With just one week to go until the Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2017 WGA Awards. Last year, the big WGA winners were Spotlight (Original), written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, as well as The Big Short (Adapted), written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; plus Alex Gibney's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief winning the award for Best Documentary. What have fellow writers determined to be the best scripts of 2016? The big winners are Arrival (Adapted), written by Eric Heisserer adapted from Ted Chiang's short story, and Moonlight (Original), written by Barry Jenkins. I'm so happy for both of these outstanding films! Congrats to both.
As another film festival comes to an end, it's time to celebrate and commemorate with the announcement of the awards. The 67th Berlin Film Festival just ended (my own recap is coming soon), and the winners were announced at the Closing Ceremony, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a film called On Body and Soul, described as an "unusual love story set in the everyday world", directed by Hungarian filmmaker Ildikó Enyedi (seen above). Oddly, I missed most of the big winners this year, except for the Polish film Spoor, which was one of my favorites of the fest (read my review). I'm also happy with A Fantastic Woman getting some recognition. Read on for all the winners.
"If you really love film, then join us to recognize, celebrate and support film screenings in independent theaters everywhere." Yes! This is awesome news. Alamo Drafthouse has partnered with Kodak to launch the first ever "Reel Film Day", a special event happening on March 5th at all of the Drafthouse cinemas around the country, to celebrate and support 35mm film. Drafthouse CEO Tim League announced the news: "This scrappy group of fellow cinephiles is truly preserving film history. Support your local theater, support 35mm (and 70mm) film on 3/5, the first annual Reel Film Day." This is a great idea, and in conjunction with Art House Theater Day, will be an exciting annual event that all cinephiles should participate in every year.
Last night, the United Kingdom had their big night for Hollywood at the 70th BAFTA Awards, honoring the best in film from last year (2016). These awards don't really have a major influence on the Oscars, but it's always interesting to see who our friends across the pond select as the winners. The two big winners are La La Land as Best Film, and I, Daniel Blake as Best British Film, both of these were expected to win. Emma Stone and Casey Affleck won the main acting awards. Last year, it was The Revenant and Brooklyn taking home the two big awards, for reference. The set of winners this time once is very diverse, with pretty much every excellent film from 2016 taking home something. Read on for the full list of 2017 winners below.
Drive-in movie theaters are pretty much a thing of the past, with barely any around still surviving. But that doesn't mean they can't be re-envisioned into something new and exciting for movie fans nowadays. A new movie theater concept is being built right now in Nashville, Tennessee called the August Moon Drive-In, as reported by Variety. The cinema is situated in a "40,000-square-foot, air-supported dome, complete with simulated starry sky" and features seats in modified classic cars along with food service and a full bar. Best of all, the screen they're using will supposedly be "the largest non-IMAX movie screen in North America".
Two big wins for two young directors. Over the weekend, the 69th Annual DGA Awards were announced. As expected, La La Land director Damien Chazelle won the main prize for Best Director, meaning he'll likely go on to win the Oscar. Lion director Garth Davis won the award for Best First Feature. The Directors Guild Awards are one of the top awards in Hollywood, and it's exciting to see Damien Chazelle win. This is is his first nomination, and his first win, despite getting lots of attention for Whiplash he didn't make the cut that year. I'm surprised to see Davis win for Lion, but Lion seems to be the sleeper favorite in Hollywood that many people are voting for. Congrats to both Damien and Garth, both first time nominees and winners.
This is exciting news! ShortsHD, an online short film channel, has announced that they have partnered with Magnolia Pictures to release all 15 Academy Award nominated short films in theaters starting this February. The shorts program will be playing on over 500 screens across the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America starting on February 10th, 2017. They will be screening the Live-Action Short Films, Animated Short Films, and Documentary Short Films nominated for Oscars, which includes Pixar's Piper as well as The White Helmets documentary. This is the perfect way to see all of these acclaimed short films, instead of trying to find them online. The Oscar ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 26th in about a month.
With the Sundance Film Festival wrapped up in Utah, Hollywood took over to announce the Screen Actors Guild Awards winners. The SAG Awards honor the greatest performances from 2016, as chosen by other actors which means this is one of the most definitive lists of the best on-screen performances. Actors know their profession better than anyone and are very particular about good performances. This year, Denzel Washington won for Fences, taking home his first SAG Award after four nominations. The very talented Mahershala Ali also won for Best Supporting Actor in Moonlight, which makes me very happy. Emma Stone and Viola Davis were the big winners on the Best Female Actor side of things. Full list found below.
The official awards for the 2017 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at a ceremony in Park City. We've been patiently waiting to see who won the awards at Sundance this year, and now we know - it's a solid mix of winners across the board, and no double Audience Award & Grand Jury winners (as has been the case the past few years). The big Audience Award winners are: Chasing Coral, the documentary about coral bleaching from Jeff Orlowski; and Crown Heights from Matt Ruskin, the feature film telling the true story of an innocent man being locked up for 20 years for a murder he did not commit. The documentary Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower also won an Audience Award. Read on for the full list from 2017.
English actor Sir John Hurt has passed away at age 77. The sad news was confirmed by his agent, via BBC. Hurt died of pancreatic cancer, after first being diagnosed in 2015. John Hurt appeared in over 120 different films across multiple decades, as well as numerous stage and television roles. He most recently appeared in the films Jackie, The Journey, Hercules and Snowpiercer. Hurt earned two Academy Award nominations years ago, for The Elephant Man in 1980, and Midnight Express in 1978. He won two BAFTA Awards for Acting, and was recognized for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2012. He was one of those talented actors who would always give a great performance no matter the role. It's sad to lose another actor.
The complete list of nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (via oscar.go.com). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees this morning via live broadcast and on their website. They've nominated many outstanding films, and lots of amazing performances from 2016, though there are always others that deserve recognition. There's no need to spend any more time introducing this, so let's get right into it! This year, The Academy selected a total of nine Best Picture nominees, including: La La Land, Moonlight, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Hidden Figures, and Hell or High Water. So without further ado, here is the full list of noms.
Briefly: Lucasfilm has officially announced the new title of the next Star Wars movie - it will be called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This is the sequel to The Force Awakens, continuing the "Skywalker" storyline and following the characters introduced in that movie: Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren. The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson (of Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper previously) and will open in theaters everywhere starting December 15th, 2017 at the end of this year. No other plot details have been revealed yet, but this is clearly the beginning of their major marketing push over the next 12 months. Fans have been quick to remind everyone that the plural of "jedi" is just "jedi", so this title doesn't mean there's only one. Beyond that, everything is speculation until the first trailer drops - which we hope is sooner than later. Can't wait!