Oscars 2024: The Complex History Of The Academy, Hollywood And Indigenous Talent

A still from Killers Of The Flower Moon. (courtesy: lilygladstone )

The Academy Awards, which began nearly a century ago in 1929, has earned itself several adjectives along the way – prestigious, glamorous, celebrated, iconic, distinguished; the list can go on. However, one adjective that has eluded the Oscar, as the awards are popularly called, is “inclusive”.  For decades now, the Academy has been criticised for being an all-white show [remember #OscarsSoWhite], turning a blind eye towards non-white racial and ethnic groups that have contributed to making Hollywood what it is. Some would argue that the Oscars’ well-documented diversity gaps are but an extension of Hollywood’s complicated history with people of colour and varied ethnicities. 

This year, the nomination of  Lily Gladstone in the Best Actress category [ Killers Of The Flower Moon] has trained the lens on Hollywood’s acceptance of diversity, once again. Lily Gladstone is the first Native American woman in the Academy’s 96-year history to be nominated in the coveted category. She had already received global acclaim for her Killers of the Flower Moon role including the Golden Globe award and the SAG award. She was also the first Indigenous woman to win the Golden Globe award in the Best Actress category.

While the Oscar was won by Emma Stone for her powerful performance in Poor Things, the news cycle has been dominated by the Oscars’ relationship with Indigenous talent, courtesy of Lily Gladstone and her nomination.  

Lily Gladstone is the newest name on the very short list of members of Indigenous North American talent to be acknowledged by the Academy, over the years.

Indigenous North American Talent At The Oscars – Brief History

The first Indigenous North American talent to receive recognition at the Academy Awards was Chief Dan George in 1970, for his supporting role in Little Big Man. While he did not win, the nomination was exceptionally important due to Dan George’s work as an activist for the rights of Indigenous people, and has often been considered a watershed moment in the Academy’s history.

The second name on the list is actor Graham Greene, a familiar face thanks to his rich body of work including Maverick, The Twilight Saga: New MoonTransamerica, Echo, The Last of Us and Reservation Dogs, among others. He was nominated in the supporting actor category for his role in the 1990 film Dances with Wolves

Wes Studi was the first Indigenous North American talent to be conferred with an honorary Oscar award. In 2019, he was honoured “in recognition of the power and craft he brings to his indelible film portrayals and for his steadfast support of the Native American community,” and a career that spans over a hundred films including Avatar, The New World, and The Only Good Indian.His speech also succinctly acknowledged the uphill battle for Indigenous talent in Hollywood: “From the rolling hills, the plains of North America, to the mountains of Appalachia; from the desert beauty of Navajo Diné Nation to the gritty streets of Los Angeles, and the sound stages of Hollywood wearing motion picture wardrobe — it’s been a wild and wonderful ride.”

Recognition For Other Indigenous Performers 

Over the years, performers of Indigenous descent from across the world have made their mark at Oscars. Before Lily Gladstone, other Indigenous actresses have secured Best Actress nominations at the Oscars, starting with Merle Oberon in 1935. She became the first person of Indigenous descent to be nominated for the Academy Award. In the same category, the next nomination came in 2003 for Keisha Castle-Hughes. She was the first Māori of Tainui and Ngāpuhi descent to be nominated for her role in Whale Rider, which was also a debut performance.

In 2018, Yalitza Aparicio became the first Amerindian woman to receive an Academy Award nomination for acting, for her role in Roma.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, Jocelyne LaGarde became the first Tahitian and First Indigenous person to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Legendary Sean Connery, of Irish Traveller descent, became the first person of Indigenous descent to win Best Supporting Actor. Similarly, Russell Crowe became the first person of Indigenous descent [Pacific Islander] to win Best Actor award for his role in Gladiator, in 2000.

Most recently, in 2019, Chelsea Winstanley along with her husband Taika Waititi became the first Indigenous people to be nominated for Best Picture for Jojo Rabbit.

Sacheen Littlefeather And The Historic Oscar Speech

One of the starkest examples of Hollywood’s difficult past with Native American talent comes in the form of actress Sacheen Littlefeather’s historic speech at the Oscars in 1973. It all started when Marlon Brando won the Best Actor award for his iconic role in The Godfather but refused to accept the award, sending Sacheen Littlefeather to decline it on his behalf. Sacheen Littlefeather, speaking for Marlon Brandon, said that the actor was refusing to accept the win due to “the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry”.

The speech was not met kindly. Sacheen Littlefeather was booed off stage, heckled and threatened with physical assault. Some actors were even reported to have created a ruckus backstage. Years later, she told The Hollywood Reporter: “I was stunned. I never thought I’d live to see the day I would be hearing this, experiencing this. When I was at the podium in 1973, I stood there alone.”

In 2022, she received a formal letter of apology from the Academy Awards for the treatment meted out to her. “The abuse you endured because of this statement was unwarranted and unjustified…The emotional burden you have lived through and the cost to your own career in our industry are irreparable. For too long the courage you showed has been unacknowledged. For this, we offer both our deepest apologies and our sincere admiration,” the apology letter said.

Casting Conundrums – Johnny Depp In The Lone Ranger

In addition to ignoring Native American talent, Hollywood has also been accused of misrepresentation and miscasting. In Disney’s The Lone Ranger, Johnny Depp made headlines when he chose to play Tonto, the Native American narrator of the story. As critics questioned Depp’s casting, the actor claimed that he has Native American ancestry, possibly from a great-grandmother. “Since cinema has been around, Native Americans have been treated very poorly by Hollywood. … What I wanted to do was play Tonto not as a sidekick — like, ‘Go fetch a soda for me, boy!’ — but as a warrior with integrity and dignity. It’s my small sliver of a contribution to try to right the wrongs of the past,” he had said. The film under-performed at the box office and earned mixed reviews. 

Now, with Native American talent claiming the global spotlight, all eyes are on Hollywood, as it struggles to catch up.

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Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ wins best picture at the Oscars

“Oppenheimer,” a solemn three-hour biopic that became an unlikely billion-dollar box-office sensation, was crowned best picture at a 96th Academy Awards that doubled as a coronation for Christopher Nolan.

After passing over arguably Hollywood’s foremost big-screen auteur for years, the Oscars made up for lost time by heaping seven awards on Nolan’s blockbuster biopic, including best actor for Cillian Murphy, best supporting actor for Robert Downey Jr. and best director for Nolan.

In anointing “Oppenheimer,” the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences did something it hasn’t done for more than a decade: hand its top prize to a widely seen, big-budget studio film.

In a film industry where a cape, dinosaur or Tom Cruise has often been a requirement for such box office, “Oppenheimer” brought droves of moviegoers to theaters with a complex, fission-filled drama about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb.

“For better or worse, we’re all living in Robert Oppenheimer’s world,” said Murphy in his acceptance speech. “I’d like to dedicate this to the peacemakers.”

As a film heavy with unease for human capacity for mass destruction, “Oppenheimer” also emerged – even over its partner in cultural phenomenon, “Barbie” – as a fittingly foreboding film for times rife with cataclysm, man-made or not.

Sunday’s Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles unfolded against the backdrop of wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and with a potentially momentous US election on the horizon.

The most closely watched contest of the Academy Awards went to Emma Stone, who won best best actress for her performance as Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.”

In what was seen as the night’s most nail-biting category, Stone won over Lily Gladstone of “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Gladstone would have become the first Native American to win an Academy Award.

Instead, Oscar voters couldn’t resist the full-bodied extremes of Stone’s “Poor Things” performance.

The win for Stone, her second best actress Oscar following her 2017 win for “La La Land,” confirmed the 35-year-old as arguably the preeminent big-screen actress of her generation.

The list of women to win best actress two or more times is illustrious, including Katharine Hepburn, Frances McDormand, Ingrid Bergman and Bette Davis.

“Oh, boy, this is really overwhelming,” said Stone, who fought back tears and a broken dress during her speech.

Sunday’s broadcast had razzle dazzle, including a sprawling song-and-dance rendition of the “Barbie” hit “I’m Just Ken” by Ryan Gosling, with an assist on guitar by Slash and a sea of Kens who swarmed the stage.

But protest and politics intruded on an election-year Academy Awards, where demonstrations for Gaza raged outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Late during the show, host Jimmy Kimmel read a critical social media post from former president Donald Trump.

“Thank you for watching,” said Kimmel. “Isn’t it past your jail time?”

Nolan has had many movies in the Oscar mix before, including “Inception,” “Dunkirk” and “The Dark Knight.”

But his win Sunday for direction is the first Academy Award for the 53-year-old filmmaker. Addressing the crowd, Nolan noted cinema is just over a hundred years old.

“We don’t know where this incredible journey is going from here,” said Nolan. “But to think that I’m a meaningful part of it means the world to me.”

Downey, nominated twice before (for “Chaplin” and “Tropic Thunder”), also notched his first Oscar, crowning the illustrious second act of his up-and-down career.

“I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and the academy, in that order,” said Downey, the son of filmmaker Robert Downey Sr.

“Barbie,” last year’s biggest box-office hit with more than $1.4 billion in ticket sales, ultimately won just one award: best song (sorry, Ken) for Billie Eilish and Finneas’ “What Was I Made For?” It’s their second Oscar, two years after winning for their James Bond theme, “No Time to Die.”

But after an awards season that stayed largely inside a Hollywood bubble, geopolitics played a prominent role.

Protests over Israel’s war in Gaza snarled traffic around the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, slowing stars’ arrival on the red carpet and turning the Oscar spotlight toward the ongoing conflict. Some protesters shouted “Shame!” at those trying to reach the awards.

Jonathan Glazer, the British filmmaker whose chilling Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest” won best international film, drew connections between the dehumanisation depicted in his film and today.

“Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel, or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims, this dehumanisation, how do we resist?”

The war in Gaza was on the minds of many attendees, as was the war in Ukraine. A year after “Navalny” won the same award, Mstyslav Chernov’s “20 Days in Mariupol,” a harrowing chronicle of the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, won best documentary.

The win, a first for The Associated Press and PBS’ “Frontline,” came as the war in Ukraine passed the two-year mark with no signs of abating.

Mstyslav Chernov, the Ukrainian filmmaker and AP journalist whose hometown was bombed the day he learned of his Oscar nomination, spoke forcefully about Russia’s invasion.

“This is the first Oscar in Ukrainian history,” said Chernov. “And I’m honored. Probably I will be the first director on this stage to say I wish I’d never made this film. I wish to be able to exchange this (for) Russia never attacking Ukraine.”

In the early going, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Frankenstein-riff “Poor Things” ran away with three prizes for its sumptuous craft, including awards for production design, makeup and hairstyling and costume design.

Kimmel, hosting the ABC telecast for the fourth time, opened the awards with an monologue that emphasised Hollywood as “a union town” following 2023’s actor and writer strikes, drew a standing ovation for bringing out teamsters and behind-the-scenes workers — who are now entering their own labor negotiations.

The night’s first award was one of its most predictable: Da’Vine Joy Randolph for best supporting actress, for her performance in Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers.” An emotional Randolph was accompanied to the stage by her “Holdovers” co-star Paul Giamatti.

“For so long I’ve always wanted to be different,” said Randolph. “And now I realise I just need to be myself.”

Though Randolph’s win was widely expected, an upset quickly followed. Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” won for best animated feature, a surprise over the slightly favored “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.”

Miyazaki, the 83-year-old Japanese anime master who came out of retirement to make “The Boy and the Heron,” didn’t attend the ceremony. He also didn’t attend the 2003 Oscars when his “Spirited Away” won the same award.

Best original screenplay went to “Anatomy of a Fall,” which, like “Barbie,” was penned by a couple: director Justine Triet and Arthur Harari. “This will help me through my midlife crisis, I think,” said Triet.

In adapted screenplay, where “Barbie” was nominated — and where some suspected Greta Gerwig would win after being overlooked for director — the Oscar went to Cord Jefferson, who wrote and directed his feature film debut “American Fiction.”

He pleaded for executives to take risks on young filmmakers like himself.

“Instead of making a $200 million movie, try making 20 $10 million movies,” said Jefferson, previously an award-winning TV writer.

The Oscars belonged largely to theatrical-first films. Though it came into the awards with 19 nominations, Netflix was a bit player.

Its lone win came for live action short: Wes Anderson’s “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” based on the story by Roald Dahl.

Historically, having big movies in the mix for the Oscars’ top awards has been good for broadcast ratings.

The Academy Awards’ largest audience ever came when James Cameron’s “Titanic” swept the 1998 Oscars.

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Hey Filmmakers – Stop Selling Your Audience Favorite Films to Netflix | FirstShowing.net

Hey Filmmakers – Stop Selling Your Audience Favorite Films to Netflix

by Alex Billington
February 20, 2024

Every month there’s another headline: Netflix buys that great film that everyone loved watching together for an excessive amount of money. Everyone loves to grumble about the headline, and talk about the film when this news hits, but will they actually watch it whenever it’s released on Netflix? Will Netflix even (properly) promote it? Will they even tell their ~260 million subscribers worldwide about the film when they debut it streaming on their platform? Why does Netflix love buying these great theatrical films and dumping them streaming without any fanfare or celebration or anything at all that connects with the audience experience? Why do care so little for the actual audience? I’m so tired of this routine. I’m not so foolish as to tell Netflix to change their ways – apparently they have no interest in this anyway. Instead, I think it’s up to filmmakers to realize that it isn’t a good idea to sell your movie to Netflix anymore – no matter how much money they want to throw at you. Choose a reputable theatrical distributor first, then let Netflix get the streaming rights later after it becomes an even bigger success. That is the best path to take when your film is a hit at festivals.

The debate about Netflix has been raging for years and years. Old Hollywood doesn’t really like them much, but they’re here to stay whether we like it or not. Netflix’s success means they can continue to do whatever they want and make money and be disruptive – no matter the complaints. However, are they actually being “disruptive” anymore? I don’t think so. They are just being annoying. And everyone knows it – to be frank. What has driven me to write this editorial now is watching Netflix buy three of the best films in the last six months that are three of the best theatrical experiences I’ve had at any film festival. It began with Netflix buying Richard Linklater’s Hit Man out of the 2023 Venice Film Festival – I have never seen an audience of curmudgeonly European critics in Venice go THIS wild during a screening. Pardon my French, but they lost their shit for the film, which was exhilarating. It continued a few months later with Netflix buying Greg Jardin’s It’s What’s Inside and Josh Greenbaum’s Will & Harper at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in January. Once again, two of the most rapturous and exciting audiences I’ve watched films with during any of the 18 years I’ve been going to this fest. That tangibly warm reception, the crowd going nuts, the applause, all of that really, truly matters with cinema. We need to stop ignoring this truth and pretending otherwise…

Netflix doesn’t seem to care anyway. There’s a quote every few months wherein some executive talks about how the theatrical experience is irrelevant or uninteresting to them as a brand. Most recently, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria stated that Netflix will never do theatrical as “our members love films and they want to see films on Netflix.” Do they? Does she even know what she is saying here? I doubt it. In a big THR article from April 2023, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos offered another frustrating comment: “Driving folks to a theater is just not our business. Having big new desirable content drives value for our members and drives value for our business. There are no major changes in play.” What he seems to not understand is that the way you make your “content” (btw – fuck this word) into “big new desirable content” that drives value is by letting it play in theaters first. There is research on this that confirms it’s beneficial – the most successful streaming titles all opened first in theaters. Huh. Go figure… At what point will Netflix wake up and realize that it will actually benefit their business, and their pathetic “hours viewed” metric (because they’re afraid to release all the other statistics they collect – like how many folks actually watched a film from start to finish).

My rant, this article, or anyone’s rant, won’t change Netflix either. The company recently parted ways with Scott Stuber, who was running their film division for years. Apparently even Stuber was frustrated with their lack of interest in theatrical runs and despite arguing with Sarandos and other execs, they would not budge. In another recent THR article from January 2024, they included this nugget which is pretty telling:

“Even as the pipeline has slowed, Stuber has not been shy about his greatest frustration: Sarandos’ continuing refusal to offer any film a full theatrical release. Hope flickered when the streamer agreed to give Glass Onion, the 2022 Knives Out sequel, a broader run in cinemas than any previous Netflix film, putting it in about 600 theaters for a week. The movie grossed $16 million in that brief window and Stuber dreamed that Sarandos might develop a taste for cash.”

This falls in line with most of the way the extraordinarily stubborn corporate world works right now (see: David Zaslav at Warner Bros). If there’s someone smart on the team who might challenge archaic concepts and wants to make things better: get them out! Kick them out, lay them off, fire them, by whatever means necessary, don’t let anyone with think-outside-the-box “maybe we should try this” thinking in your company anymore! Instead, fill the roles with mindless drones & corporate robots who say exactly what the stubborn CEO wants to hear and never anything else (e.g. Bajaria). If Scott Stuber couldn’t change Sarandos’ mind, why do I (or anyone else) think they could instead? It’s a lost cause, unfortunately. And despite experiments like Glass Onion, or even the facade of Netflix buying classic one-screen cinemas (the Paris Theatre in NYC and the Egyptian in LA), they’re so obsessed with being anti-theatrical they have turned into an anti-cinema company. They’re so obsessed with their “content” and “hours viewed” data that they forgot to actually build awareness and excitement around their “content” to begin with. If they were any smarter, they might realize all of this is connected – and that showing films theatrically does not in any way hurt their numbers, it only boosts them. The proof is in the pudding! It will build them into a better brand. When will they realize this?

This brings me to the point I want to make here and now: filmmakers and sales agents and producers and creators need to stop selling their films to Netflix. Yes, it’s a scary prospect, rebellious (and perhaps a bit disruptive) to even say out loud, especially when they’re the highest bidder. But it’s a better move – for them, for the film, for the industry, for cinema itself. Greg Jardin and Richard Linklater shouldn’t have agreed to the deal that was made for their films It’s What’s Inside and Hit Man, respectively. They should’ve said “no” and waited it out, gone with someone else that would actually give their films a proper theatrical release. I’m sure it’s an irresistible pitch: we’ll give you tons of money and your film will also be available in over 190 countries around the world! We’re a big platform! Everyone will have the chance to watch it! Yes, sure, but there’s more to cinema than just that. And here is the kicker – if you play your cards right, and go with a proper theatrical release first, Netflix will eventually want the rights to play the film anyway. Of course they will! Especially once it becomes a huge theatrical hit and everyone is talking about it and telling their friends – maybe there is an even more lucrative deal in the cards if you wait it out. This is how things used to work. But that means resisting a tempting initial offer, and resisting the highest bidder to go with the right bidder.

I honestly don’t have a problem with Netflix in general, I just wish they’d do the right thing and partner with a theatrical distributor before putting it on Netflix because that will actually boost them and their brand and their films – but they just don’t get it. Let me reiterate that I really like Netflix as a platform – it is amazing that they can release a film and it will be viewable in over 190 countries around the world (without worrying about local distribution rights, which is a whole other industry problem to discuss another day). However, they’re not the right place to go if you really care about cinema, or if you want your film to have an impact in the world. Maybe one or two of Netflix’s big films every year go on to have a cultural impact because they have good PR teams handling their marketing & publicity. Most of their films don’t have this enthusiastic support. If a filmmaker sells their film to Netflix right out of a festival because they offer the most money – will that film ever be available on physical media, will it ever get a theatrical release down the line? Is that even possible with Netflix? What if you want to show it in theaters one day in the future – will Netflix allow that to happen? What if Netflix ever shuts down (unlikely, but let’s just go with the hypothetical) – how will you get your film back and how will you show it to your family & friends? Aside from harddrive copies, it’s not available on DVD or Blu-ray (or VHS) anywhere. Does it exist in the real world or only on their servers?

What I find particularly strange is that even when a filmmaker has a bad experience with Netflix, and even if they know they are bad at promoting films, they still end up selling to them anyway. This is exactly the case with Linklater. Netflix released his latest rotoscoped film Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood in April 2022 and told pretty much no one it was out. Most people didn’t even know it was released. Linklater later expressed frustration in an interview: “Then one day it showed up on a platform with no fanfare. It’s always kind of sad when you realize even your friends don’t know your film is out. To me, if anything good happens from this stage on, it’s just lucky.” Yeah that is the same for most films dumped onto Netflix. I don’t buy the claim that Linklater had nothing to do with Hit Man selling in Venice and instead it apparently was entirely handled entirely by sales agents & producers. Even if it that is the case, why could he not express a very strong opinion and do everything to resist selling to Netflix if he isn’t happy with how they handled his last film. Again, it’s more important that a good film finds an audience eventually, and that’s best achieved by a distributor believing in their stellar “content” and supporting it fully (with proper marketing and publicity).

For those who believe there is still importance in what Netflix does for cinema and how they support indie films and filmmakers who usually don’t get this kind of exposure, that has recently been mostly debunked by a study with Netflix connecting with Africa. A report was recently published from Nigeria and the Nollywood movement, which Netflix stepped into and tried to participate in by sponsoring and investing in filmmakers and the local industry. Good thing to do, right? While it did achieve some success, it didn’t have much of an impact overall, mostly because Netflix doesn’t really know how to actually support cinema and the culture. “On the critical streaming side, the report suggests that Netflix in Nigeria might not be fully tapping into its potential market, given low subscriber numbers relative to population.” Why, exactly? Their findings: “[It] critiques the reliance on streaming rankings as mere marketing tools rather than actionable insights that could drive the industry forward. It proposes using rankings as a prompt for better conversations on audience preferences and using these metrics alongside other data points to develop and market Nollywood projects more effectively.” Almost as if Netflix doesn’t really care about anything except their own internal “hours viewed” numbers and not the industry it’s supposed to be involved with & the artists that inhabit it…

The film industry is in a bad place right now, yet the film industry doesn’t like to admit this or talk about it. They want business to proceed as usual… They want to focus on making money. For much of the industry, that means if Netflix is going to pay the most for a movie, it’s a “good” thing. It’s time that we challenge this belief and confront the frustrating reality that Netflix releasing these audience favorite films is actually quite bad for cinema and for the industry overall (and audiences, even if they don’t quite understand it). Simply selling a film for tons of money is not an objectively healthy thing for the film industry, despite what many profit-driven minds think. Sundance is infamous for many films selling for high prices and failing after the festival (yes, from a few theatrical distributors, but this is a much different conversation). I’m a huge fan of Hit Man and Will & Harper and It’s What’s Inside and I guarantee at least one of (if not all of) these films will be released without much pomp & circumstance. They’ll drop it on Netflix, send a few emails out, buy a few billboards in Los Angeles, and call it a day. Netflix needs to evolve and innovate and disrupt again. That means disrupting the theatrical world by participating in theatrical distribution. Apple knows how to do this correctly with Apple TV films. I hope Netflix ends up realizing their mistake… Until then, filmmakers shouldn’t sell their hit films to this streaming company until they can actually prove they care about cinema.


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‘Oppenheimer’ sweeps BAFTAs, winning best film, director, actor awards

Atom bomb epic “Oppenheimer” won seven prizes, including best picture, director and actor, at the 77th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, cementing its front-runner status for the Oscars next month.


Gothic fantasia “Poor Things” took five prizes and Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” won three.

Christopher Nolan won his first best director BAFTA for “Oppenheimer,” and Cillian Murphy won the best actor prize for playing physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb.

Murphy said he was grateful to play such a “colossally knotty, complex character.”

Emma Stone was named best actress for playing the wild and spirited Bella Baxter in “Poor Things,” a steampunk-style visual extravaganza that won prizes for visual effects, production design, costume design, and makeup and hair.

“Oppenheimer” had a field-leading 13 nominations, but missed out on the record of nine trophies, set in 1971 by “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

It won the best film race against “Poor Things,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Anatomy of a Fall” and “The Holdovers.” “Oppenheimer” also won trophies for editing, cinematography and musical score, as well as the best supporting actor prize for Robert Downey Jr.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph was named best supporting actress for playing a boarding school cook in “The Holdovers” and said she felt a “responsibility I don’t take lightly” to tell the stories of underrepresented people like her character Mary.

“Oppenheimer” faced stiff competition in what was widely considered a vintage year for cinema and an awards season energized by the end of actors’ and writers’ strikes that shut down Hollywood for months. 

“The Zone of Interest” — a British-produced film shot in Poland with a largely German cast — was named both best British film and best film not in English — a first — and also took the prize for its sound, which has been described as the real star of the film.

Jonathan Glazer’s unsettling drama takes place in a family home just outside the walls of the Auschwitz death camp, whose horrors are heard and hinted at, rather than seen.

“Walls aren’t new from before or since the Holocaust, and it seems stark right now that we should care about innocent people being killed in Gaza or Yemen or Mariupol or Israel,” producer James Wilson said. “Thank you for recognizing a film that asks us to think in those spaces.”

Ukraine war documentary “20 Days in Mariupol,” produced by The Associated Press and PBS “Frontline,” won the prize for best documentary.

“This is not about us,” said filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov, who captured the harrowing reality of life in the besieged city with an AP team. “This is about Ukraine, about the people of Mariupol.”

Chernov said the story of the city and its fall into Russian occupation “is a symbol of struggle and a symbol of faith. Thank you for empowering our voice and let’s just keep fighting.”

The awards ceremony, hosted by “Doctor Who” star David Tennant — who entered wearing a kilt and sequined top while carrying a dog named Bark Ruffalo — was a glitzy, British-accented appetizer for Hollywood’s Academy Awards, closely watched for hints about who might win at the Oscars on March 10.

The prize for original screenplay, went to French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.” The film about a woman on trial over the death of her husband was written by director Justine Triet and her partner, Arthur Harari.

“It’s a fiction, and we are reasonably fine,” Triet joked.

Cord Jefferson won the adapted screenplay prize for the satirical “American Fiction,” about the struggles of an African-American novelist

Jefferson said he hoped the success of the movie “maybe changes the minds of the people who are in charge of greenlighting films and TV shows, allows them to be less risk-averse.”

Historical epic “Killers of the Flower Moon” had nine nominations for the awards, officially called the EE BAFTA Film Awards, but went home empty-handed.

There also was disappointment for Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro,” which had seven nominations but won no awards. Neither did grief-flecked love story “All of Us Strangers” with six nominations, and barbed class-war dramedy “Saltburn,” with five. 

“Barbie,” one half of 2023’s “Barbenheimer” box office juggernaut and the year’s top-grossing film, also went home empty-handed from five nominations. “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig failed to get a directing nomination for either the BAFTAs or the Oscars, in what was seen by many as a major snub.

Britain’s film academy introduced changes to increase the awards’ diversity in 2020, when no women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white. However, Triet was the only woman among this year’s six best-director nominees. 

The Rising Star award, the only category decided by public vote, went to Mia McKenna-Bruce, star of “How to Have Sex.”

Before the ceremony, nominees, including Bradley Cooper, Carey Mulligan, Emily Blunt, Rosamund Pike, Ryan Gosling and Ayo Edebiri all walked the red carpet at London’s Royal Festival Hall, along with presenters Andrew Scott, Cate Blanchett, Idirs Elba and David Beckham.

Guest of honor was Prince William, in his role as president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He arrived without his wife, Kate, who is recovering from abdominal surgery last month.

The ceremony included musical performances by “Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham, singing “Time After Time,” and Sophie Ellis-Bextor, singing her 2001 hit “Murder on the Dancefloor,” which shot back up the charts after featuring in “Saltburn.”

Film curator June Givanni, founder of the June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive, was honored for outstanding British contribution to cinema, while actress Samantha Morton received the academy’s highest honor, the BAFTA Fellowship.

Morton, who grew up in foster care and children’s homes, said that “representation matters.”

“The stories we tell, they have the power to change people’s lives,” she said. “Film changed my life, it transformed me, and it led me here today.

“I dedicate this award to every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn’t survive.”


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Oscars 2024 Shortlist Revealed for 10 Categories: Barbie Leads With 5 Nods

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled shortlists in 10 categories for the upcoming Oscars 2024 ceremony. Among those, Greta Gerwig’s candy-coated romp Barbie leads with five mentions, largely dominating in the Best Original Song section with three entries alone. Dua Lipa’s party song ‘Dance the Night,’ Billie Eilish’s ‘What Was I Made For?,’ and the super-catchy and sentimental ‘I’m Just Ken’ from star Ryan Gosling and writer-composer Mark Ronson made it to the list. Surprisingly, the film failed to secure placements in the makeup and hairstyling department, with absurd choices like Beau Is Afraid, Ferrari, and Oppenheimer making the cut.

Oddly, the Christopher Nolan film, which emulated an atomic bomb explosion through practical means, didn’t earn a place amongst the Best Visual Effects consideration for the year. It has instead secured nods in the audio department for Best Original Score — composed by Ludwig Göransson — and for the best use of sound design, for which it competes against David Fincher’s The Killer, Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and more. The last of them has nabbed four spots in the Oscars 2024 shortlist, with ‘Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)’, performed by the Osage tribe, contesting to be named among the final nominees for Best Original Song, come March 10, 2024.

Unlike last year, no entries from India were considered for the Oscars 2024 shortlist — the Jude Anthany Joseph-directed Malayalam-language disaster feature, 2018: Everyone is a Hero, was India’s submission for consideration this year, but it failed to make the cut for Best International Feature Film. Movies from 88 countries and regions were eligible for the foreign language shortlist, after meeting a “minimum viewing requirement” to be eligible to vote. When the nominees are finalised, Academy members will be required to watch all 15 shortlisted films, before deciding what to send forward to the grand Oscars event. The nominations will be officially announced on January 23.

With that, here’s the full list of Oscars 2024 shortlists:

2024 Oscars Music (Original Score) Shortlist

  1. American Fiction
  2. American Symphony
  3. Barbie
  4. The Boy and the Heron
  5. The Color Purple
  6. Elemental
  7. The Holdovers
  8. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  9. Killers of the Flower Moon
  10. Oppenheimer
  11. Poor Things
  12. Saltburn
  13. Society of the Snow
  14. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  15. The Zone of Interest

2024 Oscars Music (Original Song) Shortlist

  1. ‘It Never Went Away’ from American Symphony
  2. ‘Dear Alien (Who Art In Heaven)’ from Asteroid City
  3. ‘Dance The Night’ from Barbie
  4. ‘I’m Just Ken’ from Barbie
  5. ‘What Was I Made For?’ from Barbie
  6. ‘Keep It Movin’ from The Color Purple
  7. ‘(Superpower) I’ from The Color Purple
  8. ‘The Fire Inside’ from Flamin’ Hot
  9. ‘High Life’ from Flora and Son
  10. ‘Meet In The Middle’ from Flora and Son
  11. ‘Can’t Catch Me Now’ from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
  12. ‘Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People)’ from Killers of the Flower Moon
  13. ‘Quiet Eyes’ from Past Lives
  14. ‘Road To Freedom’ from Rustin
  15. ‘Am I Dreaming’ from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

2024 Oscars Documentary Feature Film Shortlist

  1. American Symphony
  2. Apolonia, Apolonia
  3. Beyond Utopia
  4. Bobi Wine: The People’s President
  5. Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy
  6. The Eternal Memory
  7. Four Daughters
  8. Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project
  9. In the Rearview
  10. Stamped from the Beginning
  11. Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
  12. A Still Small Voice
  13. 32 Sounds
  14. To Kill a Tiger
  15. 20 Days in Mariupol

2024 Oscars Documentary Short Film Shortlist

  1. The ABCs of Book Banning
  2. The Barber of Little Rock
  3. Bear
  4. Between Earth & Sky
  5. Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games
  6. Camp Courage
  7. Deciding Vote
  8. How We Get Free
  9. If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis
  10. Island in Between
  11. The Last Repair Shop
  12. Last Song from Kabul
  13. Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó
  14. Oasis
  15. Wings of Dust

2024 Oscars International Feature Film Shortlist

  1. Armenia, Amerikatsi
  2. Bhutan, The Monk and the Gun
  3. Denmark, The Promised Land
  4. Finland, Fallen Leaves
  5. France, The Taste of Things
  6. Germany, The Teachers’ Lounge
  7. Iceland, Godland
  8. Italy, Io Capitano
  9. Japan, Perfect Days
  10. Mexico, Totem
  11. Morocco, The Mother of All Lies
  12. Spain, Society of the Snow
  13. Tunisia, Four Daughters
  14. Ukraine, 20 Days in Mariupol
  15. UK, The Zone of Interest

2024 Oscars Makeup and Hairstyling Shortlist

  1. Beau Is Afraid
  2. Ferrari
  3. Golda
  4. Killers of the Flower Moon
  5. The Last Voyage of the Demeter
  6. Maestro
  7. Napoleon
  8. Oppenheimer
  9. Poor Things
  10. Society of the Snow

2024 Oscars Animated Short Film Shortlist

  1. Boom
  2. Eeva
  3. Humo (Smoke)
  4. I’m Hip
  5. A Kind of Testament
  6. Koerkorter (Dog Apartment)
  7. Letter to a Pig
  8. Ninety-Five Senses
  9. Once upon a Studio
  10. Our Uniform
  11. Pachyderme
  12. Pete
  13. 27
  14. War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko
  15. Wild Summon

2024 Oscars Live Action Short Film Shortlist

  1. The After
  2. The Anne Frank Gift Shop
  3. An Avocado Pit
  4. Bienvenidos a Los Angeles
  5. Dead Cat
  6. Good Boy
  7. Invincible
  8. Invisible Border
  9. Knight of Fortune
  10. The One Note Man
  11. Red, White and Blue
  12. The Shepherd
  13. Strange Way of Life
  14. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar
  15. Yellow

2024 Oscars Sound Shortlist

  1. Barbie
  2. The Creator
  3. Ferrari
  4. The Killer
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon
  6. Maestro
  7. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  8. Napoleon
  9. Oppenheimer
  10. The Zone of Interest

2024 Oscars Visual Effects Shortlist

  1. The Creator
  2. Godzilla Minus One
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  4. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  5. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  6. Napoleon
  7. Poor Things
  8. Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire
  9. Society of the Snow
  10. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

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Barbie, Succession Lead Golden Globes 2024 Nominations: See the Full List

The Golden Globes 2024 nominations were revealed last night, with Greta Gerwig’s feminist candy-coated romp Barbie, which dominated the box office charts this year, leading the pack. It’s got a whopping 10 nominations, including one for Best Musical or Comedy, alongside acting nods for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (supporting). The awards show has also added two new categories to recognise the best in entertainment, starting with a ‘Cinematic and Box Office Achievement’ category, which honours the biggest movies of the year, having grossed $150 million (about Rs. 1,250 crore) minimum, of which $100 million must be from within the US. Eight nominees compete for that award, including Barbie, Oppenheimer, and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

Meanwhile, the Best Stand-Up Comedian recognises the best comics in the industry, airing across cable, streaming, or even live performances. It is worth mentioning that unlike the Oscars or the Emmys, the Golden Globe Awards considers both movies and TV series for its honours, and segregates them further based on genre while steering clear of technical merits like editing, cinematography, and set design. As such, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is listed among the best drama films of the year, sharing the space with Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, acclaimed law thriller Anatomy of a Fall, and Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest. Cillian Murphy has received a Best Actor nod for playing the always-exhausted titular theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, while filmmaker Nolan competes for the Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.

Sandra Hüller has been stacking up strong critics’ praise in 2023 for her nuanced performances as a widower suspected of murder in Anatomy of a Fall and the clueless wife of a Nazi officer in The Zone of Interest. She competes to be crowned the best lead female actor in a drama for the former, against strong contenders such as Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), Carey Mulligan (Maestro), Greta Lee (Past Lives), and more. Emma Stone has received yet another award nomination for a Yorgos Lanthimos collaboration with Poor Things — listed under musical or comedy — alongside her co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe.

Coming to television, the fourth and final season of Succession emerged as the favourite with nine nominations, including Best Drama Series. Adding to HBO’s tally is The Last of Us series, a screen adaptation of a beloved zombie-killing game, which served as a crowd-pleaser earlier this year, striking the right balance between appealing to gamers and mainstream audiences. Its co-leads Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are also in awards consideration for best performance. Other notable entries in the drama category include Netflix’s The Crown season 6 and 1923. Conversely, The Bear season 2, Barry season 4, and more duke it out in the best comedy field.

With that, here’s the entire list of nominees for this year’s Golden Globe Awards:

2024 Golden Globe Nominations — the full list

Best Picture – Drama

Anatomy of a Fall
Killers of the Flower Moon
Past Lives
The Zone of Interest

Best Picture – Musical or Comedy

American Fiction
The Holdovers
May December
Poor Things

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Annette Bening, Nyad
Cailee Spaeny, Priscilla
Carey Mulligan, Maestro
Greta Lee, Past Lives
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers
Barry Keoghan, Saltburn
Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer
Colman Domingo, Rustin
Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Female Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Alma Pöysti, Fallen Leaves
Emma Stone, Poor Things
Fantasia Barrino, The Color Purple
Jennifer Lawrence, No Hard Feelings
Margot Robbie, Barbie
Natalie Portman, May December

Best Male Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Joaquin Phoenix, Beau Is Afraid
Matt Damon, Air
Nicolas Cage, Dream Scenario
Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers
Timothée Chalamet, Wonka

Best Director – Motion Picture

Bradley Cooper, Maestro
Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Greta Gerwig, Barbie
Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Celine Song, Past Lives
Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer
Eric Roth, Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon
Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, Barbie
Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, Anatomy of a Fall
Tony McNamara, Poor Things

Best Supporting Female Actor – Motion Picture

Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer
Jodie Foster, Nyad
Julianne Moore, May December
Rosamund Pike, Saltburn

Best Supporting Male Actor – Motion Picture

Charles Melton, May December
Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things
Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon
Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

Best Picture – Non-English Language

Anatomy of a Fall, France
Fallen Leaves, Finland
Io Capitano, Italy
Past Lives, US
Society of the Snow, Spain
The Zone of Interest, US

Best Picture – Animated

The Boy and the Heron
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Daniel Pemberton, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Jerskin Fendrix, Poor Things
Joe Hisaishi, The Boy and the Heron
Ludwig Göransson, Oppenheimer
Mica Levi, The Zone of Interest
Robbie Robertson, Killers of the Flower Moon

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Addicted to Romance,” Bruce Springsteen (She Came to Me)
“Dance the Night,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin (Barbie)
“I’m Just Ken,” Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt (Barbie) “Peaches,” Jack Black, Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, Eric Osmond, John Spiker (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)
“Road to Freedom,” Lenny Kravitz (Rustin)
“What Was I Made For?” Billie Eilish, Finneas (Barbie)

Cinematic and Box Office Achievement

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
John Wick: Chapter 4
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour

Best Drama Series

The Crown
The Diplomat
The Last of Us
The Morning Show

Best Musical/ Comedy Series

Abbott Elementary
The Bear
Jury Duty
Only Murders in the Building
Ted Lasso

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series, or TV Motion Picture

All the Light We Cannot See
Daisy Jones & The Six
Fellow Travelers
Lessons in Chemistry

Best Television Female Actor – Drama Series

Bella Ramsey, The Last of Us
Emma Stone, The Curse
Helen Mirren, 1923
Imelda Staunton, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Diplomat
Sarah Snook, Succession

Best Television Male Actor – Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession
Dominic West, The Crown
Gary Oldman, Slow Horses
Jeremy Strong, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Pedro Pascal, The Last of Us

Best Television Female Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Ayo Edebiri, The Bear
Elle Fanning, The Great
Natasha Lyonne, Poker Face
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary
Selena Gomez, Only Murders in the Building

Best Television Male Actor – Musical or Comedy Series

Bill Hader, Barry
Jason Segel, Shrinking
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Jeremy Allen White, The Bear
Martin Short, Only Murders in the Building
Steve Martin, Only Murders in the Building

Best Female Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

Ali Wong, Beef
Brie Larson, Lessons in Chemistry
Elizabeth Olsen, Love & Death
Juno Temple, Fargo
Rachel Weisz, Dead Ringers
Riley Keough, Daisy Jones & the Six

Best Male Actor – Limited Series, Anthology Series, or Television Motion Picture

David Oyelowo, Lawmen: Bass Reeves
Jon Hamm, Fargo
Matt Bomer, Fellow Travelers
Sam Claflin, Daisy Jones & the Six
Steven Yeun, Beef
Woody Harrelson, White House Plumbers

Best Supporting Female Actor – Television

Abby Elliott, The Bear
Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets
Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso
J. Smith-Cameron, Succession
Meryl Streep, Only Murders in the Building

Best Supporting Male Actor – Television

Alan Ruck, Succession
Alexander Skarsgard, Succession
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear
James Marsden, Jury Duty
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession

Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television

Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: Emergency Contact
Chris Rock, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage
Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais: Armageddon
Sarah Silverman, Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love
Trevor Noah, Trevor Noah: Where Was I
Wanda Sykes, Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer

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Michael Douglas to receive the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award; Catherine Zeta-Jones, Salman Khan, Karan Johar and others to attend IFFI 2023 : Bollywood News – Bollywood Hungama

The 54th edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be hosted in Goa from November 20th to 28th. While more than 250 films are being showcased across the various sections of the festival, all eyes are set on the gala opening ceremony being hosted on November 20th at Shamaprasad Indoor Stadium, Panaji, Goa. The opening ceremony is headlined by Shahid Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit along with Shriya Saran, Nushratt Bharucha, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal and Sukhwinder Singh, while the ceremony is being hosted by Aparshakti Khurrana and Karishma Tanna.

Michael Douglas to receive the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award; Catherine Zeta-Jones, Salman Khan, Karan Johar and others to attend IFFI 2023

Several dignitaries are expected to be present, along with eminent personalities from Indian cinema, including Sunny Deol, Vijay Sethupathi, Sara Ali Khan, Karan Johar, at the 54th IFFI opening ceremony, recognized as one of the biggest film and cultural extravaganzas in the world. Viacom Media Pvt. Ltd. is the exclusive media and broadcasting partner of the opening and closing ceremonies for the second consecutive year and will broadcast the ceremonies on India’s leading general entertainment channel COLORS and its OTT platform JioCinema. The star-studded ceremonies are produced by Wizcraft Entertainment Agency, the country’s leading producers of live events.

Speaking about IFFI, Hon’ble Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur said, “IFFI has been growing every year thanks to the passion of our filmmakers from across the country and the collaboration that we have been able to forge with the directors and producers from across the world. As we take forward Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of strengthening India’s global position across all sectors, cinema, arts and culture can empower our youth to foray into the world stage with stories that are global in essence and local at heart. Indeed, IFFI has become the perfect platform for establishing collaborations, joint productions and cutting-edge technology.”

Says, Shri Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, “The Indian media and entertainment industry has been growing at an average of 20 per cent annually over the last three years with a special focus on original stories for a global audience and use of state-of-the-art technology. This year, IFFI received a record number of 2926 entries from 105 countries, three times more than last year. While working along with the country’s film industry, our team’s efforts are aimed at pushing the boundaries to make the festival bigger and better with every new edition.”

Kevin Vaz, CEO – Broadcast Entertainment, Viacom18 said, “The world’s largest democracy is a fertile breeding ground for stories that cut across social, political, economic, and geographical boundaries. As the country’s foremost storytellers and entertainers, we believe it is our duty to take every story to its audience and every audience to their story. It is with this belief that we are partnering with IFFI for the second year in a row. This partnership aims to celebrate and unite cultures across the country and entertain, educate and empower the world in the ethos of India.”

This year, IFFI has invited Indian actors and filmmakers to promote their upcoming films at the opening gala. Karan Johar and Sara Ali Khan with the team of Ae Watan Mere Watan will unveil the first look of the drama-thriller. Sukhwinder Singh will sing the film’s inspiring title track during the showcase. The film chronicles the journey of Usha Mehta who during the 1942 Quit India Movement started an underground radio station, Congress Radio, which for a few months broadcast uncensored and even banned news.

Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Shreya Ghoshal and Taba Chake will step into the spotlight to introduce the crime-thriller Kadak Singh directed by National Award winner, Director Aniruddha Roy Choudhary. The film captures the story of AK Shrivastav, an officer in the Department of Financial Crimes who while battling retrograde amnesia exposes the truth behind a Chit Fund Scam. Actor Pankaj Tripathi maintains, “The IFFI festival has always offered a platform for inspiring stories and storytellers who unmask corruption and clean the system, thereby inspiring and empowering us.”

Vijay Sethupathi would unveil the trailer of the black comedy Gandhi Talks, a silent film in a present-day setting revolving around four characters, played by Vijay Sethupathi, Arvind Swami, Siddharth Jadhav and Aditi Rao Hydari.

For its star acts, IFFI has roped in Madhuri Dixit to recreate a medley of her chartbusters. “Cinema has given me so much, it’s time to give something back in return. What better way to do so than through song and dance which is integral to not just Indian cinema, but Indian culture as well,” asserts the Bollywood diva. Madhuri Dixit was recognised as the Indian Film Personality of the Year at last year’s edition of the festival.

Shahid Kapoor will set the stage on fire with his superhit parade. “Doing great work comes naturally when you’re passionate about what you do. And performing in front of a live audience is something I’ve truly loved ever since I can remember… Thanks to IFFI I get to do that one more time in Goa on November 20th. See you there!” he says.

The naach-gaana continues with Nushrratt Bharuccha and IFFI celebrating ‘The India Story’. While RRR’sNaatu Naatu” brings back Oscar glory, Pushpa’sSami Sami” represents the growing popularity of South Indian cinema. “Jhoome Jo Pathaan” and Jawan’sNot Ramaiya Vastavaiya” celebrate the resurrection of Hindi cinema while 83’s “Jeetega Jeetega” celebrates Chandrayaan 3’s successful landing and India’s Asian Games wins.

From rustic celebrations to classy soirees and regional fiestas, Shriya Saran shows us how India parties with the Tamil song “Allegra Allegra”, the Kannada chartbuster “Ra Ra Rakkamma”, the Malayalam hit “Kalapakkarra”, “Boss Party” from the Telugu film Waltair Veeraya and “Show Me The Thumka” from Bollywood’s Tu Jhooti Main Makkaar.

The celebrations will continue over a week. Shri Prithul Kumar, Festival Director- IFFI (Jt. Secretary (Films) & MD/NFDC) informs, “This IFFI will have 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres, 62 Asia Premieres and 89 India Premieres. These films, which transcend all borders and cultures, represent the best of Indian and world cinema. This carries forward the compelling obligation to continue the legacy of showcasing cinematic excellence at the 54th IFFI. The Festival Team is working tirelessly to make sure that the participants enjoy the outstanding films, engage in thought-provoking discussions and leave with memories that will last a lifetime”

The festival would be graced by Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Salman Khan, Vidya Balan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Anupam Kher, Vicky Kaushal, Siddharth Malhotra, Aditi Rao Hydari, AR Rahman, Shreya Ghoshal, Shantanu Moitra, Sukhwinder Singh, Amit Trivedi, among celebrated filmmakers. The closing ceremony will be headlined by Ayushmann Khurrana and renowned music composer Amit Trivedi. Ayushmann will deliver an energetic performance and will pay tribute to Michael Douglas, the recipient of the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. Amit Trivedi will curate a special rendition of the Sounds of Bharat, alongside a medley of his superhit songs.

There will be a specially curated performance by the ‘Harmony of the Pines’ orchestra of the Himachal Pradesh police arousing nationalistic fervour. At the closing ceremony, several awards and special honours will be presented for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Male) and (Female), ‘Special Jury Award’, ‘Best Web Series on an OTT Platform’, ‘Indian Film Personality of the Year’, ICFT UNESCO Gandhi Medal.

The opening ceremony on November 20th and the closing ceremony on November 28th will begin with a red carpet hosted by Karan Chhabra and Nashpreet Kaur. The showcase that follows will celebrate our icons and the rise of popular South Indian cinema in pan-India and global markets. The lively performances featuring different dance styles, set to popular film songs, underline the festival’s theme of ‘India through the movies’, showcasing the unity and diversity of our culture.

ALSO READ: Tiger 3 fan event: Salman Khan ‘kisses’ Emraan Hashmi; brings the house down


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The Marvels, The Killer, Tiger 3 and More: The 9 Biggest Movies in November

What are the biggest movies releasing in November 2023? The Marvels is poised to continue the erratic Phase 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in style, transporting us to a destabilising universe where Carol Danvers’ (Brie Larson) powers get entangled with other intergalactic heroes. It is the shortest film in the franchise — running at 105 minutes — and is slated to hit theatres worldwide on November 10. Chase that down with The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which serves as an origin story for Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), the future tyrannical president of Panem, as he navigates responsibilities and young love. It’s out November 17 in cinemas.

Salman Khan leads the charge on the local end with a new addition to YRF’s spy-thriller series, Tiger 3, on a mission to save the country from a mysterious threat who’s keeping tabs on his family. This marks the year’s second theatrical release from the Bollywood star, following Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, which was met with disappointment from both fans and critics alike. Khan is also producing a movie dropping this month called Farrey, in which an orphan genius is lured by her wealthy friends at a prestigious school into helping them cheat in exams. Soumendra Padhi — best known for Netflix’s Jamtara — directs the film, which releases November 24.

Other notable releases this month include David Fincher’s highly anticipated return to the crime/ serial killer genre in a twisted odyssey starring Michael Fassbender, who muses about life and philosophy as he begins to crack psychologically. The Killer will be up for streaming November 10 on Netflix. For your convenience, we have curated the biggest November 2023 releases coming to theatres and Netflix, which you can check out below. Also, feel free to browse our Entertainment hub to keep track of any other releases that might interest you.


When: November 3
Where: Theatres

A year into their marriage, Kavya (Tia Bajpai) visits the local police station to file a report for marital rape against her husband Vivek (Gaurav Chopra), a well-respected college professor. As you’d expect, things don’t go her way, with cops and family members not believing her story, all the while her husband tries to threateningly reason with her and suppress the story. Much like real life, it’s a fate other women in Lakeerein also suffer from, some of whom are way too scared to report such crimes. As such, the film plays out from Kavya’s perspective, who takes matters to the court, representing their struggles as she tries to avoid stupid questions like “If your consent isn’t automatically reserved for your husband, whom are you saving it for?”

Representing her in court is Geeta Biswas (Bidita Bag), a patient lawyer who abides by the rules and believes Kavya’s handling of the situation was a bit reckless. Conversely, Vivek is aided by Dudhari Singh (Ashutosh Rana), who even privately meets her as a form of intimidation, trying to divert Kavya from her goal. Directed by Durgesh Pathak, it is worth mentioning that Lakeerein might be a tough watch for some — not just because of the triggering subject, but because the dialogue is entirely written in pure Hindi language (based on the trailer).

The Killer

When: November 10
Where: Netflix

Mindhunter season 3 is not happening, but it’s always fun seeing David Fincher delve back into the realm of thrillers. His latest tracks an unnamed assassin for hire (Michael Fassbender) holed up at an abandoned Parisian WeWork, with a tactile sniper rifle pointing at his target’s location. Killing someone involves a lot of waiting and observing, as you get accustomed to a boring routine, which in this case is heavily OCD-driven — reducing heart rate to 100BPM before pressing the trigger, listening to The Smiths, or sleeping upright to stay alert. Through it all, we’re treated to a lengthy voiceover about his well-paying profession, politics, and the morality of human beings. That is until he overthinks, and his psyche begins to crack, leading to a fatal miss that catapults him on a globe-trotting quest to clean up the mess.

The Killer establishes that being good at a hitman’s job entails that one must ‘forbid empathy’, albeit it’s something he’s unable to fully exert due to his love life. If the film does follow Alexis Nolent’s acclaimed graphic novel to the full extent, we’ll get to see him making mistakes and questioning his choices at such a later stage in his career — ideals that make us normies feel utterly insignificant in the face of the bigger forces at play. Switching between new IDs, vehicles, and cliché tourist shirts, the Killer makes swift work of the baddies and gradually climbs the hierarchical chain as part of a revenge plot thread which I won’t disclose for spoiler reasons.

Marking screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker’s second credited collaboration with Fincher — first being 1995’s Se7en — the film also stars Charles Parnell (Top Gun: Maverick) as his handler, Tilda Swinton (Suspiria) as a rival assassin, and Sophie Charlotte as the Killer’s love interest.

The Marvels

When: November 10
Where: Theatres

Having reclaimed her identity from the ruthless alien race of Kree, Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is dealing with being on her own — stuck in the solitary blackness of space, awaiting the routine wholesome phone calls from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Watching over a now-destabilised universe, she is inadvertently pulled into a wormhole, presumably created by a Kree imperialist Dar-Benn (Zawe Ashton), who intends to restore her homeland to former glory. Oddly though, the act somehow entangles Captain Marvel’s powers with those of Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) and her S.A.B.E.R. astronaut Captain Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), forcing them to work together to save the universe.

Basically, every time a Marvel uses their powers, they switch places with the other ones no matter where they’re located or if they are in the middle of a fight. Understandably, they must now learn to sync up their abilities to perform the best combos and lay waste to oncoming threats, ping-ponging between planets and getting startled by the Flerken Goose’s tentacles. It appears as though all of these problems are caused by a sacred bangle, like the one Kamala wears, granting Dar-Benn the will to harness magical powers designed to destroy Carol. Nia DaCosta, who previously helmed an episode of Ms. Marvel, serves as the director of The Marvels, charting a new chapter in MCU’s Phase 5.

All Upcoming Marvel Movies and Web Series

Tiger 3

When: November 12
Where: Theatres

Following a cameo in the blockbuster film Pathaan, Salman Khan returns as the infamous RAW agent Avinash ‘Tiger’ Rathore, now being targetted by the Indian government over a major conspiracy. An enigmatic villain from his past, played by Emraan Hashmi (Selfiee), has come for revenge, claiming that Tiger stole his family from him. As such, he plans on doing the same by targeting his wife, the former ISI agent Zoya (Katrina Kaif) and their son, while painting them as enemies of the nation. Forced to pick between his nation and his family, Tiger engages in some Mission: Impossible-esque stealth missions and some gung-ho-style gunfights, hoping to unmask the criminal. Directed by Maneesh Sharma (Fan), Tiger 3 is also expected to feature a cameo of Shah Rukh Khan’s character from Pathaan, essentially forming a bridge.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

When: November 17
Where: Theatres

Long before Coriolanus Snow ever became the ruthless dictator of Panem, he was simply the last hope for his dying lineage, hoping to prove his worth at the 10th annual Hunger Games, which serves as a deathmatch for members of the impoverished districts. As a last-minute change, the students are tasked with mentoring the competitors, which the young Snow (Tom Blyth) sees as a chance of redemption since his namesake was tarnished after the war. Enter Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler), his girl tribute who defiantly sings during the reaping ceremony, instantly charming him as Snow forms ideas in his mind to manipulate her voice to turn the contest’s odds in his favour.

But things get complicated when he develops feelings for Lucy, to the point where he questions the Head Gamemaker Dr. Volumnia Gaul (Viola Davis) about the goal of the Hunger Games and the horrific mutations stored within her underground laboratory — which includes a giant tank of rainbow-coloured snakes. She believes that the terror of becoming prey easily turns someone into a predator, presenting the contest as a spectacle for amusement for the higher class. Francis Lawrence, who directed the original Jennifer Lawrence-led trilogy, returns to direct this standalone arc, poised to feature an interesting twist to reveal who between Snow and Lucy ultimately ends up being the snake and the songbird.

The ensemble cast of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes also includes Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as the game creator Dean Casca Highbottom, Jason Schwartzman (The Darjeeling Express) as the first-ever host, and Euphoria-fame Hunter Schafer as Coriolanus’ older cousin Tigris Snow.

Watch the Trailer for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Rachel Zegler in a still from The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Next Goal Wins

When: November 17
Where: Theatres

Another Fassbender entry this month, Next Goal Wins sees him as a Dutch-American football coach Thomas Rongen, who’s faced with the choice of either accepting his firing or undertaking a near-impossible job. The latter entails that he convert the American Samoa national football team into an elite squad — considered one of the weakest teams in the world, after their crushing 31-0 defeat to Australia during the 2001 FIFA World Cup. He must achieve this while grappling with his alcohol addiction and language barrier, in addition to dealing with players who are afraid of going for the ball.

He’s basically got the toughest job on the island, but the countless hours of practice help him cope and form an inseparable bond with the folks. In addition to writing and directing this uplifting sports movie, Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit) stars in it as a goofy moustachioed American-Samoan priest, alongside Elisabeth Moss (The Invisible Man), Will Arnett (BoJack Horseman), and Kaimana as Jaiyah Saelua, the first trans woman player to compete in the global tournament.


When: November 24
Where: Theatres

Just like Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, Napoleon will first get a wide theatrical release before eventually heading to Apple TV+. Acclaimed filmmaker Ridley Scott (Alien) paints a deeply personal portrait of the revered titular Frenchman, going all the way from his origins to his self-coronation as the Emperor of France, as he climbed the ladder through ruthless military tactics. All of this is presented through his volatile relationship with his wife Joséphine (Vanessa Kirby), who often claims that Napoleon Bonaparte would be nothing without her involvement. Promising epic war sequences that make use of grand practical effects, director Scott claimed that reconstructing the battlefield made him start to think like Napoleon.

The research also expands to historical paintings from artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, with a scene depicting the Emperor’s Egyptian expedition as he stood before the majestic Sphinx. David Scarpa, who last collaborated with Scott on 2017’s All the Money in the World, has written the script for Napoleon, which also stars Tahar Rahim (Extrapolations) as executive head of the Directory Paul Barras, Ben Miles (Hijack) as Napoleon’s advisor Caulaincourt, and Catherine Walker as the Archduchess of Austria Marie-Antoinette.


When: November 24
Where: Theatres

Niyati (Alizeh Agnihotri), an orphan genius living under her warden’s care in Delhi, ends up topping her 10th board exams, consequentially securing schooling at a prestigious academy. When the other rich kids notice her performance, she gets roped into a cheating racket — starting with simple tactics like sneaking chits into the exam room to gradually evolving into something risky. It appears as though she’s making good money by helping out her friends, but in the process, she might end up losing the honest reputation she’d built since her childhood. Soumendra Padhi, best known for the phishing scam Netflix show Jamtara, directs Farrey, enlisting a cast featuring Sahil Mehta (Made in Heaven), Prasanna Bisht, and Zeyn Shaw (Class).

May December

When: November 30
Where: Netflix

Talented TV actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) travels to Georgia to do research about Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore), wanting to embody the latter’s personality for an indie film she’s about to star in. A long time ago, the 36-year-old Gracie was involved in a scandalous affair with a seventh-grader, serving prison time and making tabloid headlines for wanting to keep the baby. The unconventional pair now have a family together — one that looks eerily normal to Elizabeth until her relentless and questions start revealing long-hidden secrets and suppressed feelings to the surface, forming cracks in their relationship.

Playing the young husband Joe Yoo is Charles Melton (Riverdale), who’s lived his entire life not feeling like the victim, also begins to see the issue and ponder why the couple never had a proper discussion about their so-called love life. Frequent Moore collaborator Todd Haynes directs May December from a screenplay by debutant Samy Burch, which itself is loosely inspired by the real-life story of the US-based sex offender and teacher Mary Kay Letourneau.

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Best Star Wars TV Series to Watch Before Ahsoka

Ahsoka, out now on Disney+ Hotstar, might come across as a saving grace to those who were left famished by the Togruta Jedi’s brief appearance in The Mandalorian season 2, hoping to see where she’d be headed next. As one of the most complex characters from the galaxy far, far away — having survived Order 66 and all — it’s surprising to see that it took so long for creator Dave Filoni to kickstart a live-action show based on her exploits. The eight-episode series sees Rosario Dawson reprising her role as the titular Ahsoka Tano, as she heads out on a quest to save the fragile New Republic from the resurgence of Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen).

Although, who is Thrawn and why is his return posing such a massive threat to the galaxy? These are questions that only Star Wars veterans can answer, which is why I’m concerned about whether Ahsoka would be able to condense its past events from the animated Star Wars Rebels show into this short runtime, while simultaneously carving a new arc for the Torguta. The show also has the added responsibility of introducing the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who was abandoned by Ahsoka midway through their training, so expect some family drama along those lines. I, for one, am keener on learning how she lost possession of the fabled Darksaber to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) — hopefully, they touch on that.

Sadly, only two episodes of Ahsoka are available to stream right now, and some of you might need some other great suggestions to keep you engaged. As we await its week-by-week release to unfold the story, we thought now’s a great time to revisit the best Star Wars shows (best to worst).


Despite bearing the Star Wars branding in its name, Andor is best described as a spy thriller — a twisted take that feels more grown-up than anything we’ve seen before in the franchise. Set five years before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the series revisits the familiar rebel thief Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), as he wages war against the oppressive Galactic Empire, by planning a small-scale infiltration mission to leak intel, and eventually steal plans to the Death Star. Unlike the Felicity Jones-led movie, Andor has a hint of realism, becoming the first modern-day Star Wars project to forgo the StageCraft tech, which relies on giant digital LED screens to project backgrounds. Filming was done on real-world locations and across larger-than-life set pieces that were built to make its cast of characters appear tiny and helpless.

On his mission to uproot the Empire from within, Andor runs into the mysterious Luther Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), who’s been observing the young thief for a while now and recruits him into the Rebellion. Much of it has to do with Andor’s casual resolve, where he conveys the infiltration process in three easy steps — you need a uniform, some dirty hands, and an Imperial toolkit. All that’s left is to just walk into the enemy territory like you belong — as if you’ve always worked there. Created by Tony Gilroy (the Bourne trilogy), the 12-episode series also stars Genevieve O’Reilly as the senator Mon Mothma, Adria Arjona as his romantic interest Bix Caleen, and Denise Gough as the high-ranking Imperial officer Dedra Meero.

Andor Season 1 Review

The Mandalorian

No one does a better job at playing a single dad than Pedro Pascal, and The Mandalorian was the first to cement that. In it, he plays the lone bounty hunter Din Djarin, who’s been hired to retrieve The Child aka Grogu, the force-sensitive creature from the same species as the familiar Yoda. As you’d expect, the pair form an inseparable bond during their exploits, while being pursued by the genocidal Moff Gideon (Esposito), who intends on using Grogu’s blood for selfish needs. What works in The Mandalorian’s favour is the thematic aspect of it all, where it is represented as a stylish space Western that doesn’t heavily lean into Star Wars jargon. Instead of establishing something new, the series draws inspiration from the same creative sources as the original Star Wars trilogy — resulting in a show that is able to exist on its own.

The series also stars Carl Weathers as the greedy agent Greef Karga, Gina Carano as the brutish mercenary Cara Dune, and Emily Swallow as The Armorer, the leader of the orthodox Mandalorian warrior tribe. Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian is also the first TV show to employ ILM’s StageCraft technology to its benefit, thereby avoiding any lighting issues that come with using blue screens. Its first season was also nominated among the Best Drama Series at the 2020 Emmys.

Star Wars: Visions

Star Wars: Visions is possibly the most outlandish entry on this list, serving as a platform for animation studios across the world to show their creativity and make their voices heard. Season 1 acts as the franchise’s formal foray into Japanese anime, with each anthology short offering a unique perspective on the universe, while maintaining the spirit of Star Wars storytelling — which itself lends its inspiration to Akira Kurosawa films. Season 2, however, expands past the anime style to incorporate takes from other studios, ranging between India’s 88 Pictures and the Irish Cartoon Saloon, best known for the Oscar-nominated Wolfwalkers movie.

Star Wars Visions Review

Obi-Wan Kenobi

By now, you might have noticed a trend where Star Wars has some serious trouble in laying the past to rest. If you’ve seen the original trilogy, you already know where most of the characters from the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series will eventually end up. Having witnessed the corruption of his best friend Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) who turned to the dark side and became the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader, Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) now lives in hiding, under the alias ‘Ben.’ During his exile, he watches over a young fatherless Luke Skywalker, hoping to train him in the ways of the Jedi against the wishes of Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton), who is extremely cautious of Obi-Wan’s intentions.

Amidst that drama, he’s called on a life-threatening mission to rescue Anakin’s daughter Leia, who’s been kidnapped by the Galactic Empire — all the while dealing with Imperial Inquisitors and Darth Vader himself. Little does he know, the abduction was a ploy to draw Obi-Wan out of hiding, and with his Force powers now diminished over time, he must rely on his elite-level swordsmanship to pull him through. Deborah Chow, best known for Flowers in the Attic, directs all six episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which stars an ensemble cast namely Rupert Friend (Homeland) as the Grand Inquisitor, Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) as the con artist Haja Estree, Benny Safdie (Good Time) as Order 66 survivor Nari, and Moses Ingram as the Third Sister.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

The Book of Boba Fett

Having made his big screen debut in 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the dashingly armoured bounty hunter’s journey continues in the brisk seven-episode-long The Book of Boba Fett. Serving as a companion piece to the aforementioned The Mandalorian, the series explores the galaxy’s underworld — gangsters, crime syndicates, and the lot — through the eyes of Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and his trusty mercenary companion Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), as they return to the sands of Tatooine to claim the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt. To best understand its characters, we’d recommend watching this side-by-side with The Mandalorian, which establishes the relationship between its lead characters.

The Book of Boba Fett does suffer from structural problems though, thanks to some poorly integrated flashback sequences where creator Favreau basically retreads the same ‘lone bounty hunter’ path he did with The Mandalorian — as a means to eventually switch over to Djarin’s story when they ran out of ideas. Meanwhile, a portion of the Star Wars fanbase took issue with the titular character not wearing his helmet too often, though addressing it wouldn’t have saved the show from coming off as an unnecessary addition to the franchise.

The Book of Boba Fett Review

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to Fast X: 2023’s Biggest Movies on Streaming, VOD

We’re halfway into 2023, but it’s already been a great year at the movies. Film historians would be delighted to look back at some surprise box office hits like The Super Mario Bros. Movie, an adaptation of the seminal Nintendo video game franchise, which earned $1.344 billion (about Rs. 11,063 crore) — a massive feat, considering how annoyed fans were when they learnt Chris Pratt was going to be voicing the titular plumber. Boosting the animation slate, however, was Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which threw Miles Morales onto a multiversal adventure, while Keanu Reeves got dressed in black once again in John Wick: Chapter 4, heading on a revenge path against the ones who left him to die. Revenge was another major theme in the latest Fast & Furious movie, which brought in a brand new villain.

The superhero movie fatigue is finally hitting — about damn time — causing them to severely underperform in theatres, regardless of some being creative in their presentation. A lot of the big money-makers have already headed over to VOD and streaming services, but I wouldn’t call them award contenders. Nevertheless, here’s a list of 2023’s major film releases that you can watch from the comfort of your home.

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Major releases of 2023 available on streaming and VOD right now

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Aside from the casting drama, The Super Mario Bros. Movie had some narrative flaws, aimed at bombarding its audience with as many easter eggs as possible, as a means to feed off nostalgia. Regardless, it was a joyful experience for kids, who got to experience a movie that did justice to the Mario games’ playful themes, by incorporating a fresh origin story. In it, siblings Mario (Pratt) and Luigi (Charlie Day) are immigrant plumbers working in Brooklyn, New York City, who get warped down a mysterious underground pipe onto a magical world. Unfortunately, they get separated in the process, with Mario landing in the vibrant Mushroom Kingdom, while Luigi is plopped onto the Dark Lands, ruled by the evil king Bowser (Jack Black).

Teaming up with Princess Peach (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Toad (Keegan-Michael Key), Mario not only has to free his imprisoned brother, but is also dragged into a world-saving mission, as the evil turtle threatens to destroy it all. As mentioned before, fan service is in full force here, as our heroes race along the sparkling Rainbow Road, get slapped around by the goofy Donkey Kong on Monkey Island, and we even get to see the shapeshifting Tanooki outfit. Oh, and there’s also a beautiful musical piece from Bowser — a piano ballad — which he dedicates to Peach, as an expression of love. You can tell the voice actor Black was having way too much fun with the overly playful yodelling and all.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is available to rent on Prime Video. Alternatively, you can opt for Google Play Movies, YouTube Movies, and Apple TV, which also come with options to buy the film. When the film receives a streaming date, it should arrive on JioCinema, seeing as Viacom18 recently signed a deal with NBCUniversal.

John Wick: Chapter 4

In hiding with the Bowery King (Laurence Fishburne), John Wick (Reeves) has been training for the day he gets to exact his revenge on the High Table, the cultish organisation of hitmen, who previously betrayed him and left him severely injured. The end goal, however, runs a bit deeper than that, with Wick wanting to be relieved from the murderous lifestyle, which is hard to attain, thanks to a new formidable enemy Marquis de Gramont (Bill Skarsgård), who puts a bounty on his head. While the pair agree to single combat, where only one of them can survive, Wick’s path to the destination is nothing but an elaborate trap laid with waves of armoured assassins, who wouldn’t stop at anything.

John Wick: Chapter 4 adds a new assassin dog in the equation, themes of bitter friendship by way of the blind hitman Caine (Donnie Yen), and plentiful ‘car-fu’ action. Chad Stahelski is the returning director for the film, albeit the creator Derek Kolstand bids adieu to the franchise. The film also stars Ian McShane as the crime lord Winston, Lance Reddick as the Continental Hotel concierge Charon, Hiroyuki Sanada (Bullet Train) as the katana-wielding old ally of Wick, Shimazu, and Rina Sawayama as the feisty assassin Akira. It’s also worth noting that John Wick 5 is in early development at Lionsgate, alongside a AAA video game.

John Wick 4 is up for streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV, via a paid add-on subscription to the Lionsgate channel. You can also rent or purchase it on Google Play Movies, YouTube Movies, and Apple TV.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Peter Quill (Pratt) and the remaining Guardians, still reeling from the death of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), have now set their base on planet Knowhere, which immediately gets attacked by the gold-tinted Adam Warlock (Will Poulter). With their headquarters in shambles and a critically wounded Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), the crew embark on an interstellar journey to Orgocorp’s headquarters, in order to override a chip from the loudmouthed furball’s body. Of course, with such a tragic accident, it was only time we learnt of Rocket’s past, as he reminisces of the time he spent at the experimental facility, where the High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) ran tests on him and his friends Wal Rus and Lylla.

The notion of romance in Quill’s life is also rekindled when he encounters the alternate version of Gamora — introduced in Avengers: Endgame — leading to some funny exchanges between the two. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the end of the trilogy and director James Gunn’s goodbye to Marvel for the foreseeable future, as he turns his focus to charting a new course for the rival DC Universe. The film grossed a worldwide total of $841.6 million (about Rs. 6,925 crore), which despite seeming small for an MCU flick, isn’t as big of a commercial failure as the next name on this list.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is out now to rent and purchase VOD, across Google Play Movies, YouTube Movies, and Apple TV. It should eventually make it to streaming on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

In the days since the Avengers’ successful battle against Thanos, Scott Lang/ Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) has been living a pretty normal life, often struggling with his daughter Cassandra’s (Kathryn Newton) teenage angst, as with every other parent. Unbeknownst to the Pym family, the little genius had been working on a device that can help establish contact with the Quantum Realm, inadvertently getting themselves sucked into a world flush with exotic wildlife and a hugely populated megacity, ruled by the multiversal overlord Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors).

As they try to find a way to escape the kingdom, Ant-Man, who was always treated as an afterthought, receives a warm welcome from the emperor and accepts an undisclosed task, in the hopes that he receives some time back — the five years lost during the Blip event. As the deal falls through, the two are put at odds against each other, revealing the mutated M.O.D.O.K. (Corey Stoll) and Janet Van Dyne’s (Michelle Pfeiffer) long-kept secrets. The film also brings back Evangeline Lilly, who returns as Hope/ Wasp and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym. Fair warning though: the CGI is horrendous in certain places, with the backgrounds appearing cheaply crafted and super distracting from the vibrant tone Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is trying to exhibit. VFX artists who worked on the film blamed Marvel Studios for diverting its major resources and crew members towards Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, causing theirs to suffer.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is up for streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. You can also buy or rent it on Google Play Movies, YouTube Movies, and Apple TV.

Fast X

In less than two weeks since its theatrical release, Fast X became the first Hollywood movie of the year to break the 100-crore mark in India, highlighting the need for goofy, over-the-top action movies in the summer. While certainly not as outrageous as heading to space — as seen in F9Fast X upped the ante with explosions, be it blowing up the Vatican, an entire dam, and even John Cena riding around in cars armed with cannons. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has a new formidable enemy in town, Dante Reyes (Jason Momoa), who’s been planning his revenge for the past 12 years, having witnessed his druglord father Hernan Reyes’ murder back in 2011’s Fast Five.

Reunited with Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), and Tej Parker (Ludacris), former street racer Dom must rise to the occasion and prevent his family from being harmed, by whatever means possible. Serving as the first of a two-part finale — maybe three — the film brings new additions by way of Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad), and Rita Moreno.

Fast X is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Zee5, with further options to buy on Apple TV.

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