The Critics have spoken! Every year we look forward to what our friends at the Toronto Film Critics Association have deemed their 2019 Best-ofs and today, several of their selections including Best Picture have been decided. Top honours goes to Bong Joon-Ho‘s brilliant PARASITE taking both Best Picture, Director and Foreign-Language Film. The quirky, genre-bending Thriller placed runner-up for Screenplay.
For the first time ever, all three Finalists for Best First Feature are films by female Filmmakers.
See additional winners and Finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, a $100,000 prize below.
The Irishman (Netflix)
Marriage Story (Netflix)
Adam Driver, Marriage Story (Netflix)
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (Netflix)
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (Mongrel Media)
Lupita Nyong’o, Us (Universal)
Renée Zellweger, Judy (eOne)
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (Netflix)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)
Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (VVS Films)
Joe Pesci, The Irishman (Netflix)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern, Marriage Story (Netflix)
Florence Pugh, Little Women (Sony)
Julia Fox, Uncut Gems (Netflix)
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (MK2)
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (Netflix)
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (Netflix)
BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL
The Irishman by Steven Zaillian from the book by Charles Brandt (Netflix)
Parasite by Bong Joon-ho (MK2)
Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach (Netflix)
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde (eOne)
Atlantics directed by Mati Diop (Netflix)
Queen & Slim directed by Melina Matsoukas (eOne)
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Missing Link (Laika)
Toy Story 4 (Disney/Pixar)
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (Universal)
Frozen 2 (Disney)
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Pain and Glory (Mongrel Media)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (MK2)
ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD
American Factory (Netflix)
Apollo 11 (Elevation Pictures)
The Cave (Mongrel Media)
ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (levelFilm)
Antigone directed by Sophie Deraspe (Maison 4:3)
Firecrackers directed by Jasmin Mozaffari (levelFilm)
Additional winners to be announced January 8, 2020.
THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA delivers an Easter surprise, taking the top of the Box Office with $24.6 million from 3,372 theatres for Warner Bros. The James Wan production gets 34% on the Tomatometer and a B- CinemaScore.
In second is SHAZAM! with $17.2 million week three for Warner Bros. after two weeks on-top.
BREAKTHROUGH debuts in third spot with $11 million after a Wednesday opening in 2,824 theatres. The 20th Century Fox release gets a decent 64% on the Tomatometer and an A CinemaScore.
In fifth is LITTLE with $6.8 million in its second week out for Universal Pictures.
Rounding-out the Top Ten is MISSING LINK with $3.9 million in week two for United Artists Releasing/Elevation Pictures.
SHAZAM! prevails a second straight week, taking top spot at the Box Office with $23.4 million from 4,306 theatres for Warner Bros. Over two weeks it has made $93.1 million domestically, nearly recovering its $100 million production budget.
Debuting in second is LITTLE for Universal Pictures with $14.9 million from 2,667 theatres. It gets 50% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
In third is the Reboot of HELLBOY $12.3 million from 3,303 theatres for VVS Films/Lionsgate Films. It gets 15% on the Tomatometer and a C CinemaScore.
Fourth spot goes to PET SEMATARY with $9.4 million from 3,585 theatres in its second week. It surpasses $40 million in its North American run for Paramount Pictures.
AFTER exceeds industry estimates of $5 million, debuting in sixth with $7 million from 2,138 theatres for VVSFilms/Avion Pictures. The adaptation of Anna Todd‘s wildly-popular Young Adult novel, gets 13% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore.
MISSING LINK opens in ninth spot with $5.8 million from 3,413 theatres for Elevation Pictures/United Artists Releasing. The latest Laika creation gets a great 88% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
BEST OF ENEMIES rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.9 million for Elevation Pictures/STX Entertainment, a two-week tally of $8 million.
The Writer/Director of MISSING LINK, Chris Butler, comes to the table with quite an impressive résumé. Nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for ParaNorman, his Stop-Motion genius can also be witnessed in Kubo and the Two Strings, Corpse Bride and Coraline. During our sit-down with him, we said how much we enjoyed the humour and Slapstick on-screen with MISSING LINK, he looked genuinely pleased and told us, “I’m glad you think so as that was the hope. I was influenced by that brand of humour. I was influenced by old silent movies and watched a lot of Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin. Initially when I was talking to the studios about this Movie, I told them my intention was to do David Lean directs Around the World in 80 Days starring Laurel and Hardy. That was the hope, or my ambition.”.
I mentioned to Butler that one thing I enjoyed about his Movie was it brought me to mind of my childhood and watching those adventure TV shows with one exciting vignette to the next, but wondered if the sophisticated British-centric jokes and skits would fly above the heads of the much younger viewers and make them restless, to which he replied “Not really, I hoped that the Physical Humour alongside the more cerebral stuff hopefully was a good enough mix. The intention for me was always to have this be a Family Movie. For me, animation should not just be a babysitting device. I don’t want adults to plop down their kids and switch off. I want the family together get something out of this with a big smile on all their faces and give them something they all can talk about afterwards.”.
Butler then went on to great length on how important the Voice Actors are to the success of any kind of animated film. All animations start with the voices and that the animators need to hear the performance by the actors before they can start working on their craft and developing the physicality of the characters. The Voice Actor is creating a template of what and how the action should be. “There is something about voice acting that is the purest form of acting.”.
Butler also spoke enthusiastically and passionately about the future of Stop-Motion animation and how recent technological advancements and innovations will only enhance future productions and embrace this beautiful art form.
The germ of the idea for the Plot of MISSING LINK started 15 years ago and Butler kept notes in a book on how the story could progress. When asked what he has planned for his next project, Butler said “The Movie was literally finished a month ago and right now, with the publicity tour and all, when I close my eyes, all I see is MISSING LINK! I need right now for all that to dissipate.”.
One surprising thing I took away from the interview was the misconception that Stop-Motion films were more labour-intensive to create than traditional animated movies. Whereas both require hundreds of people working on the project (there were 450 people working on MISSING LINK), it was harder to find people skilled in the art of Stop-Motion and its search to find people led them to places like Russia and Denmark.
MISSING LINK is a sight to behold and a joy to watch with some phenomenal Voice Work from its A-List Cast.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release MISSING LINKFriday, April 12, 2019. Our Review of the star-studded Film here.
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see MISSING LINK! Screenings take place as follows Saturday, April 6, 2019 in Toronto, Coquitlam (Vancouver), Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, London (Ontario), Halifax and St. John’s.
Synopsis: Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), this trio of explorers travels the world to help their new friend.
See the Trailer:
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Elevation Pictures release MISSING LINKFriday, April 12, 2019.
Synopsis: Mr. Link (Zach Galifianakis) is 8 feet tall, weighs 630 pounds, and covered in fur. He can also talk and write letters, as he does to fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Hugh Jackman) when he grows tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest.
Frost is astounded when he meets the creature, especially when he realizes how humanlike Mr. Link is. They go on a journey to find Link‘s longlost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), the explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release MISSING LINKFriday, April 12, 2019.
Featuring a star-studded Voice Cast, here’s a new Trailer for stop-motion animated feature MISSING LINK! Voices include: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Timothy Olyphant.
Missing Link follows myths and monsters investigator, Sir Lionel Frost, who sets off on an adventure to the Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature—Mr. Link. Frost, who’s also looking to gain acceptance by his small-minded explorer peers, is accompanied on his journey by Adelina Fortnight, a free-spirited, independent adventurer who just so happens to possess the only known map to their secret destination of trying to find Link.