Oscars 2015: A Weird Season Ends With Something for Just About Everyone (Analysis) ... Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot No. 9: ‘Selma’ “Incredibly Misleading,” ‘Inherent Vice’ “Trash” ... Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot No. 8: ‘Grand Budapest’ “Most Underrated,” “Gender Discrimination” Hurt Ava DuVernay ... An 88-Year-Old Oscar Voter Shares Her Picks, Reviews ’50 Shades of Grey’ (Podcast) ... Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot No. 7: “No Better Filmmaker” Than Eastwood, “Loved” ‘Mr. Turner’ ... Spirit Awards 2015: ‘Birdman’ Tops ‘Boyhood’ on Saturday, Previewing Sunday? (Analysis) ... Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot No. 6: ‘Birdman’ “Genius on Many Levels,” “Loved” ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ ... Brutally Honest Oscar Ballot No. 5: I “Love” ‘Sniper,’ “Just Can’t Do It Again” With Streep ...
Countdown to Oscars

Monday, February 16, 2015

CAS Sound Mixing Award Winners Do Fairly Well at the Oscars


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Birdman took home the Cinema Audio Society Award for sound mixing in a live action film on Saturday. The best picture-nominated film is also nominated for both of the sound Oscars (sound mixing and sound editing). The film lost the BAFTA Award for best sound to Whiplash, which is also nominated for both of the Oscars for sound.

Since the CAS Awards began in 1994, all 21 of the live action features that won for sound mixing have also been nominated for the sound mixing Oscar, and 12 have won. In contrast, four of the 14 best sound BAFTA winners — since the BAFTAs have taken place before the Oscars — didn’t win an Oscar for their sound. Of the 10 that did win, five won both of the Oscars for sound, four won the Oscar for sound mixing and one took home the Oscar for sound editing.

Seven of the CAS Award winners won a best picture Oscar.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

WGA Awards: Nice for ‘Imitation Game,’ ‘Budapest,’ But Oscar Goes Its Own Way (Analysis)


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

The Imitation Game, Graham Moore’s adaptation of Andrew Hodges’ book Alan Turing: The Enigma, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, an original screenplay by Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, were the winners of the two biggest prizes at the 67th Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards: best adapted screenplay and best original screenplay, respectively. Both scripts are also nominated for Oscars in the same categories. So should one assume that these Valentine’s Day results bode well for how those scripts will be received on Feb. 22?

Not so fast.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Untold Story: How Radius Brought the Edward Snowden Doc ‘Citizenfour’ to America


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Just over a year ago, Tom Quinn, who along with Jason Janego runs Radius-TWC, the Weinstein Co. division that specializes in both VOD and theatrical releases, got an urgent, but mysterious phone call from Josh Braun of the Submarine sales agency. “He said, ‘Listen, I’ve got this interesting project I want to talk to you about,'” Quinn recalls. “I was like, ‘Great, what is it?’ And he goes, ‘Well, I’m not gonna talk to you about it here. Why don’t you meet me at the Red Egg in [New York’s] Chinatown for lunch. Don’t bring your cell phone.’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding?’ He was like, ‘No. Just don’t bring your cell phone.'” Chuckling, Quinn remembers, “I was like, ‘Am I gonna return to the office?'”

So began Radius’ involvement with CitizenfourLaura Poitras’ Oscar-nominated documentary about Edward Snowden. For Quinn and Janego, striking a deal to release the movie and then seeing it through to distribution was unlike anything they’d previously experienced in their careers. Working under heightened secrecy, they adopted code names, used encrypted communications and even risked challenging their boss Harvey Weinstein, who had been critical of Snowden’s action in leaking secret NSA documents.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oscars: Adam Levine Can’t Wait to Sing “Perfect” Song “Lost Stars” on Telecast


By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

Adam Levine, the frontman for Maroon 5 and a host of The Voice, is one of the biggest pop stars in the world. He has won all the biggest music awards, played the world’s biggest arenas and scored multiple platinum and gold records. But he’s about to do something that he’s never done before, and that has him extremely excited: perform at the Academy Awards. On Feb. 22, Levine will sing Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois’ best original song Oscar nominee “Lost Stars,” which was featured in John Carney’s music-centric drama Begin Again in which Levine starred and sang it.

“It’s such rarified air that we’re gonna be in,” Levine marveled when we spoke on Friday, “as far as being a musician at that particular show. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Oscars and the way they put it all together. It’s the godfather of all awards shows. It’s just so far removed from what I do.” He added with a laugh, “Performing at the Oscars might be even better than being nominated!” (The person/people who perform a song in a movie are not nominated unless they also wrote its music or lyrics.)

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Eight Memorable Quotes from This Year’s Best Picture Nominees


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Every classic film has a classic line.

“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” “Here’s looking at you, kid.” “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

This year’s eight best picture nominees feature memorable quotes of their own.

Here are key lines from each of the nominees:

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Phil Donahue on ‘Finding Vivian Maier': “A Genius Was Living in Our Spare Bedroom” (Guest Column)


By Phil Donahue
The Hollywood Reporter

Phil Donahue hosted the syndicated talk show, Donahue, for 29 years. He now lives in New York with his wife, Marlo Thomas.

Vivian Maier was hiding a secret. I met her in a Chicago diner in the late ’70s and hired her. She was our nanny. Decades later, over 150,000 photographs were discovered in storage lockers, the work of a brilliant but unknown artist. That secret genius was Vivian, our nanny, now considered one of the great photographers of the 20th century. The Oscar-nominated documentary Finding Vivian Maier tells this story and not only is it a great film, it is a film that will be watched for years to come.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

It’s Been 17 Years Since American Actors Have Swept the Oscar’s Acting Categories


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

On any given year, the four acting winners are usually a mix of American and non-American actors, but this year could see all four acting awards go to American actors for the first time in 17 years.

If Michael Keaton beats Eddie Redmayne for lead actor and the current projected frontrunners — supporting actress nominee Patricia Arquette, supporting actor nominee J.K. Simmons and lead actress nominee Julianne Moore — also win, it will be the first time since 1998 that all of the acting awards were given to American actors. (It will also be the second time in 77 years that all of the winners have been 46 or older.)

In contrast, the last time all four awards went to non-American actors was in 2008, when Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Javier Bardem and Tilda Swinton all won.

Since 1980, there have been eight instances where American actors were awarded all four acting Oscars.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Non-American Born Best Director Oscar Winners


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.

Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.

No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.

In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thirty-Six Films Have Won Best Picture Without Winning an Oscar in the Acting Categories


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor

Birdman has claimed a number of principal awards this season, including the top awards from the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, and is one of the lead contenders in the best picture race.

The film has received nine nominations, including a supporting actor, supporting actress and leading actor nomination. Though the film probably won’t land Oscars in the supporting categories, Michael Keaton has situated himself as a frontrunner in the leading actor category, along with The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne.

Of the 86 films to win best picture, 36 (42 percent) won without procuring a single Oscar in the acting categories. Seven of those 36 won before the supporting acting categories were implemented at the ninth annual Academy Awards, and 11 of the 36 won without any acting nominations.

If Birdman wins for best picture but Keaton loses to Redmayne, Alejandro G Inarittu’s film could become the 38th film to win best picture without winning in the acting categories.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

BAFTA Best Sound Winners Do Well at the Oscars


By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash won three BAFTA Awards at last night’s ceremony: best editing, best supporting actor and best sound. The film, which also received BAFTA nominations for best director and best original screenplay, is nominated for five Oscars. The three BAFTA wins coincide with similar Oscar categories, including best sound mixing. (Rather than have one Oscar category for sound, the Oscars are split into sound mixing and sound editing, and Whiplash is nominated for sound mixing.) Do these BAFTA wins bode well for the film at the Oscars?

BAFTA, or the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, used to hold the awards ceremony after the Academy Awards had already occurred, but since 2001, the BAFTAs have preceded the Oscars.

In the 14 years since the BAFTAs have taken place before the Oscars, only four of the 14 best sound BAFTA winners didn’t win an Oscar for their sound, so there is hope for Whiplash to land the Oscar for best sound mixing. Of the remaining 10 best sound BAFTA winners, five won both of the Oscars for sound, four won the Oscar for sound mixing and one took home the Oscar for sound editing.

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