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Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness Lineups

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 8:59am PDT

Toronto Adds Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’, Frederick Wiseman & Ethan Hawke Docus; Vanguard & Midnight Madness LineupsUPDATED: The Toronto Film Festival announced several additions to the 2014 lineup this morning including the documentary pics and the lineups for The Masters, Vanguard and Midnight Madness. The docu lineup features pioneers of BASE jumping in Sunshine Superman; Los Angeles sex workers in Tales Of The Grim Sleeper; survivors of the Indonesian genocide in The Look Of Silence; and, in Red Army, a hockey captain’s transition from national hero to political enemy during the rise and fall of the Soviet game.

Tusk 1The Midnight Madness section includes the world premiere of Kevin Smith’s Tusk, the wacky horror thriller that dropped its first trailer during Comic-Con. Set in the Canadian wilderness, it stars Justin Long as a podcaster who’s assigned to interview a mysterious seafarer (Michael Parks) who happens to have a strange obsession with walruses. Haley Joel Osment and Genesis Rodriguez also star. The pic hits theaters just after the fest on September 19; the Toronto fest runs September 4-14.

Here are the sections announced today: Read More »

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Toronto Sets Robert Downey Jr’s ‘The Judge’ As Opening-Night Film

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 8:36am PDT

Toronto Sets Robert Downey Jr’s ‘The Judge’ As Opening-Night FilmThe Toronto Film Festival today revealed that David Dobkin’s The Judge will open the 2014 festival on Thursday, September 4. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton, the film had been announced as one of the fest’s Gala titles.

TIFF describes the film this way: Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home where his estranged father (Duvall), the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Judge’

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Venice Film Festival To Expand Online Screenings; StudioCanal Sets Thriller ‘’71’ For October In UK; More

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 10:00pm PDT

Global Showbiz Briefs: Venice Film Festival To Expand Online Screenings; StudioCanal Sets Thriller ‘’71’ For October In UK; MoreThe Venice Film Festival, which announced its lineup this morning, is expanding its online screening offering this year. Sala Web, the initiative that acts as a parallel online showcase for films officially selected in the Horizons and Biennale College sidebars, this year will be available 24 hours a day over five days from anywhere in the world. The virtual screening room provides a limited viewing window during the festival with a capped allotment of tickets to be sold through a dedicated online box office. Films selected make their online world premieres in the Sala Web simultaneously with their official presentations on the Lido. Tickets priced at 4 each go on sale in mid-August at www.labiennale.org. The fest runs August 27-September 6.

Jack O'Connell in '71StudioCanal has set an October 10 UK release date for ’71, the Yann Demange-directed thriller that played to great reception in Berlin this year. Rising star Jack O’Connell plays a young British soldier accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast. Unable to tell friend from foe, and increasingly wary of his own comrades, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety through a disorientating, alien and deadly landscape. Sean Harris, Killian Scott, Martin McCann and Charlie Murphy also star. Gregory Burke wrote the screenplay. Roadside Attractions has U.S. distribution.

If ’71 is looking to bring in the male-skewing crowd, then … Read More »

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Venice Chief Alberto Barbera: “I Don’t Like The Idea Of A War Amongst Festivals”

Venice Chief Alberto Barbera: “I Don’t Like The Idea Of A War Amongst Festivals”alberto barberaFollowing the announcement of the Venice lineup today, I sat down with fest chief Alberto Barbera in Rome. He’s got what looks like a very solid roster of 55 films across the official selection that will unspool between August 27 and September 6 on the Lido. It all kicks off with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman on opening night. Barbera told me he was excited for the film, which he says marks a departure for the helmer of Babel, 21 Grams and Biutiful. “It’s inventive and light” and full of surprises. After a truly out-of-this-world festival last year which blasted off with eventual awards-season juggernaut Gravity on opening night, did he feel pressure this time around? “I try not to think about that,” he said. But he did allow that Gravity‘s success may have helped convince Fox Searchlight to debut it on the Lido. Oscar-winning Gravity director, and Inarritu pal, Alfonso Cuaron was also “very supportive” and Barbera says Cuaron is expected in town to continue that support at the premiere next month.

Last year, there were some ruffled feathers when a handful of films, including Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, premiered in Telluride despite being billed as world premieres in Venice. The two fests overlap on Venice’s first weekend. But Barbera says he has sat down with Telluride’s Tom Luddy, whom he calls a friend, over the past year and … Read More »

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Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced: ‘Manglehorn’, ‘Good Kill’ In Competition; Bogdanovich, Franco, Levinson, Von Trier Also In Official Selection

Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced: ‘Manglehorn’, ‘Good Kill’ In Competition; Bogdanovich, Franco, Levinson, Von Trier Also In Official SelectionI’m here at Rome’s St Regis Hotel where Biennale president Paolo Baratta and Venice chief Alberto Barbera are announcing the lineup for the 71st edition of the world’s oldest international film festival. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman world premieres in competition as the opener on August 27 and we’ll see 55 movies across the Official Selection through September 6. Yesterday, I wrote a primer for today’s reveal with such films as David Gordon Green‘s Manglehorn and Peter Bogdanovich‘s Squirrels To The Nuts expected to be announced today; and they have been.

Manglehorn (1)Twenty films will compete in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere. There are an abundance of titles from Italy, France, the U.S. and the UK. Among the U.S. titles in competition are Manglehorn with Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine and Chris Messina, and Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill with Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. Both of those will move on to Toronto next. Gonzalez Inarritu’s opener Birdman is in competition with a starry cast that includes Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. The closing-night movie, as previously announced, is Ann Hui’s The Golden Era. Among the other expected players that are turning up in competition are Fatih Akin with The Cut starring Tahar Rahim (Carlos); Xavier Beauvois’ La Rançon De La Gloire; Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini with Willem Dafoe; Benoït Jacquot’s 3 Hearts and David Olehoffen’s Loin Des Hommes with Viggo Mortensen. Also particularly of note is The Act Of Killing director Joshua Oppenheimer with documentary The Look Of Silence. Ramin Bahrani, Roy Andersson and Andrei Konchalovsky are also in the mix (see full list below). Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: First Trailer For Fox’s Indian ‘Knight And Day’ Remake ‘Bang Bang’; Will Ferrell Getting Deauville Fest Tribute; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: First Trailer For Fox’s Indian ‘Knight And Day’ Remake ‘Bang Bang’; Will Ferrell Getting Deauville Fest Tribute; MoreBang Bang, Fox’s anticipated Indian remake of Knight And Day, has dropped a teaser in what is shaping up to be a hot week for Bollywood. The film stars Hrithik Roshan, who underwent brain surgery last year to remove a blood clot, causing a delay in production and moving the release date from May to October 2 this year — the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth. It’s also the start of the four-day Dussehra Hindu festival weekend holiday. Siddharth Anand directs Bang Bang, which also stars Katrina Kaif. Roshan, who’s a bona fide star at home with a growing international profile (his wax likeness stands at Madame Tussaud’s in the UK), most recently starred in superhero pic Krrish 3. That film broke records in India in 2013. A special screening of the Bang Bang teaser was hosted in India this week and set social media abuzz. Here’s a look:

Will Ferrellwillferrell is set for a tribute at the 40th annual Deauville American Film Festival in September. The Saturday Night Live veteran’s recent credits include The Lego Movie, Anchorman 2 and the upcoming Get Hard, and his Gary Sanchez Productions this week announced a film adaptation on the 1980s TV series Manimal. “The Deauville American Film Festival is, as its name suggests, the festival of all kinds of cinema, of every genre, and therefore considers nothing as off-limits,” fest director Bruno Barde … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Jake Gyllenhaal In ‘Nightcrawler’

Hot Trailer: Jake Gyllenhaal In ‘Nightcrawler’“I believe that good things come to those who work their asses off,” Jake Gyllenhaal‘s Lou Bloom says in Nightcrawler. He’s the wide-eyed new kid on the scene of LA’s underground world of freelance crime tele-journalism, and he’ll do anything to get the shot and the story. To wit: Police are harassed and their cars chased and T-boned, amid other general mayhem. Rene Russo and Bill Paxton co-star in the directorial debut of The Bourne Legacy scribe Dan Gilroy, who also wrote the pic. Open Road acquired the thriller for about $4.5 million after a bidding war at Cannes, and it will hit theaters October 17 following its world premiere at Toronto. Check out the first trailer:

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Venice: First Fall Fest Comes Into Sharper Focus As Lineup Reveal Looms

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 4:50am PDT

Venice: First Fall Fest Comes Into Sharper Focus As Lineup Reveal LoomsWith The New York Film Festival setting David Fincher’s Gone Girl as its opener, and Toronto yesterday announcing a bevy of world premieres, the signs are getting somewhat clearer as to what to expect from Venice when it unveils its lineup in Rome tomorrow. We do know that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman is opening the festival in competition. That last fact is a pointer to how Venice wants to be perceived on the international stage. It’s the world’s oldest festival, but has sometimes been overshadowed by the other fall movie meccas Toronto and Telluride. Last year, Venice chief Alberto Barbera was miffed when films like Under The Skin got a sneak at Telluride before what was meant to be the World Premiere in Venice. Telluride, as my colleague Pete Hammond points out, does not announce its films ahead of time and does not label its films as premieres. Toronto laid down the law this year that any big movies that choose to first play at Telluride won’t be able to play in Canada until after opening weekend, and Barbera said last year that Venice competition films had to be World Premieres. Venice runs August 27-September 6, Telluride is August 29-September 1 and Toronto goes September 4-14.

birdman1Birdman’s World Premiere in competition is what I like to call a nice dovetail to last year’s opener, Gravity, which was directed … Read More »

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Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?

Pete Hammond

Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?Well, they are coming hot and heavy now. With Toronto International Film Festival announcing 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations this morning in what is really just the first wave of their upcoming lineup, and  on top on New York Film Festival’s confirmation of their Opening (Gone Girl), Centerpiece (Inherent Viceand Closing (Birdman), BFI London’s opener of The Imitation Game and Venice Film Festival’s opener (also Birdman)  the awards season landscape is starting to fill in a bit more significantly. Venice in fact will announce their entire lineup tomorrow but today’s TIFF list gives us some further clues as to how the Oscar game is being played on the fest circuit. Of course Telluride is another factor, but they won’t officially announce anything until their fest begins just before Labor Day weekend.

Robert-Downey-Jr_-and-Robert-Duvall-in-The-Judge-2014-Movie-Image-2-750x499One player that I hear won’t be going to Telluride this year,  or it seems Venice, is Warner Bros which has used both fests significantly in the past (Warners had Oscar winners Argo and Gravity at the past two Tellurides and Gravity opened Venice last year). But, as predicted here, they are going to Toronto in a BIG way with World Premieres of three of their Fall films, The JudgeThis Is Where I Leave You and The Good Lie. Will TIFF mean the launch of an Oscar campaign for the trio, or is it just an effective way of getting the most media bang for your buck in releasing these early Fall titles? Certainly The Judge would seem to have acting potential for … Read More »

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Venice Days Sidebar Includes Shawn Christensen, Laurent Cantet, Kim Ki-Duk

Venice Days Sidebar Includes Shawn Christensen, Laurent Cantet, Kim Ki-DukAhead of Thursday’s announcement of the Venice Film Festival competition lineup, the parallel Venice Days section has presented its roster. As previously noted, Kim Ki-duk’s revenge drama One On One will open the section out of competition. The Korean helmer’s Pieta won the Golden Lion in 2012. Closing the section is Alex De La Iglesia’s documentary about Argentine football great Lionel Messi. Titled Messi, the film uses reconstructions, archival material and interviews to trace the player’s rise to stardom. Among the competition titles is the world premiere of Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet’s Return To Ithaca. Set in Havana, the film sees five friends reflect on their past and future. The section also hosts the international premiere of Shawn Christensen’s SXSW drama Before I Disappear with Emmy Rossum, Fatima Ptacek, Paul Wesley, Ron Perlman and Richard Schiff. It’s based on Christensen’s 2013 Oscar-winning short film Curfew. Click over for the full Venice Days lineup: Read More »

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‘Gone Girl’s’ NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season Speculation

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 10:25am PDT
Pete Hammond

‘Gone Girl’s’  NYFF Announcement Fuels Fall Festival Oscar Season SpeculationThough it is still only July – and the summer movie blockbuster season is still in full force – all eyes are turning to awards season as much-awaited announcements of the four big Fall movie festivals that signal the beginning of the Oscar race are starting to drop. Following last week’s news that Fox Searchlight and New Regency’s Birdman would be launching the Venice Film Festival on August 27th, comes official word today from the Film Society Of Lincoln Center that David Fincher’s Gone Girl from Searchlight’s parent 20th Century Fox and New Regency will be launching the 52nd New York Film Festival on  September 26th. This selection was absolutely no surprise as the NYFF is very Fincher-friendly and most recently opened their fest in 2010 with the director’s The Social Network. Also, 20th has a strong recent relationship with the NYFF as both last year’s Oscar flameout, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty and 2012′s Life Of Pi also had major showcases there. This continues the trend. In what might be counted as the firstnyff review of the much-anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best seller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said: “Gone Girl  is so many things at once: sharp as a razor about many aspects of American life that have been untouched by movies, very tough and just as funny, brilliantly acted, and 100%  entertaining – a wild ride from start to finish. In short, a great … Read More »

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Venice Fest Eyes Awards Season Perch With Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ Competing As Opener

Venice Fest Eyes Awards Season Perch With Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ Competing As OpenerAlejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman, or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance, has been selected for opening honors at the Venice Film Festival. When Fox Searchlight set an October 17 North American release, and when Birdman didn’t appear in Cannes, we expected it would get a berth at one of the fall festivals. I felt particularly strongly about Venice, especially as it makes a nice dovetail to last year when Iñárritu’s pal Alfonso Cuaron did opening night honors with Gravity. That film went on to a huge awards season run, but it was not in competition in Venice, and that was lamented across the board. The world premiere screening of Birdman on August 27 is IN competition, and looks like a sign that Venice wants to stand out further. It is increasingly seen as a launchpad for some of the major titles that will figure in the awards races later in the year. But, it competes heavily with Telluride and Toronto which overlap the event. The former last year even ruffled Venice’s feathers by programming some big-ticket titles before their Lido premieres. Also of note, Gravity‘s Oscar winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, shot Birdman.

inarrituOscar-nominated Babel director Iñárritu’s first black comedy stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Andrea Riseborough. Keaton plays an actor, famous for having portrayed an iconic superhero, who … Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: Robert Pattinson’s ‘The Rover’ Runs Strongly In Blah Weekend

By | Sunday June 15, 2014 @ 11:20am PDT

The Rover movie posterSpecialties generally had a blasé weekend with newcomers mostly flat at best. A24 has had a streak of chart-topping opening weekends of late with last week’s Obvious Child and, earlier in the spring, Under The Skin. The company continued its roll this weekend with The Rover, though with more modest results. The crime drama set in the Australian Outback starring Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson and Scoot McNairy was nevertheless the weekend’s PTA-topper, grossing $70K in five New York and L.A. theaters, averaging a strong $14K per theater. A24 noted Sunday that the film “received strong reviews, particularly for Robert Pattinson’s breakthrough performance, and his fans responded, as the audience breakdown was close to a 50-50 split between men and women.” The Rover, directed by David Michôd, will expand nationwide next weekend.

Hellion movie posterIn other openers, IFC Films bowed its Sundance drama Hellion in an exclusive run at IFC Center in New York, grossing $9,000. It has measured momentum as it heads to Los Angeles next weekend and the top ten markets throughout the rest of June. Also bowing with tepid results is Focus FeaturesThe Signal though the title was by far the biggest roll out among the limited-release newbies. The feature grossed $146K in 120 theaters for a $1,217 PTA. Focus noted Sunday that … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: Daniel Radcliffe In ‘What If’

By | Friday May 30, 2014 @ 5:55am PDT

CBS Films acquired Daniel Radcliffe romantic comedy What If back in Toronto when it was still going by the title The F Word. The Michael Dowse-directed pic was one of the major buzz acquisition titles at the festival and is getting a U.S. release on August 1. Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play star-crossed lovers who meet as he’s recovering from a failed relationship and she’s involved with a serious boyfriend. The two then attempt the challenge of merely being friends. Elan Mastai wrote the script. Adam Driver, Rafe Spall, Mackenzie Davis, Megan Park and Oona Chaplin co-star. At present, What If is slated for a handful of international markets, including the UK on August 22.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: NBCUniversal, Amazon Ink UK Streaming Deal; Fox International Channels Takes ‘Wayward Pines’ Rights; More

Amazon, NBCUniversal Ink U.K. Streaming Deal
key_art_parks_and_recreationAmazon and NBCUniversal have finalized a UK instant video subscription deal that will make hundreds of episodes of U.S. TV series available on Prime Instant Video. Amazon is bringing multiple seasons of such NBCUniversal shows as Suits, Grimm and Parks And Recreation to the UK’s largest movie and TV streaming subscription service. Also included in the deal are renewals of series such as Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, The Office (U.S.) and 30 Rock. Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch 61: The Toronto Premiere Problem Podcast

Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom talk about the Toronto Film Festival’s attempt to throw its considerable weight around on would-be premieres; remember the late former Academy president Tom Sherak, one of Hollywood’s biggest and most influential personalities; and ponder the potential Oscar impact of Alfonso Cuaron’s win at the DGA Awards for Gravity. David and Pete also survey the Oscar Best Song field after the Academy disqualified the surprise entry, Alone Yet Not Alone, for improper campaigning tactics.

Listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 61 (.MP3 version)
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Toronto Vs Telluride: Are These Top Festivals Already Preparing For Battle Over NEXT Season’s Oscar Contenders?

Pete Hammond

The old Toronto vs Telluride rivalry has reared its ugly head again after Indiewire’s Anne Thompson wrote yesterday (and others followed) that toronto international film festivalFestival Director Cameron Bailey told her last Fall that they would enforce an ironclad rule that any films playing the Toronto International Film Festival’s first four days would have to be World or North American premieres. And that means “premiere” in the purest sense of the word. The World Premieres must be the first time the films are seen publicly anywhere and North American means U.S., Canada and Mexico. Any others would not get slots until the first Monday (traditionally when the heat starts progressively diminishing). This is what TIFF is telling studios and distributors. It is clearly saber rattling towards Telluride which most recently debuted films like 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and Prisoners before Toronto’s “official” World and North American Premieres.

Telluride, unlike Toronto, doesn’t reveal its schedule until the start of the Labor Day weekend fest  and does not label any of its films as “premieres”. Sometimes, as in the case of 12 Years and Prisoners they don’t even include them then, and try to serve them up as unannounced sneak previews during the course of the weekend. Gravity was coming from the Venice Film Festival opening night so that was not kept as a secret. Other Telluride pictures, first seen at the Cannes Film Festival in May, were Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and All Is Lost. They all skipped Toronto entirely after Telluride and headed to the New York Film Festival later in the month. Read More »

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Palm Springs Film Festival Unveils Lineup For Canadian Cinema, Awards Buzz And Modern Masters Programs

By | Thursday December 12, 2013 @ 6:00am PST

palmsprings__131119151421-200x190The 25th annual event today announced a new program focusing on Canadian cinema and also announced the films in its Awards Buzz and Modern Masters lineups. The Palm Springs International Film Festival will screen 45 of the 76 official submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Additional film programs will be announced in the coming weeks. Read More »

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Deadline Awards Watch 51: The Governors Hunger Games Episode

Pete Hammond

Listen to (and share) episode 51 of our audio podcast “Deadline Awards Watch with Pete Hammond.”

Deadline’s awards columnist talks with host David Bloom about more highlights from Deadline’s recent The Contenders event, including Meryl Streep‘s all-business approach behind her sterling performance in August: Osage County; how screenwriter Kelly Marcel had to make the irascible author of Mary Poppins just a wee bit more cuddly to help save Saving Mr. Banks; and behind the scenes with the tech and design gurus who helped make Spike Jonze’s latest, Her, another unique cinematic experience.

We also talk about the looming voting deadline for the shortlist of Oscar documentary features, a publicists’ pre-Oscar frenzy at the glitzy and star-filled Academy Governors Awards and how recent festival fever among the major studios might help their entries scoop up more Oscar gold.

Finally, we’ll get Pete’s take on this week’s new movies, which should be dominated by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as the sequel goes for all kinds of box office records.

With the long Thanksgiving weekend just ahead, however, several other substantial entries will open in U.S. theaters this weekend, including Disney’s animated tale Frozen, which also features a marvelous Mickey Mouse short, Get A Horse, that Pete picks as a can’t-miss for the animated short Oscar; the big festival favorite Philomena, with Judi Dench and do-everything sidekick Steve Coogan; and the somewhat serious comedy remake Delivery Man, with Vince Vaughn in perhaps his most well-rounded performance ever.

Deadline Awards Watch 51: The Governors Hunger Games Episode (.MP3 version)

Deadline Awards Watch 51: The Governors Hunger Games Episode (.M4A version)
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