Ben Affleck, Danny Boyle to be Honored at the 22nd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Ben Affleck and Danny Boyle will be honored at the upcoming 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). Affleck will receive the Chairman's Award while Boyle will be honored with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award. ("The Town" Movie Review)

The Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Previously announced honorees are Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Natalie Portman, David O. Russell, Diane Warren and the cast of The Social Network. The Festival runs January 6-17. ("127 Hours" movie review, and interviews with Danny Boyle and James Franco)

Here's the rest of the press release:

Commenting on Affleck, Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said, “If there is truly a renaissance man in today’s cinema, it’s Ben Affleck. He has distinguished himself as a premier writer and director, as well as an actor with a broad-ranging and impressive filmography. In his latest work, The Town, Affleck once again puts his acting, writing and directorial skills to work, in a stinging portrait of a New England town and the grip it has on generation after generation, who find it impossible to leave. For his ability to “do it all” and constantly evolve as an artist, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Ben Affleck with the 2011 Chairman’s Award.”

Commenting on Boyle, Matzner continues, “Throughout cinematic history, truly great filmmakers have never been afraid of taking risks that challenge their audiences. Danny Boyle believes that doing something different that jolts audiences out of their comfort zones, defines the essence of a filmmaker. In his latest work, 127 Hours, Boyle captures the instinct to survive in a most visceral way. For his vision, guts and boundless skills, The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Danny Boyle with the 2011 Sonny Bono Visionary Award.”

Ben Affleck will receive the Chairman’s Award. Affleck directed, co-wrote and stars in The Town, which was a hit both critically and commercially. A dramatic thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future, the film also stars Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Titus Welliver, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper. The Town has been honored by the National Board of Review (Best Ensemble Cast) and has received nominations from the Critics Choice Awards (Best Acting Ensemble), Golden Globe Awards (Best Supporting Actor for Renner) and Screen Actors Guild Awards® (Best Supporting Actor for Renner).

In addition to The Town, Affleck starred this fall in the indie feature The Company Men, with Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones. He made his directorial debut in 2007 with the feature Gone Baby Gone, for which he won several critics groups’ awards, including the Best Directorial Debut Award from the National Board of Review. Affleck first came to prominence in 1997 with the acclaimed drama Good Will Hunting, which he starred in and co-wrote with Matt Damon. The two won numerous honors for the film’s original screenplay, including an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award and the Humanitas Prize. His other film credits include Hollywoodland, Extract, He’s Just Not That Into You, State of Play, Shakespeare in Love, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Forces of Nature, Boiler Room, Changing Lanes, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil, Jersey Girl, Man About Town and Smokin’ Aces.

Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award include Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman.

Danny Boyle will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award, named after the Festival’s founder. Boyle directs 127 Hours, the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston's (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a falling boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated slot canyon in Utah. Based on the book Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, the film is written by Boyle & Simon Beaufoy. 127 Hours has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards (including Best Actor for Franco, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score), three Independent Spirit Awards (including Best Feature, Best Director and Best Male Lead for Franco) and a Screen Actors Guild Award® (for Franco as lead actor).

Boyle’s first feature, Shallow Grave, earned him the Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film at the BAFTA Awards, as well as a host of other accolades including Best Director at the San Sebastian Film Festival, The Empire Award for Best Director and Best British Film and the London Critics’ Circle Film Award for Best British Newcomer. Boyle’s second feature, Trainspotting, is one of the highest grossing British films of all time. The critically acclaimed film won four Empire Awards including Best Director and Best Film and was nominated for a BAFTA Alexander Korda Award.

In 2002 Boyle made the smash hit horror film 28 Days Later, which earned more than $80 million worldwide. The film earned Boyle a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. His other features include Millions, starring James Nesbit, Alex Etel and Lewis McGibbon; The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio; A Life Less Ordinary, starring Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz; Alien Love Triangle; and Sunshine, starring Cillian Murphy. Slumdog Millionaire, his eighth international released film, won the People’s Choice Award at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win more than 100 international industry awards including four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAs and eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Quentin Tarantino, Baz Luhrmann, M. Night Shyamalan, Gus Van Sant and Joe Wright.


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Trailer Alert: "Hanna" Starring Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett! I Can't Wait for This Film! 


Here's more info on "Hanna" from Yahoo:

Raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Logline: A 14-year-old raised by her father to be a cold-hearted killing machine must learn how to be a girl.
Genres: Drama and Thriller
Release Date: April 8th, 2011 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual material and language.
Distributors: Focus Features

Cast and Credits
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hollander, Olivia Williams
Directed by: Joe Wright
Produced by: Leslie Holleran, Marty Adelstein, Scott Nemes

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"True Grit" Movie Review -- How Many Kisses Do the Coen Brothers Get? 


The 1969 film version of "True Grit" was considered one of the quintessential westerns and was revered for John Wayne's performance. The actor won his first and only Best Actor Oscar for the role of Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn.


So when the Coen brothers announced that they were planning on remaking the film based on the novel by Charles Portis, many fans shouted in disbelief. But have no fear, the latest version of "True Grit" remains true to the book's mythic Western adventure full of vengeance and valor. Read More...

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"The King's Speech," "Another Year" Top London Critics' Circle Awards Nominations 


"The King's Speech" and "Another Year" led the London Critics' Circle Awards nominations receiving seven nods each. Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" received nominations for top categories such as film of the year, actor of the year and actress of the year. Mike Leigh's "Another Year" got top nods including the British director, British actress and British actor categories.

Winners will be announced at a gala on Feb. 10, 2011.

Here is the full list of nominees:

SKY 3D AWARD: FILM OF THE YEAR
Black Swan (Fox)
The Kids Are All Right (Universal)
The King's Speech (Momentum)
The Social Network (Sony)
Toy Story 3 (Disney)

THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
127 Hours (Warner/Pathe)
The Arbor (Verve)
Another Year (Momentum)
The King's Speech (Momentum)
Monsters (Vertigo)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Dogtooth (Verve)
I Am Love (Metrodome)
Of Gods and Men (Artificial Eye)
The Secret in Their Eyes (Metrodome)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (New Wave)

ACTOR OF THE YEAR sponsored by Narrabeen Communications
Jeff Bridges - True Grit (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network (Sony)
Colin Firth - The King's Speech (Momentum)
Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine (Optimum)
Edgar Ramirez - Carlos (Optimum)

MOËT ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right (Universal)
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone (Artificial Eye)
Natalie Portman - Black Swan (Fox)
Noomi Rapace - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Momentum)
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit (Paramount)

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR in association with Cameo Productions
Riz Ahmed - Four Lions (Optimum)
Christian Bale - The Fighter (Paramount/Momentum)
Jim Broadbent - Another Year (Momentum)
Colin Firth - The King's Speech (Momentum)
Andrew Garfield - Never Let Me Go (Fox)

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech (Momentum)
Lesley Manville - Another Year (Momentum)
Rosamund Pike - Barney's Version (Universal)
Ruth Sheen - Another Year (Momentum)
Tilda Swinton - I Am Love (Metrodome)

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
David Bradley - Another Year (Momentum)
Pierce Brosnan - The Ghost (Optimum)
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network (Sony)
Tom Hardy - Inception (Warner)
Peter Wight - Another Year (Momentum)

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Helena Bonham Carter - Alice in Wonderland (Disney)
Christine Bottomley - The Arbor (Verve)
Minnie Driver - Barney's Version (Universal)
Rosamund Pike - Made in Dagenham (Paramount)
Olivia Williams - The Ghost Writer (Optimum)

YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Jessica Barden - Tamara Drewe (Momentum)
Conor McCarron - NEDs (Entertainment One)
Will Poulter - The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox)
Saoirse Ronan - The Way Back (Entertainment One)
Thomas Turgoose - The Scouting Book for Boys (Pathe)

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Darren Aronofsky - Black Swan (Fox)
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - True Grit (Paramount)
David Fincher - The Social Network (Sony)
Christopher Nolan - Inception (Warner)
Apichatpong Weerasethakul - Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (New Wave)

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Clio Barnard - The Arbor (Verve)
Danny Boyle - 127 Hours (Warner/Pathe)
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech (Momentum)
Mike Leigh - Another Year (Momentum)
Christopher Nolan - Inception (Warner)

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg - The Kids Are All Right (Universal)
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - True Grit (Paramount)
Chris Morris, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell & Jesse Armstrong - Four Lions (Optimum)
David Seidler - The King's Speech (Momentum)
Aaron Sorkin - The Social Network (Sony)

Virgin Atlantic BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILMMAKER
Banksy - Exit Through the Gift Shop (Revolver)
Clio Barnard - The Arbor (Verve)
J Blakeson - The Disappearance of Alice Creed (CinemaNX)
Gareth Edwards - Monsters (Vertigo)
Chris Morris - Four Lions (Optimum)

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"The Social Network" Named Best Picture by Chicago Film Critics Association 


David Fincher's "The Social Network" was the big winner at the 22nd Annual Chicago Film Critics Association Awards. The film won the top prize for Best Picture, David Fincher was awarded Best Director and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was cited for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" also received multiple awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Natalie Portman scored her first critics award this year for Best Actress for "Black Swan." The Darren Aronofsky film also won Best Original Score.

I also liked that the Chicago Film Critics chose Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress for her splendid performance in "True Grit."

Full list of nominees and winners (bolded):

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winter's Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky--Black Swan
David Fincher--The Social Network
Debra Granik--Winter’s Bone
Tom Hooper--The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan--Inception

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges--True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg--The Social Network
Colin Firth--The King’s Speech
James Franco--127 Hours
Ryan Gosling--Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening--The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence--Winter’s Bone
Lesley Manville--Another Year
Natalie Portman--Black Swan
Michelle Williams--Blue Valentine

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale--The Fighter
Andrew Garfield--The Social Network
John Hawkes--Winter’s Bone
Mark Ruffalo--The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush--The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams--The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter--The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo--The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld--True Grit
Jacki Weaver--Animal Kingdom

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Black Swan--Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin
Four Lions--Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain & Chris Morris
Inception--Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right--Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech--David Seidler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Rabbit Hole--David Lindsay Abaire
The Social Network--Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3--Michael Arndt
True Grit--Joel & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone--Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan--Matthew Libatique
Inception--Wally Pfister
Shutter Island--Robert Richardson
The Social Network--Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit--Roger Deakins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Swan--Clint Mansell
I Am Love--John Adams
Inception--Hans Zimmer
The Social Network--Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
True Grit--Carter Burwell

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
The Tillman Story
Waiting for Superman

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I Am Love
Mother
A Prophet

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Armie Hammer--The Social Network
Katie Jarvis--Fish Tank
Jennifer Lawrence--Winter’s Bone
Tahar Rahim--A Prophet
Hailee Steinfeld--True Grit

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Bansky--Exit Through the Gift Shop
Derek Cianfrance--Blue Valentine
David Michod--Animal Kingdom
Aaron Schneider--Get Low
John Wells--The Company Men

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