Here are the winners of the 85th Oscars. It was a rather strange year, with only the sixth tie in the history of the awards (for Sound Editing) an excess of references to Chicago, and a surprise win in the Best Director category for Ang Lee. (And those who expected Jessica Chastain to take the Best Actress award were surprised by Jennifer Lawrence winning the award, for Silver Linings Playbook.) Lee’s Life of Pi actually ended up being the night’s big winner, with four Oscars.

As expected, Ben Affleck‘s Argo took Best Picture, with producer Grant Heslov taking the opportunity to really highlight Affleck (also a producer) and give the director time to have the mic. And though the event was hosted by a comedian, Best Actor winner Daniel Day Lewis made the best jokes of the night — surprise, surprise, the guy was better than everyone else in the room.

For more commentary check out the night’s live blogRead More »

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A dozen years after the release of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Weinstein Co. is getting ready to make a sequel. Though it’s been a while since we heard about any potential follow-up to Ang Lee‘s international hit, it looks like the Weinsteins have quietly been making preparations behind the scenes. Production is on track to begin in May, with a script by John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom). Ronny Yu (Fearless) is in talks to direct. More details after the jump.

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When Life of Pi landed in Ang Lee‘s lap in 2009, it had already run through several directors including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. But as we now know, he managed to turn the tricky source material into a gorgeous, moving adventure. As he eyes his next move, he’s looking to board another project that’s been attached to several high-profile names.

At the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala, Lee expressed his interest in taking over the historical epic Cleopatra. Angelina Jolie‘s been attached to play the lead since 2010, but the film’s had significantly more trouble hanging onto a director. Last summer, David Fincher became the latest filmmaker to drop the picture. More details after the jump.

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Nominations for the Oscars will be announced later this week (on Thursday morning, to be precise) but for now we’ve got the five names nominated by the Director’s Guild of America for achievement in directing in 2012. The list features one newcomer to the DGA award slate, and four directors who have won in prior years.

In short, the names on the list are: Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. Everyone will likely have something to say about their favorite director who didn’t get the DGA nod this year, whether it is Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, or Paul Thomas Anderson.

Awards will be given out at the 65th Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The full list of nominee info is below. Read More »

Amongst even the most fervent Quentin Tarantino fans, the subject of Death Proof is touchy — is it a good film, or not? I love the movie, seeing it as precisely the sort of grindhouse movie that it hoped to replicate, with a layer of commentary thrown in for good measure. But Tarantino stirred up new conversation about the film today with comments in a long interview about the fact that he hopes Death Proof ends up judged as the least of his films.

The beginning of awards season each year sees THR assembling talent in one room for great roundtables, and this year the director roundtable features Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, and the dominating presence of Tarantino.

The comment about Death Proof may have been the most attention-getting thing Tarantino said, but he had a lot more to offer, from a breakdown of his own writing and directing process, to plans to write books (novels and film criticism) after he stops actively directing. And the end of his directorial career seems prompted by technological change, as the move to digital projection leaves him cold.

And there’s a lot more, too — while Tarantino tends to dominate the conversation, each of the participants has great stuff to add about the business of directing. It’s worth an hour of your time to watch the whole thing. Read More »

Has the first look at a shot from Thor: The Dark World leaked out? Will The Wolverine be at the Super Bowl? Want to see an alternative version of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises? How does Chris Hemsworth see his relationship with Natalie Portman in Thor: The Dark World? Has Anthony Hopkins enjoyed his experience? What regrets does Ang Lee have about his Hulk film? Who is Aaron Johnson dressed as on the set of Kick-Ass 2? Who was spotted outside Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb‘s house? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

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‘Life of Pi’ Clip: When Fish Attack

A cinematic adaptation of Life of Pi has been in the works basically since Yann Martel‘s novel was published in 2001, but in the early stages the project had some trouble picking up steam. It passed through the hands of several directors, including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, over several years before finally landing with Ang Lee in 2008.

Now, after four years of hard work, Lee’s movie is finally on the verge of hitting theaters. One of the film’s strongest selling points is its incredible use of 3D, but it’s tough to get that third dimension across on a computer screen. So in this first clip, Fox’s marketing team settles for unveiling a scene where it’s obvious things would be flying at your face if you were in a theater. Watch the scene, with an introduction by Lee, after the jump.

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If 3D gets a bad rap, it’s often for good reason. Done badly, 3D drives up ticket prices while adding nothing to the experience; done very badly, it robs you blind while destroying the picture. But every so often, a movie comes along that reminds you of how powerful the technology can be when wielded by a master craftsman. Ang Lee‘s stunning, vibrant Life of Pi is one of those cases.

After receiving strong early buzz thanks to some alluring clips and teasers, Life of Pi had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival this week. Lee cautioned us ahead of time that he was still putting the final touches on the movie, so the version that hits theaters may differ slightly from the one we saw. But whether he makes a few last tweaks or not, it’s clear that Life of Pi will be a worthwhile cinematic experience.

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‘Life of Pi’ International Trailer

After a great deal of time in development, during which multiple directors tried to crack the story, Yann Martel‘s novel Life of Pi was filmed by director Ang Lee, with newcomer Suraj Sharma in the role of Pi, a boy who is stranded at sea in a lifeboat with a man-eating tiger for company. There’s a bit more to the story than that, but I’ll let you get some idea of the further story from the new international trailer that is online now.

This trailer uses a bit of Coldplay to provide a big emotional backing that the footage doesn’t really need. Lee seems to have created a big, glossy, illustrated storybook of a film with images that have more than enough power on their own. Life of Pi hits on November 21, at which point we’ll see if the film truly works either as an adaptation of the novel or as a standalone entity. But in the meantime, this trailer features a good bit of new footage. Read More »