Robert Duvall, Alejandro González Iñárritu to Be Honored at Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Palm Springs, CA (December 19, 2014) – The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(PSIFF) will present Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall with the Icon Award and Academy Award-nominated director Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award for Birdman at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Richard Linklater, Julianne Moore, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons, Reese Witherspoon and the cast of The Imitation Game. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.

“Robert Duvall gives an outstanding and amazingly realistic performance as Judge Joseph Palmer in The Judge,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “This is sure to be remembered in his long listof iconic character roles, including Tom Hagen in The Godfather films, Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove, Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies, Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now, The Apostle and so many others. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present this year's Icon Award to Robert Duvall.” Duvall received the festival's Career Achievement Award in 2011. Past recipients of the Icon Award include Michael Douglas and Meryl Streep.

The Judge pairs acting heavyweights Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. in this poignant drama from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. Big city lawyer Hank Palmer(Downey) returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. A Big Kid Pictures/Team Downey production, the film is directed by David Dobkin and produced by Susan Downey, Dobkin and David Gambino. The screenplay is by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, story by Dobkin & Schenk.

Over the last 50 years, Duvall's singular performances have made him one of the most respected actors working today. His numerous awards and nominations include an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Actor in Tender Mercies and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Apocalypse Now.

Duvall's other film credits include To Kill a Mockingbird, True Grit, Joe Kidd, M*A*S*H, The Conversation,Network, The Natural, Colors, Days Of Thunder, Rambling Rose, WrestlingErnest Hemingway, A Civil Action, Get Low, Crazy Heart and Jack Reacher, among many others. As a filmmaker, he directed, produced wrote and starred in The Apostle and Assassination Tango.

Commenting on Alejandro G. Iñárritu receiving PSIFF's Director of the Year Award, his second win in the category, Matzner said, “By creating the illusion that the film was shot in one take anddirecting award-worthy performances by Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone and a star-studded cast, Iñárritu has created a brilliant and original dark comedy in Birdman. The Festival is delighted to once again present Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award.”

Iñárritu received the festival's Director of the Year Award in 2007 for Babel and received the FIPRESCI prize in 2001 for Amores Perros. Past recipients of the award include Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Robert Zemeckis (Flight), Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), David O. Russell (The Fighter), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), Sean Penn (Into the Wild) and Alexander Payne (Sideways).

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. The Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises film is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Lindsay Duncan, Merritt Wever, Jeremy Shamos, Bill Camp and Damian Young.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu's feature films, including Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel and Biutiful, have garnered critical acclaim worldwide, receiving a total of 12 Oscar nominations in different categories, including Best Picture and Best Director; a Best Picture Golden Globe; and a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Film. Iñárritu's next film will be The Revenant, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Kate Winslet.

The Awards Gala of the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. The City of Palm Springs is the Title Sponsor of the Film Festival. Presenting Sponsors are Wells Fargo, The Desert Sun and Spencer's. Major sponsors are Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Wessman Development, Bank of America, Wintec, Regal Entertainment Group, Ignition Creative, Desert Regional Medical Center, Windermere Real Estate, Eisenhower Medical Center, Guthy-Renker, Integrated Wealth Management, VisitGreaterPalmSprings.com, Ocean Properties, Chihuly and Telefilm Canada.Palm Springs, CA (December 19, 2014) – The 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival(PSIFF) will present Academy Award-winning actor Robert Duvall with the Icon Award and Academy Award-nominated director Alejandro G. Iñárritu with the Director of the Year Award for Birdman at its annual Awards Gala. The Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees Richard Linklater, Julianne Moore, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Redmayne, J.K. Simmons, Reese Witherspoon and the cast of The Imitation Game. Presented by Cartier, and hosted by Mary Hart, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-12.

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Oscar Shortlist: Best Foreign Films! Academy Says Goodbye to "Two Days, One Night," "Mommy" 


Cannes winners "Mommy" by Xavier Dolan and Nuri Bilge's "Winter Sleep" were snubbed, so was Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne's "Two Days, One Night." But what remained are still exemplary foreign language films.

The Academy has whittled down the list and came up with nine films to choose from. We'll find out on January 15th which of these nine movies will advance to the final five!

Here's the complete press release from the Academy:

LOS ANGELES, CA – Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 87th Academy Awards®. Eighty-three films had originally been considered in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Argentina, "Wild Tales," Damián Szifrón, director;

Estonia, "Tangerines," Zaza Urushadze, director;

Georgia, "Corn Island," George Ovashvili, director;

Mauritania, "Timbuktu," Abderrahmane Sissako, director;

Netherlands, "Accused," Paula van der Oest, director;

Poland, "Ida," Paweł Pawlikowski, director;

Russia, "Leviathan," Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;

Sweden, "Force Majeure," Ruben Östlund, director;

Venezuela, "The Liberator," Alberto Arvelo, director.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2014 are being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 15. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the category’s five nominees by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and, for the first time, London. They will spend Friday, January 9, through Sunday, January 11, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The Oscars® will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

# # #

ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards—in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners — the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.

FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars
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Movie Reviews: “Annie” & “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” 


Two big movies to choose from this weekend, we have “Annie” for musical fans and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” for those who love epics! Is “Annie” worthy of the beloved musical? Is the final “Hobbit” the best of the bunch? Which one is my pick of the week? Find out below in my movie reviews of “Annie” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.”



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Canceled! No More "The Interview"...For Now! 


The hackers have officially won! Sony cancelled "The Interview" across America! Take a look at their press release below:

In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.

Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.


But truth be told, you're not missing much! Unless you are really, really dying to see Kim Jong-un's head explode, much of the comedy in "The Interview" are hit and miss, more misses than hits. But it's sad that a studio must kowtow to external pressures for a release of the film. I wonder what Seth Rogen and James Franco are saying about this developing story.

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London Film Critics Love "Mr. Turner," "Birdman" 


Mike Leigh's J.M.W. Turner biopic, "Mr. Turner," topped the nominations for the London Film Critics Circle. The film about the English Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker played by Timothy Spall received 7 nods followed by Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman" with 6. We'll find out the winners on January 18.

Here's the complete list of London Film Critics Circle nominees:

Film of the Year
"Birdman"
"Boyhood"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Ida"
"Leviathan"
"Mr. Turner"
"Nightcrawler"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Under the Skin"
"Whiplash"

Foreign Language Film of the Year
"Ida"
"Leviathan"
"Norte, The End of History"
"Two Days, One Night"
"Winter Sleep"

British Film of the Year
"The Imitation Game"
"Mr. Turner"
"Pride"
"The Theory of Everything"
"Under the Skin"

Documentary of the Year
"CITIZENFOUR"
"Manakamana"
"Next Goal Wins"
"Night Will Fall"
"20,000 Days on Earth"

Actor of the Year
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"

Actress of the Year
Marion Cotillard, "Two Days, One Night"
Essie Davis, "The Babadook"
Scarlett Johansson, "Under the Skin"
Julianne Moore, "Maps to the Stars"
Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"

Supporting Actor of the Year
Riz Ahmed, "Nightcrawler"
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"
Edward Norton, "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"
JK Simmons, "Whiplash"

Supporting Actress of the Year
Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Marion Bailey, "Mr. Turner"
Jessica Chastain, "A Most Violent Year"
Agata Kulesza, "Ida"
Emma Stone, "Birdman"

British Actor of the Year
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
Tom Hardy, "Locke," "The Drop"
Jack O'Connell, "Starred Up," "'71" and "Unbroken"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"

British Actress of the Year
Emily Blunt, "Into the Woods" and "Edge of Tomorrow"
Felicity Jones, "The Theory of Everything"
Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game," Begin Again" and "Say When"
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, "Belle"
Rosamund Pike, "Gone Girl" and "What We Did on Our Holiday"

Young British Performer of the Year
Daniel Huttlestone, "Into the Woods"
Alex Lawther, "The Imitation Game"
Corey McKinley, "'71"
Will Poulter, "The Maze Runner" and "Plastic"
Saoirse Ronan, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"

Director of the Year
Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Jonathan Glazer, "Under the Skin"
Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Mike Leigh, "Mr. Turner"

Screenwriter of the Year
Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel "
Damien Chazelle, "Whiplash"
Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler"
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo, "Birdman"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"

Breakthrough British Filmmaker
Hossein Amini, "The Two Faces of January"
Elaine Constantine, "Northern Soul"
Yann Demange, "'71"
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, "20,000 Days on Earth"
James Kent, "Testament of Youth"

Technical Achievement
"'71," Chris Wyatt, editing
"Birdman," Emmanuel Lubezki, cinematography
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," Joe Letteri, visual effects
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," Adam Stockhausen, production design
"Inherent Vice," Mark Bridges, costumes
"Leviathan," Mikhail Krichman, cinematography
"Mr. Turner," Dick Pope, cinematography
"A Most Violent Year," Kasia Walicka-Maimone, costumes
"Under the Skin," Mica Levi, score
"Whiplash," Tom Cross, editing

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