BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
Hailing from such buzzed about films a Blue Jasmine, American Hustle, Nebraska, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave, each of these actresses has earned plenty of ink over the last few months. But only one will win on Oscar night. Whose in it to win it and who will have to say, "Just getting the nomination is such an honor?" Allow me to break it down.
Lone Survivor opened wide this weekend after two weeks in small release, taking the top spot with little competition. With $38 million, it topped Frozen which added $15 million to its impressive $317 million total.
In the narrative categories, few of these nominees can be called surprising as just about all of the above have received critical praise and Oscar buzz. The dark horse contender in the mix is Peter Berg's Lone Survivor, which has had a soft open over Christmas and will expand next week.
And so the spin cycle begins! In Oscar season, Harvey Weinstein is like Creasy in Man On Fire and he's about to paint his masterpiece. The latest weapon at Harvey's disposal is August: Osage County and since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, it's generated lots of controversy.
SAG isn’t always right. Last year, the group accurately predicted that Ben Affleck’s Argo would have a big night at the Oscars. But the year prior, SAG went with The Help over the eventual Best Picture Oscar winner, The Artist.
The holiday season is officially upon us, observed less through Christmas decorations and cold weather and more by the onslaught of Oscar fare hitting theaters this month. December is always a truly great time for both quality dramas and big bombastic comedies, and this year won’t be bucking that trend.
SCAD supports the annual Savannah Film Festival, an event I have been lucky enough to attend and cover for the better part of the last decade. Traditionally held during the final week of October, the fest has steadily grown in stature and importance to become the Southeast’s preeminent film celebration.
Adapted by Letts herself, the story centers of the strong women of the expansive Weston family who are all brought back together in the Oklahoma homestead after a family crisis and must deal with their dysfunctional matriarch.
Uniformly, the cast is fantastic, with Streep and Roberts serving as the expected scene-stealers. Streep, per usual, Streep, commands our attention. But it’s so much more than “here goes Streep again.” Every time she approaches a new role, she resembles a painter staring at a blank canvas, and she fills it with her inspiration.
OK, so we’re jumping the gun, but Wells’ adaptation of Terry Letts’ Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play has all of the pedigree it needs to contend. It co-stars Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard … I mean, damn.
It's wise that they didn't try to show off their cast and ape the poster for the Broadway version, though this being a Weinstein Company production, they'll inevitably roll out the cast one by one in a series of first-looks, or whatever they can do to drum up interest. And when you've got a cast this famous, you don't really need their faces to show them off anyway
After a strong arc as Assistant US Attorney Esther Randolph on Boardwalk Empire, plus a major supporting turn in this year's indie favorite Keep the Lights On, Julianne Nicholson is turning her hot streak into a role in one of the most prestigious upcoming projects out there
The cast of John Wells in-development August: Osage County is pretty remarkable. Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis, Sam Shepard and the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch make up the ensemble. Now they’re adding one more high-profile name, but will they finally begin filming?
Because the main action of Tracy Letts's play August: Osage County revolves around the disappearance of family patriarch Beverly Weston, it's not much of a spoiler to tell you that's a tiny role. But Beverly gets one big monologue at the beginning of the play before the other members of his family-- namely his wife Violet and daughter Barbara-- take center stage
The cast of August: Osage County was ridiculously stacked from the word "go," with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts initially signing on to play the battling mother and daughter at the heart of Tracy Letts's Pulitzer- winning play. But as the movie adaptation moves forward the cast only manages to get better and better
Production on the film, which is adapted from Tracy Letts's Pulitzer-winning play, is set to begin in Oklahoma this September, with John Wells directing a screenplay that Letts adapted himself. Yes, this movie does indeed have "Oscar" written all over it, though it's still unclear how they'll expand a play that's set within a single house
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, the film will star Meryl Streep as Barbara the pill-popping matriarch of the Weston family, an estranged clan drawn together after their drunken patriarch Beverly goes missing. Breslin has committed to play Jean Fordham
With a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and as recently announced, Chris Cooper, a list of producers that includes George Clooney and Grant Heslov, not to mention a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play as its source material, The Weinstein Company's film August: Osage County already has a number of great things going for it. And Juliette Lewis may be added to that list.
Cooper's portrayal of Colonel Frank Fitts in the 1999 Academy Award winning film was so chilling that I'm certain that seeing his face will forever trigger a brief and haunting flashback of the sight of him standing out in the rain, staring into Kevin Spacey's garage. He's done great work since then, with roles in films like Adaptation., Seabiscuit and John Wells' The Company Men, the latter of which brings us closer to the topic at hand.
August: Osage County revolves around the hilariously dysfunctional Weston family. And while Streep has committed to play Violet, the pill-popping matriarch, Roberts will play her eldest daughter, Barbara, a high-strung professor. Should she sign on, Riseborough would play Karen, Violet's youngest who is engaged to a man whose lack of worth she resolutely refuses to recognize.
It's still going to be a gargantuan task for the Weinstein Company to adapt Tracy Letts's massive play August: Osage County for the screen, but the studio is slowly building up the star power to at least make the road a little smoother. Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are already set to take the two lead roles
Letts has turned in his script, and while many playwrights turned screenwriters often need a collaborator to polish their draft into something shoot-worthy, an insider at the Weinstein Co. insist Letts draft is nearly ready to go into production. The question now is when. That decision is almost entirely dependent on the two major stars August: Osage County has attached: the always in-demand Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts ...
The choice of Wells as a director-- perfectly capable but not too exciting-- kind of sums up why I'm not thrilled about this news. Of course Meryl