It is not an everyday event that the President of the United States tells Americans to go to the movies, but that is what President Barack Obama did two weeks ago. He was reacting to online threats from a group of hackers against theaters that planned to show the movie, “The Interview.”
North Korea had protested the humor film, which is about an imaginary plot to murder the country’s president, Kim Jong Un. On December 17, Sony Pictures cancelled its plan to release the movie December 25. Most major theaters in the country had already announced they would not show the film because of the safety concerns.
Sony Pictures received sharp criticism following its cancellation announcement. Many of the critics accused the company of surrendering to attempts to suppress free speech.
Earlier this week, Sony announced a new plan. It said it would permit the movie to be shown in a small number of theaters.
Even with a limited release, “The Interview” might be the biggest movie of 2014. It surely received the most coverage in the media. It might make a considerable profit if the film ever sees wider release.
But, what about the 2014 movies people did get to see? Which sold the most tickets? Was there a critical favorite? And which are likely to be favored with major American movie prizes?
At this time, the biggest ticket seller of 2014 is the children’s movie “Guardians of the Galaxy.” So far, it has sold more than $330 million worth of tickets. The movie is based on a super-heroes comic book series that began in 1969.
“Guardians” had a large cast that included Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Vince Diesel and Glenn Close. The movie tells the story of Peter Quill, a young boy kidnapped by space aliens. Years later, he is known as Star-Lord and forms a group of superheroes to save the galaxy from evil.
The movie “Boyhood” did not sell hundreds of millions of dollars in tickets. But, most top critics praised the independent movie. The film’s unusual creation process also received a lot of attention.
Director Richard Linklater filmed “Boyhood” over an 11-year period. It follows the life of a boy from age six to 18. Ellar Coltrane was six years old when he began to play the main character, Mason Evans. The website Internet Movie Database notes that Coltrane grew almost 70 centimeters in height during the movie’s production. He turned 20 years old in August of this year.
When the movie opens, Mason is living with his mother and sister in Texas. The movie follows Mason’s changes as his mother moves the family and marries; as Mason begins to have an interest in girls; and his first experiences with alcohol and drug use. It explores how Mason relates to family members as time passes and situations change.
New York Times movie reviewer Manohla Dargis called “Boyhood” a “model of cinematic realism.” She wrote: “There are many reasons to love movies, from the stories they tell, to the beautiful characters who live and die for us. And yet the story in “Boyhood” is blissfully simple: A child grows up.”
“Boyhood” already has won many film awards. But the biggest may be in the future. The Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, or Oscars, are generally considered the highest movie awards in America. The Oscar nominees have not yet been announced. But the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has named “Boyhood” a 2015 Golden Globe nominee for best drama.
It competes with several strong movies, including the historical drama “Selma.” Ava DuVernay directed that movie about the 1965 civil rights marches for voting rights in America led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
British actor David Oyelowo plays King. He gained about 13 kilograms and temporarily lost his natural accent, for the part. The Hollywood Foreign Press honored Oyelowo with a best actor nomination for his portrayal of the civil rights leader.
The Hollywood Foreign Press will present the 2015 Golden Globes in a televised ceremony from Los Angeles, California, on January 11. The Golden Globes are often seen as a predictor of winners of Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its Oscar nominees on January 15.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Caty Weaver wrote this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
cast – n. the actors in a play, film, or television show
drama – n. a play, movie, television show, or radio show that is about a serious subject and is not meant to make the audience laugh
portrayal – n. the way in which an actor plays a character
accent – n. a way of pronouncing words that occurs among the people in a particular region or country