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Pete Hammond’s Notes On The Season: ‘Wonder’ Makes Awards Play; ‘Dunkirk’ Storms The Q&A Circuit; Netflix Sends A Pig To Voters

A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit. Is Wonder the latest entry into this season’s awards battle? When Lionsgate moved the film from its original date to mid November some pundits misread that as an indication they were preparing for an Oscar run, but the studio actually just wanted to be in the lucrative holiday period for a family film , especially with kids out of school. Sources at the distributor have consistently maintained that they… Read

Kumail Nanjiani On How A Pitch To Judd Apatow About A Ghost Witch Movie Begat ‘The Big Sick’ – The Contenders Video

Kumail Nanjiani Emily V. Gordon

One of the year’s biggest independent successes, The Big Sick opened Amazon Studios’ session at Deadline’s 7th annual The Contenders awards-season event at the DGA Theater. In front of a packed house of Academy and key guild voters, the film’s star and one of its true-life subjects, Kumail Nanjiani, joined his wife and co-writer Emily V. Gordon to discuss the genesis of the film and how they worked together to bring the story of their own unique relationship to the… Read

‘Arthur Miller: Writer’ Helmer Rebecca Miller Discusses Her Doc Portrait Of Father Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller's relevance as a playwright appears in no danger of diminishing. Only two years ago, for instance, an innovative production of his A View From the Bridge won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a play. If his reputation as an artist, thinker and person needed any further burnishing, it is amply supplied in the new documentary Arthur Miller: Writer, directed by his daughter, filmmaker Rebecca Miller. The elder Miller comes across as wise, open and funny in the… Read

Denis Villeneuve On His Love Of Sci-Fi, Working With Ridley Scott On ‘Blade Runner 2049’ & Revisiting ‘Dune’ – Behind The Lens

Denis Villeneuve Behind The Lens

There is no question that Denis Villeneuve has been on a roll of late enjoying great success with movies like his Oscar-nominated foreign-language film Incendies, Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival and now Blade Runner 2049, which is earning buzz for a second consecutive Oscar Best Director nomination following last year’s Arrival. Villeneuve sat down with me for an in-depth conversation in my new video series Behind the Lens, and we covered the waterfront with topics ranging… Read

Denzel Washington & Dan Gilroy On Why ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’ Never Left The ’60s Behind – The Contenders Video

Denzel Washington

Sony Pictures devoted its entire session at Deadline’s 7th annual The Contenders all-day awards-season kickoff event to the new drama Roman J. Israel, Esq. which opens wide this weekend. Star Denzel Washington and writer-director Dan Gilroy joined me onstage at the DGA Theater in front of a packed crowd of Academy and key guild voters for a conversation about where Washington’s unique character came from — a socially backward activist who really has never left the spirit… Read

‘Loveless’ Director Andrey Zvyagintsev On Filmmaking In Modern-Day Russia

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Loveless is the Foreign Language entry from Russia this year, and one of the frontrunners for the shortlist. Sony Pictures Classics acquired all North and Latin American rights to Loveless in Cannes. This is the director's third time repping his country after 2003's The Return and 2014's Oscar nominee Leviathan. The film revolves around Zhenya and Boris, who are going through a vicious divorce marked by resentment… Read

‘The Wound’ Director John Trengove On Challenging South African Traditions

“Right at the beginning, it was a conversation about making a queer South African film. We felt that this was something we wanted to do that nobody else was doing, but specifically, I think what was important to us was to bring together a story about same-sex desire within a traditional African context,” director John Trengove says of the genesis of his South African Oscar entry, The Wound. Following a recent Awardsline screening of the film, Trengove appeared with star Ni… Read

Seth Meyers Confirmed For Golden Globes Hosting Gig

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has confirmed that Seth Meyers will host the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony on January 7, 2018. Earlier this week, it had been reported that the Late Night With Seth Meyers host and SNL alum was in negotiations for the NBC gig. Meyers follows fellow NBC host The Tonight Show‘s Jimmy Fallon, who emceed last year. Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey & Amy Poehler have also recently fronted the show. "The Hollywood Foreign Press Association… Read

‘Suburbicon’ Production Designer On Cobbling Together Idyllic ’50s Suburb Out Of Disparate SoCal Locations

Tackling a period project that feels true to life, rather than an imitation of the past, is no easy feat for any production designer—but it doesn’t hurt to have lived through the period being depicted. Such was the case for Oscar-nominated production designer Jim Bissell, who has spent much of his career depicting different epochs of the American experience. Breaking out with Steven Spielberg’s E.T., Bissell sees an irony in the fact that at 66 years of age, he’s found… Read

‘Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World’ EPs On Their Celebration Of Musical Icons

“It's my first time seeing [the film]. It's fantastic, so moving. It's really a huge breakthrough—a huge subject. I think you can see this film again and again because there's so much stuff in here that I didn't know, that I'm grateful to find out,” iconic singer-songwriter Jackson Browne says of Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, a Sundance-premiering documentary in which he appeared. “So many people in this film are people I do know, but they all deserve a deep… Read

‘Molly’s Game’s Jessica Chastain & Idris Elba On Working With Aaron Sorkin In His Directorial Debut – The Contenders Video

Molly's Game Aaron Sorkin Jessica Chastain Idris Elba

The new movie Molly’s Game from STXfilms kicked off Deadline’s 7th annual The Contenders event celebrating the launch of the movie-awards season. Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with the script which he wrote, and it stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, a onetime champion skier who eventually becomes a somewhat notorious poker madam running high-stakes games in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Idris Elba co-stars as her lawyer. All three appeared onstage with me at… Read

Willem Dafoe On Playing Tough, Managing Kids In ‘Florida Project’ & Getting Fired On His First Movie – The Actor’s Side

Willem Dafoe The Actor's Side

For this week’s chapter of my video series The Actor’s Side, Willem Dafoe traverses his wide-ranging career that has taken him from playing villains to playing nice, and everything in between. In our conversation, he talks about his early days in theater; being fired from his first film, which  turned out to be a blessing in disguise since it was the notorious flop Heaven’s Gate; making Platoonwhich turned out to be his first Oscar nomination; trying to avoid… Read