×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Drama contenders for feature film

The Golden Globes 2012: Drama

The competish was so fierce they had to nominate an even half dozen.

“War Horse”
Touchstone Pictures
Nine months after wrapping “The Adventures of Tintin” in March 2009, Steven Spielberg was itching to get back behind the camera. With several projects in the DreamWorks fold vying for his attention including the dystopian sci-fi tale “Robopocalypse” and a George Gershwin biopic, Spielberg instead opted for a title on nobody’s radar: the World War I epic “War Horse.” The project coalesced quickly after Spielberg’s longtime producer Kathleen Kennedy saw a stage version of Michael Morpurgo’s novel in London and recommended it to the helmer, who immediately optioned the material. “War Horse” was a natural fit for Kennedy and Spielberg, whose teen daughters are frequent equestrian buddies. Still, the no-name cast — which includes newcomers Jeremy Irvine, Celine Buckens and a stable-full of stallions — proved to be somewhat of a departure for Spielberg, who regularly works with the biggest names in Hollywood.

“Hugo”
Paramount Pictures
Martin Scorsese has brought some of the most savage, tortured psyches to the bigscreen. Understandably, skepticism reigned when the helmer signed on to tackle his first-ever children’s film — in 3-D, no less. The project, based on Brian Selznick’s children’s book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” seemed better suited for kiddie pic authorities like “Ice Age” helmer Chris Wedge, who was originally attached to direct. But “Hugo” offered Scorsese an opportunity to go back to the birth of cinema, a storyline that dovetails with the helmer’s philanthropic work in film preservation. The pic, which centers on a 12-year-old orphan living in a Parisian train station, reunited Scorsese with his “Aviator” scribe John Logan and his “Departed” producer Graham King, who financed the pic. Ironically, the 45-year-old Selznick contributed to the film’s old cinema pedigree. The author of the 533-page tome is a first cousin, twice removed, of David O. Selznick.

“The Descendants”
Fox Searchlight Pictures
For nearly six years, Alexander Payne poured his energies into the development of the effects-laden epic “Downsizing.” But with the technology still lagging far behind his vision, Payne’s Ad Hominem partner Jim Burke advised the director to reconsider a project in the Ad Hominem’s coffers, the family drama “The Descendants.” Once Payne turned his gaze toward Kaui Hart Hemmings’ debut novel, he approached George Clooney, who was waiting for his idling directing vehicle “The Ides of March” to accelerate. He signed on immediately, and Payne’s Hawaii drama began shooting within months.

“The Help”
Walt Disney Pictures
Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” had lodged 47 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list when DreamWorks nabbed film rights in 2010. So, it came as no shock that the bigscreen adaptation found an audience. What did surprise was the black-or-white response it elicited (Oprah flipped for it. Theatergoers couldn’t get enough, driving the film’s $203 million box-office cume.) Nevertheless, the Tate Taylor-helmed film, which was backed by socially conscious financier Participant Media as well as Image Nation Abu Dhabi, continues to pick up awards-season momentum long after its August bow thanks to strong acting performances by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and 2011’s most ubiquitous thesp Jessica Chastain.

“The Ides of March”
Columbia Pictures
Leave it to the politically active George Clooney to bring Beau Willimon’s play “Farragut North” to the bigscreen by directing, producing, co-writing and featuring in the adaptation. But the outspoken Obama supporter was careful not to make a blue-state movie. He maintains that the film is agenda-free, with a first act likely to appeal to Democrats and a third act sure to please Republicans. Though Clooney offered star power and a non-polarizing narrative, no studios bit in 2009 when the multihyphenate and Smokehouse partner Grant Heslov first shopped “Ides.” It took another year before Sony threw its weight behind Candidate Clooney

“Moneyball”
Columbia Pictures
The 162-game Major League Baseball season is said to be a marathon, not a sprint. That adage also holds true for “Moneyball” the movie, which first began percolating at Sony in 2004. Several directors took the project’s reins, including Steven Soderbergh, who was set to lense in 2009 when Amy Pascal pulled the plug just days before production was to begin. Eventually, the studio regrouped and went with Bennett Miller. Still, the project continued to face peculiar hurdles. Real-life Oakland A’s exec Paul DePodesta balked at his name being used in the film, so Jonah Hill’s character was rechristened Peter Brand.

GOLDEN GLOBES 2012
Tales trump top talents | Globes embrace TV’s new, offbeat shows
THE NOMINEES
Drama: Picture | Drama: Actor | Drama: Actress | Comedy: Picture | Comedy: Actor | Comedy: Actress
Animation
The Cecil B. DeMille Award: Morgan Freeman

More Film

  • Young Ahmed

    Cannes Film Review: 'Young Ahmed'

    There’s a darkness to “Young Ahmed” that audiences have never seen before in the work of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the gifted Belgian brothers whose profoundly humane, unapologetically realist dramas have twice earned them the Palme d’Or in Cannes. Like surrogate parents to troubled children, the sibling directors have taken on their share of difficult [...]

  • Radegund

    Cannes: Fox Searchlight Nabs Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    Fox Searchlight has picked up rights for U.S. and several international territories on Terrence Malick’s contemplative World War II drama “A Hidden Life,” which world premiered Sunday in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. “A Hidden Life” tells the true story of the Austrian farmer Franz Jägerstätter, who rejected Adolf Hitler and objected to the [...]

  • China's Zhou Dongyu Is Focusing on

    China's Zhou Dongyu Plans to Focus on Acting, Says Female Roles Improving

    China’s Zhou Dongyu may have taken a recent turn as a producer, but the 27-year-old actress plans to focus on honing her craft in front of the camera rather than branching out too much into other roles behind it. She also believes that female roles are increasing in quantity and quality in China, and is [...]

  • German Films Cocktail Cannes 2019 CannesMay

    Cannes: German Films Celebrates Festival Films at Villa Rothschild

    Pictured: Peter Herrmann, chairman of German Films, Michael Weber of The Match Factory, and Simone Baumann, managing director of German Films. Simone Baumann, the managing director of German Films, celebrated the many German co-productions screening in the Cannes Film Festival at the promotional agency’s cocktail party Saturday at Villa Rothschild in Cannes. “Germany is one [...]

  • Steven Gaydos, Jacob Weydemann, Katriel Schory,

    Variety Celebrates 10 Producers to Watch in Cannes

    CANNES–Variety honored its 10 Producers to Watch for 2019 at a brunch on Monday morning at Cannes’ Plage des Palmes. Launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998, the annual event fetes 10 producers from the U.S. and the international film community who share a common commitment to bold, original, provocative storytelling. The films produced by [...]

  • Kathy Griffin photographed at the Variety

    Kathy Griffin Movie 'A Hell of a Story' Gets Theatrical Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story,” a documentary comedy from the star comedian, has sold to Brainstorm Media for a special theatrical release this summer, Variety has learned. The movie will play in U.S. theaters on July 31, for a one-night special event. Fanthom Events is a partner on the deal, and Griffin will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content