Who is ‘Dick Poop’ — er, Dick Pope? ... Damien Chazelle or Paul Thomas Anderson Could Become Fifth Adapted Screenplay Winner to Also Direct the Film ... Most Adapted Screenplay Winners Are Adapted From Books ... Santa Barbara Film Festival Kicks Off with U.S. Premiere of ‘Desert Dancer’ ... Best Picture Winners Based On or Inspired By Real People and Events ... Oscar-Winning Original Songs Split Between Part of Plot and End Credits ... SAG Awards: ‘Birdman’ Weekend Continues As Eddie Redmayne Shocks the World (Analysis) ... PGA Awards: ‘Birdman’ Upsets ‘Boyhood,’ Creating a Real Oscar Race (Analysis) ...
Countdown to Oscars

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Precedent for an Eddie Redmayne or Michael Keaton Oscar Win


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

With Michael Keaton winning the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy and Eddie Redmayne winning for best actor in a drama, both men continue establishing themselves as the frontrunners in this year’s lead actor race at the Oscars.

Though not new to films, Redmayne starred in Oscar-nominated films such as Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2008) and Les Miserables (2012). His performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, however, propelled him to widespread acclaim and put him on the radar. He is one of four best actor nominees — along with Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell — to receive their first nomination this year.

For most of his career, Keaton was known for his comedic roles, such as Mr. Mom (1983) and Beetlejuice (1988), and for his turn as Batman in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). These roles earned Keaton praise and established him as a likeable actor, but it wasn’t until this year’s Birdman that Keaton earned his first Oscar nomination. In Alejandro G. Inarritu’s film, Keaton stars as an actor, once famous for playing a superhero, who turns to writing, directing and producing a play on Broadway in an effort to stage a comeback. It’s not that he was overlooked for an Oscar for his previous roles, but his role in Birdman is the first role that’s allowed Keaton to show the scope of his talents.

Predicting winners in the best actor category is often difficult and includes a number of buzzed-about performances, and this year is no different. Looking at best actor nominations and wins over the past 50 years to see what the precedent for new-to-the-radar versus established actors is, some patterns emerge. Keaton and Redmayne will face similar situations at the Oscars on Feb. 22.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Oscars: Studios, Banned From Courting Academy with Swag, Focus on Journalists


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Strict Academy rules prevent studios from sending “swag” — souvenirs, wearables and gifts that tie-in, in some way, with a film — to Oscar voters. But studios, perhaps in an effort to reach voters circuitously, do still send out those sorts of items — what one studio marketing official describes as “mostly low-end, kitschy items,” most lines of which cost several thousand dollars to manufacture and mail — to journalists.

Source novels, making-of coffee table books, bound scripts, commercial soundtracks and the like have become de rigueur. More memorable giveaways, in years past, have included a hamburger phone like the one in Juno, a ukelele like the one in The Descendants and a director’s chair like the one in Hitchcock. (Fox Searchlight, which distributed all three of those films and giveaways, is really good at this stuff.)

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Watch Trailer for TV Debut of Documentary Oscar Frontrunner ‘Citizenfour’ (Exclusive Video)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter is pleased to exclusively debut the television trailer for CitizenfourLaura Poitras’ critically acclaimed profile of Edward Snowden during the days after he leaked classified NSA materials to the press and fled the United States — which landed a best documentary feature Oscar nomination Jan. 15 and will be coming to HBO on Feb. 23.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Critics’ Choice Awards: Michael Keaton Soars to Three Wins, Flies Offstage on Big Night (Analysis)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

You’ve gotta tip your cap to Selma’s Ava DuVernay and David Oyelowo, Cake’Jennifer Aniston, Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie, Big Eyes’ Amy Adams, A Most Violent Year’s Jessica Chastain, Nightcrawler’s Rene Russo, Gone Girl’s Gillian FlynnChef’s Jon Favreau, Life Itself’s Steve James and The Lego Movie’s Chris Miller and Phil Lord, among others: Late on Thursday, a day on which they likely woke up early hoping to learn that they had received Oscar nominations only to be disappointed, they still showed up at the Hollywood Palladium for the 20th Critics’ Choice Awards (which were hosted by Michael Strahan and aired on A&E). And some of them, like Argo’s Ben Affleck two years ago, even picked up a pretty nice consolation prize.

While much of the industry’s fascination with the Critics’ Choice Awards — to the extent that you can call it that — is about seeing who shows up and who doesn’t under the aforementioned circumstances, the fact is that the Critics’ Choice Awards — which are determined by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), of which I am a member — also happen to be one of the better predictors of Oscar success.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Director Wim Wenders Lands Third Oscar Nom


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

German director Wim Wenders received his third Oscar nomination Thursday morning for The Salt of the Earth, a documentary about the life and career of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, which he co-directed with Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Sebastiao’s son. Wenders had become a fan of Sebastiao’s work after discovering some images in a gallery, which led him to pursue the documentary. It won the Un Certain Regard Special Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscar Noms: A Lot to Celebrate, Mourn and Ponder (Analysis)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

I was at the announcement of the 87th Oscar nominations, bright and early on Thursday morning, and as the hosts announced the categories — all 24, for the first time — I quickly filled up page after page with notes about things to celebrate, mourn and ponder.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscars 2015: First-Time Oscar Nominees


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

The nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were announced this morning live from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills in a two-part announcement. Joining some Oscar veterans, such as Meryl Streep, Marion Cotillard and Wes Anderson, are a number of first-time Oscar nominees. Of the five nominees for actor in a lead role, only Bradley Cooper has been nominated before. Two actresses in a lead role and two actresses in a supporting role are newcomers and one director and one supporting actor have never been nominated before. First-time Oscar nominees include:

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

John Marsh Could Become First Director Oscar-Nommed for Doc Feature and Feature Film


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Making the transition from documentary to feature film — or vice versa — can be difficult, but some filmmakers are well-known for jumping between the two styles. Bennett Miller, whose directorial debut was the documentary The Cruise, has made three feature films, including this year’s Oscar contender Foxcatcher.

The Theory of Everything, another of this year’s Oscar contenders, was directed by James Marsh, who received an Oscar nomination for his documentary Man on Wire (2008), which showcases Philippe Petit’s unauthorized high-wire walk between the World Trade Center buildings in 1974. He is also well-known for his documentary Project Nim (2011), about a chimpanzee raised like a human child. Both films garnered him BAFTA nominations: Man on Wire for best British film and Project Nim for best documentary. If Marsh, who received a BAFTA nomination for directing The Theory of Everything, is nominated for a best director Oscar, he will be the third director nominated for both a feature film and a documentary.

But he’ll be the first with a previous documentary feature nomination, as Fred Zinnemann and John G. Avildsen, the other two directors nominated for both a feature film and a documentary, were nominated for their documentary shorts.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Watch Seven Oscar-Shortlisted Foreign Filmmakers In Conversation (Video)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

More than 6,000 languages are spoken somewhere in the world today, but for 90 minutes at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 4, the filmmakers behind seven of the nine countries that have landed spots on the best foreign language film Oscar shortlist — from which five Oscar nominees were chosen last weekend and will be announced to the public on Jan. 15 — were all speaking the same one: movies.

Joining me for the first annual “Oscar-Shortlisted Foreign Filmmakers in Conversation” panel were Alberto Arvelo for Venezuela’s The Liberator (Cohen Media Group); Paula van der Oest for the Netherlands’ Accused (still seeking U.S. distribution); George Ovashvili for Georgia’s Corn Island (still seeking U.S. distribution); Abderrahmane Sissako for Mauritania’s Timbuktu (Cohen Media Group); Damian Szifron for Argentina’s Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics); Zaza Urushadze for Estonia’s Tangerines (still seeking U.S. distribution); and Andreay Zvyaginstev for Russia’s Leviathan (Sony Pictures Classics), which won the best foreign language film Golden Globe on Sunday.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DGA Noms: The Story Behind the Snub Everyone’s Talking About (Analysis)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for the 67th annual DGA Award for direction of a feature film this morning: The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Wes AndersonAmerican Sniper’s Clint Eastwood, Birdman’s Alejandro G. Inarritu, Boyhood’Richard Linklater and The Imitation Game’s Morten Tyldum.

You’ll notice that the list does not include Selma’Ava DuVernay, Gone Girl’s David FincherFoxcatcher’s Bennett Miller, Interstellar’Christopher Nolan, Inherent Vice’s Paul Thomas Anderson, The Theory of Everything’s James Marsh, Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie, Into the Woods’ Rob Marshall or A Most Violent Year’s J.C. Chandor.

So, with Oscar nominations less than 48 hours away, what does it all mean?!

Not all that much, I would argue.

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