Awards season is in full swing here in Hollywoodland. That is the time of year when studios release all their 'awards-bait' movies - usually serious somber films full of great acting and wonderful cinematography. It is important for these films to gain traction with media members and awards voting constituencies before their wide release. To that end, there are many pre-release screenings around town. Through the SAG Film Society and also the Variety Screening Series (put on by the daily trade paper, Variety), I have been able to see many of these movies. One of the best things about these screenings is that they are FREE - as long as you RSVP promptly when they open and don't mind waiting in line sometimes. In the last week alone, I saw Defiance, The Reader, Wall-E (which I hadn't seen when it was out last summer), and Revolutionary Road. Often they have guests -- writers, actors, directors, producers -- speak after the films and take some questions.
Last night's Revolutionary Road screening was followed by a Q&A with actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Kathryn Hahn, Michael Shannon (who absolutely stole the couple scenes he was in!) and writer Justin Haythe. It was insightful hearing them talk about how the project came to be, as well as how specific scenes were prepared and shot.
Tonight I am going to see the new Will Smith movie, Seven Pounds, and then on Tuesday night I get the one movie I've been waiting for: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchett and directed by one of my favorites, David Fincher!