|THE NIGHTINGALEACADEMY AWARDSNIGHTINGALEAUSTRALIA|
Dakota and Elle Fanning have acted in the same movies before, lending their voices to the English dubs of My Neighbor Totoro and appearing in I Am Sam when they were very young. But now actress/director Mélanie Laurent will bring the sisters together in a major way in her newest film, The Nightingale, an adaptation of author Kristin Hannah’s bestselling World War II novel from 2015. Get the details below.
Originally set to be the theatrical feature film debut of Michelle MacLaren Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and tons of other TV shows, The Nightingale was once slotted to hit theaters in August 2018 before getting bumped to January 2019. That obviously didn’t happen – MacLaren left the project for unknown reasons but Laurent has swooped in instead to keep the project alive, and Deadline now reports that her film will receive a theatrical release on December 25, 2020.
The book’s official synopsis says The Nightingale tells the stories of “two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France,” and Deadline says the story was “inspired by the courageous women of the French Resistance who helped downed Allied airmen escape Nazi-occupied territory and hid Jewish children.”
Laurent has some cinematic history with this time period: she’s still perhaps best known for her starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. And she also has some history with one of the Fanning sisters. She directed Elle Fanning in the 2018 movie Galveston, which was written by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto. Dana Stevens City of Angels, For the Love of the Game, Life or Something Like It, Safe Haven wrote The Nightingale‘s screenplay.
A Christmas release puts The Nightingale up against some tough competition. It’ll be going head to head against Steven Spielberg’s highly-anticipated remake of West Side Story, Denis Villeneuve’s take on the sci-fi classic Dune, a Paul Greengrass-directed film called News of the World starring Tom Hanks, Ridley Scott’s historical thriller The Last Duel which has Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer in the cast, DreamWorks Animation’s cavemen follow-up The Croods 2, and the Chris Pratt-starring sci-fi film The Tomorrow War. But Sony found success with this same slot last year with Little Women, another female-led period piece, so clearly the hope is to replicate that once again.
I wonder if Sony will bother changing the title since The Babadook director Jennifer Kent just directed an acclaimed thriller of the same name that was released last year. Stay tuned....
Kirk Douglas represented the embodiment of Hollywood stardom, but he likely would not have been a fan of Sunday’s Oscar show. Indeed, he might have ended up standing offstage with Quentin Tarantino, both wondering why the ceremonies seem oddly distanced from both Hollywood and its stars.
Tarantino made a downright affectionate movie about Hollywood, but had to watch a Korean filmmaker seize the Best Picture statuette. Quentin and Kirk know that the Oscar show had originally been invented by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Charlie Chaplin to prove that the talent — i.e., stars — still ran the show, not the corporations.
Ninety years later, star vehicles don't win Oscars. Further, post-Oscar analysts focus less on the winning feature and its star than on whether Netflix's lavish $100 million awards campaign paid off in sufficient trophies the streamer won 24 nominations but only two Oscars.
Douglas coveted the awards derby. He was nominated three times as Best Actor in his first decade as a star and usually starred in three movies a year. “I was always attracted to characters who are part scoundrel,” was his famous explanation.
To Douglas, stardom meant not only working a lot but also putting his prestige behind important movies — hence Lonely are the Brave, Lust for Life and Spartacus. Rallying behind the then-unknown Stanley Kubrick was vital to bringing Paths of Glory to the screen. His unrelenting support of Dalton Trumbo was the key to liberating blacklisted screenwriters.
In the early 1960s when the strapped studios eliminated their overall deals with stars, Douglas was the most aggressive in creating independent companies to develop projects. Others like William Holden, Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy seemed paralyzed by the realization that no one was around any more to feed them material or match them with appropriate directors.
When I once slipped a book to John Wayne some years ago — it was True Grit — he seemed surprised that someone would actually feed him a new project I was a studio executive at the time. Had I donated it to Douglas, he would have optioned the novel by dinner time and hired a screenwriter. Instead, Wayne asked his friend, Hal Wallis, to help him figure out how to take it from there.Pitt John Salangsang/BEI/Shutterstock
Kirk Douglas skillfully put together a development slate, and even raised financing funding. Oscar winners like Crash or Birdman, however, would not have been in his purview, nor would he have reacted exuberantly to the Big Win for Parasite. He liked “big” pictures and “big” stars that had international audiences. On the Oscar show, he also would have liked to see more clips of big scenes, and heard...
Amid concerns over the coronavirus spread, and along with the cancellation of the Sydney Film Festival, there have been some cinema closures in Australia, while iconic TV soap Neighbours has temporarily shut down production.
In the case of the former, Melbourne-based exhibition chain Palace Cinemas has said it will shutter all of its locations from tomorrow March 19 for an indefinite period. The group operates 20 sites across the country and made the “difficult decision” to close following new directives from the Oz government.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office issued measures today that include restricting “non-essential” indoor gatherings of more than 100 people. Outdoor events of less than 500 attendees are still allowed to proceed.
“The states and territories will give further consideration to practical guidance and rules for non-essential indoor gatherings of fewer than 100 people including staff such as cinemas, theatres, restaurants/cafes, pubs, clubs, weddings and funerals,” the government said. This information will be considered at the next National Cabinet meeting which is due to take place on Friday. “In the meantime, these venues should continue to apply social distancing and hygiene practices.”
It is currently unclear if bigger chains Event Cinemas and Hoyts are closing their auditoriums. However, the latter has introduced in-cinema seat separation as it recommends social distancing. Smaller circuit, Dendy Cinemas has also not announced closures, but said on its website that along with having already reduced capacity, it has implemented staggered seating and will release screening times on a daily basis given the uncertain nature of the situation.
Australia is a major market, and box office is sharply down in the early part of March as compared to last year. Elsewhere, U.S. chains went dark this week while majors in the UK announced closures on Tuesday, joining key European markets like France, Spain and Italy.
Meanwhile, production on long-running soap opera Neighbours - which helped launch the careers of such stars as Margot Robbie and Guy Pearce - has been halted amid the pandemic. According to 10Daily, Network 10 and Fremantle Media said today that the show would take “a short break to ensure the production model in place can withstand any potential impact of the current COVID-19 situation.” The break is currently due to last only until next Monday with no interruption to the broadcast schedule.