Tag Archives: La La Land

London Critics pick La La Land as Film of the Year

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea and Love & Friendship win two awards each, as Isabelle Huppert claims two top honours.

By Rich Cline

The UK’s leading critics spread the love among a range of films at the 37th Critics’ Circle Film Awards on Sunday night at The May Fair Hotel in London. Hosted by actor-filmmakers Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, the star-studded black-tie ceremony saw Damien Chazelle’s musical La La Land crowned Film of the Year, with top prizes going to films from Ireland, France, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Australia and the USA.

In a surprise move, Director of the Year was won by Hungarian filmmaker Laszlo Nemes for his Oscar-winning drama Son of Saul. Screenwriter went to Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea, which also won Actor of the Year for Casey Affleck. Moonlight was presented with both supporting acting categories, for Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali, who tied with Love & Friendship’s Tom Bennett. Bennett’s costar Kate Beckinsale was on hand to claim the British/Irish Actress prize, while Andrew Garfield won British/Irish Actor for his performances in both Hacksaw Ridge and Silence.

Iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert also took home two awards. She was presented the prestigious Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film before going on to win in the Actress of the Year category for her performance in Mia Hansen-Love’s Things to Come.

Maren Ade’s acclaimed Toni Erdmann added to its global accolades as it was named Foreign-Language Film of the Year, while Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea took the Documentary honours. And Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake won The Attenborough Award for British/Irish Film of the Year.
Other winners included A Monster Calls‘ 14-year-old star Lewis MacDougall, named Young British/Irish Performer of the Year, and writer-director Babak Anvari, who won The Philip French Award for Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker for his feature debut Under the Shadow. Cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grovlen claimed the Technical Achievement Award for his bravura work on the one-take German thriller Victoria.

For the fifth year running, The May Fair Hotel hosted the event, with winners Beckinsale, Harris, Loach, Bennett, MacDougall and Anvari among an array of stars on the red carpet. Guests at the ceremony included George MacKay, Emma Greenwell, Morfydd Clark, Mica Levi, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Sennia Nanua, Ben Cohen, Kristina Rihanoff and filmmakers John Carney, Otto Bell and Mia Hansen-Love.

The Critics’ Circle Film Awards are sponsored by The May Fair Hotel and Suqqu, along with Millbank Casting & Management, Cooper Searle Personal Management, Audi, Remy Martin, Sacred, Voss, 31 Dover and Cameo Productions.

The full list of winners for the 37th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards:

FILM OF THE YEAR
La La Land

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Toni Erdmann

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
Fire at Sea

BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR
I, Daniel Blake

ACTOR OF THE YEAR presented by Millbank and Cooper Searle
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR presented by Suqqu
Isabelle Huppert – Things to Come

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR (tie)
Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR presented by Cameo
Naomie Harris – Moonlight

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
László Nemes – Son of Saul

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge, Silence

BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS
Kate Beckinsale – Love & Friendship

YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER presented by The May Fair Hotel
Lewis MacDougall – A Monster Calls

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER
Babak Anvari – Under the Shadow

BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM
Sweet Maddie Stone – Brady Hood

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Victoria – Sturla Brandth Grovlen, cinematography

DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM
Isabelle Huppert

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(Source: criticscircle.org)

*Featured photo, left to right; Kate Beckinsale, Isabelle Huppert and Naomie Harris (Photo credit: Dave Bennett/Getty)

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China Clears Golden Globe Winner ‘La La Land’ for Release

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Fergus Ryan

Although the details are still being worked out, the film, which won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes on Sunday, has been cleared to open in the world’s second-largest movie market this year.

Fresh off its Golden Globes success, Damien Chazelle’s modern musical La La Land got some more good news with the announcement the film will get a release in China.

The Lionsgate film has been approved for distribution in China and will screen in the China Giant Screen format and possibly IMAX 2D, although a specific date is yet to be announced, according to local reports.

China Film Group, the state-backed film company, will be distributing the film, while Shanghai-based Baian Film and Joy Pictures will handle marketing.

Chinese-language posters and trailers were released on Tuesday featuring the film’s Chinese name, or Aiyue Zhicheng, which roughly translates as ‘Music-Loving City.”

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Local reports indicate that Chazelle and actor Ryan Gosling will travel to China to promote the local release of the film at the end of January. Emma Stone may be absent due to scheduling conflicts.

The feel-good film won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes on Sunday night for Best Picture (Comedy or Musical), Best Actor (Comedy or Musical) for Ryan Gosling, Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) for Emma Stone, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Damien Chazelle, Best Score for Justin Hurwitz, and Best Original Song for “City of Stars.”

Taiwan pop star Jay Chou’s movie The Rooftop holds the box office record for a musical in China, earning RMB 120 million (US$17.3 million) in 2013. Universal’s 2012 big screen musical Les Misérables pulled in RMB 64.3 million ($9.3 million).

No doubt the film’s local distributors will be hoping to ape the success of last year’s The Revenant, which was able to piggy-back buzz from the Oscars to pull in RMB 377 million ($54.4 million) in China.

La La Land will mark the first time Ryan Gosling has featured on the big screen in China, while co-star Emma Stone has appeared four times previously, including Birdman in 2015, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in 2014, the animated feature The Croods, in 2013, and The Amazing Spider-Man, in 2012.

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(Source: chinafilminsider.com)

Golden Globes – Winners & Nominees (Film) 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Tra la la!  La La Land  scores a record seven Golden Globe Awards!

Here’s a list of this year’s winner and nominees for this year’s film awards:

 

Best Motion Picture – Drama

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Best Motion Picture – Drama:
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Lion”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Moonlight” (WINNER)

 

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

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Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
“20th Century Women”
“Deadpool”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Sing Street”
“La La Land” (WINNER)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

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Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Amy Adams – “Arrival”
Jessica Chastain – “Miss Sloane”
Ruth Negga – “Loving”
Natalie Portman – “Jackie”
Isabelle Huppert – “Elle” (WINNER)

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:
Joel Edgerton – “Loving”
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge”
Viggo Mortensen –  “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington – “Fences”
Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

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Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Annette Bening – “20th Century Women”
Lily Collins – “Rules Don’t Apply”
Hailee Steinfeld – “The Edge of Seventeen”
Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Emma Stone – “La La Land” (WINNER)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:
Colin Farrell – “The Lobster”
Hugh Grant – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Jonah Hill – “War Dogs”
Ryan Reynolds – “Deadpool”
Ryan Gosling – “La La Land” (WINNER)

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

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Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman – “Lion”
Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”
Viola Davis – “Fences” (WINNER)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges – “Hell or High Water”
Simon Helberg – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Dev Patel – “Lion”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson – “Nocturnal Animals” (WINNER)

 

Best Director – Motion Picture

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Best Director – Motion Picture:
Tom Ford – “Nocturnal Animals”
Mel Gibson – “Hacksaw Ridge”
Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan – “Manchester by the Sea”
Damien Chazelle – “La La Land” (WINNER)

 

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

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Best Screenplay:
“Nocturnal Animals”
“Moonlight”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Hell or High Water”
“La La Land” (WINNER)

 

Best Motion Picture – Animated

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Best Motion Picture – Animated:
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“Moana”
“My Life as a Zucchini”
“Sing”
“Zootopia” (WINNER)

 

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

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Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language:
“Divines” – France
“Neruda” – Chile
“The Salesman” – Iran/France
“Toni Erdmann” – Germany
“Elle” – France (WINNER)

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

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Best Original Score – Motion Picture:
Nicholas Britell– “Moonlight”
Johann Johannsson – “Arrival”
Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka – “Lion”
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch – “Hidden Figures”
Justin Hurwitz – “La La Land” (WINNER)

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

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Best Original Song – Motion Picture:
“Can’t Stop the Feeling” – “Trolls”
“Faith” – “Sing”
“Gold” – “Gold”
“How Far I’ll Go” – “Moana”
“City of Stars” – “La La Land” (WINNER)

(Sources: goldenglobes.org, variety.com)

2017 Writers Guild Awards Screenplay Nominations Announced

Posted by Larry Gleeson

This year’s Writers Guild Screenplay Awards Nominations were announced today, Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, under strict eligibility parameters as follows:

“Feature films eligible for a Writers Guild Award were exhibited theatrically for at least one week in Los Angeles during 2016 and were written under the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) or under a bona fide collective bargaining agreement of the Writers Guild of Canada, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Writers Guild of Ireland, Writers’ Guild of South Africa, New Zealand Writers Guild, Film Writers’ Association (India), La Guilde Francaise des Scénaristes (France), Scriptwriters Guild of Israel, Société des Auteurs de Radio, Télévision et Cinéma (Québec), or Verband Deutscher Drehbuchautoren (VDD/Germany), collectively known as affiliate Guilds. Theatrical screenplays produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild must have been submitted for Writers Guild Awards consideration. Documentaries eligible for a Writers Guild Award featured an onscreen writing credit and were exhibited theatrically in Los Angeles or New York for one week during 2016. Theatrical documentaries must have been produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or an affiliate Guild to be eligible for awards consideration.”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water, Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films

La La Land, Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate

Loving, Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features

Manchester by the Sea, Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions

Moonlight, Screenplay by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures

Deadpool, Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Fences, Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures

Hidden Figures, Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Nocturnal Animals, Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios

Command and Control, Telescript by Robert Kenner & Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films

Zero Days, Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The awards will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 19, 2017, in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom. For more information about the 2017 Writers Guild Awards, please visit http://www.wga.org or http://www.wgaeast.org.

Q&A: Gosling and Stone on ‘La La Land’ & their movie romance

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle

NEW YORK (AP) — Bogart and Bacall. Tracy and Hepburn. Stone and Gosling.

The hugely charming Los Angeles musical “La La Land” seals it: Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have entered the ranks of great cinematic couples. Their easy rapport together was first hinted at with “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and carried through the crime drama “Gangster Squad.”

Those, though, were only appetizers to Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land,” in which they star as two flailing aspirants trying to make it in LA. Stone plays an actress, Gosling a jazz pianist. They sing. They dance. They patter like Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

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Ryan Gosling, right and Emma Stone dancing in a scene from their upcoming movie, La La Land. (Photo Credit: Dale Robinette/Lionsgate)

This image released by Lionsgate shows Ryan Gosling, right, and Emma Stone in a scene from, “La La Land.” (Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP)

“La La Land,” a resurrection of joyful 1930s studio musicals on contemporary LA streets, is an impassioned argument for the movies, in all their widescreen glory. And part of that vintage Hollywood experience includes big ol’ movie stars.

In an era that has struggled to produce them, Stone and Gosling stand apart as two of our best answers. In “La La Land,” they’re our version of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, maybe not quite as light on their feet (who is?), but more natural and funnier.

How far will they push their on-screen chemistry? “Do you think people would let us do anything together again?” Stone asked her co-star during an interview earlier this fall. “I don’t think we’d be allowed.”

After greeting warmly (Gosling had been shooting “Blade Runner 2049”), the actors sat down to reflect on why they go so well together, their own tortured paths to Hollywood success and just how deep their movie love runs.

AP: Did either of you hesitate about working together again?

STONE: That was an exciting aspect that it was our third thing together. The characters also have by the end five years between them and I think we’d probably known each other that long by that point. It’s kind of nice to not have to find that when the story depends so much on the connection between the two of them.

GOSLING: It’s also nice when you know the people you’re working with. Most of the time, everyone’s a stranger. It’s fine. That’s your job to make it seem like you have a relationship. But it certainly makes it a lot easier when you have one. And you listen to the way that person says their line more closely. You watch the way they’re playing the scene because you know each other. You’re more engaged in the scene than you would be otherwise.

AP: Did you feel a connection right away on your first film together, “Crazy, Stupid, Love”?

GOSLING: We’ve been asked to improvise a lot in the films that we’ve done together. I think even in our first audition we were asked to improvise. That just kind of connects actors in a way that just saying dialogue doesn’t do.

AP: Emma, you started in improv comedy.

STONE: That was the thing I loved to do the most. I thought I was just going to do comedy forever. I’ve always really loved to improvise but maybe strangely less so as time goes on. (She laughs.) Sometimes it’s nice to have a script nailed down. But comedy improv is pretty different from dramatic improv. Comedy improv is a lot of heckling.

AP: You both seem to a certain degree like comedic actors at heart.

STONE: It’s the best. It’s my favorite. Not to the exclusion of other types of films, but I do love comedy. That will always be my first love. (Turns to Gosling.) What do you think?

GOSLING: Well I don’t have as much experience with it…

STONE: But you’re so good at it.

GOSLING: What’s nice about it is you want to feel that whatever you’re doing is working. With comedy, it’s funny or it’s not.

AP: The film portrays some soul-crushing auditions. Were they familiar?

STONE: The first audition was inspired by Ryan’s story.

GOSLING: Yeah, where I had to cry and this lady took a call in the middle of it. And then just told me to go on, “Pick up where I left off.” That was part of what was great about making this film was Damien encouraged us to bring our experiences to these characters.

AP: Were they traumatic experiences?

GOSLING: Yeah, but it was so nice to see it realized in a movie and see Emma doing it. We made some lemonade out of lemons.

AP: Did either of you ever think about giving up?

STONE: I definitely thought about it. It was like a twice a year thing. Every six months there was a little meltdown. I’ve also thought about giving up in the middle of shoots before. “Well, after this one, I’m just never going to work again. That’s going to be fine. I’m never, ever going to work again because this is clearly not for me.”

GOSLING: About two week before shooting. “Can I still get out of this? They have time to find someone else.” It can be very discouraging. It’s kind of built in a way to discourage you. In some ways now being outside of it, I realize how inefficient it is, the auditioning process. It seems to reward people who are good at auditioning, which doesn’t really have anything to do with what happens when you get on set. The kind of people who are really great in a film I think you’ll find are for the most part pretty bad at auditioning. Yet they never feel they need to tinker with that system at all.

AP: How do you feel about being part of a proudly big-screen film like “La La Land” at a time when television is seen as eclipsing the movies?

STONE: I don’t think films are less than TV now, but there are some amazing characters on TV, so I understand why people want to do TV. When movies are at their full glory, I think it’s pretty mind-blowing. What do you think, Ry?

GOSLING: When I first met with Damien, it wasn’t about this. It was just kind of a general meeting. He has a very infectious love of movies but also of the experience of going to the movies. He talked a lot about wanting to make movies that you couldn’t watch on your iPhone, that you really wanted to see in a theater with an audience.

AP: Your love of movies seems clear, since you’ve previously acknowledged stuffing DVDs down your pants.

STONE: You put DVDs down your pants?!

GOSLING: (laughing) VHS. Look, in these kinds of situations, you’re encouraged to say anything. And it’s celebrated. And then you pay the price for that later.

STONE: Was it to be closer to your favorite movie?

GOSLING: No. It was one story a long time ago where I had to hide an R-rated movie from my parents. It was very intimate. This is the danger of this kind of thing that you do because it haunts us.

AP: Well, it’s a very vivid example of movie love.

GOSLING: I do love movies but I love making them more. I’ve never found something professionally that engages me as much as that. You work with such a large group of people and it’s this constant problem solving process that gets you to this end, whatever that is. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s always a crapshoot.

STONE: For me, watching movies is what makes me want to make movies. I’m so inspired by watching movies. The process of making it is engaging but I get so reinvigorated every time I see a great movie. Then I feel like I’m the character in the movie for the rest of the day. Then I realize I can’t play that same character I just watched.

AP: What was the first film that you mimicked that way?

STONE: “The Jerk.” Also “Hocus Pocus.” It was a combination of “The Jerk” and “Hocus Pocus,” so it shows my age and not my age. (Turns to Gosling) What was yours?

GOSLING: “Hocus Pocus.”

*Featured photo: Ryan Gosling, left, and Emma Stone posing for a portrait to promote their film, “La La Land,” at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Sept. 12, 2016. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Source: http://www.bigstory.ap.org)

La La Land ‘Dreamers’ trailer released

If there’s only one movie you can see this year make it La La Land. With an early limited release scheduled for December 9th in Los Angeles and New York followed up by a nation-wide roll-out, put on your seat belts for this emotional roller-coaster.

Brilliantly conceptualized from the Damien Chazelle team, La La Land tells the story of two young Los Angeleans, Mia and Sebastian seeking fulfillment through the entertainment industry. Mia is an aspiring actress and Sebastian is a classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anyone or anything. Mia, on the other hand, can’t seem to finish an audition without being interrupted. It’s only when their paths cross and the stars align do these two traverse the path of fulfillment.

As performances go, Emma Stone as Mia delivers an all-encompassing performance delicately balancing the drama of her personal life with an expressiveness she’s honed over the last twelve years as an actress in Hollywood.  Ryan Gosling as Sebastian delivers an understated performance that matches his character. Together, the two have made cinematic magic in the spirit and image of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.

La La Land is a film for the ages. Exceptional camera work, ardent choreography, exquisite production design, catchy, melodic musical score, strong direction and over-the-top performances catapult La La Land to the top of the year’s best films. La La Land is the stuff dreams are made of.

 

TOM FORD, MARC PLATT AND KENNETH LONERGAN TO BE HONORED AT THE 20th ANNUAL HOLLYWOOD FILM AWARDS®

Ford to Receive the “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” 

Platt to Be Awarded the “Hollywood Producer Award”

Lonergan will Accept the “Hollywood Screenwriter Award”

*James Corden Will Host Special Anniversary Ceremony on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Hollywood, CA (October 19, 2016) – dick clark productions announced today that acclaimed new director and established fashion designer Tom Ford will receive this year’s “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” for “Nocturnal Animals,” Academy Award-nominated producer Marc Platt will receive the “Hollywood Producer Award” for his numerous films this year including “La La Land,” “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” and “The Girl on the Train,” and two-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Kenneth Lonergan will receive the “Hollywood Screenwriter Award” for his screenplay “Manchester by the Sea” at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.

The awards ceremony, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the official launch of the awards season®, will be hosted by actor and comedian James Corden, and will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on November 6, 2016. The Hollywood Film Awards honors some of the most acclaimed films and actors, as well as artists in Cinematography, Visual Effects, Film Composing, Costume Design, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Makeup & Hairstyling. Its honorees over the past 20 years have included the world’s biggest stars and more than 110 have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and/or wins.

Mr. Ford’s second film “Nocturnal Animals,” the hauntingly romantic thriller that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves. The film premiered at the 73rd annual Venice Film Festival in 2016, where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Focus Features will release “Nocturnal Animals” in select cities beginning November 18th and nationwide on December 9th.

Tom Ford is a highly respected and successful fashion designer and film director. One of the most esteemed and prolific designers of his generation, Mr. Ford has won numerous awards for his distinguished work at Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and his eponymous luxury brand TOM FORD, which launched in 2005. That same year, he formed his Los Angeles-based film production company Fade To Black through which he directed, produced and co-wrote his first feature film “A Single Man,” starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.  The film premiered at the 66th annual Venice Film Festival in 2009, where Mr. Firth was awarded Best Actor for his performance.  The critically acclaimed film went on to receive multiple awards and nominations including the Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Marc Platt’s producing career spans film, theatre and television with his projects garnering a combined 17 Oscar nominations, 18 Tony nominations, 17 Golden Globe nominations and 29 Emmy nominations. His films this year are “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” “The Girl on the Train,” and “La La Land.” Last year, Platt received a “Best Picture” Oscar nomination for “Bridge of Spies,” which was among the six earned for the film overall. Other credits include “Into the Woods,” “Drive,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “Wanted,” “Nine,” “2 Guns,” “Cop Out,” “Ricki and the Flash,” “Legally Blonde,” “Legally Blonde 2,” “Honey,” “Josie and the Pussycats” and Disney’s upcoming “Mary Poppins Returns.”  He produced Broadway’s blockbuster musical, “Wicked,” and for television he earned an Emmy Award for executive producing “Grease Live!” and an Emmy and Golden Globe awards for HBO’s “Empire Falls.”  Prior to becoming an independent producer, Platt served as president of production for three movie studios — Orion, TriStar and Universal.

Kenneth Lonergan wrote and directed “You Can Count On Me” (2000 Academy Award® and Golden Globe® Nominee for Best Screenplay), “Margaret” (2011), and “Margaret” – Extended Edition (2012). He also co-wrote the screenplays for “Analyze This” (1999) and “Gangs Of New York” (2002 WGA® and Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay). Lonergan’s plays include Tony nominated “This Is Our Youth” (1996), Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Waverly Gallery” (2000), and Olivier Award nominated “Lobby Hero” (2001). He recently completed the television adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel, “Howards End,” for the BBC. His upcoming film, “Manchester by the Sea,” which he both wrote and directed, stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler.  The film premiered to great acclaim at the 2016 Sundance, Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals, and will be released by Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions on November 18, 2016.

Previously announced honorees for this year’s show include: “Hollywood Career Achievement Award,” Eddie Murphy; “Hollywood Actor Award,” Tom Hanks; “Hollywood Blockbuster Award,” “The Jungle Book”; “Hollywood Animation Award,” “Zootopia”; “Hollywood Cinematography Award,” Linus Sandgren; “Hollywood Film Composer Award,” Mychael Danna; “Hollywood Editor Award,” John Gilbert; “Hollywood Visual Effects Award,” Stephane Ceretti and Richard Bluff; “Hollywood Sound Award,” Christopher Boyes and Frank Eulner; “Hollywood Costume Design Award,” Albert Wolsky; “Hollywood Make Up & Hair Styling Award,” Shane Thomas, Angela Conte, Bec Taylor and Noriko Waztanabe; and “Hollywood Production Design Award,” Wynn Thomas.

(Source: Hollywood Awards Press Release)

La La Land to get Early Release on December 9

La La Land,  the sophomore feature follow-up by critically acclaimed Whiplash director, Damien Chazelle, is scheduled for a limited release beginning on December 9th. La La Land, an early favorite for Oscar nominations after strong showings at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride film festivals, is a musical drama about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, California. Ryan Gosling plays the jazz pianist, Sebastian while Emma Stone plays the aspiring actress/playwright Mia. Ms. Stone captured hearts at Venice receiving a Silver Lion for Best Actress for her role as Mia.In addition, La La Land won the coveted Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival.

The official roll-out release remains scheduled for December 16th.

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(Sources: http://www.variety.com, http://www.thedailystar.net)

FILM REVIEW: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

Film Director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land comes on the heels of his Oscar nominated screenplay adaptation for 2015’s Whiplash, where a highly intense music teacher molds a young, dedicated student. J.K. Simmons performance as the teacher garnered him an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chazelle, an avid music lover, had wanted to do a musical spectacle in the manner of Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Chambourg  while mixing in a splash of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s Singing in the Rain. Moreover, Chazelle wanted a realism mixed into the story. Having resided in Los Angeles for the last ten years and having had a love affair with the city, Chazelle chose the City of Angels to set his Hollywood success-seeker film.

The film opens without much fanfare in a typical Los Angeles morning traffic jam. A young woman, Mia, played by Emma Stone, in a white Prius, is having an issue with her phone and misses an opportunity to move forward as the traffic jam has freed up somewhat. The young man behind her in a late 1980’s maroon-colored, Buick Riviera convertible, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, lets her know with a blare of his horn and a not-so-friendly “good morning to you” gesture. Soon traffic slows again. This time, however, as radio are being dialed in, drivers begin exiting their vehicles and break into to an energetic, six-minute song and dance number, “Another Day of Sun,” staged on the 110 freeway overlooking downtown Los Angeles. As the song concludes, the title is flashed across the screen and the film is off and running with a start reminiscent of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.

La La Land is more about relationship and the life-changing experience two young lovers gain from each other. Mia is an aspiring actress mired in her real job as a barista juxtaposed against a series of failed acting auditions where she is continually interrupted. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a coarse, die-hard classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anything or anyone. As their paths begin to cross Sebastian brushes off Mia as someone who will never understand his plight – until she does. When their paths finally converge, the harsh realities of life begin to set in and the two unknowingly turn to each other in raw emotional exchanges and thereby find the strength each needs to reach the stars.

In a powerful denouement in the city full of optimism and broken dreams, the story concludes with a Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones truism echoed faintly at first only to be finished with an exclamation point:

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need!”

And if the story isn’t enough in itself, the catchy musical numbers credited to Chazelle’s long-time friend and co-collaborator, Justin Hurwitz, will keep almost any music aficionado’s attention. If not, then the roving camera movement of cinematographer Linus Sandgren is bound to keep eyes in the scene. And, if that’s not enough, then the supercharged production numbers from choreographer Mandy Moore will keep you riveted as they sync in timing with Sandgren’s camera movement allowing the actors seemingly the ability to levitate. And in vein with Chazelle’s vision and outright homage to the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s, Production Designer David Wasco keeps the screen illuminated with a bright vision of reds, yellows, pinks, pastel greens and sky blues, aided wonderfully by Mary Zophres’ costuming, while the filming locations could very well serve as a Los Angeles pop culture tour.

If there’s only one film you can see this year – make it La La Land! Highest recommendation.

Which movies are in the running for the 2017 Oscars?

 

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La La Land with Ryan Gossling and Emma Stone is already a favorite to win the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. (Photo courtesy of SND)

LOS ANGELES, Sept 25 ― What were the films and who were the actors who stood out at the latest film festivals? In the wake of the Venice, Toronto and Telluride festivals, here is an update on the movies and players potentially in the running for the 2017 Oscars.

In the period from September to December, the pace of superhero epic and action blockbuster releases slows down to make way for potential Oscar-winning works. This year is no exception with studios and distributors preparing to launch the movies they feel stand the best chance in the 89th Academy Awards at a time when they will still be fresh in the minds of the 2017 jury. What are the movies that will benefit from this Hollywood marketing strategy?

Top favourite ‘La La Land’

Having won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival, La La Land is now a serious contender for the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture. The Canadian accolade should not be overlooked. In fact it is a more than reliable indicator for the likely winner of a much-coveted gold statuette, having been awarded to such previous Oscar winners as Twelve Years a Slave, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty.

But it would be unwise to bet on the musical comedy which features Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling without evaluating the chances of some of the other movies that have come to light in the latest festivals: notably Manchester by the Sea, which is buoyed by a remarkable performance by Casey Affleck, Jeff Nichols’ Loving, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford, which won the Silver Lion at the 73rd Venice Mostra, and the biopic of Jackie Kennedy, Jackie, which could harvest a second Oscar for Natalie Portman.

However, competition for Best Actress in a Leading Role looks set to be fierce this year. Having garnered an award in Venice, Emma Stone has every chance of gaining a nomination. Ruth Negga (Loving), Amy Adams (Arrival), Viola Davis (Fences) and Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) are other likely contenders, as is French actress Isabelle Huppert for her much-noted performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. As for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Denzel Washington (Fences), Dev Patel (Lion) and Tom Hanks (Sully) could all be in the running.

A more diverse Oscars?

Several films that stand to be selected could also turn the page on the controversy surrounding the 2016 Oscars which was judged to be too “white.” Even if The Birth of a Nation does not currently look to be a competitor, the film which tells the story of a slave revolt may nonetheless be nominated. Other films that look likely to garner nominations include Moonlight, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. The story of an African-American growing up in a Miami neighbourhood has already been hailed as major work of independent cinema.

Hidden Figures which casts Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson as mathematicians who, in spite of being overshadowed by their male colleagues, contributed to the success of the Apollo space program, and Denzel Washington’s Fences, which features Viola Davis, have also been tipped for Oscar nominations.

However, we will still have to wait close to five months to see which way the jury votes in the 2017 Academy Awards which will be held on February 26 in Los Angeles. The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on January 24. ― AFP-Relaxnews

(Source: http://www.themalaymailonline.com)