BEST ACTRESS OSCAR 2017 PREDICTIONS: Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone as Frontrunners by IndieWire

Emma Stone is considered a Best Actress frontrunner in the 2017 Oscar race. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Emma Stone is considered a Best Actress frontrunner in the 2017 Oscar race for her role in La La Land.

Best Actress Oscar 2017 Predictions

For its Best Actress 2017 Oscar predictions, IndieWire has named Amy Adams (Arrival), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Emma Stone (La La Land) as frontrunners. Arrival has earned excellent reviews from both critics and theatre goers. La La Land has out-of-this world word of mouth. So, we can see Amy and Emma as having a real shot at winning. Natalie Portman has been winning everyone over with her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy.

Natalie Portman, for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy, is a frontrunner in Best Actress Oscar 2017 predictions. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Natalie Portman, for her portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy, is a frontrunner in Best Actress Oscar 2017 predictions.
Amy Adams' performance in Arrival, has generated Best Actress buzz. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Amy Adams’ performance in Arrival, has generated Best Actress buzz.

Contenders and Long Shots

Ruth Negga (Loving), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train) and Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) were also listed among the contenders and long shots.

What do you think?

For our post on Best Actor Oscar predictions, click here.

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CINEMA: Must-See Films for December

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in Damien Chazelle's La La Land, in theatres December 16th. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, in theatres December 16th.

December, a Good Month for Movies

Paper has published a list of unmissable films for December. It’s actually a good, well-rounded list. New offering from Jim Jarmusch (starring Adam Driver, no less)? A movie about Neruda? A couple of horror films? Sign us up.

Adam Driver stars in Paterson, which finds its way to theatres December 28th. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Adam Driver stars in Paterson, which finds its way to theatres December 28th.

We’ve already seen and loved Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta. We’ve also seen I, Daniel Blake and found it to be one of those movies you’re sort of required to like, to prove you have a conscience (It was a bit heavy handed, maybe?). La La Land is getting good word of mouth, but we’d definitely see it anyway.

Films for December

  1. Paterson: Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey—they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, he writes poetry into a notebook; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.
    Director
    Jim Jarmusch
    Writers
    Jim Jarmusch
    Actors
    Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Barry Shabaka Henley, Cliff Smith, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper, Masatoshi Nagasi
  2. Julieta: Julieta lives in Madrid with her daughter Antía. They both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan, Antía’s father and Julieta’s husband. But at times grief doesn’t bring people closer, it drives them apart.
    Director
    Pedro Almodovar
    Actors
    Emma Suárez, Adriana Ugarte, Daniel Grao, Inma Cuesta, Darío Grandinetti, Michelle Jenner, Rossy de Palma
  3. The Eyes of My Mother: In their secluded farmhouse, a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, a mysterious visitor shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening unique curiosities. Though she clings to her increasingly reticent father, Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a dark form. Shot in crisp black and white, the haunting visual compositions evoke its protagonist’s isolation and illuminate her deeply unbalanced worldview. Genre-inflected, but so strikingly unique as to defy categorization, writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s feature debut allows only an elliptical presence in Francisca’s world, guiding our imaginations to follow her into peculiar, secret places.
    Director
    Nicolas Pesce
    Writers
    Nicolas Pesce
    Actors
    Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, Flora Diaz, Paul Nazak, Clara Wong, Diana Agostini, Olivia Bond
  4. I, Daniel Blake: A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself, is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.
    Director
    Ken Loach
    Writers
    Paul Laverty
    Actors
    Dave Johns, Hayley Squires, Sharon Percy
  5. Neruda: Beloved poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) is also the most famous communist in post-WWII Chile. When the political tides shift, he is forced underground, with a perseverant police inspector (Gael García Bernal) hot on his trail. Meanwhile, in Europe, the legend of the poet hounded by the policeman grows, and artists led by Pablo Picasso clamor for Neruda’s freedom.
    Gael García Bernal stars in Neruda, which plays in cinemas starting December 16th. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
    Gael García Bernal stars in Neruda, which plays in cinemas starting December 16th.

    Neruda, however, sees the struggle with his police inspector nemesis as an opportunity to reinvent himself. He cunningly plays with the inspector, leaving clues designed to make their game of cat-and-mouse ever more perilous. In this story of a persecuted poet and his obsessive adversary, Neruda recognizes his own heroic possibilities: a chance to become a symbol for liberty, as well as a literary legend.

    Director
    Pablo Larraín
    Writers
    Guillermo Calderón
    Actors
    Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Morán
  6. A Monster Calls: A visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”), based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.
    Director
    Juan Antonio Bayona
    Writers
    Patrick Ness, based on his novel A Monster Calls
    Actors
    Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver
  7. Miss Sloane: In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win.
    Jessica Chastain stars in Miss Sloane, in theatres on December 9th. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
    Jessica Chastain stars in Miss Sloane, in theatres on December 9th.

    But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price.

    Director
    John Madden
    Writers
    Jonny Perera
    Actors
    Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Stulbarg, Alison Pill, Jake Lacy, Sam Waterston, John Lithgow
  8. La La Land: Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.
    Director
    Damien Chazelle
    Writers
    Damien Chazelle
    Actors
    Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Jessica Rothe, Tom Everett Scott, Josh Pence
  9. The Autopsy of Jane Doe: Cox and Hirsch play father and son coroners who receive a mysterious homicide victim with no apparent cause of death. As they attempt to identify the beautiful young “Jane Doe,” they discover increasingly bizarre clues that hold the key to her terrifying secrets.
    Director
    Andre Ovredal
    Writers
    Ian B. Goldberg, Richard Naing
    Actors
    Emile Hirsch, Brian Cox, Ophelia Lovibond

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IMPROVING FANTASTIC BEASTS: Making the Sequels Even More Fantastic

Improving Fantastic Beasts. Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, who leads an adventure through a magical 1920's New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Eddie Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, who leads an adventure through a magical 1920’s New York in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts continues to get a lot of press. Reviews for the movie, which is the first in a series of five, have been generally positive. Fantastic Beasts currently rates a 76% on the Tomatometer and an Audience Score of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic, Beasts is at a mostly positive 66%. Not surprisingly, it opened globally with $200m at number one, beating Doctor Strange and Trolls. Is this a big enough opening to launch a new Wizarding World series? Apparently, yes.

Improving Fantastic Beasts

However, that hasn’t kept some from speculating on improving Fantastic Beasts. Entertainment Weekly, for example, lists five suggestions with which we’d more or less agree:

  1. Focus on fewer beasts (We called this one earlier, as the beast sequences can be a little distracting.).
  2. Lure Newt out of his shell, as he can be a little repressed (except for when he’s in action mode, wrestling a beast).
  3. Improved CGI.
  4. Escape from New York (Is it just us or do the American witches seem either beaurocratic and heartless, or gangster and heartless? Maybe we just didn’t get see enough of them outside of Queenie and Porpentina.).
  5. More Credence (Please.). A less campy Johnny Depp (Grindelwald isn’t The Mad Hatter or Willy Wonka, so hopefully Depp will give us a villain we can sink our teeth into.).

    Johnny Depp plays villain Grindelwald, one of Fantastic Beasts' biggest surprises. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
    Johnny Depp plays villain Grindelwald, one of Fantastic Beasts’ biggest surprises.

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J.K. ROWLING’S FANTASTIC BEASTS: Story of Tolerance and Intolerance, Premieres in London

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock (7438945dj) Katherine Waterston, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Rowling, Carmen Ejogo, Fine Frenzy and Dan Fogler 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them' film premiere, London, UK - 15 Nov 2016
Photo by Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock (7438945dj)
Katherine Waterston, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Rowling, Carmen Ejogo, Fine Frenzy and Dan Fogler
at the Fantastic Beasts premiere in London.

Producer David Heyman Discusses Importance of Tolerance at Fantastic Beasts Premiere

J.K. Rowling, Eddie Redmayne, and Ezra Miller joined director David Yates, and the rest of the Fantastic Beasts cast on the red carpet Tuesday night for the movie’s European Premiere. Producer David Heyman took the opportunity to discuss the movie’s timely message of tolerance.

Ezra Miller's character suffers as a result of intolerance. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Ezra Miller’s character suffers as a result of intolerance.

“She writes about our world, about outsiders, it’s about tolerance and intolerance. These are our issues. This is our world. These characters are us. I think that’s why it resonates in the way it does.”

Indeed, Fantastic Beasts explores intolerance in regard to the beasts, which the witches are largely prone to kill, and between humans and witches. Significantly, the effects of intolerance resonate most emotionally in the story of Credence (Ezra Miller). Rowling’s story and Miller’s performance combine to deliver some of Fantastic Beasts’ most poignant moments. The budding, yet forbidden, relationship between Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Jacob (Dan Fogler) explores tolerance in a touching, more positive, light.

From Variety:

‘Fantastic Beasts’ Producer Spells Out J.K. Rowling Story at U.K. Premiere: ‘It’s About Tolerance and Intolerance’

Magical chaos hit the blue carpet on Tuesday night at the European premiere of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Ripped from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s script, a sudden and saturating downpour fell upon a glut of unsuspecting muggles – better known in the U.S. as no-majs.

Rowling’s on-carpet incantations proved rusty. Her best spell to stop the rain failed when it was needed most, forcing the masses to resort to a roof of roaming umbrellas around the Leicester Square carpet.

Fresh from his 1926 expedition to a spellbound New York City, lead beast-loving naturalist Eddie Redmayne was enjoying himself, divulging his fanboy love of the wizarding world. “I used to go and watch the [Harry] Potter films for a J.K. Rowling hug every few years,” he said.

Joining the worldly wizard on the carpet came a new generation magical cast including Alison SudolKatherine WaterstonCarmen EjogoEzra Miller, and Dan Fogler. “Potter” alumni were still aptly represented however – faced by director David Yates, producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. U.K. head Josh Berger.

Heyman gave his insight into Rowling’s fantastically timely relevance when he stated, “She writes about our world, about outsiders, it’s about tolerance and intolerance. These are our issues. This is our world. These characters are us. I think that’s why it resonates in the way it does.”

Following the big screen wrap, guests headed eastbound to the Grand Connaught Rooms. Celebrating the resurgence of Rowling’s fantastical world, partying in a vast magical illusion set in 1920s Manhattan. One area of the party was themed after New York City Hall and subway, where some of the film is set.

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MOVIE TRAILER: RED, Featuring Cate Blanchett

RED featuring Cate Blanchett, will play at the Art Gallery of Australia from January 26 to April 30th. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
RED featuring Cate Blanchett, will play at the Art Gallery of Australia from January 26 to April 30th.

RED featuring Cate Blanchett

CATE BLANCHETT, ALEX RUSSELL, CHARMENE YAP, ARELLA PLATER
vfx supervisor RICHARD LAMBERT
sound designer BROOKE TREZISE
composer TOM SCHUTZINGER
editor MARK BENNETT
production & costume designer ALICE BABIDGE
director of photography BENJAMIN SHIRLEY ACS
creative director LIZ ELLIS
executive producers CECILIA RITCHIE, ARNDT ART AGENCY, ART GALLERY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, BESEN COLLECTION and BURGER COLLECTION
producer ANGIE FIELDER
written and directed by DEL KATHRYN BARTON

RED Trailer from Aquarius Films on Vimeo.

From Entertainment Weekly:

Cate Blanchett channels her inner spider woman in creepy RED trailer

RED (short film)

Posted November 16 2016 — 11:49 AM EST

Cate Blanchett is showing off some serious contortionist skills in the trailer for her new short film RED.

The dual-screen experimental project, from Australian director Del Kathryn Barton, delves into “themes of passion, sex and death, drawing on the symbolism of the female redback spider,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Its first preview shows Blanchett, clad in a full-body fishnet getup, writhing around on the ground before wrestling with a man.

“In essence, the narrative in RED illuminates the unusual mating rituals of the Australian red-back spider,” Barton, who also called the film an “uncompromising celebration of female power,” told the publication. “Here, our brave little male after copulating with the monumental female gently somersaults into her mouth, offering himself as a meal postcoital. If she is not hungry she will store his bound, dying body on her web for later consumption.”

Barton, who crafted the film using a $50,000 creative fellowship from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, which she was awarded in 2015, previously captured the image of Blanchett and her children in a portrait she painted in 2011.

In addition to Blanchett, RED also stars actor Alex Russell and Charmene Yap of the Sydney Dance Company.

RED runs next year from Jan. 26-April 30 at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the Adelaide Festival. Watch the short’s first trailer below.

 

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FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: JK Rowling and Eddie Redmayne Present Latest Wizarding Movie at Lumos Charity Benefit

JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in theatres soon. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in theatres next week.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Advance Screening for Lumos

Director: David Yates
Writers: J.K. Rowling, J.K. Rowling (textbook)
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell

Tonight's advance screening of Fantastic Beasts benefited Rowling's Lumos charity. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Tonight’s advance screening of Fantastic Beasts benefited Rowling’s Lumos charity

We just caught an early screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with JK Rowling and the cast, benefiting her Lumos charity. Eddie Redmayne lead the Q&A, during which Rowling explained the developmental harm being done to children in even the best of orphanages. Lumos works to provide family and community-based care for children in place of institutional care.

The movie itself is a wild ride. There’s so much layering of plot and subplot, that not only do the beasts themselves sometimes seem like a distraction, but it’s easy to see why the Fantastic Beasts series will stretch out over five movies. However, a couple of the beasts do provide some comedy relief, as many of the scenes can be on the darker side. American witches, it turns out, have a taste for death. The theme of abuse and the suppression of potential, also provide with film with darker tones.

The cast is great. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) semi-consistently comes across as awkward and obsessed with his work. But when the situation calls for it, he’s in action adventure mode. Ezra Miller gives one of our favorite performances as Credence, but I won’t give away any spoilers. His relationship with Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is peculiar at first, and quickly escalates.

Before the start of the movie, Rowling told of her love for these characters. I feel we’ve only gotten a glimpse of them, but so far they are likable enough. Queenie, played by Alison Loren Sudol, is probably most likable after Newt.

After the movie, JK Rowling joined members of her Lumos team on stage, to a standing ovation. She thanked the audience for helping to raise money for the charity. Then she asked, “So, did you enjoy the movie? So it was worth it.”

Find out more about Lumos here.

A photo posted by Troy Wise (@troy_wise) on

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CINEMA SCAPE: NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – Official Trailer

Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals is in theatres today. Image Amplified www.imageamplified.com
Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals is in theatres today.
Cinema Scape: NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – Official Trailer [HD] – In Select Theaters November 18
From writer/director Tom Ford comes a haunting romantic thriller of shocking intimacy and gripping tension that explores the thin lines between love and cruelty, and revenge and redemption. Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star as a divorced couple discovering dark truths about each other and themselves in “Nocturnal Animals.”
Featuring the music of Ludovico Einaudi, under exclusive license courtesy of Ponderosa Music & Art.

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