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DEC
24
1 day

The Inside Story: Why 'Birdman's' Drum Score Isn't Eligible for an Oscar and Why an Appeal Was Rejected

The Inside Story: Why 'Birdman's' Drum Score Isn't Eligible for an Oscar and Why an Appeal Was Rejected

Another Oscar season, another controversy with the Academy's music branch. Last season, the music-related issue that had everyone talking was the questionable nomination and subsequent disqualification of the original song "Alone Yet Not Alone." This season, it is the eligibility of Antonio Sanchez's drum-centric score for one of the year's most acclaimed films, Alejandro G. Inarritu's Birdman, which is being distributed by Fox Searchlight.

The branch disqualified the movie for best score consideration because its soundtrack includes pieces of classical music in addition to Sanchez's score. That, in turn, led to a highly contentious behind-the-scenes debate about whether or not to overturn the decision — a debate involving Sanchez, Inarritu, Fox Music and the chair of the Academy's music branch executive committee, the details of which have not been previously reported.

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DEC
24
1 day

Lana Del Rey's Christmas Present for Fans: Free Downloads of 'Big Eyes' Song (Exclusive)

Lana Del Rey's Christmas Present for Fans: Free Downloads of 'Big Eyes' Song (Exclusive)

On the eve of both Christmas and the opening of Tim Burton's film Big Eyes, singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey — in partnership with Yahoo!, Google Play and The Weinstein Co. — has decided to provide her fans with free downloads of her Golden Globe award- and Critics' Choice award-nominated song from the film, which is also entitled "Big Eyes," via Yahoo! through Google Play. The opportunity extends until midnight ET/9 p.m. PT this evening.

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DEC
24
2 DAYS

Feinberg Forecast: Holiday Break Begins with Less Than Week Until Voting Opens

DEC
23
2 DAYS

Oscars: Watch Glen Campbell Record Final Song 'I'm Not Gonna Miss You' (Exclusive)

Could the iconic musician Glen Campbell, who currently resides in a memory care facility, land an Oscar nomination on Jan. 15? That was a question that I raised in a post last month in connection with "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," the beautiful and haunting song that proved to be the last one that Campbell recorded before Alzheimer's Disease put an end to his illustrious career.

The song is featured in the final scene of James Keach's Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a deeply moving chronicle of its subject's "Goodbye Tour," and although the film did not land a spot on the Academy's list of 15 titles shortlisted for the best documentary feature Oscar, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" could still emerge from a long-list of 79 tunes to become one of the five nominees for the best original song Oscar. That would make Campbell, at 78, an Oscar nominee for the first time in his career.

The Hollywood Reporter hosts an exclusive clip from the end of the documentary that depicts how the heartbreaking song came together: one line at a time, due to Campbell's memory struggles, and with the help of his friends, the legendary Wrecking Crew, comprised of the most successful group of studio musicians in recording history.

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DEC
23
3 DAYS

Academy Rejects Challenge to 'Citizenfour' Oscar Eligibility (Exclusive)

Academy Rejects Challenge to 'Citizenfour' Oscar Eligibility (Exclusive)

A Kansas City man who filed a civil suit Friday against Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and others involved in the making of the documentary Citizenfour has also taken his case to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arguing that the movie should be disqualified for Oscar consideration. He based his claim on the fact that footage that Poitras shot of Snowden appeared online in 2013, arguing that violates Academy rules that require a film to have a theatrical run before it appears online or on TV.

But after reviewing the case, the Academy has decided that the movie is eligible, an Academy spokesman told THR.

Citizenfour is among 15 films that have been shortlisted for the best documentary feature Oscar, and after an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run that began on Oct. 24, it is eligible in other categories as well.

Horace B. Edwards — an 89-year-old former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation and a retired Navy officer who once held security clearance — has no ties to the entertainment industry. But according to court documents, he believes that Snowden has done damage to the country, and he apparently does not want to see him celebrated in any way. 

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DEC
22
3 DAYS

'The Imitation Game' to Be Honored by Human Rights Campaign

'The Imitation Game' to Be Honored by Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, announced on Monday that it will honor the creative talent responsible for Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game — a film about the life of the British scientist-turned-World War II hero Alan Turning, a gay man who was prosecuted after the war for "homosexual acts" — at its New York Gala Dinner on Jan. 31 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

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DEC
22
4 DAYS

The Screener Game: Why You Got the Ones You Got When You Got Them

The Screener Game: Why You Got the Ones You Got When You Got Them

A version of this article appeared in the December Awards Playbook edition of The Hollywood Reporter.

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DEC
21
4 DAYS

Film Expert: Sony "Surrender" Joins Long History of Studios Bowing to "Intimidation Tactics" (Guest Column)

Film Expert: Sony "Surrender" Joins Long History of Studios Bowing to "Intimidation Tactics" (Guest Column)

On the evening of Dec. 4, 1930, inside the ornate Mozart Hall in Berlin, Universal's antiwar epic All Quiet on the Western Front was just starting to unspool when spectators noticed a rancid smell in the theater — stink bombs — and spotted dozens of white mice scurrying down the aisles. Women began to scream and, amid the chaos, a cadre of Nazi storm troopers stood up, pointed at the screen and screamed, "Judenfilm!" The Nazis — still over two years away from turning Germany into a gangster state — had vandalized and infiltrated the theater to shut down a Hollywood film that depicted the Great War as a muddy death trap. Days of protests and street demonstrations followed: The Nazis vowed that either All Quiet on the Western Front would be withdrawn or the theaters world burn.

It worked. Germany banned the film that its own censors had earlier cleared for domestic release. The capitulation — both political and cinematic — gave the nascent National Socialists a huge victory, gaining stature for a fringe party and exposing the wheezing Weimar Republic as a paper tiger. "The police are powerless," chortled Joseph Goebbels, the future propaganda minister for the Third Reich.

Read more Sony Lawyer: 'The Interview' "Will Be Distributed"

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DEC
19
6 DAYS

See Bradley Cooper Play a Reluctant Hero in New 'American Sniper' Clip (Exclusive)

See Bradley Cooper Play a Reluctant Hero in New 'American Sniper' Clip (Exclusive)

American Sniper is not off to the sort of start that Warner Bros. wanted for its principal Oscar hopeful this season — after landing a spot on the AFI's year-end top 10 list, it was completely excluded from the SAG and Golden Globe nominations and recognized only in the action movie categories of the Critics' Choice noms — but Oscar nomination voting doesn't begin until Dec. 29, and there is still time for Academy members to catch up with and/or come around on Clint Eastwood's drama about the deadliest American sniper of the Iraq War, Chris Kyle, who is played in the film by Bradley Cooper.

I think they might.

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DEC
19
6 DAYS

Palm Springs Film Fest: Robert Duvall, Alejandro G. Inarritu Join List of Honorees

Palm Springs Film Fest: Robert Duvall, Alejandro G. Inarritu Join List of Honorees

The Judge's supporting actor Robert Duvall will receive this year's Icon Award and Birdman's co-writer and director Alejandro G. Inarritu will receive this year's Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival's 26th annual Awards Gala on Jan. 3, PSIFF announced on Friday. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

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DEC
19
6 DAYS

Foreign Oscar Shortlist: Great Choices — and Horrible Headscratchers, as Usual (Analysis)

Foreign Oscar Shortlist: Great Choices — and Horrible Headscratchers, as Usual (Analysis)

On Friday morning, the Academy released its foreign-language committee's shortlist of nine filmsselected from a record 83 submissions this year — from which the five nominees for the best foreign-language film Oscar will soon be chosen.

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DEC
19
7 DAYS

Meet the Bros. Dardenne, Belgium's National Treasures Behind 'Two Days, One Night'

If you don't frequent the Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, or at least your local art house movie theater, you may not know the names Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. But, as someone who does, take my word for it: These soft-spoken, unassuming sexagenarian brothers from Belgium are as talented and consistently on-the-mark as any filmmakers in the world — and they have been for years.

That's why I find it so utterly unbelievable that the Academy has never even nominated one of their projects for the best foreign-language film Oscar, even though four have been submitted by their motherland over the years — and why, I must confess, I am crossing my fingers that this grave injustice will be corrected, or at least not extended, when the Academy, sometime in the next 48 hours, reveals the names of the nine films that its foreign-language committee or executive committee has deemed worthy of this year's Oscar shortlist. As I see it, the Dardennes' latest, Two Days, One Night, deserves to be among the finalists as much as any of this year's record 83 submissions from around the globe.

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DEC
18
7 DAYS

People Magazine Awards: 'Cake' Star Jennifer Aniston Wins First Film-Acting Prize of Career

People Magazine Awards: 'Cake' Star Jennifer Aniston Wins First Film-Acting Prize of Career

Sure, the inaugural People Magazine Awards, which took place on Thursday evening at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and was televised nationally on NBC, was a blatant "pseudoevent," in the sense that it only existed as an excuse to generate attention for those associated with it: People, the 40-year-old weekly fan magazine; Entertainment Weekly, its sister publication; and whatever celebrities they could get to show up and accept prizes and/or perform in person.

(As was the case with November's Hollywood Film Awards — also put together by Dick Clark Productions, which shares a parent company with THR — there weren't nominees for the various awards, but rather just predetermined winners, and the process by which they were selected kept deliberately vague.)

But, even so, for those who were chosen and did show up and happen to also be in the hunt for Oscar nominations, the evening offered a nice opportunity to get a little free publicity before the town shuts down for the holidays — in the midst of which nomination voting will begin, on Dec. 29.

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DEC
18
1 week

Sony Hack: Father of North Korean Leader Was Obsessed With Hollywood Movies

Sony Hack: Father of North Korean Leader Was Obsessed With Hollywood Movies

Kim Jong-il, North Korea's Supreme Leader from July 1994 until his death in Dec. 2011, was credited with many far-fetched accomplishments during his lifetime, from inventing the hamburger to curing dwarfism to shooting 11 holes-in-one the first time he played golf to never having had a bowel movement. But one remarkable thing that he actually did do, according to reliable reports, is watch more American movies than most people who work in Hollywood.

And it was under this man's roof that North Korea's current dictator — Kim Jong-il's son Kim Jong Un, the man lampooned in the comedy The Interview and suspected of authorizing a cyberterrorism attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation — came of age.

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