Golden Globes, Black Lists, and Will Ferrell

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

The astute Golden Globes nominees, The Black List unleashes Tom Hanks, and a yellow cocoon.

Let’s go!


GOLDEN GLOBES

Golden Globe Nominations.

With the homogeneous Hollywood Foreign Press no longer overseeing the nominations, a new era of film critic voters from over 75 countries has emerged.

Here are their the top film nominations:

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language

Best Performance by a Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Best Director — Motion Picture

  • Bradley Cooper, Maestro
  • Greta Gerwig, Barbie
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things
  • Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
  • Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Celine Song, Past Lives

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

  • Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Barbie
  • Tony McNamara, Poor Things
  • Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
  • Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Celine Song, Past Lives
  • Justine Triet, Arthur Harari, Anatomy of a Fall

Barbie received 9 nominations, while Oppenheimer received 8.

For More:

What is the relevance of the Golden Globes, and how do they impact the Oscars?

The big winner of the Golden Globes is Meryl Streep, who has 33 nominations and 8 wins.

There were no Golden Globes in 2022. Jerrod Carmichael, the host of the 2023 Globes, explains why in this hilarious take-down monologue.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Godzilla Studio purchases a 25% stake in Fifth Season (formerly Endeavor Content). Toho, the largest production company in Japan, best known for 37 Godzilla films, including Godzilla Minus One (2023), has snapped up a quarter of Fifth Season for $225.

Fifth Season has produced:

For context, in 2017, Endeavor, a leading agency, launched Fifth Season (originally Endeavor Content) to amplify its content production. However, after a prolonged dispute with the WGA over packaging rights, Endeavor had to divest the company in 2021. South Korea’s CJ ENM acquired an 80% stake in Fifth Season for $785 million.

It’s interesting to note that Toho’s purchase values the company for slightly less ($900M) than CJ ENM ($981M). The reduction in value is most likely due to the fact that Fifth Season has had to lay off a large part their staff in April and August due to the strikes.

Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine (Big Little Lies) is currently feeling the economic impact of the strikes. Picked up by Candle Media for a hefty $900 million back in 2021, Hello Sunshine is now seeing profits plummet by a staggering 90%. This downturn is causing major ripples at parent company Candle Media, especially after their $3 billion acquisition of Moonbug Entertainment, that primarily produces kids TV shows. Currently, they’re looking to restructure their debt.

There are rumors that Big Little Lies will have a third season, which could help keep the company afloat, but as of yet, nothing has been confirmed.

Disney + Hulu > Netflix. As Disney completes its purchase of Hulu to become the full owner, a recent analysis shows how Disney and Hulu will outrank Netflix in two key areas:

  • The number of movies/TV shows:
    • 9,578 Disney+/Hulu
    • 8,391 Netflix
  • Percent of top 100 titles:
    • 33% Disney+/Hulu
    • 29% Netflix

Hulu and Disney are set to combine by March 2024.

In the streaming wars, it remains to be seen if dwindling consumer appetite will force the hands of streaming platforms to consolidate.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Dominic Sessa stars alongside Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers from director Alexander Payne (Sideways). Sessa’s biggest credit before this film was acting in plays in high school. A talent search initiated by Payne at a boarding school in New England dug up the actor.

Sessa explained:

“It’s insane. I mean, it’s almost like its own movie script. It’s a crazy story. And now people are actually seeing the movie in a theater. Being at the center of that is incredibly surreal.”

Payne remarked:

“Dominic instinctively understood how to access his own life experience for an emotionally intelligent performance. Once convinced that this newcomer had the ability for a leading role, I cast him because he also possessed a face I wanted to see healed by the story the movie was to tell.”

Taking another look at the trailer, it’s hard to fathom that Sessa is new to the world of filmmaking. Big props to longtime casting director Susan Shopmaker (Sound of Metal, First Reformed, Martha Marcy May Marlene) for her sharp-eyed discovery.

Dustin Hoffman is starring in Lucca Mortis, the new film by Peter Greenway, director of the diabolical The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989).

The Tuscan Film Commission shared this synopsis:

New York writer (Hoffman) takes a sabbatical to visit Lucca, in search of his distant Italian origins. An opportunity to reflect on life, the past and the choices he has made. Set in 2001, the year of the attack on the Twin Towers in New York, Lucca Mortis creates a sort of parallelism with the towers of Lucca.

Hoffman is one of the greatest American actors of all time, with his varied performances ranging from the boyishly naive in The Graduate (1967) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) to the raw and unsettling in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Straw Dogs (1971). Although his recent films have not performed well, this new project could prove to be an end-of-career resurgence.


FESTIVALS

The 2023 Black List is here. Curated from over 375 film executives’ top ten screenplay picks of the most liked, unproduced scripts.

Here are our favorites:

Bad Boy, written by Travis Braun. Synopsis:

A rescue dog suspects his loving new owner is a serial killer.

Braun worked in the writer’s room of Criminal Minds for many years before transitioning to writing Pupstruction, a Disney Junior dog TV show. His script seems to be the perfect blend of his experience. This script topped the Black List with 49 executive mentions.

Hot Mess, written by Shanrah Wakefield. Synopsis:

Sandy was once a formidable investigative reporter until a bungled story destroyed her credibility and forced her into the soul-sucking world of tabloid gossip–now her days are spent covering hot mess celebrity Margot Ford. When a disillusioned Sandy is called to Fiji to follow Margot’s latest hijinks, she discovers a surprise about Margot’s real identity, which sends her on an adventure she never imagined, as the two must team up to take down a massive, sinister corporate plot with global implications, all taking place at a luxury island resort.

The synopsis is a bit of a hot mess, but that seems to be its charm.

The Profit, written by Andrew Ferguson. Synopsis:

The astonishing true story of how an unknown, evangelical Christian immigrant, Bill Hwang, suffered the greatest loss of wealth in American history, gambling away his $35 billion fortune and jeopardizing the entire financial system in under forty-eight hours.

Darren Aaronofsky’s production company Protozoa is already attached.

Check out the full Black List here.

It includes a Being John Malkovich-esque script where Tom Hanks gets kidnapped!

Lupita Nyong’o will preside over the jury for the Berlin Film Festival. Berlin’s director stated:

“Lupita Nyong’o embodies what we like in cinema: versatility in embracing different projects, addressing different audiences, and consistency to one idea that is quite recognizable in her characters, as diverse as they may look.”

Nyong’o had one of the strongest cinema debuts with her riveting performance in 12 Years a Slave (scene). She recently appeared in both Black Panther films and Jordan Peele’s Us (2019) and is currently developing a series about Nigerian immigrants for HBO with Brad Pitt’s Plan B.


TECH SECTION

Ever wonder how VFX artists make dogs talk? In a potential preview of what we might see in the Black Lists’ Bad Boy (see above), take a look at the VFX in Strays (video) starring Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx as dogs.

The company behind the work, Cinesite has also done VFX on Titanic (1997), The Dark Knight (2008), and Black Panther (2018).


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron tops the North American box office ($12.8M). It’s the first original anime title in history to achieve this milestone. It also made $56.2M in Japan.

As detailed last month, Miyazaki’s animation is a work of art. His cinema intertwines the supernatural and the personal. Amongst his best are:

The Boy and the Hero trailer is pure beauty. The film is due in UK theaters Dec 26th (UK). It stars Christian Bale, Dave Bautista and Florence Pugh.

Interestingly, Bale voiced Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle.

Blitz Bazawule, director of The Color Purple, has mastered many facets of cinema. His directorial debut, The Burial of Kojo, which he also wrote, produced, edited, cast, and composed, is saturated with surreal color and unflinchingly raw performances (trailer). After Ava DuVernay’s company picked up the film and sold it to Netflix, Bazawule was hired as one of twelve directors for Beyonce’s phantasmagorical visual album Black is King (trailer).

That’s what got Bazawule onto Steven Spielberg’s list of directors for the remake of his movie The Color Purple (1985), which was nominated for eleven Oscars. But Bazawule’s name was barely in consideration.

That flipped when, according to this great WSJ interview, Bazawule:

“Pitched a retelling of the rural tale on a grand scale. He hit [Spielberg] with music samples, vivid color palettes, descriptions of magical realism, and storyboard sketches he had drawn himself.”

Spielberg liked his bold modernization and hired him. The Color Purple is releasing on Dec 25th (US) and Jan 26 (UK). Trailer here.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

The Singaporean film Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell was selected for Director’s Fortnight at Cannes and won the Golden Camera award at the festival. It’s the first feature of the director Thien An Pham, who also wrote, edited, and production designed the film.

Here’s the official plot summary:

After his sister-in-law dies in a freak motorcycle accident in Saigon, Thien is bestowed the task of delivering her body back to their countryside hometown. Amidst the mystical landscapes of rural Vietnam, Thien begins a search for his older brother, who vanished years ago – a journey that deeply questions his faith.

There’s a precision and undertone of eeriness in the trailer that has the main character ruminating on eternity and faith.

Kino Lorber is distributing. Release date Jan 19 (US). No word yet on the UK release.

Cinematic. Romantic. Brutal. The Last Wife is currently topping the Vietnamese box office ($4M).

Here’s the official logline:

In Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty, Linh, the youngest and last wife of the district governor, is unable to fulfill her obligation to give birth to an heir. Compounding the insurmountable societal pressure she faces from the older wives, a chance meeting between Linh and her childhood love, Nhan, unravels a string of unexpected events that dramatically change her life.

The trailer features stunning Vietnamese vistas and harsh violence against women, which makes it hard to watch. The film feels like a slightly more pedestrian version of The Handmaiden (2016).

The popularity of this film crystalizes the current growth of cinema in Vietnam, with four films surpassing $4M this year.

Himalayan boarding school slow-burn adolescent thriller. Girls Will Be Girls is an official selection for the world cinema dramatic competition at Sundance 2024.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Follows the journey of 16-year-old Mira, whose sexy, rebellious coming of age is disrupted by her young mother, who never got to come of age herself.

Watch the trailer here. The taut tension between following and breaking rules lend well to this Indian romance-drama.


ON THIS DAY

1988. Rainman, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, premieres in New York (Best Picture 1989).


See you tomorrow.


Written by: Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

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