The large graphic hovering above today’s CinemaCon luncheon filmmaker interview event said “Interstellar THE WORK OF CHRISTOPHER NOLAN“, but any theatre owner who was there anxious to get details of the blockbuster filmmaker’s latest learned very little. Nolan said he is still involved in his favorite part of the process – putting the first cut of Interstellar together – and wants to keep it all under wraps for now. He did praise star Matthew McConaughey’s work just as he did when I saw him at an event on the Paramount lot last week. Today he told the crowd he cast the brand new Oscar winner because he has a sort of “everyman” the audience could see the story through, saying he got interested in him particularly after seeing Mud. He also said his brother Jonah had actually written the initial script and that he became involved years later incorporating other ideas and elements that shaped the final screenplay. But in terms of real scoops we got none. “Really it’s about travel to other places we couldn’t reach through travel through space because the time expanse is far beyond anything we could conceive of,” was the most detailed description moderator Todd McCarthy could wrest out of him in a 50-minute interview, despite repeated tries.
CinemaCon: Christopher Nolan Warns Theatre Owners: How ‘Interstellar’ Is Presented Will Be More Important Than Any Film He’s Done Before
CinemaCon: Universal Excites Convention With First Looks At ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’, ‘Minions’, ‘Fast & Furious 7′ And Angelina Jolie’s Potential Oscar Juggernaut ‘Unbroken’
Universal wowed exhibitors this morning with a presentation that went way beyond just showing off what they have this summer. Among the films getting their first look anywhere was Scarlett Johansson’s summer action flick Lucy, the long-gestating follow-up to Dumb And Dumber with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels back in Dumb And Dumber To, plus hot-button first looks at footage from 2015 releases including with the late Paul Walker in the April 2015 Fast & Furious 7 and Valentine’s Day 2015 opener Fifty Shades Of Grey. According to the studio’s Donna Langley, this was the first time anyone has viewed any of it outside of the Universal hierarchy. It was a good teaser but stopped shy of showing any of the really hot stuff. The 2015 spinoff of Despicable Me, Uni’s biggest domestic hit ever (the sequel that is), Minions also got a hearty response from the pumped-up crowd who is anxious for a few hits. It looks like over the course of the next two years this studio is determined to give some to them. But despite all of this news-making footage it was clearly Angelina Jolie who stole this show. As the only star Universal trotted out onstage, she was there this time as the director of their Christmas Day release Unbroken, and introduced seven minutes of footage from what definitely looks like a possible Oscar juggernaut. It has all the makings.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom preview this year’s Mip-TV market and the interactive Israeli format that may just dominate this year’s show; take a look at some of the very familiar nominees for the Olivier Awards, honoring the best of British stage; and ponder the promised closure of BBC Three amid the possible resurgence of The X Factor in the United Kingdom as Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole return to shore up the sagging franchise.
There may be lots of speculation about the future of DreamWorks in its current incarnation at Disney as my colleague Mike Fleming wrote earlier this week, but you would never know it from last night’s rip-roaring premiere of its latest film, Need For Speed, at the Chinese Theatre. I went in expecting a poor man’s Fast & Furious and instead got a riveting and fun entertainment with lots of heart and emotion in addition to all the stunt driving. The film, which opens Friday and stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as a street racer out for revenge after being framed for a death of a young street-racing rookie, has all the requisite action you would expect from this kind of movie, but there’s so much more. The fact that it marks the second feature directed by former stuntman Scott Waugh (the son of another stuntman, Fred Waugh, who passed away while his son was in preproduction) would lead one to believe it would be all pedal-to-the-metal and no soul, but that’s not the case. Waugh’s first feature behind the camera, Act Of Valor, proved he knew how to put humanity into a genre film. What he’s made here is a good old-fashioned movie that doesn’t rely on CGI, has a genuine story to tell with three-dimensional characters (in 3D, no less), and great locations.
It also presents yet another reason the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to re-consider its decision not to create a 25th category for stunt work. Come on, these people deserve the recognition on a regular basis. I do understand the ticklish situation with the Actors branch, the Academy’s largest and most powerful, but this kind of work is definitely Oscar worthy. The Television Academy has a stunt peer group and recently even split comedy and drama stunt coordination into two separate Emmy categories. Veteran stuntman-director Hal Needham got an Honorary Oscar in 2012, and I suppose the Academy feels that’s enough recognition for now (Needham passed away several months after getting that Oscar). But it’s not.
After months of speculation, maneuvering, campaigning, champagning, Q&Aing and ever so much more, the 2013-14 awards season is done, done, done, and in this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond and host David Bloom wrap up the winners and notable moments from this years Academy Awards ceremony. They’ll look at which studios (hint, the initials are W and B) and stars were big winners, why 12 Years a Slave is a lot like The Godfather, and why The Hammond Rule proved so durable throughout the season.
Pete and David also review the Oscar Lite ceremony that was Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards, with winners in nearly every award exactly tracking the Oscar wins.
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom wrap up the overseas perspective on the last big awards shows of the 2013-14 season, beginning with Foreign-Language Oscar winner The Great Beauty, which lifted spirits throughout home country Italy even as director Paolo Sorrentino called for more investment in Italian cinema.
At France’s Cesar Awards, the big winner was Les Garcons et Guillaume a Table, though the potential scandale around one nominee proved far more muted than the French press or awards show broadcaster Canal Plus might have hoped. Nancy and David also take a look at the potential global bump in box office for Oscar’s two biggest champs, Best Picture 12 Years a Slave and seven-time winner Gravity.
Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
2nd UPDATE, 5:42 PM: Trust The Simpsons to go for the big picture when they weighed in on Ellen DeGeneres‘ mega-retweeted Oscars selfie – literally. Today, Homer’s official Twitter feed threw up this perspective on the now famous pic (retweeted more than a record-breaking 3.209 million times so far) from the front row of the 86th Academy Awards. “The ugly true story of that Oscar® selfie can finally be told! Let’s break Twitter again. Look for Bart,” said the tweet. All we can say is Bradley Cooper, be kind. BTW – Ellen and fellow selfie star (and Oscar winner) Jared Leto are helping Homer in his goal: Both retweeted the pic.
UPDATE, SUNDAY PM: In less than an hour, Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres beat President Obama‘s Twitter record for Twitter retweets. Ellen’s on-the-fly pic with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, and more is racking up the Twitter love with over 1M RTs and over 720K favorites and counting.
UPDATE, 4:33 PM: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has done its part to contribute to the wild viral video run of Frozen‘s Best Song Oscar winner “Let It Go”. YouTube is hosting countless versions that are getting millions and millions of hits, and now there’s this one from last night that has Idina Menzel contributing to Fallon’s take featuring kids instruments like the kazoo and toy blocks courtesy of house band The Roots. Check it out:
Awards ceremony broadcasts may have been changed forever at last night’s Oscars when Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie of herself and a dozen A-listers in the theater. She broke the record for most retweets – 3 million-plus and counting — causing a brief service issue with Twitter. “We just broke Twitter,” DeGeneres announced during ABC’s broadcast of the Oscars after word got out.
Related: Ellen Gets Mixed Reviews For Oscars
“The envelope please … to @TheEllenShow — this is now the most retweeted tweet with over 1 million RTs. Congrats!” chimed in Twitter when DeGeneres’ selfie hit that retweeting threshold. (According to Poptip, a platform that analyzes and synthesizes social conversation in real time, among last night’s Oscar highlights, four of the top 15 phrases about the Oscars were about the Samsung selfie.)
OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Our Past And Our Future And Hits Just The Right Notes
In the end the Academy Awards fell right into place with every other awards show this season. Gravity got LOTS of love but it ended with 12 Years A Slave‘s Steve McQueen making the big acceptance speech of the night for Best Picture — just like it went at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, BAFTA, PGA and others. It’s a weird year when a blockbuster picture like Gravity can win seven Oscars including Best Director yet lose the big one. But science fiction is not a category the Oscars have ever embraced in that way, and this year was no exception. In 1977 Star Wars also won seven Oscars yet lost in the end to Best Pic winner Annie Hall, which only picked up four awards overall much like Slave’s haul of three nods this year. The record still stands though with 1972′s Cabaret winning eight Oscars but losing ultimately to The Godfather which won only three including Best Picture.
How do you explain it? It’s called spreading the wealth but wanting to save your most important award for a movie that has real gravitas, one that breaks barriers over what the Academy has ever done before. A movie directed by a black person has never before won nor has a film that so harrowingly details one aspect of the black experience. 12 Years A Slave may have depicted the dark side of this country in a way Oscar had never before recognized, but the Academy wanted to spotlight that and reward it with its highest prize in a year of great films about the black experience. In fact the whole show was full of diversity including numerous black presenters and the Best Director award to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.
For the third time in her career, Ellen DeGeneres was asked to host a Hollywood awards ceremony after a tragedy — this time the tragedy being Seth MacFarlane’s Hollywood-savaging Oscars hosting of a year ago. Ellen hosted the twice-delayed Emmy Awards after the September 2001 terrorist attacks and, four years later, after Hurricane Katrina. Tonight she hosted the first Academy Awards since MacFarlane opened the Oscars with “We Saw Your Boobs” and followed it up with a crack about John Wilkes Booth (rather than nominee Daniel Day-Lewis) being the actor who best got into President Lincoln’s head.
“For those of you watching us around the world, it’s been a tough couple of days for us. It has been raining. We’re fine – thank you for your prayers,” DeGeneres joked as she opened tonight’s ABC broadcast — a nod to her deft hosting of the aforementioned Emmy broadcasts, including that twice-postponed ’01 Emmys, which she’d opened with the observation: “What would bother the Taliban more than seeing a gay woman in a suit surrounded by Jews” to gales of laughter.
Related: OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
When tonight’s disjointed show finally ended, a minute or two into Monday morning for about a third of the country’s TV viewers who live on the East Coast, DeGeneres had reminded us she’s likeable as all get out, but her improvised bits did not work so well – Amy Poehler and Tina Fey did it much better at the Golden Globes. She’d called Liza Minnelli “sir”, complimented “him” on his great Liza Minnelli impersonation; shamed Harvey Weinstein into putting $200 bucks into Pharrell’s hat, which she was passing around to collect money to pay for the product-placement pizza she ordered for the A-listers in the front rows; pocketed and used best supporting actress winner Lupita Nyong’o’s pizza-collection contribution (a lip gloss); and maybe crashed Twitter shortly after piling about a dozen celebrities into one selfie during the broadcast in an attempt to break the record for most re-tweets (it was pushing 2 million by the time the trophy show was over, causing the Motion Picture Academy to apologize for contributing to the Twitter traffic jam).
Warner Bros’ Gravity took home the most hardware at Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards and 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, but everyone was all smiles backstage in the winners’ circle. Check out Deadline’s gallery of photos with the night’s big Oscar winners, including Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Alfonso Cuaron, those peppy Frozen songwriters, and more:
Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscars coverage.
Clearly, God loves a red carpet. How else to explain how the torrential rain miraculously ceased by noon today so we wouldn’t have to see actresses with frizzy hair and streaked mascara in belted trench coats? Instead, this year’s Oscar red carpet brought us a bevy of gold beaded dresses, dozens of bare shoulders, an al fresco Jennifer Lawrence pratfall and many leading men in blue.
That red carpet also brought about $2.3M to our local economy, according to a recent study from a Los Angeles consulting firm that tallied wardrobe expenses for women attending the Academy Awards. (Of course, nominees and presenters don’t have to buy anything — all is custom designed or borrowed.) Celebrity stylists, however, can earn up to $10,000 per day for prepping, pulling looks and fitting clients. (Having co-written a book with Rachel Zoe last year, I can attest to stress of the task. However, any monthlong job that earns enough money to buy a Tesla is no crap gig, eh? )
Related: Oscars Winners List
This year, beaded metallics reigned. Cate Blanchett in pale gold Armani Prive, Angelina Jolie in sparkly Elie Saab Couture, Sally Hawkins in Valentino and Lady Gaga wearing Atelier Versace were reflective. With barely any sunlight, the flashes of paparazzi made these women sparkle. Bare shoulders also were a major trend, and the ones who did it right opted for dramatic bodices and necklines, including Charlize Theron in Christian Dior, Sandra Bullock in navy Alexander McQueen and Amy Adams in Gucci Couture. The lack of straps also makes a great canvas for diamond necklaces, as we saw on Lawrence in $2 million worth of Neal Lane sparklers.
Related: Backstage At The Oscars
In a category that sometimes seemed like a two-horse race between The Great Beauty and The Hunt, with the possible squeaker of The Broken Circle Breakdown, it was ultimately Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to Rome that triumphed. Great Beauty is the 11th win for Italy at the Oscars and the first time since Roberto Benigni’s 1998 Life Is Beautiful that the boot has kicked up a Foreign Language score. Sorrentino told me in December that he was very honored by just the nomination. “It’s a great responsibility. It’s a case in which I represent Italy and so it’s important in this moment when Italian cinema isn’t having a great time in its life… I hope we go ahead not only for me, but also for Italian cinema,” he said. Go ahead he did tonight and thanked his inspirations who include Federico Fellini, Martin Scorsese (in the house at the Dolby Theatre), and Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona. Sorrentino also thanked the cities of Rome and Naples, as well as his family.
The Great Beauty has been compared to the work of Fellini, especially Roma and La Dolce Vita; it’s the story of an aging writer in the Eternal City recollecting his lost youth (see the trailer below). Sorrentino told me late last year that he had long been collecting “little anecdotes” linked to Rome and decided to put them all together into a film so that the lead character would be a witness to that world.
The industry asked, and the Academy listened. At the end of tonight’s In Memoriam tribute to notable Hollywood figures who passed away during the year, the Oscars telecast acknowledged the death of second camera assistant Sarah Jones, who died in a train accident on the set of Midnight Rider less than two weeks ago. Following Bette Midler’s performance of “The Wind Beneath My Wings” after the traditional In Memoriam reel, a graphic memorializing Jones flashed onscreen. Jones is also included in the fuller Oscars In Memoriam gallery online.
Here’s the full list of honorees included in this year’s Oscars In Memoriam tribute. Who else should’ve made the broadcast?