Friday, April 19, 2024

Oscars 2019 Ramp Up: “This Is Us” Creator Dan Fogelman Getting Early Raves for “Life Itself”– 50% of it in Spanish!


Here’s a combo for next year’s Oscars– Amazon Pictures and Dan Fogelman, the creator of network TV’s only drama hit, “This is Us.”

I’m getting word this week that Fogelman’s feature film, called “Life Itself”– not to be confused with the Roger Ebert doc of a couple of seasons ago– is sensational. Oscar Isaac and Antonio Banderas lead a big cast that includes cameos from Samuel L. Jackson, among others.

The big news is that according to my spies, half of “Life Itself” is spoken in Spanish!

Amazon will release this feature in late September, launching from a big premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. This should be around the time “This is Us” starts its 3rd season on NBC.

Like the TV show, the movie is also “full of tears,” says a spy. “There’s a lot of death and talk about death,” they say. Fogelman knows how to make a ‘three-hanky’ picture that’s for sure.

No one has mentioned a cameo from Sterling K. Brown, this year’s ubiquitous award winner from “This is Us.” But “Life Itself” is said to cut back and forth in time like the TV show, making the viewer guess how everyone is related. (Maybe Antonio is Oscar’s dad!)

For Amazon, “Life Itself” will try and wipe out the memory of last fall’s good tries but commercial failures from Todd Haynes, Woody Allen, and Richard Linklater.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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