Philomena

WellGo USA

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Confession of Murder A serial killer ends his reign of terror and disappears into the night, but years later when the statute of limitations runs out on the crimes a man comes forward to claim responsibility and sell some books. He becomes an overnight sensation with the media, but the detective that worked the original case is none too pleased with the man’s newfound celebrity. The victims’ families are equally unhappy and set about making their own justice, and soon all manner of shenanigans are in play. Jung Byung-gil‘s action/thriller is an ecstatically energetic and deliriously entertaining flick that moves effortlessly between beautifully choreographed chase/fight scenes, heart-rending drama and purely comedic interactions. The story gets a bit silly at times, but it’s never less than invigorating and exciting. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, you should at least listen to the cover blurb calling it “One hell of a ride.” [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Behind the scenes, interviews, trailer]

read more...

High Fidelity Movie

Through music and misery, we ask the big questions this week. Specifically, Neil Miller and Geoff get philosophical over High Fidelity and debate whether we’re truly defined by what we like (as opposed to what we’re like) when it comes to relationships. Plus, Geoff describes a few ways to get into the TV show-writing business (and a few ways not to). And on our main stage, the stellar Stephen Frears joins us to talk about Philomena and capriciousness, and to offer perhaps the single most important piece of filmmaking advice the show has ever heard. You should follow Neil (@rejects), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Please review us on iTunes Download Episode #55 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

read more...

Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture

This is it. The big one. The most coveted award in Hollywood. The one only the greatest of the great win. You know the ones I mean. The Artist, The King’s Speech, Crash, Chicago, Million Dollar Baby. Classics, all of them. It reads like a list of the best films of the 2000s don’t you think? Right? Yeah? This year sees nine nominees up for Best Picture, and a whopping two thirds are films based on true stories. Perception is such that a basis in fact would be an advantage, but while playing real people helps actors win awards, only five films based on true stories have taken home Best Picture in the past two decades. I’m guessing this year will make six. As has been the case since the Academy opened this category to more than five nominees, we once again have a field of players stuffed with titles well out of their depths (sorry Nebraska), so while there are nine titles listed, there are realistically only three contenders. Keep reading for a look at all of this year’s nominees for Best Picture along with my predicted winner in red…

read more...

Oscar Predictions 2014: Adapted Screenplay

Don’t tell anyone, but the screenplay categories, both original and adapted, remain the only Oscar contests that truly matter to me. It’s not just my respect for the written word or any personal interest I may have in the art form, instead it’s the understanding that the script is the singular basis from which every other element of a film builds. Adapted screenplays have the additionally daunting task of taking an existing creation, whether it be a book, article, or television show, and crafting something new, compact, and wholly its own. All but one of this year’s nominees are adapting a nonfiction memoir, while the fifth is a sequel. Keep reading for a look at all five of this year’s nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay along with my predicted winner in red…

read more...

Oscar Predictions 2014: Original Score

Unlike a singular song, a film’s score stays with a narrative from beginning to end, helping to reinforce the emotions on screen and round out the overall feeling and impression of a film. It is a delicate balance and it is the scores which are able to make an impression, without distracting from the film itself, that rise to the top to become the scores that are remembered long after a film ends. The nominees for Best Original Score this year are a combination of familiar names (John Williams, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman) along with some new ones (Steven Price, William Butler, Owen Pallett). The five films these scores are nominated from are powerful stories about people dealing with extraordinary situations from fighting for love, family, stories, even one’s own life. The music in each of these films is an incredibly important element as it helps give each story the weight it deserves. Williams, Desplat, and Newman are distinguished talents who have proven their staying power over the years and helped elevate their respective films thanks to their music whereas the scores from Price, Butler, and Pallett are not only from newer voices, they are attached to two films that pushed the envelope when it came to visual style and narrative approach. We review the five nominees and predict who we think will win in red…

read more...

Kinostarts - "Dallas Buyers Club"

All we need now is for Shia Labeouf to streak across the stage of the Dolby Theatre during the 2014 Academy Awards, copying Robert Opel’s famous stunt of 40 years ago as a bold bit of promotion for Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, to make this year’s event possibly the most controversy-laden of all time. Or throw in an honorary Oscar for Roman Polanski, give another special tribute to Elia Kazan or give Best Picture to a Frank Capra film. Let Michael Moore on stage to criticize Obama, Sacheen Littlefeather to protest The Lone Ranger‘s nomination and have Rob Lowe back to ruin his resurrected career by dancing this time with all of the Disney princesses. Actually, we’re probably pretty set with controversies for the 86th Academy Awards show, which will be held only three weeks from now. From a nominee’s disqualification to the usual issues with documentary contenders, from complaints about a specific drama’s depiction of and its actors’ sensitivity to the LGBT population to problems with one of the Academy’s most recognized filmmakers, we might be in store for some extra picketing or contentious remarks or any number of other surprises on March 2nd. Let’s look at what we’ve got so far in the controversy basket below. 

read more...

Oscars 2014

Hopefully you’re all wearing your tuxedos and evening gowns because, as we all know, Thursday morning before sunrise is the best time to get fancy. Feel no shame about that 5am martini. Unless it’s your fourth. Because you’re behind. And you might need something strong for the announcement of the nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards.

read more...

film-philomena-e1385664855549

I was disappointed this week when Philomena was not named among the WGA Award nominees. It turns out that it wasn’t eligible (Steve Coogan and/or Jeff Pope must not be in the Writers Guild of America), nor were a number of other noteworthy films (including 12 Years a Slave and Short Term 12), which hopefully followers of the Oscar race are both aware of and share if they’re also entertainment writers. I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think Philomena is falling behind. After all, it might just be the most original adapted screenplay of the year, and if originality were the primary quality for that category then Philomena would deserve to take home the Academy Award on March 2nd. How exactly adapted works are judged has never been clear, and it doesn’t help when the nominees may include sequels with purely original stories and dialogue, such as this year’s strong contender Before Midnight, as well as any films based on books, TV shows, plays and other films, including shorts by the same filmmakers that were basically like practice runs for the features. When it comes to those based on books, do the voters merit faithfulness or interpretation or clever strays from the source material? It probably isn’t the last, because otherwise past nominees like Adaptation, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and There Will Be Blood would have won for their looseness as adaptations to the point that they almost ought to have been in the original […]

read more...

WINNER

What is the difference between being nominated for an award and winning an award? The answer is so obvious as to be ludicrous – being nominated for something means that there is a possibility you will win the final accolade, winning something means that you’ve actually won the prize. Simple, right? Clear, not obtuse in the least, plain-faced, correct? Not if you’re dealing with awards season movie marketing, as a number of films are now touting their nominations by billing films as being the “WINNER (of a nomination).” Pardon? It’s a strange phenomenon that /Film’s Germain Lussier wrote about back in December (as inspired by a piece on Franklin Avenue, which meticulously gathered screencaps in support), as he was appropriately flabbergasted by the marketing ruse. Lussier penned a piece on the rash of new ads – specifically for August: Osage County and Philomena – sharing screencaps of various TV spots that touted both films as the “WINNER” of various Golden Globe nominations (up top, you’ll find one for August: Osage County). The ads willfully blew up the word “WINNER” to outshine the more accurate “nominee” or “nomination,” clearly aiming to make an impression of the winning variety (not, it seems, of the nominating variety). At the time of Lussier’s piece, only The Weinstein Company (the distributor of both August and Philomena) had utilized the shady technique to tout their films, but now even Fox Searchlight has gotten in on it, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is not happy in […]

read more...

2013.moviedoppelgangers

Every year, there seem to be unintended themes emerging from movie releases. It’s almost as if the studios called each other to coordinate projects like friends in high school planning to wear matching outfits on a Friday. Sometimes this effect is unintentional, like when an emerging movie star manages to have multiple films comes out the same year (see Melissa McCarthy below); other times, it’s a result of executives switching studios and developing similar projects (like the infamous Disney and DreamWorks 1998 double-header grudge match of A Bug’s Life vs. Antz and Armageddon vs. Deep Impact). This year is no different, producing a slew of movie doppelgangers. For the sake of creativity, I left the painfully obvious off. Still, who can forget offerings like Olympus Has Fallen up against White House Down as well as This Is the End paired with The World’s End? And, if you really hate yourself, you can watch a terrible trippleganger of A Haunted House, Scary Movie 5 and 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity with the Devil Inside the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Whether it’s similar themes, the same actor in noticeably similar roles, or parallel stand-out moments in two films, this list of 13 movie pairings can provide a nice selection of companion pieces for your viewing pleasure.

read more...

Philomena

Editor’s note: Our review of Philomena originally ran during this year’s TIFF, but we’re re-posting it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release today. In a strictly paint-by-numbers world, Stephen Frears’ Philomena is one hell of a prestige picture bound for awards season glory – who could possibly balk at a Judi Dench-starring true-life tale of a woman’s decades-long quest to find the baby who was taken from her by the evil Irish Magdalene laundries? – but the final execution of the film is so contrived and unoriginal that it all but begs for an immediate remake that possesses even a drop more sensitivity. Even with the essential inclusion of Steve Coogan (who also helped script the film) as a smirking journalist on the outs with the entire world, Philomena never fully embraces either its humor or its drama. Uneven and weirdly insensitive, Philomena is unable to combine its many elements into something rich, despite prime subject matter. The film centers on the heartbreaking real life story of Philomena Lee (Dench), an Irishwoman who was forced to give up her first child while toiling in a Magdalene laundry, a church-run home for “fallen women” who got pregnant out of wedlock. (The laundries were indeed real and, shockingly enough, the last Irish one closed only in 1996.) Frears effectively uses flashbacks to mince together the “present day” story of a still-haunted Philomena and the “past” portion that focuses on a stellar Sophia Kennedy Clark as a young Philomena just […]

read more...

Philomena

What does it mean for a movie to be “based on a true story”? In the case of Philomena, it means borrowing real events and people and reworking them to fit a thematic narrative. Often that infusion of fiction and dramatization brings about a greater truth, and in this new release that greater truth being communicated is that there is still room for sincerity and love in this cynical, post-modern world. Adapted from Martin Sixsmith‘s nonfiction book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee — or really just adapted from the epilogue — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s award-winning script takes great artistic license with its source material, and that’s okay. The movie, directed by Stephen Frears (The Queen), is an intelligent, funny, well-acted and honest, if not always factually accurate, account of a journalist (Coogan, as Sixsmith) and an older woman (Dame Judi Dench) investigating what became of the son that was taken from her 50 years earlier by Catholic nuns. READ MORE

read more...

Philomena

It takes a bold, thoughtless person to mess with Dame Judi Dench. Dench stars in the first trailer for Stephen Frears’ Philomena as the titular Philomena Lee, a woman who was sent away to a convent as a young girl and forced to give up her son. Nearly fifty years later, she enlists the help of a former journalist to help track him down in America. Steve Coogan steps in to play the journalist, Martin Sixsmith, who is using the opportunity to write a human-interest story about Philomena and her reunion with her son. Though we know Coogan as a gifted comedian, he’s proved several times that he can hold his own in dramatic turns (The Look of Love, Our Idiot Brother); and from the trailer, the unlikely friendship blossoming between Philomena and his character looks to be one of the strongest parts of the film. Coogan also co-wrote the screenplay, which is based on the book written by the real-life Sixsmith. The trailer devotes equal time to Philomena and Martin’s stories, which makes sense when you know that the film is based on an account that Sixsmith wrote, but the real meat of the story is in what happened to Philomena and her son, and not the journalist who’s telling her tale. Any good reporter should know that. Check out the trailer after the break.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3