Jennifer Lawrence

American Hustle

Yesterday gave us our first glimpse at the sweet ‘dos of David O. Russell‘s latest film – American Hustle. Today, we have the opportunity to witness all that greased-hair goodness in motion, and I strongly implore you to take that opportunity. Those who hit “play” on this trailer without knowing what American Hustle is about probably won’t know that much more by the trailer’s end. So here’s the scoop – Hustle is a fictional account of the ABSCAM sting operation from the ’70s-’80s, wherein the FBI and a con artist (Christian Bale) team up to take down both thieves and corrupt public officials. But if the trailer didn’t want us to know that, then it’s probably not super important right now. What is important is the performances, the style, the haircuts, the costumes and the music (which tells us everything we need to know – there will be both good times and bad times). And there’s plenty of goodness within that series of flashing images. Be on the lookout for a menacing Jennifer Lawrence, Bale playing a butt like a bongo drum, and a Quentin Tarantino-style trunk shot. There are also a few peeks at the juicier bits – guns and weeping and a bag-over-the-head-style kidnapping. American Hustle is definitely one to keep your eye on. Check out the first trailer after the break.

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Angelina Jolie

Two weeks ago, I told you that Robert Downey Jr. was the real Tony Stark when it was revealed that he was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood after having made a unfathomable $75m between June 2012 and June 2013. Now, Forbes has released their list of highest-paid actresses, and it appears that Angelina Jolie is supreme queen, raking in $33m in the same time period. Despite not having a huge film in theaters for over three years (2010’s The Tourist with Johnny Depp), Jolie’s starpower is apparently enough to keep her at the top of the chart. She was able to nab a paycheck north of $15m for next summer’s Maleficent, and did well with her writing and directing venture, the Bosnian war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey. Jolie is a bonafide movie star in that she even outranks The Girl on Fire by $7m. Jennifer Lawrence had an insane 2012, and with $26m in her pocket 2013 is probably looking even better. Lawrence won the Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, and ushered in a new era of Hunger Games mania as Our Lady of Badassery, Katniss Everdeen. The Hunger Games made $690m off a $80m budget, and though Lawrence made less than $1m for the first film, her paycheck was promptly bumped up following its success. Go girl. Not to mention, Lawrence is also part of the X-Men franchise as young Mystique, and received earnings from those films as well.

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Catching Fire: Katniss

Unlike some of the earlier teases for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, this theatrical trailer seems intent on showing you some action. It opens as the first teaser did, with a lot of political talk. In the wake of the events of the first film, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has become a symbol of hope for people around the country, the spark of a coming revolution. So Donald Sutherland must get rid of her in a spectacular, not-at-all suspicious manner. The solution: have a big 75th anniversary Hunger Games with the most deadly previous winners they can find. In the middle of it all: Katniss. Will she overcome the plots against her? Will she lead her people to revolution? Will her family pay the price? Will Stanley Tucci’s character ever stop going to whatever bizarro hair salon he obviously frequents? Are there more ridiculous character names in the third book than what we’re going to see in this one? I’m looking at you, Cashmere, Beetee, Wiress, Enobaria, Finnick, Gloss and Johanna. Wait, not that last one. Readers of the books know the answers to these and many other important questions, but the rest of us will have to wait for the movie. For now, lets enjoy the setup for one of the most anticipated sequels of the year.

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quarter quell katniss

You didn’t think that just because society had transformed into a dystopian nightmare where children are forced to murder each other for sport while the rich clap along that we would totally abandon Twitter, right? If the newly released posters for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that call for the citizens of Panem to #celebrateyourvictors are accurate, then some form of the social networking site is alive and well in the future. The new series of one-sheets [via First Showing] depict the group of Hunger Game victors who are now forced to participate in the Quarter Quell, as if winning that last tournament wasn’t bad enough. Featured are: Cashmere and Gloss of District 1 (Stephanie Leigh Schlund and Alan Ritchson), Brutus and Enobaria of District 2 (Bruno Gunn and Meta Golding), Beetee and Wiress of District 3 (Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer), Finnick and Mags of District 4 (Sam Claflin and Lynn Cohen), Johanna of District 7 (Jena Malone) and of course, Katniss and Peeta of District 12 (Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson).

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jennifer-lawrence

What is Casting Couch? Casting news concerning names like Paul Giamatti, James Franco, Emmy Rossum, Mia Wasikowska, and even more. Many, many, more. We’re bursting. Now that she’s ruled the box office with her starring role in The Hunger Games and ruled awards season with her Oscar win for The Silver Linings Playbook, there’s only one logical next place for Jennifer Lawrence to go—the producer’s chair. That’s right, when an actor becomes a real force in Hollywood, we generally see them take a more creative role over the movies that they star in, and Variety is reporting that she’s going to be beginning that process by both starring in and producing her next project, Rules of Inheritance. From an Abi Morgan adaptation of Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoirs, and to be directed by Susanne Bier, Rules of Inheritance will see Lawrence playing a young woman “who loses her family, but finds herself in the process.” There’s a silver lining.

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hr_The_Hunger_Games-_Catching_Fire_23

She just can’t wait to be tribute? The newest poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire seems to be nodding quite firmly to a most unexpected influence – Disney’s The Lion King. While we can’t quite remember any sort of magical jagged rock in Suzanne Collins‘ bestselling YA book series, it certainly looks like Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is hanging out on Pride Rock, surveying all the land that belongs to her, and plotting to overthrow her mean Uncle Scar – or is that just us? At least this new poster also includes a nice cloud-based nod to Katniss’ budding wings, as it looks like our very own Mockingjay just might take flight, until you realize, nope, those are just clouds. Fine then, Katniss, do it your way. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22nd. [Press Release]

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trailer catching fire

The Hunger Games was the third highest grossing film of 2012 beating out gigantic (and expected) hits like the final Twilight film, the first Hobbit, the latest Bond and the Spider-Man reboot. Hurray for originality! The film, based on the novels by Suzanne Collins, followed a teenager in a dystopian future where people are saddled with ridiculous names and a government that controls people through fear, force and dietary restrictions. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) finds herself in a televised competition to the death meant to distract the masses from their real miseries, and she surprises everyone involved by winning. The new film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, picks up the story with Katniss and her friend/co-victor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) dethroned and forced to fight again by a president (Donald Sutherland) concerned that the duo are waking the sleeping populace towards rebellion. Also, I was mostly kidding about it ripping off Battle Royale II. Check out the first trailer for Catching Fire below.

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan

What is Casting Couch? It’s a compiling of the day’s casting news. Today it’s all about manly actors playing even manlier men. Find out who David O. Russell wants to cast opposite Jennifer Lawrence next. We’ve heard about Solace before. It’s that slightly supernatural serial killer movie where Colin Farrell is playing a psychopath who may have psychic powers and Anthony Hopkins is playing a possibly psychic doctor and expert in murder who must be coaxed out of retirement so that he can help the police catch the bad guy. Well, today we’ve learned that by “police,” the synopsis of this film really meant Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Heat Vision reports that the ruggedly handsome actor, who’s basically the American Javier Bardem, has signed on to play the veteran FBI agent who’s been hunting Farrell’s character down and who needs the help of Hopkins’. It sounds like he got the short end of the stick when it comes to psychic powers, but his inclusion makes this a pretty formidable cast anyway.

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Catching Fire

Even in the fictional world of Panem, newly-crowned Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence is a victor. In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen and Josh Hutcherson‘s Peeta set out on their official “Victory Tour” after having won the 74th Annual Hunger Games in stunning fashion (back during The Hunger Games). Of course, not everything is creamy goat stew with plums (or whatever it is that Katniss noms on) and high (read: bad) fashion, because the Capitol is none too pleased with their dual wins, and things are about to go from glitz and glamour back to televised murder. Nope, this Victory Tour cannot last forever, but let’s enjoy the clean clothes and tossed rose petals while we still can. Check out another brand new Victory Tour poster after the break. So modern! So clean! So…not like what much of Catching Fire is probably going to be like!

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jennifer-lawrence6

Director David O. Russell hasn’t even found a new title for his next project, the formerly named American Bullshit, yet, and already he’s hashing out what he’s going to be working on next. According to THR, Russell is all set to make his third film in a row that will feature actress Jennifer Lawrence, as he’s committed to directing a new drama that she’s attached to star in called The Ends of the Earth. This, of course, will follow Lawrence’s Oscar-nominated turn in Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook, and the small role she recently took in the former American Bullshit. Lawrence was rumored for the role back in August. There aren’t very many exact plot details yet available for The Ends of the Earth, but the trade describes it as being “a fact-based love story about a powerful oil tycoon who has everything stripped from him after he is caught in an affair.” So, presumably, Russell is eventually going to have to find a male lead to play the dastardly adulterer. Might he go all the way and make this the third film in a row where he works with both Lawrence and Bradley Cooper?

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Best Actress

There are two main rivalries in the 2013 Best Actress race. There’s a head-to-head showdown between Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain. These ladies even have a supposed rivalry brewing between them. By all accounts, they are the ones to beat. There’s also that oldest versus youngest match-up between Amour’s Emmanuelle Riva [oldest] and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis [youngest]. And then there’s The Impossible’s Naomi Watts. Hopefully there will be an upset so this Oscars 2013 don’t prove to be too boring. Though the Oscars do lean toward the predictable… Will any of these actresses go down in history with a bombastic speech, featuring a line akin to “You like me! You really like me!” or suffer some sort of horrendous wardrobe malfunction on the red carpet? Will there be a deluge of tears that goes down in history? Only time will tell. Hopefully the chosen lady is somewhat well-deserving of her award and at least has a good stylist. Here are the nominees with my predicted winner is in red:

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jennifer-lawrence6

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting column that’s rounding up all the casting news that fell through the cracks. Today we have some doozies, including word that Paul Walker’s remaking a French film. The last time Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and director David O. Russell all worked together, the result was Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that currently has them all nominated for Oscars. Rejoice, then, that Jennifer Lawrence has just been added to Russell’s next project—that movie about the sting operation that took down a bunch of congressmen in the 70s that used to be called American Bullshit. According to Deadline, who broke the news of Lawrence’s involvement, she’ll be joining the film in the role of the Christian Bale character’s wife. Oh yeah, maybe that should have been mentioned. Christian Bale is also in this. As well as Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Who’s got room on their shelves for more acting Oscars?

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Who wants to participate in gruesome, bloody, terrifying hand-to-hand combat on live national television again? No, no, we’re not talking about last night’s Golden Globes, we’re talking about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire! Forgive us for that terrible lede, but there’s not much to say about the Jennifer Lawrence-starring film as of yet, considering we’re still just working with scattered stills from the sequel and a brand-new teaser poster (released today). A teaser poster that looks almost exactly like the first teaser poster for last year’s The Hunger Games. At least that fire looks a bit more realistic? Sort of? Maybe? And its central mockingjay has a bit more detail? Nope, sorry, it’s pretty much the same poster. Snooze. Don’t believe us? Take a look at a side-by-side comparison after the break.

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JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

The 70th Golden Globe Awards will be held tomorrow night, and I invite you to join myself and FSR’s awards guru, Daniel Walber, for live-blog commentary during the ceremony. We’ll try to keep it smart, avoid too much snark and will likely be obeying the rules of the drinking game that co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have devised. It will also hopefully be more conversational than remarks we could have just tweeted, in order that I can turn the discussion around as a more readable post-event recap of the night. In case you’re too busy paying attention to your TV to also read our words simultaneously. Anyway, you can’t head into a big awards telecast viewing without predictions for what you think will win. Daniel and I seem to agree on exactly half of the movie categories. So, maybe it won’t be such a predicable night. Check out our choices after the break and give us your own predictions in the comments. If you do better than either of us, we commend you in advance (and maybe at the end of our GG coverage too).

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What is Casting Couch? Despite the fact that the movie business seems to be slow to get back to work after the long weekend, it’s a column that’s managed to dig up a couple exciting casting coups. Bryan Singer out-scooped everybody in the news breaking business today when he suddenly started tweeting big updates on how the cast for his upcoming X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, was developing. He started off small by first confirming that a few members of the First Class crew would be returning. He tweeted, “I’d like to officially welcome back James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, & Nicholas Hoult to #XMEN for #DaysOfFuturePast.” But then he got a little crazy and started confirming rumors that actors from his original X-Men movies will be joining the film as well by tweeting, “Thrilled to announce @ianmckellen118 (Ian McKellan) & @SirPatStew (Patrick Stewart) are joining the cast of #XMEN #DaysOfFuturePast #magneto #professorX More to come…” Do you think we could get scenes where old Professor X and Magneto meet young Professor X and Magneto? The head spins with awesome possibilities.

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Obviously the one thing that movie-goers desperately wanted from The Hunger Games was to somehow feel closer and more involved with the child-on-child murder-for-sport that played out before their very eyes. Isn’t that what entertainment is for? Luckily enough, the Hunger Games team has heard our cries (some of them muffled by the blood that is filling our lungs, thanks to a hearty jabbing from a fellow Tribute), with Peeta Mellark himself (Josh Hutcherson, if you’re not hip to it) revealing which portion of the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be filmed in native IMAX. Which portion? The best kind! The one with the killing! Hutcherson told MTV (via /Film) in a new interview (which you can check out after the break) that the Francis Lawrence-directed film will feature IMAX scenes in the arena during the games, saying: “I think, all the stuff in the arena is going to be IMAX. So when you go see it in IMAX, you’ll see the regular movie when we’re in the Districts and in the Capitol. When you see us go up in the pod in the games, it will open up into IMAX. It will be amazing. It’s very cool.” Jokes about murder aside, the arena used in Catching Fire is going to be awesome (should the film stick to the original vision of the book, which is sort of a no-brainer), and to be immersed in that world via IMAX should prove to be one hell of a time. Also, huge plus […]

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

Some of this year’s big movies are like a Thanksgiving dinner. They’re elaborate, colorful, and delicious. They also take time to digest, as most meals of such size and ambition do. Filling and complex, they remind us of the important things and inspire us to be thankful for art and the movies. In this category I’d put Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and The Master. Black Friday films are different, though not necessarily opposite. They are marvelously entertaining, extremely well-executed Hollywood productions. They bring laughter and tears, suspense and comfortable resolution, all in familiar packaging. One could compare them to the thrilling, stressful and often rewarding experience of rushing to a 50%-off television, or go even further and point out similarities to the mass-produced and well-advertised objects themselves. This year’s best examples are Argo and Silver Linings Playbook.

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Silver Linings Playbook

Editor’s Note: Allison’s spot-on review originally ran way back at the beginning of the month, but the film is opening wide today so we’re sharing it once again. Sharing is good. Maybe we are all a bit crazy – whether we are lying to ourselves about the relationships we are in or why we believe holding a handkerchief or having the remote at a certain angle will determine the outcome of a game. But unlike most of us, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), has been deemed mentally unstable by both the court and his doctors at the mental institution we find him in at the start of Silver Linings Playbook. Pat may seem fairly sane, albeit unflinchingly honest, but as we learn why he ended up in such a facility and watch him unravel at the sound of a certain song, it becomes clear that Pat is dealing with issues he may not be able to easily control with simple positive thinking. Pat is released to the care of his big-hearted mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver), and his hot-headed father, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro), and while their family dynamic is slightly dysfunctional, it is clear that they all truly care about one another.

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Silver Linings Playbook

UPDATED: The Playlist now reports that the cities getting an early release include NY, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, DC, Miami, San Diego, and Austin. David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook swiftly (and not entirely unexpectedly) became the film to see after its strong Toronto International Film Festival showing, so it’s no surprise that the film’s distributor, The Weinstein Company, is trying to put this thing in front of audiences on the quick side. Deadline Hollywood report that, though the Bradley Cooper- and Jennifer Lawrence-starring production will still open wide on November 21, the film will premiere in ten markets on November 16. Of course, we still don’t know which ten markets that will be (though, Los Angeles and New York, you’re probably safe on this one), and a quick check of both MovieTickets and Fandango don’t shed too much light on the situation, and even the Weinstein site and the film’s official site contain no new information on this limited early release, but we suspect we’ll find out soon enough. Perhaps staying on top of the film’s Twitter is wise? Until then, let’s all look back at Allison’s solid review of the film from AFI FEST. Ah, loonies in love.

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Life of Pi AFI FEST

October offered up plenty of films to give this awards season a proper start. Ben Affleck once again showed he’s got one of the best eyes for tension working today; John Hawkes gave another year’s best performance in Fox Searchlight’s The Sessions; Martin McDonagh made another wicked, original dark comedy with real bite; and, who could forget, The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer made a huge box office smash which received unabashed praise up the wazoo, especially for the seamless makeup work. While I wish Cloud Atlas did fit that description, at least for a few more years the trio’s daring and moving film will go down as a box office bomb which may or may have not been ahead of its time. No matter how Cloud Atlas stands up in a few years, it was the type of ambition which served as another reminder of how important going to the movie theater is and to truly have experiences while you are there, be they good or bad. With November 2012, there are plenty of movies to have a similar experience with, from Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi to a triumphant new Bond movie. Keep reading to find out what other eight movies you must see this month.

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