2017 AWFJ Awards: Nomination

Posted on January 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has announced our nominations for the Eda Awards. I’ll post the winners when the votes are in.

Copyright A24 2017

AWFJ BEST OF AWARDS
These awards are presented to women and/or men without gender consideration.

Best Film

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
GET OUT
LADY BIRD
THE SHAPE OF WATER
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Best Director

Guillermo del Toro –THE SHAPE OF WATER
Greta Gerwig — LADY BIRD
Martin McDonagh — THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Christopher Nolan — DUNKIRK
Jordan Peele – GET OUT

Best Screenplay, Original

GET OUT — Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD — Greta Gerwig
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI — Martin McDonagh

Best Screenplay, Adapted

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME — James Ivory
MOLLY’S GAME — Aaron Sorkin
MUDBOUND — Dee Rees

Best Documentary

DAWSON CITY FROZEN IN TIE
FACES, PLACES
JANE
KEDI
STEP

Best Animated Film

THE BREADWINNER
COCO
LOVING VINCENT

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins — THE SHAPE OF WATER
Frances McDormand — THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Margot Robbie — I, TONYA

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Mary J. Blige — MUDBOUND
Allison Janney — I, TONYA
Laurie Metcalf — LADY BIRD

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet — CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Daniel Kaluuya — GET OUT
Gary Oldman — DARKEST HOUR

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Willem Dafoe –PROJECT FLORIDA
Sam Rockwell — THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Michael Stuhlbarg — CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Best Ensemble Cast – Casting Director

MUDBOUND — Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram
THE POST – Ellen Lewis
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI — Sara Finn

Best Cinematography

Roger Deakins – BLADE RUNNER 2049
Hoyte van Hoytema — DUNKIRK
Dan Laustsen — THE SHAPE OF WATER

Best Editing

Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss — BABY DRIVER
Lee Smith — DUNKIRK
Sidney Wolinsky– THE SHAPE OF WATER

Best Non-English-Language Film

BPM
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
THE SQUARE

EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS
These awards honor WOMEN only.

Best Woman Director

Kathryn Bigelow — DETROIT
Greta Gerwig — LADY BIRD
Patty Jenkins — WONDER WOMAN
Angelina Jolie — FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER
Dee Rees — MUDBOUND
Angela Robinson — PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN
Agnes Varda — FACES, PLACES

Best Woman Screenwriter

Greta Gerwig — LADY BIRD
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer — THE POST
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams — MUDBOUND

Best Animated Female

Mama Imelda — COCO
Marguerite Gachet — LOVING VINCENT
Parvana — THE BREADWINNER

Best Breakthrough Performance

Tiffany Haddish –GIRL’S TRIP
Brooklynn Prince — THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Florence Pugh — LADY MACBETH

Outstanding Achievement by A Woman in The Film Industry

Greta Gerwig for LADY BIRD
Patty Jenkins for WONDER WOMAN
Angelina Jolie for FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER and THE BREADWINNER
Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd and all who spoke out against sexual harrassment

EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

Actress Defying Age and Ageism

Annette Bening — FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL
Frances McDormand –THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
AGNES VARDA — FACES, PLACES

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead and The Love Interest Award

I LOVE YOU, DADDY — Chloe Grace Moretz and John Malkovich
MOTHER! — Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem
THE MUMMY and AMERICAN MADE — Tom Cruise with Annabelle Wallis and Sarah Wright, respectively

Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent (name actress and film)

Dakota Johnson for 50 SHADES DARKER
Jennifer Lawrence for MOTHER!
Kate Winslet for WONDER WHEEL and THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US

Bravest Performance

Sally Hawkins — THE SHAPE OF WATER
Frances McDormand — THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Margot Robbie — I, TONYA

Remake or Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made

BAYWATCH
THE MUMMY
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

AWFJ Hall of Shame Award

Darren Aronovsky and all associated with MOTHER!
Louis CK and all associated with I LOVE YOU,, DADDY
Showbiz Sexual Tormentors: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, et al.

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Awards

Henry Jackman, Composer of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”

Posted on January 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I always love talking to composer Henry Jackman and so I was really happy to get a chance to interview him about Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for thecredits.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this film was the opportunity to write an almost-classic score. I love electronic, but I really saw this as the kind of opportunity that does not come up too much, to do a hugely thematic traditional orchestral score. This is exactly the sort of movie where theme and virtuoso orchestration and a big symphonic orchestra is to be celebrated all the way and not dumbed down at all. He’s very comfortable with that and it turned out we had the same idea. It’s slightly more modern, but the classic adventure film lineage is there and to be celebrated. It’s a heartwarming film about four misfit teenagers in these avatar bodies going on an epic adventure being chased by rhinos and panthers. If you can’t pull a big symphonic score out of the cupboard for that, when are you ever going to do it?

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Composers

Interview: Charlie Plummer on “All the Money in the World”

Posted on January 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Copyright 2017 TriStar
Charlie Plummer stars in “All the Money in the World” as John Paul Getty III, grandson and namesake of the wealthiest man in the world. When Getty III was kidnapped at age 16 in 1973, his grandfather refused to pay the $7 million ransom. In an interview, Plummer (no relation to Christopher Plummer, who plays the flinty oil baron), talked about the challenges of the role and what he learned from director Ridley Scott.

For a story like this, based on a real-life incident, is your performance based exclusively on the script or do you do outside research about the people and the times?

I did do outside research. I don’t have a lot of experience and this is certainly the first time I played a character who was at all based on a real person. So I did take full advantage of that and I did do as much research as I could. But I also didn’t want to overwhelm myself with research because I wanted to do my own interpretation. I thought if I was going to do it, it would really have to come from who I am as well. I then spoke to Ridley to really see his vision of the character and who this person was at this time in his movie; that was also really important for me. So I think all of those components really made up what my performance ended up being like.

Your character is somebody has had great wealth around him but he himself has not been super privileged because his grandfather would not give his mother any money. How did that affect him?

That was one thing that I think really sparked my interest. This guy who has this status, this name and what that means and when he walks into a room he knows that all people are talking about him is if he’s this person but then he goes home and he doesn’t have all of that wealth. By the end of the film you see who he is when he does have all this wealth.

What’s interesting for me is at the start of the film where he doesn’t have it, though. He just has the name, the status. And so there is that emptiness inside of him. He had a certain emptiness in him and one that couldn’t be filled by status or wealth . John Paul Getty III got into this argument with a friend of his, actually the night he got kidnapped. He was drunk and they were fighting and the friend said “You’d be nothing without your name. No one would even care about you.” I think that that really does weigh on him in terms of who he is as a young person. At that age he was surrounded by these accomplished people, whether they were in politics or the arts, and really the reason why he was in those rooms was because of his name.

What was it like to inhabit the 70’s and what surprised you about that era?

Ridley is such a master for so many reasons and he had such a point of view on this decade and on this time. Janty Yates who did the costumes for the film and Ferdinando Merolla did the hair — all of that makes it a lot easier to slip into who that character was at that time. Janty was really the first person other than Ridley that I got to share ideas about the character with and so that was such an important relationship throughout. When that’s the first thing you see, it does have an effect on how the audience receives him and what they think his life has been like and so it definitely had an effect on my whole process. When you’re walking around and you see all the cars and the clothing and and it it all so iconic and it’s right at your fingertips — it really helped me slip into what that character was going through. At the end of the day it is not about the era. It is really is just about these people and what’s going on internally for them and that is certainly what it was for me.

What did you learn from your director, Ridley Scott?

I learned so much from him. Just being around him you learn so much and that was certainly the case for me getting to just be on set with him you and seeing how he speaks with people and how he works in his own environment I think was such a learning experience. Every time I see him he always asks what I’m doing and what I’m working on next. The way he is so interested in everyone and everything and the way that at age 80 how he’s still working as much as he is. I just saw him and immediately he started talking about the next thing he’s doing. For a young person especially that is such an important lesson to always keep moving forward and always keep fighting to learn and grow. He is such a good example of that.

Originally published in HuffPost

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Actors Based on a true story Interview

Paul McGuigan on the Gloria Grahame Story “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”

Posted on January 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures Classics
Paul McGuigan directed “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” the bittersweet real-life story of Gloria Grahame, who was cared for by the family of her last lover in her final illness. Annette Bening is incandescent as the Oscar-winning actress, and Jamie Bell gives his best performance since “Billy Elliot” as Peter Turner, the decades-younger aspiring actor who loved her. Grahame is probably best remembered today for smaller roles in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (as Violet) and “Oklahoma” (as Ado Annie, the girl who “cain’t say no“) but she also starred in major studio films with Humphrey Bogart, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, and Robert Mitchum.

In an interview, McGuigan talked about his favorite Grahame performance and the two love stories in the film.

What is your favorite Gloria Grahame performance?

“In a Lonely Place.” is my favorite. I just love that film and I just love her. I mean that has been the greatest joy for me, to watch her movies over and over again as a part of my research for this film.

What was it about her as an actress that made her so memorable?

I think she was just very modern, she was unique and she was fascinating. She was funny, she was sexy and she was herself. She was always herself which I liked, she always made the role a part of her and that’s what I’ve always seen in Annette Bening as well. They both have that funny kind of playfulness, very similar in style. I think Gloria Grahame is when you look back at her work, which is incredible, she could go toe to toe with any of the world’s most macho guys from those days which is very few actresses could can do. She could create a woman that everyone fell in love with. She always played that kind of femme fatale.

I love the way you staged the flashback scene about how Gloria and Paul met when she impetuously asked him to come to her apartment and dance with her. It is so charming and delightful.

There were lots of scenes which were emotionally quite hard on everybody, not just the actors but the crew, so it was lovely to come across a scene that was just a dance sequence and it was kind of joyous. It was good for us all to have our hair down and have a good time. So I just talked to the director of photography, Urszula Pontikos, and I said, “just put the camera on your shoulder and let’s just see what happens.” I always had a Plan B, which was a choreographer on set that we could work with, but I just wanted to see what would happen. So what did happen is we had the song, the real song, “Boogie Oogie Oogie” by Taste of Honey. I put the song on and they just started to dance and that’s what you get. We did two takes and then Annette started to complain. She was like, “Why are you only doing two takes? I was having such a good time getting to dance next to Jamie Bell.”

What was it about that relationship that made him the one to call, even though they had not seen each other in a year, and what was it about her relationship with his family that made her want to go there to be cared for?

There are two love stories in this movie. There’s the love story between Gloria and Peter and there’s the love story between Gloria and Peter’s family. These families in Liverpool and where I come from in Glasgow are working class families. They’re very tight. They have also the kind of family that if you bring someone in and you say, “This is the person I love,” then they unconditionally will love the other person.

It’s not all wine and roses, it’s not all bouquets and flowers; there are always tensions and all that but deep down they really do have a genuine love for her. I don’t think Gloria had that in her life. Her personal life was very fraught and it was very complex and it wasn’t necessarily the environment that was conducive to taking care of someone. I don’t think she felt comfortable with anyone but with Peter’s family. She felt that they would not judge her and whatever she wanted to do, she could do it there. She just wanted to rest.

Ultimately Gloria never thought she was going to die. She wasn’t really going back to Liverpool to die. She just thought that she was going there for a few days and get ready and then she was going to go back into the play. Jamie’s character knows that she is dying. He knows she’s dying, the family knows she’s dying; the mom certainly knew she was dying but Gloria doesn’t know she was dying. but she felt comfortable within that family; she felt comfortable within that environment. It was the environment that was of safety to her and non-judgmental.

When he goes to the hotel room to pick her up, he’s quite angry at her because she hasn’t been in touch. That was an interesting starting point and then he takes her home and the first thing is the family waiting on her and she kisses them like she would kiss her own family.

What was it like having the real Peter to respond to what you were doing?

Peter was very respectful of everyone and it was great to have that resource. I said, “Let me take your story for a minute, and then we’ll give it to you back.” I wanted to keep that true kind of very, very distilled idea of memory, a very distilled notion of a love affair. I loved the way it was structured, very fluid, because that is how we remember things. I wanted to bring the audience to this love story and then color it with Gloria Grahame’s real life past and her cinematic past and shoot the film the way that maybe one of her movies would have been shot back in the day.

Originally published on HuffPost

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Directors Directors Interview

Happy 2018! Some Movies to Look Forward To

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 12:05 am

Happy 2018! We’re getting some great movies this year. Some I’m most excited about:

Copyright Lucasfilm 2017

Superheroes

Black Panther

Avengers: Infinity War

Deadpool 2

Ant-Man and the Wasp

X-Men: The Dark Phoenix

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Aquaman

 

Series/Sequels

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Incredibles 2

Pacific Rim: Uprising

Oceans 8

Sicario 2

Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Wreck-It Ralph 2

Mission Impossible 6

Great books

A Wrinkle in Time

Mary Poppins Returns

Ready Player One

And…

Early Man

Proud Mary

Game Night

And what I look forward to most every year are the surprises — the actors like this year’s Tiffany Haddish and Timothee Chalamet this year and the filmmakers like Jordan Peele (who cast Haddish in “Keanu”) and Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon who are instant favorites. I can’t wait to see what they do next, and I can’t wait to see who will be next.

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