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Best Foreign Shortlist Surprises, Woody Harrelson’s Making a Live Movie, & Duck Tales has the Best…

By  · Published on December 17th, 2016

Movie News After Dark

Best Foreign Shortlist Surprises, Woody Harrelson’s Making a Live Movie, & Duck Tales has the Best Cast of 2017

The day’s top headlines in bite-size portions.

Another day, another minor controversy over potential Oscar nominations. This time the category in question is Best Foreign Language Film, which late yesterday released its shortlist of nine films vying for nominations. And while we’re going to get to who made the cut, who didn’t is the bigger story.

Paul Verhoeven’s Elle starring Isabelle Huppert, a film most of us considered a lock for a nomination, is not on the list. This is especially confounding if you consider that the campaign for Huppert as a Best Actress nom has only been gaining momentum as awards season unfurls. Also left off the list, Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta and Pablo Larrain’s Neruda. The former director has been up for the award twice, for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and All About My Mother; the latter for which he won. He’s also been shortchanged before; High Heels and The Flower of My Secret were both submitted but failed to get nominations, while Volver made the shortlist but not the final cut. As for Larrain, he’s never been nominated but it was thought that his other 2016 film, Jackie, would boost his chances. Apparently not.

Turning now to who’s still in the game, Germany’s Toni Erdmann seems like a solid frontrunner, though it will be getting some competition from Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World, and Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman. Check out the complete list of contenders below; they’ll be winnowed down again before the final nominations are announced.

Australia, Tanna, Bentley Dean, Martin Butler

Canada, It’s Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan

Denmark, Land of Mine, Martin Zandvliet

Germany, Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade

Iran, The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi

Norway, The King’s Choice, Erik Poppe

Russia, Paradise, Andrei Konchalovsky

Sweden, A Man Called Ove, Hannes Holm

Switzerland, My Life as a Zucchini, Claude Barras

In non-controversial Oscar news, the Best Visual Effects shortlist was released today, and of the 10 films still in contention, half are from Disney: The Jungle Book, The BFG, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange, and Rogue One. This surprises no one.

What is a bit of surprise is Kubo and the Two Strings moving forward, not because it doesn’t deserve to, but because animated films are hardly ever recognized in the category. In fact, the last animated film to get a nomination here was another stop-motion film, Henry Selig’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, way back in 1993.

The other four films in the running are Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Passengers, whose greatest visual effect was apparently fooling people into thinking it was going to be a good movie.

Before he stakes his claim for Villain of the Year in next summer’s War for the Planet of the Apes, you can catch Woody Harrelson in the movie Lost in London, which he wrote, directed, and stars in. That’s sort of news in and of itself, but the real hook here is that the film is being billed as a live production, the world’s first.

Now, before some of you in the know start to object, this is not the same thing as something like Britain’s National Theater Live, which broadcasts live performances of stage plays to cinemas around the world, this is a full-on movie with multiple locations around the titular city and a cast of 30 – including Owen Wilson and Willie Nelson – that will be shot on one camera in one, continuous, 100-minute take and beamed out as it happens. Check out the announcement teaser:

The cinematographer crazy enough to try and pull this off is Nigel Willoughby, who shot for Penny Dreadful and Downton Abbey and the story – according to a conversation with EW – is based on a night Harrelson actually had in London which started with a broken ashtray and ended up with the actor in jail. He calls it a “soul-searching comedy.” I’m in.

The live event happens Thursday, January 19th at 9pm EST, and if you want to find out if your local multiplex is going to be streaming it, jump over here.

I know this isn’t a movie, and it’s not really the kind of TV we typically cover, but anyone who was around for the late 80s and early 90s has a soft spot for the Disney animated series Duck Tales, so I thought some of you might want to know that not only is the series coming back, but they’ve lined up an incredible cast, and to present them to you, Disney had them sing the iconic theme song. Just watch:

Yep. That’s Doctor Who and Jessica Jones alum David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck. I don’t think I would have pegged him in a million years but now that he’s got the gig, he seems like the PERFECT choice. Nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie are being voiced by Danny Pudi (Community), Ben Schwartz (House of Lies), and Bobby Moynihan (SNL), respectively, while pilot Launchpad McQuack will be brought back to life by Beck Bennett (also of SNL). Rounding out the cast are Toks Olagundoye (Castle) as Mrs. Beakley the maid and Kate Micucci (Garfunkel & Oates) as her granddaughter Webby Vanderquack. I got nostalgic as hell just typing up those names.

Your next guilty pleasure arrives Summer 2017 on Disney XD.

And in case you missed it, here’s a link to the new red band trailer for Snatched starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. It’s the perfect way to start off your weekend. Ooh, and don’t forget The OA is now streaming on Netflix. My money says it’s all people are going to be talking about on Monday. We’ll see you back here then.

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