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McConaughey on top of his game What’s next for acting Oscar winners

LOS ANGELES, March 6, (RTRS): As expected, Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey took home Oscars in the lead acting categories on Sunday, while Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o were honored by the Academy for supporting roles. So when will we see them again? Nyong’o, who played tormented slave Patsey in Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave,” is already back on the big screen with a small role as a flight attendant in Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop.” Her future appears to be bright, but is a out of focus at the moment, since she isn’t officially attached to any other projects. At least those who still haven’t gotten around to seeing her subtle, raw and painful performance in Steve McQueen’s acclaimed drama will get a second shot when Fox Searchlight expands “12 Years” theatrical distribution this weekend.

Leto, the rock star who returned to acting after a long hiatus to play a transgender HIV sufferer in “Dallas Buyers Club,” also hasn’t decided on another film project just yet. His band, 30 Seconds to Mars, announced on Tuesday that it would be embarking on a 25-city national tour with Linkin Park and AFI. The “Carnivores Tour” kicks off on Aug. 8 in West Palm Beach, FL. Blanchett, who won her second Oscar for playing an alcoholic socialite in the middle of a mental breakdown in Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine,” has plenty ahead, including her directorial debut. Starting June 13, audiences can hear her voice in DreamWork’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” in which she plays the long-lost mother of viking dragon rider Hiccup (Jay Barachel).

The 44-year-old actress also has roles in two upcoming Terrence Malick (“Tree of Life”) films: “Knight of Cups,” and an untitled drama about two intersecting love triangles set against the music scene in Austin. Providing she doesn’t get cut, at least. Blanchett has played royal Elf Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth since “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” and she’ll be back for the final installment of the “Hobbit” trilogy, “There and Back Again,” which hits theaters on Dec 17.

Blockbuster 
Blanchett has a larger role in another potential blockbuster, “Cinderalla” — director Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale about a servant girl who enchants a prince with the help of a Fairy Godmother. Prepare for one of Blanchett’s cruelest performances yet, as she will play Cinderalla’s spiteful stepmother, Lady Tremaine. Disney is releasing the live-action film on March 13 in 2015. That’s not all for Blanchett, either. She leads the cast of David Mamet’s “Blackbird,” a thriller about a woman who travels to Los Angeles for the funeral of her Hollywood VXF artist grandfather, whose well-kept secrets put her life in danger. She’ll also star as the title character in Todd Haynes’ romantic drama “Carol.”
 
Last, but not least, Blanchett has also decided to make her directorial debut with a psychological thriller called “The Dinner.”Oren Moverman (“The Messenger”) is adapting Herman Koch’s bestselling 2009 novel, which concerns the lengths some parents will go to protect their children. Blanchett has not yet decided if she’ll pull double duty as the star of the film, as well. After starring in a stellar string of dramas, including “Killer Joe,” “Mud,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” and HBO’s “True Detective,” first time Oscar winner McConaughey is on the top of his game. He’ll follow-up the best year of his career with Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated 2014 science fiction film, “Interstellar.” McConaughey leads a group of explorers making use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
 
Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, Casey Affleck and Wes Bentley are among McConaughey’s co-stars, although it’s not clear what role they all play, since plot details are vague and the first teaser was ambiguous. In a continued effort to leave his days as a shirtless rom-com leading man behind, the 44-year-old movie star also decided to board Gus Van Sant’s suicide drama, “Sea of Trees.” McConaughey will star opposite Ken Watanabe as an American who wanders into the infamous “Suicide Forest” at the foothills of Mount Fuji with the intention of taking his own life. When he is interrupted by a Japanese man (Watanabe) who has had second thoughts about his own suicide, both begin a journey of reflection and survival as they try to find their way out of the forest.

Also:
LOS ANGELES: “Kill the Messenger,” a thriller about the CIA’s Central American cocaine connection starring Jeremy Renner, will be released on Oct 10, Focus Features said Wednesday. It’s based on the true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, who’s reporting leads to allegations that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the US, and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. He becomes the target of a smear campaign that threatens his career, family and life. Michael Cuesta (TV’s “Homeland”) directs a cast that includes Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Barry Pepper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Paz Vega and Oliver Platt. It’s written by Peter Landesman and based on the book of the same name by Nick Schou as well as Webb’s book “Dark Alliance.” It’s Renner’ first film as a producer. That release date will put it up against Disney’s family film “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” Sony’s Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview” and Warner Bros’ Robert Downey J.-Robert Duvall drama “The Judge.”

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