This week lacks real “oomph” in the new release department, aside from a highly acclaimed documentary. The older releases on tap range from a big budget blockbuster to a 1980s cult classic to a Coen brothers comedy, among others. Read on to find out what’s available to watch right now.


West of Memphis
95%

This documentary chronicles the campaign to free three young men wrongly convicted of murder.

Available now on: iTunes


Transformers: Dark of the Moon
35%

This time out, the Autobots and Decepticons are both gunning for the remains of Sentinel Prime, which were discovered on the moon and contain important secrets; as usual, the Autobots’ buddy Sam (Shia LaBeouf) finds himself in the line of fire.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Rango
88%

Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon who finds himself in a town without pity, populated by various desert animals who act like supporting players in an old Western movie.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
73%

Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) directs this coming-of-age comedy about a teenage girl whose dreams of a perfect social life meet head on with reality.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Dragonslayer
82%

An atypically dark fantasy from Disney, Dragonslayer follows the quest of a wizard’s apprentice whe embarks upon a journey to — you guessed it — slay a dragon.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
96%

This gripping portrayal of life in Communist Romania features gut-wrenching performances from Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Intolerable Cruelty
76%

Lighter than most Coen Brothers films, Intolerable Cruelty has the sharp dialogue and great-looking leads of an old-time screwball comedy.

Available now on: Netflix

With the Cannes Film Festival winding down this weekend, talk is now turning to who will win the Palme d’Or this evening. We tracked down several journalists covering the fest to gauge their opinion, and it seems there are two very definite front-runners at present – Michael Haneke‘s The White Ribbon, a taut period drama about a German village pre-WWI, and Jacques Audiard‘s A Prophet, a prison film about a young man’s efforts to survive incarceration in a French jail.

“I am rooting for A Prophet to win,” says Heat’s Charles Gant. “It’s the Gomorrah of this year’s festival, but thanks to its linear storyline it’s arguably more accessible and satisfying than last year’s Mafia drama. But maybe its genre conventionality will count against it with the jury, earning it a lesser prize, possibly Best Actor for young Tahar Rahim, making his big-screen debut.

“One school of thought says it would be controversial for the jury to give the Palme D’Or to another French film after The Class won in 2008, but I don’t think juries think like that.

“The favourite at this stage is probably Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. He’s never won before and it’s a very solid Euro arthouse offering: a slow-build film that commands engagement through Haneke’s usual trick of withholding information.

“The third film in strong contention is Jane Campion‘s Bright Star. I’m not excited by that idea, although I did considerably like the film. In style and subject (poet John Keats’ chaste love affair with his neighbour), it seems slightly conventional, especially when compared with recent winners such as The Class and Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.”

Cannes 2009
Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet.

The Times’ Wendy Ide concurs with Gant. “In my opinion, the two strongest contenders are A Prophet and The White Ribbon. The latter might just swing it because of its uncompromising and distinctive style, intellectual rigor, and because jury president Isabelle Huppert has collaborated with him before. But then again, the jury could just go nuts and give it to Antichrist.”

The latter is Lars von Trier‘s controversial horror film, which stars Willem Defoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg as a grieving couple trying to mend their relationship in an isolated cabin in the woods. It has certainly divided opinion out here, but The Independent’s Kaleem Aftab is most definitely a fan. “I genuinely hope it wins,” he said. “Love it or hate it, von Trier’s visually stunning film provokes debate and makes you question life.”

We also caught up with Leslie Felperin, who had just finished lunch with her fellow Variety critics, where talk had also apparently turned to the Palme. “The collective consensus is that first and foremost you can never tell what a jury’s going to plump for,” she said. “So often serious horse-trading goes on and something worthy but dull takes the prize because the jurors are too divided about the more obvious candidates.

“We were all joking at lunch that we can just imagine juror Asia Argento championing Lars von Trier’s Antichrist to the horror of the others. Having said that, I would bet that the Michael Haneke movie, The White Ribbon, is a strong contender for the Palme just because he’s never won the Palme itself (although he’s won best director and, I think, grand jury prizes), and one of his leading ladies, Isabelle Huppert, is head of the jury this year. I hasten to add that I haven’t even seen the film, but apparently it’s very good.

“Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet ought to and probably will win something because it’s brilliantly made, although it could be described as a ‘genre’ movie, and juries often fail to honour such films. Which is dumb, but there you go.”

Cannes 2009
The White Ribbon

But what of Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino‘s eagerly anticipated WWII flick that ticks all the genre boxes? According to Empire’s Damon Wise, the film’s popularity will count against it. “It would enable QT to join the double-Palme club, but I think the film’s entertainment factor might count against it,” he says.

It may also not help that jury president Huppert had originally been set to star in the film, before Tarantino replaced her for being too “divistic.”

“I think it’s wide open at the minute,” he continues, “But with Isabelle Huppert as head of the jury, with the likes of Asia Argento and Hanif Kureishi backing her up, I don’t think the Palme will go to anything ‘meh’. I’ve been told it’s 50-50 between A Prophet and, er, something else, and I think Audiard’s film will appeal to [jury member] James Gray, certainly. A French film won last year, which might hold it back though. The jury’s five actresses, however, may suggest that women will be especially favoured this year, so Jane Campion and Andrea Arnold could be looking at a win, although perhaps not the Palme itself.

“So I’ll stick my neck out. I think the Palme will go to Antichrist or The White Ribbon. If Haneke wins, Lars gets best director, and vice versa.”

Finally, Total Film’s Jonathan Dean is championing a film about a drug dealer’s tripped out experience in Tokyo that has been causing quite a stir at the tail-end of the festival. “In a world where awards are handed out to films that don’t so much push the envelope as blow it up, Enter The Void would win the Palme d’Or for the next five years. Visually extraordinary and the most mind-warping film I’ve ever seen, [director] Gaspar Noe is a master of invention. Credit would be deserved.

“But clearly, seeing as it’s a bit mad and really tails off in the last hour, Enter The Void won’t win. No chance. Instead I reckon – like everyone else, that A Prophet is the one to beat, even if personally I’d be satisfied with the other favourite The White Ribbon. Keep an eye out for Fish Tank too. A brilliant film sure to push jury members Huppert and Argento’s buttons.”

The winner of the Palme D’Or will be announced this evening. Until then, find out more about critical reaction to films in this year’s festival (in and out of competition) via our Tomato Reports:

Up
Fish Tank
Spring Fever
Thirst
Bright Star
Taking Woodstock
A Prophet
Precious
Vengeance
Agora
Antichrist
Looking for Eric
Broken Embraces
I Love You, Phillip Morris
Inglourious Basterds
The White Ribbon
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Enter the Void


James Franco - Steve Granitz/WireImage.com
Having established his name in the Spider-Man movies, these days James Franco is clearly making some more personal career choices. He was in three films in 2008, notable for their vastly different styles. His extended cameo as Richard Gere‘s son in the weepy Nights in Rodanthe, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, was followed by two far less forgettable roles; opposite Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination) and as Sean Penn‘s boyfriend in Milk (for which he has been nominated with the cast for the SAG ensemble award).

He says he signed on for Pineapple because it was a chance to work with Judd Apatow and company, whom he knew from his days on the TV series Freaks and Geeks. “We did a lot of goofing around in a kind of constructed way,” he says of the film. “It’s a lot of improvisation, just letting the camera roll and doing the scene over and over again and seeing what happens. And I loved that!”

When asked to contrast the experiences on the two sets, he stops and thinks. “Milk had its own kind of looseness,” he says. “Gus Van Sant has his own approach, and there was the freedom to try different kinds of things. And Sean really encouraged that too. So it was somewhat improvisational, but what it did was to make the performances more natural. And it may be funny to say, but it was the same with Pineapple. I think that’s one of the things that Judd Apatow brings to comedies: there are wacky situations but it feels more emotionally grounded.”

Clearly this on-screen naturalism is important to him. He’s been studying film at New York University, and chooses five favourites that are all firmly rooted in authenticity…

 

Gimme Shelter (1970, 100% Tomatometer)



Gimme Shelter
It’s just amazing. I’ve been watching all of the Maysles Brothers‘ films and I’m really into their approach, which they called “direct cinema”, and the whole school that came out of DA Pennebaker, Robert Drew and so on. I love the whole idea that life can be as dramatic as fiction. It’s very different than reality television, because that’s very manipulated.

The Maysles’ approach is minimal interaction and being as observational as possible. Gimme Shelter has such drama, and it’s so well-done. As are all of their films.

I also love Salesman, which also proves that their philosophy can really work, because it just has these real Bible salesmen. But to me it has as much drama and tension as Arthur Miller or Eugene O’Neill – it’s like the Death of a Salesman and The Iceman Cometh all rolled together – but it’s real! I just can’t get enough of it.


My Own Private Idaho (1992, 85% Tomatometer)



My Own Private Idaho
Even before I started acting, this was a very important film to me. Obviously I was really drawn to the performances and characters, but the whole film just kept bringing it back.

Gus has changed his style somewhat beginning with Gerry and all this Bela Tarr and Chantal Akerman influence, which I love too. But back then it was really about collage.

Idaho actually started as three different projects – three scripts – through Orson WellesChimes at Midnight, which was a distillation of Shakespeare, and this other story about street kids in Portland, and then something else about a kid finding his parents in Italy. And then this whole narcoleptic thing that was influenced by George Eliot. He’s got all that just in the script, and then there’s the way it’s shot – he had two DPs, plus time-lapse for the cloud sequences and 8mm for the dream sequences.

I love all of Gus’ movies. I think Drugstore Cowboy is a hilarious movie. I love how he can take a situation like that and make it funny. I think Matt Dillon gives one of the best comedic performances in that movie. Gus is taking a very personal approach in the film – from the look of Bob Yeoman‘s cinematography to the way Gus captures Portland on screen.


The Bicycle Thief (1948, 95% Tomatometer)



The Bicycle Thief
All of my favourite films are approaching realism in a different way. This is Italian neorealism – obviously there’s a script and a story and everything, but it’s shot in the street and it has the feel of Italy, of being in the streets and, like Idaho, a deceivingly, simply constructed narrative. But there’s so much emotion that’s evoked from these very simple stories.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2008, 97% Tomatometer)



4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Again, a very simple approach, but there’s so much power in that film. You’re not quite sure what’s happening from the beginning, but you’re just kind of thrown into it. All you know is that these women have this mysterious meeting, and it takes you from there. The film gives you a great sense of what it was really like to live in Romania in the 1980s.

The Wrestler (2008, 98% Tomatometer)



The Wrestler
I loved this film! I really like the films of the Dardenne Brothers, like The Child and The Son, and I’m sure The Wrestler was influenced by the Dardennes, especially in the beginning when the camera is following the back of Mickey Rourke‘s head through the hallways.

I know Darren Aronofsky a little bit, and I remember meeting with him just when The Fountain was coming out, and he told me to look at the Dardenne Brothers because they were doing some really good stuff, so I know he’s a fan.


Milk opens in UK on Friday and in Australia on 29th January. It’s out now in the US.

This week in DVD news, that long-awaited Kill Bill double-volume set may finally be on its way and Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier promises enough leftover Hulk footage to make another feature film come Blu-Ray time. Plus, we’ve got an exclusive clip from next week’s Charlie Bartlett! Read on for more.


Hulk Blu-Ray to Include 70 Additional Minutes of Footage!

If you’re voraciously eating up every morsel of Hulk trivia on the web these days, then you’ve already heard what director Louis Leterrier is saying about the eventual Blu-Ray release of last weekend’s box office smasher The Incredible Hulk. But we’ll just summarize it for you here: he promises 70 (s-e-v-e-n-t-y) minutes of footage, including scenes like Bruce Banner’s conversation with Betty’s shrink boyfriend and his trek through the Arctic (both of which appeared in trailers but not the final cut). He insists there is a Captain America “Easter egg” in the film. And he reminds us that the 70 cut minutes were cut for a reason — they were bad! Not that it matters to fans. Hulk want extra footage!

Disney Bringing In-Movie Chat and Games to DVD

I believe that children are our future; they’ve got cell phones, PS3s, and Facebook accounts, after all, and now Disney is targeting the tween set for the next generation in multimedia communication: talking with friends through your DVD player. Such wonders will utilize the interactive BD-Live features on HD-DVD players — twitter with Timmy while watching Prince Caspian in your respective living rooms! Challenge Stacy to a Zac Efron trivia contest during High School Musical 2! As of now, only Disney titles are set to include the technology.

Finally, Kill Bill Vol. 1. AND 2 Is Coming

There have been false Kill Bill alarms before. Could the long-awaited special DVD re-release of Quentin Tarantino‘s Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 finally be on the horizon? So sayeth the folks over at DVDtown, who shared a single release date — September 9 — as the official Blu-Ray release of the dual titles. But should we believe it? The timing would seem to make sense, after Uma Thurman let slip in April that QT had already completed one of two promised anime back stories, so break out your yellow Game of Death jumpsuits and katanas and get excited!

Sneak a peek at Charlie Bartlett on DVD!

The good folks at MGM have sent us an exclusive clip from Charlie Bartlett, a comedy about a rich kid at a new school who appoints himself unofficial psychiatrist of the troubled student body. Click here to watch! Charlie Bartlett is out on DVD next Tuesday, June 24.

Click for this week’s new releases!

Fool’s Gold

Tomatometer: 10%

Well, it’s no How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; at least that contrived romantic comedy topped 40% on the Tomatometer. That said, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey seem equally at home in this awful breezer — she in clichéd rom-com territory, he without his shirt on.

Bonus Features:

One by-the-numbers behind-the-scenes featurette and a gag reel means there’s hardly any reward for making it through the movie itself.

Be Kind Rewind

Tomatometer: 67%

Michel Gondry is a wunderkind; sometimes, that wonderment is more accessible (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) than others (The Science of Sleep). His latest, an ode to communal movie-loving, is on the latter end of the spectrum, combining his trademark wackiness with saccharine sincerity — and the scene-chewing antics of Jack Black.

Bonus Features:

If you’re iffy about the film, the bonus menu isn’t going to convince you to give Be Kind Rewind a shot. With only two features on the disc (And since when does a single trailer constitute a “feature”?) we recommend waiting for the inevitable special edition. Or “swede” your own version of the film and have more fun in the process!

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

Tomatometer: 25%

Martin Lawrence continues in his quest to become the most commercially viable, yet critically derided comic actor known to man with a movie that proves you can go home again…with inane slapstick, shots to the groin, and dogs having sex. (Larry the Cable Guy would give Lawrence some tough competition, if only his movies actually made money.)

Bonus Features:

A wealth of bonus materials abound, including cast interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, a director commentary by writer-director Malcolm D. Lee (cousin to Spike), and more.

4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

Tomatometer: 96%

Word on the festival circuit last year had cinephiles buzzing one distinct catchphrase: have you seen the Romanian abortion movie? But this tense, gripping, and fearlessly acted drama about two women trying to arrange the illicit operation in 1987 Communist Romania is far more powerful and moving than any such reduction can convey. Shockingly passed over at the Oscars, the multiple award-winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days is a must-see.

Bonus Features:

The disc includes a 16-minute making-of featurette and an interview with writer-director Cristian Mungiu and his cinematographer, Oleg Mutu.

‘Til next week, happy viewing!

This
week at the movies, we’ve got vigilante justice (Rambo, starring
Sylvester Stallone), internet intrigue (Untraceable, starring
Diane
Lane
), deft dancing (How She Move, starring
Rutina
Wesley
), and Spartan satires (Meet the Spartans, starring
Diedrich
Bader
). What do the critics have to say?

Rambo
is back…. but is he better than ever? The critics say he’s about the same
— which is a good thing if you dug
Rambo III
, but not if you expected
another First Blood (or
Rocky Balboa
, which resurrected another
iconic Sylvester Stallone character — and Sly’s career in the process). Rambo
finds our hero chillin’ in Thailand, enjoying his peaceful existence — until
the disappearance of some aid workers draws him into conflict with the
government of Myanmar. Pundits say Stallone (who also directs) stages some
involving action sequences, but overall, Rambo is unevenly paced, way
too violent, and strangely impersonal. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, Rambo
isn’t cinema-goers’ worst nightmare, nor is it a dream come true. In fact, it’s
the worst reviewed film in the series. (Check out our
latest Total Recall, in which RT takes a closer look at the Rambo
franchise.)




Rambo stealing a rebel’s iPhone, much to his agony.

Ah, the
Internet. It’s a place for finding information, shopping for books, meeting a
potential date…. and, if you’re a serial killer, playing cat-and-mouse with the
FBI. Such is the plot of Untraceable, starring
Diane
Lane
as a
cyber-agent tasked with tracking down a killer who slays with greater frequency
when, after posting videos of his brutal deeds, his web traffic increases.
Critics say Untraceable has its moments, but it lacks the will to make
any points about our disconnected, voyeuristic society, and instead goes for
cheap, grisly shocks. At 17 percent on the Tomatometer, Untraceable may
be where you draw the line.




“What should I Netflix tonight? Boring ol’ Zodiac or the Oscar-nominated Norbit?”

Oh, wow,
another coming-of-age tale of a troubled girl who finds herself through the
power of dance. Been there, done that, right? Not so fast. Critics say the
low-budget How She Move is deeper and more energetic than others of its
ilk. Move tells the story of a young woman grieving the death of her
older sister who enters a step dancing competition to earn money for private
school tuition — and a way out of her grim surroundings. The story may be as old
as the hills, but pundits say How She Move is elevated by a commanding
debut performance by
Rutina
Wesley
, as well as some excellent choreography and a
sense of urgency. At 69 percent on the Tomatometer, this one has some pretty
good Moves.




Why car ejector seats aren’t standard.

It
appears the critics will have to wait to Meet the Spartans, since it
wasn’t screened prior to release. Spartans crosses
300
with
You
Got Served
, and also takes shots at Britney Spears. Hilarity (allegedly)
ensues. Kids, it’s time to stop dining in hell for a minute so you can guess
that Tomatometer.




"And this is my guess for Meet the Spartans
Tomatometer."

Also
opening this week in limited release:

 

Recent
Sylvester Stallone Movies:
——————————————–
75% — Rocky Balboa (2006)
71% — Shade (2004)
45% — Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
13% — Eye See You (2002)
13% — Avenging Angelo (2002)

The parade of critics’ year-end best-of lists continued yesterday, with panels in Toronto, San Diego, and Austin weighing in on their favorite films of 2007.

In Toronto, the clear winner was No Country for Old Men, which nabbed four prizes, including best film. A complete list of winners follows, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Best Film:
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)

Best Director:
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Screenplay:
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor:
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises (88 percent)

Best Actress:
Julie Christie, Away From Her (95 percent) / Ellen Page, Juno (94 percent) (tie)

Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There (80 percent)

Best Animated Feature:
Ratatouille (97 percent)

Best Foreign-Language Film:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (96 percent)

Best Documentary:
No End in Sight (95 percent)

Not to be outdone, the San Diego Film Critics Society heaped its own stack o’ praise on No Country, but saved plenty of love for other films along the way:

Best Film:
No Country for Old Men

Best Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood (96 percent)

Best Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress:
Julie Christie, Away From Her

Best Supporting Actor:
Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (93 percent)

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Foreign Language Film:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)

Best Documentary:
(tie) No End in Sight and Deep Water (96 percent)

Best Animated Feature:
Ratatouille

Best Cinematography:
Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men

Best Production Design:
Dante Ferretti, Sweeney Todd (86 percent)

Best Editor:
Paul Tothill, Atonement (84 percent)

Best Score:
Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood

Best Ensemble Performance:
No Country for Old Men

And finally, last but not least, the Austin Film Critics Association gave big ups to There Will Be Blood, bestowing Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor honors upon the P.T. Anderson drama. Read on:

Best Film:
There Will Be Blood

Best Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Best Actor:
Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress:
Ellen Page, Juno

Best Supporting Actor:

Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men

Best Supporting Actress:
Allison Janney, Juno

Best Foreign Film:
Black Book (76 percent)

Best Documentary:

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (96 percent)

Best Animated Film:
Ratatouille

Best First Film:
Ben Affleck, Gone Baby Gone

Best Original Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Ethan & Joel Coen, No Country For Old Men

Best Cinematography:
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

Best Original Score:
Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood

Breakthrough Artist:

Michael Cera, Superbad (87 percent), Juno

Source: Variety (Toronto)
Source: Variety (San Diego)
Source: Variety (Austin)

The London Critics Circle has announced the nominees for its year-end awards, with Anton Corbijn‘s Control and Joe Wright‘s Atonement leading the pack at eight nominations apiece.

A full list of the nominees follows below, with Tomatometers in parentheses. Let the nitpicking begin!

FILM OF THE YEAR
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (75 percent)
There Will Be Blood (94 percent)
Zodiac (89 percent)
The Bourne Ultimatum (93 percent)

ATTENBOROUGH AWARD FOR BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
Once (98 percent)
Control (89 percent)
Atonement (85 percent)
Eastern Promises (88 percent)
This Is England (93 percent)

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Florian Henckel von DonnersmarckThe Lives of Others (93 percent)
Paul Thomas AndersonThere Will Be Blood
Joel and Ethan CoenNo Country for Old Men
David FincherZodiac
Cristian Mungui4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (96 percent)

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Anton Corbijn — Control
Paul GreengrassThe Bourne Ultimatum
Shane MeadowsThis Is England
Joe Wright — Atonement
Danny BoyleSunshine (75 percent)

ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Ulrich MuheThe Lives of Others
Casey AffleckThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
George ClooneyMichael Clayton (90 percent)
Tommy Lee JonesIn the Valley of Elah (69 percent)
Daniel Day-LewisThere Will Be Blood

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Laura LinneyThe Savages (89 percent)
Marion CotillardLa Vie en rose (74 percent)
Maggie GyllenhaalSherrybaby (72 percent)
Angelina JolieA Mighty Heart (77 percent)
Anamaria Marinca4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Sam RileyControl
James McAvoyAtonement
Christian Bale3:10 to Yuma (87 percent)
Jim BroadbentAnd When Did You Last See Your Father (81 percent)
Jonny Lee MillerThe Flying Scotsman (51 percent)

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Samantha MortonControl
Julie ChristieAway From Her (95 percent)
Keira KnightleyAtonement
Helena Bonham CarterSweeney Todd (92 percent)
Sienna MillerInterview (57 percent)

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Tom WilkinsonMichael Clayton
Toby JonesThe Painted Veil (75 percent)
Alfred MolinaThe Hoax (86 percent)
Tobey Kebell — Control
Albert FinneyBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead (87 percent)

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Saoirse RonanAtonement
Imelda StauntonHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (77 percent)
Tilda SwintonMichael Clayton
Kelly MacdonaldNo Country for Old Men
Vanessa RedgraveAtonement

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck — The Lives of Others
Joel and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson — There Will Be Blood
Ronald HarwoodThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
Christopher HamptonAtonement

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — ACTING
Saoirse Ronan — Atonement
Sam Riley — Control
Thomas TurgooseThis Is England
Benedict CumberbatchAmazing Grace (71 percent)
Dakota Blue RichardsThe Golden Compass

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH — FILMMAKING
John Carney, writer and director — Once
Sarah Gavron, director — Brick Lane (68 percent)
Anton Corbijn, director — Control
Matt Greenhalgh, writer — Control
Stevan Riley, writer, director, producer — Blue Blood

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
The Lives of Others
Letters From Iwo Jima (91 percent)
Tell No One (93 percent)

Source: Variety

The nominations for the 65th annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning. Did your favorite films, stars, and songs make the cut?

The nominees were read at the Beverly Hilton by a surreal panel consisting of Dane Cook, Hayden Panettiere, Ryan Reynolds, and Quentin Tarantino. The film nominations follow below, with Tomatometers in parentheses:

Picture, Drama:

American Gangster (79 percent)
Atonement (85 percent)
Eastern Promises (88 percent)
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton (90 percent)
No Country for Old Men (95 percent)
There Will Be Blood (100 percent)

Actress, Drama:
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age (34 percent)
Julie Christie, Away From Her (95 percent)
Jodie Foster, The Brave One (45 percent)
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart (77 percent)
Keira Knightley, Atonement

Actor, Drama:
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy, Atonement
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington, American Gangster

Picture, Musical or Comedy:
Across the Universe (52 percent)
Charlie Wilson’s War (92 percent)
Hairspray (92 percent)
Juno (92 percent)
Sweeney Todd (92 percent)

Actress, Musical or Comedy:

Amy Adams, Enchanted (94 percent)
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd
Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose (74 percent)
Ellen Page, Juno

Actor, Musical or Comedy:

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl (78 percent)
Tom Hanks, Charlie Wilson’s War
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages (89 percent)
John C. Reilly, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Supporting Actress:
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There (80 percent)
Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson’s War
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone (93 percent)
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (75 percent)
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War
John Travolta, Hairspray
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Director:
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement

Screenplay:
Diablo Cody, Juno
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men
Christopher Hampton, Atonement
Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Wilson’s War

Foreign Language:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Romania (96 percent)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, France and U.S.
The Kite Runner, U.S. (65 percent)
Lust, Caution, Taiwan (64 percent)
Persepolis, France (100 percent)

Animated Film:
Bee Movie (52 percent)
Ratatouille (97 percent)
The Simpsons Movie (88 percent)

Original Score:
Michael Brook, Kaki King, Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild (82 percent)
Clint Eastwood, Grace Is Gone (70 percent)
Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner
Dario Marianelli, Atonement
Howard Shore, Eastern Promises

Original Song: Despedida from Love in the Time of Cholera (28 percent)
Grace Is Gone from Grace Is Gone
Guaranteed from Into the Wild
That’s How You Know from Enchanted

Walk Hard from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Source: Associated Press
Source: Golden Globes

Looking for lists of critics’ favorite films from 2007? Today is your lucky day!

Not to be outdone by last week’s unveiling of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards, a number of critics’ associations have announced their honors, including the New York Film Critics Online, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, and the Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Let’s take a look, shall we? The awards follow, with Tomatometer ratings following film titles in parentheses:

New York Film Critics Online:
PictureThere Will Be Blood (100 percent) / The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (94 percent)
ActorDaniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
ActressJulie Christie (Away From Her, 95 percent)
DirectorPT Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Supporting ActorJavier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) (95 percent)
Supporting ActressCate Blanchett (I’m Not There, 79 percent)
Breakthrough PerformerEllen Page (Juno, 92 percent)
Debut DirectorSarah Polley (Away From Her)
Ensemble CastBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead (88 percent)
ScreenplayThe Darjeeling Limited, 66 percent (Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola)
DocumentarySicko (93 percent)
Foreign LanguageThe Lives of Others (93 percent) / Persepolis (100 percent)
AnimatedPersepolis
CinematographyThere Will Be Blood (Robert Elswit)
Film MusicThere Will Be Blood (Jonny Greenwood)

Los Angeles Film Critics Association:
PictureThere Will Be Blood
Director — Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Actor — Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
ActressMarion Cotillard, La Vie en rose (74 percent)
Supporting ActorVlad Ivanov, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (96 percent)
Supporting ActressAmy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone, (93 percent) and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
ScreenplayTamara Jenkins, The Savages (90 percent)
Foreign Languange Film4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
DocumentaryNo End in Sight (95 percent)
AnimationRatatouille (97 percent) and Persepolis (tie)
MusicGlen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once (98 percent)
CinematographyJanusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Boston Society of Film Critics:
PictureNo Country for Old Men
ActorFrank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening, 80 percent)
Actress — Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose)
Director — Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Supporting Actor — Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Supporting Actress — Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Ensemble CastBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead
ScreenplayBrad Bird (Ratatouille)
DocumentaryCrazy Love (78 percent)
Foreign LanguageThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Cinematography — Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association:
PictureNo Country for Old Men
DirectorJoel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)
ActorGeorge Clooney (Michael Clayton, 90 percent)
Actress — Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Supporting Actor — Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Supporting Actress — Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
ScreenplayAaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War, adaptation, 88 percent); Diablo Cody (Juno, original)
DocumentarySicko
Foreign FilmThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly
AnimatedRatatouille

Source: ComingSoon (New York)
Source: Variety (Los Angeles)
Source: Variety (Boston)
Source: Variety (Washington, D.C.)

Gus Van Sant, a Romanian abortion drama, and a biopic about the late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis led awardees in the South of France as the 60th Cannes Film Festival came to a close last weekend.

Despite competing in a field packed with veteran (and many American) directors, Romania’s Cristian Mungiu nabbed the Palme d’Or for his film "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days." The abortion drama, Mungiu’s second feature length film, had played early in the festival and built strong critical support and word of mouth; it currently has five reviews tallied, all positive.

Awards in the main Competition were decided by this year’s jury, led by director Stephen Frears, including Maggie Cheung, Toni Collette, Maria de Medeiros, Sarah Polley, Michel Piccoli, Marco Bellocchio, Abderrahmane Sissako and Orhan Pamuk. The jury’s selection of "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" for the festival’s top prize came after days of speculation that the honor could also go to fellow frontrunners like the Coen Brothers‘ riveting neo-Western "No Country For Old Men" or Julian Schnabel’s paralysis drama, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

Gus Van Sant ("My Own Private Idaho," "Good Will Hunting") received the one time 60th Anniversary Award for his "Paranoid Park," a drama about a teen who accidentally kills a security guard. The film, also playing in Competition with films from Wong Kar Wai, Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, and the Coen Brothers, among others, garnered mostly positive reviews but was far from unanimously loved by critics.

The award for Best Director went to Julian Schnabel ("Basquiat") for the widely liked "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," a film based on the experience of a man who, paralyzed by a stroke, used his left eye to blink out his memoirs. Miramax bought the French film during the festival for a reported $3 million.

The festival’s only tie occurred as the Jury Prize went to both Marjane Satrapi’s black and white animated drama "Persepolis" and Carlos Reygadas‘ Mexican Mennonite temptation pic "Silent Light." "Persepolis," based on director Satrapi’s own graphic novel memoirs of life as a young girl in Iran, garnered raves from many at the festival and currently has five unanimous positive reviews. With voice acting by Catherine Deneuve and her daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, "Persepolis" will be released by Sony Pictures Classics.


"Persepolis"

In the Director’s Fortnight sidebar competition, Anton Corbijn‘s "Control" nabbed three awards: the CICAE Art & Essai prize for best film, the Young Eyes Prize for best first or second-time director and the Label Europa Cinema Prize for best European film. The black and white rock biopic, about the tragic life and death of Ian Curtis, lead singer of the post-punk band Joy Division, is an impressive directorial debut for acclaimed photographer and music video director Corbijn (and features a breakout central performance by actor Sam Riley). The Weinstein Co. won rights to the film late last week.


"Control"

Additional honorees:

Grand Prize: Naomi Kawase, "The Mourning Forest"

Best Screenplay: Fatih Akin, "The Edge of Heaven"

Best Leading Actor: Konstantin Lavronenko, "The Banishment"

Best Leading Actress: Jeon Do-yeon, "Secret Sunshine"

Camera d’or: Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen , "Meduzot (Jellyfish)" [In Critic’s Week]
Special mention, Anton Corbijn’s "Control" [In Director’s Fortnight]

Director’s Fortnight:
Young Eyes Prize (for first or second feature length film): Anton Corbijn, "Control"
Label Europa Cinema Prize (best European film): Anton Corbijn, "Control"
Prix Art et Essai: Lenny Abrahamson, "Garage"

International Critics’ Week Grand Prize: Lucia Puenzo, "XXY"

International Critics’ Week Prize (FIPRESCI): Cristian Mungiu, "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days"
Honorable mention: Eran Kolirin, "The Band’s Visit"

Un Certain Regard: Cristian Nemescu, "California Dreamin’"
Special Jury Prize: Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, "Actresses"
Prix Coup de Coeur: Eran Kolirin, "The Band’s Visit"

Career Achievement Palme d’Or: Jane Fonda

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