Latest Blog Posts

Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Robert De Niro are all looking for their third Oscar.
Denzel Washington, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Robert De Niro are all looking for their third Oscar.
Credit: Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks Pictures/The Weinstein Company

Meet the Academy's exclusive club of three-time acting Oscar winners

Daniel Day-Lewis, Robert De Niro, Sally Field and Denzel Washington hope to join

As "Lincoln" star Daniel Day-Lewis has dominated the precursor film awards circuit thus far, he has quickly become one of the no-brainer bets on Oscar night this Sunday. His presumed victory would bring him a third Best Actor Oscar after he won previously for 1989's "My Left Foot" and 2007's "There Will Be Blood."

There are precious few actors to have won as many prizes from the Academy in their time. There have been five, in fact. And it will be their illustrious company the actor will be joining upon gracing the stage at the Academy Awards. In fact, this looks to be the second year in a row the club takes on a new member.

But Day-Lewis isn't alone in that quest. "Silver Linings Playbook" star Robert De Niro hasn't been in the Oscar hunt since 1991's "Cape Fear," but he's back in a big way this year. He's been everywhere in phase two, campaigned within an inch of his life. And it may yet pay off. He won Best Supporting Actor in 1974 for "The Godfather Part II" and Best Actor in 1980 for "Raging Bull." So, odd as it sounds, David O. Russell would follow in the shoes of Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese as directors to lead De Niro to an Oscar if it were to happen.

Read Full Post
Win! Signed vinyl copy of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' new 'Push the Sky Away'

Win! Signed vinyl copy of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' new 'Push the Sky Away'

HitFix is giving away an autographed record, plus tour dates and more

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds fans rejoiced this winter when it was announced that the legendary songwriter and his band had completed a new album, "Push the Sky Away."

Now one of you may have an even bigger reason to cheer: HitFix is giving away an autographed vinyl copy of "Push the Sky Away" this week.

Check out the promotion below, share it basically everyone you know, and you could win!

"Push the Sky Away" hit stores today (Feb. 19) and you can buy it through iTunes here. The group is also supporting the set on the road, with a stop at the South By Southwest music conference plus tour dates below.

Watch Cave's "We No Who U R" video here.
Read more about "Push the Sky Away" here.

Here are Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' tour dates:

Mar 14: Dallas, TX McFarlin Memorial Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
Mar 16: Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
Mar 17: Asheville, NC The Orange Peel
Mar 20: North Bethesda, MD The Music Center at Strathmore
Mar 22: Montreal, Canada Metropolis
Mar 23: Toronto, Canada Massey Hall
Mar 24: Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
Mar 28: New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Mar 29: New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Apr 1: Chicago, IL Chicago Theatre
Apr 3: Denver, CO Ogden Theatre

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;Argo&quot; Blu-ray cover art</p>

"Argo" Blu-ray cover art

Credit: Warner Home Video

'Argo' hits DVD/Blu-ray today ahead of other Best Picture hopefuls

If you haven't seen it yet, now's your chance

The year being back-loaded with awards hopefuls as usual, most of the films up for major awards at the Oscars this year haven't been available on home video yet. Indeed, it was interesting that no film could really make a DVD/Blu-ray release part of its campaign, as we've seen in the past. The only Best Picture nominee that has been widely available is "Beasts of the Southern Wild," until today.

If you haven't had a chance to see the film everyone's talking about the last few weeks, the film that seems poised to win the Best Picture Oscar on Sunday, "Argo" hits shelves today on DVD and Blu-ray. The disc has four featurettes on the making of the film and the history behind the story it depicts. Ben Affleck provides a standard commentary as well.

Read Full Post
<p>Sarah Polley listens as her father records his version of the story of her life in 'Stories We Tell,' a remarkable new film.</p>

Sarah Polley listens as her father records his version of the story of her life in 'Stories We Tell,' a remarkable new film.

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Review: Sarah Polley's 'Stories We Tell' emerges as an early favorite for 2013

A devastatingly personal documentary is one of this year's best films

This past weekend, I sat down with Michelle Williams to talk about her role in Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great and Powerful," and we'll have that interview for you soon here at HitFix.  Before we started, though, I mentioned to her that I just saw Sarah Polley's latest film, a personal documentary called "Stories We Tell," and that it completely changed the way I thought about Polley's previous film, "Take This Waltz."  Williams lit up and we chatted about both films until they told me they needed to roll tape, and it's obvious that she is very fond of Polley as a filmmaker and just as impressed by her work as I am.

When I saw "Take This Waltz" at the Toronto Film Festival, it pretty much flattened me emotionally.  I put it on my top ten for 2011, and I have seen the film three or four times since then, loving it just a little bit more each time.  Polley has a strong, fascinating perspective, and it's not just because she's a woman.  Yes, there are things about her work that are distinctly feminine, but she's also just got this huge curiosity about the really painful parts of life and the way those painful parts relate to the joy we feel.  If you've seen "Waltz," you know it's about a married couple who come to a parting of the ways, and it's not anything the guy does.  It's because the wife is simply open to life in a way that leaves her unguarded. She falls in love. She doesn't mean to do it, but she's wired to do it.  She can't help but do it.  She falls in love because that's the sort of person she is.  That's what is important to her.  She is so full of a certain kind of vitality and energy and when she finds someone who connects to it, she can't resist.  And why should she?  It's her nature.

Read Full Post
<p>Mychael Danna holds aloft his prize after winning the Golden&nbsp;Globe last month. Is an Oscar next?</p>

Mychael Danna holds aloft his prize after winning the Golden Globe last month. Is an Oscar next?

Credit: Todd Williamson/Invision for Fox Searchlight/AP Images

Tech Support: 'Life of Pi' composer Mychael Danna is finally an Oscar nominee

'It’s Ang's score as much as mine.'

For veteran Canadian composer Mychael Danna, his journey with “Life of Pi” began 10 years ago when he read Yann Martel’s novel. “I remember thinking, ‘I hope nobody makes a film of this book and wrecks it,’” he says.

Read Full Post
<p>Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally&nbsp;Field in &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field in "Lincoln"

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Oscar Guide 2013: Best Sound Mixing

'Argo,' 'Les Misérables,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Lincoln' and 'Skyfall' square off

(Welcome to the Oscar Guide, your chaperone through the Academy’s 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 24, with the Best Picture finale on Friday, February 22.)

The sound categories this year ended up being quite the race. A publicity angle was even built around the work put into one nominee; it's been the presumed frontrunner for a while for a reason. You never can tell just which side of the Best Picture slate the branch will fall, though. Sometimes detours are taken into high gloss stuff, sometimes prestige takes over. Sometimes there's a balance.

This year featured a bit of a curve ball early on when the Cinema Audio Society added films like "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" into the serious discourse, while the Oscar nominations ultimately yielded, for both sound categories in fact, a bit of a surprise showing for the overall Best Picture Oscar frontrunner. But then, I suppose that shouldn't be such a surprise, in the final analysis. Coattails do exist.

The nominees are…

Read Full Post
<p>John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck in "Argo."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: The case against 'Argo'

Also: Why black characters still fall short in this year's Oscar crop

Yesterday, we led with "Lincoln" being taken to task for its factual infidelities; today, it's the turn of "Argo." Critical screeds against the Best Picture frontrunner are always a dime a dozen at this point in the season -- frankly, a defence of Ben Affleck's film would make for fresher reading right now -- but Andrew O'Hehir's Salon piece on why "Argo" doesn't deserve the Oscar is as cogently argued as any: "I’m less concerned with the veracity of individual details than with the fact that 'Argo' uses its basis in history and its mode of detailed realism to create something that is entirely mythological. It’s a totalizing fiction whose turning points are narrow escapes and individual derring-do designed to foreground Affleck and his star power." Personally, I don't think Affleck's star power is all that selfishly showcased -- but hey, I like the film. [Salon]

Read Full Post
<p>Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in &quot;House of Cards.&quot;</p>

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in "House of Cards."

Credit: Netflix

Review: In the end, Netflix's 'House of Cards' good but not great

Distribution model is revolutionary, but show would be mid-tier drama for HBO or Showtime

I finally finished Netflix's "House of Cards" late last week. As promised, I have a review of the entire first season — so don't read if you haven't finished yet and don't want to be spoiled — coming up just as soon as I put a spider outside my super's apartment...

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' recap: 'White Party Pooper'

Adrienne, Paul and Brandi fight some more

I've heard of many ridiculous Hollywood parties in my time, most of them hosted by talent agencies. But never before have I heard of someone having a party for her nose, or, to paraphrase Kyle, a nose quinceanera. I had hoped Kim might really go all-out with the theme, giving people gift bags of tissue paper and decongestants and floating big, green blobs in her pool, but no such luck. Instead, she has some little fake lilies and Chinese lanterns and calls it a party. I call that a Friday night. What a wasted opportunity!

Read Full Post
<p>Assuming best supporting actor is one of the first few awards handed out, will there be any surprises left afterward?</p>

Assuming best supporting actor is one of the first few awards handed out, will there be any surprises left afterward?

Contender Countdown: Best Supporting Actor brings the surprises

Is 'Argo' a done deal for best picture?

Has it come to this? Has the race for best picture become - gasp - anticlimactic? Will "Argo" really defy history and become on the fourth film ever to win best picture without a director nomination?  According to all my peers and, um, myself that appears to be the case.

Read Full Post
<p>James Purefoy of &quot;The Following&quot;</p>

James Purefoy of "The Following"

Credit: Nicole Rivelli/FOX

Recap: 'The Following' - 'The Siege'

Carroll sends a Poe-based message through his old lawyer
The Following is exhaustingly dark, is it not?
 
This week’s episode “Siege” goes in a lot of directions. A few of those angles stick. Others don’t have the emotional impact that you might expect from so much blood and gore. By far the most powerful moment is at the very end, and the story is a little muddled getting all the way there.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Michael Caine is forced to make some tough moral choices in pursuit of his wife in the adventure film 'Ashanti,' available now on Blu-ray.</p>

Michael Caine is forced to make some tough moral choices in pursuit of his wife in the adventure film 'Ashanti,' available now on Blu-ray.

Credit: Severin Films

My Blu-ray Shelf: Michael Caine tries to rescue his wife from slavers in 'Ashanti'

An adventure film set in the world of human trafficking is less sleazy than expected

Severin Films normally handles things that fall closer to the sleazy end of the scale, and that's not a judgment of their overall identity, just an observation.  You looking for the absolute best master ever of a particular European softcore title from the '70s?  If anyone's put it on home video, it's probably Severin.

I can understand why they probably wanted to put out "Ashanti" as one of their latest releases.  The film has a certain reputation, and I've never seen it before, in part because of that reputation.  Finally having seen it, though, it's far less exploitative than I expected it to be, and instead, it's pretty much a straightforward adventure film using human trafficking as the backdrop.

While he's in Africa with his wife, Dr. Anansa Linderby (Beverly Johnson), Dr. David Liderby (Michael Caine) is horrified by her disappearance.  She's taken by the slaver Suleiman (Peter Ustinov), and for the rest of the film, Caine does his best to catch up with Ustinov before she can be sold into a life of bondage.  I was worried at the start of the film that it was going to be rapey and disturbing, but the film avoids that sort of thing entirely.  Instead, it's all about the chase and the various allies that Caine is forced to call on in his quest to find his wife.

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME