference, four years earlier they collaborated on Charade, a bubbly Continental comedy). Two for the Road isn't devoid of humor, »

- Tim Brayton

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Some love mother! Some don't.

15 hours ago

by Murtada

The studio behind mother! has pivoted their second week marketing towards the bad word of mouth that the film has been receiving from moviegoers. They stopped selling it as a home invasion horror thriller and instead decided to embrace how polarizing it is.

Some people love it......some people don’t

It’s a bold move and we like it. What they don’t do though, is mention the F cinemascore that the film recieved. CinemaScore is a company that exit polls moviegoers’ opinions on opening night. They have been storing data since 1986, and in that time only 11 other films received the infamous F. Those so honored include Steven Soderbergh's Solaris (2002) and Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly (2012). And make no mistake Darren Aronofsky thinks it's an honor, he told The Frame:

What's interesting about that is, like, how if you walk out of this movie are »

- Murtada Elfadl

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A Beautiful Trailer for "Isle of Dogs"

17 hours ago

Chris here. I'm one of those oddball folks that considers Fantastic Mr. Fox as Wes Anderson's best film, so next year's Isle of Dogs has me very excited for the auteur to take another dive into the stop motion pool. And by the looks of the first trailer, Dogs will be very aligned to Fox's humor and visual aesthetic but with the added unexpected intrigue of its Japanese setting. The potential troublesome optics and use of language here gives me some pause, but we'll wait until the film arrives to access. Let's hope Anderson doesn't end up in the cinematic doghouse by delivering our worst fears here.

As you can tell from the poster, Anderson has assembled a massive cast even by his standards. Regular players like Edward Norton and Bill Murray are back, but can you believe this is his first collaboration with Scarlett Johansson and Greta Gerwig? »

- Chris Feil

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Three can't-miss movies directed by women on the festival circuit

21 September 2017 3:00 PM, PDT

our continuing adventures at Tiff with a little Nyff thrown in.

This year I made a conscious effort to see films directed by women at the Toronto International Film Festival. Nearly half of the films I screened had women behind the camera! Even though a few of them were unsatisfying, a handful were gems so praise be to Tiff that there were so many to choose from. Other festivals haven't been as inclusive. We've already discussed the tragic romance of Mary Shelley, the visually stunning The Breadwinner, the what-were-they-thinking Kings, the confounding but admirably crafted Zama, the dramatic misfire of Euphoria, and Hungary's strange and totally involving Oscar submission On Body and Soul.

I saved the three best for last. If you get a chance to see Western (playing at Nyff September 30th and October 1st), the Austrian costume drama Mademoiselle Paradis, or a hard to describe miracle from Indonesia »

- NATHANIEL R

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The Power of Pamela on "Better Things"

21 September 2017 1:30 PM, PDT

By Spencer Coile 

With the abundance of film festivals and the impending Oscar season, television may be sitting on the back burner for many. But with the Emmys coming and going (spectacularly, I might add), many favorite shows are on the way back.

One show has come back for its second season, stronger than ever. Created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., Better Things is a semi-autobiograpical story of Adlon's career as working actress and single mother of three.

Sound like a well tread path? Fear not, because Adlon spices in very real, very intimate, very comical moments that help jettison Better Things into something incredibly complicated, but equally rewarding...  »

- Spencer Coile

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Best Supporting Actress - Chart Updates

21 September 2017 10:54 AM, PDT

With Venice, Tiff, and Telluride passed, the Oscar races become clearer. Not crystal clear mind you but apart from films no one has seen (like Spielberg's The Post or Scott's All the Money in the World) we know which dozen or so actresses might want to start thinking about red carpet lewks if the tide turns in their favor. Supporting Actress Chart Updates

Ronan and Metcalf in "Lady Bird"

One new intriguing possibility is Tony & Emmy winner Laurie Metcalf in Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird. If she's nominated could she complete her triple crown with an Oscar win?

And I know we've asked this before but is Octavia Spencer the Thelma Ritter of her generation? She sure is reliable at warming up a film and giving it some salt of the earth wisdom and comedy, too. Guillermo del Toro's romantic fantasy The Shape of Water could be looking »

- NATHANIEL R

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Tiff: Euphoria and Zama disappoint

20 September 2017 6:20 PM, PDT

We've got a a few more adventures from Tiff to get through. Here are two pictures Euphoria and Zama that I was greatly looking forward to for disparate reasons (the lead actors and the director, respectively). But neither one did it for me and I sincerely hope other future eyeballs will enjoy them more »

- NATHANIEL R

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Thoughts I Had... While Staring at "Wonder Wheel" and "Tomb Raider" Posters

20 September 2017 3:30 PM, PDT

by Nathaniel R

Movie posters aren't everything. In fact, it's arguable that they do little to change whether or not someone wants to see a movie, at least not half as much as a trailer, commercial, or recommendation might. Still, there's a certain thrill in looking at them if you love movies. Reactions can vary all the way from amping up excitement about a movie you're already interested in, to puzzlement and pondering over how anyone in Hollywood marketing departments keeps their jobs. Every reaction inbetween those two poles happens, too.

So let's look at new posters for Wonder Wheel and Tomb Raider after the jump with unedited thoughts as they come. (Please to do the same in the comments!) »

- NATHANIEL R

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Best Actress: The Shape of Sally. The Mouth on Frances.

20 September 2017 1:00 PM, PDT

by Nathaniel R

Sally says "Hi!" (I apologize profusively that my camera cut off her cute wave to all of you via this Tiff photo)It's getting hot up in the Best Actress race. The fall festivals have thrust a dozen or so women toward potential red carpet glory but how will time and general reviews and audience response and campaigning sort them out? It's nail-biting! At least until the first awards are handed out at which point things always narrow down too quickly.

But for now -- and it's early still (our annual refrain) -- it's appearing like it might be a battle between Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water (which has won consistently strong reviews and the Golden Lion in Venice) and Frances McDormand who stars in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, the surprise winner of the Oscar bellwether "audience award" at Tiff. It's fun to think »

- NATHANIEL R

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Beauty Break: Tiff Afterglow

20 September 2017 10:00 AM, PDT

Tiff documented their 2017 festival with a photo series of the stars of the screen. Take a moment out of your day to ogle at beautiful people in an artistic way.

Armie: Coat or cardigan?

Parts: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 »

- Seán McGovern

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Soundtracking: "Across the Universe"

20 September 2017 7:39 AM, PDT

We're talking the 10th anniversary of Across the Universe in Chris Feil's weekly column on music in the movies!

Across the Universe came to the screens just as jukebox musicals were becoming especially grating on Broadway, but more of a curiosity for the big screen. The film promised stunning Julie Taymor-directed imaginative images set to a massive catalog from The Beatles - and delivered us something a bit more uneven than the creativity explosion that sounds like. Perhaps the high bar already set by invoking the biggest band in the history of popular music was an impossible goal, but the film does provide at least a fun reimagining for some of the best music of the century. A Beatles musical in any context? Yes please (with trepidation)!

The film plays best when it side-steps the plot in its musical sequences »

- Chris Feil

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Diane Kruger to Broadcast Hedy Lamarr's Hidden WWII History as Producer, Star of Miniseries

20 September 2017 5:22 AM, PDT

by Daniel Crooke

Fresh off her Best Actress victory at this year's Cannes Film Festival for Fatih Akin's In the Fade (as well as Germany's official decision to submit the film as their Foreign Language Oscars play) Diane Kruger is out for revenge once more - this time, to rewrite the half-finished story of Classical Hollywood Cinema icon Hedy Lamarr for a new miniseries in which she plans to produce and star. Long defined by her immaculate beauty in films such as Samson and Delilah and Algiers, Lamarr's brains have shone a longer, even more luminous legacy on the modern world thanks to her penchant for invention. While ignored at the time, her work laid the bedrock for much of modern communication - including WiFi and Bluetooth »

- Daniel Crooke

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10 Best Dressed Men at the Emmys

19 September 2017 8:45 PM, PDT

Happy Still Thinking About the Emmys Day, everyone! Kim from Head Over Feels here to break down the Handsome Men of the Emmys. Covering Men’s Fashion can be hard sometimes because it’s basically like “Here’s a bunch of really handsome men in tuxedos! Enjoy!” Which, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a handsome man even in the most basic of suits.

Lately though the fellas have, as a whole, started to make more daring choices as of late, embracing color and prints and statement accessories. (And excellent tailoring. All the slim fit suits, please and thank you.) Let’s take a look at the Gents who brought their A-Game to the Emmys, shall we?

The ten best dressed are after the jump »

- GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

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would you rather?

19 September 2017 6:30 PM, PDT

It's time for our silly celeb-fantasy game courtesy of instagram 

...growl at Halle Berry and Pedro Pascal?

...look as fab as Anya Taylor Joy despite a hangover?

...visit Mallorca with Rossy de Palma?

... hit the museum of ice cream with Selma Blair?

... go broom-shopping with Lauren Weedman?

... get sandwiched by Janelle Monae and Tessa Thompson?

Pictures are after the jump to help you decide. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Doc Corner: Tribeca's Big Winner, 'Bobbi Jene'

19 September 2017 9:30 AM, PDT

by Glenn Dunks

Who is worthy of a documentary about themselves is a question that comes up a lot when watching and occasionally writing about documentaries. A long life doesn’t necessarily make you any worthier of one, just as youth doesn’t imply unworthiness. Of course, who is a worthy subject is ultimately in the eye of the beholder so to speak and it is the film itself is what should be judged.

I am sure there was a reason that director Elvira Lind chose to follow Bobbi Jene Smith for a documentary. Beyond ‘she’s a great dancer’, of course »

- Glenn Dunks

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Ynms: "All The Money In The World"

19 September 2017 5:00 AM, PDT

Chris here. This year is going to have quite a bit of late breaking Oscar hopefuls based on fact, including Steven Spielberg's The Post (is that what it's called today?) and maybe a Clint Eastwood film about a true life thwarted terrorist attack in France. Ridley Scott is looking to quickly bounce back from the tepid response to Alien: Covenant with a real story of his own that wrapped a mere month ago: All the Money In The World. The film follows the famous Getty kidnapping and cruel patriarch J. Paul Getty's refusal to fork out the ransom dough.

Don't expect to hear "unrecognizable" dubbed just to Gary Oldman this year for Darkest Hour - this film is going hard on selling/taunting us Kevin Spacey as the billionaire in heavy prosthetics. We'll see if this ends up being a supporting or lead actor play, but might the film have awards chances elsewhere? »

- Chris Feil

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Beauty vs Beast: Two Princes

18 September 2017 3:00 PM, PDT

Jason from Mnpp here, wishing a happy 44th birthday to the perennially underrated James Marsden today! He's not so underrated that he's ever really gone without work at least (and he's currently riding the zeigeist a bit with the success of Westworld, although I don't know if his moon-eyed compoke Teddy is really what's keeping anybody coming back to that show week after week) but underrated he still somehow seems. That's an impressive impression to give for someone as breathtakingly gorgeous as him! No small feat.

I suppose it's the "Nice Guy Loser" role he's been called on to play time and again - we've watched him watch The Girl go off with the right Mr. Right so many times we've built a stockpile of empathy for him. Speaking of, for today's for "Beauty vs Beast" let's hit up just one of those roles, the 2007 hit film Enchanted (which insanely is turning 10 in November, »

- JA

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