‘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 19, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Tom McCarthy (‘Spotlight’)

The 49-year-old indie darling opens up about his multi-hyphenate career, directing the pilot of 'Game of Thrones' and why he initially turned down the film that has now brought him best director and best original screenplay Oscar noms.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“In the past month, what we’ve seen is how it’s started to cross over and how it’s really started to have a social impact,” Tom McCarthy says of Spotlight — the fifth film he wrote and directed, after 2003’s The Station Agent, 2008’s The Visitor, 2011’s Win Winand 2014’s The Cobbler — as we sit down to record an episode of the ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. Indeed, the drama about the Boston Globe journalists who exposed the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal in Boston has been screened for the Pope’s Vatican commission on church misconduct; it has been screened for and hailed by survivors of abuse by priests; and it has been celebrated for its celebration of the threatened industry of investigation journalism, as well. “It really puts thing into perspective,” McCarthy says.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Oscar Nominated Films Currently Streaming on Netflix

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Netflix, the online streaming giant, has made a major push into producing its own content in recent years. While its television programming has received critical attention, including a number of Emmy awards, 2015 marked its first foray into the world of feature film.

While Beasts of No Nation, Netflix’s first feature, won a SAG award for star Idris Elba, the film was shut out by the Academy. However, both What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom were produced by Netflix and earned best documentary Oscar nominations.

Not only is Netflix revolutionary in its production of content, but it also offers many audiences access to a number of Oscar-nominated films. Here’s what Oscar noms you can find on Netflix, right now.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Alicia Vikander (‘The Danish Girl’)

"I'm still trying to get used to it," the 27-year-old Swede — this awards season's "It" girl — says of the fame that has come with appearing in seven 2015 releases, two of which have brought her mountains of accolades.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“I’m still trying to get used to it,” Alicia Vikander, the 27-year-old Swedish actress, says of her newfound international stardom as we sit down to record an episode of the ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. In the last year, Vikander has become widely known for her beauty and style; her rumored relationship with Michael Fassbender, with whom she will soon be seen in Derek Cianfrance‘s The Light Between Oceans; and especially for her work. She starred in an astounding seven films released in the U.S. in 2015, two of which — Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina and Tom Hooper‘s The Danish Girl — have secured her spot on the map.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

‘Amy’ Could be On Track to Best Documentary Feature

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

Filmmaker Asif Kapadia has been racking up awards for his documentary feature chronicling the life of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse in this year’s Oscar nominated, Amy. The film has already won the BAFTA, Boston Society of Film Critics, Broadcast Film Critics, Cinema Eye Honors, Hollywood Film, Los Angeles Film Critics, and National Board of Review awards for best documentary.

The doc did not win at the PGA Awards or DGA awards, however, as The Hunting Ground and Cartel Land took home those prizes, respectively, and was not even nominated by the Gotham Awards or Independent Spirit Awards. Still, Amy‘s success thus far, which also includes a best music film Grammy earned over the weekend, is a strong indication of how the film may fare come February 28.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Domhnall Gleeson’s Incredible Breakout Year

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

It’s rare for any actor to have as big of a year as Irish breakout Domhnall Gleeson had in 2015. The 32-year-old actor, whose father is longtime character actor Brendan Gleeson, had an unprecedented year by any standard, appearing in four Oscar-nominated films last year (Ex Machina, Star Wars: Episode VIIBrooklyn, and The Revenant) two of which are nominated for best picture, Brooklyn and The Revenant.

Until his meteoric rise in 2015, Gleeson was perhaps best known for his small supporting role as the eldest of the Weasley brothers in the Harry Potter series, but now, with supporting roles of varying degrees in two best picture nominated films and a lead credit in Ex Machina, it can safely be said that Gleeson is among the top stars to watch in 2016.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Win at the Grammys Could Spell Out an Oscar Win for R&B Artist The Weeknd

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards were held over the weekend to honor some of the biggest names in music. In years past a number of the night’s biggest winners and nominees have also found themselves nominated for Oscars.

This year, however, only The Weeknd managed to even earn a nomination, for best R&B performance, which he won, for the song “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey, despite the fact that he, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, and Sia are all nominated in the best original song category at the Oscars, and all four are high-profile artists.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and 5 Other Best Original Song Oscar Nominees

The music artists behind 'Til It Happens to You,' 'Writing's on the Wall,' 'Earned It,' 'Simple Song #3' and 'Manta Ray' discuss the origins, music, lyrics, functions, oddities and impact of their songs.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Lady Gaga, just hours after performing at the Super Bowl, broke into song. Sam Smith, just hours before performing at THR‘s Nominees Nite party, mused about the lack of gay Oscar winners. And David Lang, a Pulitzer Prize winner and Yale University professor, disclosed how he found his lyrics through a Google search. It all happened at the second annualTHR/Billboard Song Summit, a gathering of the best original song Oscar nominees at the Beverly Hilton hotel immediately after the Academy’s Oscar Nominees Luncheon. (You can check out last year’s edition here.)

This year’s seven participants represented all five nominated songs: Smith and Jimmy Napes, nominated for “Writing’s on the Wall” from the Bond film Spectre; Gaga and Diane Warren, nominated for “Til It Happens to You” from the sexual assault documentary The Hunting Ground; Lang, nominated for “Simple Song #3” from the indie drama Youth; J. Ralph, nominated for “Manta Ray” from the environmentalist doc Racing Extinction; and Stephan Moccio, nominated for “Earned It” from the blockbuster literary adaptation 50 Shades of Grey.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

BAFTA Awards: ‘Revenant’ Wins Don’t Seal the Deal for Oscar (Analysis)

THR's awards analyst notes that the BAFTAs, which are chosen by a group that includes some 500 Academy members, has a pretty shaky track record at predicting the Oscars.

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Nearing the end of an awards season in which the three highest-profile guilds awarded their top prizes to different films — the Producers Guild of America went for The Big Short, the Screen Actors Guild went for Spotlight and the Directors Guild of America went for The Revenant — many Oscar-watchers on Sunday turned to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or BAFTA, hoping for some sort of a sign about which film might be out front.

Why? Because the BAFTA Awards, the U.K.’s equivalent of the Oscars, were being handed out; some 500 Academy members also vote for the BAFTAs (the whole group’s membership is roughly the same size as the Academy’s); all three of the aforementioned contenders was nominated for best film; and the final round of Oscar voting, which began on Friday, extends all the way through 5 p.m. PT on Feb. 23, so even if BAFTA’s picks do not correlate with the way many Academy members currently plan to vote, they could conceivably sway some Academy members to vote differently.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Paramount Unveils New ‘Big Short’ Push for Oscars Homestretch (Exclusive)

"I love this spot so much," says Paramount's president of worldwide distribution and marketing. "I wish I had $30 million to run it everywhere."

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

With just 10 days remaining before the final round of Oscar voting closes, the backers of one of the three films thought to be most seriously in contention for best picture — The Big Short,Adam McKay‘s dramedy about America’s recent economic crisis — are rebooting their campaign with a new TV spot and billboards that emphasize the film’s emotional impact and real-world relevance, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Paramount Pictures’ marketing team created the 60-second TV spot (watch it at the top of this post), which will hit the airwaves this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning before expanding widely to networks ranging from CNN to Comedy Central. Additionally, the studio will unveil its billboards on Monday morning in the same high-traffic, Hollywood-area spots where its famous “Because It’s Awesome” ads for The Wolf of Wall Streetran two years ago — by the 101 near Universal and on Sunset by La Cienega.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sylvester Stallone’s Dud-Laden Resume May Hurt His Chances at Oscar This Year

By Patrick Shanley
Managing Editor

39 years ago, an unknown actor named Sylvester Stallone received his first Oscar nominations (best actor, best original screenplay) for the 1977 best picture winning boxing film, Rocky. A series of sequels and a handful of other franchises later, Stallone finds himself nominated once more, this time in the supporting category, for the character who made his career in Creed.

Stallone seems to be the likely front runner in this year’s best supporting actor race, scoring knockout wins at both the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, however his career has been far from stellar since his last nomination in the original Rocky.

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