Here’s your best indicator yet as to what the crop of nominations for the Best Picture Oscar is likely to be. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced its nominations for 2011 awards, which will be doled out on January 21.

The ten films nominated for the PGA’s top honor include expected pictures such as The Artist, The Descendants and War Horse. There are no real surprises, but the growing Oscar chances for The Help won’t be hurt by getting a PGA nomination (would be slightly wild to see Chris Columbus, a producer on The Help, with an Oscar), and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris makes an appearance on the list, too. There are a couple surprises, though, in the form of Bridesmaids and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — the Judd Apatow and Scott Rudin effects in full force there. With 5-10 Best Picture nominations possible for this year’s Oscars, most of the films in the PGA’s top list are likely to end up in the race.

The full PGA press release, with the full slate of nominations, is below. Documentary and animation nominations are there, too, though the slate of nominations in each category is more or less exactly what you’d expect to see at this point. Read More »

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69th Annual Golden Globes Award Nominations

Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones, and Sofia Vergara got up extra early this morning to announce the nominations for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 69th Golden Globes Awards, which will be televised on January 15, 2012.

Returning host Ricky Gervais (called a “naughty, naughty schoolboy” this morning by Aida Takla-O’ Reilly, the president of the HFPA) will likely be the main attraction of that broadcast, but the Globes do get attention for the awards doled out each year, if only for the way that the organization targets films with big stars to show up at the ceremony. How else to explain multiple nominations for Madonna‘s W.E.? Sure, her Best Song nomination could have gone to a tune from The Muppets, but why would the HFPA want anyone from that film at the ceremony?

The Artist, Midnight in Paris and The Help are the big nominees. Check out the full list below. Read More »

The trailer for George Clooney‘s fourth film, the political drama The Ides of March, suggested that the film might turn out to be a good character piece that has appeal beyond the limits of a political drama that is locked in a four-year old contest. (The source material is Beau Willimon’s play Farragut North, which is sourced from Howard Dean’s 2004 primary campaign.)

Now the film has bowed at Venice, and a handful of reviews are in. Cautiously positive seems to be the overall average, and we’ve got a handful of quotes from Venice attendees below. Read More »

Hot on the heels of the release of a massive batch of films that will appear in the Toronto Film Festival, we’ve got the main lineup for the 68th Venice Film Festival, which runs from August 31 to September 10.

We knew that George Clooney‘s The Ides of March would open the fest (the trailer premiered last night and you can see it here) and this list confirms quite a few films that we imagined would be playing Venice. Our very much anticipated spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson is on the list, as is Roman Polanski‘s tense closed-room drama Carnage, starring Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz. And there is Alps, the second film from polarizing Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose film Dogtooth shocked, entertained and angered festival audiences in 2009.

The full list is after the break. Read More »

‘The Ides of March’ Trailer and Poster

I’ll say this for the trailer for George Clooney‘s new political drama The Ides of March: by the end I had no sense that I knew exactly where the movie is going. That’s a very good thing.  Adapted from Beau Willimon‘s play Farragut North, the film features Ryan Gosling as a young but influential press secretary who has to manage a political scandal as he navigates the tricky waters of a Presidential primary race. Paul Giamatti, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei co-star, and the film looks pretty damn solid from here. Read More »

If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

One of the great many films that seems like a strong 2011 festival prospect is George Clooney‘s The Ides of March, which adapts Beau Williams‘ play Farragut North. Now the film has been tabbed as the opening selection for the Venice Film Festival, and will therefore premiere on August 31.

That’ll probably be in time for the movie to still seem like it is particularly well-timed, as the play and movie are both inspired by events in Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential primary campaign, but augmented with the scandal of sexual impropriety. So as it turns out, the last weeks of Anthony Weiner’s political career could be this movie’s best advance marketing. And it can always be promoted on the strength of a stellar cast: Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Max Minghella and Evan Rachel Wood. Read More »

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George Clooney is directing his fourth film, The Ides of March, right now. It’s a political satire based on Beau Williamson‘s play Farragut North, which in turn was based on Beau Williamson’s time working with the Howard Dean primary campaign in 2004. Clooney has a supporting role as a presidential candidate whose young, idealistic press secretary (Ryan Gosling) “succumbs to the evils and backhanded nature of the political machine.”

We’ve seen some set photos from the project, but this new image shows off some of the satirical bent of the film, as we see George Clooneys’ character front and center on a very Shepard Fairy-style poster that promises ‘more.’ Read More »

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