Week in Review 2.7.14

Award Season Update

Oscars—As part of his continuing coverage, The Hollywood Reporter's awards guru, Scott Feinberg, published two more Oscar breakdowns, one covering the Best Original Screenplay race, and one focusing on the race for Best Supporting Actress.

In other Oscar news, Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar-nominated song, "Happy," on the telecast. The song is featured in Despicable Me 2. Read the official press release for details.

Meanwhile, The Wolf of Wall Street's producers are getting cheeky in their Oscar campaign.

Several guilds announced their winners last weekend. (Feinberg has analysis of all the festivities.)
  • Writers Guild of America—With two ceremonies, one on each coast, the WGA handed out several awards, honoring work in film, television and radio. Spike Jonze rightly took home the Original Screenplay award for Her, while Billy Ray went home with the Adapted Screenplay award for his work on Captain Phillips. (Note that Oscar hopeful John Ridley was not nominated for 12 Years a Slave because of WGA eligibility requirements.) On the TV sides of things, the writers of Breaking Bad and Veep won honors for Drama and Comedy Series, respectively, while Beau Willimon and company won for New Series for House of Cards. (That's Willimon with his award!) Visit The Hollywood Reporter for the full list of winners.

  • American Society of Cinematographers—The cameramen honored Emmanuel Lubezki with its top honor for his work on Gravity. Meanwhile, Jonathan Freeman won in the one-hour episodic television category for his work on Games of Thrones' third season premiere, "Valar Dohaeris." Visit the ASC website for the full list of winners.

  • International Animated Film Association—The 41st Annie Awards were presented on Saturday night, adding another award to Frozen's mantle, making it the one to beat in the Oscars race. 
London Critics' Circle Awards—Across the pond, top honors were handed out for excellence in film. 12 Years a Slave won the Best Film award, and its actors, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o also received honors (in the best leading and supporting actress categories, respectively). Ethan and Joel Coen won the screenwriter award for Inside Llewyn Davis. Visit Variety for the full list of winners.

Golden Globes—I know what you're thinking. Yes, we've already been through this year's Golden Globes. But here's the news: The date has been set for the 72nd ceremony. The annual award ceremony will be held on January 11, 2015, with returning champs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting once again. Entertainment Weekly has more.

Santa Barbara International Film Festival—The SBIFF has become a staple of the award season circuit, and this year is no exception. Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), June Squibb (Nebraska) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) we on hand to receive the Virtuoso honor. During the ceremony celebrating the actors, Leto was heckled by an audience member who took issue with a straight man playing a trans woman. Leto, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, engaged with the woman, respectfully, and countered that such logic closes doors on LGBT artists as well, saying that that argument would exclude a gay actor from playing a straight man. Interesting stuff. (Elsewhere at the festival, Jonah Hill presented his The Wolf of Wall Street collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese with the Cinema Vanguard Award. The Hollywood Reporter has coverage.)

The Bridges of Madison County

The novella has been adapted into a stage musical, with a book by Marsha Norman and a score by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years), and it's now in previews. I saw it last weekend and can't wait to tell you about it. (Check back on opening night, February 20, for my review.) Until then, check out these bits of press: Brown, a pianist first and foremost, talks about writing the show on guitar; supporting player Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hardbody) talks about some of his favorite roles; watch stars Kelli O'Hara (Far from Heaven) and Steven Pasquale (The Intelligent...) sing the powerful "One Second and a Million Miles," and below, watch as Pasquale talks about his character and sings a section of the thrilling "It All Fades Away." (If the video doesn't appear below, click here to watch on YouTube.)Visit bridgesofmadisoncountymusical.com to learn more and to purchase tickets.



Casting Updates

  • Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur) will hit the big screen with Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Al Pacino (Glengarry Glen Ross) and others in Barry Levinson's The Humbling, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel. Broadway.com has more.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill (both Oscar-nominated for The Wolf of Wall Street) will re-team in a movie based on a Vanity Fair article about the 1996 Olympic bomber. Deadline has details.

  • Additional casting has been announced for Casa Valentina, a new play from Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots). Tony winner Gabriel Ebert (Matilda), Reed Birney (Uncle Vanya, Picnic), Mare Winningham (Picnic) and more will join the previously announced Patrick Page (A Time to Kill) and John Cullum (The Scottsboro Boys). The world premiere MTC production is directed by Joe Mantello (Dogfight, Other Desert Cities), and begins previews April 1. Opening night is set for April 23. Playbill has more.

  • Lick it up! Casting has been announced for the off-Broadway premiere of Heathers: The Musical! (You might recall that I saw a concert of this a few years ago.) Barrett Wilbert Weed will star as Veronica, with Bring It On's Elle McLemore as her rival, Heather McNamara, and Ryan McCartan as the brooding JD. Heathers will run at New World Stages; previews begin March 15 in advance of a March 31 opening. Playbill has more.

  • Anna Kendrick (50/50) and Rebel Wilson will reprise their roles for the recently announced Pitch Perfect sequel, to be directed by Elizabeth Banks, who appeared in and produced the first flick. The Hollywood Reporter has more.
Dig This

  • Members of the Rocky creative team, including director Alex Timbers, sat down with Broadway.com's Paul Wontorek to talk about staging the big fight. (Also: The producers announced a general lottery for "ring side" tickets to said fight. Playbill has details.)

  • Good news: House of Cards will return for a third season! The show's second season debuts on Netflix on February 14. Vulture has more.

  • The original Broadway cast recording of the gone-too-soon musical Big Fish is now available from digital outlets (physical copies will be on sale on Tuesday, February 11), and Broadway.com has a clip of Norbert Leo Butz and Kate Baldwin recording the beautiful "Time Stops."

  • Here it is—another episode of Natural Woman, wherein Jessie Mueller takes us: Backstage at Beautiful.

  • HBO will air Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, which Crystal recently revived on Broadway, on April 19.

  • If/Then is coming (not soon enough, though!), and Anthony Rapp and composer Tom Kitt recently previewed the song, "You Don't Need to Love Me." I'm in tears.


Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

We lost a great one on Sunday. Hoffman was a celebrated and much beloved stage and screen actor who appeared in, among so many other great works, Almost Famous, The Ides of March, The Master and Death of a Salesman. Hoffman also worked with Aaron Sorkin on Charlie Wilson's War and Moneyball, and in Time magazine, Sorkin writes about his bond with the late actor. Here is it, your moment of zen:

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