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Posts Tagged ‘The Aviator’

Wednesday December 31st, 2014

L.A.-Based Films Get Some Boosts in the Oscar Race

By Anjelica Oswald
Managing Editor 

Jake Gyllenhaal takes to the streets of Los Angeles as a sleazy freelance TV crime reporter intent on capturing footage of accidents and crime in Nightcrawler, screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut. The film has received praise since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival — the Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan described the film as “pulp with a purpose” — and has built Oscar buzz since then. Turan also hailed cinematographer Robert Elswit’s ability to make “Los Angeles look like the dream and the nightmare rolled into one.”

Gilroy’s film has earned comparisons to Crash (2004), another L.A.-based crime drama that shocked many when it won best picture at the 2005 Oscars. With a vast majority of Academy members living in and around L.A., films located in L.A. may appeal to voters. Tom Ortenberg, the CEO of Open Road Films, Nightcrawler’s distributor, addressed similarities between both films to The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg when he said, “They’re both very much L.A. stories — they’re movies that are about Los Angeles, that were shot in Los Angeles, that are important to the L.A. community and that say a lot about Los Angeles.” He also added, “It’s natural for them (L.A. residents) to seek the movie out, to be talking about the movie and to be affected by the film.”

In 2008, the L.A Times created a list of the top 25 films based in L.A. from the last 25 years which showcased features such as the neo-noir crime film L.A. Confidential (1997) and the Coen brothers’ comedy The Big Lebowski (1998). Not all of them received Oscar nominations, but some L.A.-based films did get an unexpected boost from the Academy. A number of 21st-century films centered in L.A. have scored Oscar nominations and wins, including four best picture winners: Million Dollar Baby (2004), Crash, The Artist (2011) and Argo (2012).

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Wednesday January 29th, 2014

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

By Mark Pinkert

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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Sunday September 22nd, 2013

The 10 Past Winners Most Likely to Be Nominated Again This Year

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor


Each year, Oscar voters reward several previously unrecognized talents with their first Academy Award nominations. But they have a habit of filling many if not most of their 20 acting slots with people whom they have previously been nominated. (If you happen to have already won an Oscar? Well, then you are sitting even prettier.)

Why is this the case? That’s probably a question for a psychologist, although my own guess would be that voters are more inclined to check out the work of — and reward — work by quantities who are known and established than who are not.

Regardless, there are, as usual, plenty of previous nominees and winners — actors, actresses, directors, writers, and various behind-the-scenes talent — angling this year to be a part of the Oscar race once again. I have decided to highlight the 10 whom I believe have the best shot at scoring that desired recognition.

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Monday September 16th, 2013

Cate Blanchett and the Unusual Jump from Supporting to Lead

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

If there’s one Oscar category where it’s safe to say there’s already a clear frontrunner at this point, it’s best actress. That race is currently looking mostly like a battle for second place, with Cate Blanchett sitting way out front for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. Should she end up holding on, it would make her a two-time Oscar winner. (She won nine years ago for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator.) This, however, would be her first best actress prize.

39 men and women have been honored with more than one acting Oscar. Of them, only 11 have won in both acting categories in which they were eligible — in other words, best actor and best supporting actor for men and best actress and best supporting actress for women. Blanchett would become only be the sixth man or woman to ever win first in a supporting category and then win again later in a leading category.

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Friday February 3rd, 2012

Why Martin Scorsese Ventured Into Family Friendly Fare With Oscar Nominated ‘Hugo’ (Video)

On Monday morning, I had the opportunity to sit down for a chat in Beverly Hills with the man who is arguably the greatest director of all time, Martin Scorsese.

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Tuesday January 24th, 2012

Oscars: Screenwriter John Logan Talks “Hugo,” “Rango” and “Coriolanus”

By Sean O’Connell

The only thing bigger than the films John Logan wrote in 2011 are the films he’d credited with writing in 2012 and beyond.

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Wednesday November 30th, 2011

Harvey Weinstein Talks Oscars, Michelle Williams and the Charm of “My Week With Marilyn”

By Sean O’Connell

“Pulp Fiction.” “The English Patient.” “Good Will Hunting.” “Shakespeare in Love.” “Chicago.” “The Aviator.” “Gangs of New York.” “The Reader.” “The King’s Speech.”

For decades, Harvey Weinstein’s name has been synonymous with the Academy Awards, and his influential fingerprints have been all over the Oscar season.

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Monday October 3rd, 2011

The Five Primary Motivations for Releasing an Oscar Hopeful in December

The vast majority of this year’s awards hopefuls have already played at least once on the festival circuit (Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, and/or New York) and/or gone into general release. Most of those that have not are set for October or November releases. But a select few others are being held until December, the last month in which they are eligible to qualify for Oscar consideration this year, and only being selectively screened for the press before then, if at all.

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Friday December 10th, 2010


  • In Contention: Kris Tapley chats with “Shutter Island” best director hopeful Martin Scorsese and best actor hopeful Leonardo DiCaprio about their work on that film, as well as their three prior collaborations — “Gangs of New York” (2002), “The Aviator” (2004), and “The Departed” (2006) — each of which snagged best picture nods at a time when the category had only five slots. DiCaprio recalls, “At 18 years old, I remember having a conversation with my father and we talked about opportunities that were going to come up and he said, ‘You know, there’s really one guy [Scorsese], if you ever get the opportunity to work for him, you have to go for it.’ So I really researched the films that he was going to do and films that he wanted to do.” Scorsese adds, “It’s very rewarding for me to have a collaborator at this stage in my life, particularly someone who is 30 years younger than me and of another generation.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Kim Masters learns that James L. Brooks’s dramedy “How Do You Know” cost a jaw-dropping $150 million before tax incentives reduced that figure to $100 million, a still-shocking number. According to Masters, “One reason for the price tag is old-fashioned salaries for the pic’s talent: Reese Witherspoon ($15 million), Jack Nicholson ($12 million), Owen Wilson ($10 million) and Paul Rudd ($3 million) received their quotes, and Brooks will earn about $10 million plus backend for writing, producing and directing. That’s about $50 million for the major talent alone.” Considering that “Spanglish” (2004), Brooks’s most recent film, made only $55 million overall on an $80 million budget, “How Do You Know” is clearly a huge gamble for Columbia.
  • Box Office Mojo: Last week, in one of the more remarkable box-office stories to emerge in recent memory, the little indie “Black Swan,” which cost $13 million and was playing in only 18 theaters, beat out the studio fantasy/ninja/comedy/epic “The Warrior’s Way,” a film that was showing in 90 times as many theaters. This is not a criticism of the latter picture, but rather an encouraging sign about the commercial prospects of well-made smaller pictures like the former picture.
  • Deadline Hollywood: Pete Hammond, reiterating the content of a post that went up on this site on Tuesday, writes that David O. Russell’s boxing drama “The Fighter” has emerged as a “a new heavyweight contender” in this year’s Oscar race. Following the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Monday night, Hammond reports, numerous prominent members of the Academy were overheard offering unusually enthusiastic reactions to the film. One member of the directors branch, for instance, volunteered, “I think I’ve just seen the best picture of the year.” An “exec close to the film’s campaign” told Hammond, “I know I should be drinking coffee but I am starting to drink my own Kool Aid. I think this thing is really starting to take off.”
  • Los Angeles Times: Susan King traces the roots of the film industry’s “long love affair” with movies about boxing — the sport that “reigns supreme” in Hollywood —  and highlights some of the Academy’s favorite pugilists throughout the years, from Wallace Beery, who won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “The Champ” (1931), through Mark Wahlberg, who many believe is worthy of a nomination in that same category for his work in this year’s “The Fighter.” Film-noir historian Alan K. Rode tells King, “I think one of the attractions to writers and filmmaking with boxing is that you have the most admirable of characterizations and then the absolute lowest dregs in such close proximity that it makes for compelling stories.”

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese on the set of “Shutter Island.” Credit: Paramount.

Friday October 22nd, 2010


  • Deadline Hollywood: Pete Hammond details the “high profile kick-off” to Paramount’s Oscar campaign for its February release “Shutter Island” — namely, an American Cinematheque retrospective celebrating the collaboration of the film’s director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio. “Shutter,” as well as the three previous films on which they collaborated — “Gangs of New York” (2002), “The Aviator” (2004), and “The Departed” (2006), each of which snagged best picture nods at a time when the category had only five slots — will be screened over the weekend of November 13-14, after which Scorsese (via satellite) and DiCaprio (in-person) will participate in a “conversation” about them.
  • USA Today: Maria Puente wonders if “The Social Network” can/will become “the iconic film for this generation of young adults.” The measure by which she seems to feel we will find the answer? Its commercial performance. The film came in first at the box-office during both of its first two weekends in release and has accrued $64 million in total receipts, thus far, but one self-appointed box-office “guru” dismisses it as “still a niche situation.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Jay A. Fernandez reports that Paramount has moved up the release date for “Morning Glory” — a rom-com starring Rachel McAdamsHarrison Ford, and Diane Keaton — by two days, from Friday, November 12 to Wednesday, November 10. The move is believed to be part of “”an attempt by the studio to capture the attention of moviegoers ahead of the weekend and get a potential jump on good word of mouth to pull viewers away from the other options,” which in this case will include the Denzel Washington action flick “Unstoppable” and the sci-fi thriller “Skyline.”
  • Gold Derby: Tom O’Neil senses that Oscar buzz for Jim Carrey’s performance in “I Love You Phillip Morris” — a film in which Carrey plays a married man who leaves his wife to live his life as a gay man — has already come and gone. “Playing gay is usually an Oscar-savvy move for straight actors,” O’Neil asserts, but this part “looks a bit too silly and camp” for the Academy members’ tastes.
  • Awards Daily: Sasha Stone finally catches up with “127 Hours,” which received a very strong reception at Telluride and Toronto, and is not disappointed. “I don’t think I’ve ever spent a more riveting or emotionally moving hour and a half in the theater,” she writes. “It confirms what I already knew about Danny Boyle: that he is a genius visually, intellectually, emotionally.  He knows that it isn’t just the story of how [Aron] Ralston got out of that canyon; it’s that key bit of truth we all must remind ourselves of everyday: life is not lived alone.” She adds, “Who knew James Franco was capable of this?  I certainly didn’t… he is going to be [“The King’s Speech” star] Colin Firth’s biggest threat.”

Photo: Leonardo DiCaprio in “Shutter Island.” Credit: Paramount.