COMMENTARY TRACK: Ask Danny Boyle Anything

Danny Boyle, director of one of our top 10 most anticipated films of the year, took some time out of his day to answer questions about his new movie, past work, and future prospects as part of a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Some of his answers show humility and introspection. When asked if he could go back in time and direct any film, which would he choose, Boyle responded, mentioning his biggest critical failure to date:

The Beach. I would do it much better than the original guy.

About his first film:

Yes after each film my Dad saw he’d say ‘Yeah, it’s good, but not as good as Shallow Grave’. There is an innocence about making your first film which is like gold dust and I try and take some of that innocence into each new film I make…

See the whole gamut of questions and an answer here.

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FESTIVAL CIRCUIT: Great Gatsby to Open Cannes Film Festival

One day after the submission deadline for the Cannes Film Festival, the festival’s opening film has been announced. Baz Luhrmann’s latest, the Leonardo DiCaprio led adaption of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, is set to open the 66th Cannes Film Festival on May 15.

Baz, known for Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, and Australia, has a tendency to favor style over substance, a trait he shares with the titular Jay Gatsby. Unfortunately, for this same reason the trailer showcases a saturated visual style which threatens to overshadow the considerable talent acting in the film. We will have to wait until May to see if Baz fumbles the adaptation of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, but in the interim, check out the trailer above and speculate to its success or failure.

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COMING ATTRACTIONS: 10 Movies to Watch in 2013 (Part 2)

Earlier this week I presented a look at the highly-anticipated upcoming films for 2013. The second part of the list, and the films from the latter half of 2013 worth looking for, are presented below.

6. Gravity (Alfonso Curaón)
October 4
Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock

Alfonso Curaón made only three feature-length films in the past decade, namely Children of Men, Y tu Mamá También, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (arguably the best in the series), each of which graced my my top 10 list for their respective years. He has demonstrated himself as not only a competent director, but one who can take a routine coming of age story, or sequel in a blockbuster series about wizards, and elevate it to something special.

His latest film, Gravity, is a science-fiction about a crew of astronauts who attempt to return to earth after debris damages their spaceship. Little else is known about the plot of the film and no production stills or media have been released with the exception of the teaser above, but with Curaón directing and a cast that includes Oscar winners Clooney and Bullock, it will undoubtedly be one to watch this year.

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COMING ATTRACTIONS: Much Ado About Nothing

Amid filming The Avengers in 2011, Joss Whedon  corralled his usual players for a filming of the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Reported to be his passion project for some time now, the film is a modern retelling of the classic play where one couple is brought together, and another torn asunder, through the means of rumor and gossip. This film premiered at TIFF last year to positive reviews.

The trailer above promises a fun, jazzy retelling starring Whedon favorites including Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, and pretty much everyone else he has ever worked with. It was filmed at Whedon’s house in California and, with a great director such as Whedon and the incomparable source material from Shakespeare, we can only expect a great film.

Release date – June 21

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COMING ATTRACTIONS: 10 Movies to Watch in 2013 (Part 1)

Now that awards season has concluded and the films of 2012 have officially receded from the public eye, leaving movie bloggers lethargic from a drop in their collective film-watching blood-sugar, it is time to shift into 2013 coverage with the blogging equivalent of the chocolate-bar – the top 10 list! Let’s kick things off with the top 10 films to look for in 2013. Below are five highly anticipated films expected to be released in spring and summer. Check back later for part 2, and five highly anticipated films expected to be released in fall and winter.

1. Trance (Danny Boyle)
March 27
Starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel

Danny Boyle is back with longtime collaborator and cinematic innovator Anthony Dod Mantle. Mantle came to the attention of Boyle after filming Festen (The Celebration) in 1998, where he utilized a hand-held digital camera to create a unique visual style. Recently, Anthony Dod Mantle won the Academy Award in the field of Cinematography for his work on Slumdog Millionaire, making it the first film predominantly shot digitally to win the Academy Award in this category.

The film follows an art-thief which, after suffering a concussion, can no longer remember where the painting is stored, to the chagrin of his partners. A hypnotist is employed to help retrieve the memories, but soon reality and fantasy begins to intertwine.

With the perfect cinematographer to to capitalize on a plot that allows for endless cinematographic ingenuity, Trance will surely be a spectacle to enjoy this year.

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REVIEW: Side Effects

Rooney Mara in Side Effects

Perspective can be one of the strongest devices for a storyteller. Depending on which character’s perspective we are offered, a single string of events can be shaped to tell countless stories. A character’s perspective can even be flawed, and we as the audience are only witnessing the story through their imperfect recollection. The Usual Suspects exploits our unquestioning faith in the accuracy of a character’s perspective to weave a convincing tale which deceives us, as well as an inquisitive detective. Rashomon explores perspective by giving us a recounting of a brutal assault as told by several witnesses, each one differing in details small and large.

Perspective is such a powerful force because of how we, the audience, connect with a film. We are given a protagonist and we see the events unfold through their eyes. In the case of The Usual Suspects, this could be purposefully construed. As with Rashomon, it could just an imperfect recollection. Either way, we expect to have a character whose perspective we grab onto, who will lead us through the plot and show us what to feel. It is precisely for these reasons that a sudden change of perspective can undermine our expectations and present a jarring twist which resonates throughout the film.

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Colin’s Oscar Predictions 2013



Picture – Argo
Director – Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook*
Supporting Actor – Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln*
Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Adapted Screenplay – Chris Terrio, Argo
Original Screenplay – Michael Haneke, Amour*
Production Design – Lincoln
Cinematography – Life of Pi
Costume Design – Anna Karenina
Editing – Argo
Makeup & Hairstyling – Les Misérables
Score – Life of Pi
Song – Skyfall, Skyfall
Sound Editing – Life of Pi
Sound Mixing – Les Misérables
Visual Effects – Life of Pi
Animated Feature – Brave
Documentary Feature – Searching For Sugar Man
Foreign Language – Amour
Live Acton Short – Curfew
Animated Short – Paperman


Actress – Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Supporting Actor – Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Original Screenplay – Quentin Tarentino, Django Unchained

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Colin’s Oscar Predictions 2012

PICTURE – The Artist
DIRECTOR – Michel Hazanavicius: “The Artist”
ACTOR – George Clooney: “The Descendants”
ACTRESS – Viola Davis, “The Help”
SUPPORTING ACTOR – Christopher Plummer: “Beginners”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Octavia Spencer: “The Help”
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – “The Descendants”
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – “Midnight in Paris”
ART DIRECTION – “The Artist”
CINEMATOGRAPHY – “The Tree of Life”
FILM EDITING – “The Artist”
MAKEUP – “The Iron Lady”
ORIGINAL SONG – “Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets”
VISUAL EFFECTS – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “A Separation” (Iran)

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COMMENTARY TRACK: Actor Roundtable

Another treat from The Hollywood Reporter! This time it is an actor’s roundtable with six celebrated actor’s from the year’s best pictures. Taking part in this roundtable is George Clooney (The Descendants), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Christoph Waltz (Carnage), Albert Brooks (Drive) and Nick Nolte (Warrior). For the Director’s Roundtable, check here.


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COMMENTARY TRACK: Director Roundtable

The Hollywood Reporter was kind enough to share this wonderful, hour-long roundtable discussion between the year’s most celebrated directors. Included in the discussion is Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Mike Mills (Beginners), Steve McQueen (Shame), Jason Reitman (Young Adult), Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist). Everyone should take an hour out of their day to watch some of the year’s brightest directors talking about making films.


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