These projections, which will be updated regularly, reflect Scott Feinberg's latest impressions from screenings, publicly available information release dates, genres, talent rosters and teasers/trailers often offer valuable clues, historical considerations how other films with similar pedigrees have resonated, precursor awards some awards groups have historically correlated with the Academy more than others and consultations with industry insiders including fellow members of the press, awards strategists, filmmakers and awards voters. Note: The Academy is free to classify performers as lead or supporting, regardless of how they are campaigned. These charts reflect Scott's best guess of what they will do in that regard.
Academy Award-nominated “Chinatown” producer Robert Evans died on Saturday night. He was 89.
From a cocaine-trafficking conviction in 1980 to his connection to the murder of Roy Radin during the making of “The Cotton Club” in 1983, Evans’ life was the stuff of Hollywood legend, as were his credits. Following a brief acting career that pulled him out of his day job of selling women’s clothing, beginning with 1957’s “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” Evans took the reins as an executive at Paramount overseeing such films as “Barefoot in the Park,” “The Odd Couple,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “True Grit.” He went out on his own as a producer, beginning with Roman Polanski’s 1974 noir “Chinatown” which earned him his Best Picture Oscar nomination, followed by “Marathon Man,” “Black Sunday,” “Popeye,” “The Cotton Club,” and more, making him one of the most influential figures of the New Hollywood of the 1970s.
Evans had many clashes with Francis Ford Coppola throughout his career, and his influence on the making of “The Godfather” films, also at Paramount, remains a matter of dispute. Evans and Coppola notoriously came to blows over the latter’s beleaguered “The Cotton Club,” which just received a theatrical re-release for its director’s cut this month.
Despite suffering a major stroke in 1998, Evans continued to work through nearly up until his death. His last major hit, though, was 2003’s “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”
Evans was married seven times throughout his life, including to “Dynasty” actress Catherine Oxenberg for a little over a week, and, most famously, to actress Ali McGraw. Their split caused a media circus when it came out that McGraw had dumped Evans for her costar, Steve McQueen, with whom she starred in 1972’s “The Getaway.”
In 1994, Evans detailed his wild career in his biography “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” which was later adapted into a 2002 documentary directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen. The title, Evans said, came from a telegram by executive Darryl Zanuck in response to pleas from Evans’ co-stars on 1957’s Ernest Hemingway adaptation “The Sun Also Rises” to replace the actor.
Peter Biskind’s 1998 books “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” offers an intimate glimpse at Evans’ hard-partying days in the 1970s, and charts his influence on the period’s leading luminaries. “Evans was one of the great crash-and-burn stories of the ’70s,” Biskind wrote in “Easy Riders.” He “evinced a peculiar mixture of treacly Hallmark Card sentimentality …and a self-destructive darkness that would lead him into murky waters over his head.” In 2013, Evans told The Telegraph, “Whatever indiscretions I've had in my life, I've paid for them pretty good.”
Israeli drama-thriller Incitement, the country’s international Oscar hopeful, has scored a U.S. deal for WestEnd Films with Greenwich Entertainment.
Writer-director Yaron Zilberman’s A Late Quartet Toronto title chronicles the year leading up to the assassination of Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Set against the backdrop of Rabin's efforts to end the Israeli-Palestian conflict, the film is told through the journey of the assassin, Yigal Amir.
The film examines all the forces that acted on him, from his personal quest to become a hero in the eyes of his peers, and the rejection he faces from his love interest, to the intense incitement of politicians and religious leaders.
Pic was co-written by Ron Leshem Euphoria and Yaron Zilberman. Yehuda Nahari Halevi Wedding Doll stars as Yigal Amir, alongside Amitay Yaish Ben Ousilio The Man in the Wall, Anat Ravnizky, Yoav Levi, Dolev Ohana, Raanan Paz, Sivan Mast and Daniella Kertesz.
Producers are David Silber Lebanon for Metro Communications, Sharon Harel-Cohen Gosford Park for WestEnd Films, Tamar Sela A Late Quartet for Opening Night Productions, Ruth Cats Past Life for Sunshine Films, Moshe Edery Beaufort for United King Films, as well as Zilberman and Leshem.
Last month, the movie picked up the best film prize at Israel’s Ophir Awards, a decision which was met with condemnation from the country's outspoken culture minister Miri Regev, who said the film had “no place” in the country due to its perceived criticism of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
WestEnd is handling world sales and will screen the film to buyers at the AFM.
“American audiences will not fail to draw parallels to our own toxic divides and be moved by the inexorable steps leading to the assassination that changed the direction of a nation away from a historic reconciliation,” said Greenwich co-MD Ed Arentz on the title.
“Greenwich Entertainment has a strong track-record of bringing terrific films to U.S. audiences and we cannot wait for the American public to discover ours,” added Sharon Harel-Cohen and Maya Amsellem from WestEnd Films.
A cadre of Oscar hopefuls showed up in their red carpet best on Sunday to fete Geena Davis, Lina Wertmuller, David Lynch and Wes Studi.
When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established its annual Governors Awards 11 years ago, many movie buffs vocally protested the move, suggesting that it was treating the honorees like second-class citizens by giving them awards at a non-televised standalone event. But guess what? They were wrong.
As I told The Farewell's lead actressAwkwafinalast week when she mentioned that she would be going to the Governors Awards for the first time on Sunday night, there is noawards season event that is cooler or ticket that is hotter than the star-studded black-tie affair, which is held each fall inside the Hollywood & Highland Center's Ray Dolby Ballroom.
The Governors Awards is a gala dinner at which the Academy now presents its special awards — an honorary Oscar, a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award or an Irving Thalberg Award — to industry veterans, as opposed to rushing them on and off of the stage of the actual Oscars ceremony to keep the telecast from running long. And it has also become a pivotal stop for talent currently in awards contention.
Indeed, the Governors Awards falls right in the thick of the awards season — after the Telluride, Toronto and New York film fests get buzz started, but two months before Oscar nomination voting begins — when the whole town is looking to rub shoulders with Academy members. Accordingly, distributors buy up a huge portion of the tables each year and fill them with talent from their Oscar hopefuls. This year included, for the first time, Apple, which hosted the team behind The Banker, and Hulu, which welcomed the star of its documentary feature hopeful Ask Dr. Ruth, Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
The result? The room winds up packed with the entire field of Oscar contenders — far more notables than attend the Oscars, by which time their ranks have been significantly winnowed down by nominations.
Sure, most of these folks would not be at the Governors Awards, one of a dwindling number of Hollywood events that brings together old Hollywood and new Hollywood, if they didn't have something to sell. But you know what? I think that's just fine, because once they are in the room, cool things happen, as I witnessed from my seat at Amazon's Honey Boy table:
Honey Boy's writer/supporting actor Shia LaBeouf enthusiastically led the standing ovation for fellow eccentric David Lynch as Lynch accepted an honorary Oscar; The Report's supporting actor Jon Hamm escorted the glamorousSophia Lorento the podium to present an honorary Oscar; Hustlers' supporting actress Jennifer Lopez — sans A-Rod, who was broadcasting the fifth game of the World Series — fist-pumped and cheered on the first female ever nominated for the best director Oscar, 91-year-old Lina Wertmuller, as she accepted an honorary Oscar; and Honey Boy's director Alma Har'el, one of the new leaders of Hollywood's gender equality movement she launched Free the Work last week, admiringly filming on her iPhone as Geena Davis accepted the Hersholt Award for her gender equality efforts.
As with the Oscars itself these days, there is no host for the Governors Awards — but, at the request of the Academy, Just Mercy's supporting actor Jamie Foxx kicked off this year's gathering by welcoming and firing up the crowd with a few minutes of ad-libbed banter from the stage. He conducted the band, instructing it to "marinate" in between shoutouts to an assortment of contenders in the audience, starting with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood's supporting actor — "Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Hanks is in the house!" He subsequently name-checked Marriage Story's lead actress Scarlett Johansson, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood's lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio and writer/director Quentin Tarantino and the team behind The Irishman. And he then coaxed Dolemite Is My Name's Eddie Murphy up to the stage just to tell him how much he loved his performance in that movie, andasked him to take a photo together for his Instagram. Nobody was happier about this than the folks from Netflix, which is behind Marriage Story, The Irishman and Dolemite.
The Academy's new president David Rubin,who received the first standing ovation for an Academy president in history, thanks to a big buildup from Foxx, acknowledged that the Governors Awards is "the unofficial start of Oscar season." He then asked his 53 fellow members of the Academy's board of governors — the people who choose Governors Awards honorees — to rise and take a bow. Incidentally, they include a host of contenders: Marriage Story's supporting actress Laura Dern, Dolemite's cowriter Larry Karaszewski and costume designer Ruth E. Carter, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World's producer Bonnie Arnold, The Apollo's director Roger Ross Williams, Jojo Rabbit's composer Michael Giacchino, The Peanut Butter Falcon's producer Albert Berger, Richard Jewell and Gemini Man's writer Billy Ray and 1917's sound mixer Scott Millan.
Current Oscar hopefuls also played a role in the presentation of each of the four special awards. Hanks helped introduce Davis, who was then presented with her honor by Hustlers' lead actress Constance Wu. Dern handed Lynch his award. Ford v. Ferrari's lead actor Christian Bale got to hand Wes Studi, his Hostiles costar, his honorary Oscar. And Little Women's writer/director Greta Gerwig, who two years ago became only the fifth female ever nominated for the best director Oscar, got to present Wertmuller with her award.
Italian filmmaker Wertmuller, via a translator, gave the night's funniest and feistiest speech, clearly enjoying her trip from Italy to Hollywood and all of the attention she has been getting from the 'younger set.' On Thursday, she was the guest of honor at a Four Seasons luncheon hosted by Women in Film in coordination with Pascal Vicedomini, Italy's unofficial film ambassador to the United States, and producer Mark Canton.Over a spread of Italian food, Wertmuller was gushed over by other female directors who have followed in her footsteps, such as Martha Coolidge and Nancy Meyers; producer Stephanie Allain; songwriter Diane Warren; and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the second female and first black president of the film Academy. And on Monday, she will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Anthony Bourdain died tragically and unexpectedly in June 2018, but his legacy continues to live on, and will be further explored in a new documentary from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville “20 Feet From Stardom,” “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. The project has been in the works since last summer, just after Bourdain’s death.
CNN Films, HBO Max, and Focus Features are partnering on the still-untitled film, which is produced by Neville’s Tremolo Productions. Focus will release the documentary first in theaters before a television premiere on CNN, followed by a streaming bow on the soon-to-launch HBO Max, coming in 2020. Dates for the release have yet to be announced.
“Anthony Bourdain did more to help us understand each other than just about anyone in the history of television. He connected with people not in spite of his flaws, but because of them. To have the opportunity to tell his story is humbling. CNN is in the DNA of Tony’s work, and the perfect partners in this journey. I’m thrilled to be re-teaming with Focus Features after our journey on ‘Won't You Be My Neighbor?’. I am also happy that HBO Max will make sure Tony’s audience only continues to grow,” said director Morgan Neville, whose most recent features include the Oscar-winning “20 Feet from Stardom,” the Orson Welles doc “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” and the Mister Rogers portrait “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Bourdain is best remembered for his wily wit on the CNN original series “Parts Unknown,” which was honored throughout its 12-season run with 36 Emmy Award nominations and 12 wins. Bourdain also executive-produced the feature documentary “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent,” which released in 2016. The upcoming documentary from Neville will feature unprecedented access to family photos, home movies, letters, music, and more, to craft a rich portrait of Bourdain.
“Morgan is the top of the game when it comes to documentary filmmaking and we're delighted to be working with him again on this project with our great collaborators at CNN Films and HBO Max,” said Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski in a statement.
“We are thrilled that Morgan will bring his singular voice to this film, revealing what we loved so much about Tony. Partnering with Focus Features and HBO Max ensures even more of Tony's devoted fans will be able to celebrate him,” added Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development for CNN Films.
IndieWire has reached out to Tremolo Productions for comment.
Merab is a dancer. Like his mother and father before him, he has trained in the art of traditional Georgian dance since he first began walking. Lean and sinewy, he delicately balances stiffness and flow with each precise move, his eyes alight with the pure joy of creative expression. He’s the paragon of Georgian health, a perfect marriage of the fledgling democracy’s bright future and its proud past. If only his demanding dance coach, who barks that he is “too soft,” could see it that way. If only there were room in Georgian dance — in Georgia itself — for a little softness, maybe the country wouldn’t be losing so many of its artists, scholars, and innovators to more progressive climes.
“And Then We Danced,” Swedish filmmaker Levan Akin’s luminous tour de force and his native country’s Oscar submission for Best International Feature Film adorns itself with the question of cultural identity as proudly as Merab dons his traditional Georgian dance robe in its rousing final scene. Born in Stockholm to Georgian parents from Turkey, Akin chose to set his third feature film in Tblisi, at the intersection of one young man’s arrival at queerness amid his rigorous training in the National Georgian Ensemble. We learn that hyper-masculinity is one of the central tenets of Georgian dance, although it only became so in the last 50 years. By framing his gentle coming-of-age tale around such a traditional piece of Georgian culture, he has made an inherently political film, and rendered it in sensitive terms with a celebratory spirit, not to mention a culture rarely seen onscreen. It’s one of the year’s best gay films.
“And Then We Danced” begins in the studio, with Merab Levan Gelbakhiani circling his longtime dance partner Mary Ana Javakishvili. In the extensive dance scenes, Merab is smooth and joyous, bringing an unmistakable flair to the hard movements. But every time he seems to get into it, all strong shoulders and splayed hips, he’s stopped and made to start again. “Georgian dance is based on masculinity,” his teacher says. “There is no room for weakness in Georgian dance.”
“And Then We Danced”
Merab’s day-to-day is an endless stream of hard work and stress: sweating through rehearsals, waiting tables for too little money, fighting with his drunken brother, and keeping the lights on for their grandmother and unemployed mother. Nevertheless, he can’t help but skip elegantly on his way to catch the bus, as the city’s golden light and colorful clotheslines illuminate his way. When a new male dancer arrives from the country, Merab’s initial suspicions of the competition give way to intrigue. Dark-haired and with broad shoulders, the earring-clad Irakli Bachi Valishvili talks back to the teacher and follows his own rules. Though Merab is incensed when Irakli takes his place in a duet, he softens to the newcomer when the two start early morning rehearsals together.
It isn’t long before their desire takes over, once they find each other in the woods during a weekend of partying at a friend’s country home. Drinking homemade wine out of glass carafes and cavorting loudly around the shabby manor, they settle into a unexpected romantic backdrop. Fallen from its former glory, the setting nonetheless exudes a charming grandeur in its peeling paint and windowed parlors. Dancing to Robyn on the moonlit porch, an oversized fur hat atop his head, Merab vibrates with the electricity of first romance. Stealing sideways glances at Irakli in the car ride home, a wide and knowing smile spreads across his face. He’s too happy to notice the other boy doesn’t return his gaze.
The rest is fairly predictable, but Akin fills Merab’s world with enough other intrigue to transcend the cliches of one unrequited gay romance. Merab’s awakening may begin with Irakli, but it doesn’t end with him. When Irakli disappears back home without warning, Merab makes eyes at a swishy young man with long hair. He follows his new friend to a gay bar that wouldn’t be out of place in any other European city, as the loud and flamboyant crew party all night, ignoring the slurs of passersby.
Akin’s script diverges from the traditional coming-of-age tale, even as he hits all the old notes — forcible outing by a jealous classmate, fight scene, the inevitable heartbreak. It’s all there, but the movie remains laser focused on Merab’s internal journey. His forceful final dance audition provides the film’s impassioned finale, as the character finally unshackles himself from the burden of tradition to perform with unbridled style and joy. There may be no room for softness in traditional Georgian dance, but there is always room for interpretation.
“And Then We Danced” premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and is Sweden’s official Oscar entry for Best International Feature. The film plays NewFest on October 26. Music Box Films will release it in the U.S. at an undetermined date.