Pablo Berger’s black and white and silent rendering of Snow White won the top Goya in Spain on Sunday night. The Spanish Oscars gave Blancanieves the Best Film prize along with Best Actress for Maribel Verdú and Best Original Screenplay for Berger. It won seven other prizes for a total of 10 out of its leading 18 nominations. The Impossible‘s Juan Antonio Bayona was named Best Director. The tsunami drama that stars Ewan McGregor and Oscar nominated Naomi Watts was also a winner in four other categories including Editing and Special Effects. It had 14 nominations going in. Click over for a full list of winners.
Although Blancanieves missed making the shortlist for the foreign language Oscar, the entry from Spain leads nominations for the Goyas, the country’s equivalent to the Academy Awards. Pablo Berger’s black-and-white and silent re-telling of Snow White has 18 nods in total including picture, director, original screenplay and editing. It also has six actors up for prizes including leads Maribel Verdú and Daniel Giménez Cacho. Juan Antonio Bayona’s critical and box office success The Impossible scored 14 nominations including picture, director, actress for Naomi Watts and supporting actor for Ewan McGregor. Their young co-star Tom Holland also got a nod for best newcomer. The other most heavily-nominated films are Unit 7 from director Alberto Rodríguez with 16 nods and Fernando Trueba’s The Artist And The Model with 13. The awards ceremony will be held February 17 in Madrid. Here’s a full list of nominees (in Spanish).
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
The first weekend of 2013 has barely any new specialty releases. One exception is Magnolia Pictures’ action-thriller A Dark Truth, directed by Damian Lee and starring Andy Garcia, Kim Coates and Deborah Kara Unger, will have a limited opening in Miami. Post-holiday attention on limited releases will focus on holdovers and expansions, including Lionsgate-Summit’s The Impossible, Focus Features’ Promised Land and Hyde Park On Hudson, and The Weinstein Company’s Silver Linings Playbook, and others.
The Naomi Watts-Ewan McGregor starrer The Impossible had a relatively meager start, averaging $8,250 in 15 locations two weekends ago, but it managed a rare feat last weekend increasing its average to $12,300 in the same 15 theaters. The film about a family caught in the South Asian tsumami has grossed an additional $145,721 in the same cinemas Monday through Wednesday ahead of its hefty expansion into 572 locations beginning Friday.
Specialty B.O.: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Scores Powerful $82K Per Theater’; ‘Amour’ Strong, ‘On The Road’, ‘The Impossible’ Soft
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty opened Wednesday with the highest-ever midweek per-theater debut at $24,969 and 5-theater opening-day total of $124,848 and it’s having a great pre-Christmas weekend. Sony’s decision to delay the movie’s release until after the presidential election and to go with a limited debut appears to have paid off. The controversial but critically praised heavyweight grossed a whopping $410K at only five locations and handily won the highest per screen average of any film in theatrical release with $82,000. That is just shy of Lincoln’s $85,846 average when it opened in 11 theaters in early November and it is well ahead of Bigelow’s Oscar winner The Hurt Locker‘s $36,338 average when it opened in 4 theaters in June of 2009. Named Best Picture by a slew of critics groups including The New York Film Critics Circle, Zero Dark Thirty will head to wide release January 11th, the day after Oscar nominations are announced.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Palme d’Or and LA Film Critics winner Amour bowed solidly this weekend — the only new title among specialty films to fare so well. Amour averaged $23,554 in three theaters in its platform debut. Smaller audiences went along for the ride with IFC Films’ On The Road despite its star power. Road averaged $10,800 in 4 locations. Lionsgate-Summit’s The Impossible averaged a middling $9,250 from 15 theaters, while Paramount Vantage’s Not Fade Away took an average of $6,333 in three runs.
Amour’s arrival had momentum with its Cannes Film Festival win and other accolades, but its tough subject matter – a husband and wife confronting mortality – nevertheless made it a challenge. Its weekend average topped director Michael Haneke’s previous Palme d’Or winner The White Ribbon, which opened with a $19,949 average in three theaters in 2009 and far outpaced his $11,402 opening average for Cache in 2005. SPC co-president Michael Barker
Brian Brooks is Managing Editor of MovieLine.
Two Cannes titles finally make it to theaters this holiday weekend in the specialty arena. Palme d’Or winner Amour has picked up critical accolades although its tough subject matter may prove a challenge for audiences. IFC Films’ On The Road has some star wattage from Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams and Garrett Hedlund in the screen version of the 20th century American classic. Also taking on some tough subject matter is Toronto’s The Impossible starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor based on a true story of survival during the 2004 tsunami. And Not Fade Away will roll out under the Paramount Vantage label after an extensive run at festivals and word-of-mouth screenings.
On The Road
Director: Walter Salles
Writers: Jose Rivera (screenplay), Jack Kerouac (novel)
Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Amy Adams
Distributor: IFC Films
This one has been a long time coming. Francis Ford Coppola first picked up rights to the On The Road novel in 1979 and served as executive producer on the film after asking Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles to take on the project. Salles spent a good deal of time researching the period known popularly as the Beat Generation and even filmed a documentary about On The Road before undertaking the feature. Kirsten Dunst was the first to come on board a number of years ago and Kristen Stewart actually first joined before undertaking her first Twilight Saga installment. Into The Wild director Sean Penn suggested her. The feature screened this year at the Cannes Film Festival, but IFC Films picked up the title prior to its debut there.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage
Angelina Jolie stepped out in London on Sunday night to mark an endorsement for her friend Ewan McGregor and his turn in Juan Antonio Bayona’s tsunami story The Impossible. She laid on drinks at the Soho Hotel along with a private screening of the film for about 30 invited guests — including fellow thesps Noomi Rapace, Peter Capaldi and Game Of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie. These sorts of third-party-endorsed “influencer” campaigns are increasingly popular in Hollywood, where recently Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land received similar airings by the unaffiliated likes of Cameron Crowe and Aaron Sorkin. But they’re new to the UK, where most awards screenings follow the traditional actor and director Q&A format. At the event, Jolie said, “Ewan, I’ve known you for years and you’re one of my favorite actors. But I watched this and I didn’t recognize you. It’s strange; to say it’s one of the best performances of the year doesn’t really give it credit. It doesn’t feel like a performance; it comes from such an honest place.” Representing The Impossible ahead of its UK premiere on Monday were 16-year-old co-star Tom Holland, screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez and composer Fernando Velázquez.
EXCLUSIVE: One of the sleeper entries in this year’s Oscar race is the emotionally wrenching true story, The Impossible which chronicles a family split apart in the terrifying Tsunami in Thailand in 2004 and their efforts to survive and find each other, despite horrific injury and unspeakable devastation at the resort area where they were vacationing. Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland star in the film directed by Spain’s Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage). Distributor Summit will release the film domestically (already a smash hit in Spain since opening there in mid-October) on December 21, but already has sent out 38,000 DVD screeners to all guilds and the Academy in order to gain a foothold in the race against higher profile, better known competitors. Here is a look at the making of the film in a featurette that also includes an interview with the real-life wife and mother who fights against major odds just to see her kids and husband one more time.
Christy Grosz is editor of AwardsLine
When the production team behind Summit’s The Impossible met with 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami survivor Maria Belon at a quiet coffee shop in Barcelona in the spring of 2008, they weren’t certain that she would agree to have her family’s harrowing story told in a feature film. Producer Belen Atienza knew they were in for an emotional afternoon—she was the one who first heard Belon’s story on the radio, a drama so profound that it left Atienza in tears after it concluded. But Atienza, director Juan Antonio Bayona, screenwriter Sergio Sanchez—who have a shorthand from working together on Bayona’s Spanish-language horror hit The Orphanage—gained Belon’s trust in a simple way: They listened.
“We were all really nervous,” Atienza recalls about the initial meeting. “She talked for three and a half hours. It was exhausting for her and for us. We didn’t open our mouths—we were just listening—and she was extremely thorough.”
The Impossible tells the story of a family’s experience in the devastating 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami and the chaos that followed. The film, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Its North American premiere is set for September at the Toronto Film Festival. Here’s the trailer:
I’ve learned more about the special screening addition to the Cannes Film Festival that I wrote about a few days ago. Just today, the team behind Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible decided to pull out. The reason as I understand it is they were keen not to be lumped in with the program of footage and promo reels and preferred to do a stand-alone presentation further down the line. I’ve also heard the seven minutes of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained that The Weinstein Co screened for select invitees a few evenings ago will not be involved. However, footage from Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmasters was confirmed to me, along with scenes from Nicolas Winding Refn’s reteam with Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives.
There was no official widespread announcement from the festival regarding this special séance, and no official list of the films that will be included in the clip reel. However, there are signs dotting the Palais now saying the first-come, first-served screening is tonight at 10:30 PM in the Salle du Soixantième. I understand Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux put this together to allow accredited festgoers a chance to see footage many buyers may have already seen in the market. And I hear there will be scenes from a surprise film at the end of the reel.
Summit Entertainment has acquired most worldwide rights to The Impossible, a film that will star Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, with Juan Antonio Bayona directing a script by Sergio G. Sanchez. The film is based on a true story that took place during the tsunami that hit the coast of Thailand in 2004. Summit acquired all rights but Spain, and those were dealt to Warner Bros.
The Impossible is being co-produced by Spanish production companies Apaches Entertainment and Telecinco Cinema. Production begins in August. It’s Summit’s second straight acquisition of a film that stars Watts, after the company acquired domestic rights to Fair Game, the Doug Liman film that premieres in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Watts plays outed CIA agent Valerie Plame and Sean Penn plays her husband, Joseph Wilson. Summit will sell foreign on both films at Cannes.
This is a year with such quality acting that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should seriously consider following the example set with the best picture category a few years back and expand to 10 potential nominees. It’s an embarrassment of riches with some history-making possibilities.
Consider the battle of the 77-year-olds: Robert Redford in All Is Lost and Bruce Dern in Nebraska. Neither has won an acting Oscar and both have only been nominated once before for their onscreen work. If either manages to take the gold, they would be the oldest ever to win in the best actor category. Or consider that on the 50th anniversary of Sidney Poitier’s groundbreaking best actor victory in 1963 for Lilies Of The Field, there’s such a diverse list of candidates this year, including African-Americans Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and the UK-born Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) and Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom). You could even throw in another fine performance from April’s 42, in which Chadwick Boseman memorably starred as Jackie Robinson. We could also see two-time winner Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks) and never-been-nominated Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Mud) grabbing nominations in both lead and supporting.
The European Film Academy has unveiled the nominees for the 26th European Film Awards. Felix van Groeningen’s Berlin and Tribeca prize-winner, The Broken Circle Breakdown, leads the pack with five nods in each of the top categories. The film is also Belgium’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes competitor, and Italy’s Oscar entry, The Great Beauty, has four nominations. Another film from Italy, Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language The Best Offer starring Geoffrey Rush, also fared well with the Academy, taking three nominations. Three other films garnered three nods: François Ozon’s In The House; Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy!, which won six Lolas in Germany earlier this year; and Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina. The latter film bagged acting nods for Jude Law and Keira Knightley. Blue Is The Warmest Color was mentioned twice, for Best European Film and Best European Director; although there were no citations for the film’s lead actresses. Naomi Watts also is a nominee for The Impossible. The winners will be announced in Berlin on December 7th. Following is a full list of the nominees:
EXCLUSIVE: Ok, get ready to feel inferior. When an eighth grader named Maya Van Wagenen found herself struggling to fit in with her new classmates, she followed the seemingly outdated wisdom from a 1950s advice book for help. Not only did Maya crack the code to becoming popular by using ancient tips from Betty Cornell’s Glamour Guide For Teens, she kept a diary. That journal is the basis for a six-figure two book deal with Penguin Group. And now, at the ripe age of 15, Van Wagenen has become the youngest non-actor to ever make a feature deal at DreamWorks.
The studio has optioned Popular: One Geek’s Quest For The Impossible, as well as that Betty Cornell book. They’ve set Amy B. Harris to script it into a coming of age feature. Harris certainly knows that terrain; she transitioned from Sex And The City scribe to showrunner of the popular spinoff The Carrie Diaries. Mad Chance Productions’ Andrew Lazar will produce with Kristie Macosko Krieger.
This is heady stuff for Van Wagenen, who is now 15, but book publishers went wild for her story of struggle, and how she found social footing by following such advice as: always wearing white gloves, using pearls as a fashion accessory; and never forgetting that a girdle can be a girl’s best friend. The most important lessons conveyed were timeless ones like being open and honest, and kind. She found that each social clique was distrustful of the others, and that all of the kids bore similar insecurities. She was able to find common ground and feel for the first time like she belonged.
So much for the speculation that Lionsgate might wait until 2014 to take the film to China. Hunger Games: Catching Fire will open day-and-date with the global release unlike the first film, which was delayed for three months. The initial Hunger Games generated $27M in China, and the new one — which will also appear in IMAX — likely “will do materially better,” Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil says. It’ll be a big week for film goers in China: The new Hunger Games opens a day after the premiere there of Warner Bros’ Gravity.
Here’s Lionsgate’s announcement:
SANTA MONICA, CA, October 22, 2013 – Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, announced today that the second installment of its global blockbuster The Hunger Games franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, has been approved for a November 21, 2013 release on more than 3,000 screens in China.
UPDATED, 9:45 AM: Kerry Washington found herself in the middle of Saturday Night Live’s new-cast kerfuffle this morning when the NBC late-night show announced it had booked her to make her hosting debut on November 2. SNL may have first approached ABC’s Scandal star last season, and booked her weeks ago, but the timing of SNL‘s announcement raised eyebrows this morning, putting her at the epicenter of the latest media storm over SNL’s performers. In case you were off the grid yesterday, SNL cast member Kenan Thompson made some news when he told TV Guide that, yes, it’s the show’s sixth consecutive year without a black female cast member because, turns out, there are just no black female comics out there who are qualified for the gig. “It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson said. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.” When asked how the show plans to handle any spoofs of black female celebrities (a FLOTUS gag, maybe?) Thompson responded, “I don’t know. We just haven’t done them. That’s what I’m saying. Maybe [Jay Pharoah] will do it or something, but even he doesn’t really want to do it.”
Maybe they can do a FLOTUS sketch on November 2!
Thompson’s interview managed the impossible, driving from the media’s mind all thought of Miley Cyrus’ turn as Twerking Michele Bachmann on SNL’s second episode this season, as their attention returned to the casting controversy that made headlines when the show’s newbies were unveiled. While there is some diversity among the newcomers (Noel Wells, for instance is half-Tunisian/Hispanic), critics complain they’re too white — and especially lacking in black comediennes, which, the press in numbers pointed out yesterday, continues SNL‘s dismal track record on that score. Washington, who plays a hot-shot Washington, D.C. “fixer” having an affair with POTUS on ABC’s Shonda Rhimes hit Scandal, is known to be pretty outspoken and may wind up weighing in on the subject. Or not. If she doesn’t, there’s always Eminem, who’s returning for his sixth appearance as SNL’s musical guest that night.
Enhancing its original drama slate, the UK’s Sky Atlantic has come aboard to co-produce John Logan’s upcoming period series Penny Dreadful with Showtime. The psychosexual horror series features some of literature’s most frightening and iconic figures as they grapple with alienation in Victorian London. Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, Harry Treadaway and Reeve Carney star, with Doctor Who‘s Billie Piper the latest addition to the cast. She’ll play an Irish immigrant trying to escape a dark past. Penny Dreadful is produced for Sky Atlantic and Showtime by Neal Street Productions and Desert Wolf Productions. Logan, Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris are exec producing. Oscar-nominee Logan created and wrote the series with the first two episodes to be helmed by The Orphanage and The Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona. Shooting starts in October at Dublin’s Ardmore Studios.
The rushed nature of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be addressed at a Governors meeting I am assured by someone who said, quite correctly, “we need to stop turning this thing into a track meet”. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Board of Governors repping the Writers Branch). Certainly there was concern during last night’s 3 hour and 40 minute marathon in which winners were given 45 seconds from the time they left their seat in the cavernous Nokia Theatre to reach the stage and make a speech. For many the orchestra started playing them off even before they could get comfortably into the thrust of their thank-yous. One female winner changed her shoes just so she could charge the stage. One poor overweight winner for The Voice had a choice of either pulling up his loose tux in a confused moment where the clock was ticking or dropping his Emmy. He did the latter and broke it, but at least didn’t reveal his underwear. It was that kind of night.
You can’t envy Executive Producer Spike Jones Jr who has to edit this show down to about an hour and 40 minutes plus commercials for its broadcast next Saturday on the 3-week-old FXX. And considering the very dirty material of some presenters such as (a hilarious) Triumph The Insult Comic Dog (voiced by SNL‘s Robert Smigel) and particularly a very unfunny and out-of- control Gilbert Gottfried, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences had better hope there are a few more X’s after the FXX logo to accommodate the blue humor.
Toronto: Weinstein’s Premiere Marathon Delivers Huge Reaction For Oscar-Bait ‘August: Osage County’ – But Will It Divide Audiences?
Just call it Weinstein Premiere-O-Rama. The company launched four movies with splashy galas at the Toronto International Film Festival in the span of 48 hours (is this some sort of weird record?). That included Saturday night’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom World Premiere, Sunday’s North American launch of Philomena and last night’s World Premieres of August: Osage County and One Chance directly against each other. When I saw Harvey Weinstein at the combined Soho House after-party for the Monday films I told him he obviously loves Toronto. He was moving fast between his movies showing up everywhere, including on stage for August before it began. ”Everything came together and we just thought this would be the perfect way to get these films out there,” he said clearly beaming at the reaction.
All the films won standing ovations, not uncommon in movie-friendly Toronto (people like getting up on their feet here) but even by those standards the raucous, prolonged standing O for August: Osage County was definitely the most enthusiastic I have encountered at this year’s fest. And the John Wells-directed movie adaptation of actor/writer Tracy Letts’ Tony-winning Midwestern-set Broadway play about a dysfunctional family to end all dysfunctional families played like gangbusters with much audible reaction throughout. Star Meryl Streep was a last-minute cancellation due to illness and co-producer George Clooney (with Grant Heslov) didn’t make the trek to Canada for this film or Gravity in which he co-stars with Sandra Bullock since he was back in L.A. still working on posting his latest directorial gig, Monuments Men as well as shooting Disney’s Tomorrowland. But most of the cast was there including Ewan McGregor, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney and Julia Roberts, clearly the belle of this ball. When I spoke with her afterwards she was definitely on cloud nine over the reaction the film received and obviously excited to be working with this cast and opposite Streep who manages to do the impossible and tops Streep as the bitterly funny, bitingly caustic mother who lets it rip, particularly in the film’s (and the play’s ) signature dinner scene. Roberts is also at her best and both should be major Oscar contenders in the impossibly crowded lead actress category. This would make nomination #18 for Streep. Could anyone ever top her own record?