In DEMOLITION, a successful investment banker, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two strangers form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), shot by Yves Bélanger (Brooklyn, Lawrence Anyways).


Netflix has released the trailer for Beasts Of No Nation, and so their Oscar campaign begins. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation is based on the book by Uzodinma Iweala. It tells the tale of an African child soldier (Abraham Attah) who is taught to fight in the country’s civil war by a monstrous warlord (played by Idris Elba).

Beasts Of No Nation premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will screen at the Telluride Film Festival.

Elba is winning rave reviews for his role. The film is released on October 16 on Netflix and will have a limited cinematic release.


The new offical U.S trailer for Macbeth has arrived, teasing epic battles. Michael Fassbender plays the menacing Macbeth and Marion Cotillard plays his scheming Lady Macbeth. Filmed on the Scottish Highlands, the trailer gives us a look at the misty, dark, and bloody epic with more scenes of Macbeth on the battlefield as his Lady watches and schemes.

Check out the intense new trailer released by The Weinstein Company today:

The first trailer for The Danish Girl has arrived. Oscar Winner Eddie Redmayne plays Einar Wegener, a Danish born artist who was born a man and undergoes a series of sex reassignment surgeries in Germany, as she realizes she is a woman.
Set in the 1930’s, Wegener changes her name to Lili Elbe. Alicia Vikander plays Gerda, Elbe’s spouse who stands by Lili. “I believe that I am a woman.” Redmayne tells his wife in the trailer. “I believe it too.” She responds supporting him.

The Danish Girl is directed by Tom Hooper. The film will have its world premiere in Venice on September 5 and will be released on November 27 in the US.

Watch Redmanye’s transformation below.



Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.


From Sasha’s review of Youth at Cannes in May:

Paolo Sorrentino just hit it out of the park here at Cannes, delivering what has to be the most compelling screening of everything I’ve seen here thus far with the possible exception of Carol. When it finally came to an end, the audience sat in stunned silence until at last the screen went totally dark… Both Caine and Keitel give career-best performances. One or the other is headed for the Best Actor race. Jane Fonda has a powerhouse few minutes on screen that could earn her an Oscar nomination as well, but with Fox Searchlight in the driver’s seat expect this film — catnip for Academy voters — to be represented in all of the major categories and perhaps to become a frontrunner to win.

This is a film of big ideas of the human experience, certainly among the most profound. Why are people so afraid of human touch? is one of the questions it examines. Is love meant to last? is another. It’s about show business, creativity, inspiration, but mostly about the eternal conflict between aging and youth. We have such power of attraction when we’re young but we often don’t learn how to properly wield that power till we’re old. The film is emphatic about its realization that we’re alive until we aren’t. It doesn’t matter whether that existence is important or insignificant, this universal truth remains.

From Paolo Sorrentino, the internationally renowned writer and director of Italy’s Oscar-winning foreign language film The Great Beauty, comes YOUTH – a poignant tale of how we each find our own passion in life. Starring Academy Award winner Michael Caine as Fred and Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel as Mick, YOUTH explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. While Fred has no plans to resume his musical career despite the urging of his loving daughter Lena (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz), Mick is intent on finishing the screenplay for what may be his last important film for his muse Brenda (Academy Award winner Jane Fonda). And where will inspiration lead their younger friend Jimmy (Paul Dano), an actor grasping to make sense of his next performance? Set against a sprawling landscape of unforgettable sights and intoxicating music, YOUTH asks if our most important and life-changing experiences can come at any time – even late – in life. YOUTH will open in theaters December 4, 2015

youth poster

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This looks pretty great all the way around, I have to admit. Someone seems to have finally put Matt Damon’s sense of humor to good use. Can it possibly be as good as its trailer? Written by the hard working Drew Goddard whose list of credits includes Alias and Lost, among other things, seems to have the thing well under hand here. The film has a release date of October 2, which you dear readers should recognize as the Sweet Spot when it comes to releasing “Oscar movies.”


The first trailer for Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe as Igor and James McAvoy as Frankenstein has been unveiled by 20th Century Fox.

You know the story, Doctor Frankenstein creates a monster and it all goes wrong. After 70 previous incarnations on film, Paul McGuigan directs a version of Mary Shelley’s classic that plays on the dynamics between the crazed doctor and his faithful sidekick Igor.

Watch the trailer below:


As promising as the gloss critics had already given Straight Outta Compton, the multi-faceted bio-pic of rap group N.W.A. achieved something else this weekend that can only add to its sheen. Exceeding Universal’s best expectations, the first box-office estimates yesterday were in $56 million range — and today that amazing number was revised upwards to $60.2 mil. This places Straight Outta Compton in the top 5 best August openings of all time. (Guardians of the Galaxy and Bourne Ultimatum hold the #1 and #2 August records). With a rock-solid Cinemascore of ‘A’, Straight Outta Compton has vaulted to prominence with a reverberating thump of undeniable Oscar heat, as witnessed by a packed Academy screening yesterday that “drew a massive crowd and overwhelmingly favorable response,” according to reports from THR. I posted the red-band trailer back in February but I suppose we had more urgent things on our minds because 6 months ago it was greeted by crickets. Give a listen to Sasha and Jeff who were on the case for Straight Outta Compton in their recent return of OscarPoker.

I’m seeing Straight Outta Compton this afternoon. Meanwhile, a repost of the trailer.


Todd Haynes’ period piece, Carol received a lot of enthusiastic praise when it screened earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival. The first trailer for the film has emerged showing Cate Blanchett as a woman in a loveless marriage who falls for a department store worker played by Mara Rooney.

The Weinstein Company are set to release the film on November 20. It’s based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 romance novel, The Price Of Salt, which created a sensation in its day, defying the mid-century pulp formula by allowing a same-sex couple to find happiness.

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The Year of the Man marches on with Bradley Cooper in Burnt. Oh look, there’s Emma Thompson propping him up – and look, there’s Siena Miller helping him out. I kid. I’m sure it has to be better than this trailer because it was picked up the Weinstein Co. and their instincts are usually spot on. Also, it may be about a man but women audiences will eat this up like candy.

Chef Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) had it all – and lost it. A two-star Michelin rockstar with the bad habits to match, the former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene did everything different every time out, and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive Michelin star though, he’ll need the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). BURNT is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

The successful career of 1940s screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) comes to a crushing end when he and other Hollywood figures are blacklisted for their political beliefs. TRUMBO (directed by Jay Roach) tells the story of his fight against the U.S. government and studio bosses in a war over words and freedom, which entangled everyone in Hollywood from Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren) and John Wayne to Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger.

We want this movie to find a proper place at the Oscars just because we like to think about how Dalton Trumbo would be amused and appalled at the idea of his life story being Oscar-friendly. The same way Dalton Trumbo would be amused and appalled to see a top Google search result lead to a right-wing rag that says, “So Hollywood will be producing yet another movie about how the courageous and freedom-loving Communists fought the blacklist in the film industry” — and call the whole thing a “myth.” The same way he’d be amused and appalled by the internet itself and everything on it, and the way he’d be amused and appalled by today’s America and everything in it.



This tingle I feel from Louder than Bombs is overshadowed somewhat by the bummer of realizing the 50-second teaser is better than almost every movie at the All-American multiplex right now. So imagine the gloom-clouded thrill I get from these 5 minutes of clips.

An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently.

Directed by Joachim Trier. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne and Amy Ryan. Cinematographer Jakob Ihre also shot Trier’s haunting character study Oslo, August 31st. Louder than Bombs is the 3rd collaboration between the director and co-writer Eskil Vogt.

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A film featuring female characters in all the lead roles, About Ray tells the story of a transgendered teen going through transition. Naomi Watts as her mother, Susan Sarandon as her grandmother. Directed by Gaby Dellal.

We saw the images and we roughly know the plot. Here is the trailer for a film that looks straight out of the 1970s — in Ken Russell territory. Will it be well received or universally panned? We will wait and see but one thing we can know for sure is that writer/director/star Angelina Jolie does not shy away from scenes of hitting and slapping and slapping and hitting… hat tip to Rope of Silicon. Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 10.21.03 AM

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Roland Emmerich’s passion project Stonewall finally arrives after years of struggle. Jeremy Irvine leads a fantastic cast that includes Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful), Ron Perlman, Joey King, Matt Craven, and Caleb Landry Jones.

STONEWALL is a drama about a fictional young man caught up during the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) is forced to leave behind friends and loved ones when he is kicked out of his parent’s home and flees to New York. Alone in Greenwich Village, homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the local watering hole The Stonewall Inn; however, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe-haven. As Danny and his friends experience discrimination, endure atrocities and are repeatedly harassed by the police, we see a rage begin to build. This emotion runs through Danny and the entire community of young gays, lesbians and drag queens who populate the Stonewall Inn and erupts in a storm of anger. With the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born.

Several collaborators contribute to the evocative atmosphere, notably Vincent Gingras-Liberali’s production design, and German cinematographer Markus Förderer who first got my attention in 2011 with his shimmering work on Hell. Trailer’s mood music: “Pardon My Reflection” by Motion, and “Hard Time” by Seinabo Sky. Stonewall opens September 25.

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His accent is spot on. Johnny Depp could go toe to toe with his Gilbert Grape/Basketball Diaries co-star Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor. You can’t really win an Oscar if you’re too good looking. The best looking actors have to ugly themselves up in order to get taken seriously by the Academy for some reason. Admittedly, making Johnny Depp not pretty is no easy feat but he is a chameleon and seems to have transformed himself to unrecognizable yet again. Director Scott Cooper is better with directing than he is with writing and this comes from a script by Mark Mallouk and Jez butterworth (Get on Up, Fair Game).

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Indiewire’s Ryan Lattanzio reports that Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation could be headed to the Oscar race now that is has gotten a theatrical release date. They are doing the HBO dance of giving the pic a theatrical release alongside its streaming World Premiere:

Netflix is partnering with indie film distributor Bleecker Street and exhibitor Landmark to release the film day-and-date on Friday, October 16, 2015 in 19 markets. Clearly, awards are in view and theatrical is needed to achieve that. The film has already booked a Venice competition premiere, followed by a Canadian premiere in Toronto. Which means we should expect “Beasts” to pop up in the secret Telluride lineup.

It’s a clever way to change up the game, much the way Netflix did with House of Cards’ first season. The idea was to de-stigmatize Netflix’s original content programming, which it aced without breaking a sweat. Now, in order to satisfy the bizarre shifting landscape of television looming large over much of the feature film market (that’s where the audiences are now) Netflix is once again bridging the gap and de-stigmatizing their brand and the idea of VOD as a kind of legit platform for Oscar consideration.

In other words, this is as close as anyone has yet come to making the Oscars consider “television” or VOD in the feature film world. HBO does the same every year with its documentaries. They drive up their own profits by giving the film its needed theatrical release to qualify for awards. That helps publicize it by the time it hits HBO airwaves. Now, Netflix will do the same and you can imagine the publicity potential for the film if it gets anywhere near the Kodak.

To change the game they need a big name. They had Fincher for House of Cards and now they have Cary Fukunaga whose name is gold right now amid critics and voters. This would then open doors to other companies – theoretically Amazon or even HBO (who could have done that with Soderbergh’s Candelabra for instance).

As Lattanzio notes, “Earlier this year, AMC, Regal, Carmike and Cinemark dug their heels, stating they would not show the film without a 90-day window between its theatrical and streaming premieres.


Oh man, I can’t wait for this film. It gave me chills up and down my spine watching the trailer. It also appears as though someone is really using Brie Larson to full capacity finally. She’s mostly been cast so far in supporting parts that waste what this girl can really do. She is so talented, so willing to go there emotionally and in every other way. Take a look at Room, which is likely headed to Telluride and will probably put Larson in the league with the other (short list) of women for this year’s Best Actress race:



There are two films involving the Boston Globe this year. Black Mass, about Whitey Bulger and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. If you split Martin Scorsese into two films you have would each of these stories. Here is Spotlight’s trailer.

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