Rebel Wilson jokes about failure of Cats during 2020 BAFTAs

Rebel Wilson poked fun at the failure of her movie Cats as she presented an award at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday. The Pitch Perfect actress played Jennyanydots alongside the likes of Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Huds…

Rebel Wilson poked fun at the failure of her movie Cats as she presented an award at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday.

The Pitch Perfect actress played Jennyanydots alongside the likes of Idris Elba, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Hudson in Tom Hooper’s movie adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, which was savaged by critics and flopped at the box office following its release in December.

And as Wilson took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall to present the award for Best Director while wearing a Prabal Gurung wrap dress that was half black and half glittery red, she made a joke at the film’s expense.

“Tonight is all about sustainability, so I made this dress from sewing my two old dresses together. The red is from that one time I didn’t win Miss Australia, and the black is from a funeral I just went to for the feature film Cats,” she said to laughter from the star-studded audience. “Cats. Strangely not nominated for any awards. I’m not sure if everyone here is across the controversy but this year there has been a distinct lack of nominations for felines. Yep, even in this Best Director ‘cat’-egory, no felines have been nominated. It’s really shocking.”

In her hilarious speech, one of the standout moments of the evening, Wilson reeled off the names of the Best Director nominees – Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, Todd Phillips, Quentin Tarantino, and Bong Joon Ho – and joked about the fact that they are all men.

“I look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category and I don’t think I could do what they do,” the Australian star quipped. “Honestly, I just don’t have the balls.”

Mendes received the prize for 1917, which dominated the evening with seven wins, including Best Film and Outstanding British Film.

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1917 triumphs at the 2020 BAFTAs

Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 was the big winner at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday night.The movie, which follows two British servicemen crossing enemy lines to deliver a vital message, won seven BAFTAs in total, including Best Fil…

Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 was the big winner at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday night.

The movie, which follows two British servicemen crossing enemy lines to deliver a vital message, won seven BAFTAs in total, including Best Film, Outstanding British Film, and Best Director for Mendes, as well as prizes for cinematography, sound, special visual effects, and production design.

Joker star Joaquin Phoenix claimed the Best Leading Actor prize at London’s Royal Albert Hall, while the Best Leading Actress award went to Renee Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, boosting their chances of Oscars glory next weekend.

Supporting acting honours went to Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Laura Dern for Marriage Story.

Joker, Todd Phillips’ dark origin story for the DC Comics supervillain, led all nominees with 11 ahead of the event, but only bagged two other BAFTAs in addition to Phoenix’s win – for Best Original Score and Best Casting.

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won’s script for Parasite won Best Original Screenplay, while Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit was named Best Adapted Screenplay. Parasite also triumphed in the Best Film Not in the English Language category.

Netflix’s festive adventure Klaus won Best Animated Film and For Sama was named Best Documentary.

Blue Story star Micheal Ward won the public-voted EE Rising Star Award, following in the footsteps of past winners Tom Holland, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy, John Boyega, and 2019 victor, Letitia Wright.

Andy Serkis was honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema accolade, while Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was presented with the BAFTA Fellowship.

The 2020 BAFTAs were hosted by U.K. chat show host Graham Norton.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Film: 1917

Outstanding British Film: 1917

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Renee Zellweger – Judy

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

EE Rising Star Award: Micheal Ward

Best Director: Sam Mendes – 1917

Best Original Screenplay: Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit

Best Adapted Screenplay: Han Jin Won and Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Best Film Not In The English Language: Parasite

Best Documentary: For Sama

Best Animated Film: Klaus

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer: Bait

Best Original Score: Hildur Guđnadóttir – Joker

Best Casting: Shayna Markowitz – Joker

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins – 1917

Best Editing: Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker – Le Mans ’66

Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales – 1917

Best Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran – Little Women

Best Make Up & Hair: Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro and Anne Morgan – Bombshell

Best Sound: Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson – 1917

Best Special Visual Effects: Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron and Dominic Tuohy – 1917

Best British Short Film: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)

Best British Short Animation: Grandad Was A Romantic.

BAFTA Fellowship: Kathleen Kennedy

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Andy Serkis

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Sam Mendes scores top prize at Directors Guild of America Awards

Sam Mendes cemented his status as Oscars frontrunner by taking home the top prize at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards on Saturday for his war epic 1917.The filmmaker’s latest movie beat Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Quentin Tarantino’s Once …

Sam Mendes cemented his status as Oscars frontrunner by taking home the top prize at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards on Saturday for his war epic 1917.

The filmmaker’s latest movie beat Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman to win the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film award.

His victory comes hot off his success at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) last weekend, meaning he has now secured his status as the one to beat for the Best Director prize at the Academy Awards on 9 February. The last six winners of the main DGA prize have gone on to win the Oscar.

Accepting the DGA honour, Mendes thanked his late grandfather, whose wartime stories inspired the film, and dedicated his win to his young daughter Phoebe.

“My grandfather inspired this film, and he made me when I was 12 sign a contract promising I would write a novel by the age of 18,” he said. “Obviously, I’m not a freak, so I didn’t do that, but I did do this.”

According to Deadline, Mendes told reporters backstage the win meant a lot to him.

“It’s voted for by people who know exactly what I do and that makes a huge difference. For me the whole event was moving,” the 54-year-old commented.

Other DGA winners included Alma Har’el, who won the Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director award for Honey Boy, and Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, who were also honoured for their Netflix documentary movie, American Factory.

In the TV categories, Bill Hader took home the Comedy Series prize for Barry, Johan Renck was recognised for Chernobyl in the TV Movie/Limited Series category, and Nicole Kassell won for her episode of Watchmen in Dramatic Series.

Mendes previously won the DGA honour in 1999 for American Beauty.

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1917 triumphs at Producers Guild Awards

1917 took home the top honour at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.Sam Mendes’ film won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures during the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, beating box of…

1917 took home the top honour at the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday.

Sam Mendes’ film won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures during the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, beating box office hits including The Irishman, Joker, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Taking to the stage, Sam paid tribute to the “incredible efforts” of the cast and crew and said working on 1917 – which was filmed to look like one continuous shot – was “humbling and joyful and by far the best experience of my professional life”.

The PGA win, which comes shortly after it was named Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes, means 1917 is now one of the frontrunners for the Best Picture Oscar. The war movie is nominated for 10 prizes at the Academy Awards, which take place on 9 February.

In other categories, the Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures went to those behind Apollo 11, while Toy Story 4 took home the PGA award for Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures.

In TV, Succession scooped the Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama, Fleabag won the Danny Thomas Award for Episodic Television – Comedy, and Chernobyl collected the David L. Wolper Award for Limited Series Television.

Meanwhile, Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television went to Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment & Talk Television recognised Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and RuPaul’s Drag Race won Outstanding Producer of Game & Competition Television.

Outstanding Sports Program went to What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali, Sesame Street took home Outstanding Children’s Program, and Outstanding Short-Form Program was awarded to Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Special accolades were also given to Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Marta Kauffman, Octavia Spencer, the film Bombshell, and Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner.

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Dean-Charles Chapman requested 1917 character wore rings

Dean-Charles Chapman asked the costume department on 1917 if his character could wear rings because he was inspired by a real-life soldier.The Game of Thrones actor plays Lance Corporal Blake in Sam Mendes’ new war movie, which follows two soldiers a…

Dean-Charles Chapman asked the costume department on 1917 if his character could wear rings because he was inspired by a real-life soldier.

The Game of Thrones actor plays Lance Corporal Blake in Sam Mendes’ new war movie, which follows two soldiers as they have to cross enemy territory in northern France to deliver a warning which could save 1,600 men during the First World War.

While preparing for the shoot, Chapman came across a bunch of photographs of soldiers and he was particularly taken by the look of one, and he asked if he could incorporate some details into his character’s wardrobe.

“In the costume department back in Shepperton Studios, there was this big wall of photographs and on the wall, there was this picture of three soldiers and all three were completely different types of characters,” he recalled at a London press conference. “There was one, in particular, that was just so relaxed, leaning up against a truck, all his jacket was undone and half his shirt was hanging off, and he had two rings, one on his ring finger and one on his little finger and that sort of relaxed mannerism, and I thought, ‘I like it’. So, I made Blake wear a middle ring and a little pinky (ring)… and I nicked it actually from set and I’ve got it in my bedroom.”

While researching the part, the 22-year-old read a book called The Western Front Diaries, comprised of diary entries from soldiers in the First World War, and he discovered an entry by his great-great-grandfather.

“(The entry) talks about the First World War, how he was part of the cavalry, he got shot and was wounded in No Man’s Land and survived out there for four days,” he explained. “He ended up surviving the war and working in the first poppy factory in Richmond in London. So, I read that to get in the right headspace before stepping onto set.”

1917, which recently won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, is now in cinemas.

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Andrew Scott feared he’d ruined key 1917 take

Andrew Scott feared he’d ruined Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917 by fumbling with a cigarette lighter.The Fleabag star portrays a soldier that the two lead characters, played by George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, bundle past on the way to undertake an i…

Andrew Scott feared he’d ruined Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917 by fumbling with a cigarette lighter.

The Fleabag star portrays a soldier that the two lead characters, played by George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, bundle past on the way to undertake an important mission in the highly choreographed film.

Yet, Scott was concerned he had messed up the key moment due to a faulty cigarette lighter.

“Never smoke, ever,” he told the BBC. “On anything – on stage, on screen – never use a cigarette lighter.”

Mendes added: “You can have seven minutes of magic, and then if someone trips, or a lighter doesn’t work, or if an actor forgets half a line, it means none of it is useable and you have to start again.”

Scott then went on to explain that he felt particularly bad about messing up the scene as only he plays a minor character in the movie.

“You have to work alongside the camera team and the extras but the great challenge of it is you don’t want to mess it up, because you’re only in it for five minutes, you don’t want to be that guy,” the 43-year-old commented. “There were days where we did see-saw between thinking, ‘Why are we doing this to ourselves’, and thinking, ‘This is the only way to work.’ The feeling when you got it was so great, that you wanted to do it again. But there were some tough days.”

1917 is now showing in cinemas.

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Sam Mendes didn’t want to make 1917 ‘a history lesson’

Sam Mendes was determined not to make his war film 1917 feel like a history lesson.The Skyfall director’s new movie tells the fictional story of two soldiers in France during WWI who are tasked with crossing enemy territory and delivering a warning w…

Sam Mendes was determined not to make his war film 1917 feel like a history lesson.

The Skyfall director’s new movie tells the fictional story of two soldiers in France during WWI who are tasked with crossing enemy territory and delivering a warning which could save about 1,600 lives, and Mendes was determined to give audiences an idea of what the conflict was like for the men on the ground rather than give them information about the war as a whole.

“I was very conscious not to make a history lesson. I think most of us know how the war ended but I think that I felt from the very beginning that this movie could be about two British soldiers, but it could easily be two German soldiers, Belgian soldiers – it’s about the experience of war, rather than the historical moments,” he explained during a press conference in London.

“But I believe through the micro – through details, through individuals – you only then begin to see the macro, the scale of what they see through a tiny keyhole of one man’s experiences, you see the panorama of death and destruction that was the Great War.”

The filmmaker was inspired to create a WWI film by his grandfather, who had to carry a message as a soldier, but he discovered that the reason why that war isn’t as well represented on screen as WWII, is because the nature of it was “quite static”.

However, through research, he came across a moment in the battle that could work and started writing.

Once he and Krysty Wilson-Cairns completed the screenplay, they realised studio executives might not want to make the risky film, which is presented to audiences as one continuous shot.

“It’s very big, it’s very expensive, it’s got young men in the leads, it’s a risk, but because we hadn’t been paid for it, we could take it to the studios and kind of auctioned for it, which we did. ‘This is going to be expensive, do you want it?’ And luckily, they did,” he said.

1917 is in cinemas now.

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George MacKay ‘got lost in the moment’ filming 1917

George MacKay was able to get “lost in the moment” while filming war movie 1917 because of the long takes and expansive sets. The British actor plays soldier William Schofield, who is tasked with helping his friend Tom Blake, portrayed by Dean-Charles…

George MacKay was able to get “lost in the moment” while filming war movie 1917 because of the long takes and expansive sets.

The British actor plays soldier William Schofield, who is tasked with helping his friend Tom Blake, portrayed by Dean-Charles Chapman, cross enemy territory to deliver a warning that could save 1,600 comrades, in Sam Mendes’ Golden Globe-winning new movie, which was made to look like it was filmed in one continuous shot, although it actually consists of long takes cleverly stitched together.

During a press conference for the film in London, MacKay admitted acting in the sprawling and realistic wartime sets, such as the jaw-dropping No Man’s Land, for up to 10 minutes at a time meant he could lose himself in the moment.

“I think with the one shot, given the amount of time we spend rehearsing, it’s in your muscle memory, so when we came to do those long sequences you could kind of get lost in the moment because that moment would be ten minutes and because you’re leaving everyone behind,” he explained. “We were completely in our own world and it was a very kind of present, natural feeling, acting out those scenes.

“The sets were so incredible, to just get lost in a scene or in a place for 10 minutes, it was kind of easy to do because No Man’s Land, it was abominable, it was incredible the work that was done, and all we had to do was be in it.”

Both MacKay and Chapman’s characters encounter numerous obstacles along the way, such as gunfire and explosions, and the 27-year-old admitted reacting to those moments didn’t require much acting.

“The beauty of the whole journey was it was so physical in a sense much of the work is done for you. There’s not a huge amount of acting required just trying to stay up,” MacKay said, referring to a scene in which his character is taken downstream on a rapid river.

1917 is in cinemas from 10 January.

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Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino land Directors Guild nominations

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards. The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 20…

Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino have been nominated for the top honour at the 2020 Directors Guild of America (DGA) awards.

The veteran filmmaker has received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film for 2019 for his gangster epic The Irishman and faces competition from Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Bong Joon-Ho for South Korean thriller Parasite, Sam Mendes for one-take war movie 1917, and Taika Waititi for Jojo Rabbit.

Four of the nominees were also nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, while Joker filmmaker Todd Phillips, who received recognition from BAFTA and the Globes, is surprisingly absent from the shortlist and has been replaced by Waititi. Mendes took home the directing prize at the Globes on Sunday.

The five DGA nominees don’t always line up with the five Oscar nominees for Best Director, but the last six winners of the main DGA prize – most recently, Roma’s Alfonso Cuaron and The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro – have gone on to win the Academy Award.

During the DGA ceremony, which takes place on 25 January, a first-time film director will also receive an award. The nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director for 2019 include Mati Diop, who became the first black woman to direct a film featured In Competition at the Cannes Film Festival last year with Atlantics, Alma Har’el for Shia LaBeouf’s biopic Honey Boy, Melina Matsoukas for Queen & Slim, Joe Talbot for The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz for The Peanut Butter Falcon.

On Tuesday, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) also announced their nominations. The Irishman, 1917, Parasite, Jojo Rabbit, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are all up for The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, alongside Ford v Ferrari, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, and Marriage Story.

The winner will be announced on 18 January.

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Roger Deakins experienced anxiety shooting 1917

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two so…

Famed cinematographer Roger Deakins experienced anxiety trying to shoot long takes in one go while making war film 1917.

The Oscar-winning director of photography teamed up with Sam Mendes for the fourth time to shoot the war movie, which follows two soldiers as they cross into enemy territory to deliver an important message which could save hundreds of lives. The film is presented to the audience in a single continuous shot, when in fact it was made of several long takes subtly stitched together.

During a press conference for the film in London, Deakins admitted he thought there was a mistake when he read about Mendes’s “single shot” idea on the screenplay, and he experienced anxiety during the challenging shoot.

“We did a lot of rehearsals and a lot of testing… I don’t think I’ve ever had as much anxiety as I did doing some of the shots on this,” he said. “Also, the thrill, because after some of the shots, which are seven or eight minutes, everybody’s got to be on the ball, at the end, everyone would look at each other and high five. It was a real high.”

Deakins, who won the Best Cinematography Oscar for Blade Runner 2049 in 2018 after being nominated 14 times, explained that the longest shot lasted around nine minutes and the shoot lasted around 65 days. The most challenging aspect of the film was trying to get over the uneven terrain and to make the footage look like one seamless take despite different locations and cameras.

“The major difficulty was getting across the terrain and doing some of those really intense, sensitive scenes and making it all seem like a piece,” the 70-year-old added. “I think for me the trick was to make it feel like one camera all the time, I think that was the biggest challenge really. That and the weather.”

1917 hits cinemas from 10 January.

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