Oscar-Lauded ‘Cyrano’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD April 19

Cyrano, nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design, will be released on Blu-ray and DVD April 19 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

A re-imagining of the timeless tale of a heartbreaking love triangle, the film follows Cyrano de Bergerac (Peter Dinklage), who dazzles with both ferocious wordplay and brilliant swordplay but is convinced that his appearance makes him unworthy of the love of his devoted friend Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Roxanne has fallen in love at first sight with Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.).

Special features include a making-of featurette.

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Oscar-Lauded ‘Licorice Pizza’ Headed to Blu-ray and DVD May 17

MGM’s Oscar-nominated Licorice Pizza will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 17 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film is already available for digital purchase.

From multi-Oscar nominated director, writer, producer and cinematographer Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Phantom Thread), the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper and Benny Safdie.

It’s the story of Alana Kane (Haim) and Gary Valentine (Hoffman) growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. 

Bonus features include camera tests, pre-production camera tests and unused takes; “The Handman Scene,” a deleted scene from the film; “Fat Bernie’s Commercial,” an in-universe commercial for Fat Bernie’s as shot by Gary Valentine; and a glimpse behind the scenes of Licorice Pizza through a collection on-set photos and videos.

‘CODA’ Makes Oscar History as First Streaming Film to Win Best Picture

The lines between theatrical and home entertainment were blurred even further at the 94th Academy Awards when CODA became the first movie from a streaming service to win Best Picture.

The coming-of-age drama was released on Apple TV+ as well as theaters last August.  Written and directed by Sian Heder, the film is a remake of the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier. It stars Emilia Jones as a CODA (child of deaf adults), the only member of a deaf family who can hear, and follows her struggles to strike a balance between her own life and her family’s fishing business.

Troy Kotsur, one of several deaf cast members, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, while the film’s third win went to Heder for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Streaming already accounts for nearly 80% of all consumer spending on home entertainment, and CODA‘s win reflects the growing importance of non-theatrical distribution in a world still battling the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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The night’s other big winner was Dune, which was intended for theaters but due to the pandemic wound up premiering on both the big screen and HBO Max in October 2021. The Denis Villeneuve-helmed sci-fi remake won six Oscars, more than any other film, but mostly in technical categories: Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, an Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer. A sequel is already in the works, tentatively slated for release in October 2023.

Among the major awards, Jane Campion won Best Director for The Power of the Dog, a Netflix film many observers felt was the frontrunner for Best Picture after leading all films with 12 nominations. It won just the single trophy.

Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Will Smith for King Richard, while Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, from Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures.

King Richard, about the father of tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, was released simultaneously to theaters and HBO Max in November 2021. The Eyes of Tammy Faye, about the flamboyant wife of televangelist and convicted fraudster Jim Bakker, also won Best Makeup and Hairstyling. The film was released theatrically in September and on Blu-ray Disc two months later. It became available for streaming on HBO Max in February 2022.

Ariana DeBose won Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story, Steven Spielberg’s remake of the 1957 Broadway musical about two rival New York City street gangs. The film was released theatrically in December 2021 and became available to stream on Disney+ and HBO Max on March 2. The film was released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 15. DeBose won for playing Anita, the same role for which Rita Moreno won the same award for playing in the 1961 movie adaptation.

Smith won the top acting award shortly after he jumped up on stage and smacked presenter Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopedia, an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to fall out. During his presentation of the Best Documentary Feature award, Rock compared Pinkett Smith — who has shaved her head — to Demi Moore in 1997’s G.I. Jane, saying he can’t wait to see her in G.I. Jane 2. Pinkett Smith gave him a sour look, while Smith at first smiled, but seconds later bounded up on stage.

After the altercation, Smith returned to his seat but shouted, twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

Rock ultimately handed the Documentary Feature statuette to Summer of Soul, a documentary directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The Searchlight Pictures release is available on DVD and to stream on Hulu. Best Documentary Short honors went to the 22-minute film The Queen of Basketball, about Lucy Harris, the first and only woman officially drafted into the NBA.

Among other major awards, Disney’s Encanto won Best Animated Feature. Best Original Screenplay honors went to Belfast, the British coming-of-age drama written and directed by Kenneth Branagh and released by Focus Features.

“No Time to Die,” from the James Bond movie of the same name, was hailed as Best Original Song. This marks the third win in a row for a Bond title song, following 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre (“Writing’s on the Wall”). The Bond movie franchise, which received a 60th anniversary tribute from the Academy (since the debut of Dr. No in 1962), is known for its iconic musical themes, but scored no song Oscars for its first 50 years.

The year’s Best International Feature was pegged by Academy voters to be Drive My Car, a  Japanese road film that also made Oscar history this year by being the first Japanese film to be nominated for Best Picture.

Best Costume Design honors went to Disney’s Cruella, while The Windshield Wiper was named Best Animated Short and The Long Goodbye won Best Live Action Short honors.

Samba TV Data: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Most Viewed, ‘Nightmare Alley’ Posts Biggest Post-Nom Viewership Jump Among Best Picture Oscar Contenders

Netflix’s Don’t Look Up has tallied the most views, while Nightmare Alley — streaming on both Hulu and HBO Max — has garnered the most views post nomination, according to a Samba TV analysis of the streaming patterns of films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Don’t Look Up has swept the others with nearly double the viewership of runner-up Dune since it premiered. The darkly comic satire has been viewed by 10.3 million households vs. 5.3 million households for the sci-fi film based on the Frank Herbert novel. (Note: Data does not take into account the fact that some titles were available for longer periods of time.)

CODA, streaming on Apple TV+, tallied the highest increase in percentage of viewership from pre-Oscar announcement to post, although it trailed in overall viewership.

Meanwhile, viewers in  Los Angeles, where many of the Oscar voters live, preferred West Side Story, which started streaming March 2 on HBO Max and Disney+.

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While Don’t Look Up has garnered the most views, only 6% of its views occurred post-nominations, while every other title clocked more than twice that percentage uptick (averaging 15%) during that time. 

“There is a tight race forming for this year’s best picture,” Cole Strain, Samba TV’s VP of measurement products, said in a statement. “While much of the media attention has focused on frontrunners like CODA and The Power of the Dog, if streaming audiences decided the winner, then we might be in for an upset for either Nightmare Alley, which has picked up streaming momentum since February, or Don’t Look Up, which has been streamed by more households than any other best picture nominee. If Academy voters who live in Los Angeles have their way, we might see another upset, as Los Angeles seems to have embraced West Side Story as the only movie to overindex in the market, perhaps giving Steven Spielberg the inside track to pick up another best picture win.”

Samba TV tracks 46 million addressable TV devices globally.

Whip Media: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Most-Viewed Best Picture Oscar Nominee

Netflix’s Don’t Look Up is the most-viewed Best Picture Academy Award nominee, according to data from Whip Media’s TV Time app.

Ahead of the Oscars March 27, Whip Media gathered data on the Best Picture nominees with the most views. 

The analysis is based on data insights from Whip’s TV Time app, which has 21 million registered users globally following their favorite shows and movies on the app. 

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The 10 Best Picture nominees ranked based on view share according to Whip Media’s TV Time app:

1. Don’t Look Up
2. Dune
3. West Side Story
4. Nightmare Alley
5. The Power of the Dog
6. King Richard
7. Licorice Pizza
8. CODA
9. Belfast
10. Drive My Car 

Fandango Survey: ‘Dune’ Top Best Picture Pick

Warner Bros.’ Dune was the top pick for Best Picture and for Best Adapted Screenplay in a Fandango consumer survey taken in anticipation of the 94th Academy Awards taking place March 27.

Fandango and Vudu surveyed more than 2,000 film fans, asking them which movies and performers are most deserving of Oscar’s top honors this year. Many of the awards contenders can be found on Fandango’s transactional VOD service Vudu at its curated awards section.

Among the other picks of those surveyed, “Spider-Man” vets Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!), Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog), and J.K. Simmons (Being the Ricardos) were chosen for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor, respectively, while Kristen Stewart (Spencer) was chosen as Best Actress.

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Steven Spielberg (West Side Story) was chosen as Best Director, Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast led for Best Original Screenplay, and Disney’s Encanto was the top choice for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Dos Oruguitas”).

Dune is grand-scale entertainment that marvelously transports you to another place and another time, introducing characters who are instantly memorable and a story that is unforgettable,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Fans love Dune the most because of its big ideas and its incredible visuals. This was very much a film that reminded audiences of the power of big-screen moviemaking, and deserves top honors.”

The Academy Awards air March 27 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC.

Oscar-Nominated ‘Parallel Mothers’ Headed to Digital March 22, Disc April 5

The Oscar-nominated Parallel Mothers, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar, will be released on digital March 22 and on Blu-ray and DVD April 5 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film has garnered nominations for Best Actress (Penelope Cruz) and Best Original Score (Alberto Iglesias).

In the film, two women, Janis and Ana, coincide in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and become pregnant by accident. Janis, middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana, an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized. Janis tries to encourage her while they move like sleepwalkers along hospital corridors. The few words they exchange in these hours will create a very close link between the two, which by chance develops and complicates, and changes their lives in a decisive way.

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David Lean Classics ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ Available in 4K Steelbooks June 7

Two David Lean classics, Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai, will be released in separate limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbooks June 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Both releases feature Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

Celebrating its 6oth anniversary and winner of seven Academy Awards — including Best Director for Lean and Best Picture of 1962 — Lawrence of Arabia stars Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence, the audacious World War I British army officer who heroically united rival Arab desert tribes and led them to war against the mighty Turkish Empire.

Special features on companion Blu-ray Discs include Peter O’Toole revisiting the film; making-of documentaries; and directors Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and William Friedkin reflecting on the film.

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Celebrating its 65th anniversary, Lean’s epic World War II adventure The Bridge on the River Kwai won seven 1957 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Director (Lean). In the film, when British POWs build a vital railway bridge in enemy-occupied Burma, Allied commandos are assigned to destroy it.

Special features include the “Crossing the Bridge: Picture-in-Picture Graphics Track”; a making-of documentary; “The Steve Allen Show” with William Holden and Guinness; The Bridge on the River Kwai premiere narrated by Holden; the “Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant” featurette; a USC short film introduced by Holden; an appreciation by filmmaker John Milius; a photo gallery; and theatrical trailers.

Oscar-Nominated Documentary ‘Writing With Fire’ Due on DVD April 26

The Indian feature Writing With Fire, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary, will be available on DVD April 26 from Music Box Films.

In the film, reporting from a social environment built to divide based on caste and gender, a fearless group of journalists maintain India’s only women-led news outlet. The women of Khabar Lahariya (“Waves of News”), all from the Dalit (“untouchables”) caste, prepare to transition the newspaper from print to digital even though many of their reporters don’t have access to electricity at home. Armed with smartphones, chief reporter Meera and her team of investigative journalists confront some of India’s biggest issues — exposing the relentless discrimination against women and amplifying the voices of those who suffer from the oppressive caste system.

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The film chronicles the astonishing determination of these local reporters as they empower each other and hold those responsible for injustice to account.

Bonus features include “Firemaking: The Story of Writing With Fire,” a filmmaker Q&A from the DOCNYC premiere, deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.

Apple to Re-Release Oscar-Nominated ‘CODA’ in Theaters for Free

Apple reportedly is set to re-release Oscar nominated movie CODA in select theaters Feb. 25-27 for free with screen captions.

CODA became the first motion picture starring a predominantly deaf cast in leading roles to receive a Best Picture nomination, and Troy Kotsur became the first deaf male actor to receive a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance.

Writer/director Siân Heder earned her first-ever Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

“Every so often, a film comes along that strikes a deep emotional chord for audiences who celebrate its win for humanity,” Matt Dentler, head of features at Apple, said in a media statement. “CODA does just that. Siân and the amazing cast and crew gave the world a gift with this film, and we are inspired to pass this gift on.”

The movie joins Apple’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, directed by Joel Coen, on this year’s list of the 10 movies nominated for an Oscar, including Best Picture, Best Actor Denzel Washington, Best Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel, and Best Production Design Stefan Dechant.

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“We applaud the visionaries in front of and behind the camera who brought CODA and The Tragedy of Macbeth to life, powerful films that connect story with humanity and will resonate with audiences for generations to come,” Zack Van Amburg, head of worldwide video at Apple, said last month.

The 94th Annual Academy Awards take place March 27 in Los Angeles.