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.


Latest Entertainment News

  • Sting to perform, receive honour at American Music Awards

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Sting will hit the stage at the American Music Awards next month, and the icon will receive a special honour for his successful career. Dick Clark Productions said Monday that Sting will receive The American Music Award of Merit on Nov. Source
  • The Walking Dead premiere reveals Negan's victim

    Entertainment CBC News
    SPOILER ALERT: Story contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere The Walking Dead has returned with a bloody bang as the victim of bat-wielding bad guy Negan was revealed in the seventh season's premiere. Source
  • Director Tim Miller quits 'Deadpool 2' over issues with Ryan Reynolds

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Director Tim Miller has left Deadpool 2 after creative differences with the movie’s star, Ryan Reynolds. Miller, who directed Deadpool, has parted ways with film studio Fox after butting heads with Reynolds over certain issues relating to the sequel, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Source
  • Bob Dylan called 'arrogant' by Nobel Prize member

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Bob Dylan’s failure to acknowledge his Nobel Prize for literature is “impolite and arrogant”, according to a member of the prize-giving body. The 75-year-old singer became the first songwriter to be awarded the prize last week, when the Nobel panel experts praised him for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Source
  • Actress Shailene Woodley faces January trial in pipeline protest

    Entertainment CTV News
    MANDAN, N.D. -- Actress Shailene Woodley is to stand trial in North Dakota early next year on charges related to her protest against the Dakota Access pipeline. Woodley was among 27 activists arrested Oct. Source
  • Paris exhibition explores fashion's shocks and scandals through the ages

    Entertainment CTV News
    The French capital's Musée des Arts Décoratifs explores scandals and transgressions in clothing from the 14th century to the present day in an exhibition entitled "Tenue correcte exigée, quand le vêtement fait scandale" (Appropriate dress required: when clothing causes a scandal), from December 1, 2016, to April 23, 2017. Source
  • Justin Bieber storms off stage over screaming girls

    Entertainment CTV News
    Pop star Justin Bieber apparently doesn't always like the sound of screaming girls at his concerts. Bieber lost his patience in a bizarre moment on stage Sunday in Manchester, when he tossed the microphone away and walked off amid boos from his fans. Source
  • Watch Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn dance to Beyonce's 'Formation'

    Entertainment CTV News
    What do you do if you've got some down time on the film set you're shooting with Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack? When you're Amy Schumer, you shoot a parody music video to Beyonce's "Formation. Source
  • DJ Khaled and fiancee welcome baby boy on Snapchat

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- It's a boy for music producer DJ Khaled and his fiancee Nicole Tuck, who welcomed their first child into the world early Sunday morning. Khaled chronicled the birth in a series of snapchats showing the inside of the delivery room where he can be heard telling the doctor that "it's go time. Source
  • Shakespeare will share credit for Henry VI plays with Marlowe

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON — Oxford University Press says its new edition of William Shakespeare's works will co-credit Christopher Marlowe on the three Henry VI plays. The decision announced Monday for the upcoming edition comes after a team of scholars using modern analytical methods revisited the question of whether Shakespeare collaborated with others. Source