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And the Indie Spirit Award winners are ...

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

If you plan to watch the Indie Spirit Awards tonight on TV and prefer to be surprised, look away.

lupita“12 Years a Slave” was named best feature at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach this afternoon. The full list of winners:

Best feature: “12 Years a Slave.”

Best director: Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave.”

Best male lead: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Best female lead: Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine.”

Best supporting male: Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Best supporting female: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave.”

Best documentary: “20 Feet from Stardom.”

Best cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, “12 Years a Slave.”

Best screenplay: John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave.”

Best editing: Nat Sanders, “Short Term 12.”

Best international film: “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” France.

Best first feature: “Fruitvale Station,” award to director Ryan Coogler, producers Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker.

Best first screenplay: Bob Nelson, “Nebraska.”

Robert Altman Award: “Mud,” given to director, casting director and ensemble cast.

17th annual Piaget Producers Award: Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston.

John Cassavetes Award: “This Is Martin Bonner.”

20th annual Someone to Watch Award: Shaka King, director of “Newlyweeds.”

19th annual Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award: Jason Osder, director of “Let the Fire Burn.”

Lupita Nyong’o with her mother, Dorothy, arriving at the awards. Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

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Divergent tickets on sale Tuesday

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

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Advance tickets for “Divergent” will go on sale Tuesday, March 4  at noon.
 
Moviegoers who buy such tickets before March 21 on Fandango or MovieTickets.com can be entered in a sweepstakes for a chance to win a walk-on role in the sequel, “Insurgent.” If you buy a ticket on March 4 only, you can receive a free download of the book “Divergent” (while supplies last).
 
The movie, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, will be released in theaters and IMAX on March 21. It’s set in a future world where people are divided into five factions based on human virtues but Tris Prior (Woodley) is warned she doesn’t neatly fit into one group and is Divergent, a fact that could get her killed. 
 
Ashley Judd and Tony Goldwyn play her parents and Ansel Elgort — who was in Pittsburgh with Woodley filming “The Fault in Our Stars” last fall — is her brother. 
 
The “Divergent” book series was written by Veronica Roth and has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. “Insurgent,” a sequel to “Divergent,” will be released March 20, 2015. 
 
The cast also includes Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, and Kate Winslet. Neil Burger directs a screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor.
 
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Photos: Jaap Buitendijk, Summit Entertainment.

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Oscar set-up underway in Hollywood

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 


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talloscarPreparations are under way in Hollywood for Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards.

The street in front of the Dolby Theatre  on Hollywood Boulevard is being transformed, with bleachers for the fans and press erected, Oscars put into place and curtain draped across the front of the building.

Photos by Robert Gladden and Aaron Poole, A.M.P.A.S.

 

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Harold Ramis dies at 69; he loved 'Groundhog Day,' too

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

 
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ramisHarold Ramis, whose many credits include writer-director of “Groundhog Day," died today from complications  related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a disease he battled for four years. He was 69.
 
His death was reported by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Add another photo to the In Memoriam section of the Oscars this Sunday.
 
There will be formal remembrances and obits to come but I found a short item we ran when he received the Distinguished Screenwriter Award  in 2005 at the Austin Film Festival and  Screenwriters Conference in Texas. 
 
In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Ramis, then 60,  he said he would like to be remembered most for “Groundhog Day,” starring friend and collaborator Bill Murray.
 
“As cynical as I like to pretend I am, I have a deep philosophical and spiritual side. I think everyone harbors a craving for meaning in life, and the movie, without being cloying or embarrassing, asserts the possibility of redemption through meaning. 
 
“Every single religion and psychological discipline has claimed the movie as what they believe. I love that. It makes it an ecumenical movie.” 
 
It stars Murray as Phil Connors, a pompous weatherman for a fictitious Pittsburgh TV station. He is dreading Groundhog Day and not only does he have to live through it once, but he is trapped in Punxsutawney on a seemingly endless loop -- until he learns something about himself, life and the producer played by Andie MacDowell
 
Marylynn Uricchio’s review at the time noted:
 
“Groundhog Day” was directed by Harold Ramis, who co-wrote the screenplay with Danny Rubin. As writer, producer or director, Ramis has brought us some of Murray’s best work. 
 
They date back to Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe, and worked together on “Meatballs,” “Stripes,” “Caddyshack” and the ‘’Ghostbuster” films. Ramis understands Murray’s unusual appeal. He brings the nice guy out from underneath a gruff exterior and lets Murray set the comic pace. 
 
"Groundhog Day" has become slang for living the same experience over and over (you know, like this winter) and it's one of those movies that holds up beautifully upon repeat viewing. Not surprisingly.
 
 

 

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And the job of Oscar presenter goes to ...

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron today announced the complete slate of stars who will present Oscars at the ceremony. They had been dribbling out names but have  released the full list. 
 
The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Oscar Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.  
 
shopholidayoscargalaThe presenters, including several past Oscar winners and nominees, will be:
Amy Adams
Kristen Bell
Jessica Biel
Jim Carrey
Glenn Close
Bradley Cooper
Penelope Cruz
Benedict Cumberbatch
Viola Davis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Robert De Niro
Zac Efron
Sally Field
Harrison Ford
Jamie Foxx
Andrew Garfield
Jennifer Garner
Whoopi Goldberg
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Anne Hathaway
Goldie Hawn
Chris Hemsworth
Kate Hudson
Samuel L. Jackson
Angelina Jolie
Michael B. Jordan
Anna Kendrick
Jennifer Lawrence
Matthew McConaughey
Ewan McGregor
Bill Murray 
Kim Novak
Tyler Perry
Brad Pitt
Sidney Poitier
Gabourey Sidibe
Will Smith
Kevin Spacey
Jason Sudeikis
Channing Tatum
Charlize Theron
John Travolta
Christoph Waltz
Kerry Washington
Emma Watson
Naomi Watts
 

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