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Posts Tagged ‘Academy Awards’

Friday February 7th, 2014

Megan Ellison: Faith In Eccentric Filmmakers Pays Dividends


By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

Unlike the other Best Picture-nominated producers, who each have one film in a field of nine, Megan Ellison has two: American Hustle (directed by David O. Russell) and Her (directed by Spike Jonze). Both films have already hoarded numerous awards on the critics circuit, grossed a combined $200+ million worldwide, earned fifteen total Academy Award nominations, and both have a legitimate shot at winning the Best Picture prize–needless to say, it’s been a big year for Ellison. And what’s more interesting, perhaps, is that these are far and away the most eccentric films on the Best Picture ticket. This speaks, at least in part, to Megan Ellison’s producing style, which has raised a few eyebrows in Hollywood recently.

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Tuesday February 4th, 2014

Will American Hustle Go 0-10 on Oscar Night?


By Terence Johnson
Managing Editor

When the Academy Award nominations were announced last month, American Hustle was one of the darlings of the town. It tied Gravity with 10 nominations to lead the field and managed surprise nominations for Christian Bale in Lead Actor. However, the tide has steadily been turning against the film, despite the SAG win, and as the stock of other films are rising, American Hustle seems to be losing steam. So much steam in fact that many seem to be predicting it to go 0-10 at the Oscars in March. This would be a historic fall from grace, as far as the Academy is concerned, so I though I’d dig into the history of the Oscars biggest losers and see what could be gleaned.

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Wednesday January 29th, 2014

BAFTA Acting Nominations: How Much Can They Influence The Oscar Race?


By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

As the BAFTA awards quickly approach, one camp of Oscar hopefuls that ought to be a bit concerned is that of Dallas Buyers Club, which received no BAFTA acting nominations (nor any competitive or technical nominations). As it stood, before the BAFTA announcements were made earlier this month, both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were serious contenders for the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Oscars, respectively. It is likely that they still are, but how much will their BAFTA snubs hurt them in the Oscar race?

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Tuesday December 10th, 2013

Race, Gender, and Sexuality at the Oscars, Part III

By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

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This is the third article in a three-part series.

Though many Academy Award Best Picture nominees contain—or are predominantly about—sex and relationships, very few have been about sex issues in law and politics. In recent years there has been Milk (2008), the biopic of Harvey Milk, a California politician and gay rights activist, and otherwise not much else. Even in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when the AIDS epidemic was a hot button issue, few films of this genre made it to the Best Picture ticket (remember, Philadelphia was snubbed from the category in 1993). Sexual issues topics, though, have been more popular within the documentary medium: there was Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), which won for Best Documentary, and which was the first AIDS-related film to win an Oscar, the The Times of Harvey Milk (1984), which also won Best Documentary, and How to Survive a Plague (2012), which was nominated for Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards earlier this year.

The Oscar race this year, though, does feature an important film about sex issues, Dallas Buyers Club (2013), which will likely make the Best Picture ticket and has a shot to win. Though the sociopolitical scope of this film is generally contained within the Dallas locale of Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) and his HIV-positive buyers club, the film is quite relevant today. Through the growth of Woodroof—a once outspoken homophobe turned sympathetic activist—we see the real dangers of sex-related stigmata in society.

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Friday November 22nd, 2013

Race, Gender, and Sexuality at the Oscars, Part II

By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

This is the second article in a three-part series.

Earlier this month, the acclaimed writer/producer/director Joss Whedon spoke at an Equality Now benefit dinner and suggested that the word “feminism” be removed from the English lexicon. According to Mr. Whedon, the word is problematic because it assumes that gender equality is not the “natural state” but something that needs to be achieved. Though several self-purported feminist bloggers have criticized this idea, Whedon’s speech does raise some interesting questions about how prejudice can hide away in the depths of language and rhetoric.

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Sunday October 27th, 2013

Made for the Part: Oscar Isaac and the History of Utility Actors

By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

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In a recent interview with A.O. Scott of the New York Times, Joel and Ethan Coen admitted they first auditioned only “real musicians” for the part of the eponymous 1960s folk singer in their latest film, Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films). The role was to be heavily performance-based, so casting a proven guitarist/singer seemed only logical.

The Coens realized quickly, though, that it would be difficult to marshal an inexperienced actor through an entire movie, regardless of his musical proficiency, telling one outlet: “It’s often possible — sometimes it’s even easy — to get somebody like that through a scene or two scenes or three scenes or whatever, and it’s great, it’s fine. But this character’s literally in every scene in the movie, so we realized we were going the wrong direction, and we just started seeing actors who could play, as opposed to musicians who could act. And there are more of those, by the way.”

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Tuesday February 26th, 2013

What Really Happened at the Oscars (Analysis)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

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For prognosticators like me, the 85th Annual Academy Awards was a scary affair. The outcomes of so many of the major categories were up in the air. I was literally on the edge of my seat — on the far right side of the first mezzanine at the Dolby Theatre – as each category was announced.

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Tuesday February 19th, 2013

Oscar Contenders Make Final Pitches on Busy Holiday Weekend (Analysis)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

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With final ballots for the 85th Annual Academy Awards due back toPricewaterhouseCoopers via snail mail, hand delivery or e-vote by 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the Oscars ceremony itself set to take place in Hollywood on Sunday, the holiday weekend offered anxious studios their last opportunity to get their nominees in front of straggling voters and/or to tear down their competitors. Like so many of the weekends leading up to it, it was jam-packed with awards shows and screenings, each of which attracted some of Hollywood’s biggest names to appear in front of hundreds of its smallest — some of whom also get to vote for the Oscars — each using the other for their own purposes. Such is the awards season. (Of course, we’ll never know whether any of this actually impacted the results.)

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Friday February 15th, 2013

‘The Hollywood Reporters,’ Ep. 8: Getting in Tune With the Best Original Song Oscar (Video)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

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The Hollywood Reporter has released the eighth installment of its weekly web series The Hollywood Reporters. In each episode, THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg, the series’ host, chats with colleagues from THR‘s newsroom about different aspects of the awards race. This week, Feinberg was joined by music editor Shirley Halperin for a discussion about this year’s nominees for the best original song Oscar.

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Tuesday February 12th, 2013

Ben Affleck Reflects on ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Awards Season in THR Exit Interview (Video)

By Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

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During The Hollywood Reporter’s recent Nominees Night at Spago, I pulled aside Argo director/producer/star Ben Affleck — a best picture (if not best director) Oscar nominee this year and winner of the DGA, Critics’ Choice, and Golden Globe awards for best director — for a brief chat about his amazing journey with the film. Thus far, it has taken him from the film’s world premiere at last September’s Telluride Film Festival to the Oscar nominees luncheon last Monday, with many other memorable stops in-between. The 40-year-old husband of Jennifer Garner and father of three young children calls it “one of the most meaningful experiences of my whole life” and says he is savoring every minute of it because it is “probably a once in a lifetime experience for me.” (Check out the video at the top of this post for the full conversation.)

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