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Latest The Contenders News


Nicole Kidman & Karyn Kusama On Being Creatively Linked For ‘Destroyer’ – The Contenders L.A. Video


It was an all-woman panel — actress, director, film editor — as the Destroyer team of Nicole Kidman, Karyn Kusama and Plummy Tucker joined me on the DGA stage last month for Deadline’s eighth annual The Contenders Los Angeles awards-season event. The subject was the very intense Annapurna film opening Christmas Day, in which Kidman plays a flawed, beaten and determined Los Angeles cop trying to come back from some very big mistakes. Kidman discusses how she and Kusama had… Read


‘Roma’ Team On Living Alfonso Cuarón’s Story Of Family And Country – The Contenders L.A. Video


Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is the story of one woman’s struggle in 1970s Mexico City, but it is also a story about Mexico, and what the country was going through at the time of Cuarón’s youth. “It was an attempt to come to terms with and try to understand what existence is,” he said onstage recently at Deadline’s The Contenders Los Angeles awards-season event. “How, on the one hand, we’re limited by time and space, but that same time and space molds who we are. It was so… Read


Sandra Bullock On Going To Her Blind Side For ‘Bird Box’ – The Contenders L.A. Video

Bird Box

As part of Netflix’s presentation last month at the Deadline’s eighth annual The Contenders Los Angeles all-day event, Sandra Bullock wrapped up the proceedings on a panel for her new movie Bird Box by sharing secrets of playing blind — which is exactly what she had to do in the post-apocalyptic film, which will debut on the streamer December 21. The Oscar-winning star of a movie called The Blind Side literally had to go without sight for much of this film, as the plot… Read


’22 July’ Editor Willliam Goldenberg On Being “Truthful And Respectful” To Tragic Story – The Contenders L.A. Video

22 July

The Netflix drama 22 July chronicles the 2011 Norway massacre hat left 77 dead when a far-right extremist detonated a car bomb in Oslo before carrying out a mass shooting at a teen leadership camp on the nearby island of Utoya. During Deadline’s The Contenders Los Angeles recently, editor William Goldenberg discussed how he and director Paul Greengrass adapted the real-life tragedy and its aftermath while taking care not to exploit the incident and those involved. “The… Read


Barry Jenkins And Team On Bringing James Baldwin’s Vision Of ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ To Cinematic Life – The Contenders L.A. Video

If Beale Street Could Talk

Two years ago, Barry Jenkins joined me on a panel at Deadline’s sixth annual The Contenders Los Angeles awards-season event to talk about a then little-known film called Moonlight. It would go on to famously win the Best Picture Oscar, along with a screenplay Academy Award for Jenkins himself. Now, two years later, he has a follow-up film, Annapurna’s If Beale Street Could Talk, and he joined me onstage last month at the DGA for the eighth annual Contenders to discuss… Read


‘Hereditary’ Director Ari Aster On The Beauty Of Horror – The Contenders L.A. Video


"The horror genre is one that I feel allows you to tell more uncompromising stories without losing the audience," Hereditary director Ari Aster says of why he decided to unravel the tale of a deeply haunted family the way he did. “You can filter it through this other thing.” Having debuted at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of the year and then rolling out in theaters in June, the Toni Collette-led fright fest and psychological terror certainly resonated with… Read


How America Right Now Is Like Bo Burnham’s ‘Eighth Grade’ – The Contenders L.A. Video

Eighth Grade

Comedian Bo Burhnam’s feature writing and directorial debut Eighth Grade has scored plenty of awards buzz for its depiction of the current social media-crazed pre-high schooler experience as embodied by newcomer Elsie Fisher, who stars and is a Spirit Award nominee (as is the film for best feature and Burnham for best first screenplay). The pic also was named to the AFI’s Top 10 films list. Burhnam told an SRO crowd at Deadline’s recent The Contenders Los Angeles all-day… Read


‘Three Identical Strangers’ Director On “The Best Documentary Story I’d Ever Heard” – The Contenders L.A. Video

Three Identical Strangers

Tim Wardle, the director of Neon’s documentary Three Identical Strangers, knew immediately that he had to make this movie about the true tale of three brothers who didn’t know one another existed. “This was the single best documentary story I’d ever heard,” said Wardle recently at Deadline’s annual The Contenders Los Angeles awards-season event. “It had this great human story at is heart, but it also allows you to explore these much bigger themes of family, free will… Read


‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Stars On Why Their Movie Represents Much More Than Just A Smash Hit – The Contenders L.A. Video

Crazy Rich Asians

Last week the National Board of Review kicked off the ritual of actually naming awards winners for the 2018 movie season, and it should come as no surprise one of the early names was Warner Bros’ smash romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, which garnered the Outstanding Ensemble honor. Considering the film represents the first all-Asian cast in a major studio English-speaking movie in 25 years, it is well-deserved, and one that shows film’s universality. The three key cast… Read


‘Stan & Ollie’ Co-Star John C. Reilly On The Secrets Of Laurel And Hardy – The Contenders L.A. Video

Stan And Ollie

Comedy greats Laurel and Hardy are truly the stuff of movie legend, and that is partially why John C. Reilly was so reluctant to take on the role of Oliver Hardy in the new dramedy Stan & Ollie, which will begin a qualifying engagement for Oscar consideration at the end of December. And it should be considered, as the film shows us a side we never really knew about the screen team, of which Reilly plays one half to Steve Coogan’s Stan Laurel. Reilly joined me as part of… Read


Netflix Stars Explain ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Private Life’ and ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ – The Contenders NY

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs actor Tim Blake Nelson first received the script for the Coen brothers-directed project back in 2002. Private Life director Tamara Jenkins revealed she wasn't sure she wanted to broach the topic of infertility before embarking on Private Life. And Maggie Gyllenhaal said she needed to own the role of an educator obsessed with her student's genius in The Kindergarten Teacher. The trio of films represented the contingent of Netflix films… Read


Rami Malek’s ‘Mr. Fahrenheit’-Like Experience While Shooting Freddie Mercury’s Live Aid Scenes In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – The Contenders NY

When Bohemian Rhapsody producers Graham King and Denis O’Sullivan chose Rami Malek to play Freddie Mercury, the Mr. Robot Emmy winner told them “you’ve got to give me time” in preparing for the part. “Graham told me ‘Buddy, it’s taken me eight years, we got time’,” remembers Malek who was the finale session at today’s Deadline Contenders at New York City’s DGA Theatre. And while Malek threw himself into watching and listening to all things Mercury, from concert footage to… Read