News & Views
"Beasts of No Nation" was truly a beast at the Indie Spirit Awards when nominations were announced. It scored five bids, making it the second most recognized film, behind only "Carol" with six. That's more nominations than the current Oscar frontrunner, "Spotlight," which contends for four. Does that mean "Beasts" might be stronger than we're anticipating at the Oscars?
"It's always hard to play a person who has a secret history in life that's not something out on the table," reveals Sarah Paulson in our recent interview (watch below) about her role in the new film "Carol." She plays Abby Gerhard, the former lover of married woman Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett) who has now moved on but remains one of her closest friends. The movie is set in 1950s New York, an era when a lesbian romance was simply not discussed in public.
"Her whole life was her dad. He's the center of her universe," says Rachel Weisz about her role as Lena Ballinger in the new film "Youth." Her character is not only the daughter of famed composer/conductor Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) but also his assistant. In our recent interview (watch below), she adds, "She still sleeps in the same bed as him. She hasn't flown the coop, shall we say. She's regressed and childish and hasn't become a grown-up. For her, she has to leave her youth. She's been in her youth way too long."
Director F. Gary Gray ('Straight Outta Compton') talks race, diversity & the story of NWA [Exclusive Video]
"I'm hoping it helps with pushing for real change," says director F. Gary Gray in our recent video chat about his hit music biopic "Straight Outta Compton." The acclaimed film traces the rise of inner-city rap group NWA amid racism and police violence. "I was listening to Marvin Gaye yesterday and his song 'Make Me Wanna Holler,' and he talks about police brutality. The line is, 'Don't punish me with brutality.' He was talking about that in the '70s. NWA's 'Fuck the Police' song is a version of that in the next decade, so it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same." Watch our complete video chat with Gray below.
"Spotlight" emerged the big winner Monday night at the Gotham Independent Film Awards bestowed by the Gotham Filmmaker Project based in New York. It claimed prizes for best picture and screenplay plus honorary awards for its acting ensemble and producer Steve Golin.
The wins bolster "Spotlight's" position as the Oscar frontrunner considering "Birdman" snagged Best Picture here last year. However, the top prize is not always an Oscar crystal ball as "12 Years a Slave" learned two years ago when it lost the Gotham for Best Picture to "Inside Llewyn Davis," which wasn't even nominated by the academy.
After the Top 10 artists performed on "The Voice" Monday night, did a new frontrunner finally emerge? Longtime leader Jordan Smith may have a real fight on his hands with Barrett Baber!
With the competition heating up, it certainly appears to be closer than we once thought. If Baber is crowned in a few weeks, it will be a fifth victory for coach Blake Shelton. Meanwhile, coach Adam Levine is hoping Smith makes it through to give him a third trophy as top mentor. Coach Pharrell Williams may be the reigning winner, but he only has one contender left this season. And Gwen Stefani has still never won the overall prize.
One of their artists will go home on Tuesday night. Based on their Monday performances, Stefani could be in for a rough elimination night. Here are my rankings of the remaining contestants.
"I'm okay being a witch," says the latest "Survivor: Second Chance" castoff Ciera Eastin to Gold Derby following her elimination. "I didn't know they were calling [me, Abi-Maria Gomes and Kelley Wentworth] that until I watched the episode back. I know people are offended because when there's three guys they call them the three amigos and when there's three girls it's the three witches, which kind of has a bad ring to it. But I kind of liked it. I'm a big fan of 'Harry Potter.'"
Listen to our full exit interview below and then make your "Survivor" predictions for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It's fun and easy, so get started by scrolling down to predict which castaway will be kicked off the island next.
Jason Reitman's new comedy "Casual" finds Michaela Watkins' psychiatrist character living with her brother (Tommy Dewey) and daughter (Tara Lynne Barr). Together they're on a quest to be Hulu's first big player at the Golden Globes, SAG and Critics' Choice Awards, which unveil nominees over the next few weeks.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has now officially ruled that "Joy" will compete as a comedy at the Golden Globes. Back in mid-October it was widely reported that 20th Century Fox wished to push the David O. Russell film inspired by the life of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano as a drama, but then studio reps later said they actually submitted it as a comedy. Many HFPA members told Gold Derby they were skeptical of that classification considering how dramatic the film appears to be in its trailer and a 20-minute preview they saw earlier this year. However, after viewing the full film yesterday afternoon, they voted to OK it as a laffer. How will this decision affect "Joy's" chances at the Globes and the Oscars?
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