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Sally Hawkins

Early word on 2014’s “Paddington” was tentative at best. The live-action/CGI revival of the iconic British children’s character, created by Michael Bond (who passed away sadly this year) gave off a slight early whiff of “Garfield” or “Marmaduke,” had a rather unpromising early trailer, and even spawned the Creepy Paddington meme in advance of its release. But when Paul King‘s film arrived, it proved to be a delight: a near-Pixar level of family entertainment with big laughs, a gigantic heart, real cinematic magic, and an utterly vital message about refugees. Continue reading Full Trailer For ‘Paddington 2’ With Ben Whishaw & Hugh Grant [Watch] at The Playlist.

Venice? Check. Telluride? Check. TIFF? Pretty much, check. The three major film festivals that traditionally mark the start of Oscar season are officially over (TIFF runs until the weekend, but all the major premieres are in the bag). And, for the first time in recent history, there is no real Best Picture frontrunner yet (let alone two when “12 Years A Slave” and “Gravity” split pundits four years ago). There are no Buzzfeed articles out of Toronto proclaiming [insert movie title] is winning Oscar’s top prize or that collective feeling out of Telluride that no matter what happens the industry on hand simply love it too much for it to lose (see “Argo,” “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech”). Continue reading There Are No Frontrunners Yet, So Here’s Some Unsolicited Oscar Advice For Hollywood at The Playlist.

I’m back from the Toronto International Film Festival and still getting my bearings, but Guillermo del Toro‘s “The Shape Of Water” was the best film I saw at the fest, hands down. Beautifully shot, astoundingly written, and filled with warmth that nearly overflows off the screen, his fairy tale for adults is a story that makes heroes out for freaks, outcasts, overlooked, and marginalized. It’s a dazzling masterpiece, which is why you shouldn’t watch this trailer. Continue reading ‘The Shape Of Water’: NSFW Trailer For Guillermo del Toro’s Adult Fairy Tale at The Playlist.

TORONTO – The ride has already begun for Guillermo del Toro and “The Shape of Water.”  A return to the prestige horror that del Toro broke through with “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Shape” earned at raves at the Venice Film Festival before earning the adoration of the Academy members at the Telluride Film Festival a few days later.  The Mexican born filmmaker was relaxing in Los Angeles before heading to Toronto when he learned he needed to return to Venice for a jury honor.  Continue reading ‘The Shape of Water’: Guillermo del Toro Says Richard Jenkins’ Character Written For Ian McKellen [Interview] at The Playlist.

It was probably inevitable, but at this point it’s a smart bet that the 2018 Best Picture winner didn’t screen at the 44th Telluride Film Festival. I mean, sure, it’s still possible, and without question the annual Labor Day cinephile extravaganza featured at least two Best Picture nominees: “The Shape of Water” and “Darkest Hour.” But no one left the Colorado town believing either were locks to win Oscar’s top prize. Continue reading Fox Searchlight Dominates Telluride As ‘Shape Of Water’ And ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ Make Oscar Pitches at The Playlist.

Guillermo del Toro‘s magical fairy tale “The Shape of Water” brings the fantasy we’ve come to expect from the director coupled with a powerful emotional surge. Our review out of Venice declares, “It’s a film that makes you feel a lot. But overridingly you feel lucky — lucky to be watching it, lucky that something so sincerely sweet, sorrowfully scary and surpassingly strange can exist in this un-wonderful world.” Needless to say, this is a must-see movie. Continue reading ‘The Shape of Water’ Clip: Sally Hawkins Discovers A Merman at The Playlist.

If it’s true that every culture gets the fairytales it deserves, it’s hard to see what we’ve done lately to merit anything as lovely as Guillermo del Toro‘s “The Shape of Water.” It’s a Cold War paranoia thriller, a 1950s-style creature feature, a quasi-musical cinematic nostalgia trip and a fantasy interspecies love story between a woman and a merman, so brimming with romance and adventure that its effect overflows the screen, filling up rooms and flooding the cinema and threatening to leak through to the floor below. Continue reading Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Shape Of Water’ Is Sweet & Scary Movie Magic [Venice Review] at The Playlist.

Without question, Guillermo del Toro is one of the most visually stunning directors working today. Regardless of what critics may think of the finished product, his films all look amazing. That being said, there’s no way a new film directed by him set in Cold War-era America that features a mysterious government experiment could be anything less than stunning. In the just-released trailer for “The Shape of Water,” viewers get a chance to see what Del Toro has planned for his follow-up to “Crimson Peak.” “The Shape of Water” is the upcoming film written, produced, and directed by Del Toro. Continue reading First Trailer For Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘The Shape Of Water’ at The Playlist.

Halfway through the year there is no reason not to ponder the current slate of Best Actress contenders.  Many of these performances have been seen seen either at festivals or screenings, others have been in films that have released footage and a few have actually been in films released in theaters. This is a very fluid category at this stage of the game, but if you are wondering why some are listed as “potential” instead of “likely” remember that insight and intel are everything.  Continue reading 2018 Best Actress Oscars Predictions at The Playlist.