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NOV
22
6 HRS

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
2 DAYS

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
4 DAYS

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
4 DAYS

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
4 DAYS

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
5 DAYS

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
5 DAYS

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
5 DAYS

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
6 DAYS

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
1 week

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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NOV
14
1 week

AFI Fest: Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal and 6 Other Oscar Hopefuls on Making Indies

AFI Fest: Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal and 6 Other Oscar Hopefuls on Making Indies

It's not often that one gets to spend 75 minutes talking about the good, bad and ugly sides of indie filmmaking with eight distinguished filmmakers, but that's precisely what I had the pleasure of doing last Sunday when I moderated the AFI Fest's Indie Contenders Roundtable, which was presented by The Hollywood Reporter.

Each of the eight panelists were associated with top-notch 2014 indies: writer-director J.C. Chandor (AFI Fest opener A Most Violent Year); writer-director Damien Chazelle (Sundance grand jury and audience award winner Whiplash); Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard (Belgian Oscar submission Two Days, One Night, as well as 2013 Cannes selection The Immigrant); Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Toronto selections Nightcrawler and, from 2013, Enemy); actor Bill Hader (a best actor Gotham Award nominee for Sundance selection The Skeleton Twins); actress Michelle Monaghan (Fort Bliss); actress Kristen Stewart (Toronto selection Still Alice, as well as Sundance selection Camp X-Ray and Cannes selection The Clouds of Sils Maria); and Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer, as well as 2013 Cannes selection Only Lovers Left Alive and Berlin selection The Grand Budapest Hotel).

As you can see for yourself by watching the video at the top of this post or reading highlights of the conversation below, the gathering served as a master class for those in the audience and a cathartic experience for the panelists, who also rarely enjoy the opportunity to discuss these matters in-depth with a wide cross-section of fellow filmmakers.

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NOV
13
1 week

'Big Eyes' Debuts, 'Foxcatcher' Finally Makes It to AFI Fest on Busy Night in Awards Season

'Big Eyes' Debuts, 'Foxcatcher' Finally Makes It to AFI Fest on Busy Night in Awards Season

On Thursday night, two very different Oscar hopefuls, which have tread two very different paths, both landed in Hollywood for the first time.

Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, a dark drama that was originally scheduled to have its world premiere at the AFI Fest last year before post-production delays forced it into this year's race, finally made it to the fest (better late than never!), having already screened at just about every other biggie (Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and New York). The film, which stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, was feted with a gala Los Angeles premiere at the home of the Oscars, the Dolby Theatre, to which Sony Classics hopes it will return as an Oscar nominee on Feb. 22.

Read more Channing Tatum, Steve Carell on 'Foxcatcher' Genre Jump: "People Think That Doing Drama Is Fine Art"

Meanwhile, across town, Tim Burton's Big Eyes, a biopic-dramedy that stars Academy favorites Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz as married artists Margaret Keane and Walter Keane, had its world premiere at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Weinstein Co. release screened as part of a Film Independent screening series — FI's Elvis Mitchell noted, in pre-screening remarks, that it was the series' first-ever world premiere — which struck some as an unusual way to unveil an awards hopeful, although it proved to be perfectly reasonable. It effectively managed hype and expectations, making it possible for the glossy film to more or less satisfy rather than disappoint its audience.

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NOV
13
1 week

Could Alzheimer's-Afflicted Glen Campbell Land a Best Original Song Oscar Nom?

Could Alzheimer's-Afflicted Glen Campbell Land a Best Original Song Oscar Nom?

Could the iconic musician Glen Campbell, who currently resides in a memory care facility, land an Oscar nomination? James Keach's Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a deeply moving chronicle of its 78-year-old subject's "Goodbye Tour" after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, is one of 134 documentaries vying for a spot on the best documentary feature Oscar shortlist of 15 titles, and then to become one of the five eventual nominees — but it has something going for it that few if any of the other contending docs also do: namely, a shot at another nomination.

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NOV
13
1 week

Palm Springs Film Fest: Julianne Moore Nabs Top Actress Honor for 'Still Alice'

Palm Springs Film Fest: Julianne Moore Nabs Top Actress Honor for 'Still Alice'

Julianne Moore, who has received rave reviews — and whom I have long regarded as this year's best actress Oscar frontrunner — for her portrayal of a woman afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease in Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's drama Still Alice, will receive the Palm Springs International Film Festival's highest honor for a female actor, the Desert Pal

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