The Theory of Everything early buzz

Eddie Redmayne made Stephen Hawking cry. And he’ll probably make you cry, too, if the early buzz on The Theory of Everything is to be believed.

The James Marsh-directed drama chronicles Hawking’s life from young adulthood, with a particular focus on his relationship to his now-ex-wife Jane. The film itself has gotten generally positive reviews from its TIFF premiere this weekend, but Redmayne and Felicity Jones‘ performances as the devoted couple already have critics murmuring “Oscar.” Hit the jump to get The Theory of Everything early buzz.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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And Michel Hazanavicius and his film The Artist take one more step towards total awards dominance. The film has topped critic lists since it premiered at Cannes in May of 2011, and in the past couple weeks has become an awards juggernaut.

Last weekend The Artist won the PGA award for best picture of 2011, and last night Hazanavicius took the Director’s Guild award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film in 2011. Given that it has been almost a decade since someone won the DGA award and didn’t take the Best Director Oscar we can safely bet on the outcome of the Academy Awards, which are still a month away. (On average, the DGA award and Oscar go to different people once a decade.)

For those disappointed that the documentary Project Nim, from Man on Wire director James Marsh, didn’t get an Oscar nod, his win for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary might be considered a great consolation. And Patty Jenkins, who was booted from Marvel’s Thor 2, took a DGA award for directing the pilot for The Killing.

The full list of winners is below. Read More »

One of the most talked-about documentaries at this year’s Sundance was Project Nim, director James Marsh‘s follow-up to 2008′s acclaimed Man on Wire. The film centers around a chimp named Nim Chimpsky, who was the subject of a famous animal language acquisition experiment in the 1970s. Nim was raised from infancy as a human child and taught American Sign Language so that he could communicate with people. Unsurprisingly, the experiment raised profound, occasionally disturbing questions about ethics, language, and the line between humans and animals.

At time of writing, Project Nim is scoring an astounding 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 50 reviews counted. Our own David Chen gave it a positive review from Sundance, saying “There are moments of absolute magic in Project Nim”; more recently, Russ Fischer had nothing but praise for the full-length trailer. But just in case all that isn’t enough to convince you to check it out when it hits your city, the first six minutes have now landed online. Watch after the jump.

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James Marsh is a director who covers a few different bases and does so quite well. He makes excellent documentaries (the Oscar-winning Man on Wire, and Project Nim) and also has facility with dramas and thrillers such as The King and his Red Riding episode. He’s got Project Nim going around festivals now, and for his next project is planning to make a thriller about an IRA terrorist who becomes an informer. Guy Pearce was once attached to a key role, but now Clive Owen will play that part instead. Read More »

Director James Marsh wowed critics and audiences and scored an Academy Award for his marvelous 2008 documentary Man on Wire (Marsh went on to direct one of the Red Riding films). That’s why I was psyched to learn that his newest documentary, Project Nim, would be opening the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Project Nim, which centers on one researcher’s attempt to teach a chimp English using sign language, has already been scooped up by HBO, and it is very likely you’ll get to see this movie at some point this year.

So how is Marsh’s follow-up to Man on Wire? Hit the jump to find out.
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Rebecca Hall first hit the film scene less than five years ago, but she’s already built quite the career for herself, starring in films such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, Frost/Nixon, Please Give, and most recently The Town. Now she’s got another project lined up: Shadow Dancer, the latest film from Man on Wire director James Marsh. Learn more after the break. Read More »

uk-film-council-funded

Making a small film in the US means raising money by whatever means are necessary, but other countries actually support the arts. Crazy idea, right? I’m sure there are issues with how public arts funding is doled out in the UK, but I love the fact that small films from proven talent can get some public money to help them along. The UK Film Council recently released information on what films are receiving grants from the council this year, and there are some interesting details in the list.

Some of the projects — and the ones getting the most funding — are ones we already knew about, like Joe Cornish‘s Attack the Block and Mike Leigh‘s Another Year. But in the list of funded films there are also quite a few new projects or things that we’ve only heard rumblings about. Much more detail after the break. Read More »

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