Ellen Page and Ian Daniel round out SXSW Film keynotes

gaycation-japan-ellen-page-viceland-1456329875-crop_mobile_400Academy Award-nominated actress and activist Ellen Page and her friend Ian Daniel — who are co-creators of the new documentary series “Gaycation” — are the final SXSW film keynote speakers, it was announced Monday.

Page and Daniel will discuss their careers, the equality movement and cultural attitudes towards LGBTQ people 11 a.m. March 12 at 11:00 AM.

The duo’s series, which will air on Vice Media’s new cable channel Viceland, will unpack LGBTQ cultures around the world. The first episode airs 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Nelson George, Gale Anne Hurd and Joe Swanberg are the other keynotes.

Here is the trailer for “Gaycation:”




‘Spotlight,’ diversity win big at Spirit Awards


The Independent Film Spirit Awards gave “Spotlight,” the newsroom drama about uncovering a history of abuse in the Catholic Church, the top honor — best picture – as well as best director for Tom McCarthy, best screenplay and the Robert Altman award for ensemble.

The group also delivered a well-deserved slap to the Oscars by giving awards to Idris Elba and Abraham Attah, the co-stars of “Beasts of No Nation.” It also honored Mya Taylor, the first transgender actress to win at the Spirit Awards.

The Spirit Awards honor movies that were made for $20 million or less.

As the Associated Press pointed out, “Spotlight” was the only best picture nominee up for the Spirits’ top award; the bigger budget Oscar favorites it’s vying with, “The Revenant” and “The Big Short,” didn’t qualify. And while the Oscars have been beset by criticism for a second straight year of all-white acting nominees, the Spirits boasted five nonwhite nominees out of 20 — and three of them won.

“I’m so much prouder of being a producer than my performance,” Elba said backstage about the Netflix release. “As a producer you face a lot of doors being closed in your face and in this case we did have a hard time making it but we got there in the end.”

Brie Larson, meanwhile, won acting honors for “Room,:” while Emma Donoghue won for best adapted screenplay.

Follow live: 88th Academy Awards, from red carpet to best picture

The glitz, the glamour, the little gold men. Follow along live as the American-Statesman covers the 88th Academy Awards live. Who will be the best dressed on the red carpet? Will Leonardo DiCaprio finally walk away with an Oscar? Vote in our poll, fill out a printable ballot and find out what our critics predict will happen Sunday night.

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

5:20 p.m.: The order of this year’s Oscars

In case you were wondering, tonight’s Oscar broadcast will NOT start off with a supporting actor category, as it usually does. Nope, this year, the celebrity stuff is being delayed, for some reason.

And the first two categories to be announced will be for screenplays. And that won’t provide much suspense, since those two categories are probably the easiest to pick.

“Spotlight” is expected to win best original screenplay, while “The Big Short” expected to win best adapted screenplay.

Here’s the order of awards presentations tonight:

Here is the full rundown of tonight’s awards, in order of presentation:

Original Screenplay
Adapted Screenplay
Actress in a Supporting Role
Costume Design
Production Design
Makeup and Hairstyling
Film Editing
Sound Editing
Sound Mixing
Visual Effects
Animated Short Film
Animated Feature Film
Actor in a Supporting Role
Documentary Short Subject
Documentary Feature
Live Action Short Film
Foreign Language Film
Original Song
Original Score
Actress in a Leading Role
Actor in a Leading Role
Best Picture

The Oscars 2016: What’s your pick?

Chris Rock will host the 2016 Oscars tomorrow night. Photo via The Oscars
Chris Rock will host the 2016 Oscars tomorrow night. Photo via The Oscars

The 88th Oscars are tomorrow in Hollywood, California. Who’s your pick for the top three awards?



We have our picks already, and if you want to mark all your choices for tonight’s awards, we made an easy-to-use Oscars ballot for your watch party (download it here).

The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood tonight, hosted by actor and comedian Chris Rock. The red carpet kicks off at 7 p.m., and the award show starts at 7:30 p.m. Watch tonight on ABC, or find the live stream on the Oscars website. We’ll be live-tweeting the whole thing too.

“Hitchcock/Truffaut:” One artist canonizes another (Our grade: B+)


Truffaut approached his job seriously, putting as much time and effort into this extraordinary act of journalism as he did with any movie. His reward was access to Hitchcock’s amazing mind — and the occasional truly fantastic quote such as “All actors are cattle!” Still photos of the participants are cut with generous, canny clips from throughout the canon as key moments from “Psycho,” Hitchcock’s early film “The Lodger” and the almighty “Vertigo” illustrate various points.

Sure, even at a tight 80 minutes, “Hitchcock/Truffaut” wanders a tad — the film veers from being a movie about a book to a movie about a filmmaker. You won’t mind.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Hitchcock/Truffaut”

‘Triple 9’ is a meticulous, well-made crime film (Our grade: B)


Mick LaSalle – San Francisco Chronicle

“Triple 9” is no routine crime film. It has a meticulous, Swiss watch of a script, written by newcomer Matt Cook — and it’s directed by John Hillcoat (“Lawless,” “The Proposition”), whose films are soulful, serious and marked by strong performances.

Hillcoat is drawn to stories involving grim challenges and awful choices, and he gets to grapple with both in “Triple 9.”

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Triple 9”

‘Son of Saul’ packs a wallop (Our grade: A-)


“Son of Saul” has to be one of the most harrowing movies ever made about the Holocaust.

The emotions are so complicated, the scenes so horrifying, that it’s hard to watch at points.

The movie from Hungarian director László Nemes stars Géza Röhrig as Auslander Saul, a member of the Sonderkommando, a group of Jewish men who have been forced to help the Nazis exterminate people in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com

‘Eddie the Eagle’ will win you over (Our grade: B)

ENTER_EDDIE-MOVIE-REVIEW_1_Katie Walsh – Tribune News Service

A cheery tale of unlikely sporting triumph, “Eddie the Eagle,” directed by Dexter Fletcher, offers up a retro feel-good yarn about the power of determination. While it’s often conventional, you’d have to be stone-hearted to remain un-charmed by the story of real-life British ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards, played by rising star Taron Egerton.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Eddie the Eagle”


‘Only Yesterday’ finally makes its way to U.S. shores (Our grade: B)


Nicolas Rapold – New York Times

Isao Takahata, an Academy Award nominee and one of the twin pillars of the anime giant Studio Ghibli, brings the clear-eyed grace of his animation to the lovely memoiristic story of a 27-year-old woman in “Only Yesterday.”

As the woman, Taeko, goes on a vacation in the country that brings back grade-school memories, Takahata finds a poignancy in milestones and ordinary moments alike, showing her sense of self deepening over time.

» Read full review at MyStatesman.com » Find showtimes for “Only Yesterday”


First trailer for “Pete’s Dragon” and second for “Midnight Special” look pretty awesome

First up, we have the trailer for Disney’s 2016 remake of “Pete’s Dragon,” which is helmed by Texas director David Lowery, whose only other feature as a director is the excellent “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”  Rumor has it the remake takes very, very little from the original, which is probably wise. The sequence from 1:11 to 1:20 is pretty stellar (and recalls some of the emotional beats from the still-excellent “How to Train Your Dragon.”)

Here is the second trailer for Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special,” his ode to 1980s sci-fi thrillers. This just in: psyhic children are always, always creepy (see also: “Akira,” any of the Witch Mountain movies.)