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BIRDMAN Wins Best Director/Picture Academy Awards

Posted on 23 February 2015 by Rich Drees

Birdman

Birdman, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s story of an actor betting it all on a career comeback, finished off its sweep of the awards season by taking the Best Picture honors at the Academy Awards. Iñárritu also took home the Oscar for Best Director. The film also won prizes for Best Original Screenplay and Cinematography.

From the moment that the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced, Birdman had been neck and neck in a race with Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel for Oscar gold as the two films each had nine nominations. And Grand Budapest Hotel tied Birdman for the number of wins as well, winning Oscar statues in the Best Costume, Makeup, Production Design and Original Score categories.

Surprisingly, Birdman lost out in the three acting categories it was nominated in – Best Actor for its star Michael Keaton, Best Supporting Actor for Edward Norton and Best Supporting Actress for Emma Stone. Instead those prizes went to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory Of Everything, J. K. Simmons for Whiplash and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Here is the complete list of winners –

Best Motion Picture
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Eddie Redmayne in “The Theory of Everything”

Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role
J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash”

Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role
Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”

Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”

Best Animated Feature Film Of The Year
Big Hero 6

Achievement in Cinematography
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki

Achievement in Costume Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Milena Canonero

Achievement in Directing
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Best Documentary Feature
“CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Best Documentary Short Subject
“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

Achievement in Film Editing
“Whiplash” Tom Cross

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
“Ida” Poland

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Alexandre Desplat

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“Glory” from “Selma”

Achievement in Production Design
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock

Best Animated Short Film
“Feast”

Best Live Action Short Film
“The Phone Call”

Achievement in Sound Editing
“American Sniper” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Achievement in Sound Mixing
“Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Achievement in Visual Effects
“Interstellar”

Adapted Screenplay
“The Imitation Game” Written by Graham Moore

Original Screenplay
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

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If We Picked The OSCARS: 2015 Edition!

Posted on 22 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

OscarStatuesIt’s that time of the year again, Oscar time! The question everyone is asking (at least in my household) is this – who will go home with the gold and what other surprises will ensue.

In this post, we go through the major categories, pick who we think will will, and who has the best chance for an upset. This way, all of our bases are covered (unless, of course, we are wrong). We’ll even give you our odds for an upset. So, here we go!

Best animated feature film of the year

  • Big Hero 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
  • The Boxtrolls Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
  • Song of the Sea Tomm Moore and Paul Young
  • The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

And the Oscar Goes to: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Unless it goes to: The Boxtrolls

Chance of Upset: 5%

It looks like it is HTTYD2’s year to get an award, but it will be a hallow victory because the best animated film of the year, The Lego Movie, did not even get nominated. Out of the rest, The Box Trolls might have a slim chance to get an award. Although, I think eventually one of the foreign films the Academy nominates in this category will end up winning it.

Best Original Song

  • “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
    Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
  • “Glory” from Selma
    Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
  • “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
    Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
  • “Lost Stars” from Begin Again
    Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

And the Oscar Goes to: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me

Unless it goes to: “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie

Chance of Upset: 35%

I know many of you can’t see “Everything is Awesome” losing this category. However, it is going up against the last song Glen Campbell might ever write. The legendary singer songwriter is in the final stages of Alzheimers, and the song a final love note to his family. The song will be sung by Tim McGraw, as Campbell is in a medical facility, and McGraw’s rehearsals have brought tears to the people gathered. I think sentiment will rule the day.

Adapted screenplay

  • American Sniper  Written by Jason Hall
  • The Imitation Game Written by Graham Moore
  • Inherent Vice Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • The Theory of Everything Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
  • Whiplash Written by Damien Chazelle

And the Oscar Goes to: The Imitation Game

Unless it goes to: Inherent Vice

Chance of Upset: 7.5%

The Imitation Game is the odds on favorite in a lot of places, but Anderson should get it just for adapting Pynchon, so I think he has the best chance for an upset.

Original screenplay

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
  • Boyhood Written by Richard Linklater
  • Foxcatcher Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel  Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • Nightcrawler Written by Dan Gilroy

And the Oscar Goes to: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Unless it goes to: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Chance of Upset: 40%

This is a tough category, where all scripts have a shot. This year, it will be the battle of the consolation prizes, with The Grand Budapest Hotel having a slight edge over Birdman.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
  • Laura Dern in Wild
  • Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

And the Oscar Goes to: Patricia Arquette

Unless it goes to: Emma Stone

Chance of Upset: 2%

Arquette has been winning every other major award this season, I don’t see the possibility of that stopping here. I doubt that any of the other ladies have much of a chance, but if one of them do, it will be Emma Stone. She had the meatiest part of those left and she is well liked.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Robert Duvall in The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
  • Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

And the Oscar Goes to: J.K. Simmons

Unless it goes to: Robert Duvall

Chance of Upset: 1%

Simmons has had an even better awards season than Arquette. He should be a dead solid lock to take home some hardware. But for my upset pick, I’m not going with Norton, who won the most award next to Simmons this year, but rather Duvall. Not that his performance was anything else than his normal excellent performance, but he is 85. And while he does have an Oscar, he was great in a lot of roles that deserved awards but didn’t even get nominated. This might be a miake-up/career achievement twofer.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
  • Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore in Still Alice
  • Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon in Wild

And the Oscar Goes to: Julianne Moore

Unless it goes to: Rosamund Pike

Chance of Upset: 1%

Moore played a tricky role superbly. That role was of a woman battling early on-set Alzheimer’s, and the Academy like people battling with illness or disabilities. And she has a long history of great performances with no award as of yet. However, Rosamund Pike has also done well this season. Although, Pike has more awards outside of the Oscars, I believe that she will place a distant second to Moore here.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

And the Oscar Goes to: Michael Keaton

Unless it goes to: Eddie Redmayne

Chance of Upset: 5%

It’s the battle of the career resurgence vs. the actor playing a true-life illness story. This should be Keaton’s to lose, and I sincerely hope he gets it. But Stephen Hawking is a role that the Academy like to give awards to. Still, I don’t think that will be enough to overcome Keaton’s momentum.

Achievement in directing

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Alejandro G. Iñárritu
  • Boyhood Richard Linklater
  • Foxcatcher Bennett Miller
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson
  • The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum

And the Oscar Goes to: Richard Linklater

Unless it goes to: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Chance of Upset: 43%

A lot of people are favoring Iñárritu for his inventive work on Birdman. And I would agree that he deserves it.But it seems like the Academy, like everyone else, has become enamored with Linklater’s patience in directing Boyhood. I think this is the best chance for an upset this year, but it’s still a longshot for Iñárritu.

Best Picture

  • American Sniper Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers
  • Boyhood Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
  • The Imitation Game Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
  • Selma Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
  • The Theory of Everything  Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
  • Whiplash  Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

And the Oscar Goes to: Boyhood

Unless it goes to: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Chance of Upset: 7%

I think that it is Boyhood all the way. The only question is: which film has the best chance to be an upset? I pick The Grand Budapest Hotel over Birdman. I think the Academy like the former a lot more than the latter,and it will win if Boyhood falters.

Follow me (@gates71) and FilmBuffOnline (@FilmBuffOnLine) tonight for live commentary during the ceremony. Get our apologies for being wrong live as they happen!

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Picture

Posted on 21 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Picture KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

American Sniper

american sniperProducers: Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper, Peter Morgan.

Release date: December 25, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015:  $365,221,115 (Domestic: $286,221,115, Foreign: $79,000,000)

IMDB Synopsis: Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle’s pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can’t leave behind.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing; Best Achievement in Sound Editing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Denver Film Critics Society.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 73% (158 Positive Reviews, 58 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Powered by Clint Eastwood’s sure-handed direction and a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, American Sniper delivers a tense, vivid tribute to its real-life subject.

Dissenting Opinion: “For people who want a perfunctory tribute to a man who seems to have lived an anything-but-perfunctory life, “American Sniper” should thrill, but for anyone looking to this as a film first, it is a flat, oddly stilted misfire.”–Drew McWeeny, HitFix.

Official Site: http://www.americansnipermovie.com/

 

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

birdman posterProducers: Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole

Release date: November 14, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $69,479,685 (Domestic: $35,600,685, Foreign: $33,879,000)

IMDB Synopsis: A washed up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of a Broadway play.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 9 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Cinematography;  Best Achievement in Sound Editing; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Best Film, Gotham Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

2nd Place, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92% (234 Positive Reviews, 19 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: A thrilling leap forward for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman is an ambitious technical showcase powered by a layered story and outstanding performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton.

Dissenting Opinion: “A miserable load of deranged, deluded crap masquerading as a black comedy …”–Rex Reed, The New York Observer

Official Site: http://www.birdmanthemovie.com/

Boyhood

boyhood posterProducer: Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland

Release date: July 11, 2015.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $44,306,223 (Domestic: $25,163,223, Foreign: $19,143,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 6 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Film Editing )

Other awards for this film:

Won, Best Picture-Drama, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Film, 2015 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Picture, 2015 Critic’s Choice Awards.

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Picture, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Film, Boston Society of Film Critics.

Won, Best Picture, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Detroit Film Critic Society, US.

Won, Best Film, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Florida Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Film of the Year, Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Georgia Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Houston Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

Won, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Film of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Film, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Film, New York Film Critics Circle Award.

Won, Best Film, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Picture, North Texas Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Film , Seattle International Film Festival.

Won, Best Film, St. Louis Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Film,Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Film, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (255 Positive Reviews, 5 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Epic in technical scale but breathlessly intimate in narrative scope, Boyhood is a sprawling investigation of the human condition.

Dissenting Opinion: “If you support your family picking lettuce, your life is more interesting than Linklater’s family.”–Victoria Alexander, Las Vegas Informer.

Official Site: http://boyhoodmovie.tumblr.com/

The Grand Budapest Hotel

grand_budapest_hotel_posterProducers: Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales, Jeremy Dawson.

Release date: March 7, 2014.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $174,600,318 (Domestic: $59,100,318, Foreign: $115,500,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 9 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen; Best Achievement in Cinematography; Best Achievement in Film Editing; Best Achievement in Production Design;  Best Achievement in Costume Design; Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Best Picture-Comedy or Musical, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Comedy Movie, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Film, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Picture, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Film,Village Voice Film Poll.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 92% (236 Positive Reviews, 20 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Typically stylish but deceptively thoughtful, The Grand Budapest Hotel finds Wes Anderson once again using ornate visual environments to explore deeply emotional ideas.

Dissenting Opinion: “Europe is just this nutty place where a lot of crazy mixed-up stuff happened and look at this darling model ski lift! That’s Wes Anderson: He can’t see the forest for the twee.”–Kyle Smith, NY Post.

Official Site: http://www.grandbudapesthotel.com/

The Imitation Game

the imitation game posterProducers: Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman.

Release date: November 28, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $153,052,105 (Domestic: $76,132,423, Foreign: $76,919,682)

IMDB Synopsis: During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 8 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; Best Achievement in Directing; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Editing; Best Achievement in Production Design;  Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Capri Movie of the Year Award, Capri, Hollywood.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Film, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Film, Twin Cities Film Fest, US.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 89% (201 Positive Reviews, 25 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: With an outstanding starring performance from Benedict Cumberbatch illuminating its fact-based story, The Imitation Game serves as an eminently well-made entry in the “prestige biopic” genre.

Dissenting Opinion: “Such an astonishing, crucial life as Turing’s deserves a more courageous, inventive film. Not this opportunistic, King’s Speech -like Oscar grab.”–Antonia Quirke, Financial Times.

Official Site: http://theimitationgamemovie.com/

Selma

selma-movie-posterProducers: Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner.

Release date: December 25, 2015.

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $47,264,191 (Domestic: $47,264,191, Foreign: N/A)

IMDB Synopsis: A chronicle of Martin Luther King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 2 (Best Motion Picture of the Year; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

Won, Best Picture, African-American Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Picture, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 98% (193 Positive Reviews, 3 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Fueled by a gripping performance from David Oyelowo, Selma draws inspiration and dramatic power from the life and death of Martin Luther King, Jr. — but doesn’t ignore how far we remain from the ideals his work embodied.

Dissenting Opinion: “The paint-by-numbers portrayals of 1960s iconic players is pathetic and the story fails to capture the passion, energy and hope of MLK’s leadership and of the times.”–Gary Wolcott, Tri-City Herald

Official Site: http://www.selmamovie.com/

 

The Theory of Everything

thetheory of everything posterProducers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten.

Release date: November 7, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $91,534,703 (Domestic: $32,434,703, Foreign: $59,100,000)

IMDB Synopsis: The relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

Number of Oscar Nominations: 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role; Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role; Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score;  Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)

Other awards for this film:

None.Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 79% (170 Positive Reviews, 44 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Part biopic, part love story, The Theory of Everything rises on James Marsh’s polished direction and the strength of its two leads.

Dissenting Opinion: “If nothing else, The Theory Of Everything is an encyclopedia of lame shortcuts, from its grainy faux home-movie wedding sequence to its tendency to fade out the dialogue in order to underline-and inadvertently undercut-a traumatic moment.”– Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club.

Official Site:  http://www.focusfeatures.com/the_theory_of_everything

Whiplash

whiplash-posterProducers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster.

Release date: October 10, 2014

Box office gross as of February 13, 2015: $10,484,092 (Domestic: $9,583,000 , Foreign: $901,092)

IMDB Synopsis: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential..

Number of Oscar Nominations: 5 (Best Motion Picture of the Year;  Best Achievement in Editing;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role;  Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published; Best Achievement in Sound Mixing)

Other awards for this film:

Won, Film of the Year, AFI Awards, USA.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

2nd Place, Best Picture, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

3rd Place, Best Picture, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer: 95% (225 Positive Reviews, 11 Negative)

Rotten Tomatoes Critical Consensus: Intense, inspiring, and well-acted, Whiplash is a brilliant sophomore effort from director Damien Chazelle and a riveting vehicle for stars J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller.

Dissenting Opinion: “This is a student film in rampant overdrive and it will attract attention and offers. So I just hope Mr. Chazelle doesn’t believe too much in his film’s dumb message.”–David Thomson, The New Republic.

Official Site: http://sonyclassics.com/whiplash/

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Director

Posted on 20 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Director KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Wes Anderson

Anderson KYNNominated for: Directing story of a legendary concierge in a legendary hotel in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Other awards for directing this film:

2nd Place, Best Director, Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Director, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Director, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Anderson has made a name for himself for writing and directing  some of the quirkiest films of the last 20 years, including RushmoreThe Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom.

History with Oscar:

Wes Anderson is nominated this year in the Best Picture category (shared with Scott Rudin, Steven M, Rales and Jeremy Dawson.) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen category (which he shares with Hugo Guinness). In addition, he has three prior nominations.

2002: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (with Owen Wilson), The Royal Tenenbaums (Lost to Julian Fellow, Gosford Park).

2010: Best Animated Feature Film of the Year, The Fabulous Mr. Fox (Lost to Pete Doctor, Up).

2013: Best Writing, Original Screenplay (with Roman Coppola), Moonrise Kingdom (Lost to Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained)

Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Inarritu KYNNominated for: Directing the story of a once-popular actor fighting for a comeback in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Other awards for directing this film:

Won, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, Directors Guild of America Awards.

Won, Best Director, Boston Online Film Critics Association

Won, Best Director, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Director, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

2nd Place, Best Director, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Director, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Director of the Year Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Best Director, St. Louis Film Critics Association, US.Won, Best Director, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Director, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Iñárritu is perhaps best known for directing 21 Grams and Babel.

History with Oscar:

Iñárritu is nominated this year in the Best Picture category (shared with John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen category (which he shares with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo). In addition, he has two prior nominations.

2007: Best Achievement in Directing, Babel (Lost to Martin Scorsese, The Departed.)

2007: Best Motion Picture of the Year, Babel (Lost to The Departed.)

 

Richard Linklater

Linklater KYNNominated for: Directing the story of a boy’s journey through childhood in Boyhood.

Other awards for directing this film:

Won, Best Director-Motion Picture, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, David Lean Award for  Direction, 2014 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Director, 2015 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Director, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Director, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Director, Berlin International Film Festival.

Won, Best Director, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Director, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Director, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Director, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Director, Denver Film Critics Society.

Won, Best Director, Detroit Film Critic Society, US.

Won, Best Director, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Director, Film Club’s The Lost Weekend.

Won, Best Director, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Director, Georgia Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Director, Houston Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Director, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

Won, Best Director, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Director, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Director of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Director, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Director, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Director, New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Director, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Director, North Texas Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Director, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Director, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Sonny Bono Visionary Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Best Director, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Director, San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Outstanding Director of the Year Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Best Director, Seattle International Film Festival.

Won, Best Director, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Director, Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Director, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Linklater also directed Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, and Before Sunrise.

History with Oscar:

Richard Linklater nominated this year in the Best Picture category (shared with Cathleen Sutherland) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen category. In addition, he has two prior nominations.

2005: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Before Sunset (with Ethan Hawke, Julie Delphy and Kim Krizan) (Lost to Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Sideways)

2014: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Before Midnight (with Ethan Hawke & Julie Delphy) (Lost to John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave)

Bennett Miller

Miller KYNNominated for: Directing the tragic true story of  the Team Foxcatcher wrestling team in Foxcatcher.

Other awards for directing this film:

Won, Best Director, Cannes Film Festival.

Won, Outstanding Director of the Year Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Where you might know him from:

Miller has become Hollywood’s go-to guy for true stories, having also directed Capote and Moneyball.

History with Oscar:

This is Bennett Miller’s second Oscar nomination.

2006: Best Achievement in Directing, Capote (Lost to Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain).

 

Morten Tyldum

Tyldum KYNNominated for: Directing the true story of WWII code breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.

Other awards for directing this film:

Won, Carpi Director Award, Capri, Hollywood.

Won, Best Director,Hawaii International Film Festival.

Won, Director of the Year Award, Hollywood Film Awards.

Won, Outstanding Director of the Year Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Where you might know him from:

Tyldum is a Norwegian director with an extensive resume in his home country but no much that got him international notice.

History with Oscar:

This is Morten Tyldum’s first Oscar nomination.

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Actress

Posted on 19 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Actress KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Marion Cotillard

Colliard KYNNominated for: Playing a woman fighting to get her job back after a medical leave in Two Days, One Night.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Actress, Boston Online Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, Dublin Film Critic Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actress, European Film Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Georgia Film Critics Association

Won, Best Actress, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Actress, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actress, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Cotillard is probably best known to American audiences through her partnerships with Christopher Nolan on Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.

History with Oscar:

Marion Cotillard has won an Oscar.

2008: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, La Vie en Rose (Won).

Felicity Jones

Jones KYNNominated for: Playing the supportive wife of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

Other awards for this role:

2nd Place, Best Actress, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actress,Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Cinema Vanguard Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Invisible Woman Award, Women Film Critics Circle Award.

Where you might know her from:

Jones played Harry Osborn’s assistant Felicia in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

History with Oscar:

This is Felicity Jones’ first Oscar Nomination.

Julianne Moore

Moore KYNNominated for: Playing a professor suffering from early on-set Alzheimer’s in Still Alice.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Leading Actress, 2015 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Actress, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actress, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Film Performance of the Year – Actress, Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, Gotham Awards.

Won, Actress of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Actress, National Board of Review, USA.

2nd Place, Best Actress, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actress, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Second Place, Best Actress, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress & Courage in Acting Award, Women Film Critics Circle Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Moore has appeared in a number of films in her career, from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Big Lebowski, Hannibal, Crazy, Stupid, Love and many, many more.

History with Oscar:

Julianne Moore has four prior Oscar nominations.

1998: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Boogie Nights (Lost to Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential).

2000: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The End of the Affair (Lost to Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry).

2002: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Iris (Lost to Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball).

2003: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Far From Heaven (Lost to Nicole Kidman, The Hours).

2003: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Hours (Lost to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago).

 

Rosamund Pike

Pike KYNNominated for: Playing a manipulative wife who goes missing in Gone Girl.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Actress, Austin Film Critics Association.

3rd Place, Best Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Denver Film Critics Society.

Won, Best Actress, Detroit Film Critics Society.

Won, Best Actress, Film Club’s The Lost Weekend.

Won, Best Actress, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actress, Indiana Film Journalists Association.

3rd Place, Best Actress, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, British Actress of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Actress, North Texas Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Breakthrough Performance Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actress, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Foreign Actress, Sant Jordi Awards.

Won, Virtuoso Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actress, St. Louis Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Actress, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Film audiences might recognize Pike from Pride and Prejudice, Jack Reacher, or The World’s End.

History with Oscar:

This is Rosamund Pike’s first Oscar nomination.

Reese Witherspoon

Witherspoon KYNNominated for: Playing a woman who goes hiking to learnmore about herself in Wild.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Indiana Film Journalists Association.

Won, Best Actress, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actress, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Chairman’s Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

3rd Place, Best Actress, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Witherspoon is known for her large body or work, and is at home in both popular fare (Pleasantville, Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama) as she is in indie favorites (MudInherent Vice, and Penelope).

History with Oscar:

Reese Witherspoon has one prior Oscar nomination which she won.

2006: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Walk the Line (Won).

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Actor

Posted on 18 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Actor KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Steve Carell

Carell KYNNominated for: Playing the homicidal wrestling patron John du Pont in Foxcatcher.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Creative Impact in Acting Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Where you might know him from:

Carell is primarily known for comedy be it television (The Daily Show, The Office) or film (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year Old Virgin, Crazy, Stupid, Love).

History with Oscar:

This is Carell’s first nomination.

 

Bradley Cooper

Cooper KYNNominated for: Playing history’s most lethal Army sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Actor in an Action Movie, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Denver Film Critics Society.

Where you might know him from:

Cooper is known for his work in a number of films, including Wedding Crashers, The Hangover and The A-Team.

History with Oscar:

This is Bradley Cooper’s third acting Oscar nomination in as many years. He also co-produced American Sniper, so is also nominated this year for Best Picture.

2013: Best Actor in a Leading Role, Silver Linings Playbook (Lost to Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln)

2014: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, American Hustle (Lost to Jared Leto, The Dallas Buyers Club).

Benedict Cumberbatch

Cumberbatch KYNNominated for: Playing WWII code cracker Alan Turing in  The Imitation Game.

Other awards for this role:

3rd Place, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Hawaii International Film Festival.

Won, Actor of the Year, Hollywood Film Awards.

3rd Place, Best Actor, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Cumberbatch came to prominence in BBC’s Sherlock television program and has been cast as Doctor Strange by Marvel.

History with Oscar:

This is Cumberbatch’s first nomination.

Michael Keaton

Keaton KYNNominated for: Playing a once-popular actor fighting for a comeback in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Actor, 2015 Critics Choice Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Chicago International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Detroit Film Critic Society, US.

Won, Best Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Gotham Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Actor, National Board of Review.

Won, Best Actor, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Actor, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Won, Modern Master Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actor, Utah Film Critic Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Actor, Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

Keaton’s career reached its apex in the 1980s and 1990s, starting with comedic roles in Night Shift, Mr. Mom,and Gung Ho. He went on to iconic roles such as Batman and Beetlejuice before settling into supporting roles in films such as Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, and the RoboCop reboot.

History with Oscar:

This Michael Keaton’s first Oscar nomination.

Eddie Redmayne

Redmayne KYNNominated for: Playing a young Stephen Hawking in  The Theory of Everything.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Leading Actor, 2015 BATFA Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Film Performance of the Year-Actor, Gay and Lesbian Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Breakout Performance-Actor, Hollywood Film Awards.

2nd Place, Best Actor, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Actor, New York Film Critics, Online

Won, Desert Palm Achievement Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Cinema Vanguard Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Best Actor-Jury Prize, Tallin Black Nights Film Festival.

Won, Best Actor, Women Film Critics Circle Awards.

Where you might know him from:

You might recognize Redmayne from his roles in My Week With MarilynLes Miserables, or if you were one of the four people that saw Jupiter Ascending.

History with Oscar:

This Eddie Redmayne’s first Oscar nomination.

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Supporting Actress

Posted on 17 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Supporting Actress KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Patricia Arquette

Arquette KYNNominated for: Playing the divorced mother with crappy taste in men in Boyhood.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, 2015 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Austin Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actress, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Denver Film Society Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Detroit Film Critic Society, US.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Film Club’s The Lost Weekend Award.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Houston Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Supporting Actress of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, North Texas Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

Won, Best Actress, Seattle International Film Festival.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, St. Louis Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know her from:

Arquette comes from a storied acting family. Her films include Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsTrue Romance, and Ed Wood. In recent years, she has worked primarily in television, starring in MediumBoardwalk Empire, and the forthcoming CSI: Cyber.

History with Oscar:

This is Patrica Arquette’s first Oscar nomination.

Laura Dern

Dern KYNNominated for: Playing the mother of Reese Witherspoon’s character in Wild.

Other awards for this role:

None at press time.

Where you might know her from:

Dern also comes from an acting family–her mother is Diane Ladd, a three-time Oscar nominee, and Bruce Dern, an Oscar nominee last year for Nebraska. You might have seen her in Jurassic ParkWild At Heart or Citizen Ruth.

History with Oscar:

This is Laura Dern’s second Oscar nomination.

1992: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Rambling Rose (Lost to Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs)

Keira Knightley

Knightley KYNNominated for: Playing a British cryptographer working on the Enigma code in The Imitation Game.

Other awards for this role:

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actress, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Supporting Actress of the Year, Hollywood Film Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Knightley is most famous for her work in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but she has also appeared in Domino, Anna Karenina, and Atonement.

History with Oscar:

This is Keira Knightley’s second Oscar nomination.

2006: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Pride & Prejudice (Lost to Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line)

Emma Stone

Stone KYNNominated for: Playing Michael Keaton’s character’s ex-drug addict daughter in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Supporting Actress, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actress, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Emma Stone seems poised to compete with Jennifer Lawrence as America’s Sweetheart/Most Popular Movie actress for years to come. She has appeared as Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider-Man reboot, Easy A, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

History with Oscar:

This is Emma Stone’s first nomination.

Meryl Streep

Streep KYNNominated for: Playing the Witch in Into the Woods.

Other awards for this role:

None.

Where you might know her from:

Streep is one of the most decorated actresses in movie history. If you’ve seen an Oscar nominated film in the last thirty years, odds are you’ve seen her in it.

History with Oscar:

Meryl Streep has 18 previous Oscar nominations and three wins. If you need to have a pee break or get a snack, you should probably do so now. Getting through this list is going to take a while.

1979: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Deer Hunter (lost to Maggie Smith, California Suite).

1980: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kramer vs. Kramer (Won).

1982: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (lost to Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond).

1983: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Sophie’s Choice (Won).

1984: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Silkwood (lost to Shirley McLaine, Terms of Endearment).

1986: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Out of Africa (lost to Geraldine Page, A Trip to Bountiful).

1988: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Ironweed (lost to Cher, Moonstruck).

1989: Best Actress in a Leading Role, A Cry in the Dark (lost to Jodie Foster, The Accused).

1991: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Postcards from the Edge (lost to Kathy Bates, Misery).

1996: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Bridges of Madison County (lost to Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking).

1999: Best Actress in a Leading Role, One True Thing (lost to Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love).

2000: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Music of the Heart (Lost to Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry).

2003: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Adaptation (lost to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago).

2007: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, The Devil Wears Prada (lost to Helen Mirren, The Queen).

2009: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Doubt (lost to Kate Winslet, The Reader).

2010: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Julie & Julia (lost to Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side).

2012: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, The Iron Lady (Won)

2014: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, August: Osage County (Lost to Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine)

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OSCARS 2015: Know Your Nominees: Best Supporting Actor

Posted on 16 February 2015 by William Gatevackes

2015 Best Supporting KYNIn the days leading up to the 87th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well known, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Robert Duvall

Duvall KYNNominated for: Playing a cantankerous and cancer stricken small town judge accused of murder in The Judge.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Supporting Actor of the Year, Hollywood Film Awards.

Won, Icon Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Where you might know him from:

Robert Duvall is one of America’s greatest actors, with an almost sixty year career of quality work on his resume. Making his big screen debut as Boo Radley in 1962’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Duvall has appeared in a number of important films over his career, including, but not limited to, True Grit, The Godfather, Part I & II,M*A*S*H, Apocalypse Now, and The Great Santini.

History with Oscar:

This is Robert Duvall’s seventh Oscar nomination. He has won one Oscar.

1973: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, The Godfather (Lost to Joel Grey, Cabaret)

1980: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Apocalypse Now (Lost to Melvyn Douglas, Being There)

1981: Best Actor in a Leading Role, The Great Santini (Lost to Robert DeNiro, Raging Bull)

1984: Won, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Tender Mercies.

1998: Best Actor in a Leading Role, The Apostle (Lost Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets)

1999: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, A Civil Action (Lost to James Coburn, Affliction)

 

Ethan Hawke

Hawke KYNNominated for: Playing the divorced father in  Boyhood.

Other awards for this role:

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Village Voice Film Poll.

Where you might know him from:

Ethan Hawke started as a child actor in Explorers and has built an eclectic career for himself, starring in such films as Dead Poets SocietyReality BitesThe “Before” Trilogy, and The Purge.

History with Oscar:

This is Ethan Hawke’s fourth Oscar nomination.

2002: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Training Day (Lost to Jim Broadbent, Iris)

2005: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Before Sunset (with Richard Linklater, Julie Delphy and Kim Krizan) (Lost to Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Sideways)

2014: Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Before Midnight (with Richard Linklater & Julie Delphy) (Lost to John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave)

 

Edward Norton

Norton KYNNominated for: Playing a overly committed method actor in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Online Film Critics Association.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, National Board of Review.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

3rd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, Village Voice Film Poll.

Where you might know him from:

Edward Norton has appeared in mainstream fare such as Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, and The Bourne Legacy and independent offerings such as Frieda, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

History with Oscar:

This is Edward Norton’s third Oscar nomination.

1997: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Primal Fear (Lost to Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire)

1999: Best Actor in a Leading Role, American History X (Lost to Roberto Benigni, Life Is Wonderful)

Mark Ruffalo

Ruffalo KYNNominated for: Playing the doomed wrestling champion and coach in Foxcatcher.

Other awards for this role:

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.

Where you might know him from:

Mark Ruffalo is the second man to play Bruce Banner/the Hulk on this list of nominees, having taken over the role from Norton in The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ruffalo has also appeared in 54, We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Now You See Me.

History with Oscar:

This is Mark Ruffalo’s second Oscar nomination.

2011: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, The Kids Are Alright (Lost to Christian Bale, The Fighter).

J. K. Simmons

Simmons KYNNominated for: Playing an abusive drum teacher in  Whiplash.

Other awards for this role:

Won, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, 2015 BAFTA Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, 2015 Critics Choice Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, 2015 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, African-American Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Alliance of Women Film Journalists.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Austin Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Denver Film Critics Society.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Georgia Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Houston Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Indiana Film Journalists Association, US.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Iowa Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Supporting Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.

2nd Place, Best Supporting Actor, National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, New York Film Critics, Online.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, North Texas Critics Association, US.

Won, Spotlight Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Won, Virtuoso Award, Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, St. Louis Film Critics Association, US.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Toronto Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Utah Film Critics Association Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Village Voice Film Poll.

Won, Best Supporting Actor, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association.

Where you might know him from:

As sad as this is to say about an actor of Simmons caliber, but I’d guess most people recognize him from those Farmer’s Insurance commercials. Comic book film fans will remember him as the definitive J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and television watchers will know him from Oz and Law & Order.

History with Oscar:

This is J.K. Simmons’ first Oscar nomination.

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Oscar’s Greatest Mistakes: Beatrice Straight , 1977 Best Supporting Actress

Posted on 04 February 2015 by Rich Drees

network-beatrice-straight

What constitutes a supporting performance? That’s a tough question to answer. Is it based on the amount of screen time an actor gets? Is it determined by a harder to quantify metric like the character’s overall impact on a film’s lead characters or storyline? There have even been times when what could be considered a lead performance has been nominated under the supporting category if only to give it a better chance at securing a win. It could be argued that Winnona Ryder’s role in The Age Of Innocence was more a lead role than a supporting one, even though she was nominated in the Supporting Actress category in 1993. Likewise, Mira Sorvino was definitely the female lead in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and yet she would be nominated in and win the Supporting Actress category in 1995.

The Academy’s own rules for nominating performers in the Best Support Actor/Actress categories don’t even outline what would differentiate a supporting performance from a lead on, let alone what would define a supporting performance in and of itself. The only thing that they address about the two categories in their rules are what would happen if an actor or actress receives votes to be nominated for the same role in both lead and supporting categories, and that rule only refers to the number of votes received, not to the substance of the role itself.

And that’s where the Academy has run into a bit of trouble.

In 1977, the powerhouse movie at Academy Awards time was Network. Director Sidney Lumet and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky’s dark satirical take on the television news industry was a hit with critics for its biting deconstruction of the blurring of the line between news and entertainment and the dangers of television news divisions being run as for-profit enterprises – though by today’s standards of 24 cable news channels some of the satire may seem positively quaint. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations, including an unprecedented five nods in the four various acting categories, specifically nominations for Peter Finch for Best Actor for his role as the insane news anchor Howard Beale, William Holden as network news executive Max Schumacher, Faye Dunaway for Best Actress as network executive Diana Christensen, Beatrice Straight for Best Supporting Actress as Max’s wife Louise and Ned Beatty for Best Supporting Actor as network owner Arthur Jensen.

But if you’ve seen Network, the names of Straight and Beatty problem stand out for one reason. Let’s just say that there wasn’t much material to shift through for each actor’s performance clip for the televised awards ceremony. (Though I dare say that they have had to bleep a word or two.) Both are barely in the film, each having just one notable scene apiece. While each moments is indeed a powerful acting moment, are they enough to have those performances considered “supporting?”

Straight has very little screen time, just under six minutes total. (The IMDb lists it at 5:40, while I have timed it out to 5:59.) Of that time, just over a minute is spent with her just walking through the apartment she shares with her cinematic husband Holden and another four seconds is a shot of the back of her head as her family watches Beale’s “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more” speech on live television. While the remainder of her screen time comprises just one scene it is an emotional freight train, a culmination of years of setup that happen off screen.

Ned Beatty’s screen time clocks in at just a little bit less than Straight’s and again it is almost entirely consists of one scene. As Beale’s ratings soar, they do so on the back of him criticizing his own network, UBS. But when he tells the viewing public to write to the White House in protest of a business deal that would sell a controlling interest of the network to a Saudi Arabian investment firm, Beale is hauled into UBS’s parent company’s boardroom where Beatty’s Jensen gives him a blood and thunder lecture on the dangers of “tampering with the primal forces of nature,” i.e., corporate profits. It’s a powerful performance, one that Beatty takes right up to the threshold of cartoonish but never crosses it. It is a far more pivotal role in the story than Straight’s, as it inspires Beale to change his message with falling ratings following.

Outside of Finch’s “Mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” speech, Straight and Beatty inarguably deliver Network’s finest and most memorable moments. But really, their contributions to the movie are confined to those respective scenes, with their characters appearing for the sole purpose of providing a specific plot point and that’s pretty much it. Is that enough to mark the appearance as a supporting role or are they nothing more than a deus ex machina of Chaefsky’s to move the story to the next point it needs to be at?

Both actors bring all their skill to imbue their characters with as much dimensionality as they can with what little they have to work with. It is a testament to Straight’s skill that she loads her monologue with the weight of a woman who has been in that relationship with her husband for decades, selling that moment. But is it a moment that one would consider a role that supports the lead characters or the movie in general or could it be removed from the film to no deleterious effect? I would say “No” it is not essential and the fact that Holden’s Max had left his wife could be conveyed in a line or two of dialogue without damaging the movie too much, as the story’s emphasis is on Max’s relationship with Diana more so than on his relationship with Louise. Having him state “I just left my wife of so many years,” would convey the same information, though the downside to that would be the loss of this moment.

And this is before we even start to compare Straight’s work against the other nominees in the Supporting Actress category that year. Was it better than Jodie Foster’s work in Taxi Driver? Piper Laurie’s in Carrie? Lee Grant’s in Voyage Of The Damned? Even Straight herself admitted that she thought she was the dark horse in the race in her Oscar acceptance speech.

This was not the first time that the Supporting Actor/Actress categories had come under scrutiny over the screen time of a nominee. English character actor Hermione Baddeley secured a nomination nod for her two minutes and thirty-two seconds appearance in 1959’s Room at the Top, the record for the shortest screen time to secure an actor a nomination. And before that, Anthony Quinn received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1956’s Lust For Life. Sylvia Miles has about four minutes of visible work in Midnight Cowboy (1969) and nearly double that in Farewell, My Lovely (1975) enough for her Supporting Actress nomination for each film. It will probably happen again in the future.

To his credit, Beatty would at least take the experience to heart and advise young acting students to “take whatever work you can get. Never be too proud to turn down small parts. I had one day’s work on Network and got an Oscar nomination.”

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Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: They Have To Surprise Us Somehow.

Posted on 15 January 2015 by William Gatevackes

OscarsTypically, I write up my predictions of what the Oscar nominations would be the night before, then compare my guesses with the actual nominations. This year, I decided against it, because of lack of time and because I am usually pretty close with my guesses. Maybe I should have done one this year, because while there are lot of predictable Oscar nominations this year, there are omissions and inclusions that puzzle me. So much so that it is hard to collect my thoughts about them. So, be forewarned, this post might ramble a bit more than my posts usually ramble. Let’s begin.

No love for THE LEGO MOVIE?

The prevailing theme of my Facebook feed was the fact that this film was snubbed. It is the second best reviewed film of all of 2014 over at Rotten Tomatoes. It was more well received than any film except Boyhood. Logically, it should have had a good chance at being nominated for Best Picture, but its inclusion in the list of Best Animated Feature should have been a given. It was nominated in neither.

Why? Well, first of all, the Academy is not composed of film critics, it’s composed of film professionals with biases and stubborn ideas of what an Oscar nominee should be. Only three animated films–Beauty and the Beast, Up, and Toy Story 3–have ever been nominated for Best Picture, and the last two only after the Academy expanded the possible nominees to 10 films. So it probably wasn’t getting a Best Picture nod anyway.

And as for why it didn’t get a Best Animated Feature nomination, well, I just don’t know. You could say that the Academy’s efforts to recognize foreign animated fare in the last few years, on display this year with Ireland’s Song of the Sea and Japan’s The Tale of The Princess Kaguya being nominated, might have left The LEGO Movie being the odd film out. But that only works if consider Big Hero 6The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 to be better films than The LEGO Movie. That is not necessarily the case.

The Best Picture Category is broken beyond all fixing.

What I will never understand is that in this era where you can have up to 10 nominees for Best Picture and more than ten worthy candidates that you end up with only eight nominees. Let’s forget abot The LEGO Movie for a minute. Let’s talk about Foxcatcher. That film has five nominations. It is nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. It is nominated for Best Original Screenplay and, more importantly, Best Director. Yet the film does not have a Best Picture nomination. Does that make any sense? “Yes, the acting was great, the script sharp, and the directing masterful, yet it was just not that good a movie,” said absolutely no one about a film, ever.

Part of this plays into how the nomination process works. You might think the process simply involves casting votes and counting them. You’d be wrong. It’s a draconian process designed by someone who wanted to be sure all those Algebra and Calculus classes they took in high school didn’t go to waste. The entire convoluted process is explained here, but I’ll try to sum up. First, the total number of ballots received is divided by 11 to come up with a magic number of first place votes to get nominated. Any film that gets this magic number of first place votes is automatically nominated. However, if the film receives 20% more votes than the magic number, the excess is applied to the vote count of the next viable film on the voters ballots. After this, any film that has less than 1% of the first place votes on all ballots gets disqualified and its votes are applied to next viable film on those voters ballots. Complicated? Yes, needlessly so.

This change was done just so the Academy didn’t have to nominate a substandard film to round out the ten. But what it really does is take away the possibility of deserving films of getting nominated.

The Best Actor and Best Actress fields should have the same 5-10 nominees as Best Picture does.

Yes, I just got done railing against the way the Academy picks its Best Picture nominees and I want it to pick more acting nominees. Just hear me out.

There were a lot of good performances this year. Think Bill Murray in St. Vincent. Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. David Oyelowo in Selma. Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood. Jennifer Aniston in Cake. Amy Adams’ Golden Globe winning performance in Big Eyes. All did not receive an Oscar nomination.

Now good to the list of this years of nominees for Best Actress and Best Actor. Tell me which one should have been left off to make way for one of the stars listed above? The correct answer is no one. All the nominees gave Oscar-worthy performances, just like the names above did.

Just like there are consistently more than five great films released every year, there are often more than five great performances. These actors and actresses should not have an arbitrary limit keep them from the recognition a nomination brings.

Best Documentary Feature is the Spanish Announce Table of the Oscars.

The WWE had (and probably still has, I haven’t seen a pay-per-view in a while) a running gag where some time during a pay-per-view, a wrestler would be body-slammed, suplexed or pile driven through the Spanish Announce Team’s table. I don’t know when it started, but in happened each and every PPV. The recurring joke ran to the point where it was no longer funny and instead became a sort of institution. It has to be done because it always has been done.

The Oscars have a similar thing going with its Best Documentary Feature category. Year in and year out, the best and often times most popular documentary, the film the whole world thinks should win the Oscar, doesn’t even get nominated. It, like that Spanish Announce Table gag, is a joke that has run on so long that it is no longer funny anymore.

Life Itself is this year’s victim. It sits right behind The LEGO Movie as the third best reviewed film of 2014. But it focuses on the life of Roger Ebert, an outspoken critic of the way documentaries are nominated, and is directed by Steve James, another outspoken critic of the process. So, of course, the film will not be getting a nomination.

If the Academy is looking to cut awards to make the short run just a little bit shorter, I suggest the cut this category. It’s a corrupt award run by a vindictive and petty group of people who are more interested in serving their own skewed brand of vigilante justice than awarding the best documentary of the year. Cut this joke in interests of time. It will not be missed.

A Missed Chance at history.

Ava DuVernay was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, and she was a favorite to get an Oscar nomination as well. Unfortunately, she didn’t and the Academy missed an attempt to make history by nominating the first African-American female director for the award.

And from a comic book film editor’s perspective…

We have Rocket Raccoon, Doctor Strange, Batman and a man who might have been either Harry Osborn or Peter Quill battling for Best Actor, we have Talia Al Ghul fighting Felicia Hardy (who might one day become the Black Cat) for Best Actress, a once-potential Doctor Strange, two Hulks and J. Jonah Jameson in a battle royal for Best Supporting Actor, and Gwen Stacy the only comic book representative in the Best Supporting Actress category.

 

 

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