Oscars 2017: Your complete guide to the year's biggest awards show - Silver Screen Beat
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Oscars 2017: Your complete guide to the year’s biggest awards show



The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced on the morning of January 24 and now the winners of the little gold statues will be revealed this Sunday night. With the Oscars just around the corner, we figured that some of you may need a little cheat sheet to help you prepare for what is destined to be the highlight of this very intense awards season. Therefore, we decided to create a list of everything you need to know for this year’s Oscars ceremony.

Image courtesy of Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Where can I watch the Oscars?

The 89th Oscars will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will air live on ABC starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. The ceremony is produced by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Who will be hosting the Oscars?

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was announced as the host of the 89th Oscars in December. The Jimmy Kimmel Live! star has hosted plenty of other major awards shows, the 2016 Emmy Awards being the most recent of the bunch, but this will be his first time hosting the Academy Awards. You can expect to hear plenty of Matt Damon jokes.

Image courtesy of Aaron Poole / © A.M.P.A.S.

Who is nominated for an Oscar?

Damien Chazelle’s jazz-infused musical La La Land is up for 14 nominations which tied the film with a record held by All About Eve and Titanic. La La Land will have to go up against eight other nominees in the Best Picture category including Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight.

In the acting categories, seven of the actors and actresses are first-time nominees (Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel, Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga and Naomie Harris) while six of them are previous acting winners (Denzel Washington, Jeff Bridges, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Octavia Spencer).

You can check out the complete list of nominees here.

Image courtesy of Aaron Poole / © A.M.P.A.S.

Who will be presenting the awards?

This year’s presenters, including past Oscar winners and nominees, include Amy Adams, Riz Ahmed, Javier Bardem, Halle Berry, John Cho, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Dwayne Johnson, Felicity Jones, Brie Larson, Shirley MacLaine, Leslie Mann, Kate McKinnon, Janelle Monáe, David Oyelowo, Mark Rylance, Hailee Steinfeld, Emma Stone, Charlize Theron, Alicia Vikander, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Warren Beatty, Sofia Boutella, Matt Damon, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Taraji P. Henson, Dev Patel, Seth Rogen, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep, and Vince Vaughn.

Image courtesy of Aaron Poole / © A.M.P.A.S.

Who will be performing at the Oscars?

Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Auli’i Cravalho, Sting, and Justin Timberlake are set to perform at one point or another during the ceremony.



Rockstar Games announces ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ will actually be released this October



Red Dead Redemption 2

While it’s a bit disappointing to see that Rockstar Games will be delaying the long-awaited Red Dead Redemption 2 for the third time, it’s promising to see that the beloved video game publisher has finally set an official release date for the upcoming sequel rather than just giving us a typical “Fall 2018” timeframe.

“We are excited to announce that Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released on October 26th, 2018,” Rockstar said in a statement released today. “We apologize to everyone disappointed by this delay. While we had hoped to have the game out sooner, we require a little extra time for polish. We sincerely thank you for your patience and hope that when you get to play the game, you will agree the wait will have been worth it.”

As someone who is a huge fan of the original Red Dead Redemption and stills sheds the occasional tear over that game’s ending, it’s wonderful to hear that Rockstar is taking their time on the sequel in hopes of delivering a game that can live up to its predecessor. I mean, remember that trailer they put out a few months ago? The game looks absolutely stunning, and Rockstar just dropped a whole bunch of new images from it, too.

While we don’t know much about Red Dead Redemption 2’s plot, Rockstar describes it as an “epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland” that has a “vast and atmospheric world” that will also provide the foundation for what they call a brand new online multiplayer experience. Sounds good to me! Let us know your thoughts on the release date change by sounding off in the comments section below.

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Box office: ‘Alien: Covenant’ bursts into theaters with $40 million opening weekend



After remaining at the top of the box office for the past two weekends straight, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is going to have to move over to make room for Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant which had an impressive $15.35 million opening day in addition to its $4.2 million from Thursday night previews.

According to box office analysts, Alien: Covenant is poised to pull in an estimated $40 million from 3,761 theaters this weekend which, when paired with it’s $46.7 million overseas earnings, brings its worldwide total to a massive $86.7 million. While these numbers are certainly nothing to give a cold shoulder to, it’s a bit surprising that they aren’t higher considering the film’s extensive marketing campaign, which reportedly cost $22.35 million.

As Deadline pointed out in their own box office report, Alien: Covenant is playing much like a sequel with its domestic opening down nearly 22% from Prometheus‘ $51 million debut in 2012. However, despite the box office comparisons, Alien: Covenant is going over just as good, if not a little better than Prometheus did with both critics and audiences, boasting a B CinemaScore and 73% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Alien: Covenant takes moviegoers along for a ride with the Covenant crew as they embark on a journey to a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy where they discover what appears to be an uncharted paradise. However, they soon learn that it is actually a dark, dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, the one and only survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

Directed by Scott from a screenplay penned by Skyfall and Spectre scribe John Logan, Alien: Covenant features a diverse cast which includes Katherine Waterson alongside Michael Fassbender, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, and Benjamin Rigby.

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Interview: Demetri Martin on new film ‘Dean’ and trying to find yourself in your forties



For Demetri Martin, Dean is something much deeper than just a story about an illustrator whose unwillingness to deal with the recent death of his mother leads to him practically abandoning his quiet life as an illustrator in his hometown of New York to seek new opportunities in Los Angeles. It’s a tale of love, loss, and everything in between.

When I sat down with the writer-director in a cozy little cafe in Scottsdale, Arizona last month, I had the pleasure of discussing the personal issues his new film, which Martin stars in opposite the Oscar-winning Kevin Kline, touches on, while simultaneously reflecting on how shitty it can be to not able to find your true self, even when you’re in your forties (for the record, Demetri doesn’t look a day over 30).

One of the things that really stuck out to me about Dean was the split screen effect we see repeated throughout the film between what’s actually happening within the story itself and the drawings that represent those moments. How did you come up with the idea for the split screen effect, and are those illustrations that you created yourself? 

They are my actual drawings. Some of them pre-dated the movie because I did a book of drawings that came out a couple of years ago where there’s one-per-page, pretty much, mostly just little single panel drawings. When I started writing the script, I thought, “You know, if I made my character an illustrator, this would be an interesting experiment for me as a first-time filmmaker, because I’ll have this other device that I can use in telling the story and also how he feels and, more specifically, where he starts and ends up more or less as he moves through this story emotionally.” So I said, “Yes! I’ll put the drawings in.”

When we shot the movie, I got to the edit and I had ideas for some of the drawings and then I was surprised to find moments where I’m like, “Oh, I need a drawing right here.” You get a sense of the rhythm. You’re putting together the assembly and you say, “Yeah, I’m going to have to come up with something for that part,” or “Ooh! Maybe a drawing will save me here. I can transition more easily to that scene.” With the split screen, I thought it would be cool to have the screen split during certain moments in the film with a drawing to see how they relate to each other. But, it was only after getting to the edit that I started to realize that I truly needed to figure out how this works because I don’t want to distract the viewer. You don’t want it to be a gimmick or something like that.

In success, I thought, “This will really show you what it’s like to be this guy or, at least, this type of creative person dealing with something that he’s not usually used to dealing with.” For me, there’s a parallel because in my stand-up, I usually just do jokes and I don’t really talk about deep, emotional things and I’m trying to learn how to. So, it’s kind of similar where I have a certain language as a comedian but it’s more intellectual. It’s not usually emotional. But I’m trying to dig a little deeper now because I feel like that’s where the world is at, and I feel like the split screen was a way to achieve that. However, I really had to fiddle with it because, initially, a drawing would just pop-up. But then, if you noticed, the drawing just kind of slides in, so it’s much more gentle. Sort of like an unseen hand.

In the film, Dean deals with some very personal issues such as his mother dying and a somewhat broken relationship with his father. Was Dean a personal film for you, or was it something that you just kind of had in your head for awhile and thought, “Hey, I think this might work really well for a movie?” 

It’s really personal. It’s all fiction, but, emotionally, it’s all my real experience, which is to say, I lost a parent when I was 20, my dad passed away when I was 20, and he was only 46, so we were all very surprised, and I’m not sure if my family has ever really recovered from it in a lot of ways. You know, that’s the thing; I’ve never really found a way to do that in stand-up. It’s never been appealing to me to go up there and say, “Hey, my dad…” So, I thought, “If I’m going to try and make a movie, I’m personally often drawn to movies that are a little bit more, I guess you can say, heartfelt, or have a certain sincerity to them. I love ironic, sarcastic comedies as much as anybody, but maybe it’s getting a little bit old or something. But I want to feel what the characters on the screen feel. I want to be pulled in.

When it came time to make my first movie, I knew I needed to start with something that I know, at least emotionally, but also make it fiction. So, there’s nothing in the movie that actually happened to me, but there are some lines that sort of actually came from my real life. Like, the idea is the first thing that you never really get over. For me, that happened to me when I was 20 when my dad died. I think everybody has that at a different age and, maybe, if you’re luckier, you’re older when that happens, and maybe it’s losing a parent or just something else terrible, like a divorce.

I know this might be a bit of a simple, easy question, but what makes Dean such a relatable film? Is it the subject matter that the story deals with or could it be something else? 

It’s an honest film. That’s probably going to be its strength and vulnerability which is to say, in the Internet age, I’m just preparing to get myself pummeled by people for this thing. It’s not sarcastic, it’s not cool. It’s just sincere, you know? I think that makes it relatable for people who have had any kind of experience losing something that really changed them. Also, I think I got lucky. I got good people to be in it.

Speaking of which, how did you get some of the talents in the film involved? Did you go to them or did they come to you first? 

I didn’t know Kevin Kline but my agents got the script to him and he liked it enough to meet with me, and then when we met we got to know each other a little bit and he agreed to be in the movie. So, I really have him to thank for getting most of the other people. He kind of made the movie happen. I even got most of my financing after Kevin agreed to do the movie. He really did me a favor. He and Mary [Steenburgen] knew each other, and she was like, “Oh, Kevin! I love him,” and then she agreed to be in the movie, too. Gillian [Jacobs] knew my comedy a little bit so she was up for it, and then Kevin was just like this calling card where he gave it legitimacy. It just filtered down from there.

A few key, very awkward moments in this film reminded me of some of my favorite TV shows like Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Did you draw any inspiration from Larry David’s strange sense of humor? 

You know, I hadn’t thought about it that way, but when you mention Curb, and I guess Seinfeld…I’m trying to think of other touchstones for that. But, yeah! Maybe one of the reason shows like that are such hits were because there’s something that’s very relatable and real about them, and that transitions back into our own lives. I mean, I’m definitely not the most graceful person. It’s funny, I’ve been talking about this a lot on stage lately because I’m now in my forties and, in some ways, I thought I’d have it all figured out by now. Like, “Cool, this is who I am now. I’m comfortable in my own skin.” But, I’m just not, you know? It just sucks.

I’m kind of just accepting it now but in the movie, it was certainly very useful to just be like, “Cool. I’m often more awkward then I want to be,” and it just pisses me off. If you’re not a smooth person, to try and make a movie about a guy who is a smooth, I would probably just die a terrible death. Luckily, I’m just trying to make comedies because, when I look at some of the handsome movie star type guys who are like action heroes and stuff, who doesn’t want to be that at some point? You get the girl, you’re in control, you do your own stunts. I’m just like, “I was on the math team. That shit’s not happening for me.”

After making the rounds on the festival circuit, the award-winning Dean will hit select theaters around the nation on June 2, 2017. 

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