EXCLUSIVE: Kara Hayward racked up the accolades in her feature debut as angst-ridden lovebird Suzy in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Now the 14-year-old actress is boarding her next project. She’ll play Etta, a high school freshman dealing with her parents divorce, in the indie pic Quitters written and directed by Noah Pritzker (SXSW 2012 short Little Dad). Hayward joins Mira Sorvino, Greg Germann, Benjamin Konigsberg and Morgan Turner in the film which is currently shooting in San Francisco. Quitters is produced by Ben Howe (The Exploding Girl) and Luca Borghese (Rampart). It’s technically Hayward’s third feature to date; she just completed the indie Sisterhood Of The Night opposite Georgie Henley. She’s repped by ICM Partners.
Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine. Paul Brownfield and David Mermelstein are AwardsLine contributors.
Auteurs wouldn’t be auteurs if they weren’t enigmatic, especially when it comes to deconstructing details of their oeuvre. “Let the film speak for itself” is often the motto, and for Amour director and screenwriter Michael Haneke, that’s not too far from his own credo. However, he’s not completely inaccessible when responding to the audience’s fervor for his work.
“It’s very difficult for me to say, it was so long ago, I can’t remember”, Haneke told AwardsLine when asked if there were one particularly challenging scene to write for Amour. “Generally, when it comes to screenwriting, I can say that if it’s flowing, you enjoy it. If not, it’s far less pleasant. But there’s always ambivalence—the struggle to put something there on a blank page when there was nothing there before. If it’s successful, you’re happy; if not, you’re depressed”.
In writing the story of 80-year-old husband Georges who contends with his dying wife Anne’s debilitated state, Haneke was spurred by a beloved aunt’s long and painful battle with a degenerative condition. For the director, the story of the elderly couple’s struggle was a universal tragedy versus a tragic drama “about a 40-year-old couple who is coping with a child dying of cancer”.
In researching the script, Haneke met extensively with medical specialists who work with stroke victims. …
With a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild Of America, one of AFI’s Top Ten Films of the Year and nominations for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, BAFTA, WGA Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards (along with Best Feature there too), Director Wes Anderson and his co-writer Roman Coppola are riding high this awards season. Upon posting notices for WGA and Academy members the script , according to Focus Features , has already been downloaded record numbers of times with over 40,000 live views in just the first few days. Now Focus has created this featurette highlighting the work of the film’s screenplay, a nice shout-out to the film and its writers in recognizing it all starts on the page. See it below.
Like the Producers Guild earlier this week, the WGA did not produce a list of film nominees in the Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay categories that had any surprises. This in itself is not surprising since the WGA (I’m a member) — due to restrictive rules regarding eligibility of films only produced under the guild’s MBA or certain international affiliated collective bargaining agreements — had far less of a field from which to choose. The number of screenplays eligible overall is slightly more than a third of all scripts the Academy’s much smaller voting body is picking from (polls for Oscar nomination voting close today at 5 PM). As usual, we can look for several differences when the Academy reveals their writing nominations January 10th. Although nominees often vary between the two orgs, the final winners are usually much more in sync. Last year, both WGA Award-winning scripts — Midnight In Paris and The Descendants – went on to repeat at the Oscars. In 2010 though, only WGA Adapted Screenplay winner The Social Network repeated at Oscar time, while the Oscar winner for Original Screenplay, The King’s Speech, wasn’t even nominated at the WGA because it was ineligible.
Related: WGA Awards Nominations Announced
Moonrise Kingdom amounted to Wes Anderson at his best. It was a relate-able story of first love, injected with Anderson’s playful wit, his sense of the absurd, and his singular visual style. The result was a $66 million worldwide gross and one of the year’s big specialty film hits. Since making his debut on Bottle Rocket, Anderson has honed a highly original voice that has sometimes hit the crossover bulls eye (Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums) and sometimes is confined to a smaller core audience (The Darjeeling Limited and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). On a train ride in Germany where he was prepping his next film The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson talked about how he learned to be confident in and satisfied with his unique voice.
DEADLINE: Moonrise Kingdom was one of your most appealing films, and it crossed well beyond your usual core audience. When you place your stories in these quirky visual worlds, how important is it to provide issues or emotions that are universal?
ANDERSON: My experience of how these stories are laid up is different for each movie. I hope people will be moved by, gripped by, or entertained by these films, but it’s a crap shoot. I don’t even know if I’ve succeeded until, literally, when the movie goes beyond New York and L.A., and screens are added and the film really starts to reach …
Christy Grosz is Editor of AwardsLine.
With a list of collaborators that includes some of the most sought-after writers and producers in the business, Scott Rudin is no stranger to awards season. He’s earned best picture nominations for the last two years running, for 2010′s The Social Network and True Grit and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close last year. He won his only Oscar in 2008 for No Country For Old Men — a year in which his other film, There Will Be Blood, also earned a nom for picture — and this year he earned the career distinction of having received all four major entertainment statuettes when he added a Grammy for The Book Of Mormon musical cast recording. In 2012, Rudin also saw the release of his fifth feature film with director Wes Anderson, the box office hit Moonrise Kingdom. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and has gone on to win a Gotham Award for best film and earn five Independent Spirit Award nominations. Their creatively and financially lucrative partnership continues for Anderson’s 2014 followup, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which reunites much of the same cast and crew from Moonrise, including star Bill Murray and financier Steven M. Rales of Indian Paintbrush. The very busy producer recently spoke with AwardsLine about the film’s success.
AwardsLine: You always have a fairly heavy workload for a producer. How do you maintain the quality and still give everything the attention it needs?
Scott Rudin: I have no idea other than there’s no alternative. Honestly.
Cari Lynn is an AwardsLine contributor
A tale of first love had been knocking around in Wes Anderson’s brain for nearly a decade. But before it became the quirky, cherubic Moonrise Kingdom—which earned Oscar talk after being granted the coveted opening-night slot at the Cannes Film Festival and having gone on to become a crossover boxoffice hit—Anderson struggled with getting the story down on paper. For the better part of a year, all he had was a hodgepodge of ideas: a 12-year-old boy and girl in 1965, a New England island, the feel of François Truffaut’s 1976 film Small Change, and a record playing Leonard Bernstein’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”—but no script.
“When we would chat, I would ask Wes how that island film was coming,” says Roman Coppola, who cowrote The Darjeeling Limited with Anderson and Jason Schwartzman. “A chunk of time would pass, and we’d meet up again, and again I’d ask. It was clear the world, the feeling, the vibe of it was there, but the details were vague. Often when you’re working on a creative thing you have a sense that it exists, but you’re trying to find its form.”
EXCLUSIVE: Kara Hayward has joined the teen drama The Sisterhood Of Night. The Moonrise Kingdom actress will play a girl who exposes a secret society in her New Jersey suburb, leading to a witch-hunt in the town. The Sisterhood Of Night is directed by Caryn Waechter and based on Steven Millhauser’s short story. Hayward made her feature film debut this year as the wayward Suzy Bishop, the daughter of Bill Murray and Frances McDormand’s characters, in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise. She is repped by ICM Partners.
Related: IFP Gotham Noms Announced
IFP Gotham Award Noms: ‘Bernie,’ ‘Loneliest Planet,’ ‘The Master,’ ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ And ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Up For Best Picture
New York, NY (October 18, 2012) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers announced today the nominees for the Gotham Independent Film Awards™. Signaling the kick-off to the film awards season, IFP’s Gotham Independent Film Awards™ nominations were given to a total of 26 films across six competitive categories for Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance, and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.
The Gotham Awards ceremony will be held on Monday, November 26th at Cipriani Wall Street. In addition to the competitive awards, actors Marion Cotillard and Matt Damon, director David O. Russell, and Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll will each be presented with a career tribute.
As the first major awards ceremony of the film season, the Gotham Independent Film Awards™ provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. Previous winners for Best Feature and Best Documentary include BEGINNERS (2011), THE TREE OF LIFE (2011), BETTER THIS WORLD (2011), WINTER’S BONE (2010), THE OATH (2010), THE HURT LOCKER (2009), and FOOD, INC. (2009). The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting award recipients prominently into national awards season attention, including recent winners and ultimate Oscar® contenders: feature winners BEGINNERS (2011), TREE OF LIFE (2011), WINTER’S BONE (2010) and THE HURT LOCKER (2009); Breakthrough Actors Melissa Leo (2008), Ellen Page (2007), Rinko Kikuchi (2006) and Amy Adams (2005).
The nominations for the 2012 Gotham Independent Film Awards are:
Bernie, Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Ginger Sledge, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Liz Glotzer, Matt Williams, David McFadzean, Judd Payne, Dete Meserve, producers (Millennium Entertainment)
The Loneliest Planet, Julia Loktev, director; Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Helge Albers, Marie Therese Guirgis, producers (Sundance Selects)
The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson, director; Joanne Sellar, Daniel Lupi, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, producers (The Weinstein Company)
Middle of Nowhere, Ava DuVernay, director; Howard Barish, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes, producers (AFFRM and Participant Media)
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Focus Features)
A trio of holdovers grabbed the bulk of specialty business this weekend, with Fox Searchlight’s Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Sony Classics’ To Rome With Love and Focus’ Moonrise Kingdom leading the pack. Three films, China Heavyweight from Zeitgeist, Magnolia’s The Magic Of Belle Isle and Red Flag’s The Do-Deca-Pentathlon reported numbers for their new, very limited rollouts. Documentary Heavyweight opened in one theater, grossing $2,804, while Magnolia’s Belle Isle launched in several locations, with a modest per-theatre average of $2,750. Red Flag Releasing’s Duplass Bros-directed feature The Do-Deca-Pentathlon averaged a softer $1,250 in 8 locations.
European settings continues to be a treasure rove for Woody Allen. Though the opening weekend numbers are not quite as stratospheric as last year’s Midnight In Paris, the filmmaker’s latest To Rome With Love are nonetheless impressive. The Sony Pictures Classics release debuted in 5 theaters, grossing $379K on this side of the Atlantic, averaging just under $76K, Allen’s second-best in per-theater terms. Allen’s previous feature set in the City of Lights bowed in 6 theaters back in May of last year, averaging an astounding $99,834 and went on to gross slightly under $57M domestically. SPC’s Michael Barker said the distributor plans to roll out Allen’s latest more quickly than Paris, going “much wider” July 6th. “We think it will be great light entertainment for audiences here.” As he said just before the weekend, “It’s tonic for the summer studio films.”
FilmDistrict scored on the specialty side this weekend with a solid $11K-plus average with Safety Not Guaranteed. The movie grossed $100K across 9 locations. FilmDistrict distribution president Jim Orr said, “Safety Not Guaranteed opened very close to what we expected, though the increase on Saturday from Friday was higher than we anticipated which we think reflects the great word of mouth that this picture will enjoy. We expand Safety into a total of 17 markets and close to 50 theater on the 15th, then expand into a total of 37 markets on the 22nd and roughly 120 theaters.”
Todd Solondz has long been a favorite of a certain kind of movie lover. His last film, Life During Wartime opened in one theater with just over $30K its opening weekend in 2010 and for comparison sake, Palindromes (2005) averaged a bit over $8K in its opener in seven theaters. His latest, Dark Horse, came in ‘asi-asi’, or just fine for the uninitiated, with $15K in one location. “We are extremely proud of the weekend numbers for Dark Horse,” said Ruth Vitale, who is spearheading Brainstorm Media’s entry into theatrical. “Todd Solondz is one of the definitive voices in independent cinema, and the combined teams of Brainstorm, Double Hope Films, and Vitagraph have all contributed to his latest film’s success.”
Focus Features added 80 locations for their Wes Anderson-directed Moonrise Kingdom in its third weekend, the Cannes 2012 opener grossed just under $1.6M for a $16,443 average. And even better is the fact that the feature landed in the big box office top 10.
Among specialty releases, holdovers held the spotlight the first weekend of June. Memorial Day weekend’s record-breaking opener Moonrise Kingdom retained its crown atop the box office in the specialty arena, averaging just over $53K per theater in 16 locations. Focus Features added 13 locations for the Wes Anderson-directed feature, which opened Cannes last month. And on this Diamond Jubilee weekend, Focus is, well, jubilant: “Moonrise continues to generate outstanding results this weekend,” a Focus spokesperson said this morning. “Saturday’s large increase over Friday (42%) reflects theaters adding more seats in response to demand (there were sellouts throughout the day). The estimated $53K theater average defines the film’s powerful box office momentum.”
But the jewel in the crown is still Fox Searchlight‘s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which added 61 locations in its fifth weekend out. Set in India, the film took in $4.6 million over the weekend, landing itself again in the overall box office top 10 with only a 25% decline from last last weekend’s gross,
After two weeks of unimpressive specialty openers, Focus Features‘ Moonrise Kingdom has taken the specialty box office by storm, shattering records over Memorial weekend. Directed by Wes Anderson, the film opened the Cannes Film Festival and then hit theaters in the States, setting a new record for a live-action feature in a regular theatrical run, surpassing Dreamgirls‘ stunning $126K per theater average debut in three theaters back in 2006. Moonrise Kingdom averaged a whopping $130,752 at four locations and an overall four-day $669K gross. Focus, which holds worldwide rights, will take the movie to additional cities in the U.S. each weekend through June, expanding Moonrise Kingdom to several hundred screens. “Moonrise is a story of love’s improbable triumph, and for Wes Anderson and his team a labor of love from start to finish,” said Focus CEO James Schamus. “How wonderful it is to congratulate him, on behalf of everyone at Focus, for this remarkable, record-breaking opening.”
Also opening with gusto, The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables, which averaged over $34K in four theaters. This should bode well for the French-produced film. It has had a spectacular run overseas, breaking records in France and grossing well over $300 million to date.
Among other Memorial Day weekend specialty debuts, Samuel Goldwyn’s Cowgirls n’ Angels screened in 50 theaters, averaging a disappointing $1,314, while Adopt Films launched Mighty Fine at 30 locations, averaging a similarly tepid $1,233. A bit stronger were Fisher Klingenstein’s OC87 which bowed at one location, grossing $7,500, while Strand Releasing’s Oslo, August 31st averaged $5,750 from a pair of theaters.
Specialty Box Office: ‘Cowgirls N’ Angels,’ ‘The Intouchables,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ ‘Oslo, August 31st’
This weekend’s specialty openers in the U.S. include a pair of Cannes Film Festival offerings. Just over a week since its world premiere as the fest’s opening-night film, Wes Anderson’s romantic-comedy Moonrise Kingdom will bow Stateside. The film has been an initial success since opening in theaters in France on the heels of its premiere there. Cannes 2011 title Oslo, August 31st also joins the specialty fray, hoping to repeat its success overseas in the U.S., as is The Weinstein Company‘s The Intouchables. That film has become one of the largest box office draws in French history and has taken big sums overall abroad. Also this weekend, Samuel Goldwyn Films will forgo the traditional L.A. and New York approach for its theatrical opening of Cowgirls N’ Angels, opting for playdates in the Midwest and South.
Bill Murray somehow fits perfectly — like an old slipper — on the set of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, the Focus Features drama that just opened the Cannes Film Festival and comes out in the U.S. on Friday. He and Anderson are old pals, with the actor having worked on every Anderson-directed film except his first one Bottle Rocket (“I still haven’t seen that one,” Murray deadpans during his video tour of the production). While it’s not the elaborate video diary of Peter Jackson on The Hobbit set, it strikes the right tone for the latest Anderson effort, which received a standing ovation at the Palais during its Cannes premiere that brought Murray to tears.
The competition portion of the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival began in earnest tonight as the fest opened with the World Premiere of Wes Anderson’s new comedy, Moonrise Kingdom. And the results certainly pleased Focus Features chief James Shamus, who assessed the evening for me at the film’s swinging late night afterparty at Carlton Beach (which started after the usual opening night formal dinner). The movie received a 5-minute standing ovation that in fact brought co-star Bill Murray to visible tears in the audience. Of course every film gets some kind of ovation from these twice-a-night opening crowds. But there seemed to be genuine enthusiasm for Anderson who has never brought a film to Cannes. “I contacted [Fest director] Thierry Fremaux and really fought hard for the opening night slot because I believed in this film,” Schamus told me. It is somewhat unusual for the opening nighter to be in competition also. (Schamus said he thought it was maybe only the second or third time in the last couple of decades.) “Wes is also an auteur so I thought it would be only natural that his film would compete,” Schamus told me. Many of the opening nighters I spoke to felt it was worthy of a prize.
Anderson’s film is the first of 22 which the Cannes jury (headed by Italian director Nanni Moretti) will see over the next 12 days. Today, virtually the entire Moonrise Kingdom cast (Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, and tweens Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward) met the press. ”These were so many people I wanted to work with for so long. I like to think of movies I do as a bit like a theatre company,” Anderson said. Typical of the camraderie felt by Anderson casts, “It’s clearly a family,” said Swinton. “Wes has made it feel as if we were all invited to a wedding. It was quite an adventure.”
The driver who brought me into Cannes this morning from the Nice airport told me I’m lucky because the weather here was horrible the day before. Well, the sun has started shining now, just as the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival is in heavy preparation mode for its big opening night Wednesday with Focus Features’ Moonrise Kingdom kicking things off from director Wes Anderson, who’s making his Croisette debut. Certainly festival director Thierry Fremaux and Gilles Jacob hope the sun will shine on the official selection this year as well after a rousing 2011 where Cannes had an an unusually large impact on the Oscar race. An impressive three films that debuted here – Midnight In Paris, The Tree Of Life and The Artist – all received Best Picture nominations, with the latter winning and also taking four other Oscars — including one for Best Actor Jean Dujardin repeating his Cannes victory. A fourth 2011 competition entry, Drive was also a major player during awards season after picking up the Best Director prize here for Nicolas Winding Refn.
That’s a pretty tough act for Fremaux to follow. When I saw him at this year’s Governors Ball chatting up Harvey Weinstein just a short time after The Artist’s Oscar triumph (the first French picture ever to pull that off), I suggested that the pressure is on to repeat again this year. “I’m just here supporting our film,” an excited Fremaux told me at the time, but certainly ‘how do you top this?’ had to be in the back of his mind. Of course, Cannes being the world’s most important film festival doesn’t depend on finding movies that strike the fancy of Academy voters, but the two biggest red carpets in show business are important for each other.
Oscar and Cannes don’t always see eye to eye, so last year might have been an abberation. 1955′s Marty still remains the one and only film to win Best Picture and its Cannes equivalent the Palme d’Or (The Artist could have been the second but lost the Palme to the only American competition entry, The Tree Of Life).
Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ To Open Cannes; Lineup Includes Lee Daniels’ ‘Paperboy’, Andrew Dominik’s ‘Killing Them Softly’, John Hillcoat’s ‘Lawless’, Jeff Nichols’ ‘Mud’
UPDATE: Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom will open the fest and play in competition. The competition is rife with directors hailing from English-speaking territories. As expected Lee Daniels is in with Paperboy, Andrew Dominik will be there with Killing Them Softly, John Hillcoat’s Lawless has a berth and so do David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Jeff Nichols’ Mud and The Angels’s Share from Ken Loach. Walter Salles’ English-language On The Road is locked. The full list of competition films follows: