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TRAILER: Melissa McCarthy’s latest movie ‘Spy’

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

72nd Golden Globes

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

As is the case with almost every awards show, they wait until the very end to do the half-dozen categories of most interest to the home audience — so we get the obligatory jokes about how the show is running late, and some of the biggest and most accomplished stars in the world find themselves rushing to finish their speeches while the dreaded “play-off” music kicks in.

I admired Eddie Redmayne’s work in “The Theory of Everything, but I would have voted for David Oyelowo’s work in “Selma” or Steve Carell’s performance in “Foxcatcher.”

Julianne Moore won Best Drama Actress for “Still Alice.” In a month and a half, she’ll be adding an Oscar to her trophy case. Same goes for Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” and Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.” Your four acting Oscar winners are pretty much solidified, folks. Not because they won the Golden Globes (though that doesn’t hurt) but because they’re the clear favorites in their respective categories.

I’m not surprised the HFPA selected “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in that bizarre Comedy or Musical category. It wasn’t my favorite entry (that would be “Birdman”), but it’s the kind of movie the voters love.

As is the case with almost every awards show, they wait until the very end to do the half-dozen categories of most interest to the home audience — so we get the obligatory jokes about how the show is running late, and some of the biggest and most accomplished stars in the world find themselves rushing to finish their speeches while the dreaded “play-off” music kicks in.

I admired Eddie Redmayne’s work in “The Theory of Everything, but I would have voted for David Oyelowo’s work in “Selma” or Steve Carell’s performance in “Foxcatcher.”

Julianne Moore won Best Drama Actress for “Still Alice.” In a month and a half, she’ll be adding an Oscar to her trophy case. Same goes for Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” and Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.” Your four acting Oscar winners are pretty much solidified, folks. Not because they won the Golden Globes (though that doesn’t hurt) but because they’re the clear favorites in their respective categories.

I’m not surprised the HFPA selected “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in that bizarre Comedy or Musical category. It wasn’t my favorite entry (that would be “Birdman”), but it’s the kind of movie the voters love.

9:32 p.m.

Perhaps the most stunning sight at the Golden Globes: George Clooney wearing a wedding ring.

Clooney has been nominated in more categories than anyone in the history of the Golden Globes, so even though he’s just 53, it didn’t seem premature for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to give him the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. The montage of movies Clooney has directed, produced and/or starred in was a reminder of one of the most remarkable careers of the last 20 years.

A number of favorites did take home the Globe, including J. K. Simmons for “Whiplash,” Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” (they’ll both win supporting trophies on Oscar night as well); Kevin Spacey getting a well-deserved Globe for “House of Cards”; and Richard Linklater honored for his directing on the masterful “Boyhood.”

The pre-game festivities on the red carpet were entertaining as always. NBC morning stars Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie seemed uncomfortable interviewing Matthew McConaughey et al.; Guthrie in particular was having a hard time, as she kept the microphone close to her mouth when SHE was talking, but held it way too low when the SUBJECT was talking.

8:29 p.m.

We’ve had a couple of surprises already, including:

• “How to Train Your Dragon 2” winning Best Animated Feature over the superior “The Lego Movie” and “Big Hero 6.”

• Amy Adams winning Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for “Big Eyes,” which I thought was actually a drama when I saw it. Emily Blunt was the favorite for “Into the Woods,” but I agree with the Hollywood Foreign Press on this one. Adams said she couldn’t have been less prepared — and she went on to prove it in a sincere but nearly incoherent speech.

• Not surprising: Ricky Gervais taking the stage with a glass of ale and proceeding to skewer Hollywood royalty in his typically precision-perfect fashion.

• As for Prince’s surprise appearance: even bigshot Hollywood stars whooped it up when he walked onstage sporting round sunglasses and some sort of walking stick, leading me to wonder for a moment if poor Prince had been struck blind.

No, he’s just the same silly genius he’s always been.

7:18 p.m.

The dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killed it in their opening monologue, delivering smart, slightly edgy one-liners that poked fun at the audience and the silliness of show business while clearly enjoying what they said will be their last time co-hosting.

Yes, they went after Bill Cosby, trading bad imitations of Cosby as the audience laughed uncomfortably, if there’s such a thing as laughing uncomfortably.

Fey and Poehler stayed with the semi-snark throughout their monologue, making no mention of Paris. Instead, they noted Reese Witherspoon “did her own walking” in “The Wild.” They said a real-life painting of “Big Eyes” was in the audience — and the camera cut to Emma Stone, who didn’t seem thrilled to be the target of the joke. They called out Joaquin Phoenix, who said awards shows are nonsense and yet was in attendance.

Tina Fey cited Amal Clooney’s amazing accomplishments as a lawyer, human rights activist and author and cracked, “So tonight her HUSBAND is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

Great stuff. I’m gonna miss those two co-hosting this thing.

6:50 p.m.

Why bring a date when you work in a plug for your movie or your TV show?

From “The Boy Next Door” to “Girls” to “House of Cards,” co-stars appeared together on the red carpet to chat up their latest projects.

Meanwhile, the lovely but low-key Amal Clooney looked like she WISHED her husband had brought along a co-star — especially when Giuliana Ranci whipped out a bottle of Clooney’s Casamigos Tequilia and tried to get George and Amal to join her in a shot.

Amal was having none of it. George said he’d be at the bar after the show, but he said he was speaking at the awards and it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to drink beforehand, given what’s happened in the past when he tried that combo.

A game Giuliana downed a shot and said it was smooth.

George and Amal smiled.

Awkwardness prevailed.

6:16 PM

From the button on George Clooney’s lapel to the button on Amal Clooney’s purse to the signs held by Kathy Bates, Joshua Jackson and even some of the photographers, “Je Suis Charlie” was the dominant message on the red carpet of the Golden Globes.

Helen Mirren sported a pen-pin and explained it was to support, “Free speech…against the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. A reminder for all of us to stand behind the ideal of free speech.”

And why not. Say what you will about actors getting involved in politics—and I’ve never understood why it’s a bad thing for celebrities to get involved in noble causes—but actors and writers and directors are artists, and they’re as outraged as anyone else by the slaughter in Paris.

As Aud Berggren Morisse goes, so go the Globes.
Well. It’s not just good old Aud Berggren Morisse. Gilda Baum-Lappe, Tina Johnk Christensen, Yola Czaderska-Hayek and of course The Kingma had something to say about the winners as well.
The aforementioned are members in good standing of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, that small body of international entertainment, um, journalists, who determine the nominees and the winners of the Golden Globes.
There are just 85 members in the HFPA—some of them full-time entertainment journalists, others part-timers. They hail from Egypt, Italy, France, Australia, Mexico, Canada and a dozen other countries. The largest contingent is from Germany, which boasts some 10 members.
As most of you know, the Golden Globes used to be a joke. There was a time when nobody even wanted to televise the awards. Now, the Globes are second only to the Academy Awards in the minds of most fans—and many in the entertainment industry.
You can win a Golden Globe with as few as 18 votes. Carry Germany and you’re halfway there!

The dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting once again this year, so that’s a win right there. Here’s my take on who else will be coming home a winner this year. (I’m doing just the movie categories, as I haven’t seen enough of some of the nominated TV shows and actors to give a fair assessment.)

Best Motion Picture, Drama
“Boyhood”
“Foxcatcher”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
Will win: “Boyhood”
Should win: “Boyhood”

Best Actor, Drama
Steve Carrell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Will win: Eddie Redmayne
Should win: Steve Carrell

Best Actress, Drama
Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Will win: Julianne Moore
Should win: Julianne Moore

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
“Birdman”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“Pride”
“St. Vincent”
Will win: “Birdman”
Should win: “Birdman”

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes, “Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”
Will win: Michael Keaton
Should win: Michael Keaton

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhane Walls, “Annie”
Will win: Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Should win: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Will win: J.K. Simmons
Should win: J.K. Simmons

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Will win: Patricia Arquette
Should win: Jessica Chastain

Best Director
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Will win: Richard Linklater
Should win: Richard Linklater

Best Screenplay
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacbone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
Will win: Wes Anderson
Should win: Inarritu et al.

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
Antonio Sanchez, “Birdman”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
Will win: Antonio Sanchez
Should win: Antonio Sanchez

Best Original Song
“Big Eyes” from “Big Eyes”
“Glory” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is” from “Noah”
“Opportunity” from Annie
“Yellow Flicker Beat” from “The Hunger Games”
Will win: “Glory Is”
Should win: “Yellow Flicker Beat”

Best Animated Film
“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”
Will win: “Big Hero 6”
Should win: “The Lego Movie”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Force Majeure”
“Get: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem”
“Ida”
“Leviathan”
“Tangerines”
Will win: “Force Majeure”
Should win: “Leviathan”

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Sitcoms/ Real World/ Charlie Hebdo

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Roeper Rundown: Trump Commentary, Chris Christie, and the Cowboys

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Marvel’s Ant-Man Teaser Preview

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Roeper Rundown: The Year in Movies

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

“The Interview” Gets New Life

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

   When Sony Pictures announced last week it wouldn’t be showing “The Interview” in theaters, I heard from a few conspiracy theorists that said this was all a publicity stunt.
Now Sony IS authorizing Christmas Day screenings in a few markets (and most likely a Video On Demand release as well), I’m still gonna say I don’t think the North Korean government, rogue hackers, the largest theater chains in North America, Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Kim Jong-Un and Dennis Rodman all got together and mapped out a strategy to maximize publicity for a relatively small social satire.
I think having Rogen and Franco do the talk show and premiere circuit would done just fine.
“We have never given up on releasing ‘The Interview’ and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Chritsmas Day,” said Sony Chairman Michael Lynton in a statement.
The Plaza Theater in Atlanta said it will be on of the theaters showing the film. Tim League of the Alamo Drafthouse Theaters Tweeted he’ll “be making shows available [in Austin, Tx.,] within the hour.” (As of this writing, I don’t have confirmation of any Chicago-area screenings.)
Not sure how many moviegoers will now skip “Into the Woods” for “The Interview,” but at least now if you want to see it, you’re going to be able to see it.
No word from Sony about the reasoning behind this change of heart. Maybe it was the fact even the president of the United States said they were making a mistake in declining to release it. Maybe they finally realized if you cave once to a threat, you’re already on one knee and someone’s probably going to threaten you again—and if you keep on pulling movies from theaters because of threats, you might as well stop making movies.

Roeper Rundown: The Interview

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Roeper Rundown: Best Movies of 2014

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

The Winners: 2014 Chicago Film Critics Awards

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Winners

BEST PICTURE: Boyhood
BEST DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater–Boyhood
BEST ACTOR: Michael Keaton–Birdman
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore–Still Alice
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons–Whiplash
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette–Boyhood
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Wes Anderson–The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Gillian Flynn–Gone Girl
BEST ART DIRECTION: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (TIE): Birdman–Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel–Robert Yeoman
BEST EDITING: Whiplash–Tom Cross
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Under the Skin–Mica Levi
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: The Lego Movie
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Life Itself
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Force Majeure
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER: Jack O’Connell–Starred Up/Unbroken
MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER: Damien Chazelle–Whiplash
Winners By The Numbers
3–Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash
2–Birdman
1–Force Majeure, Gone Girl, The Lego Movie, Life Itself, Starred Up, Still Alice, Unbroken, Under the Skin

“Boyhood,” Richard Linklater’s intimate epic charting the growth and maturation of a boy from the age of 7 to 18 that was filmed over a period of 12 years was the winner of the Chicago Film Critics Association award for the Best Picture of 2014 in a ceremony held tonight. In addition to the top prize, the film won two other key awards with Linklater being named Best Director and Patricia Arquette voted Best Supporting Actress for her performance as the boy’s mother, who undergoes her own set of changes over that time.


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Two other films tied “Boyhood” for the number of awards received. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s whimsical comedy-drama about a concierge in a posh European hotel who becomes involved in intrigue while the world teeters on the brink of war earned Anderson the Original Screenplay prize and also won for Art Direction and tied for Best Cinematography.

“Whiplash,” the acclaimed indie drama charting the battle of wills between a highly ambitious musical prodigy and his teacher, both obsessed with perfection at all costs, saw its writer-director, Damien Chazelle, named Most Promising Filmmaker, co-star J.K. Simmons named Best Supporting Actor for his terrifying turn as the teacher and Tom Cross cited for Editing.

The other title with multiple wins, the hallucinatory black comedy “Birdman,” earned Michael Keaton the Best Actor award and also shared in the tie for the Cinematography prize.


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Among the other winners from the group, now in its 25th year, Julianne Moore was named Best Actress for her heartbreaking performance as a woman stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice,” author Gillian Flynn won the Adapted Screenplay award for the adaptation of her best-seller “Gone Girl,” rising star Jack O’Connell was named Most Promising Performer for his performances in the dramas “Starred Up” and “Unbroken” and Mica Levi won Best Original Score for the trippy soundscapes of “Under the Skin.” The Foreign-Language Film award went to the dark comedy “Force Majeure” and “The Lego Movie” took the prize for Animated Feature. Finally, “Life Itself,” Steve James’s celebration of the life and work of the late Roger Ebert, was named Best Documentary.
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Follow @ChicagoCritics on Twitter for organization and member news, as well as updates on the 2015 Chicago Critics Film Festival. The third annual Chicago Critics Film Festival will run May 1-7, 2015, at the Music Box Theatre. Screening information and special guest appearances will be announced as they are confirmed on both Twitter and ChicagoCriticsFilmFestival.com
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