Oscars Nominations…

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

The Oscars Nominations, Netflix’s best, Glen Powell’s takeover, Steven Soderbergh’s POV, and a mouse.

Let’s go!


OSCARS NOMINATIONS 2024

Best Motion Picture

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best International Feature

Best Animated Feature

Best Documentary Feature

Oppenheimer received 13 nominations.

American Fiction picked up a nomination for Original Score. Anatomy of a Fall received a nomination for Best Editing.

Winners will be announced on Sunday, March 10th.

For More:

Check out the full list of nominations here.

Oscars 96 | The Journey Begins! – An adrenaline shot of Oscar history (video).

Everything Everywhere All at Once wins best picture (video).


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Norman Jewison, whose films won 12 Oscars, passed away at 97. Jewison had incredible range as a director:

Sidney Poitier spoke about Jewison’s on-set manner:

“He gives his actors room and keeps them as calm as he can, because it’s easier to speak with them when they’re calm. A director has to keep the actors on their toes while the camera’s running, but when the scene is done, they should be relaxing, nothing on their minds. There can’t be a constant level of seriousness. And with Norman, there’s always a lot of laughter.”

Jewison’s favorites from his filmography were the ones that addressed social justice because he always felt like an outsider.

He received a lifetime achievement award at the DGA in 2010.

Read the NY Times obit here.

Scott Stuber, Chairman of Netflix Film, is starting a new company. Stuber propelled Netflix’s film division, joining the team in 2017.

He pioneered Netflix’s strategy of releasing a movie a week, cementing the streamer as a juggernaut in the industry.

Here are the top projects Stuber oversaw:

Ted Sarandos, Netflix CEO stated:

“[Stuber] helped lead a new paradigm of how movies are made, distributed and watched…He attracted unbelievable creative talent [Fincher, Coen Brothers, Scorsese, Jane Campion, Charlie Kaufman] to Netflix, making us a premiere film studio.”

Stuber has obtained financing to form a production company focused on high-caliber TV shows and movies.

Amazon Studios captures MrBeast. Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, has 234M subs on YouTube. He’s best known for his wild competition videos ($456K Squid Game in Real Life, 100 Days Trapped win 500K). Amazon is close to signing a deal for what is reported to be nearly $100M for an unscripted Mr. Beast competition show. It continues the trend of Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon, spending big on mass entertainment (e.g., the Rings of Power gamble).

Sundance’s biggest sale. Netflix buys It’s What’s Inside for $17M.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A pre-wedding party descends into an existential nightmare when an estranged friend shows up with a mysterious suitcase.

This midnight movie is a brainteaser. When the cast read the script, they were extremely confused (interview).

Netflix’s last big Sundance buy was in 2023 for Fair Play for $20M.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Glen Powell is the man. Here’s a round-up of his latest and greatest project:

Powell has a certain slimy suaveness that is both confusing and alluring. Taking the lead role in Linklater’s Hit Man, the director’s most commercial film since School of Rock (2003), may cement Powell as the next Hollywood action star.

Tom Cruise (61) and Keanu Reeves (59), while not out of the game just yet, might be looking to pass the torch.

The Talented Mr. Andrew Scott. Netflix is making a limited series from the famed Patricia Highsmith novels about Tom Ripley.

Scott will play the titular character, following a long line of talented Ripleys:

The teaser is terrifying. Scott is heart-poundingly chilling. Malkovich co-stars.

Scott has excelled in these types of sleek yet slimy roles, playing Moriarty outwitting Benedict Cumberbatch’s genius in Sherlock.

Ripley releases on Netflix on April 4th.

Viola Davis is the president of the United States. She stars in the upcoming G20. Her unstoppable brilliance can be seen in these four Oscar performances:

Here’s the synopsis for G20:

Terrorists take over the G20 summit with US President Taylor Sutton, bringing her governing and military experience to defend her family, company, and the world.

While this may seem like a trite mega-budget action thriller, Davis’ ability to ground blockbusters (Suicide Squadclip) could make this a critical and commercial hit.

Amazon Studios is producing. The project is currently in production.


FESTIVALS

Will Ferrell is at Sundance. Ferrell embarked on a 17-day cross-country road trip with his close friend, Harper Steele (Writer: SNL 1995-2008), to bombard them with questions about coming out as trans.

During an empathetic and hilarious interview at Sundance, Ferrell shared the impetus for the project:

“Of course, I made it clear to Harper, like, I don’t want to exploit our friendship. But this could, I think, be just a wonderful way for us to explore this topic. Obviously, for me to learn, ask all the questions that I have about what you’re going through and who you are. Have you changed?… The fact that two people can have a conversation about this.”

Ferrell’s iron-clad belief that conversation is the most powerful medium of empathy is heart-warming.

Apparently, the crew captured 250 hours of footage… the blooper reel has got to be amazing.

Berlin Film Festival official selections. Here are three standouts:

Logline: Follows the life in the kitchen of a NYC restaurant where cultures from all over the world blend during the lunchtime rush.

First look image of Mara in the film here.

Logline: Two people who have loved each other, and continue to love each other, even after one of them dies.

First look image of Gael García Bernal here.

Austria in the 18th century. Forests surround villages. Killing a baby gets a woman sentenced to death. Agnes readies for married life with her beloved. But her mind and heart grow heavy. A gloomy path alone, evil thoughts arising.

Wild poster image here.

Full list of Berlin films in competition here.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Steven Soderbergh is a staple of independent cinema. His acclaimed 1989 film Sex, Lies, and Videotape debuted at Sundance and captured the audience award. His new film Presence is a horror-thriller that is shot entirely through the POV of a ghost who is haunting a house.

In the past, Soderbergh has ​decried​ strict POV filmmaking, where the entire movie is viewed through the main characters’s eyes without any reaction shots.

Soderbergh discussed his flip:

“I’ve been convinced you don’t have a movie if you don’t have that — if you can’t see what the character’s feeling emotionally, you don’t have a movie… But here I am literally tearing down the structure that I’ve built. And my only justification is: Here, if you did a reverse, there wouldn’t be anything to see.”

That’s a hell of a justification.

Soderbergh is the epitome of a rapid-paced filmmaker who, no matter the cost, makes a movie. He does not wait on decision-makers. And no matter whether he’s producing something big budget like Logan Lucky ($30M), where he used clever tactics to go around the studios, he just green lights himself.

Soderbergh’s next project is Black Bag, starring Cate Blanchett and Michael Fassbender, which is currently in pre-production.

Aaron Schimberg’s A Different Man is a psychosexual thriller, playing at Sundance and just announced as an official selection at the Berlin Film Festival. The film uses body horror to tackle identity in a way reminiscent of David Cronenberg’s The Fly.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Aspiring actor Edward (Sebastian Stan) undergoes a radical medical procedure to drastically transform his appearance. But his new dream face quickly turns into a nightmare, as he loses out on the role he was born to play and becomes obsessed with reclaiming what was lost.

At the Q&A, Stan discussed the challenges of walking around NYC with facial deformity prosthetics (video).

Indie powerhouse ​Christine Vachon produces the film.

Schimberg is adept at portrayals of characters with facial deformities. His previous film, Chained For Life (2019, trailer), starring Adam Pearson (Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson scene clip) – covered similar ground.

Read a review for A Different Man here.

A24 is releasing. No date has been set.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Nitram is an acid-soaked portrayal of mental illness. Earning the titular character Caleb Landry Jones an award at Venice for Best Actor (trailer). Now, Nicole Kidman teams with the Nitram director, Justin Kurzel, on a new project, Mice.

Here’s the official synopsis pulled from the novel on which it is based.

Shelley and her mom (Kidman) have been menaced long enough. Excused from high school, where a trio of bullies nearly killed her, and still reeling from her parents’ humiliating divorce, Shelley has retreated with her mother to the quiet of Honeysuckle Cottage in the countryside…on the eve of Shelley’s sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace, and something inside Shelley snaps.

It’s great to see Kidman re-enter the realm of psychologically distributing cinema for which she is renowned (Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Birth (2004), The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017).

Mice is currently in development.


ON THIS DAY

1962. Jules and Jim, directed by François Truffaut and starring Jeanne Moreau is released.


See you tomorrow.


Written by Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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