March 13, 2013 | Posted by Linda Ge
Unknown 25 year old British actor Dimitri Leonidas has been cast in WWII heist thriller “The Monuments Men” by director George Clooney, according to Variety. Leonidas will join an all-star cast that includes Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin and Clooney himself.
Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov wrote the script based on the true story of the Monuments Men, American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others who raced against the clock to track down hidden stashes of invaluable art pieces which Hitler and the Nazi regime stole, deemed “degenerate” and intended to destroy. Filming is now underway in Europe.
Leonidas has been acting steadily on British television for several years, including a guest spot on “Doctor Who” and the recent “Sinbad” miniseries, and appeared in 2010 ancient Rome war epic “Centurion” with Michael Fassbender and Imogen Poots. His last big screen appearance was in last year’s indie paranormal coming of age tale “Animals.”
October 29, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
George Clooney is stepping back behind the camera for his follow-up to political thriller “The Ides of March” and this time he’s assembled an even more A-list cast in front of the camera. For the WWII set drama “The Monuments Men”, Clooney will also star, alongside Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.
Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov wrote the script based on the true story of the Monuments Men, American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others who raced against the clock to track down hidden stashes of invaluable art pieces which Hitler and the Nazi regime stole, deemed “degenerate” and intended to destroy. Filming begins on March 1st in Europe.
Dujardin, who beat Clooney’s “The Descendants” performance for the Best Actor Oscar last year for his completely silent work in “The Artist”, is already quite known in his native France particularly for his roles in James Bond spoof films “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” and “OSS 117: Lost in Rio”, though he’s certainly getting a well-deserved introudction to American audiences now. Since his Oscar win, he has been cast and is currently filming opposite Leonardo Dicaprio in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
June 29, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Awards, Lists
Another year, another opportunity for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – so often called stodgy, old and conservative – to get some fresh new blood. Every year, around 150-200 new “artists and executives” in the industry are invited to become members. Last year’s new members included recent nominees Jesse Eisenebrg, Rooney Mara and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Mila Kunis, Anthony Mackie and Mia Wasikowska, and this year’s list is similarly filled with some of our favorite up and comers and recent breakout stars. Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, both Oscar nominated for “The Help” last year, have invites, as do “The Artist” duo Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo. Comedians and Oscar nominees Jonah Hill and Melissa McCarthy are new Academy members as well, and will help determine the nominees and winners of all future Academy Awards, starting in 2013.
Beverly Hills, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is extending invitations to join the organization to 176 artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures. Those who accept the invitation will be the only additions in 2012 to the Academy’s roster of members.
“These film professionals represent some of the most talented, most passionate contributors to our industry,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “I’m glad to recognize that by calling each of them a fellow Academy member.”
Voting membership in the organization has now held steady at just under 6,000 members since 2003.
The 2012 invitees are:
June 18, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Australian actress Margot Robbie was a real breakout star of ABC’s ill-fated and short lived series “Pan Am”, and it looks like she may get a shot at an even bigger career boost now that she’s no longer committed to returning to the show for season 2. Deadline reports Robbie is in talks to take the female lead in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” opposite Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler and Jean Dujardin. Earlier today it was reported Broadway’s “Once” star Cristin Milioti has also landed a role in the film, though it appears that role is secondary to Robbie’s.
Dicaprio will star as Jordan Belfort in the film based on Belfort’s own memoir, which detailed his rise and fall as a tycoon on Wall Street, coupled with a party-hard lifestyle that included drug and alcohol abuse, cheating on his wife and more illegal activities that ultimately sent him to jail for 22 months. Hill will play his best friend and Dujardin a shady Swiss banker associate. Chandler will be the FBI agent who takes him down. Milioti will play his first wife Denise, while Robbie’s role is Nadine, his second wife and a former model with (as Belfort claims) addiction issues of her own.
Robbie was a series regular for three seasons on famous Australian soap “Neighbours”, which has also exported the likes of rising stars Rhys Wakefield, Caitlin Stasey and Ryan Corr, before landing the lead in ABC’s much hyped but short lived 1960s drama “Pan Am.” She is currently filming a supporting role in Richard Curtis’ time travel romantic comedy “About Time” starring Rachel McAdams.
June 18, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Tony nomination down, is Oscar next? Variety reports Broadway’s “Once” star Cristin Milioti, who recently earned a Tony nomination for her role in the musical based on the indie movie, has joined the cast of Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Leonardo Dicaprio stars in the Wall St. drama and is joined by Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler and recent Oscar winner Jean Dujardin.
Milioti will play the first wife of Dicaprio’s Jordan Belfort, financial wunderkind by day, party-hard drug user and boiler room runner. Hill is on board to play Belfort’s best friend, who is persuaded into going into shady business with him, Dujardin a Swiss banker involved with laundering money into said business, and Chandler the FBI agent building the case that would ultimately bring about his downfall. Milioti will play Belfort’s first wife, who is devoted to her husband and their children and suffers the humiliation of his many infidelities.
Filming is set to begin this summer in New York, which will allow Milioti to continue her role as The Girl in “Once.” She’s primarily a theatre actress but has also appeared in various guest starring roles on TV, including “The Sopranos”, “The Good Wife” and “30 Rock.”
June 14, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
Making the most of his post Oscar win high, French actor Jean Dujardin has landed a whopper of an American film debut. Variety reports “The Artist” star has sign on for a role in Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”, joining Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill and Kyle Chandler.
Dicaprio is set to play former Wall Street wunderkind Jordan Belfort and the film is based on Belfort’s own memoirs: “By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sank a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited for him at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius.” Hill plays Belfort’s best friend who gets talked into becoming his business partner, while Chandler signed on to play an FBI agent building the case to bring Belfort down. Dujardin, who only learned English last year in order to promote “The Artist”, will play a Swiss banker involved with laundering money for Belfort’s company.
Dujardin, already quite known in his native France particularly for his roles in James Bond spoof films “OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies” and “OSS 117: Lost in Rio”, won the Best Actor Oscar a few months ago in an upset over Hollywood icons including Brad Pitt and George Clooney for his completely silent performance in “The Artist.” He is also attached to indie French/American co-production “Mobius.”
February 25, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
in Awards, Images
Once again we trekked over to the beach on Santa Monica for the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, honoring the year’s best in independent film, and a lot of Oscar favorites got a bit of rehearsal time as the usual suspects picked up awards. “The Artist” continued to dominate, picking up Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Actor for an absent Jean Dujardin and inevitably, Best Picture. “Margin Call”, already taking home the Robert Altman award for Ensemble and Casting, also won Best First Feature, besting buzzy Sundance exports “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Another Earth.”
On the acting side, Shailene Woodley was thankfully awarded with Best Supporting Actress after being undeservedly snubbed of an Oscar nomination for “The Descendants.” She’s not favored to win Best Actress tomorrow night, but Michelle Williams was all smiles as she won her first Independent Spirit Award – ever, for “My Week with Marilyn.” Christopher Plummer cemented his Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor tomorrow night by winning it here too, for “Beginners.”
The full list of winners are below (via Awards Daily), along with exclusive images from the press room where winners came immediately after being handed their trophies.
February 25, 2012 | Posted by Rebecca Lewis
in Awards, Features
In our new Oscar Spotlight series we take a look at four rising stars who have this year become Oscar nominees for the first time. In a year filled with incredible performances, only one of our chosen actors was a shoo-in. The other three were all (welcome) surprise nominees. Taken from each of the four acting categories, we present …
Jean Dujardin Finds His Voice
The biggest surprise on Oscar nomination day would have come if Jean Dujardin had not been nominated for Best Actor, considering the French actor had been winning nearly every award for Best Actor since “The Artist” premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
But “The Artist” very nearly wasn’t made, and Dujardin’s journey to potential Oscar glory was not an easy one.
Nicknamed “France’s George Clooney”, Dujardin was, and let’s face it still is, very much an unknown in Hollywood. He began his career on French TV as a a comic actor before transitioning into film with the 2005 spoof surfer movie, “Brice de Nice” in which he played a dead-beat surfer obsessed with Patrick Swayze’s character Bodhi in “Point Break.” Director and frequent Dujardin collaborator Michel Hazanavicius had wanted to create a silent film for years but, according to Hazanavicius, no one would take the film seriously and help finance it. When the director and star began to gain commercial success in France with a series of Bond spoofs “OSS 117″, producers started to pay attention – and soon Hazanavicius, Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were filming in Los Angeles.
January 24, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
It certainly was a morning full of surprises and snubs as the Academy Awards announced their nominations this morning. There was plenty to be ecstatic about and plenty to scratch your head over, so let’s dive in to some of the biggest reveals.
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, Stephen Daldry’s adaptation of the 9/11 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, had been deemed down and out by most prognosticators after getting severely mixed reviews and not being lauded by any other group aside from the Broadcast Film Critics, but the Academy clearly fell for the emotional movie (sidenote: so did I) and it landed the biggest shock of the morning as the final Best Picture nominee announced. Max Von Sydow, in a riveting mute performance, also landed a well-deserved (but quite surprising as well) Best Supporting Actor nomination. Similarly, Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” was a movie that seemed to be missing out on key precursors and thus had little shot at any nominations in major categories, but came on strong and landed Best Picture, Best Director and – most deservedly – Best Cinematography.
January 17, 2012 | Posted by Linda Ge
The support for Nicolas Winding Refn’s violent, stylish arthouse action flick “Drive” was perhaps the biggest – and most pleasant – surprise to us when the British Academy of Film and Television announced their nominations for the 2012 Film Awards this morning. The film scored unexpected nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Carey Mulligan. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” was also well-deservedly represented, nominated for Best Film, Best British Film, Best Director, Best Actor – Gary Oldman, Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as a bevy of below-the-line noms.
The usual suspects – aka Oscar hopefuls – were also well represented here, including our Breakout Stars Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer of “The Help” receiving expected Best Supporting Actress nominations. Both are expected to repeat on Oscar nomination morning a week from now. Melissa McCarthy, an on-the-bubble hopeful in the same category for “Bridesmaids”, got a big boost from BAFTA here with a nomination. “The Artist” continues its seemingly unstoppable march towards Oscar, with Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Jean Dujardin and Best (Lead, not Supporting) Actress for Berenice Bejo, among many other category nominations. Jonah Hill took a turn for the serious in “Moneyball” and is recognized by BAFTA in the Best Supporting Actor category as well – he is now well on his way to his first Oscar nomination.
The full list of nominations are below. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on Sunday, February 12 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.