'All Is Lost' Director J.C. Chandor on Redford's Oscar Snub: 'Everyone Was Frustrated'

3:02 PM PST 06/25/2014 by Hilary Lewis
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J.C. Chandor

The filmmaker also gave THR an update on his next film, "A Most Violent Year," starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, while Bennett Miller talked about believing in his "Foxcatcher" stars Steve Carell and Channing Tatum.

Months after Robert Redford’s memorable Oscar snub, director J.C. Chandor talked to The Hollywood Reporter about why he thinks his All Is Lost star blamed the distributor for his lack of a best actor nomination.

“I think his comments were a little off the mark but represented all of our frustration that we really believed in that movie. Everyone was frustrated that morning, and I don’t think he’d say the same thing today that he did that morning,” Chandor told THR at a star-studded event in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The dinner was thrown by New York Film Festival producer the Film Society of Lincoln Center to announce its 2014 Filmmaker in Residence, Lisandro Alonso.

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Chandor explained that everyone involved with All Is Lost, including Redford and the film’s distributor Roadside Attractions, really cared about the film — in which Redford played a man struggling to stay alive on the open sea — and were “bummed” that the film and Redford’s performance weren’t recognized by the Academy.

All Is Lost was one of many awards hopefuls snubbed by the Academy in last year’s competitive race, only earning a sound editing nomination.

“I wanted that for him…[Roadside Attractions] wanted it for him,” Chandor added. “Everyone put so much of their heart into that movie that it’s always sad [when things don’t work out the way you want them to].”

After earning a best original screenplay Oscar nomination and two Independent Spirit Awards for his first film, Margin Call, Chandor said what happened with All Is Lost was a learning experience.

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“With my first film, everything had worked so beautifully that it was like this little dream sequence. That was a good wake-up call for me to just realize you gotta keep making movies and you can’t control the whole process,” he said.

Chandor is currently finishing his next film, A Most Violent Year, starring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. He explained that it’s 90 percent done and he’s screening it to a group of people outside Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night and showing it to the Film Society of Lincoln Center as well.

When asked if he’s hoping the film will end up in this year’s New York Film Festival, Chandor said, “It’s a New York film so it would make sense, but you never know…We’ll see where we end up.”

Also on hand for the dinner were Foxcatcher director Bennett Miller, who co-hosted the Indochine soiree, and Sony Pictures Classics’ co-president Michael Barker.

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Both were excited about the positive reception Foxcatcher received at Cannes, with Miller saying he “couldn’t be happier” about the festival’s response to something he’d labored over.

Still, when it came to stars Channing Tatum and Steve Carell, who play different roles than audiences are used to seeing them in, Miller said he just believed in them.

“I believed in those guys. I spent a little bit of time with each of them and I believed in them. When you believe in somebody, great things can happen,” he said

Barker said Sony Pictures Classics was looking forward to releasing the film in the fall and argued that Miller’s latest is better than his prior, Oscar-nominated films Moneyball and Capote.

The dinner also was attended by Oliver Stone, Julie Taymor, Mira Nair, James Toback, Christine Vachon, as well as fellow co-hosts Todd Solondz, Lisa Cortes, Charles Finch and Film Society executive director Lesli Klainberg.

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