One more win for The Artist. Last week the film took the PGA award, director Michel Hazanavicius was honored by the DGA for directing the film over the weekend, and last night Jean Dujardin was awarded Best Actor in a motion picture by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The guild also gave several awards to The Help, as Viola Davis won Best Actress, Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress and entire company won Best Cast. The full list of winners is below. Read More »

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There is a very good chance that The Artist will soon be crowned Best Picture. If nothing  else, you’re going to hear more and more about the silent Cannes fave in the weeks leading up to the Oscars.

We’ve seen a featurette that talked about the creation of the film, which is set in 1927 as silent films are giving way to talkies, and features an actor (Jean Dujardin) who isn’t quite able to keep up with the shift. Now a blooper reel has shown up, proving that the comedy didn’t always come together in the breezy, seemingly effortless manner seen in the final edit. Read More »

Many film goers are going to be forced to tackle their cinema phobias this award season as Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist is beginning to pick up steam. The black and white, silent film about a silent movie star (Jean Dujardin) whose livelihood is threatened by an up and coming sound star (Bérénice Bejo) is absolutely glorious and not only are critics eating it up, awards are beginning to shower in. That means the average movie goer, who would rarely pay to see a black and white or silent movie, will probably have to bite the bullet just to see something different and wonderful.

The Weinstein Company has released an awesome behind the scenes video about The Artist which gets into a bit of the history, a bit of the preparation and shows scenes from the movie in color, which is oddly exciting. Check it out below. Read More »

As we head toward the end of the year, it’s clear that 2011 has yielded some damn great performances from both established stars (Gary Oldman, Glenn Close) and rising talents (Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska). So naturally, the best way to celebrate their accomplishments is by inviting each of them to play characters wholly unlike the ones they’ve recently received acclaim for.

In a video gallery from The New York Times Magazine titled “Touch of Evil,” thirteen of this year’s most notable stars tackle thirteen villainous types, from “The Menacing Dummy” (Oldman) to “The Sociopath” (Rooney Mara channeling A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex DeLarge) and everything in between. Hit the jump for a photo gallery from the feature.

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The first film to generate real ‘best picture’ buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was The Artist, a lively silent film depicting late ’20s Hollywood. It is directed  by Michel Hazanavicius, aka the guy that made the comic OSS 117 films. The film seems like an unlikely pairing of man and material, but a look at the footage shows just how much care went into making this period tale about the transition from silent to sound films.

The cast includes OSS 117 star and Cannes Best Actor winner Jean Dujardin, as well as John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller and Missi Pyle.

The Weinstein Company will release The Artist on November 23, and the film is likely to be one of the Best Picture Oscar contenders you’ll be hearing about at least until the next Oscar nominations are announced. Take a look at the trailer below, and see why The Artist has so many film enthusiasts wrapped around its little finger. Read More »

The Cannes jury, headed by Robert De Niro, has selected the winners of this year’s competition slate, and the results are slightly surprising. In the early days of the fest two films quickly emerged as seeming front-runners for the top prize, Lynne Ramsay‘s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michel Hazanavicius‘ silent black and white film The Artist, but the Palme d’Or went instead to Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life.

The slate of winners was surprisingly tipped towards American films and talent, or films that played very specifically towards American tendencies in a way that isn’t quite typical for a Cannes awards slate. The full list of winners is after the break. Read More »

jason butler harner changeling

The Academy Awards for 2008 have been handed out, and the “popular kids” have Oscars on their mantles, but the dirty little secret about winning awards is that you’ve gotta campaign for them. Thousands of dollars were spent by the distributors and filmmakers behind Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Milk (Focus Features), The Reader (Weinstein) and other assorted winners and nominees, but not all performances received that sort of big money backing.

I am an unabashed lover of the acting craft. I see virtually every movie, large and small, that passes through the US marketplace, and, taking nothing away from Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Heath Ledger, not all of 2008’s best performances have been recognized. I’m not going to be obvious here. Clint Eastwood was snubbed for Gran Torino, but he received lots of acclaim for the role including being named Best Actor by the National Board of Review. My goal is to highlight 10 performances from last year that have received virtually no acclaim in the US. Many of these roles can be found in hardly-seen, under-appreciated movies that came and went without much notice. Each and every one of these movies deserve a spot in your Netflix (or Blockbuster) cue.

My list is by no means definitive. If you have a favorite performance from 2008 that sticks with you, this is a great place to tell the world. There were 20 actors nominated on Oscar night, but there is a lot of great work that hasn’t been recognized with a walk down the red carpet.

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