Film & TV

PopHampton: It’s Oscar Season on the East End!

There’s no better way to escape the cold February weather than to curl up on the couch and watch a good movie or television show. With the 87th Academy Awards airing on Sunday, February 22, now’s the perfect time to get caught up on all the nominated films and stars, many with East End connections!

Films that were screened at the 2014 Hamptons International Film Festival garnered 44 Oscar nominations in all, from short films like Butter Lamp and Feast all the way up to nominees for Best Picture. Wild, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Best Supporting Actress nominee Laura Dern, screened at HIFF with Dern in attendance. Dern also participated in HIFF’s “A Conversation With” series. Also at HIFF was Best Picture nominee Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), a dark comedy directed by Alejandro Gonzaléz Iñárritu about a fallen Hollywood actor (Michael Keaton) who tries to mount a Broadway adaptation of a Raymond Carver story. The film features Hamptonite Naomi Watts, along with Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis. Other Best Picture nominees include American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood; Boyhood, directed by Richard Linklater; The Grand Budapest Hotel, directed by Wes Anderson; The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum; Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay; The Theory of Everything, directed by James Marsh; and Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle. It’s quite a diverse group, featuring commercial hits such as American Sniper and indie darlings like Whiplash.

East Hampton’s Alec Baldwin and Montauker Julianne Moore star in Still Alice, which made its US debut at HIFF. The drama, based on the book by Lisa Genova, tells the story of Alice (Moore), who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Moore has received much acclaim for her performance, winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama, and is nominated for Best Actress. Other Best Actress nominees include Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night and Reese Witherspoon for Wild. All of the nominees are immensely talented, so we’ll see who takes home the win!

In non-Oscar news, Jennifer Lopez’s The Boy Next Door opened on January 23 to good news and bad news. The good—the erotic thriller (their words, not mine) grossed $14.9 million during its opening weekend, easily making back its tiny $4 million budget. The bad—the film got skewered by critics due to the hokey premise in which Water Mill’s Lopez, playing a classics teacher and recently divorced mom, has an affair with the hunky teenage boy next door (Ryan Guzman) who becomes unhinged and dangerous. Lopez is about as convincing as a classics teacher as the 27-year-old Guzman is as a teenage boy, and the by-the-numbers plot makes for few thrills and lots of eye-rolls. The film also stars Kristin Chenoweth, John Corbett and Ian Nelson.

Hamptons-set Revenge has been steadily declining in ratings the past few months, but ABC President Paul Lee recently spoke in favor of the show, calling it a “critical brand” for the network. The series, which this season turned into the “David Clarke Mystery Hour,” seems to be on a creative upswing, with its January 26 episode featuring parties, catty socialites and the witty one-liners.

The Affair, the Showtime drama series set and filmed in Montauk, won big at the Golden Globes, with star Ruth Wilson—who plays the troubled Alison Bailey, one half of the show’s titular affair—winning Best Actress in a Television Series Drama. The show won for Best Television Series Drama. Dominic West, who stars as the other cheater Noah, was nominated for Best Actor. The Affair will return later this year for a second season. No word yet if the new season will take place on the East End or in the city.

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