Eleven Vietnam Documentaries That Garnered Best Documentary Oscar Nominations ... AFI Fest: 8 Oscar Hopefuls Will Appear on THR Indie Contenders Roundtable (Exclusive) ... Gotham Awards: What to Make of the Nominations ... Are Pundits Underestimating the Awards Potential for ‘Boyhood’ Star Ellar Coltrane? ... Portraying Stephen Hawking on Screen ... Ten Potential Oscar Contenders That Will Premiere by the End of the Year ... Santa Barbara Film Fest: ‘Birdman’ Star Michael Keaton Tapped as Modern Master ... Edgier Films Do Well in Best Original Screenplay Category at the Oscars ...
Countdown to Oscars

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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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Original Song Winners at the Oscars Vary in Genre


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

The best original song category at the Oscars is a difficult category to find patterns in. The number of best original song nominees can vary each year, and since 2000, the genre of the winning song has ranged from rap to show tunes.

The official Oscar rules state that the top five songs will receive nominations, but if there are 25 or fewer qualified works submitted, nominations may be limited to three, and if there are nine or fewer, than no awards may be given that year.

When it comes down to picking nominees, the Music Branch Executive Committee picks the top choices for the music categories (including original score and original musical). The winner is chosen by all Academy members.

This year’s best original score nominees could range from lullabies (“Mercy Is” from Noah) to addictive dance tracks (“Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie).

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Found Star: New Radicals’ Gregg Alexander Grants First Interview in 15 Years (Exclusive)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

It couldn’t have been scripted more poignantly. Last week, as I waited in the lobby of a New York hotel to meet Gregg Alexander — the frontman of the 1990s band The New Radicals who, shortly after releasing their smash-hit “You Get What You Give” (“You’ve Got the Music in You”), disbanded the group and turned his back on fame and fortune — for his first interview in 15 years, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry bounded past me, out the doors and into a throng of fans who mobbed him, clamoring for autographs, selfies and a chance to touch greatness, or at least celebrity. Past this scene strolled Alexander, a rail-thin 6’4″ bald man whom none of those fans noticed, despite the fact that his own music was side-by-side with Aerosmith’s on the Billboard charts in the late nineties. “Did you see that?” he asked me with childlike wonder — and not a hint of envy.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Best Picture Nominees at the Box Office


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

After first premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Robert Downey Jr.’s The Judge opened in theaters Friday to a disappointing weekend run at the box office.

Even with Downey’s name attached to the project and strong campaigning for the film, the $50 million movie made $4.4 million on its opening night and a total of $13.3 million as of Sunday. It fell fifth at the box office, behind David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which made $26.8 million during its second weekend; Dracula Untold and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which both opened this weekend; and Annabelle, which made $15.9 million during its second weekend.

Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said, “We’re a little disappointed in the results for The Judge, since we were hoping to do at least $15 million,” but word of mouth could help the film find its box office groove in the coming weeks.

The film is the first project produced by Team Downey, the production company Downey runs with his wife, Susan. The film also stars Robert Duvall and Vera Farmiga.

Successful runs at the box office can help films score a best picture Oscar nomination, like it did for The Blind Side (2009), but how well do best picture nominees do at the Oscars prior to the nominations?

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