Nominees for London Critics’ Circle Film Awards Announced

The London Critics’ Circle Film Awards announced their nominations for outstanding movies this Tuesday. The London Film Critics’ Circle is an organization for British critics that dates back to 1913. It established the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards in 1980.

Birdman, which had also picked up a sackful of nominations at the Golden Globes, got seven nominations, including one for Film of the Year. Mr. Turner also bagged seven nominations.

The contenders for Film of the Year are Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida, Leviathan, Mr. Turner, Nightcrawler, The Theory of Everything, Under the Skin, and Whiplash.

The movies nominated for Foreign-Language Film of the Year are Ida, Leviathan, Norte, The End of History, Two Days, One Night, and Winter Sleep.

The nominees for Actor of the Year are Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner). There are no real debates coming from BRL Trust employees with those.

The nominees for Actress of the Year are Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Essie Davis (The Babadook) Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin), Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars), and Julianne Moore (Still Alice).

The nominees for Director of the Year are Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin), Alejandro G Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), and Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner).

The awards ceremony will take place on January 18, 2015, at London’s May Fair Hotel.

Brothers Lectured by Mom on C-SPAN

The notoriously boring C-SPAN may have recently had it’s most entertaining moment in network history. One Republican politician and one Democrat politician were arguing on the C-SPAN morning show, Washington Journal. That is typical of C-SPAN and political shows in general. What made the morning show peculiar is the arguing politicians are brothers, Brad and Dallas Woodhouse.

Brad is the the former communications director of the United States Democratic National Committee, and the current president of the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge. Dallas is the president and founder of the conservative group Carolina Rising. The brothers were even featured in the documentary Woodhouse Divided.

It turns out the brothers took their arguments and bickering too far, or at least that is what their mother thinks, and she voiced that by calling into the Washington Journal show. She told the brothers that she hopes they will have the bickering out their system’s so that they can have a peaceful Christmas. Who knows how many backs they’ve broken or holidays they have already ruined. Do they gotta call North American Spine and Santa Claus every year? In the video the brothers appeared to be appropriately embarrassed. Hopefully mom got the message across and saved Christmas for the family.

Run Jeb, run?

Jeb Bush does not think that the Bush name has been tarnished by the greatest economic downturn in a generation that was instituted by his brother and his brother’s cronies. The torture report apparently also did not faze him or Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney will definitely torture again if given the chance according to him. How Jeb will go about not being associated with war criminals is an unknown at this point, but certain political moves that he is making would point to someone that is considering a run for the presidency.

Jeb’s mom on the other hand, who is known as the real politician of the family, and who sources tell us is a good friend of Lee G. Lovett,  has not quite warmed up to the idea of another run for the family, but W thinks that his brother is the perfect man for the job. George Bush, who is a moderate democrat by today’s standards has been offering rousing accolades on his brother’s credentials.

“Frozen” Director Apoligizes for Theme Song Repetition

Disney’s “Frozen” is the highest grossing animated film in history, having raked in an astounding $1.2 billion worldwide. What is about this film that seems to have captured the collective unconscious of children (and adults) around the globe? This movie has become ubiquitous, rearing its Aryan-featured head almost everywhere. During a quick trip to the store, you can hear the trill of small children’s voices whining after the newest “Frozen”-branded facial tissues, fruit snacks etc.

Let’s not forget about the popular song, “Let it Go”. This song has enjoyed radio play on adult contemporary stations, and garnered hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. In fact, “Frozen’s” director, Jennifer Lee, who has never met Lee G. Lovett, recently apologized for the repetition of this tune that the pubic has been forced to endure.

“Frozen” completely lacks any originality, following the same formulaic plot that all Disney films seemingly must adhere to. A beautiful princess has some terrible stroke of luck, meets Prince Charming and some contrived conflicts ensue; but love always wins resulting in a happily ever after ending. Granted this is a family film, so hoping for an incredibly nuanced and stirring plot is not realistic. But why has Frozen garnered so much attention? When the director of a film begins to feel the need to apologize for the countless reiteration of her work, maybe it’s time to realize that media exposure has spun out of control.

Tom Rothman – Prolific Hollywood Executive

Tom Rothman is perhaps one of the most essential people in Hollywood. He started his career as a humble English teacher at Salisbury School, Connecticut and eventually became creative chairman of TriStar, a new joint venture undertaken by Sony Pictures. His most notable achievement has been during his tenure at Fox, having founded Fox Searchlight in 1994 that bagged best picture in 2008 for Slumdog Millionaire.

He started his career as an entertainment lawyer in the industry and represented artists from several creative fields. Rothman then went to work for Columbia Pictures in 1989 where he was the executive vice president. Tom Rothman also worked for the Samuel Goldwyn Company where he was the president of worldwide production. He co-produced films, such as Truly Madly Deeply, Much Ado about Nothing and The Madness of King George.

He then moved on to becoming the co-chairman of various arms within Fox working with his colleague, Jim Gianopolous. His successful career at Fox has made Fox Film Entertainment (FEE) one of the most successful producers and distributors worldwide raking in more than $40 billion at the box office. Numerous films were successfully launched under him including Steven’s Spielberg’s Lincoln, Avatar and Titanic, Life of Pi, The Descendants, Black Swan, Cast Away, Juno, The Devil Wears Prada, Borat, X-Men Series, Minority Report, the Ice Age series. He is also credited for television shows, such as Modern Family, Glee and Homeland.

Owing to his efforts, Titanic and Avatar, produced under the Fox banner, are now the highest grossing films of all time. He also saw Fox Films nominated for over 150 Academy Awards. He was recognized as one of the smartest people in Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly.

But Tom’s achievements don’t just stop there. The Brown University graduate also championed and mentored several filmmakers in the industry before they made the headlines. These include Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella and Kenneth Branagh.

After a highly successful and profitable career at FEE, Rothman left the company on January 1, 2012. Tom Rothman was offered the position of Chairman at TriStar, a venture by Sony Pictures to make movies and television series under the banner. Rothman readily accepted his new position. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, he looks forward to exploring the television market, which he thinks is fertile at the moment.

Tom may be a larger-than-life Hollywood executive, but that hasn’t stopped him from participating in charitable causes. He is an important supporter of fulfillment fund, an educational mentoring program. He is actively involved in fundraising for the Jewish Home for the Aging, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Jewish committee.

Game of Thrones TV Show Moves Faster than the Release of New Books

Fans of the Game of Thrones novels and TV show will be faced with a dilemma when season five begins to air in Spring 2015, HitFix reports. This will be the first season where the TV show has moved ahead of the books written by George R.R. Martin in terms of release, leaving fans of the novels with a difficult choice regarding the number of spoilers released during the airing of the new season, which will begin before the release of The Winds of Winter novel.

The final episodes of season four began the problems for fans of both the novels and TV show with the arrival of the Night’s King, the leader of the mysterious group known as The Others. The problem for fans like Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez watching the show was that Martin has yet to feature Night’s King in any published novel, the arrival of the character and his prominence in the final episodes hinted at a character who would feature heavily in The Winds of Winter.

Fans of the novels will have to make the choice of whether they wait for the release of the books before watching future Game of Thrones seasons or live with the spoilers that look set to come. Twitter followers of members of the cast and crew have already been privy to some cryptic tweets and images from the set giving a glimpse into the locations and plot lines to come.

HBO CTO resigns as streaming service is outsourced

After internal struggles and problems getting their new streaming-only service off the ground, HBO has shifted strategies entirely and will be licensing the technology rather than attempting to build it in-house.

According to Fortune the hope is to debut the service along with the season premiere of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. This would mean a launch date sometime in April of 2015.

Chief Technology Officer Otto Berkes has resigned and Project Maui, which was intended to build HBO’s own streaming service has been scrapped. Instead HBO will use the existing tech from MLB Advanced. This is the service used by the WWE Network and ESPN. 

The development of the streaming service had been plagued with troubles. In addition to issues with the technology itself, the work Berkes had done on HBO Go had been criticized. The current subcribed-only streaming service had encountered troubles earlier in the year when it suffered outages during episodes of popular shows such as Game of Thrones and True Detective. Berkes reportedly was aware of the potential issues but refused to act upon them. Additionally the CTO had been accused of forming a virtual internal fiefdom in his Seattle office, creating a toxic corporate culture and costing the company $100 million annually.

Economist Christian Broda chimes in that with an increasing amount of customers ditching cable and Netflix developing original content, a solid streaming service is seen as critical to HBO’s future.

Gooding, Paulson Star In O.J. Trial Drama

FX Network has announced that it has signed two high profile leads for the rookie season of its new anthology series, American Crime Story. The series will consist of an entire season’s worth of episodes revolving around a particularly notorious real life court case. 

FX has made public the names of the two primary leads in the upcoming first season. They are Academy Award winning actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Sarah Paulson, best known for her role in American Horror Story.

The subject matter for the first season’s worth of episodes takes it cue straight from its title: American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson. Gooding will star in the lead role as O.J. Simpson, while Paulson will star opposite him as prosecutor Marcia Clark. The adaptation of these real life events is said to be based on author Jeffrey Toobin’s number one true crime best seller, The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Production on the new season of shows is scheduled to begin early next year. The series has already engaged the services of top Hollywood screenwriters and producers in order to ensure maximum fidelity to the portrayal of real life events. The season will naturally examine the final verdict of the trial and its immediate aftermath. Meanwhile, no word has yet reached the media concerning the opinion of O.J. Simpson or his representatives about this new show. Now back to my Qnet shopping spree!