Film News In Five: Mon 4 Nov 2013

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FILMS IN FIVE rounds up the hottest news of the movie world this week…. 

1 Exciting movie fans this week is a British film called PHILOMENA which has been released in cinemas across Europe (due for US release on 27 Nov) and is said to be pulling on heartstrings in a big way. According to the Belfast Telegraph (they’re loving it over there as it was shot in Ireland), it’s reducing grown men to tears. “Cinemagoers are finding themselves laughing and crying in equal measure during the emotional 92-minute film” says reporter Amanda Ferguson. It looks to be a tear-jerker for sure, relating the true story of an unmarried Irish Catholic woman (played by Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench) who embarks on a search to find her son. Directed by STEPHEN FREARS (High Fidelity, The Queen), and written by (and starring) STEVE COOGAN and JEFF POPE, the movie’s already scooped up Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival. Rotten Tomatoes has given it 94%.

2 Director WOODY ALLEN is pushing for a new category in the Oscars – for casting directors. He wrote an open letter to the Hollywood Reporter showing his support for a campaign to get casting directors added to the list of Academy Awards. Moviefone reports that Allen wrote how he owes “a big part of the success of my films to this scrupulous casting process”, and admits that although the process of finding the right person for a role is absolutely essential – especially to the success of character-led, quirky films like his – it does tend to “bore and embarrass” him. So- thank god for good casting directors who spare him the job!

3 Sci-fi adventure flick, ENDER’S GAME has gone OFF at the US Box Office, taking in nearly $30 million (AUD) in its opening weekend and scoring the No.1 spot. The hotly anticipated action movie is based on a novel by ORSON SCOTT CARD and stars ASA BUTTERFIELD and HARRISON FORD as intergalactic soldiers. Since the book’s publication in 1985, Card has shied away from the numerous options from Hollywood studios to produce a film, due to concerns over maintaining the integrity to his vision. He later decided to screen-write the film himself and teamed up with director GAVIN HOOD, who has spent time in the military, having been drafted at age 17.

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4  Nelson Mandela (and family)’s reactions to autobiographical movie, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM were reported in a news conference this week. The film’s producer, ANANT SINGH, revealed that Mandela was amused by the elaborate makeup process actor IDRIS ELBA went through to play him (which took up to 5 hours). Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi, said she had found it to be an emotional viewing but was pleased that the film touched on her father’s traditional values of hierarchy, structure and discipline. Mandela’s second wife, Winnie (from whom he’s now divorced) was apparently delighted with it. ‘‘It’s beautiful. Don’t change anything. I love it,’’ were her reported words to the producer.

5  LEONARDO DICAPRIO surprised guests at the world restoration premiere of Rebel Without a Cause by turning up to speak on behalf of an absent MARTIN SCORSESE. The restoration of old, classic movies is an ongoing project spearheaded by The Film Foundation which Scorsese founded in 1990. Rebel marks the tenth restoration collaboration between The Film Foundation and Gucci.Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 12.15.31

On Saturday night, LACMA and Gucci hosted the museum’s annual Art+Film Gala to honour Scorsese and David Hockney. Check out pics here. 

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