Nominees for the 28th Annual Spirit Awards were announced today and in many of the categories, some familiar names seem to be recurring. Best Feature nominees are Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Keep The Lights On, Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook.
Sean Baker’s Starlet will receive the Robert Altman Award, given to a film’s director, casting director, and ensemble cast. Among distributors, Searchlight leads the way with nine nominations, followed by Music Box with seven and IFC Films, Focus and Sony Pictures Classics with six apiece. Winners will be announced at the ceremony on February 23.
The full list of nominees follows:
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey & Josh Penn (producers)
Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams (producers)
Keep the Lights On
Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs (producers)
Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin (producers)
Silver Linings Playbook
Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon (producers)
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
Julia Loktev, The Loneliest Planet
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
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You may have noticed that there was not a Box Office Report last week. Due to the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado the major studios made a choice to not announce any returns during the weekend, in tribute to the victims. A classy gesture that we at The Flickcast were all to willing to follow.
In any event there was a rather large Box Office event that happened last weekend, so it bears some discussion this week. The Dark Knight Rises debuted to fantastic numbers that fell short of the lofty expectations of we the prognosticators. Still, it managed to break a couple of records and come out the end of a difficult weekend with $160+ Million dollars in the bank.
Naturally people will compare this opening with that of The Avengers and The Dark Knight, and while it is in the same ball park of those two phenomenons, it failed to capture the cultural zeitgeist that propelled them to the next level.
Take this weekend’s returns as an example. The Dark Knight Rises took in another strong $64+ Million to stand number one for a second weekend, however it dropped over 60% in business from its debut frame. A number that is actually solid for a front loaded comic-book film, but is a deeper percentage dip than The Avengers or The Dark Knight ever took at any point in their respective runs.
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Wes Anderson is a fantastic filmmaker. He has a such a flare for visuals, and a knack for beautiful symmetry that is unparalleled among working directors today. However, since his style has a very distinct look and feel, he is usually on the fringes of the mainstream.
That was until the master of indy quirk joined forces with the master of main stream quirk for his next film. Deadline is reporting that Anderson just landed a very notable new star:
Johnny Depp will star in The Grand Budapest Hotel, the next film that Wes Anderson wrote and will direct. Anderson is going right back into business with his collaborators on Moonrise Kingdom, which is heading toward a $40 million gross to be among this summer’s art house hits.
It seems a rather obvious choice really, and one that is sure to excite hipsters and Depp-ites the world over. As for the rest of us it is exciting to see Anderson get some possible main stream traction, and for Depp to fall back from the blockbusters into a more interesting role.
It is not often Hollywood provides you with a win-win scenario for the filmmakers and the audience, but that seems to be what we have here.
Stay tuned to The Flickcast for the inevitable announcement of four more Pirates films to offset this arty choice for Depp.
Prometheus might have been the polarizing talking point over the weekend, but there is no debate that it made a ton of money over the weekend. Of course even it’s impressive haul was only good enough for second place in a competitive first frame for two new pictures.
Madagascar 3 came from behind after getting slightly edged on Friday with $60+ Million three-day weekend. The third film in the animated series was basically par for the course for the series, which is kind of impressive considering the general perception of the last film.
Coming in second on the weekend was the previously mentioned Ridley Scott film. Prometheus managed to top the $50 Million mark over the weekend which is a major win for the R-Rated horror/sci-fi film. Even though the film is polarizing audiences, its financial success is a win for fans of thought-provoking and edgy sci-fi.
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I originally was going to write that Moonrise Kingdom was, at 94 minutes, among Wes Anderson’s shortest films, but after researching the running times of his previous work, it actually is right in the middle–shorter than The Life Aquatic (119 minutes) and The Royal Tenenbaums (109 minutes), but longer than Rushmore (93 minutes) and Bottle Rocket (92).
I think the difference is in the pacing (though all of Anderson’s films seem longer to me when they’re not on the big screen), because it didn’t feel lagging at any point. As good as Bottle Rocket and Rushmore are, I felt both started strong and then quickly slowed down, only to start rolling again in the third act. Moonrise is funny, engaging, and delightful all throughout.
The time is 1965, the place is a secluded New England island where the narrator (Bob Balaban) gives us a quick rundown of its history and the typical way of life–nothing much happens, and the mail is flown in every so often via waterplane. The inhabitants are the Bishops: Walt (Bill Murray), Laura (Frances McDormand), their sons, and their daughter Suzy (Kara Hayward); and the Khaki Scouts, something like the Junior Woodchucks but without the guidebook.
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There aren’t that many current directors who have a laser-pointed style that can be seen from a mile away. Thankfully, Wes Anderson is one of those directors. You can spot a film like The Royal Tenenbaums or Life Aquatic from space and know that they came from the retro dreams of Anderson. Now, he’s at it again.
This time, in his film Moonrise Kingdom, he’s adding new names like Ed Norton, Frances McDormand, and Bruce Willis to his regular cast of players that includes Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Take a look at the fantastically twisted premise below.
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, MOONRISE KINGDOM tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader.
The flick is set to hit theaters on May 25th, and you better believe that Anderson is going to pull out the stops with his indie band connections for what should be a stellar soundtrack. Take a look at the trailer after the jump.
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