Palm Springs Film Fest: Robert Duvall, Alejandro G. Inarritu Join List of Honorees ... Foreign Oscar Shortlist: Great Choices — and Horrible Headscratchers, as Usual (Analysis) ... Meet the Bros. Dardenne, Belgium’s National Treasures Behind ‘Two Days, One Night’ ... ‘Art and Craft’ Could Join These Ten Art-Related Docs to Garner Oscar Noms ... People Magazine Awards: ‘Cake’ Star Jennifer Aniston Wins First Film-Acting Prize of Career ... Sony Hack: Father of North Korean Leader Was Obsessed With Hollywood Movies ... The Rise of Cinematographer Bradford Young ... Oscars: ‘Gone Girl’ Composer Trent Reznor Reveals How He Gets Into David Fincher’s Head ...
Countdown to Oscars

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

SAG-Globes Noms: Is Jennifer Aniston In and Laura Dern Out for Oscar Nod? Not So Fast


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Far too often, people forget the major distinctions — in terms of size, origin and background — between the groups that determine the nominations for the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe and Academy Awards. SAG noms are determined by 2,100 randomly selected, U.S.-based members of SAG-AFTRA; Golden Globe noms are determined by about 90 non-American journalists; and Oscar noms are determined by approximately 6,000 people from all over the world who actually make movies.

Because many — in fact, most — Oscar-nominated performances do receive SAG and/or Globe noms en route to their Oscar noms, there is an assumption that performances that do not snag SAG and/or Globe noms instantly fall out of the running for an Oscar nom, and that performances that do snag SAG and/or Globe noms are locks for Oscar noms. A look at the last 12 years of results from all three groups, though, does not bear this out entirely.

Read the rest of this entry…

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Palm Springs Film Fest: Oscar Hopeful ‘Selma’ to Open Academy-Favorite Gathering


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

A screening of Selma, the Golden Globe-nominated drama about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will kick off the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 2, the fest announced Tuesday. The opening-night slot — and a post-screening reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum at which talent from the film will be on hand — will help to shine a spotlight on the Paramount contender in front of a desert community in which hundreds of Academy members live or have second (or third) homes.

Read the rest of this entry…

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Look at Female-directed Documentaries at the Oscars


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

This year’s Oscar race could make history with two possible best picture nominees directed by women — Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If both women are nominated for best director, that would also be a historical moment. But though these accomplishments in the narrative field are possible, more women directors are breaking into the documentary categories. Four of the 15 shortlisted documentaries feature women at the helm: Jennifer Grausman (co-directed with Sam Cullman and Mark Becker) with Art and Craft, Tia Lessin (co-directed with Carl Deal) with Citizen Koch, Laura Poitras with Citizenfour and Rory Kennedy with Last Days in Vietnam. Additionally, three of the eight shortlisted documentary shorts feature female directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent with Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Aneta Kopacz with Joanna and Lucy Walker with The Lion’s Mouth Opens. More often than not, women directors tend to receive more nominations for their documentaries.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

‘Begin Again’ Song “Lost Stars” Rebounds From Globes Snub, Finds ‘Voice’


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Fans of the best original song Oscar hopeful “Lost Stars” — which was co-written by Grammy winner Gregg Alexander (who I recently profiled) and performed in John Carney‘s charming indie Begin Again by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley — were down in the dumps last Thursday after it was left off the list of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe nominations.

Read the rest of this entry…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa Barbara Film Fest: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to Share Honor


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, who play Stephen Hawking and Jane Hawking, respectively, in James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything — and both of whom have received SAG Award, Golden Globe Award and, on Monday, Critics’ Choice Award nominations — will jointly receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SBIFF announced on Monday. The honor will be presented at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre on Jan. 29 as part of the fest’s 30thedition, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 7.

Read the rest of this entry…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Designers of Wes Anderson’s Distinguishable Aesthetic Have Yet to Land Oscar Noms


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

From the color palette to the set design to the quirky characters, a Wes Anderson film is distinguishable for its unique aesthetic and each film is its own world.

Howie Kahn, for the Wall Street Journal, said Anderson “has honed a visual language all his own, refining his signature aesthetic in a way that enriches the emotional lives of his characters.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy also pointed out the distinguishable techniques in his review for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): “From the first moment, there’s no mistaking who made this film. Constant lateral tracks, push-ins, whip-pans, camera moves timed to dialogue, title cards, chapter headings, miniatures, use of stop-action, fetishization of clothing and props, absurdist predicaments — all the techniques Anderson has honed over the years — are used to pinpoint effect here.”

Though Anderson’s films have been recognized for original screenplay (2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums and 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom) and best animated feature (2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox), none of his films have garnered nominations for best production design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, December 15, 2014

Critics’ Choice Awards: Noms Give Hope to On-the-Bubble Oscar Hopefuls


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

I would venture a guess that a handful of longish-shot Oscar hopefuls — among them Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie, Gone Girl’s David Fincher, The Grand Budapest Hotel’Ralph Fiennes, Two Days, One Night’s Marion Cotillard, Inherent Vice’s Josh Brolin and Snowpiercer’s Tilda Swinton — could have quoted Dumb and Dumber’Jim Carrey on Monday morning when the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced its nominees for the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

That’s because the BFCA smiled upon each of these individuals with major nominations, whereas few, if any, other major organizations have done the same.

Read the rest of this entry…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chris Martin Performs Oscar-Contending Song, Charms Voters at ‘Unbroken’ Party


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken hasn’t even opened yet, but Universal’s big Oscar hopeful has already hit a few rough patches. Last week, it was shut out of both the SAG Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. And then Jolie came down with the chickenpox, which precluded her from attending the film’s official DGA and Academy screenings and Q&As and will also keep her from attending its Los Angeles premiere this week. None of that will help the film’s opening weekend box office on Dec. 25 or its eventual Oscar prospects.

But the film did get a much-needed boost of adrenaline on Sunday when Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, whose original song “Miracles” plays over the film’s closing credits, flew in from London to give a special performance at a cocktail party packed with Academy members — including some from its music branch who will determine the best original song nominees — many of whom also were bummed by Jolie’s absence.

Read the rest of this entry…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Al Pacino on His Great Roles, Frustrations with Fame, Return to Form in ‘The Humbling’


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“I was sort of blasted out of a cannon,” the legendary Al Pacino told me when we sat down last week for an hour-long conversation about his life, career and most recent performance — his best in years, in my opinion — in Barry Levinsons The Humbling. “Five films, five Oscar nominations. I blew out with The Godfather and I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was drinking and doing and having fun and not having fun and dying and going crazy — I was doing all of those things — but I kept going. I didn’t know where I was… I knew how explosive it was, but I was inebriated most of the time. I was trying to numb up to get through it.”

Read the rest of this entry…

Monday, December 15, 2014

Critics’ Choice Awards: Jessica Chastain Named 2014’s MVP of Film


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Ron Howard will receive special awards at the 20th Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, which hosts the event, announced on Friday. The honors were determined by the BFCA’s executive committee and will be presented during the Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony on Jan. 15. A&E will broadcast the awards nationally.

Read the rest of this entry…