Grab a second cup of coffee because this week’s Mindless Wanderings is full of stories that you might have missed last week.
*** It’s official, this year’s Oscar race has begun as reviews for IFC’s “Boyhood” from director Richard Linklater have been simply off the charts (as have been the grosses). The company, who has never really had an Oscar contender, has hired Oscar season vet Cynthia Schwartz for the endeavor. The film is a likely Best Picture nominee and stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and newcomer Ellar Coltrane all should be in the thick of the Oscar race as well.
*** Mark Canton’s Atmosphere Entertainment has teamed up with his old Columbia Pictures friend Peter Guber in optioning Ben Bradlee’s book, “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams”. The book chronicles the brilliant career of the Boston Red Sox outfielder, as well as his tempestuous relationship with the Boston sports media, his wartime service as a flight instructor in both World War II and the Korean War, his three unsuccessful attempts at marriage, and his devotion to the children’s cancer charity, The Jimmy Fund.
*** Margaret Thatcher’s epic 1984 battle with England’s National Union of Mineworkers is chronicled in “Pride”, which was just bought by CBS Films. The film focuses on a group of gay and lesbian activists who monetarily support mineworkers’ families. The film stars Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy, Dominic West and Paddy Considine. The film is set for December 19th.
*** Director Christopher Nolan wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal last week, predicting that VOD and TV will severely harm box office. Nolan writes, “As streams of data, movies would be thrown in with other endeavours under the reductive term “content”, jargon that pretends to elevate the creative, but actually trivializes differences of form that have been important to creators and audiences alike. “Content” can be ported across phones, watches, gas-station pumps or any other screen, and the idea would be that movie theatres should acknowledge their place as just another of these “platforms”, albeit with bigger screens and cupholders”.
*** Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group has acquired rights to the Bryan Buckler ex-gymnast comedy, “The Bronze”, starring Gary Cole, SNL’s Cecily Strong, Sebastian Stan and Melissa Rauch.
*** North Korea publicly blasted Sony’s upcoming “The Interview” in a United Nations formal complaint. In a related story, the country also felt that “Edge of Tomorrow” lacked emotional depth and “Vampire Academy” ultimately proved to be a poor man’s “Twilight” rip off. Side note…I’m hoping that the UN has more pressing issues to deal with, like that pesky problem of the Middle East about to blow up. But hey that’s just me
*** Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman”, starring Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis will kick off this year’s Venice Film Festival, which commences on August 27th. The Fox Searchlight film opens October 17th here in the States.
*** And not to be outdone, Universal’s “Lucy” from director Luc Besson and star Scarlett Johansson, will open the Locarno Film Festival on August 6th. I have officially volunteered to travel to either Venice or Locarno, Switzerland to cover either of these festivals in my duty as an Indiewire correspondent. Surprisingly I have not yet received a response.