AFI Fest boasts the best in world cinema

AFI Fest boasts the best in world cinema
Dave Franco and James Franco in "The Disaster Artist," playing at AFI Fest. (A24 Films)

The AFI Fest is in full swing. The Governors Awards are coming this weekend. And Christopher Plummer might end up getting an Oscar campaign.

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.


I'm Glenn Whipp, The Times' awards columnist and your newsletter host.

AFI Fest offers moviegoers a vital destination

The annual AFI Fest opened last night with Dee Rees' excellent "Mudbound" and will offer other high-profile awards-season contenders including "The Disaster Artist" and "Call Me By Your Name." (Ridley Scott's thriller "All the Money in the World" was also scheduled, but was pulled in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Kevin Spacey, one of its stars.)

Times film critic Justin Chang offers his guide to the annual Hollywood festival here, noting that its emphasis on world cinema makes it a treasure for adventurous moviegoers. If you're in the area, his story offers a great guide to the event.

Kate Winslet stars in "Wonder Wheel."
Kate Winslet stars in "Wonder Wheel." (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The 'Wonder' of Winslet + Why this Oscar season Is different

The first print edition of The Envelope published Thursday. It included another round with Kate Winslet, who's starring in Woody Allen's "Wonder Wheel," due Dec. 1.

In an earlier story, Winslet offered a powerful explanation as to why she didn't thank Harvey Weinstein when she won an Oscar for "The Reader." You can read that feature here. In the latest piece, she talks about raising her children, being bullied as a girl and why she initially thought she couldn't make "Wonder Wheel." You can read that cover story here.

I also wrote a column about why the conversation this Oscar season won't be about the awards. You can read that piece here.

The Envelope Screening Series also continues. At the latest event, Times senior writer Jeffrey Fleishman, who served as bureau chief for the paper in Cairo and Berlin, talks to Bobak Kalhor, director of the documentary "A Dying King: The Shah of Iran."

Honorary Oscar recipient Agnes Varda.
Honorary Oscar recipient Agnes Varda. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Governors Awards honors four movie greats

The motion picture academy will host its annual Governors Awards on Saturday, honoring actor Donald Sutherland, writer-director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Owen Roizman and director Agnès Varda.

Times film critic Justin Chang talked to Varda in advance of the event. You can read his insightful interview here. And Times film writer Tre'vell Anderson had a great conversation with Burnett, which you can read here.

I'll be attending the event Saturday, and you can follow the Times' coverage this weekend on our website and in the print edition of Monday's paper.

One academy member who probably won't be in the room is Christopher Plummer, who will be replacing Kevin Spacey in "All the Money in the World." Director Ridley Scott aims to reshoot all of Spacey's scenes — he played J. Paul Getty in the film — with Plummer and still make the Dec. 22 release date. It's a bold move and the publicity (and, likely, the performance) could catapult Plummer into the Oscar race.


You can read about the movie's recasting here. Times' writers Josh Rottenberg and Yvonne Villarreal write about Spacey's stunning downfall here.


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Twitter: @glennwhipp