Moved by music: François Girard reunites his twin passions in Boychoir

By T’Cha Dunlevy. Photo: Peter McCabe. Source: montrealgazette.com

An underdressed François Girard stood on the fire escape of his immaculate St-Laurent Blvd. loft on a frigid Monday afternoon, taking hauls off a cigarette as he chatted freely with the Montreal Gazette photographer about the virtues of Nikon vs. Canon cameras and changing tides in the realm of cultural criticism.
[…]
Music is a guiding light in Girard’s work, from his 1993 breakthrough Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould to the Oscar-winning (best original score) The Red Violin (1998) and now Boychoir, his first feature in eight years, starring Dustin Hoffman as a no-nonsense elite children’s choir director who pushes a rebellious young charge to be all he can be.

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Jean-Marc Vallée wins at Hollywood Film Awards

By Lindsey Bahr. Photo: PC/Jordan Strauss. Source: radio-canada.ca

About halfway through the first televised Hollywood Film Awards, Chris Rock took the stage to accept a trophy for his film Top Five. ”Wow, do you feel the excitement in the room?” he asked facetiously, eliciting the first real laughter of the night from an otherwise restrained audience.
[…]
Eddie Redmayne was honoured for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and Reese Witherspoon presented an award to her Wild director, Quebec’s Jean-Marc Vallée.

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Toronto Film Review: ‘Boychoir’

By Peter Debruge. Photo: George Pimentel. Source: variety.com

The voices are the stars, while Dustin Hoffman is just along to support the gifted preteen sopranos in “Boychoir.” A welcome return to feature filmmaking by “The Red Violin” director Francois Girard, this relatively by-the-numbers boarding-school drama distinguishes itself through song, thanks to the exceptional musical talents of the American Boychoir School, preteen sopranos whose otherworldly talent lasts for only a few years at most. The mystery of where that ability comes from, coupled with the urgency to share it, lends urgency to an otherwise generic coming-of-ager sure to delight those seeking spiritually grounded, emotionally uplifting entertainment.

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GSCA 2014 Achievement Awards: Jerusalem wins Best Film and Best Cinematography

By GSCA. Photo: James Hyder. Source: giantscreencinema.com

The GSCA 2014 Achievement Awards were presented the evening of September 20 at the Ontario Science Centre during the opening reception of the GSCA 2014 International Conference and Trade Show. IMAX Corporation also presented its Maximum Image Awards that evening. Congratulations to the following award recipients:

Best Film, Short Subject
Best Cinematography
Jerusalem
A National Geographic Entertainment Presentation of a Cosmic Picture/Arcane Pictures Film. Written and directed by Daniel Ferguson. Produced by Taran Davies, George Duffield, and Daniel Ferguson. Executive Producers Jake Eberts and Dominic Cunninham-Reid.
Reed Smoot, Director of Photography. Ron Goodman, Director of Aerial Photography. Peter H. Chang & Dustin Farrell, Time Lapse DOPs and additional cinematography.

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Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Wild’ Premieres to Oscar Buzz in Telluride

By Tim Gray. Photo: Reese Witherspoon Instagram. Source: variety.com

Fox Searchlight’s world premiere of “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, kicked off the 41st Telluride Film Festival on Friday, screening to a packed Chuck Jones theater audience that included Witherspoon, co-star Laura Dern, director Jean-Marc Vallee and surprise guest Oprah Winfrey.

The pre-screening buzz on the adventure drama was all about Witherspoon. It was deserved: she offers a tour de force performance that moves her solidly into the Oscar race in the best actress category, where she last won in 2006 for “Walk the Line.” But the film should compete in many other categories, including supporting actress for Dern, who plays Witherspoon’s mother.

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Wild headed to Toronto International Film Festival

By Brendan Kelly. Photo: Kayla Rocca. Source: montrealgazette.com

Two of Quebec’s hottest filmmakers – Jean-Marc Vallée and Philippe Falardeau – are headed to the Toronto International Film Festival but they’re going to the Big Smoke with two American movies. Both of which – in an odd twist of film fate – happen to star Reese Witherspoon!

Vallée is bringing Wild, which is adapted by British novelist Nick Hornby (High Fidelity) from Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. After years of dysfunction, Strayed decides to hike over a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. It is set to be released by Fox Searchlight Pictures in early December.

Wild will be given a Gala screening at TIFF, which is the fest’s most prestigious slot.

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All Right, All Right, All Right!

By CBC News. Photo: Reuters. Source: cbc.ca

Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Canadian Jean-Marc Vallée, snagged a trio of Oscars, including best actor for Matthew McConaughey, whose performance as the scrappy, HIV-positive cowboy-turned-alternative medicine champion Ron Woodroof has earned him accolades all season.

Jared Leto, who had taken a six-year break from acting before tackling the film, picked up the evening’s first award — best supporting actor — for his turn as an HIV-positive transgender prostitute named Rayon. In addition to paying special tribute to his mother and brother, the actor and rocker also referenced AIDS victims and current zones of political unrest in his speech.

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Vallee’s ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ gets Oscar love, including nom for Montreal editor

By Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press. Source: montrealgazette.com

TORONTO – Jean-Marc Vallee’s “Dallas Buyers Club” has nabbed a slew of Oscar nominations including best film, best actor, best supporting actor and best film editing for Montreal’s Martin Pensa.

Pensa shares the nomination with John Mac McMurphy.

Quebec’s Vallee was shut out of the best director category but his scrappy indie film about HIV-positive activist Ron Woodroof has vaulted him into the spotlight with prominent nominations ahead of the glitzy bash.

“Dallas Buyers Club” also earned nods for best original screenplay, and makeup and hairstyling.

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Matthew McConaughey ‘unabashed’ in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

By Associated Press. Photo: Chris Pizelle/Invasion/AP. Source: washingtonpost.com

In 1986, Texan Ron Woodroof was diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. When receiving the news, the rodeo-lover argued with the doctor, saying only homosexuals got such a disease-and he was as straight as they came.

Matthew McConaughey, as Woodroof in the based-on-a-true-story “Dallas Buyers Club,” out this Friday, is magnificently cringe-worthy as this very scene plays out in the film.

“We had to go all the way unabashed with that,” said McConaughey in a recent interview to promote the film. “I would go as far as I could with the stuff that Ron thought, which was the stuff that made people go ‘You bigot, racist.’”

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AIDS drama ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ is surefire Oscar bait

By Lou Lumenick. Photo: Anne Marie Fox/AP/Focus Features. Source: newyorkpost.com

Few screen actors have ever had a year as good as Matthew McConaughey, who follows up his bravura work as an escaped convict in “Mud” with a tour de force as an unforgettable if unlikely true-life Texan hero in Jean-Marc Vallée’s absorbing “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The film, which also contains a must-see performance by Jared Leto as a transsexual, portrays the almost unbelievable story of Ron Woodroof, a virulently homophobic electrician, rodeo rider and casual drug user, who becomes an unlikely AIDS activist after being diagnosed with HIV in 1985.

Given 30 days to live by the doctor (Denis O’Hare) who delivers the diagnosis, the emaciated Woodroof becomes a self-taught expert who obtains drugs on the black market. He travels to Mexico and other countries for treatments not then available in the United States.

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