By now we've all had a few days to process the announcement of the 87th Oscar nominations that came last Thursday. With the benefit of a little bit of distance and perspective, here are what I regard as the five biggest "snubs" — or, if you prefer a different word, exclusions — of the day.
By now we've all had a few days to process the announcement of the 87th Oscar nominations that came last Thursday. With the benefit of a little bit of distance and perspective, here are the five nominations that I believe were the most surprising to the greatest number of people.
To me, the most impressive thing about the musical Into the Woods, Disney's big Oscar hopeful this season, is the quality of its craftwork — the great Colleen Atwood's costumes, Peter Swords King's hairstyling and makeup and J. Roy Helland's makeup work with Meryl Streep. It is, literally and figuratively, out of this world.
Everyone knows that Holmby Hills' famed Playboy Mansion hosts Bunnies … but did you know that it also houses bunnies — as well as monkeys, cockatoos, peacocks, African cranes, parrots, toucans, pelicans, doves and all sorts of other animals?
They all reside in the backyard "zoo" area — the Mansion is one of America's few private residences with a zoo license — which Crystal Hefner, Hugh Hefner's stunning 28-year-old wife of 19 months, was gracious enough to show to The Hollywood Reporterlast week. (See the video at the top of this post.)
NEW YORK -- Last Sunday afternoon, before the first of her two performances that day, Lena Hall, the fast-rising Broadway star who is a best featured actress in a musical Tony nominee this year for her performance opposite Neil Patrick Harris in the hit musical revival Hedwig and the Angry Inch, joined me for a walk around Times Square.
NEW YORK – Few performers have won an acting Tony for work in a show that closed after Tony nominations were announced due to poor ticket sales, as opposed to the expiration of a preordained limited engagement. The most recent exceptions to this rule were Julie White, who won best actress in a play for The Little Dog Laughed (2006), and John Lithgow, who won best actor in a musical for Sweet Smell of Success (2002), the latter of which featured an up-and-coming young actress by the name of Kelli O'Hara.
Over the years since Sweet Smell of Success, O'Hara has become one of the biggest names on Broadway, scoring five Tony nominations along the way -- for The Light in the Piazza (2005), The Pajama Game (2006), South Pacific (2008), Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012) and, this year, for The Bridges of Madison County. To her great disappointment, the one in which she invested the most time, heart and soul, Bridges, closed just days after she received her nom. It failed to receive one in the category of best musical, which represented its last best hope of generating some sustainable interest at the box office.
Consequently, the 38-year-old now finds herself in the same aforementioned situation as White and Lithgow, as well as Angela Lansbury, the last person to win the best actress in a musical Tony under these circumstances, for the revival of Gypsy, way back in 1975. The only others who have won in that category for closed shows: Mary Martin for Peter Pan (1955); Dolores Gray for Carnival in Flanders (1954), which closed after just six performances, the shortest run ever recognized with an acting Tony; plus Patricia Routledge for Darling of the Day and Leslie Uggam for Hallelujah, Baby, who tied in 1968.
NEW YORK -- Just over a week ago, The Hollywood Reporter conducted our first Tonys Actress Roundtable with six 2014 Tony nominees -- Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons), Sutton Foster (Violet), LaTanya Richardson Jackson (A Raisin in the Sun), Idina Menzel (If/Then), Jessie Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) and Kelli O'Hara (The Bridges of Madison County) -- and the conversation produced so much interesting material that it couldn't all fit into the main video. Therefore, THR is now releasing an 11-minute bonus feature: the actresses' discussion about what first brought them to New York and what they regard as their "big break" on Broadway.
NEW YORK – Just over a week ago, The Hollywood Reporter conducted its first Tonys Actor Roundtable with six 2014 Tony nominees — Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin), Andy Karl (Rocky), Jefferson Mays (A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder), Chris O'Dowd (Of Mice and Men) and Tony Shalhoub (Act One) — and the conversation produced so much interesting material that it couldn't all fit into the main video. Therefore, THR is now releasing an 11-minute bonus feature: the actors' discussion about what first brought them to New York and what they regard as their "big break" on Broadway.
NEW YORK -- A week ago, The Hollywood Reporter was on Broadway -- or at least at a studio nearby -- for a momentous occasion: the taping of our first Tony Roundtables, which represent an expansion of our award-winning Roundtables franchise that was previously limited to the Oscar and Emmy seasons.
With the 68th Tony Awards rapidly approaching -- voting closes on June 6, and the ceremony itself will take place on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall -- we decided to gather six of this year's most impressive Tony-nominated actors for a photo shoot and a videotaped conversation about their lives, careers, pet peeves and the roles for which they are nominated.
They were best actor in a musical nominees Neil Patrick Harris (Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Andy Karl (Rocky Balboa in Rocky) and Jefferson Mays (nine members of the D'Ysquith family in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), best featured actor in a musical nominee James Monroe Iglehart (Genie in Aladdin) and best actor in a play nominees Chris O'Dowd (Lennie in Of Mice and Men) and Tony Shalhoub (middle-aged Moss Art, Moss Hart's father and George S. Kaufman in Act One).
NEW YORK – A week ago, The Hollywood Reporter was on Broadway — or at least, at a studio nearby — for a momentous occasion: the taping of our first Tonys Roundtable videos, which represent an expansion of our award-winning Roundtable franchise that was previously limited to the Oscar and Emmy seasons.
With the 68th Tony Awards rapidly approaching — voting closes on June 6 and the ceremony itself will take place on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall — we decided to gather six of this year's most impressive Tony-nominated actresses for a photo shoot and a videotaped conversation about their lives, their careers and the roles for which they are nominated.
The six were: best actress in a musical nominees Sutton Foster (Violet in Violet), Idina Menzel (Elizabeth in If/Then), Jessie Mueller (Carole King in Beautiful: The Carole King Story) and Kelli O'Hara (Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County) and best actress in a play nominees Tyne Daly (Katharine in Mothers and Sons) and LaTanya Richardson Jackson (Lena "Mama" Younger in A Raisin in the Sun).
The Hollywood Reporter's inaugural Breakthrough Performers Panel (shot at The Warwick in Hollywood) was comprised of Barkhad Abdi, 28 (the Somali pirate Muse in Paul Greengrass' Captain Phillips); Adele Exarchopoulos, 20 (the young lesbian Adele in Abdellatif Kechiche's Blue Is the Warmest Color); Greta Gerwig, 30 (the lost soul Frances Halladay in Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha); Kathryn Hahn, 40 (the sexually reawakened Rachel in Jill Soloway's Afternoon Delight); David Oyelowo, 37 (the butler's oldest son, Louis Gaines, in Lee Daniels' Lee Daniels’ The Butler); and Olivia Wilde, 29 (the romantically confused Kate in Joe Swanberg's Drinking Buddies).
These performers' 2013 breakthroughs all are different: One is an actor's first credit (Abdi), another is an actress' 50th (Hahn); one came from an American in an American movie (Gerwig), another from a foreigner in a foreign-language movie (Exarchopoulos); one is in a summer blockbuster (Oyelowo), another in a microbudget indie (Wilde). In all cases, these actors have given performances that merit more attention than they have been receiving.
Only a couple of years ago, I was beginning to wonder if the Cannes Film Festival had become virtually irrelevant to the Oscar race. While only two Palme d'Or winners, both released over a half-century ago, have ever gone on to win the best picture Oscar -- The Lost Weekend (1945) and Marty (1955) -- the rest of the lineup, in most years since the fest's founding 67 years ago, has included at least a few titles that went on to strong Oscar showings.
But, heading into 2011, even that was no longer a given. Indeed, only two of the previous 30 best picture Oscar winners had even played at Cannes, Chariots of Fire (1981) and No Country for Old Men (2007), and only one of the previous 14 Palme d'Or winners had even been nominated for the best picture Oscar, The Pianist (2002). As a result of its May dates, Cannes seemed to be losing many top contenders to the Telluride and Toronto film fests, which take place in September, closer to the end of the year, when awards voters fill out their ballots.