There are 20 films out of 23 in the Competition section that will vie for the Golden and Silver Bears at the Berlin Film Festival. Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, will have its international premiere in competition this year after Linklater and Hawke were in town in 2013 in support of Before Midnight‘s out-of-competition berth. Christophe Gans’ Beauty And The Beast with Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux, also will have its international premiere, albeit out of competition. Rachid Bouchareb’s English-language Two Men In Town, starring Forest Whitaker, Harvey Keitel, Brenda Blethyn and Luis Guzmán, is a world premiere. The official section is low on movies from U.S. directors with only Boyhood and Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel scoring competition slots. Budapest Hotel opens the festival and George Clooney’s The Monuments Men is screening in the main group, but it is not competing. China is well-represented with three films vying for prizes, including Blind Massage, the latest from provocative helmer Lou Ye, and recent hit No Man’s Land. The fest runs February 6-16. A full list of the titles announced today is below; the previously announced films can be found here:
Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice)
People’s Republic of China
By Yinan Diao (Night Train, Uniform)
With Fan Liao, Lun Mei Gwei, Xuebing Wang
By Richard Linklater
With Patricia Arquette, Ethan … Read More »
BAFTA‘s EE Rising Star Award nominees are actors and actresses who have “demonstrated exceptional talent” and are “destined to be bright stars in the future of cinema,” the British Academy says. This year’s crop of five includes Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, Will Poulter and Léa Seydoux. DeHaan was recently seen in Kill Your Darlings and will play Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this summer. MacKay has been working since he was 10 and in 2013 starred in Sunshine On Leith, For Those In Peril and Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now. Nyong’o had a breakthrough in 2013 with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and is up for a Golden Globe and an Indie Spirit as well as having taken critics’ prizes for her supporting turn. Poulter was in last summer’s We’re The Millers and will be seen in this year’s The Maze Runner. French actress Seydoux, who I named as an actor to watch in Cannes 2013, is one of the stars of Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color and has also appeared in such international films as Midnight In Paris, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Farewell, My Queen. She’s next up in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel which opens Berlin in February. The winner of the Rising Star prize will be selected by a public vote (www.ee.co.uk/bafta) and announced at the BAFTA film … Read More »
The Lobster is the first English-language film for Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos whose Dogtooth scored an Oscar nomination in 2009. Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jason Clarke leads the cast that also includes Skyfall‘s Ben Whishaw, Blue Is The Warmest Color‘s Léa Seydoux, Broadchurch‘s Olivia Colman, Attenberg‘s Ariane Labed and Angeliki Papoulia (Dogtooth, Alps). Shooting starts in March on the unconventional love story that’s set in a dystopian future where finding a partner is a matter of life and death. Lanthimos co-wrote the script with longtime collaborator Efthimis Filippou. Protagonist Pictures is launching sales at next month’s AFM. Ireland’s Element Pictures is producing with Lanthimos’ Limp and Ceci Dempsey’s Scarlet Films. Producers are Lanthimos, Lee Magiday, Ed Guiney and Dempsey, with Andrew Lowe exec producing. Haut et Court (The Returned), is co-producing and distributing in France. Faliro House and Lemming Films also are co-producing. Clarke most recently appeared in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and next has Child 44, Terrence Malick’s Knight Of Cups and Fox’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. He’s repped by CAA, as are Seydoux and Whishaw, who’s also with Hamilton Hodell in the UK. Colman is repped by the UK’s United Agents. The Lobster won the ARTE International Prize for best project at CineMart in Rotterdam earlier this year.
EXCLUSIVE: When controversial French sensation Blue Is The Warmest Color won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, it was expected to be a major player in the upcoming Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film. Now it’s ineligible to compete and not even impassioned pleas from Sundance Selects, its American distributor, have done the trick. This unexpected development as first reported on Deadline is due to its October 9th French opening. Local distributor Wild Bunch will not change the date in order to comply with an arcane Academy rule that says each film must have opened in the country of origin by the end of September. Now Sundance Selects/IFC Films President Jonathan Sehring who picked up the U.S. rights to Blue in Cannes is very disappointed that this decision appears irreversible. “I talked to them about it and said it was a missed opportunity if you don’t qualify it. So they actually were going to do a qualification run in the town where it was shot in Northern France,” Sehring tells me. “But ultimately the French governing body said no. It had to be a wide release in order for it to qualify and so [Wild Bunch] called and said ‘We don’t want to move off our date. We have a great date.’ It’s unfortunate.”
Although it won’t help Blue this year, Sehring hopes the Academy will deep-six the September 30th eligibility date and change it in the future to be more reflective of the realities of the international film industry. “It’s a global business right now and [it's not good] to hold the Foreign Language titles to a September 30th date. This present Academy administration has been really great about re-visiting things that don’t really make sense and I’m just hoping that will happen.” However as a distributor he does fully understand the Wild Bunch decision and its box office potential in France. “What could be better than that for them? If the French want to choose it as next year’s title I can always hope there, but unfortunately it didn’t work out in terms of qualification,” he said.
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Beauty And The Beast is having quite the resurgence these days. There are 2 TV pilots in the works with the fairy tale as source material and now there’s going to be a new film adaptation courtesy of Christophe Gans. The picture marks a return to the big screen for the Silent Hill director after a six-year absence. France’s Eskwad and Pathé are teaming on the project to star Vincent Cassel and Léa Seydoux (who’ve both found steady work at home and in Hollywood). Richard Grandpierre is producing with principal photography to start in October this year. Gans has a pretty big cult following. He was part of a “new” new wave back in the late ’90s in France with Brotherhood Of The Wolf. On this film, he says he wants to “unleash” his imagination and “surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before.” Pathé will sell the film internationally.
UPDATE: Paramount now telling me that Anil Kapoor is negotiating to play a “integral supporting role” that is being kept under wraps, but they say he’s not a villain, despite what my sources say. Guess we’ll see.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is spanning the globe for its Mission: Impossible villains. Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor has been cast as a major heavy in the Brad Bird-directed film. He joins Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Michael Nykvist, previously cast as a villain, and reports have French actress Lea Seydoux in the nemesis lineup. Tom Cruise stars with Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Simon Pegg. Kapoor followed up his Slumdog turn with the final season of the Fox series 24. Cruise and JJ Abrams hatched the film’s idea and are producing together. Kapoor is repped by ICM.
EXCLUSIVE: Is it an exaggeration to say not since Gone with the Wind has the actress casting search for a studio film captured such attention? The decision on who’ll play Lisbeth Salander in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continues. Director David Fincher tested actresses this week and will hold another testing this Sunday. I’ve heard that Fincher will test as many as six actresses this time, and the stakes have been raised. Daniel Craig will read alongside the aspirants, and each of them will get the full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and piercings treatment, which wasn’t done in the earlier tests. This should give Fincher a sense of who is the best match to play the rogue computer hacking genius – one of the most complex roles to come along for a young actress in a very long time.
Right now the actresses who are being seriously considered may still include Inception’s Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sarah Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Sophie Lowe (Blame) and now French actress Lea Seydoux. Browning and Wasikowska didn’t make test deals, while Page sent in her own. Fish Tank discovery Katie Jarvis is a late entry but she isn’t testing Sunday.
Sony Pictures will release the first filmed installment of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of books on December 21, 2011, and will begin production in early fall. Steve Zaillian wrote the script and Scott Rudin … Read More »