Edgier Films Do Well in Best Original Screenplay Category at the Oscars ... FEINBERG FORECAST: The Oscar Landscape Post-Hamptons, Pre-AFI ... Could ‘Birdman’ Join These 10 Best Picture Nominees About Show Business? ... Watch the Trailer for Mauritania’s First-Ever Oscar Submission ‘Timbuktu’ (Exclusive) ... ‘Birdman’ Swoops Into Theaters, Will Attempt to Fly All the Way to Oscars With Clipped Wings ... Misty Upham Confirmed Dead: Family Identifies Body, Meryl Streep and Melissa Leo Express Grief ... Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to Be Honored for Service to Greater LA (Exclusive) ... Laura Poitras on Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour,’ Possibility the Fugitive Will Return to U.S. ...
Countdown to Oscars

Monday, October 20, 2014

Edgier Films Do Well in Best Original Screenplay Category at the Oscars


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Justin Simien’s feature debut Dear White People is a satirical comedy that deals with intra- and interrace relations at a fictional Ivy League university after a group of white students throw a “black-themed” party. The film — which has been critically acclaimed and holds a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes — opened this weekend in limited release, receiving an average of $31,273 from 11 theaters. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival. Simien, who wrote and directed the film, used to work on studio publicity and is now getting his own Oscar campaign from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, the distributors for Dear White People. The film covers social issues that people often choose not to acknowledge and does so in a smart, humorous way. Though these types of films may cover topics the Academy is often wary of, screenwriters tend to embrace these topics, and Simien may have his strongest shot at his first Oscar nomination for best original screenplay.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

FEINBERG FORECAST: The Oscar Landscape Post-Hamptons, Pre-AFI


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Every week through the 87th Oscars on Feb. 22, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter‘s awards analyst Scott Feinberg will post an updated “Feinberg Forecast,” wherein he presents a summary of major developments since the last update that helped to shape his current opinions and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Factoring into this week’s Feinberg Forecast …

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Could ‘Birdman’ Join These 10 Best Picture Nominees About Show Business?


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Hollywood films portraying the world — including the troubled side — of show business have garnered best picture nominations for years. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) could be a serious Oscar contender and features Michael Keaton as a former film star known for his portrayal of a superhero named Birdman. He attempts to renew his career by writing, directing and performing in a Broadway play. The film hit theaters Friday. Here are ten best picture Oscar-nominated films about show business (in chronological order):

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Watch the Trailer for Mauritania’s First-Ever Oscar Submission ‘Timbuktu’ (Exclusive)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter is pleased to exclusively premiere the first trailer for this year’s best foreign language film Oscar submission from Mauritania, Abderrahmane Sissako‘s Timbuktu.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

‘Birdman’ Swoops Into Theaters, Will Attempt to Fly All the Way to Oscars With Clipped Wings

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman, an inventive Gotham-set dramedy about the mid-life crisis of a former movie star desperately trying to revive his career by going to Broadway — played, in an Oscar-caliber performance, by Michael Keaton, with support from Edward NortonNaomi Watts and Emma Stone — is being released by Fox Searchlight in select theaters Friday.

Over the past week, the aforementioned individuals made a barrage of appearances in New York (Keaton hit Los Angeles last month), some aimed at driving moviegoers to the box-office to see the $18 million film — which is not the easiest sell — but much of it geared toward courting Oscar voters during the small window in which these folks were available to do so.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Misty Upham Confirmed Dead: Family Identifies Body, Meryl Streep and Melissa Leo Express Grief

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

A spokeswoman for the family of Misty Upham has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that a body found in a Seattle, Wash. ravine on Thursday afternoon is, as was widely suspected, that of the 32-year-old Native-American actress and activist — best known for her roles in the films Frozen River and August: Osage County — who was first reported missing on Oct. 6. The King County Coroner’s Office will address the media about the case on Friday.

According to Seattle-based filmmaker Tracy Rector, a longtime friend of Upham’s, it was Robert Upham, the missing woman’s uncle and the organizer of a search party that went out looking for her three days ago, who, along with two other searchers, found her body. And it was Charles Upham, her father, who confirmed her identity to the authorities.

“We waited at the site where the team found the body,” said Rector, who was also part of the search party, late Thursday evening. “It took about five-and-a-half hours to confirm. Then we gathered around her body to say prayers and now we’re all gathered at the church.”

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to Be Honored for Service to Greater LA (Exclusive)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the recently re-elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be honored at the YWCA Greater Los Angeles’ 13th annual Rhapsody Ball, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Laura Poitras on Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour,’ Possibility the Fugitive Will Return to U.S.


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Laura Poitras doesn’t like being the center of attention. But even though the inconspicuous, soft-spoken, camera-shy 52-year-old journalist and filmmaker does her work from behind a computer and a camera, she has become just that.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Who is Jack O’Connell?


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Jack O’Connell isn’t going to be a name people forget anytime soon. The 24-year-old English actor is involved with three feature films that have made — or will make — their debuts in 2014 and was the lead in Starred Up, which was released in August after first premiering in 2013.  After a decade of acting, O’Connell’s career is heading to the next level.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Feinberg: Neil Patrick Harris Is the Right Choice for Oscars Host


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that Neil Patrick Harris will be the host of the 88th Oscars ceremony on Feb. 22 — and I couldn’t be happier.

Some have criticized the Academy’s choice as a little safe and unoriginal in light of the fact that Harris has previously hosted the Tonys four times (2009, 2011 through 2013) and the Emmys twice (2009 and 2013). I get what they’re saying, but I still think that it was the smartest move that the Academy could have made — even if they approached Ellen DeGeneres (2007 and last year’s Oscars host) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus first.

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