London, 27 January 2014: On Sunday 16 February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) will present Dame Helen Mirren with the Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House, London. Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. Fellows previously honoured for their work in film include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee and Martin Scorsese. Sir Alan Parker received the Fellowship at last year’s Film Awards.
Global Showbiz Briefs: New Study Looks At Entertainment Media Consumption In The Middle East; Helen Mirren Wins Again; More
New Study Looks At Entertainment Media Consumption In The Middle East
Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute are partnering on a research project to explore trends in entertainment media consumption in the Middle East. The survey research will cover entertainment, culture, and sports in six countries including …
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time was the big winner at Sunday night’s Olivier Awards, the British theater’s highest honor. The drama took seven prizes, tying the record set by last year’s Matilda The Musical. Among the wins for The Curious Incident were best new play, best actor for Luke Treadaway, best supporting actress for Nicola Walker and best director for Marianne Elliott. Helen Mirren was crowned best actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s drama The Audience. (Mirren won an Oscar for playing Elizabeth in Stephen Frears’ Morgan-scripted The Queen in 2006.) Richard McCabe was best supporting actor for The Audience. Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won best actor and actress for the revival of musical Sweeney Todd and Top Hat was named best new musical. See below for the full list of winners:
Nominees for the 2013 Olivier Awards, Britain’s answer to the Tonys, include a host of well-known names. Helen Mirren is nominated for Best Actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Daldry’s The Audience. No stranger to the role, Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of Elizabeth in Stephen Frears’ 2006 feature The Queen. And just to keep things in the family, Oscar-nominated Queen scribe Peter Morgan also scripted Audience. James McAvoy, tackling Macbeth for the first time, is nominated for Best Actor in his well-reviewed turn. Also among the nominees are Rupert Everett as Best Actor in The Judas Kiss; Kristin Scott Thomas as Best Actress for Old Times; and Imelda Staunton as Best Actress in a Musical for Sweeney Todd. The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time leads all nominations with eight, followed by Top Hat with seven and Sweeney Todd with six. The prizes will be handed out April 28 at London’s Royal Opera House. Click over for a full list of nominees:
Global Showbiz Briefs: Helen Mirren, BBC & ‘Pompidou’, Cannes Critics’ Week President Named, World Cup Windfall
Helen Mirren’s Sam Mendes Quotes Misquoted
Helen Mirren is never shy of a making a bold statement or two. But stories circulating in the British press following her appearance at Sunday night’s Empire Awards have misquoted the actress as criticizing director Sam Mendes for naming an all-male list of his inspirations. In a speech earlier in the evening, Mendes had praised inspirational moments from the likes of Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder and Akira Kurosawa, which Mirren highlighted when she stepped up to receive a lifetime achievement prize. But far from tearing down Mendes, she used his list to illustrate how much attitudes had changed since she started. “When I first came into the film industry it was a really bloke-y world,” she said. “Nowadays, that’s really changed and it’s great to see women in cinematography, in sound, and obviously in producing and writing.” She said she was certain that in “five or ten years” a successor to Mendes would include female directors on their list of inspirations as a result. “Nothing against Sam, absolutely,” she insisted. “They were great, great moments he chose.” Given the press fervor that greeted her misrepresented comments, it’s no wonder she earlier joked, “The critics bloody well piss me off. What do they know, honestly?” – Joe Utichi
The “retired and extremely dangerous” spies are back in Red 2, and this time they’re hunting a portable nuke that’s gone missing. Dean Parisot directed the sequel from Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber’s screenplay adapted from the graphic novel Red by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. Bruce Willis, John …
Even as Oscar nomination polls were closing Friday afternoon, the awards season action was already shifting to the Southern California desert as the 10-day Palm Springs International Film Festival kicked off, not only with its highly publicized Saturday night gala where enormous statuettes are handed out to Oscar hopefuls looking for a boost in the race, but also as a genuinely impressive public showcase for world cinema.
42 of the 71 official Oscar foreign entries are on display at the Fest (which runs through January 13) including 8 of the 9 finalists which made the shortlist. Many of those filmmakers nervously awaiting results, of which of the 9 become the 5 nominees, were at the fest all weekend, even as a select group of about 30 high-profile Academy members (including Meryl Streep, who told me last year she had a great time on this uber committee) in New York and Los Angeles were viewing the finalists and making their choices (to be announced with other Oscar nominees on Thursday morning).
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Phil Spector is, in a sense, being retried in the court of artistic expression in the HBO biopic Phil Spector that debuts this spring featuring the typically impressive HBO pedigree: Al Pacino in the title role as Spector and Helen Mirren as his co-star. Oh, and David Mamet as writer-director. At the afternoon TCA panel promoting the film, defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, who defended Spector in his first trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson and served as a consultant on the film, remains unconvinced that her client did in fact commit the crime. “It was not proven,” she believes, “and to some degree that’s what this movie explores. What does reasonable doubt mean in a jury trial? Mamet, too, remains unconvinced of Spector’s guilt. “All I knew when we started the project is that he was a freak who killed some girl,” he said. But by the time he finished watching a documentary about Spector, Mamet admits he had changed his tune, to the point where he was almost equally convinced that Spector was extremely bright, misunderstood — and quite possibly not guilty. But his marching orders were “don’t indict the victim,” so he worked to make sure that was the case.
EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Biel committed today to the second female lead in the Sacha Gervasi-directed Alfred Hitchcock And The Making Of Psycho. Biel will play the role of Vera Miles, who played Lila Crane in the 1960 classic. …
EXCLUSIVE: Less than a week after filming of the HBO Films movie Phil Spector was suspended after co-star Bette Midler had to pull out for medical reasons, the producers of the David Mamet-written and directed movie have found a …
Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner and Helen Mirren starred in this mock trailer for the When Harry Met Sally sequel, which premiered on Funny Or Die. Pretty witty stuff and more evidence that despite all her accolades and regal standing, Mirren is game for anything.
At ages 63 and 65, Elton John and Helen Mirren hardly fit the “rookie” label, but the two will make their debuts as hosts on NBC’s Saturday Night Live next month. John will host April 2 and be a musical guest along with Leon Russell. Oscar winner Mirren, who is …