With few major festivals or independent releases taking up our attention over the course of the week, we took the opportunity to look instead at the best films of the year so far in our annual Criticwire poll, asking critics what at the year’s halfway point has impressed them the most. But while the list had us looking at many of the films that have already come and gone throughout the year so far, two highly-anticipated trailers and a release date for one of the most anticipated adaptations in years kept our anticipation towards the future high. Meanwhile, AMC closed off one series while teasing another, we spoke with Bond girl Gemma Arterton on her career since “Quantum of Solace,” and we took an early stab at the upcoming Oscar race.
Take a look at all of these stories and more below as we go back over the ten most viewed news, interviews and features from this week at Indiewire:
Over 100 critics from our Criticwire Network sent us their picks for their favorite films of the year so far, and it surprised just about no one when Richard Linklater’s latest installment the Celine and Jesse’s saga, “Before Midnight,” came in at the top spot. The rest of the top 5 was an extremely varied group, ranging from the sci-fi abstractions of Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color,” to Sarah Polly’s meta family documentary “Stories We Tell” and Harmony Korine’s anarchic “Spring Breakers.” Check out the full list to see how your favorite films ranked up.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ To Hit Theaters August 1st, 2014
Just one week after Universal and Focus announced that Sam Taylor-Johnson would direct the film, they have now set a release date for their adaptation of the S&M filled bestseller, and the millions of fans of the original books will likely be happy to now that the release is just over a year away. While casting information remains largely under-wraps, more news on the Kelly Marcel-scripted film will likely be released now that the film is on a set release schedule. Stay tuned for more info.
As June comes to a close, our monthly Project of the Month series is once again open for voting. With the four films ranging from the on-stage fake sex documentary “Air Sex Championships” and the “Matilda”-inspired Indian drama “Sharbat,” to the documentary-fiction hybrid “Know How,” and Appalachian-set drama “Bug People,” voters have until tonight at 5 to place their vote for what film deserves the title, and with it a consultation from our Project of the Month partner, the Tribeca Film Institute.
Queue It Up: Here’s 11 Best Picture Oscar Winners Now Streaming on Netflix
With our focus mainly placed on the current independent summer release calendar, it’s hard to keep track of the countless films slipping under the radar throughout the past year, but thanks to the magic of online streaming, getting caught up on the releases that fell through the cracks is now easier than ever. We compiled a list of all of the films that made our 2012 Year-End Critic’s Poll, and offer the 19 best films of 2012 currently available for Netflix streaming, including our pick for the best film of last year with Leos Carax’s undefinable odyssey “Holy Motors,” and many other great choices.
Gemma Arterton On Life After James Bond, the ‘Clash of the Titans’ Nightmare and Why She’s ‘Quite a Sexual Person’
Since her turn as Bond girl Strawberry Fields in the much-maligned second Daniel Craig entry in the series “Quantum of Solace,” actress Gemma Arterton has proved to be an exception to the career suicide often attribute to the role, with projects ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to much smaller, independent fare. Now with the release of both Neil Jordan’s vampire drama “Byzantium” and the Weinstein-release weepie “Unfinished Song” this month, Arterton sat down with us to discuss her career since Bond, the many projects she has appeared in, and how with recent performance she has embraced her sexual side.
Now nearing its final marketing push before the August 11th premiere, AMC released the final poster for the new and final season of “Breaking Bad,” this time giving a much more direct preview with the statement “Remember My Name” plastered over an image of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. It’s a dark, brutal and ominous image, perfectly in line with what many fans are expecting from the show’s final 8 episodes, and one more reason why August couldn’t come sooner for fans of the show.
With the sixth season coming to an end last Sunday, the show left fans once again with an ambiguous image of its central protagonist Don Draper, tying together the season’s arc and revealing that perhaps he is hi own impediment to happiness. Directed by show creator Matthew Weiner with a script co-writer by Carly Wray and himself, the finale was filled with moments of uncertainty, fulfilling the season premiere’s “jumping off place” imagery in an unexpected location and giving Roger and Joan a much needed next step in their relationship with their child.
Moving away from the science fiction setting of “Prometheus,” Ridley Scott’s latest, “The Counselor,” finds him returning to the modern day thrillers that have filled the last decade of his career. With an ensemble cast including Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Cameron Diaz, and one of the most suspenseful trailers of recent memory, it looks to be a return to form for a director in desperate need of one. The film will open in the middle of awards season this October, and with a script by Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy has the potential to become a major player come next February.
Four months have passed since we wrapped up our coverage of the 2012 awards seasons, and now with Cannes behind us and Venice and Toronto on the horizon, we have begun our predictions with a mid-year edition of our For Your Consideration Column. While little is certain at this point, films such as “Fruitvale Station,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and “Before Midnight,” have gained enough steam to suggest best picture or screenplay nominations, while reactions to other films like “Mud,” and “All Is Lost,” suggest acting nominations both in supporting and lead categories. Check out the column for more in depth looks at the safe bets, reasonable maybes, and dark horses for all of the award season’s major categories.
Finally, one of the most talked about films of this year’s Sundance has been given a new trailer, and new title. Starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as two friends who take on each other’s sons as lovers, the film also marks the English-language debut of French director Anne Fontaine, who previously came to prominence with her films “Coco Before Chanel,” and “My Worst Nightmare.” While the outrageous subject matter may suggest a much more scandalous film, the pedigree behind its production suggest a much more complex investigation into sexual desire. Find out for yourself when the film hits theaters this September.