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Oscar Watch: Foreign Films Start Screening, But Should Voters Ask “Does The DOG Die?”

white-god

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this week that a record 83 countries had submitted an eligible film for the 2014 Foreign Language Film Oscar. A volunteer group of several hundred members now will trudge through those movies beginning Monday night with Poland's much acclaimed Ida and wrapping up December 14 with Iceland's Life In A Fishbowl.   In between will be numerous films, good and bad, selected by their home countries for various reasons… Read

Awards

‘Mommy’ To Rep Canada In Foreign-Lingo Oscar Race; Belgium Picks ‘Two Days, One Night’

Director Xavier Dolan, Jury Prize award winner for his film "Mommy", poses during a photocall at the closing ceremony of the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes

Canadian wunderkind director Xavier Dolan scored the Jury Prize in his first time in the main Cannes Competition earlier this year with Mommy. The film has now been selected to represent Canada in the Foreign Language Oscar race. While the last Canadian film to win an Oscar was 2003's The Barbarian Invasions, the country has had a strong showing with four nominees since 2006. Mommy is 25-year-old Dolan's fifth film as director and his second to rep Canada after his 2009… Read

Awards

Oscars: Cannes Winners ‘Winter Sleep’, ‘White God’ To Rep Turkey, Hungary In Foreign Language Race

winter sleep oscar

UPDATE WEDNESDAY AM: It's that time of year again, when committees gather in overseas countries to determine what their Foreign Language Oscar entry will be. Earlier today, Turkey's decision was revealed (see below) and now another film that won prizes in Cannes has been selected from Hungary. Kornél Mundruczó's White God, a buzzed about cautionary tale that features a gang of stray dogs who seize an opportunity to escape from a pound and revolt against mankind, will do… Read

Film

Saban Films Continues Ramp-Up With Exec Hires

Jonathan Saba Azniv Taschyan Saban Films

Saban Films launched just before Cannes in May and made a statement by acquiring Tommy Lee Jones' Competition title The Homsesman, which it will release in the U.S. via Roadside Attractions. It was the first glitzy step in a plan to release 8-10 commercial, talent-driven features per year via a distribution partner. Now it has more help under the division's president Bill Bromiley: Jonathan Saba has been tapped as VP Marketing and Azniv Taschyan as VP Finance. Saba most… Read

Film

Roadside Attractions Acquires Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Winner ‘Mommy’

Mommy

Roadside Attractions has acquired U.S. rights to Xavier Dolan's Cannes pic Mommy. The plan is to release it in first-quarter 2015. Dolan's fifth film centers on an explosive 15-year-old boy with ADHD and his widowed single mom. But when Kyla, a new girl across the street, enters their lives, things change. Anne Dorval, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément star. Dolan, a Canadian, moved up to the Cannes Competition lineup for the first time with Mommy after winning… Read

Awards

James Garner: An Appreciation Of A Great Acting Legend Who Never Looked Like He Was Acting

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James Garner just made it all look too easy. That's the only explanation I can give for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences failing to vote him an Honorary Oscar over these last few years of Governors Awards.  More than once I wrote a column of “suggestions” including  those egregiously overlooked artists deserving of the industry's top award, and always near the top was my annual reminder of Garner. But I guess it is just too late now.  Garner, who died… Read

Film

Drafthouse Films Acquires Cannes Critics’ Week Winner ‘The Tribe’

Tribe

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's The Tribe is set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, and its depiction of disenchanted youth features a cast of non-professional, deaf actors. The pic's narrative unfolds purely through sign language without subtitles, music or voice-over. It won three honors this year in the Cannes sidebar. Drafthouse Films plans a theatrical and digital rollout sometime in 2015. In the pic, a boy enters a specialized boarding school for the deaf. Alone… Read

Film

Kino Lorber Acquires Jean-Luc Godard’s Cannes Winner ‘Goodbye To Language’

Goodbye To Language

French New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard's 3D Goodbye To Language shared the jury prize this year at Cannes — it was his first win ever at Cannes. Now the experimental pic is getting a U.S. release beginning in October after Kino Lorber acquired all North American rights. It will open first at the Film Society of Lincoln Center and IFC Center in NYC late in the month, followed by a national theatrical rollout on 3D screens; a VOD and 3D Blu-ray release is planned for… Read

Film

Roger Ebert’s Final Hollywood Premiere: Can A Movie About A Movie CRITIC Be Oscar Bound?

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Before the screening began at last night's Hollywood premiere of director Steve James' Roger Ebert documentary Life ItselfEbert's remarkable wife Chaz shared something with the packed crowd of industry notables that her late husband told her as they were embarking on the shooting of the film. “Roger said, 'Make sure Steve doesn't make a movie I don't want to see',” she laughed. Mission accomplished, but in a cruel stroke of irony for the world's most famous film critic… Read

Film

Cannes Palme d’Or Winner ‘Winter Sleep’ Acquired By Adopt Films

Winter Sleep

Adopt Films has acquired all U.S. rights to this year's Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Winter Sleep. The Turkish drama took the top prize despite its daunting 3-hour, 16-minute run time that even had jury president Jane Campion wondering if she'd need a bathroom break in the middle of the Palais premiere. “But it had such a beautiful rhythm and it just took me in,” Campion said at the post-awards press conference. “Actually I could have sat… Read

Film

Saban Films, Roadside Take Cannes Pic ‘The Homesman’

Homesman

Upstart company Saban Films will partner with Roadside Attractions to handle the U.S. theatrical distribution of the Tommy Lee Jones-directed The Homesman, the Western that premiered at Cannes. Jones stars with Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Hailee Steinfeld, James Spader and Meryl Streep. Saban Films, hatched by Haim Saban, and Roadside Attractions plan to release the film this fall on November… Read

Film

First Look Photo: Tom Hardy As The Kray Twins In ‘Legend’

Shooting has just started on Legend, the Working Title period gangster pic that sees Tom Hardy step into dual roles as the infamous Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie. Studiocanal, which is fully financing, nearly sold out on the Brian Helgeland-scripted and directed film in Cannes. Cross Creek has North America on Legend which will go out via Universal through its distribution deal with the studio. Release is expected in late 2015. Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Ecc… Read

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