‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Harvey Weinstein (The Weinstein Co.) ... Meet the Oscar-Winning (Twice!) Rabbi Whose Blessing Hollywood Seeks Each Awards Season ... Looking Ahead to the 89th Academy Awards’ Possible Contenders ... A Sweep in Below-the-Line Categories Could Lead to Best Pic and Best Director Oscars for ‘Mad Max’ ... Lack of Best Screenplay Nomination May Spell Defeat for ‘The Revenant’ in Best Pic Category ... ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Sandy Powell (‘Carol,’ ‘Cinderella’) ... Netflix and HBO Battle for Documentary and Short Film Crown at Oscars ... Scripter Win Solidifies Oscar-Frontrunner Status for ‘Big Short’ Screenplay (Analysis) ...
Countdown to Oscars

Friday, February 26, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Harvey Weinstein (The Weinstein Co.)

The 63-year-old Weinstein Co. co-chief opens up about his life, work and topics he's rarely discussed: being partially blinded in a childhood accident, the sudden death of his father, his days as an assistant, why he cares about Oscars and #OscarsSoWhite.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“We did not think it was a Francois Truffaut movie about adolescence,” Harvey Weinstein, the co-chief of The Weinstein Co., says of the 1959 film The 400 Blows, the first art house picture he ever saw, with his brother Bob and other friends, back when he was a kid growing up in the projects of Flushing, New York. “We thought it was about something else completely, something we were lacking in a huge way,” he adds with a laugh. Harvey and Bob’s friends, who were accustomed to popular movies like Hercules, left after French subtitles appeared, but Harvey, now 63, and Bob, now 61, stuck around — and have been associated with art house movies ever since.

(Click below to listen to this episode now or click here to access all of our episodes via iTunes. Past guests include Steven Spielberg,Lady Gaga, Will Smith, Amy Schumer, Samuel L. Jackson, Kristen Stewart, J.J. Abrams, Brie Larson, Ridley Scott, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Sarah Silverman, Michael Moore, Benicio Del Toro andLily Tomlin.)

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Meet the Oscar-Winning (Twice!) Rabbi Whose Blessing Hollywood Seeks Each Awards Season

Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of L.A.'s Simon Wiesenthal Center and its Museum of Tolerance, caters to industry Jews and gentiles alike as they navigate life (Will Smith once called him on Christmas Eve) and, of course, an even higher calling: awards season.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It looks more like Ari Gold’s office than an Orthodox rabbi’s. There are framed photographs on the wall of the Jewish leader with scores of movie stars (two with Elizabeth Taylor!) as well as pictures with prime ministers, popes and several presidents (Reagan, Clinton, both Bushes,Obama). But the real surprise is on display behind a glass case: twin Oscar statuettes.

Obviously, Marvin Hier is no ordinary Talmudist.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Looking Ahead to the 89th Academy Awards’ Possible Contenders

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

This Sunday the 88th Academy Awards will take place in Hollywood, CA and honor the year’s best films and filmmakers. The long race of awards season is finally coming to an end and what has been an exceptionally close race for best picture will finally be decided.

However, just because this year’s race is winding down is no reason to look ahead to next year’s Oscars, as a number of contenders are already emerging as realistic contenders for the 89th Academy Awards next year.

Here’s the films to look out for come 2017’s Oscar season.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

A Sweep in Below-the-Line Categories Could Lead to Best Pic and Best Director Oscars for ‘Mad Max’

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Mad Max: Fury Road is earned 10 nominations from the Academy, the second most this year trailing only The Revenant, which has 11. While Mad Max is up for a number of the night’s bigger awards, including best picture and best director for George Miller, its nominations in may below-the-line categories is where the film is likely to score most of its Oscar wins.

Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, Miller’s stylistic action-adventure flick is the likely frontrunner for best costume design, production design, and film editing this year. While the film may be a darkhorse for best picture, a win in all three of those categories could help sway the vote in its favor, as history has shown.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Lack of Best Screenplay Nomination May Spell Defeat for ‘The Revenant’ in Best Pic Category

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

This year’s best picture race is one of the tightest in recent memory, with frontrunners The RevenantThe Big Short, and Spotlight all jockeying for the Academy’s big prize. Some bolder predictors may even see hope for George Miller’s action epic, Mad Max: Fury Road.

In a competition this stiff it’s often a good idea to take a look back at history to try and glean out some details that may make the image clearer. One such statistic that may shed light on this year’s best pic winner lies in the history of the best screenplay categories, both adapted and original, which may spell defeat for director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s Western, The Revenant.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Sandy Powell (‘Carol,’ ‘Cinderella’)

The 55-year-old Brit, who is famous for her research and attention to detail, already has three Oscars to her name. Only four costume designers have more.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“As far back as I can remember I loved clothes,” Sandy Powell, the great costume designer — Oscar-nominated this year for both Carol and Cinderella — tells me as we sit down to record an episode of the ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. Should Powell win for one film or the other, the 55-year-old Brit, who has 12 Oscar noms to her name, would join four legends of her profession —Edith Head, Irene Sharaff, Charles LeMaire and Milena Canonero — as the only costume designers ever awarded four or more Oscars. (Her three wins, thus far, came for 1998’s Shakespeare in Love, 2004’s The Aviator and 2009’s The Young Victoria.)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Netflix and HBO Battle for Documentary and Short Film Crown at Oscars

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Netflix’s push into the world of feature films this year has been much publicized, but the streaming giant has also been making waves in a few other categories at this year’s Academy Awards.

Not only are two of this year’s best documentary feature nominees, What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire, produced by Netflix, a number of short film nominees are being distributed by the network. Documentary short Last Day of Freedom as well as the animated short, World of Tomorrow, are all streaming on Netflix.

This major push by Netflix is aimed at the established big name in small-screen, HBO. The cable network boasts three Oscar-nominated shorts, documentary shorts Body Team 12, Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, and A Girl in the River, this year.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Scripter Win Solidifies Oscar-Frontrunner Status for ‘Big Short’ Screenplay (Analysis)

The last five winners of this award, which celebrates adapted screenplays and the written works that inspired them, went on to win the best adapted screenplay Oscar.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Big Short‘s win at Saturday night’s 28th USC Scripter Awards — an event, hosted by the USC Libraries, that honors the screenwriters of the year’s “most accomplished cinematic adaptations” as well as the authors of the “written work upon which the screenplay is based” — is a big deal.

Why is an award show hosted in a library — granted, not just any library, but USC’s majestic Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library — relevant to the Oscar race? Because the selection committee that determines its nominees and winner — now winners, since they also present an award for TV — includes many of the same people and sorts of people who vote for the Oscars, the 88th edition of which will take place on Feb. 28.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

‘Fury Road’ Going Further Than Any Other ‘Mad Max’ Film

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Director George Miller is up for his first best directing Oscar this year for the fourth installment in his post-apocalyptic action-adventure series, Mad Max. While the films essentially put Miller on the map as a director, they are far from what one would traditionally consider Oscar fare.

This year, however, Mad Max: Fury Road has racked up the second most nominations of any film, second only to The Revenant, with 10 total nominations, including best picture. Not surprisingly, the film is the first in the series to earn a single nomination and is likely the favorite to win in many of the below-the-line categories, such as film editing and make-up design.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oscars: Your Essential Guide to the Short Film Categories (Analysis)

THR's awards analyst offers his take on the prospects for each of this year's animated short, documentary short and live action short nominees.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Oscar pools can be won or lost on the shorts categories. There are three of them: best animated short, best documentary short and best live action short. Few people, in or out of the Academy, watch all five nominees in these categories. This is not for lack of effort on the part of the Academy, which sends copies to every member, or Shorts HD, which distributes them in select art house theaters. It’s just that most people have limited time and/or desire to see films about which they know little in advance.

So how does one predict winners in these categories? One has to know what is likeliest to appeal to the people who do watch the shorts, based on past history. And one has to know what is likeliest to appeal to the people who don’t watch the shorts but decide to vote for something anyway, of which I assure you there are more than a few.

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