ABC Buys High-Concept Family Drama From Aaron Stockard & Mark Gordon

By | Thursday October 3, 2013 @ 2:10pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Mark Gordon has set up another drama project at ABC. It hails from feature writer and frequent Ben Affleck collaborator Aaron Read More »

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Steve Carell To Mastermind Silver Pictures Heist Script ‘Conviction’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Steve Carell is attached to star in and produce Conviction, a heist film that was bought as a spec script two years ago by Warner Bros and Silver Pictures. The script by Jonathan Herman, which made the Black List, … Read More »

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OSCAR: Hilary Swank Q&A On ‘Conviction’

By | Friday January 14, 2011 @ 2:06am PST
Pete Hammond

Few actresses move from TV’s 90210 and the film The Next Karate Kid to become a 2-time Best Actress Oscar winner for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby. Unless you’re Hilary Swank. Though recent films which she has starred in were unsuccessful at the box office, some found favor with the critics. That has also been the case with Fox Searchlight’s Conviction. Swank portrays Betty Anne Waters, a Massachusettes wife and mother who put herself through high school, college, and law school in order to free her wrongfully imprisoned brother. A surprise SAG nomination for Swank for Outstanding Female Actor In A Leading Role has resulted in a stepped-up Oscar campaign:

DEADLINE: In Conviction you play another real-life person.
SWANK: You know when you take on a role and it’s challenging and you think, “Oh, am I going to be able to do this?”  – which I do every single time. I think, “Can I do this? Can I do this?” And it scares me in a deep place – which is part of my ride, too. I like that. I’m an adrenaline junkie. But then you add the layer of it being a real person and how much that person means to me. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if she saw the movie and said, “You didn’t get it, and that’s not how it happened.” And everyone felt that way on this movie and everyone really stepped up. Read More »

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Fox Puts Searchlight Contenders On iTunes For SAG Voters

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 7, 2011) __ Fox Filmed Entertainment (FFE) and iTunes are offering nearly 100,000 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) members Fox Searchlight Pictures’ 127 HOURS, BLACK SWAN and CONVICTION in HD from iTunes for viewing on their iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or PC, or with Apple

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Big Fall Fest: Who’s Up Or Down For Oscar?

Pete Hammond

The movies have been unveiled, the reviews are in, the bloggers have blogged, so what’s the verdict? Who’s in, who’s out, who’s hoping for a recount? With a surprisingly active Toronto Film Festival winding down to a halt, and Venice and Telluride becoming distant memories, let’s see where those movies that came in with Oscar ambition and hit one, two, or all three award contender-centric fests now stand at this key early juncture.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony) - Ironically, the one movie that perhaps generated the biggest buzz this week wasn’t at any of the Big Three. The Social Network stole the thunder from Toronto by beginning screenings for onliners in New York and Los Angeles before it opens the New York Film Festival on September 24th. Oscar Chance: It instantly became anointed a frontrunner for Best Picture.

BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight) – It took Venice by storm with one of the most enthusiastic opening night ovations in years. But at award time on the Lido it was virtually overlooked (except for a breakthrough honor for Mila Kunis). Top reviews and lots of awards talk followed at Telluride and Toronto, especially for Natalie Portman. Oscar Chance: Very much alive in key races including newfound frontrunner status for Portman in Best Actress. Big question is how will older voters react to film’s kinkier aspects?

SOMEWHERE (Focus Features) – Sofia Coppola’s quiet character study won the top prize in Venice despite mixed reviews and some cries that jury president and Coppola intimate Quentin Tarantino played favorites. (Tarantino vehemently dismissed the criticism.) The film sat out Telluride and Toronto by design and will likely be held back from screenings until closer to its late December release. Oscar Chance: Still a bit of a mystery but may be too soft to make a dent. Coppola though is well-liked by her fellow writers and directors and Stephen Dorff is said to be quite good in it.

127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight) – Danny Boyle’s first effort since sweeping the Oscars with Slumdog Millionaire two years ago was generally met with favorable reviews and good buzz in Telluride followed by at least one standing ovation in Toronto. Oscar Chance: Strongest bet in Best Actor for James Franco. A longer shot in Best Picture as “Farewell to Arm” scene may be too much for some at the Academy.

CONVICTION (Fox Searchlight) - Middling reviews and lack of strong buzz in Toronto make this true story a long shot. Oscar Chance: Hillary Swank has a shot in Best Actress but she’s down the list in an exceptionally tough field. Sam Rockwell has film’s best shot in Supporting Actor. Juliette Lewis is also possible but role may be too small.

THE KING’S SPEECH (Weinstein Co) - Strong outstanding period piece puts Harvey Weinstein back in the Oscar game big-time. Triumphed over all comers in Telluride with subsequent buzz seeing hundreds turned away in Toronto. Great reviews and a real crowd pleaser. Oscar Chance: A slam dunk for major nominations across the board and an instant frontrunner that should play right into Academy’s lap.

MADE IN DAGENHAM (Sony Pictures Classics) – Another British period piece that debuted in Toronto to good results and sweet reviews. Story about a group of female factory workers fighting for equal pay is very accessible entertainment. Oscar Chance: This may be Sony Classics’ best shot to get into Best Picture, very Academy friendly film with acting noms possible for star Sally Hawkins and supporters Miranda Richardson and Bob Hoskins.

ANOTHER YEAR (Sony Pictures Classics) – Mike Leigh’s best film since Secrets And Lies didn’t win anything in Cannes in May and seemed to get mixed to excellent reactions in North American premieres in Telluride and Toronto. Those who like it love it. Oscar Chance: Leigh films usually go over well with the Academy but surest thing is the acclaimed performance of Lesley Manville. She should go for supporting where she’d have a better chance than in the overcrowded lead actress category.

THE TOWN (Warner Bros) – Ben Affleck drew pretty good reviews as an actor and especially director out of Venice and Toronto. Depending on how it does at the box office starting this weekend, it could follow a similar trajectory as its producer Graham King’s Oscar winning The Departed. Or not. Oscar Chance: Pedigree is fine but may be too much in the violent action genre. Strong performances could crack one of the acting categories, with Jeremy Renner the most likely possibility in support.

HEREAFTER (Warner Bros) – Clint Eastwood ‘s latest got mixed reviews out of Toronto. Read More »

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