Ten Documentary Oscar Contenders That Debuted at Sundance ... Palm Springs Film Fest: Rosamund Pike Lands Breakthrough Honor for ‘Gone Girl’ ... Marion Cotillard’s Curious Career ... Watch Jennifer Aniston Confront Sam Worthington in ‘Cake’ (Exclusive Video) ... Levity is Rare in Oscar Nominees ... New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander Performs ‘You Get What You Give’ for First Time in 15 Years ... Palm Springs Film Fest: J.K. Simmons Nabs Spotlight Award for ‘Whiplash’ ... Three Oscar Contenders Head to Broadway ...
Countdown to Oscars

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ten Documentary Oscar Contenders That Debuted at Sundance


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Voting ends today for the Academy’s documentary branch who must narrow the list of 134 documentaries vying for a spot in the Oscar race to a shortlist of 15 films, which will be released in December. Of the 15 films, five Oscar nominees will be chosen in January.

Though a number of film festivals, such as the Savannah Film Fest, are becoming documentary hotspots, a number of Oscar-nominated documentaries premiere at the Sundance Film Festival each year. In the 21st century, seven of the Oscar winners have debuted in Utah: Born into Brothels (2004), March of the Penguins (2005), An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Man on Wire (2008), The Cove (2009), Searching for Sugar Man (2012) and 20 Feet from Stardom (2013).

The rest of the documentary winners were unveiled in the states (2000’s Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport and 2001’s Murder on Sunday Morning) and at the Cannes, (2002’s Bowling for Columbine, 2003’s The Fog of War and 2010’s Inside Job), South by Southwest (2011’s Undefeated) and Tribeca (2007’s Taxi to the Dark Side) film fests.

Ten of this year’s top documentary contenders made their debuts at Sundance:

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Palm Springs Film Fest: Rosamund Pike Lands Breakthrough Honor for ‘Gone Girl’


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Rosamund Pike, the British blonde beauty whose performance in David Fincher’Gone Girl has blown away critics and moviegoers alike, will receive this year’s Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s 26th annual PSIFF Awards Gala on Jan. 3. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Marion Cotillard’s Curious Career


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Seven years after winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose (2007), Marion Cotillard could land a second nomination for her role in Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit), which is Belgium’s Oscar submission. She was also in 2013 Cannes selection The Immigrant, which was released in May of this year. Since La Vie en Rose, Cotillard has mainly worked on small indie films both inside and outside of America, with the exception of Christopher Nolan‘s Inception (2010) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Watch Jennifer Aniston Confront Sam Worthington in ‘Cake’ (Exclusive Video)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Daniel Barnz’s new film, Cake, features Jennifer Aniston and Sam Worthington as a friend and husband, respectively, of a woman (Anna Kendrick) whose decision to commit suicide haunts each of them and brings them together.

They come together in part through this particular scene, a clip of which The Hollywood Reporter is exclusively debuting.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Levity is Rare in Oscar Nominees


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Serious contenders in the Oscar race tend to be depressing, and this year’s pool is no different. That’s not to say that every film lacks humor, but those who do go for laughs often still tend to be dark and bleak, with glimpses of lightheartedness. If voting Academy members are looking to view screeners with some levity during the holiday season, they’ll have to turn to films such as Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and animated features like DreamWorks’ How to Train Your Dragon 2, Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Movie.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander Performs ‘You Get What You Give’ for First Time in 15 Years


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Gregg Alexander, the frontman for the 1990s band The New Radicals who left the public eye for 15 years before returning to it as a co-writer of the songs on the soundtrack to John Carney’s indie Begin Again, surprised guests at The Hollywood Reporter‘s post-Hollywood Film Awards party on Friday evening with only his second public performance in the last 15 years. (His first came earlier this month at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, at which he also took home a prize.)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Palm Springs Film Fest: J.K. Simmons Nabs Spotlight Award for ‘Whiplash’


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

In recognition of his acclaimed performance as a sadistic music instructor in this year’s indie hit Whiplash, J.K. Simmons, the veteran character actor, will receive this year’s Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s 26th annual PSIFF Awards Gala on Jan. 3. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Three Oscar Contenders Head to Broadway


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Several Oscar contenders are heading to New York and the Broadway stage as the Oscar season progresses in Hollywood. With projects on both coasts, these contenders could score both Tony and Oscar nominations during the upcoming awards season.

Director Bob Fosse won two Tony Awards and an Oscar in 1973. The two Tonys were for direction and choreography for Pippin and the Oscar was for directing Cabaret. Director Stephen Daldry won an Oscar for The Reader and a Tony for Billy Elliot the Musical in 2009.

Five actresses have won both awards in the same year: Shirley Booth won a Tony for The Time of the Cuckoo and an Oscar for Come Back, Little Sheba in 1953; Audrey Hepburn won a Tony for Ondine and an Oscar for Roman Holiday in 1954; Ellen Burstyn won a Tony for Same Time, Next Year and an Oscar for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in 1975; Mercedes Ruehl won a Tony for Lost in Yonkers and an Oscar for The Fisher King in 1991; and Judi Dench won a Tony for Amy’s View and an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love in 1999.

But depending on how well-reviewed the performances are, the projects could have a bearing on Oscar chances for Bradley Cooper, Jake Gyllenhaal and Emma Stone, three Oscar contenders making their way to Broadway.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Giusseppe Tornatore Reflects on ‘Cinema Paradiso’ 25 Years After Its Oscar Win


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

1989: it’s not only a Taylor Swift album, but also the year that changed Giuseppe Tornatore’s life. That much became clear when I sat down with the 58-year-old Italian filmmaker — who is best known for directing Cinema Paradiso, a semi-autobiographical film about a young cinephile which won the Cannes Film Festival’s grand jury prize and the best foreign language film Oscar in that final year of the eighties — last week at a hotel in Beverly Hills.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Some Actors Could Make the Difficult Transition from TV Actor to Oscar Nominee


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

The transition from television star to cinematic award-winner is often difficult. Where actors in feature films tend to be regarded as prestigious, the actors you catch on a television show every week become almost like friends and are more relatable. This personal appeal can hinder prospective Oscar chances, as TV actors are denigrated as being less-than qualified for the statues than their featured peers.

Some 21st century exceptions to the rule include George Clooney, who rose to fame as Dr. Doug Ross on NBC’s ER, is now a two-time Oscar winner, one for his supporting role in 2005’s Syriana and the other for best picture for 2012’s Argo; Jennifer Lawrence, who starred as the oldest daughter on The Bill Engvall Show before it ended in 2009, is now a three-time Oscar nominee, winning once for her lead role in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook; Melissa Leo, whose breakout role was as detective Kay Howard in Homicide: Life on the Street, won an Oscar for 2010’s The Fighter; Judi Dench, whose first starring film role as Queen Victoria in 1997’s Mrs. Brown earned her the first of seven Oscar nominations, one of which she won for 1998’s Shakespeare in Love; Will Smith, who was well-known for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has been nominated for two Oscars; Jamie Foxx, whose own show The Jamie Foxx Show ran for five years, won an Oscar for 2004’s Ray; Ryan Gosling, who was part of Disney’s The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, was nominated for 2006’s Half Nelson; and James Franco, whose breakout role was in Freaks and Geeks, received an Oscar nomination for 2010’s 127 Hours.

Though it can be more difficult for actors who start on television to gain the Academy’s seal of approval, a number of contenders for the upcoming Academy Awards may join the group of exceptions.

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