MTV has cast Victoria Justice in the cyber thriller Eye Candy based on RL Stine’s bestselling novel. Justice plays Lindy, a beautiful but reclusive hacker whose blog exposes everything from terrorist plots to suspected killers. Convinced by her roommate to begin online dating, Lindy is targeted by a dangerous cyber stalker and believes one of her suitors to be the culprit. When things take a deadly turn, she teams up with the city’s cyber-crime unit to catch the killer. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke will direct and executive produce the pilot. Justice is coming off her successful Nickelodeon series Victorious which wrapped in 2012. She is repped by UTA.
Victoria Justice In ‘Eye Candy’, Madeleine Martin Boards ‘Hemlock Grove’, Troy Garity In HBO Pilot ‘Ballers’
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Adéle Exarchopoulos, the 19-year old actress who stars with Lea Seydoux in Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie D’Adele). That film won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in May, and for the first time in festival history, the prize was given to Exarchopoulos and Seydoux along with the film’s director Abdellatif Kechiche. IFC’s Sundance Selects will release in the U.S. the critically acclaimed film about the awakening of a young woman who engages in a lesbian relationship. Exarchopoulos’s credits include Boxes (Les Boites), Les Enfants de Timpelbach and La Rafle. The actress is managed in France by Bunch of Talents.
Adele Lim (Private Practice, One Tree Hill) has signed an overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, she will serve as executive producer/co-showrunner on the studio’s new CW drama series Star-Crossed (previously Oxygen) alongside the project’s writer-executive producer Meredith Averill. Star-Crossed chronicles the epic romance between a human girl and an alien boy when he and eight others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school. Also executive producing the series are Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Richard Shepard and Bryan Furst. Star-Crossed marks WME-repped Lim’s return to the CW and CBS Studios where she served as co-executive producer on Life Unexpected. Her credits also include Life On Mars, where she worked with Applebaum, Nemec and Rosenberg, and One Tree Hill.
A Ukrainian TV host known for pranking celebs is now facing a March court date in Los Angeles. The moron wormed his way into last night’s 55th Grammy Awards and crashed an acceptance speech by British pop diva Adele while standing next to Jennifer Lopez. Identified as Vitalli Sediuk, he and his tux made it to the stage right as Adele won Best Pop Solo Performance for her hit ‘”Set Fire To The Rain”. He only had a few minutes on camera, telling her, “It’s such an honor to receive this award. I love you Adele,” as she approached. Sediuk was swiftly detained by Grammy security and turned over to LAPD after the show. He spent the night in lockup, LAPD confirms, and was released at 8:47 this morning on his own recognizance. He must return to court March 4 on charges of trespassing.This guy lives for publicity: he was the idiot who attempted to kiss Will Smith during the Moscow premiere of Men In Black 3 and earned a slap.
BREAKING: The Oscars have perenially ignored James Bond, but this year — despite a snub for Skyfall in the Best Picture category — they’re upping the 007 quotient. Along with a tribute to the franchise’s 50th anniversary during the Oscar telecast, producers announced today that they’ve lined up Adele’s first live performance anywhere of the Oscar-nominated original theme song, “Skyfall.” A likely ratings draw, this will also be the British superstar singer’s first TV appearance since the Grammys last year. She’s nominated for writing the Skyfall tune along with Paul Epworth. Here’s the Academy’s release:
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter Adele will perform the Oscar®-nominated theme song from the latest James Bond movie at the 85th Academy Awards®, the show’s producers announced today. “Skyfall,” from the film of the same name, was announced as a nominee for Original Song at the Academy’s Nominations Announcement on January 10. The song, written by Adele and Paul Epworth, is the first Bond theme ever to debut in Billboard’s Top 10 and the first to be nominated for an Oscar since “For Your Eyes Only” in 1981.
Golden Globes Winners List: ‘Argo’, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, ‘Les Miserables’, Hugh Jackman, ‘Girls’, Ben Affleck, Lena Dunham, ‘Brave’, Claire Danes, ‘Amour’, Don Cheadle, Quentin Tarantino, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Costner, Adele For ‘Skyfall’, ‘Homeland’
Related: Nikki Finke: Live Snarking Golden Globes
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Steven Spielberg Orchestrated Bill Clinton’s Surprise Golden Globes Appearance
Backstage At The Golden Globes
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Golden Globes: Film Scorecard
CHRISTOPH WALTZ, DJANGO UNCHAINED
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
MAGGIE SMITH, DOWNTON ABBEY: SEASON 2
BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
GAME CHANGE, HBO
Playtone and Everyman Pictures in association with HBO Films
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
JULIANNE MOORE, GAME CHANGE
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
DAMIAN LEWIS, HOMELAND
BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
SHOWTIME, Teakwood Lane Productions, Cherry Pie Productions, Keshet, Fox 21
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
MYCHAEL DANNA, LIFE OF PI
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
KEVIN COSTNER, HATFIELDS & MCCOYS
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
JENNIFER LAWRENCE, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE …
Madeleine Stowe and Henry Czerny are set to co-star in ABC’s drama pilot Revenge centers on Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke (Emily VanCamp), a mysterious woman who comes to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the Graysons who destroyed her family. Stowe will play Victoria Grayson, the matriarch of the family and a social power broker. Having long ago masterminded the merciless destruction of Amanda’s dad Kevin Clarke and the ostracism of his daughter to a life in foster homes, Victoria has no idea that Emily is actually Amanda and welcomes her as a friend and neighbor. Czerny will play Victoria’s husband Conrad. Stowe, repped by Gersh and Brillstein, took a break from acting during the past couple of years to work on her feature Western script Unbound Captive, which she is also set to direct. Czerny, repped by the Glick Agency and Perry Zimel, was seen in The A-Team and on the first season of The Tudors.
Heroes alum Robert Knepper is returning to NBC with a supporting role in the network’s drama pilot Reconstruction. Written by Josh Brand and directed by Peter Horton, the project is set in a Missouri town during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and centers on Jason (Martin Henderson), a soldier who crosses the country and settles into a complicated town where he is welcomed as …
UPDATED, 2:35 PM: The LA Film Critics Association held its annual end-of year awards vote today, handing Best Picture to WB pics Gravity and Her in one of multiple ties. The big surprise of the day went down as Best Supporting Actor award resulted in a tie between Oscar contender Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and James Franco (Spring Breakers). Also tying for LAFCA honors were Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue Is the Warmest Color, while Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern was named Best Actor and Alfonso Cuaron beat Spike Jonze for Best Director.
Scroll down for full winners.
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Runner-up: The Great Beauty
BEST PICTURE (tie): Gravity and Her
BEST ACTRESS (tie): Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
BEST SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her
BEST ACTOR: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her
The Sundance Film Festival today unveiled the films for its 2014 edition in the U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary competition lineups as well as the out-of-competition NEXT section. Among the diverse offerings is God’s Pocket, the feature directorial debut of Mad Men’s John Slattery, with Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro in the cast. There also pics with Anne Hathaway and Kristen Stewart as well as documentaries about Internet addiction in China and alternative music icon Nick Cave, plus the world premiere of the 1980s-set Ping Pong Summer with Susan Sarandon among others. The 2014 festival runs January 16-26 in Park City. Overall, the fest will offer up 118 features representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers. Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr and Dominic Patten will be there leading our coverage next month. Still to be unveiled: Slates for Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, New Frontier and a new Sundance Kids section will be revealed tomorrow, with the Premieres and Documentary Premieres slates to be released Monday. In the meantime, there’s a lot to feast on here in the four sections:
U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film.
Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) — A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Payman Maadi, Lane Garrison, J.J. Soria, John Carroll Lynch.
Cold in July / U.S.A. (Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Jim Mickle, Nick Damici) — After killing a home intruder, a small town Texas man’s life unravels into a dark underworld of corruption and violence. Cast: Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, Sam Shepard, Vinessa Shaw, Nick Damici, Wyatt Russell.
Dear White People / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Simien) — Four black students attend an Ivy League college where a riot breaks out over an “African American” themed party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in postracial America while weaving a story about forging one’s unique path in the world. Cast: Tyler Williams, Tessa Thompson, Teyonah Parris, Brandon Bell.
Fishing Without Nets / U.S.A., Somalia, Kenya (Director: Cutter Hodierne, Screenwriters: Cutter Hodierne, John Hibey, David Burkman) — A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman. Cast: Abdikani Muktar, Abdi Siad, Abduwhali Faarah, Abdikhadir Hassan, Reda Kateb, Idil Ibrahim.
God’s Pocket / U.S.A. (Director: John Slattery, Screenwriters: John Slattery, Alex Metcalf) — When Mickey’s stepson Leon is killed in a construction “accident,” Mickey tries to bury the bad news with the body. But when the boy’s mother demands the truth, Mickey finds himself stuck between a body he can’t bury, a wife he can’t please, and a debt he can’t pay. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro.
Happy Christmas / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joe Swanberg) — After a breakup with her boyfriend, a young woman moves in with her older brother, his wife, and their 2-year-old son. Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg.
Hellion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, 13-year-old Jacob’s delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother Wes with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father must finally take responsibility for their actions and each other in order to bring Wes home. Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins, Deke Garner, Jonny Mars, Walt Roberts.
Infinitely Polar Bear / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maya Forbes) — A manic-depressive mess of a father tries to win back his wife by attempting to take full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters, who don’t make the overwhelming task any easier. Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide.
Jamie Marks is Dead / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Carter Smith) — No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the bleak world between the living and the dead. Cast: Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Judy Greer, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler.
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter / U.S.A. (Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi
Life After Beth / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Zach is devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth. When she mysteriously returns, he gets a second chance at love. Soon his whole world turns upside down… Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, Paul Reiser.
Low Down / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Preiss, Screenwriters: Amy Albany, Topper Lilien) — Based on Amy Jo Albany’s memoir, Low Down explores her heart-wrenching journey to adulthood while being raised by her father, bebop pianist Joe Albany, as he teeters between incarceration and addiction in the urban decay and waning bohemia of Hollywood in the 1970s. Cast: John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Flea.
The Skeleton Twins / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Johnson, Screenwriters: Craig Johnson, Mark Heyman) — Estranged twins Maggie and Milo coincidentally cheat death on the same day, prompting them to reunite and confront the reasons their lives went so wrong. As the twins’ reunion reinvigorates them, they realize the key to fixing their lives may just lie in repairing their relationship. Cast: Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson, Ty Burrell, Boyd Holbrook, Joanna Gleason.
The Sleepwalker / U.S.A., Norway (Director: Mona Fastvold, Screenwriters: Mona Fastvold, Brady Corbet) — A young couple, Kaia and Andrew, are renovating Kaia´s secluded family estate. Their lives are violently interrupted when unexpected guests arrive. The Sleepwalker chronicles the unraveling of the lives of four disparate characters as it transcends genre conventions and narrative contrivance to reveal something much more disturbing. Cast: Gitte Witt, Christopher Abbott, Brady Corbet, Stephanie Ellis.
Song One / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kate Barker-Froyland) — Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. Cast: Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield.
Whiplash / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Damien Chazelle) — Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. Cast: Austin Stowell, Miles Teller, JK Simmons. DAY ONE FILM
The ever-quirky National Board Of Review has crowned Her as the year’s Best Film and its helmer Spike Jonze as Best Director. It only adds to what is becoming a year without consensus — at least so far, after the New York Film Critics Circle named American Hustle their best film yesterday and the Gotham Awards chose Inside Llewyn Davis. The latter won Best Screenplay from NBR, but there was no mention of Hustle anywhere on its list this morning (see the full list of winners below). Also largely ignored were three films most pundits put at the top of their Oscar frontrunners: 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Captain Phillips. The latter was completely dissed and 12 Years and Gravity mentioned only in NBR’s Top Ten list, but NO individual awards other than a technical citation for Gravity’s “creative innovation”.
Unlike last year when NBR and NYFCC agreed on Zero Dark Thirty as Best Pic and Director , this morning’s list was far apart. The groups’ only matches came for The Wind Rises in animation, Stories We Tell in Documentary and Fruitvale Station as best first film. NBR’s acting choices of Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska, Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Octavia Spencer for Fruitvale represented a completely different quartet than the NYFCC picks of Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence. But for those who harbor Oscar hopes, don’t despair. The National Board of Review, which describes itself as “a select group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts and professionals, academics, young filmmakers and students”, has had a lousy track record in recent years of picking eventual Oscar winners. In the past five years only one of their Best Film picks — Slumdog Millionaire — and just two acting choices — Christopher Plummer and Penelope Cruz — went on to win Academy Awards. They haven’t had a Best Director in common with Oscar since Martin Scorsese for The Departed in 2005 — the same year they chose Letters From Iwo Jima as Best Film. Here is NBR’s full list of winners:
Spike Jonze, HER
Bruce Dern, NEBRASKA
Emma Thompson, SAVING MR. BANKS
Best Supporting Actor
Will Forte, NEBRASKA
Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, FRUITVALE STATION
Best Original Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Best Adapted Screenplay
Terence Winter, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Best Animated Feature
THE WIND RISES
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.
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton just laid out the new plan to investors as he discussed ambitious financial goals for the company’s entertainment units. That will include “a significant shift in emphasis from motion pictures to higher margin television” production and distribution. The company says that Sony Pictures should generate $8.4B in revenue in the 2015 fiscal year, with at least a 7.5% operating profit margin. In addition, Lynton says that revenues through 2017 should grow at low- to mid-single-digit annual rates, with operating income rising by high-single- to low-double-digit rates. He added that the music segment should report $4.8B in revenues in 2015, growing flat to slightly up through 2017, and a 9.5% operating margin growing by mid- to high-single-digit rates. The film greenlighting process is “more onerous from end to end,” Lynton says. “The times demand that we set a higher bar and we have done just that.” When it comes to dealing with talent, the studio warns that it will now be “saying ‘no’ when in the past we might have said ‘yes’.” Directors will be told that they are “on the financial hook for financial overruns.” When it comes to profitability “we are not satisfied.” In addition to the cost controls, the studio is looking for digital and international opportunities including “content with universal appeal.” It will foster an “innovative entrepreneurial culture” and encourage “creative excellence.” But financial discipline will be “front and center.” He noted that Sony is working with a “third party” — reportedly Bain & Co. — to help find cuts. Lynton also talked up the company’s “One Sony” strategy which includes producing documentaries about Sony Music artists including Michael Jackson, and hiring singer Adele to sing the theme to the James Bond film Skyfall. ”This is our time,” Lynton says. “We intend to seize it…and deliver to shareholders more of the profits that you deserve.”
Captain Phillips newcomer and Oscar-buzzed Barkhad Abdi, who plays the lead Somalian pirate in the film, told me he thought the Governors Awards meant prizes actually handed out by the Governor and he seemed a bit overwhelmed by the whole occasion. Of course these honorary awards bestowed on Saturday night at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom are not presented by Jerry Brown, but rather voted on by the Board of Governors of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. And in addition to the formal duty of putting a shiny new Oscar statuette in the hands of Jean Hersholt Humanitarian winner Angelina Jolie, Steve Martin, Angela Lansbury and Claudia Cardinale (standing in for absent Costume Designer Piero Tosi who couldn’t make the trip from Italy), this signature awards season event now in its fifth year also has become the official “must schmooze” event of the entire six month awards corridor, a place where Oscar nominee hopefuls can jump from table to table full of Academy members. As presenter Martin Short put it, “the Governors Awards are the highest honor an actor can receive in mid-November.” And there can be no question the timing of the event is extremely important for those out on the campaign trail.
But ultimately this event is about honoring those the Academy feels are worthy of career recognition, generally a lifetime achievement award. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, new president of the Academy, welcomed each of the honorees and noted the importance of the honor. “Congratulations to all of you. Your work on screen and off captivates and invigorates society. You challenge us to see each other and the world in different ways. We are all richer for your brilliance,” she said before breaking for dinner.
Once the 90-minute show began, Jolie’s In The Land Of Blood And Honey cast, actress Gena Rowlands, and George Lucas presented Jolie, the youngest winner of the Hersholt award, with her Oscar. A detailed film package clearly explained why this tireless global humanitarian is getting the award but she seemed overcome by it, saluting her late mother for the inspiration (father Jon Voight was in the audience).
PTC Slams Gotham’s IFC Center For “Industrial Fraud” In Letting Teens See NC-17 ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’
EXCLUSIVE: Blue Is The Warmest Color has gotten the Parents Television Council steamed in all the wrong ways, so much so that the watchdog group has veered from small-screen scrutiny to take on the racy feature film. The advocacy group ripped into NYC’s IFC Center for last week’s decision to flout the MPAA’s adults-only NC-17 rating for the 2013 Palme d’Or winner and invite teenagers to view the sexual-awakening tale that charmed Cannes. “The IFC Center’s decision to usurp parental and family authority by allowing unfettered access to children of adult-rated, explicit sexual content is a direct assault on parents and families across the country,” PTC President Tim Winter thundered in a letter sent to IFC Center General Manager and SVP John Vanco. “Your selective unenforcement (sic) of the MPAA guidelines in this instances approaches industrial fraud, in that the system is intended specifically for the purpose of parental reliance, and that reliance has been obviated. We ask that you immediately reconsider this self-serving and undermining business decision, and instead do what is in the right and best interests of parents, families and children. The Parents Television Council will bring its full weight and credit to bear to make a national issue of your decision, via every available means, until it is reversed,” the letter concludes. It isn’t clear how PTC’s full weight will impact a Gotham art house theater; MPAA issues its ratings, but those classifications are voluntary, and theaters are not under any obligation to follow them.
Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’, ‘Spinning Plates’, ‘Capital’, ‘Not Yet Begun To Fight’
Blue Is The Warmest Color has had more press, public spats, anticipation, praise and momentum than any foreign-language film in memory. The latest flap involves New York’s IFC Center deciding not to honor the NC-17 MPAA voluntary rating, allowing young people under 18 to see the film. Now the Palme d’Or winner is heading out to theaters in the U.S. courtesy of Sundance Selects. The film has already grossed nearly a cool $4.5 million in France since opening October 9. The weekend’s roster of newcomers are far fewer than previous bows this fall. Among the new Specialties hitting theaters along with Blue Friday are The Film Arcade’s Spinning Plates by Food Network host Joseph Levy as well as fellow doc Not Yet Begun To Fight by Shasta Grenier and Sabrina Lee’s, which they will self-distribute, and Cohen Media Group’s Capital. And listed in last week’s Specialty Preview is Jehane Noujaim’s Toronto and NYFF debut, The Square, which will open at Film Forum in New York.
Blue Is The Warmest Color
Director-writer: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Julie Maroh (story), Galia Lacroix (adaptation)
Cast: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salée, Benjamin Siksou
Distributor: Sundance Selects
Much has been talked about the 2013 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Blue Is The Warmest Color. The festival, lead by festival juror Steven Spielberg even gave recognition to the film’s two leads, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux with special Palme d’Ors of their own. The film centers on Adèle, a young woman who meets Emma, with whom she falls in love with as the pair embark on a passionate relationship.
Here’s the first glimpse at Glee‘s tribute to Cory Monteith, who died in July. Set to Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love,” the clip shows McKinley High students solemnly putting together a shrine around Finn Hudson’s locker. The episode, titled “The Quarterback,” airs October 10 on Fox:
As my colleague Dominic Patten was first to report earlier today on Deadline, former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak has been named to the new post of LA Film Czar by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Sherak will be paid only $1 a year (“an infinity compared to what the Academy paid,” he laughed about his previous nonpaying gig) in the post designed to bring a halt to runaway production and put it back in Los Angeles, capital of the film world. Of course Sherak is no stranger to politics, of a sort: Being a former President of the Motion Picture Academy is no walk in the park. He knows the real “capital” is Sacramento, where he will spend time trying to convince Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers this is an important issue — not only for Los Angeles but California as a whole. In a conversation that turned very personal this afternoon, Sherak told me he initially resisted the job but took it only after a meeting with Garcetti this week and an OK from his oncologist. Sherak has gone public with his 12-year battle against prostate cancer and expects to be up to the task full time in a few weeks after final chemotherapy treatments. He’s even jokes now that he’s the “czar,” does that mean he can pick his own spot for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
DEADLINE: With everything going on in your personal life right now and your regular paying job as an industry consultant, why take this on?
TOM SHERAK: I resisted it, but I got a call from two of Garcetti’s people saying they’ve vetted me and they want me to meet about this job. So I went to lunch with them, and they said, ‘We’ve talked to the mayor, and he’s approved this and we want you to take it.” And I said I would have to think about it. I went home and I thought about it. And again, I am going through all kinds of stuff with my body, and somebody once said don’t make a decision when your body’s going one way and your head’s going another way. I took another couple of days and said I wanted to meet with the mayor. This past Monday I met with the mayor, and when the hour-and-15-minute conversation was over, if he offered me the Brooklyn Bridge I might have bought it from him. … I told him when it was all done to let me go home and talk to (my wife). I did, and she said, “Take it.” I next called my oncologist, and he said, “Tom, take it; you’re going to be fine.” And that’s what happened.
Yesterday’s announcement that Gilles Bourdos’ period drama Renoir would be France’s entry for the Foreign-Language Oscar race was a bit of a head-scratcher. Once it became clear a few months ago that Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color (aka Adèle: Chapters 1&2) would not be eligible, other possible titles were floated including previous Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi’s The Past. But Renoir was not really on the radar — not the least because it had debuted in a Cannes sidebar in 2012. Academy Foreign Language rules stipulate that a film must be released domestically between October 1st and September 30th and Renoir was a fit because it went out in January this year in France. Blue, however, is not releasing until October 9th, meaning it misses the cut-off. Many have wondered why Wild Bunch, which is distributing Blue in France, would not change the October 9th date to qualify. Company co-founder Vincent Maraval tells me today, “There was never any question for us to modify in any way our release strategy to legitimize the stupidity of the Oscar rules. Should we risk our strategy for France for a Foreign Language Film Oscar which doesn’t add anything to a Palme d’Or?” He contends that the Foreign Language Oscar “no longer means anything for a film that was crowned in Cannes” and says the rules are “unique, specific and make no sense. At the same time, no one cares about this category. We’re aiming for (Blue) in all categories, the only ones that count.”
Of Renoir, which Wild Bunch sold internationally, Maraval says it’s “a perfect film for the Academy: classic, esthetic and cultural in the same vein as (1994 Foreign Language Oscar winner) Belle Epoque or (1991 winner) Mediterraneo. It got rave reviews from U.S. critics and it’s the highest-grossing French film in the U.S. this year with $2.2M. Objectively, it’s the most legitimate candidate.”