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Idris Elba, Kate Winslet lift ‘Mountain Between Us’

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(CNN)Ask people with whom they’d like to be stranded in the wilderness, and Idris Elba and Kate Winslet would likely rate pretty high on the list. That’s the main lure for “The Mountain Between Us,” an old-fashioned star vehicle that seeks to thaw frozen hearts with only fitful success.

Faced with grounded flights due to a storm, Winslet’s Alex, desperate to make it home from Idaho to New York in time for her wedding, hatches the idea of commissioning a small plane to ferry her to Denver to catch a red-eye. She invites Ben (Elba) — a surgeon who has his own important date with performing a potentially life-saving operation — to join her.
What goes up, however, comes down quite abruptly, leaving the two — joined by the pilot’s Labrador retriever, who really is a good boy — with limited food, injuries and little hope that anyone will be able to find them. Ben’s medical skills come in handy, but they eventually realize that they have to brave the treacherous journey down the mountain to have any chance of surviving.
 
 
 
Along the way, the pair alternately bicker and bond, with Alex offering an open book into her life, and Ben shrouding his in secrecy.
 
Director Hany Abu-Assad (a Palestinian filmmaker, twice Oscar nominated for best foreign-language film) does what he can to sustain the suspense, striking a reasonable balance between prolonging and heightening their ordeal and finding quieter moments that allow Alex and Ben to get better acquainted — and the audience, in turn, to learn more about them.
To the marginal extent that it works, credit Elba and Winslet, who manage not only to convey determination, fear and bouts of resignation but also possess the sort of innate appeal that makes some of the thinner plot points more palatable.
Again, this has a genuine throwback feel to it, recalling the days when there were plenty of mid-sized studio movies that relied on star power, as opposed to today’s stark divide between comic-book blockbusters and art-house-oriented award bait.
If “The Mountain Between Us” can navigate that precipitous chasm, there won’t be any mystery as to which two people it will have to thank.
“The Mountain Between Us” premieres Oct. 6 in the U.S. It’s rated PG-13.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/05/entertainment/the-mountain-between-us-review/index.html

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Academy Adds ‘Popular Film’ Category to Oscars

Charmaine Blake

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(CNN)Could this be “Black Panther’s” big chance?

On Wednesday, the organization announced a number of impending changes to the Oscars, including its intention to add a new category for achievement in popular film.
The details regarding eligibility in this category have not been announced — and the Academy did not say when the change would take effect — but the new award’s purpose is clear: make sure the box office’s biggest money makers have a chance to walk away with Oscars gold.
There have been instances in the past where this has already happened, of course.
Films like “Titanic,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” and “Forrest Gump” ruled the box office in their respective years and also earned best picture awards. But recent years have seen some of the year’s top-grossing films either earn awards solely in technical categories or get shut out of the Oscars completely. (One of the few exceptions to this was “American Sniper,” which grossed $350 million domestically and earned a best picture nomination.)

Last year’s best picture winner, “The Shape of Water,” earned $63 million domestically and topped out at No. 10 in box office rankings during its time in theaters, according to figures from Box Office Mojo.

The Academy’s motivation for extending honors to so-called popular films is a hope that the new award will help attract viewers. The most-watched telecast in Oscars history was in 1998 when “Titanic” won.

Last year’s telecast hit an all-time low in ratings with just 26.5 million viewers, a drop of 20% from the previous year.

Other changes set to take place, according to the Academy: a stricter adherence to a three-hour telecast and an earlier airdate for the 92nd annual Oscars.
The Academy had said the date of the 2020 ceremony would be February 23. That has changed to February 9.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/08/entertainment/academy-popular-film-category/index.html

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Robert Redford Confirms Retirement from Acting

Charmaine Blake

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The Old Man & the Gun will feature the stars final big-screen role after a 60-year career but he may carry on directing

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Robert Redford has confirmed he will retire from acting with the completion of his forthcoming film, The Old Man & the Gun.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Redford, 81, said: Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [Ill] move towards retirement after this cause Ive been doing it since I was 21. I thought, Well, thats enough. And why not go out with something thats very upbeat and positive?

In 2016 Redford had suggested he had two more acting roles in the works, after which he would quit. Our Souls at Night, a romance in which he starred opposite Jane Fonda, was released on Netflix in September 2017, while The Old Man & the Gun, a crime comedy directed by A Ghost Storys David Lowery, in which Redford plays career criminal and veteran escape artist Forrest Tucker, is due for release in September after a premiere at the Toronto film festival.

Redford has been acting since 1960, when he appeared in a string of TV shows and gained a small role in basketball drama Tall Story. His profile steadily increased through the decade in films such as The Chase and Barefoot in the Park, before scoring a huge hit opposite Paul Newman in 1969s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. His second collaboration with Newman, 1973s The Sting, remains his biggest box-office success, and brought his only Oscar nomination for acting to date. (He lost to Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger.) He was given an honorary Oscar in 2001.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/aug/06/robert-redford-retires-the-old-man-and-the-gun

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Jordan Peele’s new film now has a full cast and release date and it’s time to get excited

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Jordan Peele’s new film is well underway.

Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Splendid news, Peele fans: we now have even more information about the Get Out director’s upcoming new film, Us.

Specifically, a cast and an exact release date. We already knew that Lupita Nyong’o and Elizabeth Moss were likely to be involved, but now we have a full run-down of all the main stars.

The people in that tweet from left to right, starting in the top left, are: Jordan Peele; Lupita Nyong’o; Winston Duke; Elizabeth Moss; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II; Anna Diop; Tim Heidecker; Shahadi Wright Joseph; Evan Alex; and twins Cali and Noelle Sheldon (who, it turns out, both played Ross and Rachel’s baby, Emma, in Friends back in the day).

Peele has since retweeted a Hollywood Reporter article about the news, which means we can be pretty sure it’s all real and confirmed.

Wright, who is voicing Young Nala in the upcoming live action Lion King adaptation, also tweeted about it.

Peele shared an eerie poster for the film back in May, which slated a March 2019 release date.

According to both The Hollywood Reporter, the exact date it hits cinemas will now be 15 March.

Time to start getting excited.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/08/01/jordan-peele-us-cast-release-date/

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