theplaylist.net — If you live in Los Angeles and haven’t caught up with most of this year’s awards season titles you can breathe easy. No, screeners aren’t arriving early, but AFI Fest has added some unexpected starpower and prestige to its 2017 slate.
Joining previously announced galas “Mudbound” (opening night), “All The Money In The World” (closing night), “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Disaster Artist” and “Hostiles” are seven films that hope to make a dent in the Oscars race in various categories. These special presentations include Paul McGuigan’s “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya,” Chris Smith‘s documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring A Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention Of Tony Clifton,” Paolo Virzi’s “The Leisure Seeker,” Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” Sam Pollard’s “Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.”
Unlike its galas, the festival did not announce when these new selections would be screening during the event. It’s also worth noting “Darkest Hour” will have a Los Angeles premiere the Wednesday before AFI Fest begins at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
AFI will also be bring back some classic films in their “Cinematic Legacy” slate including “Barefoot in the Park,” “Blow-Up,” “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” and “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.”
The 2017 AFI Fest runs from Nov. 9-16 in the heart of Hollywood.
Today, Neon has released the first teaser trailer for I, Tonya. The movie opens in NY and LA December 8, 2017. That perfectly positions it for Oscar consideration as we quickly transition into awards season.
The 21st annual Hollywood Film Awards will honor the Dee Rees-directed Mudbound and Pixar’s Coco at this year’s ceremony which takes place on November 5 at the Beverly Hilton. James Corden is set to host the event for the third consecutive year.
Previously announced honorees for this year’s ceremony include Sam Rockwell for “Hollywood Supporting Actor Award” for his role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Allison Janney for “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award” for her role in I, Tonya. Mary J. Blige is being honored with the “Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress Award” in the aforementioned Mudbound while Timothée Chalamet will receive the “Hollywood Breakout Performance Actor Award” for his role in the film Call Me By Your Name. The cast of I, Tonya including Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser, Julianne Nicholson and Caitlin Carver for the “Hollywood Ensemble Award.”
The Hollywood Film Awards honors the most acclaimed films and actors while previewing highly anticipated films and talent for the upcoming year, also acknowledges artists in the categories of Cinematography, Visual Effects, Film Composing, Costume Design, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Makeup & Hairstyling.
Sebastian attended the 2017 Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8th with fellow I, Tonya co-stars Margot Robbie, Paul Walter Hauser, and director Craig Gillespie. You can view photos from the event in the gallery now.
Big thank you to my friend Sara of The Margot Corner for the photos!
The SCAD Savannah Film Festival has unveiled its full lineup for its 20th anniversary edition. The fest will run October 28-November 4 at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
The 2017 lineup, which kicks off with Sorkin’s directorial debut Molly’s Game, will screen a total of 131 films, including 33 narrative films, 16 documentary films and 82 shorts, most of which are already beginning to build momentum for award season. The event is the largest university-run film festival in the nation. The Centerpiece Gala screening is Lady Bird, written and directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan.
The previously announced Sorkin, John Boyega, Salma Hayek Pinault, Holly Hunter, Robert Pattinson and Patrick Stewart who will attend.
Last year, the festival screened five films that went on to receive Oscars including Best Picture winner Moonlight.
(Director: Craig Gillespie. Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and Allison Janney)
You can find more of the festival’s lineup at the source.
The upstart distributor Neon will open the film in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 8, with a platform rollout continuing into January.
I, Tonya, Craig Gillespie’s hilarious and devastating Tonya Harding biopic, is officially joining the race to the 90th Oscars, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The film will open in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 8, with a platform rollout that will continue into January.
The film, which stars Margot Robbie (who also is one of its producers), had its world premiere on Sept. 8 at the Toronto International Film Festival, where, three days later, it became the fest’s highest-profile acquisition, selling to Tom Quinn and Tim League’s Neon for $5 million (over an even larger bid by Netflix).
After catching I, Tonya in Toronto, I wrote: “In the hands of a competent distributor, Robbie could well land a best actress nomination — she wouldn’t be the first beautiful actress to ‘de-glam’ and/or produce her own project and get recognized for doing so (see: Charlize Theron and 2003’s Monster). As for [Allison] Janney, she seems to me like a slam-dunk for a best supporting actress nom [for her portrayal of Harding’s mother] — which would be her first-ever Academy recognition, and hugely deserved.”
When actor Sebastian Stan first read the script for “I, Tonya,” the eccentric biopic about former figure-skating champion Tonya Harding, he felt terrified.
Stan was considering the part of Jeff Gillooly, Harding’s abusive ex-husband who was convicted in 1994 for the attack on rival figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. “How could I ever play this?” Stan wondered. There were scenes showing Gillooly physically abusing Harding, manipulating her after the Kerrigan attack, and ultimately ruining her skating career.
But there were also moments of raw passion between them and a protective, vulnerable side to Gillooly that was at odds with the punchline that he became: “To Gillooly” meant “to kneecap someone.”
“I know there are a lot of really disturbing things that are happening in the movie,” Stan said in an interview. “Looking at the script, without trying to make any other judgments on the real people, what really came across to me was someone who was in love with this person to perhaps obsessive points, to a point where it was not healthy necessarily. But the same unhealthy, toxic love was coming from her towards him.”
“I, Tonya,” directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay by Steven Rogers, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last weekend and quickly became the most buzzed-about film as audiences cheered the eccentric, empathetic performances by Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding, Allison Janney as her caustic mother, and Stan as Gillooly. The film was reportedly picked up by Neon and 30West for about $5 million.
Stan, 35 years old, also plays Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) in Marvel’s “Captain America” films co-starring Chris Evans, and he’ll reprise the role in the upcoming “Avengers: Infinity War.” He’ll also star in upcoming political drama “The Last Full Measure”.
He sat with MarketWatch to discuss “I, Tonya,” his indulgence in chocolate and books about space, and Bucky’s future in “Captain America.”
How did you approach Jeff Gillooly as a character? It seems easy to look down on these people, but you had to find the empathy for him.
The script had funny moments in it, it had scary moments, tragic moments. When I read the script I was like, “this cannot really be true.” I listened to the interviews that [screenwriter] Steven Rogers had with Tonya and Jeff, and I realized, “Oh my God, a lot of what was in the interviews is actually in the script.” Craig had a lot to do with it — the idea of tone, which was right from the beginning, the idea of something Fargo-esque about it. The sensationalism of it all. We had to play that along with finding anything that was grounding and that made it real. Things like breaking the fourth wall, talking to the camera, making the documentary-style approach — that helped a lot.
What were your thoughts on masculinity while playing him? There are times it seems he was trying to protect Tonya, even if his way of doing that was destructive.
I’m thrilled to hear that’s something you felt. I was sort of hoping for that. He was generally setting out to try and do the right thing but unfortunately was perhaps hindered and incapable by not having the tools to be able to do that in the right way. I think sometimes in life, we take things for granted. Not everybody has a psychologist in their mind that sits there and goes, “Do this, don’t do that.” Both of them are incredibly emotionally impulsive. It’s really unfortunate that sometimes, as is the case with Tonya obviously, we always tend to reflect the love that we get when we’re children. If you’re getting abandonment, if you’re getting abuse as a child, if you’re getting uncertainty when you’re a child, unfortunately you tend to look for that in your life later on and you think that’s love.
“You could say that they love too much. Sometimes maybe Jeff was coming from a place of, you love the thing that you have so much you’re squeezing it too hard. You gotta let it go. So anyway, that was a way in for me to something as opposed to trying to judge it and go “oh well, he’s a f-ing asshole and let’s just call it!”
Did you have to suspend judgment and just inhabit him?
There’s no judgment. You can’t judge a character, and you’re never going to always play characters that are morally sound or know right from wrong. Oftentimes it’s more entertaining to play characters that are living on the edge somewhere. With the exception of some of the villains on “Game of Thrones,” and a couple serial killers in our lifetime, people that even do horrible things tend to come from a place of serious need for love and care. Continue reading
After three all-night negotiations, Neon and 30WEST tag teamed to skate off with a deal for I, Tonya, the Craig Gillespie-directed black comedy from Miramax about the epic fall from grace of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding. Sources peg the deal at around $5 million, and Neon’s Tom Quinn and Tim League will make a strong play for the film in Oscar season. The Steven Rogers-scripted film stars Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney, and came into the festival as the hottest acquisition title before it premiered Friday at 9:30 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. At a post premiere party at Ivan Reitman’s restaurant Montecito, potential buyers I spoke to were not disappointed, nor were reviewers. Robbie produced the film with Tom Ackerley, Rogers and Bryan Unkeless.
The bidding came down to the compelling choice of a traditional theatrical play (Neon) or a streaming deal (Netflix) and here the filmmakers and financiers chose the former. Beyond the strong performances by Robbie and Janney, I, Tonya has an enviable path in front of it. The film can qualify for awards, and roll out slowly with the Winter Olympics coming in February (where the Harding scandal played out in 1994) and then Oscars in March. Neon and 30WEST made a passionate pitch and this will be a big film for the upstart distributor.
In unabashed R-rated fashion, Gillespie admirably threaded the needle and balanced the sometimes outrageously funny chronicle of how Harding skated from a hardscrabble life into momentary glory followed by tabloid scandal, counterbalanced by the upsetting depiction of her being used as a punching bag by her dimwitted husband Jeff Gillooly, after she was slapped around repeatedly as a child by her tough as nails and impossible to please mother. The film shapes up as a cross between hallowed black comedies Fargo and To Die For, in characterizing the twisted things that can happen when not bright people have ambition and try to cut corners to achieve those dreams of escaping their low station in life.
In the lead up to the festival, CBS Films had made an offer said to be around $6 million, which was what Miramax Films paid earlier to acquire and make the film. Before others could step up, the sellers — CAA and UTA Independent Film Group co-brokered the deal for Miramax chief Bill Block — stuck a pin in any talks and let buyers see the film here in Toronto, or at simultaneous screenings in L.A. The clear goal was to match the film with the right distributor and put it into the upcoming awards season race. Some buyers I spoke with felt the movie could be tightened, and it seemed like Gillespie was happy with the cut audiences saw last night. Continue reading