Lars Von Trier's erotic epic Nymphomaniac and Thomas Vinterberg's critically-acclaimed drama The Hunt will lead the way at Denmark's version of the Oscars after landing six nominations each. The two films will fight for the Bodil Awards' Best Picture prize, alongside Michael Noer's Northwest, Nils Malmros' Sorrow and Joy, and Mikkel Norgaard's The Keeper of Lost Causes, while Nymphomaniac's Stellan Skarsgard will go head-to-head with The Hunt's Mads Mikkelsen in the Best Actor category.
Nymphomaniac stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stacy Martin are both shortlisted for Best Actress, while co-stars Uma Thurman and Jamie Bell have also scored nods in the supporting categories, alongside the likes of Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives), Roland Miller (Northwest) and The Hunt's Thomas Bo Larsen, Lars Ranthe, Susse Wold and Anne-Louise Hassing.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Feature prize will be a battle between Richard Linklater's Before Midnight, Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha and Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Blue Is The Warmest Color and Rust and Bone are among the nominees for the Non-U.S. Feature title.
The winners of the Bodil Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Copenhagen on 1 February (14).
The Bodil Awards nominations have given The Hunt a big boost ahead of the 2014 Academy Awards - Denmark's official entry has been named among the nine semi-finalists to compete for the Oscars' Best Foreign Language Film category. The final shortlist of five will be announced on 16 January (14), when the full list of Oscar nods will be unveiled.
David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Steven Spielberg is a director who is never satisfied with convention. Where other directors may pat themselves on the back for having one film released within a calendar year, in 2011, Spielberg decided to release two films...within the same month…and within one week of one another. With The Adventures of Tintin, Spielberg assembles a crack team of voice actors to bring his mo-cap animated adventure to life. But War Horse is live-action, requiring arguably more acting talent—as there is not the possibility of one actor doubling up and providing multiple voices. Luckily Spielberg, who is a bit of a workhorse, and has wrangled quite the impressive ensemble for War Horse. Here are a few names from the credits with whom we think you should get better acquainted:
Emily Watson’s face may be familiar, even if her name escapes you. Watson has been flexing her well-toned action muscles for well over a decade. Her breakout performance was as the titular matriarch in 1999’s Angela’s Ashes, based on the international best-selling novel by Frank McCourt. Since then, this British actress has turned up in films such as Gosford Park, Punch-Drunk Love, Red Dragon, and Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. Emily Watson has been nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Angela’s Ashes and one for the 1996 Lars von Trier film Breaking the Waves. Waston will next be seen in Little Boy, costarring Sean Astin and Kevin James, which interestingly takes place during WWII; War Horse taking place during WWI.
Tom Hiddleston was not a name readily on anyone’s lips, but within a two-year span, Hiddelston is well on his way to becoming a household name. Hiddleston appeared as villainous Norse god Loki in Marvel Studio’s big screen, big budget adaptation of their hero Thor. Hiddleston displayed great talent as the rogue god and proved to be quite the foe for Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Adding to his already banner year, Hiddleston also turned in a fantastic performance as F. Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Hiddleston will be reprising the role of Loki next year, when he takes on several heroes at once in Joss Whedon’s highly anticipated The Avengers.
Not too long ago, a major cinematic franchise saw its storied saga come to a dramatic conclusion. That franchise was of course that of boy wizard Harry Potter, based on the unstoppably popular series of novels by author J.K. Rowling. David Thewlis has been a part of the eight-film Harry Potter series ever since the third installment Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He played Remus Lupin, confirmed lycanthrope and lifelong friend of Harry’s father James and his faithful devotion to protecting young Harry made him one of the most beloved characters of the franchise. Along with his fantasy work, Thewlis is a long-time collaborator of British auteur Mike Leigh, starring in both Life Is Sweet and Naked. This year, the actor also appeared in Roland Emmerich's Shakespeare mystery Anonymous.
In terms of British actors, Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most exciting rising talents working today. While Robert Downey Jr. may occupy the current cinematic position of Sherlock Holmes, Cumberbatch owns, and I mean (owns) the role on the BBC series Sherlock. In addition to his incredible portrayal of one of popular fiction’s greatest detectives, Cumberbatch has appeared in films such as Atonement, Four Lions, and this year’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Next year, and then the year after, Cumberbatch will be appearing in Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth: The Hobbit.
Probably the most obscure name on this list is Toby Kebbell—but he is definitely an actor worth knowing. In 2004, Toby burst onto the scene with a powerhouse performance in Shane Meadow’s Dead Man’s Shoes, Kebbell’s feature film debut. Kebbell played a sweet-natured, mentally handicapped man tortured by a group of local thugs to the point that he ends his own life; the man’s older brother, played by Paddy Considine, subsequently taking revenge on the thugs. This film is a true gem that I can’t recommend highly enough. Kebbell also appeared as Johnny Quid in Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla as well as landing roles in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Next spring, Kebbell will play Agenor in Wrath of the Titans.