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The 2014 Screen Actor Guild Award nominees were announced Wednesday morning, and after losing out to Claire Danes for best actress in a drama at the Emmy's this past fall, we're sure Kerry Washington is glad she's got another chance at victory. If we've learned anything from Olivia Pope on Scandal, it's that you never give up (and obviously that you always look amazing while doing so).
Other TV nominees we can expect to see strutting down the red carpet are Kevin Spacey from Netflix's House of Cards, Jessica Lange from American Horror Story, Don Cheadle from House of Lies, and Matt Damon from Behind the Candelbra. Oh, and get ready to see the cast of Arrested Development running amok since they've been nominated for best ensemble in a comedy series.
Check out the film nominees here. The 20th Annual SAG Awards will take place on Jan. 18, 2014, at 8 PM.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk EmpireBryan Cranston, Breaking BadJeff Daniels, The NewsroomPeter Dinklage, Game of ThronesKevin Spacey, House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes, HomelandAnna Gunn, Breaking BadJessica Lange, American Horror Story: CovenMaggie Smith, Downton AbbeyKerry Washington, Scandal
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, 30 RockJason Bateman, Arrested DevelopmentTy Burrell, Modern FamilyDon Cheadle, House of LiesJim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang TheoryJulie Bowen, Modern FamilyEdie Falco, Nurse JackieTina Fey, 30 RockJulia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk EmpireBreaking BadDownton AbbeyGame of ThronesHomeland
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 RockArrested DevelopmentThe Big Bang TheoryModern FamilyVeep
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Matt Damon, Behind the CandelabraMichael Douglas, Behind the CandelabraJeremy Irons, The Hollow CrownRob Lowe, Killing KennedyAl Pacino, Phil Spector
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Angela Bassett, Betty & CorettaHelena Bonham Carter, Burton and TaylorHolly Hunter, Top of the LakeHelen Mirren, Phil SpectorElisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Boardwalk EmpireBreaking BadGame of ThronesHomelandThe Walking Dead
Those who have been through a Sons of Anarchy finale before know the rules: If possible, bring a sedative. Expect the unexpected. Know that 90-minutes will go by in what seems like 15, and that more than one life will be irreversibly changed. Tonight's finale, "J'ai Obtenu Cette," will begin with several lives already in the balance — you have the murder investigation closing in on innocent Tara (Maggie Siff), Nero (Jimmy Smits) feeling the heat from his old crew, Otto (creator Kurt Sutter) and that RICO case, Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) and — well, the list goes on and on. But most importantly, there's one particular battle that we've never seen before — the battle for Jax's soul. And at the end of last week, when he injected his ex Wendy (Drea de Matteo) with heroin, things seemed pretty bleak. Has our antihero lost his way?
Other than Clay (Ron Perlman), no one is feeling the weight of Jax's fury harder than Juice (Theo Rossi) — who is stuck in the middle of an emotionally vicious battle between the two men, which will play itself out in the finale. "Not too long ago, Clay told [Juice] he's the only brother he's ever had," Rossi says. "He's the reason why he became a brother. He looks at Juice, and lays that on him. Then on the other side, Jax just gave him an ultimatum. 'Do this, or you die.' Juice is unbelievably broken."
By "do this" Rossi means "betray Clay" — the only man who accepted (and loved) Juice after he made the mistake of talking to the feds when they had information on him. In fact, last week he was forced to vote to kill the man. "If [Juice] votes against Jax, he dies," Rossi says. "If he says no [to Jax], he will be brought somewhere later that night, and he will die. Then Jax will tell the rest of the club why. He has a legitimate excuse to kill me."
Since one member of the club voted against killing Clay, Jax will enter the finale still hell-bent on destroying Clay's life. Which, of course, puts Juice in an awful situation. "Jax's blind rage is Clay," Rossi says. "You have all of these people around him saying, 'Let it go,' but all he can see is getting Clay. He doesn't care what comes in the way of that. Would Jax gave done what he did to Wendy if he didn't have this inside of him? I don't know... It's funny how in the same episode you see Clay emotional, and showing his humanity — then you see Jax going the other way."
Regardless of how the battle between Jax and Clay plays out — and where Juice will find himself at the end of it — Rossi promises that fans will see resolution tonight, and that they'll enjoy it. "We're in the middle of Jackson Teller's journey here," he says. "This finale is like — you've been seeing the things leading up to it, particularly the end of the last episode [with the heroin scene] — I think it's extremely satisfying for the fans. Me reading it, I was the most satisfied I've ever been. I finished the last page, and wanted to hug Kurt. I know the fans are going to feel the exact same way."
Err... we'll feel the same way if our Juicey comes out in one piece — which Rossi couldn't promise, of course. "Somewhere in this chaos, whether is be through Jax or Clay — Juice is trying to find meaning again," he says. "He's searching for an answer, and a lot of that comes to fruition in the finale. Look at Juice's journey — [from] a guy who was just so happy to be a part of this, to trying to hang himself, to all of this stuff… this guy is an emotional disaster. It's surprising that he's able to walk and talk at the same time. Is his time expired in this world?"
... Dun dun dun. Sons of Anarchy airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: FX]
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Sorry to be the bearers of bad news, Sons of Anarchy fans, but in case you haven't heard, a major death will hit Charming, Calif. tonight. Last week, EW broke the news that a beloved character would kick the bucket, and their "sources" narrowed it down to six choices: Wayne Unser (Dayton Callie), Tig Trager (Kim Coates), Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), Juice Ortiz (Theo Rossi), Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst), or Tara Teller (Maggie Siff). In short, six major characters whose deaths would greatly alter the course of the show.
Undoubtedly, SoA showrunner Kurt Sutter is brutal enough to take any of these guys away from us. In fact, we wouldn't be too surprised if he killed off everyone but his beloved wife, Katey Sagal. Whoever ends up joining Piney Winston in the dead SAMCRO club will be sorely missed, and given the marquee names of all of these characters, this will be the biggest death in SoA's bloody history. The cast and crew have kept the character's identity close to the vest, but we're going to throw our hat in the ring and play the grim reaper guessing game. Here are our picks for tonight's victim, in order of plausibility:
1. Unser: As EW pointed out, Unser does have terminal cancer, so a natural death is totally possible. But he's also investigating the mysterious series of Charming break-ins completely solo, which is never a good idea. He could stumble upon something deadly. Also, SAMCRO's growing list of enemies must know that Unser is an easy target, and an easy target whose death would break the hearts of/enrage the club. And unlike the gentlemen of the club, Unser is what you would call an innocent, with an always accurate moral compass — and come on, only the good die young. Err, well... he's younger than some people.
2. Tara: Tara's death would be dark, but it seems like that's the direction Sutter wants to go. He always said he saw SoA as a seven-season saga, and we're rapidly approaching what should be the end of its second act. We've met the SAMCRO gang and learned the ins and outs of their world, but now it's time to see that world come crashing down. Nothing would set this off more than the death of Tara, Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) wife.
3. Opie: Sad-sack Opie has arguably endured more tragedy than any other character on the show: His wife, Donna, was accidentally killed during Season 1, and his father was murdered by Clay last year. Now, he has to back off and hold his tongue as Clay sits at the table, because Jax needs him alive. Without his family and his club, he basically has nothing else to live for, except for those kids we never see.
4. Juice: Juice looked death straight in the eye when he tried to kill himself last season, but it didn't quite pan out. Still, as Eli Roosevelt (Rockmond Dunbar) reminded him, the RICO mystery is still alive and well. If anyone in the club finds out that Juice was last season's rat... well, it's bye bye Juice. (Editor's Note: Please don't be Juice.... Please don't be Juice... Please don't be Juice.)
5. Tig: Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau) already burned his daughter alive right in front of the man, and promised more torment to come. Tig's acting these past couple of episodes (and seasons) has been stellar, and it would be a crime to see him go.
6. Clay: Clay has more enemies than anyone else on this list, but we think it's a little early in the season for Clay's inevitable demise, no?
So, fellow crow-eaters — who will it be? Vote in the poll below, and be sure to defend your choice in the comments!
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6558943/"&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Who will die on Sons of Anarchy tonight?&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[Image Credit: FX]
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There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.
Last year director Garry Marshall hit upon a devilishly canny approach to the romantic comedy. A more polished refinement of Hal Needham’s experimental Cannonball Run method it called for assembling a gaggle of famous faces from across the demographic spectrum and pairing them with a shallow day-in-the-life narrative packed with gobs of gooey sentiment. A cynical strategy to be sure but one that paid handsome dividends: Valentine’s Day earned over $56 million in its opening weekend surpassing even the rosiest of forecasts. Buoyed by the success Marshall and his screenwriter Katherine Fugate hastily retreated to the bowels of Hades to apply their lucrative formula to another holiday historically steeped in romantic significance and New Year’s Eve was born.
Set in Manhattan on the last day of the year New Year’s Eve crams together a dozen or so canned scenarios into one bloated barely coherent mass of cliches. As before Marshall’s recruited an impressive ensemble of minions to do his unholy bidding including Oscar winners Hilary Swank Halle Berry and Robert De Niro the latter luxuriating in a role that didn’t require him to get out of bed. High School Musical’s Zac Efron is paired up with ‘80s icon Michelle Pfeiffer – giving teenage girls and their fathers something to bond over – while Glee’s Lea Michele meets cute with a pajama-clad Ashton Kutcher. There’s Katherine Heigl in a familiar jilted-fiance role Sarah Jessica Parker as a fretful single mom and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges as the most laid-back cop in New York. Sofia Vergara and Hector Elizondo mine for cheap laughs with thick accents – his fake and hers real – and Jessica Biel and Josh Duhamel deftly mix beauty with blandness. Fans of awful music will delight in the sounds of Jon Bon Jovi straining against type to play a relevant pop musician.
The task of interweaving the various storylines is too great for Marshall and New Year’s Eve bears the distinct scent and stain of an editing-room bloodbath with plot holes so gaping that not even the brightest of celebrity smiles can obscure them. But that’s not the point – it never was. You should know better than to expect logic from a film that portrays 24-year-old Efron and 46-year-old Parker as brother-and-sister without bothering to explain how such an apparent scientific miracle might have come to pass. Marshall wagers that by the time the ball drops and the film’s last melodramatic sequence has ended prior transgressions will be absolved and moviegoers will be content to bask in New Year's Eve's artificial glow. The gambit worked for Valentine's Day; this time he may not be so fortunate.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
First, an apology. Because "Fail Safe" was presented "live" last Sunday, and because the ending was a closely kept secret, and because we never bothered to actually see the original movie on which it was based, we just had no idea. If this column was responsible in any way for your sitting through an hour and a half of nail-biting suspense, only to get to the part where the president of the United States decides that dropping an atomic bomb on New York City would be a good idea (as opposed to the goofiest plot point ever), we apologize. We would also like to apologize on behalf of the 1960s, a time when, apparently, this ending made sense.
-- The Discovery Channel presents three hours worth of some pretty rare footage of dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Actually, "Walking with Dinosaurs" (7 p.m. PDT, today) co-produced by the BBC, gets its spectacular images from a combination of exotic location shots and state-of-the-art "Jurassic Park"-style digital effects. What’s different and clever here is that the show is presented as a standard nature documentary. And as such, it features a lot of the day in a dino life events that kids will particularly enjoy (like dino pee and dino poop). It’s also maybe a full hour too long. If you’ve got kids, ask them to show you how to work your VCR so you can tape it for them.
-- And speaking of long - Heston’s back! And this time it’s personal! ABC keeps the annual holiday tradition going with the four-hour epic "The Ten Commandments" (7 p.m. PDT, today) starring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and, sadly, not William Shatner. But he would have been perfect in it. Somewhere along the line, probably because it is so beloved, this film started appearing in movie guides as rating four stars. The truth is, it ain’t "Citizen Kane." But there is definitely something about it. If you grew up with this movie, you’ll probably watch at least part of it again (this columnist checks in for at least the Edward G. Robinson scenes every year). If you’ve never seen it before, you might enjoy watching your kids watch this movie. Even if they can’t last through the whole thing, they would still probably love to try. Watch for a cameo appearance by God about three hours in.
-- For those out there with more sophisticated viewing tastes, "Masterpiece Theatre’s" presentation of "David Copperfield" (9 p.m. PDT, PBS, today and Monday) is a keeper. Maggie Smith and Ian McKellen continue their streak of being in every single British-produced film. And they, along with Bob Hoskins, are as engaging as ever, playing these astonishingly captivating characters. Nobody can break your heart while choking you with laughter like Charles Dickens, and this performance does his work justice.
-- "Trapped in a Purple Haze" (8 p.m. PDT, ABC, Monday) is a change of pace from the made-for-TV Monday night movies we’ve been getting. This one trades in the camp appeal of "Satan’s School for Girls" for a much grittier realism, as a teen athlete (Jonathan Jackson, "General Hospital") messes up his life in a hurry with a new girlfriend ("Popular’s" Carly Pope) and her best buddy, heroin. Don’t expect "A Tale of Two Bunnies." This one is unusually serious, and unusually well done.
-- Despite what NBC says you "must see," Fox offers up the show of the night Thursday with the surprising hit British movie "The Full Monty." This film starts off with a quaintly funny premise (unemployed and decidedly unbuff steelworkers form an all-male exotic dance troupe to make ends meet) and then goes on to turn into something pretty special. Great characters portrayed by the likes of Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy and great heart made this an unexpected theatrical hit in 1997.