2018 DGA Nominees DIscussion

The Director’s Guild Of America awards have already been handed out, giving Guillermo del Toro one of several major victories on his path to potentially (and seemingly likely) winning Best Director at the Academy Awards. But before the awards took place, all of the DGA nominees got together for an extensive conversation about their filmmaking process and more.

At the Director’s Guild of America’s Los Angeles Theater on February 3, 2018, Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), and Jordan Peele (Get Out) all sat down for a three-hour conversation for the annual Meet the Nominees symposium.

Watch the 2018 DGA nominees discussion below. Read More »

three billboards backlash

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has all the makings of an Oscar frontrunner. The festival favorite boasts a riveting turn from lead Frances McDormand, a deliciously sharp screenplay from director Martin McDonagh, and a tour-de-force performance from Sam Rockwell as a self-loathing corrupt cop. It received near-universal praise at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. At key awards ceremonies, Three Billboards swept — winning the Golden Globe for Best Drama, the SAG Award for Best Ensemble, the TIFF People’s Choice Awards, and landing a spot in the AFI top 10 of 2017.

Most importantly, it was timely. Three Billboards is a story about a bereaved mother Mildred Hayes who shakes up a small Midwestern town with her bitter attacks against the beloved Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) for his department’s inability to find the culprit behind her daughter’s rape and murder. The film hit the festival circuit right at the crest of #MeToo movement, an industry-wide reckoning of the systemic abuse and harassment of women at the hands of Hollywood’s most powerful men. It seemed fitting, then, that the Oscar frontrunner would be about righteous female vengeance, led by a middle-aged actress whose furious performance threatened to sear through the screen.

And yet, Three Billboards finds itself facing its own reckoning, with a backlash as fierce as Mildred’s single-minded quest for justice.

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Lady Bird - 2018 DGA Awards Nominations

Following this week’s announcement of the BAFTA nominations, the Director’s Guild of America is next in line to reveal their nominations for the best achievement in directing from the previous year in cinema for their 70th annual awards ceremony.

The 2018 DGA Awards nominations were announced today, and Lady Bird fans will be happy to see that director Greta Gerwig has finally been given her due diligence by landing a nomination. Furthermore, Get Out director Jordan Peele has landed two nominations, one in the primary outstanding directorial achievement award and one for being a first-time director.

Get the full list of 2018 DGA Awards nominations below. Read More »

Three_Billboards_01

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film that will stay with audiences. It’s a simple story layered in unexpected complexities brought out by its three leads: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell. It’s one of the best films of 2017.

In the film, McDormand plays Mildred Hayes , a divorced woman searching for justice for the violent death of her daughter, Angela. It’s been seven months since the crime took place and the police, led by Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Harrelson), have yet to find any solid leads to point to anyone worth arresting. Taking matters into her own hands, Mildred uses three billboards located on the outskirts of town to point out the lack of movement on the police’s part. As you’d expect, chaos soon follows.

This is the third film from writer/director, Martin McDonagh, who previously helmed In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths. Deeply organic, touching, gut-wrenching and hilarious, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri feels like a movie fit for 2017 America.

From my chat with Mr. McDonagh, it seems he would most-definitely agree.

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three billboards outside ebbing missouri trailer

It’s been five years since the last Martin McDonagh film and if the trailer for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is any indication, his next movie is worth the wait. The acclaimed Irish playwright turned filmmaker, whose work has always been a profanity-laced bitter cocktail of tragedy and comedy, has turned his lens toward Middle America for a story of small town folks making a series of increasingly poor decisions. Things escalate quickly in McDonagh’s stories and this movie looks hysterical and sad and unnerving. In other words, it looks like a Martin McDonagh movie.

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Martin McDonagh's next film

Neither In Bruges or Seven Psychopaths feature any prominent female characters — a fact screenwriter, playwright, and director Martin McDonagh is well aware of. There’s a reason why in Seven Psychopaths Hans (Christopher Walken) tells Marty (Colin Farrell), a struggling screenwriter, the following: “Your women characters are awful. None of them have anything to say for themselves. And most of them get either shot or stabbed to death within five minutes. And the ones that don’t probably will later on.”

But while McDonagh’s female characters are far from “awful,” especially on the stage, it’s still interesting to hear he’s making his next feature about a woman. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand, and Seven Psychopaths stars Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson have just been cast to star alongside her.

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Martin McDonagh Frances McDormand

Playwright Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, A Behanding in Spokane) actively moved into filmmaking with the short Six Shooter in 2005, and then gave Colin Farrell one of his best roles in the bleak comedy In Bruges.

He’s also had the film Seven Psychopaths, and is promoting a new play called Hangman, which gave the writer/director the opportunity to mention an upcoming film project which just brought Frances McDormand into the fold. The movie is called Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and the subject is one that seems like a direct response to escalating clashes between police and civilians in American cities in the last year. Read More »

Just when you think Seven Psychopaths is going to be a simple quirky comedy about crazy people, it hits you with the truth. The film is actually love letter to movies and a meta blend of Adaptation and Pulp Fiction. Those two films were the sophomore efforts of filmmakers we’ve since come to revere and Seven Psychopaths is the work of another man now on that path: writer/director Martin McDonagh. His first film, In Bruges, is a model of how to blend genres the right way and with his latest, McDonagh enriches the genre blend.

His script has a screenwriter (Colin Farrell) trying to write a movie while his friend (Sam Rockwell) teams up with a dog kidnapper (Christopher Walken) to steal the dog of a mob boss (Woody Harrelson) who is dating a beautiful women (Olga Kurylenko) with an ulterior motive. Mix all those stories together, throw in Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Michael Stuhlbarg, along with massive shootouts, flashbacks and just about the cutest dog imaginable, and you still don’t have any idea what to expect.

/Film was lucky enough to sit down with McDonagh to talk about the pressure of following In Bruges, the sophomore jinx, balancing all those storylines, the pitfalls of writing a movie about writing a movie, naming the main character after himself, shooting in Los Angeles and much much more. Read it below then go see Seven Psychopaths, in theaters Friday. Read More »

Despite being the star of Seven Psychopaths, the mental capacity of Colin Farrell‘s character is always in doubt. He seems like the normal straight man of the movie, but to surround yourself with the characters played by Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Christopher Walken and Abbie Cornish, you have to be just a little bit mad.

Martin McDonagh‘s sophomore effort, Seven Psychopaths, opens October 12. Blending multiple characters, stories and perspectives into a strange whole, McDonagh’s film centers on what happens when a dog kidnapper nabs the Shih Tzu of a crime boss, and ends up snowballing into a hilarious, surprising take on the creation of a Hollywood screenplay.

Each and every character is unique and fun, and today six sites are debuting brand new artistic posters depicting them. /Film is proud to have Colin Farrell’s poster by Dave Banks. After the jump, see the full image, link to the other posters and find out how you can join in the fun by making yourself a psychopath. Read More »

Funny as the first Seven Psychopaths trailer was, as a green-band trailer it could only get across so much of director Martin McDonagh‘s twisted, decidedly R-rated sensibility. This, after all, is a guy whose first feature picked up in the aftermath of a hitman killing a child — and only got bloodier and more foulmouthed from there. A new red-band trailer allows things to get a little more profane, and a little more violent, to great effect.

Colin Farrell leads the cast as a struggling screenwriter who gets caught up in his best friend’s (Sam Rockwell) dog-napping scheme: take the puppy, return it to its owner, and collect the reward. But when they target the wrong man, a maniacal gangster named Charlie (Woody Harrelson), they find themselves in way over their heads. Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Gabourey SidibeAbbie Cornish, and Olga Kurylenko also star. Watch the video after the jump.

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