Annual Fox holiday bash draws filmmakers and talent

Posted by · 9:13 am · December 2nd, 2010

20th Century Fox held its annual holiday party on the roof of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills last night. It afforded a good opportunity to corral press members into a tight space with talent from the studio’s five awards season contenders.

Newly tapped Oscar host Anne Hathaway was on hand (with “Love & Other Drugs” co-star Jake Gyllenhaal), but her co-host James Franco couldn’t make it.  I chatted briefly with “127 Hours” director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, as well as “Never Let Me Go” composer Rachel Portman (who seemed quite prim and shy).  I know “Conviction” screenwriter Pamela Gray was making the rounds but I never got a chance to say hi.

I did, however, finally meet one of the cinematographers from “127 Hours,” Enrique Chediak.  And as we were talking, a publicist tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Would you like to talk to Anthony Dod Mantle?”  Of course I would, so I turned and staring back at me was Mantle live via Skype from Cape Town, South Africa, where he’s currently filming Pete Travis’s “Judge Dredd” reboot with Karl Urban.

It was somewhat surreal to be talking about the use of 3D photography with a man whose early involved the no-frills Dogme95 movement, but Mantle is passionate as ever about the work and, as always, quite the gentleman.  I was sorry to hear that he and director Lars Von Trier have fallen out as of late.  Maybe there’s a distant future in the collaboration that has yielded powerful work in films like “Dogville” and, the pinnacle of his achievements I think, last year’s “Antichrist,” but it seemed a bit dire.  What he and Chediak have accomplished in “127 Hours” is spirited and inventive, and it sounded like he had a blast on the shoot.

Looking at the Skype set up, Darren Aronofsky jokingly said to me, “Aw, I could have done that from New York.”  The last time I saw the “Black Swan” director he asked with a smirk, “Hey, why am I not on your list,” referring to predictions for Best Picture and Best Director, where I’ve vocally been apprehensive that the Academy will grasp the achievement.  “Have faith,” he said to me last night.  “Things are changing.”  And he’s not wrong, really.  The list of Best Picture winners beginning with “The Departed” in 2006 have been incredibly atypical and new blood is pumping into the organization every day.

As we were talking, he noticed the trailer for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” playing on a loop on televisions scattered around the venue.  How did I miss this?  There was no sound, of course, but the imagery was absolute GORGEOUS.  The trailer will be attached to prints of “Black Swan” opening in limited release this weekend.

I wasn’t able to stay long but it was a fun night.  I only humbly suggest next year picking a spot without such a precariously positioned swimming pool.  I think everyone was just waiting to see which poor soul would be the one to take a tumble.

[Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

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9 responses so far

  • 1 12-02-2010 at 9:17 am

    JJ1 said...

    LOVE that Aronofsky views the site, Kris; and that he jokingly commented on your prediction list. That’s just fantastic.

  • 2 12-02-2010 at 9:23 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    Black Swan getting in the top ten won’t be too surprising but I would be pretty surprised if Aronofsky got a nod. The Academy has done nothing but spite his films and the people involved with them for the last decade.

  • 3 12-02-2010 at 9:31 am

    Maxim said...

    That Black Swan still looks amazing, by the way.

  • 4 12-02-2010 at 9:33 am

    Loyal said...

    In order for the Black Swan to get it, either The Town or Way Back need to drop out. I’m not sold on The Town and I’d never bet against Peter Weir, so I’m the guessing the former goes.

  • 5 12-02-2010 at 9:56 am

    JJ1 said...

    I’m wondering, not unlike David O. Russell (though maybe to a much lesser extent) … is Aronosfky not amazingly well-liked in the industry?

  • 6 12-02-2010 at 10:01 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I would say he’s just an outsider. It’s the NY/LA thing.

  • 7 12-02-2010 at 10:26 am

    Jake D said...

    I’m starting to think Black Swan will win, honestly. I don’t really buy that Social Network or King’s Speech have the endurance for the race. Black Swan is slowly creeping into the 10 the way Hurt Locker did last year- I think it might be able to make it all the way…we’ll see…

  • 8 12-02-2010 at 10:58 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, gotcha.

  • 9 12-02-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Pope said...

    Jake D, from what I can recall The Hurt Locker was always a contender since the moment it came out.