It was a star-studded second day at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and our Amanda Gilmore was out and about capturing all the excitement in between her screenings.
She tells us TROOP ZERO is the one to look out for next Awards Season as the feel-good Film produced by and starring Viola Davis premiered to rousing reception. Check out her Review here.
She also saw the Adaptation of popular Richard Wright Novel, NATIVE SON which sees Best Picture-winning Moonlight star Ashton Sanders back in the spotlight again. Her thoughts on the Film here.
Real-life couple Director Bart Freundlich and Oscar winner Julianne Moore team-up on a Remake of Danish film AFTER THE WEDDING, which also stars Michelle Williams. Amanda‘s review here.
Throughout the day there were second screenings from films that premiered last night and into the afternoon and evening their were new premieres to come. One of those premieres was Shia LaBeouf’s screenwriting debut Film, which is semi-autobiographical, Honey Boy. When the Film finished, there was a strong applause and since then it has been on our radar. Another Film that premiered tonight was Screenwriter and Actor Mindy Kaling’s Late Night. This Film follows a female Late Night Talk Show Host, which is definitely something topical right now. It is one of the hardest tickets to get at this year’s Festival. Kaling has been a steady force within the industry since her days on The Office. Now IMDb has given Kaling the STARMeterAward today.
Out on Main Street, many stars were found walking, doing press and hitting some parties. Some people spotted today were Mindy Kaling, Nick Robinson, Julianne Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith, Malin Åckerman, Billy Crudup and more.
A majority of these actors opted to walk down the street to each of their interviews rather than taking a vehicle. And a lot of them took their time to stop for fans on the street even though a lot were running around to their next interviews.
Tonight also was the Sundance KickoffParty that we were lucky enough to attend. The atmosphere was filled with high energy and conversations about the best films viewed so far. After overhearing conversations it is clear that many people loved Troop Zero, while others had a lot to say about Documentaries.
Check-out some of the awesome star sightings by Amanda in and around the hub of the Festival:
Ashton Sanders, Native Son
Sanaa Lathan, Native Son
Jada Pinkett Smith, Hala
Mindy Kaling, Late Night
Nick Robinson, Native Son
Malin Åkerman, To the Stars
Amy Ryan, Late Night
Abby Quinn, After the Wedding
Liana Liberato, To the Stars
There is still a lot of Festival left! Tomorrow Zac Efron will be in town to premiere his TedBundy Biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which just dropped its Trailer today. There is a lot of hype surrounding it so far at Sundance. There will be some star power hitting the Midnight Programme tomorrow night with Dakota Johnson and ArmieHammer’s new film Wounds. It is sure to be a day full of excitement and we look forward to bringing you all the latest, so stay tuned.
Troop Zero follows young alien believing Christmas (Mckenna Grace) as she rallies a group of child outcasts to join her in becoming a Birdie. None of them wants to be apart of the group, including their troop mama (Viola Davis), yet they agree when they hear they might have the chance to make a recording for NASA. This recording will be sent into outer space so that other life forms, if they exist, can hear them. All they have to do is win enough badges to become a Birdie and win the Birdie Jamboree.
This Film is the feel-good movie of this Festival. It has everything a great movie has and more. The tight, heartwarming and funny Script, written by Lucy Alibar, is a winner. Then there are the tremendous performances by the entire Cast. Grace is a superb force that further cements her rapidly-emerging career. Davis is at her best as the fearless and caring troop mama. Then there is Alison Janney who plays principal and rival troop mama Miss Massey. Janney undeniably is loveable which in turn makes this villain of a character funny and layered. The entire Cast work perfectly together, including the young cast, to bring this beautiful and endearing story to life. This is the Film that people will be talking about for the entire year.
Troop Zero screens at Sundance on Fri., Feb 1 at 6:30PM at Eccles PC, Sat., Feb 2 at 8:30PM at Prospector Square Theatre PC, and Sun., Feb 3 at 6:30PM at Rose Wagner SLC.
20th Century Fox Canada x Mr. Will want to take Readers to Toronto, Vancouver + Montreal to see Steve McQueen‘s WIDOWS! He’s the same Director who brought us Shame and 12 years a Slave!
Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 PM
MONTREAL – English
Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 PM
Cinema Banque Scotia
MONTREAL – French
Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 PM
From Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. “Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate there your City. Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance!
20th Century Fox Canada release WIDOWSFriday, November 16, 2018.
Widows follows four women who take up their deceased husbands’ next heist. It will have its World Premiere at TIFF ‘18 in the Galas Programme and is the follow-up Film to Director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave.
This Film is different from McQueen‘s previous Films, however it still hits all those important messages and has complex, layered characters that have made his Films so special. His Script, which he co-wrote with Gillian Flynn, has four rich female leads that are all unforgettable. Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo as spectacular fireworks that explode on the screen. This one is not to be missed.
Widows screens at TIFF on Saturday, September 8 at 9:30 PM at Roy ThompsonHall, Thursday, September 13 at 9:30 PM at Princess Of Wales and Sunday, September 16 at 6 PM at Elgin Theatre.
Words and Photo by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
The highly anticipated Film Widows held its Press Conference today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Director Steve McQueen, Writer GillianFlynn, Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debiki, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya,Brian Tyree Henry and Composer Hans Zimmer were all on hand to talk their new heist Film.
Widows takes place in the south side of Chicago and follows four women who take up their deceased husbands’ next heist. The hot topic of the conference was the female empowerment and race relation messages. “This Film shows what happens in public and private,” McQueen said about the depiction of race relations in America.
Colin Farrell spoke more on the topic of how the female characters are much better than the males when it comes to their moral compasses. “The men are fighting for scrapes and the women are fighting for their souls,” he passionately stated.
It comes as no surprise that Davis loves to delve deep into complicated and powerful female characters, and her role in Widows is no different. “I love kicking ass,” she laughed.
Widows screens at TIFF on Saturday, September 8 at 9:30 PM at Roy Thomson Hall, Thursday, September13 at 9:30 PM at Princess Of Wales and Sunday, September 16 at 6 PM at Elgin Theatre.
The 89th annual Academy Awards took place tonight at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and in a shock of a finale, MOONLIGHT would win coveted Best Picture. Presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway would make a not-soon-to-be-forgotten gaffe of announcing LA LA LAND and Best Picture, which eventually was corrected. Beatty clarified on-stage he had in fact received the envelope for Emma Stone, Best Actress. The acclaimed Barry Jenkins coming of age Film also would win for Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali).
In an era where inclusion and diversity are at the forefront of discussion, Ali becomes known as the first ever Muslim Actor to win an Oscar. Noted this year was an increased presence of talent whether it be Presenters or Nominees, of various ethnicities.
After dominating Awards Season, Damien Chazelle‘s LA LA LAND would sweep in several categories including Production Design, Cinematography,Original Score, Original Song, Directing and Actress (Emma Stone). Chazelle has the distinction of at age 32 being the youngest to ever win Best Directing.
Jimmy Kimmel filled hosting duties this year, delivering his signature brand of biting humour (much directed to a running friendly feud with Matt Damon) which drew big laughs and at once awkward silence when he joked about O.J. Simpson deserving an extra piece of bologna tonight after OJ: MADE IN AMERICA won Best Documentary.
The night reached a comedic high point where Kimmel told the audience that he had planned for a bus full of random tourists to visit Kodak Theatre without their knowing. Much to their surprise, they were greeted by a front row of Hollywood Who’s-Who which included the likes of Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali and several more!
Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award just earlier this year, three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep stole the show tonight right from the get-go without even speaking with Kimmel poking fun about Donald Trump‘s statement that she was over-rated getting the audience to giver her a standing ovation as the “highly-overrated Meryl Streep“.
The iconic Actress has appeared much in the news of late after Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld claimed to Women’s Wear Daily that Streep refused a dress from Chanel after she was denied monetary compensation for donning the label’s creation. Streep vehemently has denied the accusation, issuing a statement: “I do not take this lightly, and Mr. Lagerfeld’s generic ‘statement’ of regret for this ‘controversy’ was not an apology. He lied, they printed the lie, and I am still waiting.”.
The other acting categories went to heavy favourites. Casey Affleck won Best Actor for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA,Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her work in stage-to-film Adaptation FENCES.
Canada was represented well, with Montreal’s Sylvain Bellemare winning Best Sound Editing for ARRIVAL. The Best Picture-nominated Film also saw our Denis Villeneuve receive a nomination for Directing.
As always the evening’s fashion is a huge part of the spectacle and here are some of the evening’s winning looks!
As anticipated, LA LA LAND leads the 89th Academy Award nominations which were announced at 8:30 AM EST in Los Angeles. The Musical, hot off seven Golden Globe wins garnered a whopping 14 nominations including Best Picture, Actress (Emma Stone), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Directing (Chazelle), Writing (Chazelle) and more. It also has two nods for Original Song with Audition and City of Stars. Chazelle in a statement today said, “I am thrilled that the Academy is celebrating the work of Emma and Ryan, who brought these characters to life with such humanity and depth, and also the work of my college roommate Justin who created the beautiful music.”.
Up for Best Picture are:
HELL OR HIGH WATER
LA LA LAND
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
We had the pleasure of running promotions in 2016 for seven out of nine of these nominations and would like to congratulate our friends at these Canadian companies who distribute these Films: Elevation Pictures (Moonlight, Hacksaw Ridge), 20th Century Fox Canada (Hidden Figures), Paramount Pictures Canada (Arrival, Fences), VVS Films (Hell or High Water), Mongrel Media (Manchester by the Sea) and eOne Films (Lion, La La Land).
MOONLIGHT, seen widely as LA LA LAND‘s biggest threat for Best Picture, garners the second-most nods, tallying-in at a total of eight. The Film directed by up-and-comer and nominee Barry Jenkins has been a major force this Awards Season, a powerful response to an outcry of the prestigious awards lacking diversity.
This year, we see a total six black actors nominated including Viola Davis (Fences), Denzel Washington (Fences), Ruth Negga (Loving), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight) and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures). We also see an Actor of English-Indian descent nominated for Supporting Actor, Dev Patel (Lion). FENCES, starring an all-black cast, gets four nominations, while HIDDEN FIGURES, fronted by three black female principal actors, gets three nominations.
Davis, seen widely as the favourite in the Supporting Actress category stated, “Thank you to the Academy for recognizing this extraordinary, important film and my work in it. Thank you Denzel for being at the helm!”.
Although Canada’s submission for Foreign Language Film IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD missed the final shortlist, Canadians have plenty to be proud of with a total eight nominations, according to a congratulatory Press Release from Telefilm Canada:
Howard Barish, co-producer (13th), Documentary (Feature) Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival), Sound Editing Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye (Arrival), Sound Mixing Ryan Gosling (La La Land),Actor in a Leading Role Shawn Levy, co-producer (Arrival), Best Picture Theodore Ushev (Blind Vaysha), Short Film (Animated), National Film Board of Canada Patrice Vermette (Arrival), Production Design Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Directing
Some surprises from today’s announcements include a nod for three-time winner Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) in the Lead Actress category and Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) getting his second nomination today for Lead Actor. Many are surprised that despite getting recognized for Best Picture, ARRIVAL star Amy Adams did notgarner a nod for Actress in a Leading Role with two strong performances this year – the other being NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – being a major force all Awards Season. Newcomer and a soon to be on Broadway Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) finds himself among great company for Supporting Actor.
Streep in a humorous visual statement, had this to say about her recognition:
Paramount Pictures Canada + Mr. Will want to take Readers to see FENCES, directed by and starring Denzel Washington. Screenings take place in Toronto and Montreal:
Toronto (Wednesday December 21st) – Scotiabank Theatre @ 7:30PM
Montreal (Monday December 19th) – Cinéma Cineplex Forum @ 7:30PM
FENCES is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sydney.
The internet is all abuzz at the performances from Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in this new Trailer for Awards Season contender, FENCES.
Synopsis: FENCES is directed by Denzel Washington from a screenplay by August Wilson, adapted from Wilson‘s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. The film stars Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, and Saniyya Sydney. The film is produced by Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Scott Rudin.
See the Trailer:
Paramount Pictures Canada release FENCES on Christmas Day.