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Cinema Chat: 'The Revenant,' 'The Forest,' 'Carol,' 'Youth,' 'Joy,' 'The Danish Girl' And More

Jan 7, 2016

Inside the historic Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
Credit Michigan Theater / www.michtheater.org

Academy Award nominations will be announced Thursday January 14 at 8:30 AM.  WEMU's David Fair and Michigan Theater Executive Director and CEO Russ Collins discuss some of these sure-to-be-nominated films currently playing in downtown Ann Arbor. It's all part of this week's edition of "Cinema Chat."

Hollywood News:

Writers  Guild of America Nominations:

Oscar frontrunners “The Big Short,” “The Martian” and “Spotlight" landed Writers Guild of America nominations, as well as rising stars “Straight Outta Compton" and "Sicario," which are showing unexpected strength with the guilds, Amy Schumer original comedy “Trainwreck,” and adaptations "Bridge of Spies," "Carol," "Steve Jobs" and "Trumbo." The WGA named four documentary nominees: Oscar-shortlisted “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” from Alex Gibney, and Brett Morgan's “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” Amy Berg's “Prophet’s Prey” and Robert Cohen's “Being Canadian.” Winners will be announced in NY and La on Saturday, February 13th.


The Producers Guild of America has announced today the movie and long-form TV nominations for its 27th annual PGA Awards, finalizing the nomination process that started back in November with the Documentary category, followed by the TV series nominations in December. Read through for the full list of nominees. The Producers Guild of America Award winners will be revealed on January 23.


The Big Short

Bridge of Spies


Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant



Straight Outta Compton



The Good Dinosaur

Inside Out


The Peanuts Movie



The Hunting Ground

The Look of Silence


Something Better To Come

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Is Now the Highest Grossing Movie Ever in North America

Move over Avatar, there's a new king of the box office... in North America, that is. As of Wednesday morning, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially passed James Cameron's Avatar to become the highest grossing movie ever in the United States. The number to beat was $760.5 million, which it has, becoming only the second movie to ever gross over $700 million domestically. But can it beat Avatar at the worldwide box office? That's the big question now, and all signs are pointing to it coming in at number... two. At $1.54 billion, The Force Awakens still has a long way to go to overtake Avatar's staggering $2.78 billion at the global box office.

Academy Award nominations will be announced Thursday January 14 at 8:30 AM.  Check out some of these sure-to-be-nominated films currently playing downtown!


“Carol” follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. Therese (Rooney Mara) is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens.  Nominated for five Golden Globes, the most of any film this year, “Carol” was filmed on 16mm film to accentuate the look and feel of the era.   “Carol” continues at the Michigan.

The Danish Girl

“The Danish Girl” tells the true love story of Danish artist Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife Gerda (Alicia Vikander) as he makes the pioneering journey to becoming a woman, Lili Elbe, in the 1920s. Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer.  “The Danish Girl” continues at the State.


In “Joy,” writer/director David O. Russell directs his dream team - Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper - in this story based on the life of inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano. Betrayal, treachery, and the loss of innocence pave the road in this emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce.  “Joy” continues at the State.


In “Youth,” two longtime friends – Fred (Michael Caine), an acclaimed composer and conductor, and Mick (Harvey Keitel), a renowned filmmaker - vacation in the Swiss Alps. While Mick scrambles to finish the screenplay for what he imagines will be his last important film, Fred has no intention of resuming his musical career. The two men reflect on their past, each finding that some of the most important experiences can come later in life.  “Youth” continues at the Michigan.

Special Screenings Downtown


In “Revivre,” Mr. Oh, an executive at a cosmetics company, loses his wife after a four-year battle with cancer. Even as the funeral home fills with guests, Mr. Oh is distracted - not by the funeral, but by a guest clad in black: his female staff member whom he carries feelings for. The original Korean title of the film, “Hwa-jang,” has two meanings: makeup, as in lipstick or eye shadow, and cremation. “Revivre” plays Saturday, January 9 at 2 PM at the Michigan as part of the Korean Cinema Now film series.

The Big Lebowski

In “The Big Lebowski,” Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), a laid-back, easygoing burnout, happens to have the same name as a millionaire whose wife owes a lot of dangerous people a whole bunch of money — resulting in the Dude having his rug soiled, sending him spiraling into the Los Angeles underworld.  “The Big Lebowski” plays Saturday January 9 at 11:59 PM at the State.  Tickets just $8!

Anybody Can Dance 2

“Any Body Can Dance 2” is based on the true story of the Fictitious Dance Group out of Mumbai, India: their rise to fame, sudden downfall, and their heroic attempt to seek vindication by regaining their lost pride and glory.  This 3D dance movie is sure to entertain!  “Any Body Can Dance 2” plays Sunday January 10 at 1:30 PM at the Michigan, as part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series.  Kids 12 and under get in free!


Brutal cult favorite “Oldboy” is an explosive interpretation from Korean director Chan-wook Park of the original manga (Japanese comics).  A man is imprisoned for 15 years, only to be released and then charged to seek vengeance on his captor in only 5 days.  “Oldboy” plays Wednesday January 13 at 7 PM at the State as part of the CineManga Film Series.  Manga as a visual and literary medium has inspired some of the most iconic and memorable anime and live action films of the past several decades.  The CineManga Film Series will run through April at the State.

Opening at the Multiplex

The Revenant

Inspired by true events, “The Revenant” is a visceral cinematic experience capturing one man's epic adventure of survival. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.  Directed by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “The Revenant” opens Friday.

The Forest

In “The Forest,” an American woman (Natalie Dormer) braves the mysterious, uncharted terrain of Japan’s Aokigahara forest, where people go to end their lives, to search for her missing sister.  “The Forest” opens Friday.