Wilson

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio must be one hell of a speed reader (or he used his charms to nab himself an advanced copy), because he announced today that he will be producing an adaptation of a Woodrow Wilson biography that just hit bookstores last week. DiCaprio will also star as the 28th president in the adaptation of A. Scott Berg‘s “Wilson,” which he is producing with his Appian Way partner Jennifer Davisson Killoran and Berg. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the biography is a bit on the positive side, emphasizing Wilson’s progressive achievements (like creating the Federal Reserve! Supporting the League of Nations!) while brushing much of the more…unsavory…parts of his presidency to the side. Like his shaky at best stance on civil liberties. So this might not be the most well-rounded biopic. Can’t you just hear the soaring music in the trailer already?

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

The release of Lincoln could not be better timed. The plan must be to get as much of a boost from the presidential election as possible, yet at the same time avoid being cast as part of the political debate, by opening after November 6th. Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner would rather their film be seen as a portrait of a great American hero above contemporary politics, or at least not see it hijacked by 21st century bickering.  They have every right, even though upon closer inspection it might become clear where they stand. However, let’s leave that for later and move on to some Oscar history. Only four men have earned Best Actor nominations for playing US Presidents, with Daniel Day-Lewis now certain to be the fifth. (For context, the Academy has over the years nominated nine Kings of England.) The list contains one other Lincoln, one Woodrow Wilson, and two Richard Nixons. That’s a bit bleak, isn’t it?

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When I first read on Empire that Alexander Payne was looking at a project called Wilson for his next film, I thought to myself that finally, finally somebody was going to take a long overdue deeper look at the always obscured, wisdom filled neighbor from Home Improvement. But then I read a little further and realized that’s not what this project is going to be at all. I was disappointed. But then I read a little further and realized that what this project is could be even better. “Wilson” is a graphic novel created by Daniel Clowes, who film fans will probably recognize as being the guy who wrote “Ghost World,” another comic that went on to become a Thora Birch and Steve Buscemi-starring feature film. That film was much loved, so much so that the Clowes and Terry Zwigoff penned screenplay was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at The Academy Awards that year. Seeing as Clowes is once again working on the adaptation for this project, and Ghost World had a dry, biting sense of humor that seems to fit very well with Payne’s sensibilities, it looks like this could be a project to watch.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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