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NOV
26
2 DAYS

Feinberg Forecast: 'Tis the Season for a Wide-Open Oscar Race

Feinberg Forecast: 'Tis the Season for a Wide-Open Oscar Race
  • The unveiling of the second-to-last of the highest-profile contenders that had not yet been screened for pundits, Disney's Into the Woods
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NOV
26
3 DAYS

Palm Springs Film Fest: Richard Linklater to Receive Visionary Award for 'Boyhood'

Palm Springs Film Fest: Richard Linklater to Receive Visionary Award for 'Boyhood'

Boyhood writer-director Richard Linklater will receive this year's Sonny Bono VIsionary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's 26th annual PSIFF Awards Gala on Jan. 3. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

Previous recipients of PSIFF's Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Oscar-winning filmmakers Tom Hooper, Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino and Michel Hazanavicius.

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NOV
25
3 DAYS

Independent Spirit Awards: Good News for 'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' and 'Selma'

Independent Spirit Awards: Good News for 'Birdman,' 'Boyhood' and 'Selma'

The nominations for the 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards — which aim to celebrate the best work in American films that cost roughly $20 million or less, and which will be dished out on Feb. 21 — were announced on Tuesday morning. Birdman — an indie movie about a former star of studio films, interestingly enough — led the field with six noms, while the indie passion projects Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma were hot on its heels with five apiece. Several other high-profile contenders, meanwhile, were left out entirely.

All of which begs the question: does any of this mean anything?

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NOV
23
5 DAYS

J. Ralph Could Make Oscar History With Second Song Nom for Doc-Featured Tune

J. Ralph Could Make Oscar History With Second Song Nom for Doc-Featured Tune

As discussed in another post earlier this month, only 20 Oscar nominations have ever been accorded to documentary features in categories other than the one designated for them. The most famous examples include "best writing, motion picture story" for Louisiana Story (1948), best film editing and best sound for Woodstock (1970), best film editing for Hoop Dreams (1994), best original song for An Inconvenient Truth (2006), best foreign language film for Waltz with Bashir (2008) and, most recently, best original song for Chasing Ice (2012).

The nom for Chasing Ice, a call-to-action about global warming, went to the tune "Before My Time," the music and lyrics of which were written by one J. Ralph. Two years later, Mr. Ralph, a singer-songwriter and a social activist, could repeat history: he has written the music and lyrics for another stirring song called "We Will Not Go" — which will hit iTunes on Tuesday and will be released by Jason Flom's Lava Records on Dec. 1 — for the Netflix doc Virunga, a harrowing look inside the fight to save the world's last mountain gorillas.

Read more Gorilla Filmmakers Take on Oil Interests With Netflix Documentary 'Virunga'

If "We Will Not Go" — or the jazzy "Until the End," another Ralph-written song from a 2014 Oscar-eligible doc, Garnet's Gold, the recording of which features the voice of Liza Minnelli and music performed by Wynton Marsalis  — is nominated, Ralph would become the first songwriter ever to earn multiple Oscar noms for songs in docs.

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NOV
22
6 DAYS

Disney Musical 'Into the Woods' Swoops Into Awards Season — How Far Can It Go?

Disney Musical 'Into the Woods' Swoops Into Awards Season — How Far Can It Go?

And then there was just one unseen Oscar contender. Unbroken.

On Saturday evening, Disney unveiled the second-to-last of the major Oscar hopefuls that had not yet been been seen by pundits, Rob Marshall's Into the Woods, at simultaneous screenings on both coasts, followed by a Q&A — live in New York, streamed in Los Angeles — with Marshall, screenwriter James Lapine and stars Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman and Christine Baranski. (Johnny Depp was the only notable absence.)

It marked the beginning of what will be an aggressive awards push by Disney for the highly-anticipated adaptation of the popular 1987 Broadway musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Lapine. And Disney is as motivated as ever following a disappointing 2013 awards season in which Saving Mr. Banks was almost entirely snubbed by the Academy.

Read more 'Into the Woods': Stephen Sondheim, Original Stars Reunite for First Time in 27 Years

But, even with an all-out push, how far can they take this one?

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NOV
21
1 week

Palm Springs Film Fest: Rosamund Pike Lands Breakthrough Honor for 'Gone Girl'

Palm Springs Film Fest: Rosamund Pike Lands Breakthrough Honor for 'Gone Girl'

Rosamund Pike, the British blonde beauty whose performance in David Fincher's Gone Girl has blown away critics and moviegoers alike, will receive this year's Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's 26th annual PSIFF Awards Gala on Jan. 3. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

The 35-year-old is also known for her work in Die Another Day (2002), Pride & Prejudice (2005), An Education (2009) and Made in Dagenham (2010).

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NOV
19
1 week

Watch Jennifer Aniston Confront Sam Worthington in 'Cake' (Exclusive Video)

Watch Jennifer Aniston Confront Sam Worthington in 'Cake' (Exclusive Video)

Daniel Barnz's new film, Cake, features Jennifer Aniston and Sam Worthington as a friend and husband, respectively, of a woman (Anna Kendrick) whose decision to commit suicide haunts each of them and brings them together.

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NOV
18
1 week

New Radicals' Gregg Alexander Performs 'You Get What You Give' for First Time in 15 Years

New Radicals' Gregg Alexander Performs 'You Get What You Give' for First Time in 15 Years

Gregg Alexander, the frontman for the 1990s band The New Radicals who left the public eye for 15 years before returning to it as a co-writer of the songs on the soundtrack to John Carney's indie Begin Again, surprised guests at The Hollywood Reporter's post-Hollywood Film Awards party on Friday evening with only his second public performance in the last 15 years. (His first came earlier this month at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, at which he also took home a prize.)

Alexander thrilled a crowd of several hundred — which included Michael Keaton, Mike Myers, Shep Gordon, Janelle Monae, Gayle King, Emily Ratajkowski, Patrick Fugit and Queen Latifah — with a three-song medley: He opened with The New Radicals' biggest hit, "You Get What You Give," which he hadn't performed since 1999; then moved on to "The Game of Love," which he co-wrote under a pseudonym for Santana in 2002, and for which he ultimately won a Grammy; and closed with "Lost Stars," the Begin Again single — co-written with Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood and performed in the film by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley, separately — that many, including me, regard as a frontrunner for this year's best original song Oscar.

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NOV
18
1 week

Feinberg Forecast: Where The Race Stands Post-AFI Fest, Pre-Thanksgiving

Feinberg Forecast: Where The Race Stands Post-AFI Fest, Pre-Thanksgiving

CLICK HERE to see this week's updated forecast.

This week's update reflects consideration of the following developments since the last update:

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NOV
18
2 WKS

Palm Springs Film Fest: J.K. Simmons Nabs Spotlight Award for 'Whiplash'

Palm Springs Film Fest: J.K. Simmons Nabs Spotlight Award for 'Whiplash'

In recognition of his acclaimed performance as a sadistic music instructor in this year's indie hit Whiplash, J.K. Simmons, the veteran character actor, will receive this year's Spotlight Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's 26th annual PSIFF Awards Gala on Jan. 3. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

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NOV
17
2 WKS

Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley on Making and Social Import of 'The Imitation Game'

Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley on Making and Social Import of 'The Imitation Game'

Just minutes after the Academy's Governors Awards came to an end a little over a week ago, I rushed across town to the Linwood Dunn Theater to moderate a Q&A with the principal talent behind the Oscar-contending drama The Imitation Game — director Morten Tyldum and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley — who are rarely all in the same place at the same time.

Read more Benedict Cumberbatch Explains the Subtle Intention of the Final Scene in 'The Imitation Game'

Over the course of our time together, we talked in detail about the making and social significance of the $15 million Alan Turing biopic that has won 13 audience awards thus far (including those given at the Toronto and Hamptons film festivals) and individual prizes for all three of them at last Friday's Hollywood Film Awards — and that looks like a slam dunk to land a number of major Oscar nominations come January.

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NOV
17
2 WKS

Giusseppe Tornatore Reflects on 'Cinema Paradiso' 25 Years After Its Oscar Win

1989: it's not only a Taylor Swift album, but also the year that changed Giuseppe Tornatore's life. That much became clear when I sat down with the 58-year-old Italian filmmaker — who is best known for directing Cinema Paradiso, a semi-autobiographical film about a young cinephile which won the Cannes Film Festival's grand jury prize and the best foreign language film Oscar in that final year of the eighties — last week at a hotel in Beverly Hills.

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NOV
17
2 WKS

Santa Barbara Film Fest: Steve Carell Named Year's Outstanding Performer for 'Foxcatcher'

Santa Barbara Film Fest: Steve Carell Named Year's Outstanding Performer for 'Foxcatcher'

Steve Carell, the star of last weekend's critically acclaimed art house hit Foxcatcher, will be presented with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced on Monday. The 52-year-old, who portrays the reclusive and eccentric millionaire John du Pont in Bennett Miller's harrowing drama, which is based on a true story, will be honored Feb. 6 at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival's 30th edition, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 7.

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NOV
15
2 WKS

Hollywood Film Awards: What Went Down and Why It Mattered

Hollywood Film Awards: What Went Down and Why It Mattered

The fashionable thing to do these days, at least in some journalistic circles, is to trash the Hollywood Film Awards, which bills itself as "the official launch of the awards season." Some do so because they don't like Carlos de Abreu, the man who founded the event 18 years ago. Some do so because they feel there should be more transparency about the way HFA winners are selected — according to their organizers, a committee of 12 people, whose names are kept private and whose motivations include not only merit but also ratings-appeal, make the choices. Some do so because they think it's weird to give out awards to movies that most of the public hasn't yet seen. And some do so because they just like to complain and snark from the sidelines.

My position has always been that, like them or not, the HFA are worthy of coverage by awards columnists/bloggers like myself  — just like the Golden Globe Awards and the National Board of Review Awards, which aren't very transparent either — because most of the top Oscar contenders show up for them, and when they do anything en masse, especially in front of a massive audience (as was the case this year when HFA, which is now owned by Dick Clark Productions, which, in turn, is owned by The Hollywood Reporter's parent company, was nationally televised for the first time), then, well, it's news.

Read more Stars Hit THR's Hollywood Film Awards Bash

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