Sunday, February 17, 2019

Steven Soderbergh talks "The Laundromat"

Indiewire did an interview with director Steven Soderbergh the other day about his current film High Flying Bird, and in it he talks a little bit about The Laundromat. Meryl of course has a role in the film (probably small?). Don't get too excited. The article doesn't get too into the details of the story. It's more about the nature of the filming of The Laundromat itself, in that it required a variety of shooting techniques and settings to capture the type of story Soderbergh wished to convey. He states that it was fun project to work on. 

An interesting blurb includes Soderbergh addressing the fact that High Flying Bird was getting a brief theatrical release. He states that his communication with Netflix was essentially that he didn't really need for them to make any attempts at a theatrical release. But the optics of doing so for a "Meryl Streep film" and not for the film starring a cast of African Americans was an understandable consideration when hoping to create a level playing field for Netflix's future acquisitions. Regardless, I'm just glad that this venue will get as many eyes on both projects as possible, certainly more than traditional theatrical runs would be expected to.

The Laundromat is set for release sometime this fall. 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" shut out at BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts presented its awards today. Meryl, of course wasn't up for anything, but Mary Poppins Returns had been nominated in Costume Design, Production Design and Original Music. Unfortunately, the film came away trophy-less. We'll have to wait and see when the big night arrives in two weeks it fares any better, but considering it was a British film, I think BAFTA was its best chances at receiving some bling.

Not surprisingly, The Favourite came away with a haul, including Olivia Colman for Lead Actress and Rachel Weisz for Supporting. It might worry a few Glenn Close fans to see Colman take this one, but again, in a British film, I'm not particularly surprised. As I've said before, I'd love to see Close win the Oscar, but Colman was fantastic in her role and while I'd be disappointed for Close, a Colman win would be the next best thing. At this point, I don't see how Rami Malek loses the Oscar for Lead Actor, having swept the Globe, SAG and BAFTA.

Roma took the top prize, along with its director Alfonso Cuarón. The full list of winners can be found here.

Friday, February 8, 2019

"Big Little Lies" officially returning to HBO in June

Executives at HBO announced today that the second season of Big Little Lies will officially arrive in June. Producer/star Nicole Kidman had previously alluded to that month being the potential return date, and now we have confirmation.

Well, I'm glad we know when it's coming, but I'm sad we have to wait four more months! It's also interesting that the June time frame means the show misses the cutoff for Emmy consideration for the current season. The show (now in Drama Series and not in Limited Series) was likely placed there so as to avoid a clash with awards juggernaut Game of Thrones in its final season. Any Emmy love for BLL will have to wait until 2020, but we could see noms for the Golden Globes and SAGs as early as December of this year.

Can't wait to see more of Meryl! Now time for news of a juicy new project.

Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep

Monday, February 4, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" surpasses $300 million worldwide

Mary Poppins Returns has been in theaters in the U.S. for over six weeks now, and its domestic box office total is a healthy $168 million. Add to that an increasing foreign total of $160m and the film is certifiably a hit, against a $130m budget. Certainly it's going to make a bit more, as it hasn't been in some of the foreign markets for very long, but I post this mostly to make note of the financial success of Meryl's projects over the past year.

Including 2017's The Post, Meryl's last three films have earned a combined total of over $900m worldwide, and as mentioned, Mary Poppins Returns is still growing. Granted, she wasn't in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again or Mary Poppins very much, but it's still not a bad haul to be a part of.

2019 is shaping up to be more a serious(?) year for her on screen, as after the frivolity of Mamma Mia! and Mary Poppins, we're set to see her in the second season of HBO's Big Little Lies, Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and Greta Gerwig's Little Women remake. I don'g expect either film to be box office juggernauts, but I hope they'll be well received by both critics and audiences.

And, of course, we're always looking forward to an announcement of what Meryl's next official project will be. Will they finally get around to The Nix? I think it's about time for some news on something.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Soderbergh's "The Laundromat" to be ready by April

Director Steven Soderbergh told the Hollywood Reporter this weekend that The Laundromat is currently being edited and that it will be complete by the first week of April. Considering the film was just shot in October/November, it's an incredibly rapid turnaround if he's expecting that he'll be handing it over to Netflix by then. Apparently from that point, Netflix will "decide what to do with it."

Essentially what that means is that Netflix will decide when to release the film. My guess is fourth quarter of this year after a very minimal run in theaters to qualify it for certain awards.

It's difficult to discern what Soderbergh is necessarily saying when he stated the film is a "kaleidoscopic take" on the Panama Papers story, but it's nice to read that he's really happy with it. I'm still very much looking forward to finding out exactly how major a role Meryl has in this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

"Mary Poppins Returns" receives four Oscar nominations

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and Mary Poppins Returns received four nominations:

Best Original Song ("The Place Where Lost Things Go")
Best Original Score
Production Design
Costume Design

Sadly, no nod for Emily Blunt, as my predicted five all got in over her for Actress in a Leading Role. While not super surprising, I was disappointed that Timothée Chalamet didn't make the cut in Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell snuck in, as I had predicted might be the case). 

The other two acting categories had big surprise nominees for me. Willem Dafoe was nominated in Lead Actor for At Eternity's Gate, while in probably the biggest shocker, Roma's Marina de Tavira made the cut in Supporting Actress.

The full list of nominees can be seen here.

The Oscars ceremony will be held Sunday, Feb 24 on ABC.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Oscar nomination predictions

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning. As I usually like to do, I'm throw out my predictions in the acting categories. Sadly, I don't think Emily Blunt is going to make the cut for her titular role in Mary Poppins Returns.

Actress in a Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)--lock
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)--lock
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)--lock
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

alt: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)

Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale (Vice)--lock
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)--lock
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)--lock
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

alt: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (Vice)--lock
Claire Foy (First Man)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)--lock
Emma Stone (The Favourite)--lock
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)--lock

alt: Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots)

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)--lock
Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliot (A Star is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)--lock

alt: Sam Rockwell (Vice)

I think Mary Poppins Returns may sneak in a couple tech categories like production design or costumes. Should Blunt sneak in and the film itself into Best Picture, it would be a boon for continued box office success, as well as future digital sales.