Shot-in-Canada films 'Brooklyn,' 'Room' in best picture race

Canadian talent looms large at the Oscars this year, with the acclaimed shot-in-Canada co-productions "Brooklyn" and "Room" both going up against high-profile giants in the best picture battle.

See Full Article

The one-two punch marks a rare achievement for homegrown features. The last time a Canadian co-production competed for best film was 1982, when Louis Malle's "Atlantic City," a partnership with France, lost to "Chariots of Fire."

"Brooklyn" and "Room" face stiff competition -- this year's race is dominated by big-budget, star-packed titles including "The Big Short," "Bridge of Spies," "Mad Max: Fury Road," "The Martian," "The Revenant" and "Spotlight."

Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue picked up a best adapted screenplay nomination for "Room," based on her award-winning novel of the same name about a young boy held captive in a shed with his mother.

Filmed in Toronto, "Room" was a Canada-Ireland co-production that pooled creative, technical and financial resources.

"A lot of people in those two countries are thrilled to see this Canadian-Irish co-production manage to be up there in the big leagues with huge studio pictures," Donoghue said from Nice, France.

"It's just wonderful to see a fairly low-budget film, made mostly with state money, can do so well."

The period romance "Brooklyn," a Canada-U.K.-Ireland co-production largely shot in Montreal, stars Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman torn between two countries and two men.

Co-producer Pierre Even said he's thrilled to see Canadian talent compete head-to-head with bigger features, touting a cast and crew peppered with Montreal talent, including actresses Jessica Pare and Emily Bett Rickards.

"With successes like 'Room' and 'Brooklyn' it brings back a lot of marketability for Canadian films and Canadian crews and Canadian industry," Even said from Montreal.

U.K.-based producers Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey are listed as the filmmakers who would get a trophy if "Brooklyn" wins.

But Even said that doesn't take away from the achievements of Canadian artists.

"It's important that Telefilm continues to support these types of projects," he said.

"It will help us as producers and creators to get more jobs and to do more business in the future."

Telefilm, the Crown corporation in charge of promoting and developing the Canadian film industry, said it provided $4,518,881 to "Room" for production and marketing efforts, while "Brooklyn" got $3,227,904.

"We know that co-production is something that, when it's done right, works amazingly well and I think these are two success stories that we should be very proud of," Telefilm executive director Carolle Brabant said from Toronto.

"Room" producer David Gross said co-productions are a necessity these days.

"The films have gotten too expensive, there's not enough money here to really just exist inside of Canada so it's forced producers to take a more global outlook," he said from Toronto, adding that partnerships also open a film up to foreign markets.

"Spotlight," meanwhile, has its own share of Cancon thanks to the involvement of Toronto-born executive producer Michael Bederman, who was instrumental in getting much of the interior newsroom and courthouse scenes shot in Toronto and Hamilton.

"The Revenant" boasts strong Canadian ties, too, with much of the film having been shot in Alberta and British Columbia. It features a heavy contingent of local background performers and technical talent, several of whom earned nominations in categories including sound mixing, visual effects, production design, and makeup and hairstyling.

Bederman said he spent the morning texting "Spotlight" writer/director Tom McCarthy, writer Josh Singer and Canadian actress Rachel McAdams, who scored a best supporting actress nomination.

Although the story is set in Boston, the Toronto-born filmmaker touted the many Canadian connections to the film.

"Ninety-five per cent of our crew are Toronto locals and they were fantastic," Bederman said from New York, where he now lives.

"There does seem to be a unique Canadian perspective that filmmakers have and creative people have that seems to fit in very well with American sensibilities."

This year's Academy Awards show, to be hosted by Chris Rock, is on Feb. 28.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • For a more diverse Oscars, Hollywood must go back to high school

    Entertainment CBC News
    With a few flicks of a makeup brush, a few dabs of red, a swirl of brown, Donald Mowat transforms the young man from a student into a victim. "It looks like something happened to him and he's just now going home to tell his momma about it," jokes a student, one of the dozen or so in the class crowded around Mowat. Source
  • The Oscars, 'The Voice,' 'MasterChef Canada' and 'Taken' top this week’s TV must-sees

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bill Harris' TV must-sees for the week of Feb. 26 1. Academy Awards Live Okay, does this finally mark the end of awards season? I think I was a fresh-faced teenager back when it began. But one thing we all know for sure? As much attention as actors get, they always deserve more. Source
  • Oscars 2017: What you need to know for tonight's show

    Entertainment CBC News
    They've tallied the votes, gilded those giant Oscar statues and rolled out the red carpet. Fans of film, frocks and famous faces will turn their eyes to Hollywood tonight for the 89th annual Academy Awards. CBC News will be following the events as they unfold on our live blog, starting at 6 p.m. Source
  • Moonlight cleans up at Indie Spirit Awards

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Moonlight, Barry Jenkins’ moving chronicle of a black man struggling with his sexual identity from youth to adulthood, cleaned up at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday afternoon, taking home six trophies. Source
  • 'Moonlight' sweeps Spirit Awards; Affleck wins best actor

    Entertainment CTV News
    SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Sunday might be dominated by "La La Land," but Saturday belonged to "Moonlight." Barry Jenkins' luminous coming-of-age tale swept Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards, taking home six awards including best feature. Source
  • 'Batman vs Superman' and anti-Clinton doc tie at Razzies

    Entertainment CTV News
    The rivals won four "Razzies" each for their poor acting, writing and directing, although it was "Batman" that walked away with the spray-painted trophy for "worst picture." "It all came down to two decidedly different examples of cinematic sludge: The $250 million comic book oop-us 'Batman v Superman' and the faux right wing 'documentary' 'Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,'" a statement from the Razzies read. Source
  • 'Hillary's America,' 'Batman v Superman' top Razzies

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Neither Batman nor Dinesh D'Souza could finagle their way out of a Razzie. The annual Golden Raspberry Awards bestowed a tying four "honours" to both D'Souza's documentary "Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party" and the superhero blockbuster "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Source
  • Foreign nominees bash Trump's travel ban on eve of Oscars

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- One day after the Oscar-nominated directors of foreign language films issued an unprecedented joint statement decrying what they say is a climate of fascism, five of them gathered Saturday at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to put the focus back on their work. Source
  • 'Arrival' director feeling high hopes but no pressure ahead of Oscar night

    Entertainment CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Denis Villeneuve is certainly crossing his fingers for "Arrival" to become an Oscar winner on Sunday, but the Quebec filmmaker says he won't be disappointed even if he walks away empty-handed. "I would love to win, and I hope we win one or two, that would be fantastic," Villeneuve told The Canadian Press on Saturday. Source
  • Celebrities launch pot brands as California legalizes drug

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Country singer Willie Nelson, the children of the late reggae icon Bob Marley and comedian Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the growing number of celebrities publicly jumping into the marijuana industry and eyeing the California pot market, which is expected to explode after voters legalized the recreational use of weed. Source