Jean Doumanian Replaced Lorne, Discovered Eddie and Saved Woody, So Why Don’t You Know Her Name? ... Oscars 2017: Who Is ‘Silence’ Star Issei Ogata, the Film’s Breakout Supporting Actor? ... ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Sting (‘Jim: The James Foley Story’) ... Oscars: Which Distributors Have the Most Success in the Best Documentary Feature Category? ... Oscars 2017: Broadway Writers in Best Original and Best Adapted Screenplay Categories ... ‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Adam Driver (‘Paterson’ and ‘Silence’) ... Feinberg Forecast: The Dust Settles After a Jam-Packed First Week of December ... In 2013 Interview, Bernardo Bertolucci Denies Forced Sex Took Place In ‘Last Tango’ Rape Scene ...
Countdown to Oscars

Friday, December 2, 2016

Will Alan Menken Get Oscar Love For His R-Rated ‘Sausage Party’ Song?

Alan Menken (Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

Alan Menken (Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

By: Carson Blackwelder
Managing Editor

Alan Menken is far from being a newcomer at the Oscars, but this year the composer could be nominated or even win for a venture into the new territory of R-rated films. Having usually created award-worthy songs for Disney, Menken connected himself with a more mature project with Sausage Party and stands to win an Oscar for a song in a movie about weenies and buns.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

‘Awards Chatter’ Podcast — Natalie Portman (‘Jackie’)

Natalie Portman (Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Getty Images)

Natalie Portman (Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis/Getty Images)

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“I loved the experience of making this,” Natalie Portman says of Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, the new film in which she stars as Jackie Kennedy, as we sit down on the Fox lot to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Awards Chatter’ podcast. Portman, the 35-year-old Israeli-born actress who has grown up in the movies since making her film debut at 12 in The Professional, looks and sounds eerily like the former First Lady in the film, which jumps around in time, covering, in no particular order, her first solo exposure to the public on a Feb. 14, 1962 TV special; the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination of her husband; the days of personal and national mourning thereafter; and a closed-door interview she granted a week after her husband’s death. She is in every scene, has received tremendous notices for her work and might well garner a second best actress Oscar six years after her first, for Black Swan. “I had one of the most incredible creative experiences — if not the most incredible creative experience — of my life,” she says.

(Click below to listen to this episode or here to access all of our 100+ episodes via iTunes. Past guests include Steven Spielberg, Meryl Streep, Eddie Murphy, Lady Gaga, Robert De Niro, Amy Schumer, Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Louis C.K., Kristen Stewart, Harvey Weinstein, Sally Field, Jerry Seinfeld, Jane Fonda, Tyler Perry, Kate Winslet, Michael Moore, Helen Mirren, J.J. Abrams, Taraji P. Henson, Warren Beatty, Kate Beckinsale, Michael Eisner, Brie Larson and RuPaul.)

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Which Critics’ Choice Noms and Snubs Could Actually Change the Fortunes of Oscar Hopefuls?

'Hell or High Water' (Courtesy: Lorey Sebastian/CBS Films)

‘Hell or High Water’ (Courtesy: Lorey Sebastian/CBS Films)

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

What are we to make of the Critics’ Choice Award nominations announced Thursday morning?

On the one hand, the hundreds of members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which decides the Critics’ Choice film nominees (and of which I am a voting member), has precisely zero overlap with the thousands of members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which decides the Oscar nominees. On the other hand, I would argue that the Critics’ Choice noms are as likely to impress Oscar voters as any set of noms that precede their own — deservedly or not, they confer a sense of importance and prestige upon a film, albeit slightly less so when there are, say, seven nominees for best director, as there are this year — and therefore could jump-start or stunt a contender’s momentum.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Can Isabelle Huppert Overcome the Language Barrier to Score an Oscar Nomination For ‘Elle’?

Isabelle Huppert in 'Elle' (Courtesy: Guy Ferrandis/SBS Productions/Sony Pictures Classics)

Isabelle Huppert in ‘Elle’ (Courtesy: Guy Ferrandis/SBS Productions/Sony Pictures Classics)

By: Carson Blackwelder
Managing Editor

One potential surprise in the current best actress race would be the first-ever nomination and/or win of Isabelle Huppert. The leading lady has turned in yet another stellar performance — this time for Elle, France’s submission for best foreign language film this year — and there are is speculation that the Academy might finally give Huppert the recognition she so deserves.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

From ‘O.J.’ to ‘Weiner’: Directors of 10 of 2016’s Top Documentaries Tell All

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

This year, 145 documentary features qualified for consideration for the best documentary feature prize that will be presented at the 89th Oscars on Feb. 26. Before a winner is crowned, though, the Academy’s documentary branch must first pick a shortlist of 15 films (voting spanned late October through Tuesday) from which five nominees will be chosen (nominations in all categories will be revealed on Jan. 24). Since few doc branch members have the time to see all of the eligible titles, the Savannah Film Festival, for the past three years, has offered a little bit of help by highlighting ten standouts as part of its “Docs to Watch” sidebar and then inviting each film’s director or directors to participate on a 90-minute panel that I have the privilege of moderating.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oscars 2017: Will Hailee Steinfeld Make History in the Best Actress Category?

Hailee Steinfeld in 'Edge of Seventeen' (Courtesy: STX Entertainment)

Hailee Steinfeld in ‘Edge of Seventeen’ (Courtesy: STX Entertainment)

By: Carson Blackwelder
Managing Editor

Just when you thought the best actress category seemed like a lock, Hailee Steinfeld has just entered the Oscar race with Edge of Seventeen. The young starlet has already broken barriers in the best supporting actress category but now it seems like she may have successfully made the jump to leading lady. Will Steinfeld make history in the best actress category this go ‘round?

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

NBR Picks Keep Focus on Indie Standouts ‘Manchester’ and ‘Moonlight’

'Manchester by the Sea' (Courtesy: Claire Folger)

‘Manchester by the Sea’ (Courtesy: Claire Folger)

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Midday on Tuesday, I was seated amid a throng of Academy members at a Peggy Siegal luncheon held at The Explorers Club in New York for Moonlight, the film that essentially swept the Gotham Awards on Monday night. Writer/director Barry Jenkins and stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris were fielding questions from moderator Dave Karger — all part of the requisite whistle-stop tour for Oscar hopefuls — when Karger was handed a smartphone, glanced at it and then announced that the National Board of Review had just released its picks for the best of 2016, and that we all were looking at its best director and best supporting actress of the year. The three representatives of the film smiled and exchanged kisses, the audience applauded and then most everyone snuck a peek at their own smartphones to find a full list of NBR winners, led by Manchester by the Sea, which was named best film.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Santa Barbara Film Fest: Denzel Washington to Receive Modern Master Award

Denzel Washington in 'Fences' (Courtesy: Paramount/Screenshot)

Denzel Washington in ‘Fences’ (Courtesy: Paramount/Screenshot)

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Denzel Washington will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced Wednesday.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

An In-Depth Look at Cuban Cinema’s Relationship With the Oscars During Fidel Castro’s Reign

Fidel Castro (Courtesy: Jorge Rey/Getty Images)

Fidel Castro (Courtesy: Jorge Rey/Getty Images)

By: Carson Blackwelder
Managing Editor

No matter how you felt or reacted when you heard the news, Fidel Castro’s death on November 25 shook the world. There’s no argument that the late Cuban leader definitely left a legacy, but what was the state of the film industry throughout his reign — and where does it go from here?

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Gotham Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Gets a Shot of Momentum — or Does It? (Analysis)

'Moonlight' cast (Courtesy: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for IFP)

‘Moonlight’ cast (Courtesy: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for IFP)

By: Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Gotham Awards are to the Oscars what the Iowa caucuses are to a presidential election and the NFL’s preseason games are to its regular season: they’re the first “results” to come in, so they get a lot of attention, but the reality is they don’t really tell us much of anything about what’s to come.

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