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Entries in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (8)

Friday
Jan122018

Interview: Jamie Bell on falling in love with Annette Bening and his "Billy Elliot" reunion

by Nathaniel R

Jamie Bell has been famous since he was 14 years old. His debut film Billy Elliott (2000) about a young boy who discovers a passion for dancing that puts him at odds with his blue-collar community, became a global sensation. The charming film earned over $100 million (on a $5 million budget), received 3 Oscar nominations multiple BAFTAs, and eventually spawned a similarly popular stage musical which took yet more prizes.

The film also earned its young star the BAFTA for Best Actor in February of 2001. And, seventeen years later, here we are again. Jamie Bell is BAFTA nominated for Best Actor for his latest movie Film Stars Don't Die In Liverpool. The romantic drama, now in limited release, is about the last days of Oscar winner Gloria Grahame's (Annette Bening) life and the young unknown actor Peter Turner (Jamie Bell) she falls in love with, and whose life she essentially takes over moving into his parents home (where they're both mothered by Julie Walter). 

I had the opportunity to speak with Jamie Bell a few times this season at events which was a gift since the actor is so charming and his talent somehow still undervalued 17 years later. Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool should change that as his best performance yet. Our interview is after the jump..

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Tuesday
Jan092018

"Darkest Hour" Joins the Fray at BAFTA 

by Nathaniel R

Nomination leaders: Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Three Billboards, Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049

Though The Shape of Water (12 nominations) and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (9 nominations) continued their stamped across precursor season as the (probable) films to beat come Oscar night, Darkest Hour finally made a significant awards mark. The Joe Wright helmed World War II Winston Churchill drama really should have started its theatrical run in October in the US to build steam but perhaps it wasn't too late if the BAFTA nominations convince Academy voters this week to check the film out before completing their ballots. The other nomination leaders were Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk (with 8 nominations each). Other major Oscar contenders had to settle for less. I Tonya continued its Nathaniel-defying (argh!) upward trajectory this awards season with 5 nominations beating out previously more ballyhooed prestige competition like Call Me By Your Name (4 noms), Lady Bird (3 noms) and Get Out (2 noms).

But the biggest loser this morning in terms of nominations is Steven Spielberg's The Post which received not a single nomination. That also happened to it at the SAG nominations, this complete shut-out. Most pundits don't seem to think it's in trouble but wouldn't any other film shut out completely from SAG and BAFTA be considered "in trouble" for Oscar nods? Is its Mecha-Bait 'done-deal-on-paper' status working against it in this new more volatile "what makes a movie an Oscar movie?" era of voting? It's surely food for thought if you'd like to nibble in the comments.

Phantom Thread with 4 nominations and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool with 3 nominations also did better than expected this morning. Full list of nominations with commentary for each category is after the jump...

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Wednesday
Nov012017

BIFA Nominations: Lady Macbeth and Three Billboards Boosts

by Nathaniel R

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool received 4 nominationsHot on the heels of the Gotham Awards, the British Independent Film Awards have announced their 2017 nominations. Though they don't tend to get much press in the US due to the the first two words in their title, they're worth noting. And, we'd argue, they're worth noting precisely for their limited jurisdiction. Awards groups with their own identity / purview are all too rare. Lady Macbeth led the field (15 nominations) with gay romantic drama God's Own Country (11 nominations), political satire The Death of Stalin (13 nominations), I Am Not a Witch (12 nominations) and one big tragicomedy Oscar hopeful Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (11 nominations) also super popular

I think the nomination I'm happiest to see (just because it was no sure thing) is Jamie Bell in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool for Best Actor. He's just brilliant in the film as I've mentioned before but it's the type of role -- nuanced / romantic / skewing "feminine" in its appeal -- for which male actors are rarely honored no matter how good they are. The complete list of nominees is after the jump...

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Monday
Oct302017

London Film Festival: Roundup and Oscar Chances

Pivotally positioned in October, the BFI London Film Festival boasts the distinction of having some of the most feted films of the year, champions newcomers and not without its stalwart festival curiosities. On the ground this year was Film Experience contributor Seán McGovern who saw only a fraction of the films on offer, but nonetheless a taste of potential Oscar contenders.

Call Me By Your Name
Worried that I would be tranquillised by the hype, I nonetheless could not resist it. Yes, it's a film about gorgeous people of immense privilege, but who can dismiss how hard it is to successfully capture the furtive horniness and confused intensity of young love? Timothée Chalamet's Elio teeters between brazenness and vulnerability, and Armie Hammer captures a strange aloofness that is hard to do on screen. It actually made me want to have children - just so I could grow up and be Micheal Stuhlbarg.

Oscar chancesDirector, Picture, Best Actor (Chalamet), Supporting Actor(s) (Hammer, Stuhlbarg), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score. Whether Academy voters embrace two LGBT films in a row is another thing.

 Six more films after the jump...

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Saturday
Oct142017

Brief Takes: Blade Runners, Tennis Stars, Feisty Queens, Fish Men

In an effort to break out of my silence -- October is my favorite month so why has it been so hard? -- micro thoughts on 5 Oscar hopefuls I meant to review but didn't. Whoops. Please to discuss in the comments.

Battle of the Sexes (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
The story of Billie Jean King's (Emma Stone) famous 1973 match with Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and her efforts to make women's tennis viable in a sexist industry

Capsule
: A timely well-crafted look back to the beginnings of a gender war that's depressingly still raging and a soupçon of queer romance to give it unique personality. Dayton & Faris's light touch is the right choice for this briskly-paced but delicately felt recreation of a pivotal American moment. Emma Stone is perfection as the heroic tight shouldered athlete at the center. Just discussed on the podcast. B+
Oscar Chances: This one could go either way. Much will depend on how smart Fox Searchlight is at selling it to voters. Though maybe don't bet against Emma Stone returning to Best Actress; she's very burrowed into King's skin but still as sunny as Emma Stone.

Blade Runner 2049, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, Victoria and Abdul and the Shape of Water are after the jump

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Tuesday
Sep122017

TIFF: Jamie Bell, Daniela Vega, and Donald Sutherland

our ongoing TIFF adventures

Helen Mirren & Donald Sutherland at the Leisure Seekers premiereI've hit a brick wall here on Day 5 for which I blame the parties of days 1 through 4... or rather my eagerness to attend them. As with most week-plus long festivals much of the press and industry vanishes after the first half of the fest so... grab the free drinks, scrumptious eats, and celebrity chatter while you can. Saturday night's Sony Pictures Classics dinner presented the opportunity to congratulate Donald Sutherland on his Honorary win. Which I took don'cha know...

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