BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
The CCMAs are selected by critics, and have no direct influence on the Oscars. But as I mentioned in the last episode of Awards Blend (our weekly Oscar podcast), recognition by groups like SAG and the BFCA only help a film’s Oscar campaign, and an omission by a key organization like the BFCA can damage a campaign (or, at the very least, set it back).
There’s a lot of movement on the charts this week. Following the Golden Globes and the SAG nominations, I feel comfortable letting films that hung on as Longshots fall by the way side.
Someone’s going to be left out in the cold. Several very talented and deserving people, in fact. There’s no avoiding it. There are simply too many talented actors vying for five Best Actor slots this year, so on the morning of the Oscar nominations, there could be as many as 10 worthy performers looking at the five nominees and wondering why they aren’t in that exclusive group.
Benedict Cumberbatch is riding high on the awards campaign trail for The Imitation Game, a sturdy WWII biopic of code breaker Alan Turing, recruited by the British to help the government crack Enigma. But the actor ALMOST did something in the movie that could have locked up the Oscar trophy.
This is the first time we’re going on record with official Oscar predictions, breaking films down into Frontrunners, Contenders, Dark Horses and Longshots. We still have a number of films left to screen between now and the end of the year. To date, here’s where I think all of the top films stand.
Just when you thought it was impossible for the world to fall in love with Benedict Cumberbatch even more, he goes and does something like this. Words can’t do the elegant thespian’s efforts justice. Just sit back, watch, enjoy, and then regret that your mother didn't have the gall to name you Benedict.
Peng-wings? Penglins? Benedict Cumberbatch possibly has the most charming idiosyncrasy as he fails to pronounce penguin.
Hollywood is always trying to figure out the best time to release an Oscar hopeful. But after a film has tested the waters of the film festival circuit, what is the point of holding it back from an interested audience?
Benedict Cumberbatch has become pretty well skilled in appearing to always be the smartest man in the room. Whether he's playing the titular detective on Sherlock or playing the villainous Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness, the British actor always appears to be 10 steps ahead of the game and can read his opponents like a book. Bbut the actor is apparently ready to break the cycle. He doesn't want to always be the smart guy anymore. He wants to be dumb.
The Imitation Game almost plays like a sports drama, focusing on a ragtag team of quarreling underdogs as they prepare for the “Big Game” against a dominant foe. For in order to defeat the Nazi’s secret weapon, Alan Turning and his team need to build a better machine.
The Oscar race is over. Call off the dogs. Pack up the boxes. Our work here is done!
The Imitation Game, to me, takes Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock persona and writes it large for an awards-contending role. That’s not a bad thing. With his mannerisms, there are roles that he is tailored to play.
Between these four fests, cinephiles and critics will have a chance to preview titles that are sure to be the most talked about of award season. We've sorted through the buzz of Telluride, Venice, TIFF and NYFF to distill what five movies you must see to stay in the conversation this year.
I’m in Toronto once again, covering my eighth consecutive TIFF. It’s always a thrill to be at the center of the fest, but I know (from experience) how overwhelming it can be. So I jumped on a podcast with my great friend and colleague Erik Davis of Movies.com to preview the 10 films that we can not wait to see in Toronto.
The Imitation Game held its world premiere over the Labor Day weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, and emerged from the festivities as the hottest title in a prestigious group.
As expected, TIFF (as Toronto’s summarily dubbed) unveiled a healthy slate of programming in its first initial announcement, part of the run up to this year’s robust film festival. (The dates of the 2014 Toronto Fest are Sept. 4 to 14, and we will be on the ground covering every inch of the festival, per usual.)
The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as renowned English mathematician and logician Alan Turing, who essentially turned the tide against the Germans in World War II by cracking their Enigma code. But as the trailer above hints, this was far from the only conflict brewing in Turing's life.
Needless to say, Cumberbatch is as versatile as they come, and it sounds like he has a slew of interesting projects in the hopper to keep his fans entertained. I know very little about Turing. And Hollywood’s few attempts at telling dramatic stories about war-time codebreakers looked too much like John Woo's Windtalkers.
Previously, it was unknown what part Knightley would be playing in Turing's life story, but now we know she's up for the role of Joan Clarke, a mathematician and cryptanalyst who worked alongside Turing during World War II. According to Andrew Hodges’s book from which Moore's script is based, Clarke had offered to marry Turing, even though she knew full-well he was gay.
Keira Knightley is no stranger to being a part of films that center on some of our society's most brilliant minds - having recently starred in A Dangerous Mind, a film about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung - but her next effort will have the Oscar nominated actress moving from the world of psychology to the world of math and code cracking.
The project first earned buzz back in 2011, when it scored scribe Graham Moore a coveted spot on the Black List, a collection of unproduced screenplays Hollywood producers agree are exemplary. Since then the script bounced from Warner Bros to Black Bear Productions, and director J. Blakeson was replaced by Morten Tyldum. In all the shuffling, The Imitation Game also lost Leonardo DiCaprio, who was once rumored for its lead.
The Imitation Game, a biopic about famous mathematician Alan Turing, was one of the most talked about screenplays featured on the 2011 Black List - the annual list of the most popular unproduced screenplays in Hollywood - and now it seems that the project is finally making some headway and moving towards production.
Topping last year's The Black List, Graham Moore's The Imitation Game tells the fascinating true story of English mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing. Since the spec script about the historical figure checks off so many awards-bait boxes, it obviously received a lot of attention from some big name actors including Leonardo DiCaprio.
This year's list includes the usual mix of genre, ranging from a biopic about World War II cryptographer and mathematician Alan Turing, all the way to a dark comedy about an embittered foreclosure victim kidnapping and planning to murder a real estate agent. The writers include a few names you'll recognize, and a lot more you won't. But given that they're showing up on the Black List...that might well change.