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 ... 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 ...
Countdown to Oscars

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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Monday, October 13, 2014

War Films at the Oscars

By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Set during the final months of World War II, Fury follows a tank commander (played by Brad Pitt) and his crew as they head into Nazi Germany as part of the Allies’ final push. The film also stars Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, John Bernthal and Michael Pena. The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy said the film is “a modern version of the sort of movie Hollywood turned out practically every week back in the 1940s and 1950s.” Fury opens Oct. 17.

Could Fury score a best picture nomination at the 87th Academy Awards? Both war biopics and fictional war films — about real wars or battles — have historically done well at the Oscars; however, the current projections show that the race will be a tight one. Here’s a look at some of the fictional war films that scored nominations for best picture:

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

FEINBERG FORECAST: As New York Film Fest Wraps, Only a Few Question Marks Remain


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Every week through the 87th Oscars on Feb. 22, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter‘s lead 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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Saturday, October 11, 2014

New York Film Fest: ‘Citizenfour’ Hacks Way to Top of Uber-Competitive Doc Oscar Race

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Steve JamesLife Itself, Alan Hicks‘ Keep on Keepin’ On, Gabe Polsky‘s Red Army and several other films look like formidable contenders for the best documentary feature Oscar. But Citizenfour, Laura Poitras‘ highly-anticipated new documentary about Edward Snowden, the NSA contractor-turned-famous/infamous whistleblower whose information Poitras and fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald helped to bring to the attention of the world, is going to be very hard to beat.

This authoritative portrait of Snowden — the first-ever late addition to the main slate of the New York Film Festival in the fest’s 52-year history — had its world premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday night, where a packed house greeted its end-credits and its filmmaker’s post-screening introduction with prolonged standing ovations. RADiUS-TWC released a trailer of the film on Friday and will distribute it in the U.S. starting on Oct. 24.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Father of Missing ‘Frozen River’ Actress Fears She Is “Suicidal”


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood

The father of missing actress Misty Upham fears his daughter “wasn’t in her right mind” when she was last seen leaving her sister’s apartment on Oct. 5. She told her family she was going to visit friends, and hasn’t been seen since.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

‘Frozen River’ Actress Reported Missing by Family


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter 

Misty Upham, a 32-year-old Native-American actress and activist who is best known for her roles in the films Frozen River and August: Osage County, has been reported missing by her family.

Upham, who appears in the forthcoming Jennifer Aniston drama Cake, was last seen leaving her sister’s apartment in Muckleshoot, Washington, on Oct. 5, her family said in a Facebook post. Police officials told Reuters that they responded to a suicide call at the apartment, but Upham was not there when they arrived. Her father reported her missing Oct. 6.

On Oct. 9, Jaime Rubio, describing himself as “one of her closest friends,” posted to her Facebook wall: “Misty Upham is missing,” adding that Upham’s father, Charles Upham, was filing a missing person report, and that his own “best guess as to where [Misty] is, considering her disappearance, is actually within forests/woods of Seattle, WA because she was a huge fan of nature.”

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