Sam Mendes’ ‘Charlie & The Chocolate Factory’ Leads Olivier Award Noms

olivier awardsThe Sam Mendes-directed West End musical Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which recently extended its run to May 20, 2015, tied today with the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along to lead the list of Olivier Award nominees with seven each. Charlie grabbed mentions in the Best Actor in a Musical category for Douglas Hodge as well as Best New Musical, among others. The show, from Warner Bros Theatrical Ventures, has twice broken records during its run for the highest weekly gross sales. The other Best New Musical nominees include Once, The Book Of Mormon and The Scottsboro Boys; each received six nominations. In the acting categories, Tom Hiddleston is cited for his lead turn in Coriolanus and Jude Law for his take on Henry V. Judi Dench in Peter And Alice, is up against Hayley Atwell, Anna Chancellor and Lesley Manville for Best Actress. The Olivier Awards ceremony will take place at London’s Royal Opera House on April 13. Click over for a full list of nominations: Read More »

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Bruce Dern Calls It A “Geezer’s Dinner”, But Oscar Nominees Show Up In Force At AARP’s Movies For Grownups Awards

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:42am PST
Pete Hammond

The Oscar luncheon has become a lynchpin for other events and award-related activities since so many MFGnominees are in town for the occasion. It’s a last-gasp attempt to get them out to as many events as possible before final ballots go out Friday. The Dallas Buyers Club group, the Wolf Of Wall Street and several others had AMPAS Q&As lined up Monday evening. But perhaps the biggest event — judging by the Oscar-nominated star power it drew Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon– was AARP‘s 2014 Awards Gala on Monday night saluting Movies For Grownups. Their mission as they say is to “honor outstanding writing, acting and filmmaking with distinct relevance to the 50-plus audience”. Considering the average age of Oscar voters, this is a good place to be seen. Among the winners were 12 Years A Slave  as Best Movie For Grownups, Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron as Best Director, Nebraska’s Bruce Dern and Philomena’s Judi Dench as Best Actor and Actress, 20 Feet From Stardom for Best Documentary, and Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for their Before Midnight screenplay. Susan Sarandon received the life achievement award from presenter Melissa McCarthy. Best Buddy Picture was CBS Films’ Lost Vegas with star Morgan Freeman and director Jon Turtletaub on hand. Best Grownup Love Story appropriately went to Nicole Holofcener for the terrific and sadly Oscar-overlooked Enough Said.

Related: 86th Academy Awards Nominees Photo

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Hot Oscar Video: Telling The Tale Of ‘Philomena’

By | Saturday January 4, 2014 @ 3:45pm PST

PhilomenaEXCLUSIVE: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Stephen Frears, and author Martin Sixsmith (The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee) discuss the origins of Weinstein sleeper Philomena in the exclusive featurette below. Dench stars in the pic … Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘Philomena’ Puts Judi Dench Right Back In The Thick Of The Race

Pete Hammond

Dame Judi Dench is poised to have a very happy new year. She is certainly no stranger to awards, but there could be more in her immediate future. She’s had 6 Oscar nominations  and one win as 1998 Supporting 1318861512_Judi_Dench_Oscars_1998_WideActress for an eight minute role in Shakespeare In Love. There are also 11 Golden Globe nominations and two wins. And then the British superstar can also boast of an astounding 25 BAFTA nominations and 10 wins split between her film and television work — the most recent coming for her final appearance as M opposite James dench6fb-toned-webBond in 2012′s Skyfall. So what does she need another one for?

The fact is she’s back in awards contention in a big way again this season in Philomena, another signature role  as Philomena Lee, a true life story of a woman who had to give up her young child for adoption in the Irish orphanage where she worked — only to search for him 50 years later and discover some startling truths along the way. She’s already racked up SAG, Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award nominations for the crowd-pleasing film (which also has a Best Drama Picture bid at the Globes too) and seems a sure thing for another go at the Oscars when nominations are announced January 16th. This would be her fifth nod (in addition to Mrs. Brown, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes On A Scandal) as actress in a leading role , quite a feat for a performer at any age but particularly one who just turned 79 years old earlier this month. A win would make her the second oldest ever (after Driving Miss Daisy’s Jessica Tandy) to nab the Best Actress Oscar.

Related: The Real ‘Philomena’ Answers NY Post Critic Who Condemns Her Film Read More »

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The Weinstein Co’s ‘Philomena’ Vs. MPAA 2: Judi Dench’s M Enlists Steve Coogan: Video

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 1:44pm PST

The Weinstein Co is unhappy about the R rating slapped on its awards-season hopeful and has launched a second salvo in its battle against the MPAA. Last week it unveiled a clip with Judi Dench reprising her Bond role as M, and now she’s back again — … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Philomena’

By | Saturday September 28, 2013 @ 6:23pm PDT

Judi Dench is looking Oscar-bound with the true tale of a journalist (Steve Coogan) who helps a woman (Dench) track down the son she gave up for adoption decades earlier. (Read Pete Hammond’s take on Philomena‘s award-winning run on the festival circuit, including a … Read More »

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Venice: ‘Philomena’ Wows Lido, Debuts To Thunderous Applause

One of the most anticipated films in the Venice competition, Stephen Frears’ Philomena blew a breath of fresh air onto the Lido this morning. Essentially a Judi Dench/Steve Coogan two-hander, it screened to laughs, tears and lots of applause – the latter both during and after the film. Following a series of intensely serious movies – some of which, like Gravity, have been very well-received – festgoers were still looking for a genuine crowd-pleaser. Although Philomena treats a very delicate subject matter, which resulted in the pulling out of a lot of hankies in the Sala Darsena, it’s also a very funny and heart-warming film. The Weinstein Co. won a bidding war for it in Cannes after Pathé screened a seven-minute reel for buyers.

Philomena was positioned to open here using a similar strategy to The Queen. Frears also directed that film which won Helen Mirren the Best Actress Volpi Cup, a screenwriting prize for Peter Morgan and the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI). It later garnered six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress which Mirren won. Philomena next heads to Toronto. An exec involved in the film recently told me they hoped to arrive at that festival “with a little bit of a reputation.” Given today’s reaction, that hope would appear fulfilled. Read More »

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Dustin Hoffman, Judi Dench Team For BBC Adaptation Of Roald Dahl’s ‘Esio Trot’

By | Friday August 23, 2013 @ 3:51am PDT

Esio Trot will see Dustin Hoffman play Mr Hoppy, a retired bachelor who harbors a secret passion for his neighbor, Mrs Silver (Judi Dench). … Read More »

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Clashing Buyer Screenings Causing Chaos?

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 3:56pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Ah, Cannes got off to such a nice, sunny start. But the skies opened up this evening with rain and thunder, and buyers tomorrow morning are going to have to deal with the clash of two high priority acquisition … Read More »

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Jude Law, Daniel Radcliffe, Judi Dench Board London Plays; John Logan Returns

Veteran theater director Michael Grandage announced a star-studded line-up to launch his new company in London’s West End. Daniel Radcliffe, Judi Dench, Jude Law and Ben Whishaw are among the actors who will tread the boards in a series of … Read More »

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London Crix Go Roeg With Top Honor

The London Film Critics Circle is to present director Nicolas Roeg with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, the org announced Friday. The prize is the venerable group’s highest honor and has previously gone to such … Read More »

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James Bond ‘Skyfall’ Adds Helen McCrory, Ola Rapace To Cast As Cameras Roll

As filming got underway Monday for Skyfall, the names of two additional actors but not their characters’ identities were posted on the movie’s Twitter account @007: Helen McCrory (Hugo, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2) and … Read More »

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