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

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ten Films That Landed Best Editing Noms for Portraying the Passage of Time


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Films have captured the passage of time in a variety of unique ways throughout the years. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which premiered at Sundance this year, presents the movement of time in an unprecedented manner. By filming the same cast three to four days per year for 12 years, Linklater was able to capture the real changes the cast went through instead of relying on CGI, makeup or different actors to show the aging process. The seamless way in which the passage of time is presented could garner a best editing nomination at the 87th Academy Awards. Here are 10 other films portraying the passage of time that have been nominated for best editing (in chronological order):

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicago Film Fest: Liv Ullmann on an Iconic Half-Century Career, Fest Opener ‘Miss Julie’


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

On Thursday evening, the 50th annual Chicago International Film Festival will kick off with the U.S. premiere of Miss Julie, the latest film from the legendary Liv Ullmann, who made her name as an actress in the great films of Ingmar Bergman and Jan Troell, and who has since become a first-rate filmmaker in her own right.

At the recent Toronto International Film Festival, where Miss Julie — the latest adaptation of August Strindberg‘s 1888 upstairs-downstairs dramatic play — had its world premiere, I had the rare opportunity to sit down with the 75-year-old for an hour-long interview about her remarkable life, career and latest project. It did not disappoint.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Pull Off an Extremely Rare Oscar Feat?


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

An actor cannot be nominated for an Oscar more than one project in the same category in the same year — but can a costume designer?

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Who is Miyavi?


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Miyavi is a relatively unknown name in the States, but this soon may change. Miyavi (real name Takamasa Ishihara) is making his English acting debut as the brutal POW camp overseer Mutsuhiro Watanabe — known as “The Bird” — in the Angelina Jolie-directed film Unbroken. Based on the book of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand, the film tells the true story of olympian and WWII Japanese POW survivor Louis Zamperini.

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

New York Film Fest: ‘Time Out of Mind’ Star Richard Gere Receives Career Tribute


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

“This is one of the great moments of my life, being here with you tonight,” the actor Richard Gere told a room filled with friends and fans on Wednesday night as the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrated his career with a tribute dinner and conversation at Lincoln Center’s Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. (Last week, FSLC feted actor-writer-director Ethan Hawke similarly.)

Much of the hour-long conversation, which was moderated by Kent Jones, the director of the FSLC-sponsored New York Film Festival, focused on Oren Moverman‘s Time Out of Mind, a dramatic feature in which Gere plays a homeless man living on the streets of New York that is currently screening at the NYFF (and still seeking a U.S. distributor).

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Patti Smith on Her Musical Roots and First Shot at an Oscar With ‘Noah’ Song


By Scot Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

On Tuesday, I met up in New York with Patti Smith, the iconic singer-songwriter-activist, for a long conversation about her life, career and latest work. Smith, who is 67 and a year away from the 40th anniversary of her debut album Horses, is still going strong — writing, performing and speaking out about social issues that are important to her. She is also, for the first time in her career, in contention for a best original song Oscar nomination.

Many of the songs for which Smith has been known and loved for generations — including “Because the Night,” “The People Have the Power” and “Gloria” — have been sampled in movies over the years. But those songs were already in circulation when they showed up on film soundtracks. This year, for the first time, Smith wrote a song specifically for a movie: “Mercy Is,” a haunting lullaby that pops up throughout and at the end of her friend Darren Aronofsky‘s biblical epic Noah. And people are loving it.

Don’t read the word “lullaby” and assume that Smith, “the Godmother of Punk Rock,” has gone soft. As she told me, “I still have the impetus on certain nights to kick over my amplifier, you know, and to play louder than everybody else. I still know what that tastes like. I haven’t lost that. But that’s only a fraction of who I am.”

Instead, what “Mercy Is” represents to her is something of a return to her roots. She had a strong bible education as a child and then, for a time, rebelled against religion (she famously begins “Gloria” with the line “Jesus died for somebody’s sins but not mine”), but today says she loves the story of Noah and bible-themed films, in general, and couldn’t resist being a part of one made by Aronofsky, “an artist,” as opposed to “an epic-style filmmaker.”

Smith — who’s still very much still in touch with the people, explaining that she relates toThe Hunger Games‘ protagonist Katniss Everdeen and loves Rihanna — describes her voice today as “a strong voice, not a perfect voice,” but one which “reflects, at this point, years of experience” and her “tool for public service.” My hunch is that Academy members, whose median age is nearly the same as Smith’s, and who came of age with her music, will be happy to hear it again.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Academy’s Producer Dilemma


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Determining which producers can receive recognition at the Oscars for a best picture nomination has been debated for years, particularly since Shakespeare in Love (1998) won at the 71st Academy Awards. This could be up for debate again this year due to the potential exclusion of two Boyhood producers during the upcoming Oscars. As first reported by The Wrap, John Sloss, a lawyer and producer, and Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Films — which financed and distributed the film — are listed as producers on the film, but they were not recognized by the Producers Guild of America (PGA).

The rules for producers and nominations have changed multiple times since 1999, with the most recent change made this year. The rule states that two-person producing teams could count as a single “producer” should the team meet specific requirements. Here’s a brief look at the history and controversy behind producers at the Oscars:

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Could an Undocumented American Land an Oscar Nom This Season?

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Last week, I had lunch in New York with Jose Antonio Vargas, the undocumented immigrant who is a leader in the fight for immigration reform in America, and whose recent documentary feature Documented, which debuted on iTunes and other digital platforms Tuesday, could factor into this year’s Oscar race. Even if you haven’t yet seen the film, which received a brief Oscar-qualifying theatrical run and aired several times over the summer on CNN, you’ve probably heard of Vargas, a prominent journalist who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine in 2011 and appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in June 2012. Documented, Vargas’ debut as a film producer and director, shows what led him to make that decision and how it has impacted his life ever since. He and I spoke about the film and his ongoing efforts.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

From Under the Radar to Potential Oscar Contention


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

The conversation surrounding potential supporting actress nominees includes some names familiar to the Oscar race, such as Meryl Streep (Into the Woods), and some that could be nominated for the first time, such as Emma Stone (Birdman). The list of potential contenders also includes Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and Rene Russo (Nightcrawler), two ladies that have flown under the radar since the 90s but could mark their return with first-time Oscar nominations.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Oscar Nominations Rare for Portrayals of the Same Character in the Same Film

By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

[WARNING: Potential spoilers ahead for Interstellar.]

Only two times in Oscar history have there been Oscar nominations for two actors playing the same character in the same film. The first time this happened was in 1998 when Kate Winslet received a lead actress nomination for her portrayal of a young Rose in Titanic (1997) and Gloria Stuart received a supporting actress nomination for Old Rose. Winslet did it again in 2002 when she was nominated for her supporting role as Young Iris Murdoch in Iris (2001) and Judi Dench was nominated for her lead role.

More often than not, when there are multiple portrayals of a character in a film, there is a child actor and the adult who gets the more prominent role and the Oscar nomination, such as with Forrest Gump (1994). Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his portrayal of Forrest Gump, while Michael Conner Humphreys played Young Forrest.

Should Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar meet — or exceed — expectations after its release Nov. 5 or Nov. 7, depending on the theater, Jessica Chastain and Ellen Burstyn could have a shot at becoming the third pair of actresses to receive nominations for playing the same role.

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