Review: ‘A Rainy Day in New York,’ starring Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna and Liev Schreiber

November 5, 2020

by Carla Hay

Timothée Chalamet and Selena Gomez in “A Rainy Day in New York” (Photo by Jessica Miglio/MPI Media Group)

“A Rainy Day in New York”

Directed by Woody Allen

Culture Representation: Taking place in New York City and in upstate New York, the romantic comedy “A Rainy Day in New York” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few Latinos) representing the upper-middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A college student and his schoolmate girlfriend spend the day in New York City and experience unexpected entanglements with other people.

Culture Audience: “A Rainy Day in New York” will appeal primarily to die-hard fans of writer/director Woody Allen and star Timothée Chalamet, because this movie is clearly not their best work.

Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning in “A Rainy Day in New York” (Photo by Jessica Miglio/MPI Media Group)

“A Rainy Day in New York” is writer/director Woody Allen’s very misguided attempt at making a teenage romantic comedy, but the results are as phony and pretentious as many of the characters in the film. Movie aficionados who are familiar with Allen’s work already know that he sticks to certain formulas and themes in his movies. His movies are usually about privileged people in a big city who are preoccupied with their spouses or lovers cheating on them. There’s usually at least one much-older man in the story who makes sexual advances toward a much-younger woman—or the older man at least makes it known that he’s sexually attracted to her. And there’s always jazz in the soundtrack because Allen is a big fan of jazz music.

And even though Allen’s movies usually take place in the racially diverse city of New York, he excludes African Americans and Asians from being in his films in any significant speaking roles. Occasionally, as he did in “A Rainy Day in New York” and in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” he might have a few Latinos in his films. The elitist and pseudo-intellectual worlds that Allen has in his movies are usually filled with people whining about personal problems that they create for themselves because they are addicted to self-sabotage.

You don’t have to see the poster for “A Rainy Day in New York” to know exactly who’s going to end up together by the end of the story. But until viewers get to that point, they have to sit through about 92 minutes of college-age people in their late teens and early 20s talking as if they’re about 10 years older, with very affected mannerisms. Unfortunately, much of the movie’s screenplay sounds exactly like what it is: dialogue written for young people by a senior citizen who doesn’t know how today’s young people really talk. Even though these young people are supposed to be privileged and well-educated, they still sound like an old person wrote their words for them.

All of the actors in “A Rainy Day in New York” are very talented, but they perform in this movie as if they’re all too self-aware that they’re in one of Allen’s films. And so, they all act is if they’re trying to conjure up the same neuroses and quirks of characters that were in classic Allen films, such as 1977’s “Annie Hall” and 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,” which are considered two of Allen’s best movies.

“A Rainy Day in New York” follows the usual Allen formula of having the male lead character act like how a young Woody Allen would act, by being neurotic and showing some kind of intellectual snobbery. In this case, Timothée Chalamet plays the Allen surrogate with a character whose name is as pompous as his personality: Gatsby Welles.

Gatsby sees himself as quite the rebel because he dropped out of an unnamed prestigious university (presumably an Ivy League university) and is now enrolled in a small liberal-arts college in upstate New York called Yardley College. He likes to sneak off on a semi-regular basis to gamble with older men of dubious occupations. In reality, Gatsby isn’t that rebellious. He’s spoiled, a bit wimpy, and way too impressed with himself for someone who really hasn’t accomplished much and doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life.

Viewers can immediately see how self-absorbed Gatsby can be, but there’s no subtlety at all in this film. Allen over-amplifies Gatsby’s personality because he makes Gatsby have a constant stream of voiceover narration every time Gatsby is on screen. Other characters talk out loud to themselves when they wouldn’t need to do that if Allen trusted the actors enough to express emotions with their faces and body language.

In the opening scene, which takes place on the Yardley campus, Gatsby says in a voiceover: “This is Yardley, which is supposed to be a very good liberal college, which is supposed to be tony enough for my mother, which is total bullshit, because you get ticks [from] walking in the grass.” Gatsby further comments about his mother: “She says I have a high IQ and I’m not living up to my potential, even though last weekend I made 20 grand playing poker.”

Viewers will hear quite a bit about Gatsby’s domineering mother, because Gatsby can’t stop talking about her, even as he tries to avoid her. Gatsby’s parents (played by Cherry Jones and Jonathan Hogan) don’t have names in the movie, but viewers soon learn that Gatsby’s parents and his older brother Hunter (played by Will Rogers) live in New York City. Gatsby’s mother is a high-society influencer who’s presenting her big annual charity gala that Gatsby desperately does not want to attend.

There’s a scene in the last third of “A Rainy Day in New York” where Gatsby and his mother have a heart-to-heart talk, and it’s the best scene in the movie. Jones is fantastic in this role. Her performance is one of the few highlights of this meandering and often-dull film that recycles a lot of the same love-life problems and dilemmas that have been in other films by Allen.

Gatsby has a girlfriend named Ashleigh Enright (played by Elle Fanning), who also attends Yardley. On paper, Gatsby and Ashleigh both seem like a great match for each other. They both come from well-to-do families (Ashleigh’s father owns several banks in Arizona) that are politically conservative and white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Gatsby and Ashleigh are both very intelligent and curious. However, Ashleigh tends to be very giggly, forthright and effervescent, which is in contrast to Gatsby’s more brooding, secretive and angst-filled personality. Ashleigh is a movie buff, while Gatsby is more of a literature enthusiast.

Gatsby and Ashleigh have been dating each other for a few months. He says in a voiceover that he’s in love with Ashleigh and she’s perfect for him. Gatsby also says that Ashleigh is the type of girlfriend his mother would approve of, which is why he plans to introduce Ashleigh to his mother for the first time at the big gala event.

It just so happens that Ashleigh, who’s a journalist for the Yardley student newspaper, has landed an interview with a famous New York City-based film director named Roland Pollard (played by Liev Schreiber), and she couldn’t be more ecstatic about it because she’s been a longtime fan of his. Ashleigh tells Gatsby that she’s going to New York City to interview Roland, so Gatsby decides the time is right to go to the city for a couple of days with Ashleigh and make a romantic trip out of it.

Gatsby takes charge of their trip. He tells Ashleigh that they’ll be staying at the Pierre Hotel, and he’s made plans for them to have dinner at Daniel, an exclusive, five-star French restaurant. It’s implied that Gatsby is so well-connected that he can easily get reservations at Daniel, which is a restaurant that’s known to take reservations weeks in advance. Gatsby also wants to possibly stay at the Carlyle Hotel, or at least have lunch there, during the trip. 

Ashleigh’s meeting with Roland isn’t really an interview as much as it is a talk session where she nervously gushes over him like a fangirl. Based on how Roland’s movies are described, he’s an “auteur” who prefers to direct creatively challenging films instead of crowd-pleasing blockbusters. Roland is flattered that this young reporter knows a lot of about his work, but he’s wracked with insecurities about his latest film. He also mentions to Ashleigh that his ex-wife’s name was Ashley and she also went to Yardley.

Because Ashleigh is so nervous around Roland, she starts babbling some “too much information” personal details to him. For example, she tells him that she starts to hiccup when she’s anxious. “When I’m sexually anxious, I’ll hiccup indefinitely,” she adds. And, of course, that’s a signal that this nervous tick will definitely happen later in the film.

Ashleigh is such a neophyte journalist that when Roland tells her that he’d like to give her a scoop, she naïvely asks, “A scoop of what?” When Roland explains that a “scoop” is a journalist term for exclusive information, she can’t believe her luck that he chose her. Roland says that the “scoop” he wants to give Ashleigh is that he’s not happy with the film he’s working on, and it might be the last film he directs because he’s thinking of quitting the movie business.

Ashleigh is shocked and tells Roland that he shouldn’t quit. Roland invites Ashleigh to go with him to a private screening room to watch a rough cut of the film and to tell him what she thinks of the movie. The only problem for Ashleigh is that the time it would take to watch the movie would conflict with the lunch date that she made with Gatsby.

The offer from Roland is too good to pass up, so Ashleigh apologetically cancels her lunch date with Gatsby and explains why. Gatsby is disappointed, but he understands why Ashleigh wants this opportunity to get a great interview with one of her idols. And so, Gatsby and Ashleigh make plans to meet up later.

Gatsby now has unexpectedly a few spare hours of time where he’s free to do what he wants. He wanders outside the hotel and happens to see a former classmate from high school: a gossipy jerk named Alvin Troller (played by Ben Warheit), who is an elitist snob yet he has no manners. Gatsby isn’t too enthusiastic about seeing Alvin, but they make some small talk where they give updates on what they’ve been doing with their lives and why Gatsby is visiting in the city. Alvin tactlessly insults Gatsby and some other mutual acquaintances who are mentioned in the conversation.

Alvin tells Gatsby that a mutual former classmate from high school is directing a student film outside on a nearby street and that Gatsby should check out what’s going on with this movie if he’s curious. Before they part ways, Alvin tells Gatsby that if he were Gatsby, he’d be nervous about having his girlfriend alone in a room with a powerful movie director. It plants a seed of doubt in Gatsby about what might happen during the interview with Ashleigh and Roland.

When Gatsby arrives on the film set, the former classmate, whose name is Josh (played by Griffin Newman), is happy to see him. Josh convinces a reluctant Gatsby to make a cameo in the movie. Gatsby doesn’t feel comfortable about being in the movie because he tells Josh that he’s not an actor, but Gatsby agrees to the role only because it won’t take long and he won’t have to say any lines. All Gatsby has to do in the scene is kiss a young woman in a car.

And who is this young woman? Her name is Chan (played by Selena Gomez), and she happens to be the younger sister of Gatsby’s ex-girlfriend named Amy, whom Gatsby briefly dated when he was 16. Chan, who is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, is dryly sarcastic and comes from the same well-to-do type of family that Gatsby has. Before Gatsby and Chan start filming their kissing scene, Gatsby and Chan exchange the kind of teasing banter that makes it obvious that they’re thinking, “I’m attracted to you but I’m not going to admit it.” And you know what that means for a romantic comedy like this one.

Gatsby and Chan’s kissing in the scene starts off being very awkward. But then, eventually Gatsby and Chan become more relaxed with each other before the director tells them that he has the footage that he wants. Gatsby and Chan go their separate ways. But what do you know, they happen to see each other again when it starts raining and they both end up hailing the same taxi for their second “meet cute” moment. Gatsby and Chan decide to share the taxi ride, and then they have more banter filled with sexual tension.

During their conversations, Gatsby tells Chan that he’s in New York City with his girlfriend Ashleigh because Ashleigh is interviewing Roland Pollard for the Yardley student newspaper. Gatsby somewhat brags about Ashleigh coming from a wealthy family, but Chan shows some East Coast snobbery when she hears that Ashleigh and her family are originally from Arizona. Chan then proceeds to mock Ashleigh, whom she hasn’t even met, with jokes that imply that Chan thinks Ashleigh is an unsophisticated hick, even if Ashleigh’s family is rich.

It should come as no surprise that for the rest of the day, Chan and Gatsby find themselves spending time together, while Ashleigh gets more caught up in hanging out with Roland and his associates. Various hijinks ensue as Gatsby and Ashleigh make plans to meet up multiple times, only to have those plans changed because of a variety of circumstances. It’s all very predictable and formulaic because people who’ve seen enough romantic comedies know exactly what’s going to happen at the end of this movie.

At the screening room to watch the rough cut of Roland’s latest movie, Ashleigh meets Ted Davidoff (played by Jude Law), the screenwriter of the movie. Roland gets so distraught by what he sees in the rough cut that he storms off. Ted and Ashleigh take off in Ted’s car to try and find Roland. During this hunt for Roland, Ted sees his wife Connie (played by Rebecca Hall), who appears to be on a date with Ted’s best friend Larry Lipshitz. Connie told Ted that she was going to be hanging out with one of her female friends, and now Connie has been caught in a lie.

And so, Ashleigh finds herself tagging along and observing some of this marital drama, as Ted tries to find out if Connie is cheating on him or not. And speaking of infidelity, Ashleigh gets caught up in a situation where she has to decide if she’s going to be faithful to Gatsby or not. During the search for Roland, Ashleigh goes to Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, where she meets and is immediately dazzled by a sex-symbol movie star named Francisco Vega (played by Diego Luna), who’s almost twice the age of Ashleigh.

Francisco, who is in Roland’s latest film, doesn’t waste time in asking Ashleigh out on a dinner date. Francisco says he’s recently broken up with his actress girlfriend Tiffany (played by Suki Waterhouse), and when he and Ashleigh go outside together, they’re surrounded by paparazzi and news cameras. You don’t have to be psychic to know who will eventually see this footage.

During the time that Gatsby and Ashleigh are apart, there’s a minor subplot of Gatsby visiting his older brother Hunter and Hunter’s fiancée Lily (played by Annaleigh Ashford) in their spacious home. The wedding invitations have already been sent out, but Hunter confides in Gatsby that he doesn’t want to marry Lily. Why? Because Hunter says he doesn’t like Lily’s laugh, which Hunter describes as “a cross between Dad’s sister Betty and Lenny from ‘Of Mice and Men.'” 

It’s yet one of numerous examples of how superficial, status-conscious and image-obsessed so many people are in this story. And it’s why this so-called romantic comedy isn’t very romantic when almost everyone in the story does not seem capable of loving anyone but themselves. Anyone who doesn’t meet their standard of wealth just isn’t worthy enough of their time.

Chalamet and Fanning do their best to bring some relatable humanity to their roles. But Gatsby is just too conceited and Ashleigh is just too fickle to go beyond the “spoiled rich kid” caricatures that writer/director Allen has constructed for them. Gomez doesn’t have much to do with the character of Chan, whose personality is just an empty shell that only exists to lobby semi-insults back and forth with Gatsby as they pretend they’re not attracted to each other. A good romantic comedy will have audiences rooting for the protagonists, but most of the characters in “A Rainy Day in New York” are so insufferable that audiences will wish these people would just shut up and go away.

MPI Media Group and Signature Entertainment released “A Rainy Day in New York” in select U.S. cinemas on October 9, 2020. The movie’s digital, Blu-ray and DVD release date is November 10, 2020. “A Rainy Day in New York” was released in several countries outside the U.S. in 2019.

2018 Hollywood Film Awards: See photos and videos

November 4, 2018

Awkwafina at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions:

The 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards brought together Hollywood’s elite to honor the year’s most talked about, and highly anticipated, actors, actresses, films and those who help bring them to life.  The awards ceremony, celebrating its 22nd anniversary as the official launch of the awards season, was hosted by actress and comedian Awkwafina, and took place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.  In its 22-year history, more than 320 of the world’s biggest stars and filmmakers have been highlighted at the Hollywood Film Awards and more than 130 of the honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and/or wins.

The night kicked off with Awkwafina’s biting humor, and was filled with many intimate and touching moments, as the honorees expressed their pride in their featured works.

Brad Pitt and Felix Van Groeningen at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

After a sincere introduction from Brad Pitt, Felix van Groeningen voiced his utmost gratitude to receive the “Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award” and to be lucky enough to make a film like “Beautiful Boy.” Brad Bird kept his Hollywood Animation Award acceptance speech short and sweet as he stressed the need to keep making animation films for “dreaming and for dreamers.”

Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Ryan Gosling gave an impassioned speech on the marvel and genius of Damien Chazelle and presented him with the Hollywood Director Award, which Chazelle humbly accepted.

Taraji P. Henson (L) and John David Washington at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Taraji P. Henson lauded the brilliance of John David Washington and his ability to make a period piece, that is still so relevant today, as he was honored with the Hollywood Breakout Performance Actor Award.

After accepting the Hollywood Documentary Award on behalf of Don Argott for “Believer,” Dan Reynolds performed an extremely emotional rendition of the documentary’s original song, “Skipping Stones.”

Dan Reynolds and Hans Zimmer at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Danny Huston introduced New Hollywood Actress Award recipient Yalitza Aparicio who gave a touching speech in Spanish explaining that she hopes the “win of the performance is felt by the people of Mexico.”

Yalitza Aparicio at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Emma McIntrye/Getty Images)

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Anne Hathaway took the stage to present the “Hollywood Actor Award” to Hugh Jackman, applauding his many achievements including his “20 plus year juggernaut career,” his “sexiest man alive title,” and most importantly, “his widely known reputation for being the nicest guy in Hollywood.”

 

Sterling K. Brown presented the award for “Hollywood Breakout Ensemble” to the cast of “Crazy Rich Asians.”  Several of the cast members including Constance Wu, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh, remarked at what an incomparable experience they’ve had making this film and how impactful it has been to be able to share this story with a fully Asian cast.

“Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu (at podium) and (L-R) Henry Golding, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Nico Santos, Michelle Yeoh, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr., and Ken Jeong at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)

Amandla Stenberg and Janelle Monáe at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Janelle Monáe was on hand to present Amandla Stenberg with the Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress Award, and shared with the room what a fierce and fearless woman Stenberg is growing up to be.  Stenberg expressed her hope that the film “The Hate U Give” encourages people to stand up and be heard.

 

Christian Slater presented Glenn Close with her Hollywood Actress Award for her unparalleled performance in the film “The Wife.”  Close received a standing ovation before thanking all of the members of her team and all the filmmakers for staying with her throughout the entire process.

Glenn Close at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Michael B. Jordan came out to recognize “Black Panther” producer Nate Moore and director Ryan Coogler with the Hollywood Film Award.  He spoke to his experience both making and seeing the movie, saying that “for everyone with African roots, it spoke to us on an intensely powerful level.”

Michael B. Jordan. Ryan Coogler and Nate Moore at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

The final award of the evening went to Hollywood Career Achievement Award recipient Nicole Kidman, and was presented by Kidman’s co-star Shailene Woodley who was overwhelmed with gratitude that their lives crossed paths.  Kidman was welcomed with a standing ovation and thanked those in the room and in the industry for allowing her to play the women she’s played and tell their stories.  She vowed to “always give back to [her] craft!”

This year’s award show honored the following:

Hollywood Career Achievement Award

Nicole Kidman, presented by Shailene Woodley

Hollywood Film Award

“Black Panther,” presented by Michael B. Jordan

Hollywood Actress Award

Glenn Close for “The Wife,” presented by Christian Slater

Hollywood Actor Award

Hugh Jackman for “The Front Runner,” presented by Anne Hathaway

Hollywood Supporting Actor Award

Timothée Chalamet for “Beautiful Boy,” presented by Armie Hammer

Hollywood Ensemble Award

Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini for “Green Book,” presented by Octavia Spencer

(Back, L-R) Octavia Spencer with “Green Book” stars Dimiter Marinov, Sebastian Maniscalco, Joe Cortese, Nick Vallelonga, Mike Hatton, Brian Hayes Currie, (front L-R) Mahershala Ali, and Viggo Mortensen at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Hollywood Breakout Ensemble Award

Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remi Hii, Nico Santos for “Crazy Rich Asians,” presented by Sterling K. Brown

Hollywood Breakout Performance Actress Award

Amandla Stenberg for “The Hate U Give,” presented by Janelle Monáe

Hollywood Breakout Performance Actor Award

John David Washington for “BlakKklansman,” presented by Taraji P. Henson

New Hollywood Actress Award

 Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma,” presented by Danny Huston

Hollywood Director Award

Damien Chazelle for “First Man,” presented by Ryan Gosling

Hollywood Screenwriter Award

Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie for “Green Book,” presented by Michael Keaton

Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award

Felix van Groeningen for “Beautiful Boy,” presented by Brad Pitt

Hollywood Documentary Award

“Believer,” presented by Adam Lambert

Hollywood Animation Award

“Incredibles 2,” presented by Sophia Bush

Hollywood Cinematography Award

Matthew Libatique for “A Star Is Born”

Hollywood Film Composer Award

Justin Hurwitz for “First Man”

Hollywood Editor Award

Tom Cross for “First Man”

Hollywood Visual Effects Award

Dan Deleeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, Dan Sudick for “Avengers: Infinity War”

Hollywood Costume Design Award

Sandy Powell for “The Favourite”

Hollywood Make-Up & Hair Styling Award

Jenny Schircore, Sarah Kelly, Hannah Edwards for “Mary Queen of Scots” 

Hollywood Production Design Award

Hannah Beachler for “Black Panther”

Hollywood Sound Award

Erik Aadahl, Ethan Van der Ryn, Brandon Proctor for “A Quiet Place”

 

Honoree Portraits are available on the show’s Twitter and Instagram pages. For all information and highlights, please visit the website for the Hollywood Film Awards.

For the latest news, follow the “Hollywood Film Awards” on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #HollywoodAwards.

Twitter: @HollywoodAwards
Facebook: Facebook.com/HollywoodAwards
Instagram: @hollywoodawards
YouTube: youtube.com/HollywoodAwards

 

About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About The Hollywood Film Awards
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997, were created to celebrate Hollywood and launch the awards season. The recipients of the awards are selected by an Advisory Team for their body of work and/or a film(s) that is to be released during the calendar year. For additional information, visit www.hollywoodawards.com.

2018 Hollywood Film Awards: Nicole Kidman, Timothée Chalamet, Rachel Weisz among honorees

October 11, 2018

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions:

Dick Clark Productions announced that Nicole Kidman, a multi-award-winning actress known for her fearlessness and intelligence, will receive the Hollywood Career Achievement Award at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards.  Her selection for this award is a tribute to the versatility of her performances over the years, with characters as diverse and extraordinary as an aspiring television personality with a dark motive in Gus Van Zant’s “To Die For” to the iconic and complicated Virginia Woolf in “The Hours”; from a wife who, with her husband, embarks on an odyssey of sexual and moral discovery in Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” to Satine, the singing and dancing courtesan in Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge!”; and from the unguarded adoptive mother of an orphan boy longing to help others in need in Garth Davis’ “Lion” to a woman on the run who pays a huge price to be hidden in Lars von Triers’ controversial and thrilling “Dogville.” With three films coming out before the end of this year, Kidman has already received praise for her transformative performance in Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer” and in Joel Edgerton’s “Boy Erased.”

In addition to her chameleonic performances, Kidman is also being recognized for her career-long support of independent filmmakers, particularly women.  Through her production company, Blossom Films, she has taken this to a new level.  Among the many projects she has produced, last year’s “Big Little Lies” was a phenomenon that entered not only the cultural, but the social zeitgeist.

In addition, critically acclaimed actors Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz will receive the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award and Hollywood Supporting Actress Award, respectively, at the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards.  Chalamet will be honored for his exquisite work in Amazon Studio’s “Beautiful Boy,” while Weisz will be recognized for her role in Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite,” a festival breakout.  The 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards will take place on Sunday, November 4 at The Beverly Hilton.

The Hollywood Film Awards, honoring the most acclaimed films and actors while previewing highly anticipated films and talent for the upcoming year, also acknowledges artists in the categories of Cinematography, Visual Effects, Film Composing, Costume Design, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Makeup & Hairstyling. In its 22-year history, more than 320 of the world’s biggest stars and filmmakers have been highlighted at the Hollywood Film Awards and more than 130 of the honorees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations and/or wins.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Nicole Kidman – Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman first came to the attention of American audiences with her critically acclaimed performance in Phillip Noyce’s riveting Australian psychological thriller “Dead Calm.” Kidman has since become an internationally recognized actress known for her range, versatility and dedication to her craft.

In 2002, Kidman was honored with her first Oscar nomination for her performance in Baz Luhrmann’s innovative musical “Moulin Rouge!” For that role, and her performance in writer/director Alejandro Amenabar’s psychological thriller “The Others,” she received dual 2002 Golden Globe nominations, winning for Best Actress in a Musical. The following year, Kidman won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and a Berlin Silver Bear for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry’s “The Hours.” She has since been nominated for a total of four Academy Awards – winning one – 12 Golden Globes – winning four.

This fall, Kidman can be seen starring in Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” Joel Edgerton’s “Boy Erased,” opposite Lucas Hedges and Russell Crowe, and James Wan’s “Aquaman.” Most recently, Kidman gave an award-winning performance and produced the HBO limited series “Big Little Lies,” for which she received an Emmy Award, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award and SAG Award. Big Little Lies also received an Emmy Award, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Outstanding Limited Series. Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films, which she created with Per Saari, recently completed production on the second season of Big Little Lies, directed by Andrea Arnold.

In 2018, Kidman and Blossom signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. Under the agreement, she will develop theatrical and series content, the first of which being a new drama series, “The Expatriates,” based off the novel by Janice Y.K Lee. With their “Big Little Lies” co-producers Reese Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea, Blossom Films is also adapting Liane Moriarty’s novel “Truly Madly Guilty” into a limited series. Kidman will also produce and star in Moriarty’s “Nine Perfect Strangers,” to which Blossom Films and Papandrea’s Made Up Stories acquired the rights for a film or TV series. Blossom’s next project is David E. Kelley’s limited series “The Undoing,” which will go into production in 2019 and star Kidman.

Kidman had four projects debut at Cannes Film Festival last year – Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl, Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” and John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties.” She will next be seen in “The Upside” and “The Goldfinch,” a movie adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Kidman, who began her acting career in Australia, is the recipient of several awards, but one of her most rewarding roles has been her fearless work as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador since 2006. Her efforts are geared toward raising awareness about women’s rights around the world, with a focus on violence against women.

Timothée Chalamet has received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Nic Sheff in “Beautiful Boy,” directed Felix Van Groeningen in select theaters this month.  “Beautiful Boy,” based on the memoirs “Beautiful Boy”  by David Sheff and “Tweak” by his son Nic Sheff, chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring story of survival and recovery in a family coping with addition. Chalamet is currently filming “Little Women” with director Greta Gerwig, and this spring will star in “Dune,” directed by Denis Villeneuve. Chalamet recently wrapped production on “The King” which will be released in 2019.

Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz will next star in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite,” alongside Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Nicholas Hoult. The film premiered to rave reviews at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and New York Film Festival and will be released by Fox Searchlight on November 23, 2018. She recently produced and starred in Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience,” alongside Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola. The film, which is based on the novel by Naomi Alderman, premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews, was released by Bleecker Street in April, and releases in the UK on November 30.

Additional honorees for the 22nd Annual Hollywood Film Awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

For the latest news, follow the Hollywood Film Awards on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #HollywoodAwards.

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About Dick Clark Productions

Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About The Hollywood Film Awards
The Hollywood Film Awards, founded in 1997, were created to celebrate Hollywood and launch the awards season. The recipients of the awards are selected by an Advisory Team for their body of work and/or a film(s) that is to be released during the calendar year. For additional information, visit www.hollywoodawards.com.

Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig soar with the coming-of-age film ‘Lady Bird’

November 3, 2017

by Carla Hay

Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig on the set of "Lady Bird" (Photo by Merie Wallace)
Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig on the set of “Lady Bird” (Photo by Merie Wallace)

In “Lady Bird,” actress/screenwriter Greta Gerwig reveals herself to be a bold new cinematic voice with her directorial debut, excavating both the humor and pathos in the turbulent bond between a mother and her teenage daughter. Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (played by Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (played by Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird’s father (played by Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, “Lady Bird” is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home. “Lady Bird” also stars  Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Lois Smith.

Greta Gerwig at the 2017 New York Film Festival press conference for “Lady Bird” (Photo by Carla Hay)

“Lady Bird,” which is generating considerable Oscar buzz,” had its New York premiere at the 2017 New York Film Festival, where Gerwig sat down for a Q&A a press conference after a press screening and also did a Q&A as part of the main festival program.

Here are videos and photos from “Lady Bird”: