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OCT
9
2 WKS

Can Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Pull Off an Extremely Rare Oscar Feat?

Can Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Pull Off an Extremely Rare Oscar Feat?

An actor cannot be nominated for an Oscar for more than one project in the same category in the same year — but can a costume designer?

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OCT
8
2 WKS

New York Film Fest: 'Time Out of Mind' Star Richard Gere Receives Career Tribute

New York Film Fest: 'Time Out of Mind' Star Richard Gere Receives Career Tribute

"This is one of the great moments of my life, being here with you tonight," actor Richard Gere told a room filled with friends and fans on Wednesday night as the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrated his career with a tribute dinner and conversation at Lincoln Center's Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. (Last week, FSLC feted actor-writer-director Ethan Hawke similarly.)

Much of the hour-long conversation, which was moderated by Kent Jones, director of the FSLC-sponsored New York Film Festival, focused on Oren Moverman's Time Out of Mind, a dramatic feature in which Gere plays a homeless man living on the streets of New York that is currently screening at the NYFF (and still seeking a U.S. distributor).

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OCT
8
2 WKS

Patti Smith on Her Musical Roots and First Shot at an Oscar With 'Noah' Song

Patti Smith on Her Musical Roots and First Shot at an Oscar With 'Noah' Song

On Tuesday, I met up in New York with Patti Smith, the iconic singer-songwriter-activist, for a long conversation about her life, career and latest work. Smith, who is 67 and a year away from the 40th anniversary of her debut album Horses, is still going strong — writing, performing and speaking out about social issues that are important to her. She is also, for the first time in her career, in contention for a best original song Oscar nomination.

Many of the songs for which Smith has been known and loved for generations — including "Because the Night," "The People Have the Power" and "Gloria" — have been sampled in movies over the years. But those songs were already in circulation when they showed up on film soundtracks. This year, for the first time, Smith wrote a song specifically for a movie: "Mercy Is," a haunting lullaby that pops up throughout and at the end of her friend Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic Noah. And people are loving it.

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OCT
7
2 WKS

Could an Undocumented American Land an Oscar Nom This Season?

Could an Undocumented American Land an Oscar Nom This Season?

Last week, I had lunch in New York with Jose Antonio Vargas, the undocumented immigrant who is a leader in the fight for immigration reform in America and whose recent documentary feature, Documented, which debuted on iTunes and other digital platforms Tuesday, could factor into this year's Oscar race. Even if you haven't yet seen the film, which received a brief Oscar-qualifying theatrical run and aired several times over the summer on CNN, you've probably heard of Vargas, a prominent journalist who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2008, outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in The New York Times Magazine in 2011 and appeared on the cover of TIME magazine in June 2012. Documented, Vargas' debut as a film director, shows what led him to make that decision and how it has impacted his life ever since. He and I spoke about the film and his ongoing efforts.

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OCT
5
3 WKS

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections as the New York Film Fest Crosses Halftime

FEINBERG FORECAST: Updated Projections as the New York Film Fest Crosses Halftime

Every week through the 87th Oscars on Feb. 22, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst Scott Feinberg will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," wherein he presents a summary of major developments since the last update that helped to shape his current opinions and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Factoring into this week's Feinberg Forecast …

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OCT
5
3 WKS

New York Film Fest: Will the Weighted Ballot Enable 'Inherent Vice' to Land a Best Pic Nom?

New York Film Fest: Will the Weighted Ballot Enable 'Inherent Vice' to Land a Best Pic Nom?

The 2014 New York Film Festival marked its halfway point on Saturday night with a big Alice Tully Hall premiere and Tavern on the Green after-party for its Centerpiece selection, the world premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, which Warner Bros. will release on Dec. 12. Anderson and almost all of his star-studded ensemble, led by Joaquin Phoenix, were on hand to celebrate this first-ever adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel — the famously reclusive author apparently makes a cameo, but good luck spotting it — as were a huge number of other high-profile members of the film community. Now the question is whether or not the film can attract regular moviegoers and votes from the Academy.

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OCT
4
3 WKS

In a Year of Moving Docs, 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me' May Take the Cake — and an Oscar Nom

In a Year of Moving Docs, 'Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me' May Take the Cake — and an Oscar Nom

2014 has featured an impressive number of deeply moving and inspirational documentaries. There's been Life Itself, Steve James' remembrance of the dearly departed film critic Roger Ebert; Keep on Keepin' On, Alex Hicks' chronicle of an old man and a young man helping one another; Documented, Jose Antonio Vargas' portrait of the undocumented immigrant experience in 21st century America; Ben Cotner and Ryan White's The Case Against 8, which takes one into the center of the gay marriage debate; and the list goes on. But, in terms of sheer tears-inducement, I'm not sure any can match James Keach's Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a gut-punching look at what Alzheimer's Disease has done to the titular music legend — and the remarkable way in which the 78-year-old and his loved ones have conducted their lives since his diagnosis in 2011.

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OCT
3
3 WKS

Sony Pictures Classics Plans Kristen Stewart Oscar Push for 'Still Alice' (Exclusive)

Sony Pictures Classics Plans Kristen Stewart Oscar Push for 'Still Alice' (Exclusive)

Julianne Moore, this year's clear best actress Oscar frontrunner for her work in Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's Still Alice — a drama in which she plays a middle-aged academic diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease — won't be the only person associated with that film to get a major Oscar push this year, The Hollyw

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OCT
3
3 WKS

Harvey Weinstein Blasts 'Finding Neverland' Critics: 'They Have No Clout Whatsoever'

Harvey Weinstein Blasts 'Finding Neverland' Critics: 'They Have No Clout Whatsoever'

Harvey Weinstein was born, raised and lives in New York, but it seems like the New York theater press still needs to learn something that the Hollywood film press learned long ago: namely, that one should think twice about picking a fight with Harvey.

This week, The Weinstein Co. announced that Finding Neverland, a stage adaptation of the 2003 Oscar-nominated film that Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein released under their former banner of Miramax, will debut at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 8, 2015, just in time to qualify for the next Tony Awards. (You may recall that a musical number from the show was performed at the last Tony Awards, in June, by Jennifer Hudson, who has nothing to do with the show.)

Weinstein has been an investor on numerous other Broadway shows dating back to 2000 — most recently All the Way, the Bryan Cranston vehicle that won this year's best play and best actor in a play Tonys — but Finding Neverland marks the first time that he has been lead producer, meaning not only financial participation but creative involvement. And, as should be surprising to no one, Weinstein has been intimately involved with the production — and the response to early targeting of it by members of the media.

Read more 'Finding Neverland' Landing on Broadway in March

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OCT
2
3 WKS

Oscars: Stunning Number of Foreign-Language Submissions Debuted in Cannes

Oscars: Stunning Number of Foreign-Language Submissions Debuted in Cannes

The deadline for countries around the world to notify the Academy of their submission for this year's best foreign language film Oscar race arrived on Wednesday. While some of those decisions have not yet been shared with the public — for instance, people are still anxiously waiting to learn what China entered — more than 60 have been. And looking over that list, one thing became strikingly clear: May's Cannes Film Festival, which did not produce an awful lot of narrative Oscar contenders this year — really just Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner and The Homesman — did produce a stunning and possibly unprecedented number of foreign-language Oscar contenders.

Read more How the Oscar Race Is Shaping Up During New York Film Fest

Indeed, of the 38 films that screened on the Croisette in competition or as part of the Un Certain Regard section, many of which weren't even in a language other than English, nineArgentina's Wild Tales, Belgium's Two Days, One Night, Canada's Mommy, France's Saint Laurent, Hungary's White God, Mauritania's Timbuktu, Russia's Leviathan, Sweden's Force Majeure and Turkey's Winter Sleep, all of which debuted at the fest — are now their nation's official Oscar submission. That's nearly one-quarter of the group! And if China ends up submitting Zhang Yimou's Coming Home (which screened at the fest out of competition), as it is widely expected to do, then it will be more than one-quarter!

How did this happen?

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OCT
1
3 WKS

New York Film Fest: 'Seymour' Subject Performs During Ethan Hawke Tribute

New York Film Fest: 'Seymour' Subject Performs During Ethan Hawke Tribute

"I have to admit something," Ethan Hawke told New York Film Festival director Kent Jones in the middle of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Tuesday night tribute to the actor-writer-director at Lincoln Center's Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. "It [the acceptance of Hawke's new documentary Seymour: An Introduction into the highly selective fest] meant a lot to me. Hamlet was rejected here. Before Sunrise was rejected here. Tadpole was rejected here. Before Sunset was rejected here. I mean, you know, it's been a lonely 30 f—ing years — I needed Seymour Bernstein to get my ass in this chair!"

Not long after the audience's laughter died down, Bernstein — a professional classical pianist turned piano teacher who has become a life coach to Hawke and the subject of Seymour — rose and offered a tribute of his own to the man who has made him, at 87, a celebrity of sorts. Bernstein, who had performed publicly only once since walking away from his recital career in 1977, for Hawke's doc, said, "This afternoon I went over one piece and I thought, 'Well, I'm gonna give it a try.'" He walked over to a grand piano in the corner of the room, which had theretofore been manned by his former NYU pupil Jiyang Chen, and, after a humorous introduction, played a long and beautiful Brahms intermezzo.

Read more 'Seymour: An Introduction': Telluride Review

(See THR's video of Bernstein's tribute and performance at the bottom of this post.)

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SEP
30
3 WKS

Austin Film Fest: 'The Humbling' and 'The Last Five Years' Will Open, 'Rosewater' Will Close

Austin Film Fest: 'The Humbling' and 'The Last Five Years' Will Open, 'Rosewater' Will Close

Barry Levinson's drama The Humbling, which stars Al Pacino, and Richard LaGravanese's musical The Last Five Years, which Jason Robert Brown adapted from his off-Broadway show — two films that had their world premieres at this month's Toronto International Film Festival and quickly found U.S. distributors that see them as 2014 awards bait — will open the 21st annual Austin Film Festival and Screenwriters Conference on Oct. 23, the fest announced on Tuesday.

Additionally, Jon Stewart's feature directorial debut Rosewater, a drama based on the harrowing true story of the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, will close the fest in Texas' capital on Oct. 30, with Stewart and Bahari — who have been working the fest circuit hard this fall — on hand for the festivities.

Read more How the Oscar Race Is Shaping Up During New York Film Fest

And writer-director-producer Edward Zwick will receive this year's Extraordinary Contribution to Film Award on Oct. 25. Previous recipients of this honor have included Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Danny Boyle, Oliver Stone, Sydney Pollack, John Lasseter, Frank Darabont and Robert Rodriguez.

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SEP
29
3 WKS

New York Film Fest: 'Whiplash' Continues to Drum Up Major Oscar Buzz

New York Film Fest: 'Whiplash' Continues to Drum Up Major Oscar Buzz

It's not easy for a tiny indie to land a best picture Oscar nomination. Those that do are generally handled by savvy distributors which carefully nurture word-of-mouth buzz over the course of an awards season, largely by taking their contender from one film festival to another. That worked, in recent years, for Amour, An Education, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Tree of Life and Winter's Bone. And my sense is that it may work again this year for Whiplash, a powerful drama that is being handled by Sony Pictures Classics.

Following stops at Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, the film — which is about an ambitious young drummer (Miles Teller) at a Juilliard-like conservatory and his complicated relationship with one of its most revered but feared instructors (J.K. Simmons) — screened at the New York Film Festival on Sunday night, where its end credits were met with lengthy applause and its talent were introduced to a standing ovation at a post-screening Q&A.

Read more 'Whiplash': Sundance Review

This was no aberration: The film has received similar receptions at the other aforementioned fests — it won both the grand jury and audience awards at Sundance — and response to it at the NYFF press screening was described to me by SPC co-chief Michael Barker as better than any he can remember since Boogie Nights' 17 years ago.

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SEP
29
3 WKS

FEINBERG FORECAST: How the Oscar Race Is Shaping Up During New York Film Fest

FEINBERG FORECAST: How the Oscar Race Is Shaping Up During New York Film Fest

Every week through the 87th Oscars on Feb. 22, 2015, The Hollywood Reporter's lead awards analyst Scott Feinberg will post an updated "Feinberg Forecast," wherein he presents a summary of major developments since the last update that helped to shape his current opinions and then lists his revised projections. For more about Feinberg and how he arrives at his projections, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Factoring into this week's Feinberg Forecast …

Read More