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Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: No Hanks, No Thompson, But Hill?

Posted on 16 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

oscartopYesterday, we handicapped the 2014 Oscar race by telling you who we thought was going to be nominated. Now, it’s time to face the music, and see how well we did. There have been a lot of surprises in the nominees,  and the surprises were puzzling. Let’s see how we fared against our predictions, then we’ll comment on surprises in other categories that we didn’t talk about on Tuesday. Let’s start with Best Actor:

Performance by an actor in a leading role-

  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4.5 out of 5

We Say: I’m always generous when it comes to grading myself. So even though I thought Tom Hanks, with his two Oscar worthy performances and lots of Oscar love over the years, had a far better chance of getting nominated than Leonardo DiCaprio, a man who has been snubbed by the Academy on a number of occasions, I did think DiCaprio had a chance for a nomination. I’ll take my victories, no matter how small, where I can get them.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role-

  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 4 out of 5.

We say: Jonah Hill? Really? To be honest, I did consider including Hill on the list of longshots, but considering he has not been nominated in the category in any other major award organization, not even the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is voted on by the same membership as those who vote for the Oscars, I thought it was fairly safe to keep him off the list.  Shows what I know. Pity poor Daniel Brühl, who did receive all the other nominations Hill didn’t get.

Performance by an actress in a leading role-

  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  5 out of 5

We say: Emma Thompson, if my Facebook feed is any indication, seems to be the biggest snub of this year’s nominations. I’d like to pat myself on the back because I said she only had an outside shot of getting nominated. But that’s because I thought Meryl Streep was a lock for her showy role in August: Osage County.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role-

  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • June Squibb, Nebraska

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  5 out of 5

We Say: Another fairly predictable category. The only one I was waivering on was Hawkins, but I’m glad the Academy recognized her. Co-star Blanchett got all the attention, but Hawkins put in an excellent performance in her own right. Oh, can Oprah’s snub really be a snub when she was a longshot to get a nomination in the first place?

Achievement in directing-

  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4.5 out of 5
We say: Again, I’m giving myself a half a point for picking Payne as having an outside shot. I still thought Paul Greengrass had a better chance than him, but the Academy seems to really like Payne (no pun intended).

Best motion picture of the year-

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  It’s hard to calculate, but we mentioned 9 out of the 9.

We say: I find it ironic that in the three years since the Academy changed the rules for the number of nominees from ten to anywhere between five and ten because  there were not enough strong nominees, there have been 9 nominees each year. And this year, it should have been ten. I think Frozen deserved a spot on the list, perhaps more than some of the films that got a nomination. The fact that there was one “empty” spot and the film still wasn’t nominated is severly disappointing.

Other surprises and items of note:

  • I don’t know what was more annoying, watching the nominations on ABC: seeing an ad for August: Osage County every five seconds or the fact that the anchors for the Disney-owned ABC made a big fuss about Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks being shut out of the Oscars.
  • Maybe the whole country didn’t get the same amount of August: Osage County ads as I got, but there was two ads for the film every commercial break. That’s not an exaggeration. There were really two ads for it every commercial break. I was having flashbacks to last year, when the same thing happened with Silver Linings Playbook. The connection: The Weinstein Company. Like Harvey Weinstein wasn’t obnoxious enough.
  • Disney’s disappointment at Saving Mr. Banks’ lone nomination has to be mitigated by the whopping TWO nominations the studio’s cinematic masterpiece The Lone Ranger earned. I wonder if Disney will rerelease the film in theaters to capitalize on its unexpected nomination windfall. I might break even if they did! (No, no it wouldn’t)
  • But it still has to sting that Saving Mr. Banks has the same amount of nominations as Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Yes, chew on that, will you. On Oscar night, the words  Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa will be uttered on stage during the ceremony.
  • While I’m glad that Get a Horse was nominated for Best Animated Short Film, I’m disappointed Disney’s other offering, The Blue Umbrella, didn’t get a nod as well.
  • This is a bad year for Pixar because for only the second time since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced, the Pixar feature released in that year didn’t get a nomination for it. The connection? Monsters University joins Cars 2 in the snubbed list. Maybe Pixar should reconsider making sequels to any of their films that do not have “Toy” or “Story” in the title.
  • That being said, it is good to see such a varied list of films in the Best Animated category. Like Best Picture, this is a flex category. It could have three nominees, or it can have five. This is the third year in row that the category had five nominees. I’m especially happy The Wind Rises got a nomination.

Stay tuned to FilmBuffOnline, because, as we get closer to the ceremony, the staff will bring you more news about this year’s ceremony.

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AMERICAN HUSTLE, GRAVITY And 12 YEARS A SLAVE Lead Academy Award Nominations

Posted on 16 January 2014 by Rich Drees


A dark comedy political scandal, a harrowing tale of slavery and a story of survival in the harshest of environments lead the pack of nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards. Awards season heavyweight American Hustle and Alfonso Cauron’s Gravity received nominations in 10 Oscar categories this morning, while director Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave received nine.

American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave look to be shaping into the biggest rivalry and will be going head to head in the Best Costume Design, Film Editing, Production Design, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Director and Picture categories.

In addition to a number of technical category nominations, Gravity netted nominations in the Best Visual Effects, Cinematography, Actress (Sandra Bullock), Director and Picture.

Captain Phillips, Nebraska and Dallas Buyers Club all received 6 nominations each. Martin Scorsese’s critically lauded The Wolf Of Wall Street only received five categories, but they were for Best Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Director and Picture.

Our own Oscar maven William Gatevackes will be back later today with a complete analysis of the nominations but until then, here is the complete list as announced by the Academy this morning. The Academy Awards ceremony will be broadcast live on March 2.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best Original Song
“Alone Yet Not Alone,” Alone Yet Not Alone
“Happy,” Despicable Me 2
“Let It Go,” Frozen
“The Moon Song,” Her
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight, written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, screenplay by Billy Ray
Philomena, screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, screenplay by John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, screenplay by Terence Winter

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle, written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, written by Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
Her, written by Spike Jonze
Nebraska, written by Bob Nelson

Best Animated Feature Film
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
The Wind Rises

Best Documentary Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet From Stardom

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)

Best Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Cinematography
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins

Best Costume Design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

Best Documentary Short Subject
CaveDigger, Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens

Best Film Editing
American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Best Original Score
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman

Best Production Design
American Hustle, Judy Becker (Production Design) and Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
Gravity, Andy Nicholson (Production Design) and Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin (Production Design) and Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
Her, K.K. Barrett (Production Design) and Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Alice Baker (Set Decoration)

Best Animated Short Film
Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Possessions, Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best Live-Action Short Film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Best Sound Editing
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman

Best Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Best Visual Effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

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Oscar Nominations: Who Will Make The Cut

Posted on 15 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

It’s that time of year again. This Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

Every year there are snubs and surprises, thrills and controversies. There is no way of knowing who will be nominated, but we here at FilmBuffOnLine, who believe the day nominations are announced should be a National holiday, are going to try and handicap the process for you.

We will try to tell you who we think are Almost Certainly getting a nomination, who Definite May Be nominated, and whose nomination is a Outside Shot in the major categories (the four acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture). We are trying to cover all bases, but don’t come to us if you lose money on your Oscar Nomination pool.

Best Actor:

Almost Certainly:

Christian Bale, American Hustle; Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave; Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Definite May Be:

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips or Saving Mr. Banks; Bruce Dern, Nebraska and/or Robert Redford, All Is Lost

Outside Shot:

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street;  Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station; Joaquin Phoenix, Her; Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Let’s face it, it’s a race between McConaughey and Ejiofor by this point, but while I don’t think that Bale has a chance of winning, I think he’s a lock for a nomination.

The next round is one of questions. I’m pretty sure that Hanks will be nominated, but for which film? If I had to bet the rent money on one role, it would be Captain Phillips. And Dern and Redford have the “older actor with a long career of quality work with no acting Oscar” going for them, so either could get the nod (or both if Hanks is left out). But if only one can get in, I vote Dern. Redford already has an Oscar for directing Ordinary People and an honorary one as well. Dern merely has one nomination.

So strong is the field on the top, the that “Outside Shots” should be called “It Would Take a Miracle.” And yes, I am saying that it would take a miracle for Golden Globe winner DiCaprio to even get nominated. He’s not even the next in line, in my opinion (he’s at the very least behind Elba and Jordan,if you ask me). Blame the unconfirmed grudge the Academy has against him or the backlash about the message his film presents, I’d bet he’s not even getting nominated.

Best Actress:

Almost Certainly:

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine; Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Definite May Be:

Amy Adams, American Hustle; Judi Dench, Philomena; Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Outside Shot:

Julie Delphy, Before Midnight; Brie Larsen, Short Term 12; Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Once again, this is a two-actress race. While Bullock lost to Blanchett at the Golden Globes, the roles might be turned this time around.

Amy Adams should get nominated, adding more fire to her reputation of being the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. A lot of prognosticators think Meryl Streep might not get the nod, but, come on, she’s Meryl Streep. Dench should also get represented as well.

But if Streep doesn’t get in, Thompson will. Delphy and Larsen are deserving, and in other years they’d be sure of a nomination, but this year, they are longshots.

Best Supporting Actor:

Almost Certainly:

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club; Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Definite May Be:

Daniel Brühl, Rush; Bradley Cooper, American Hustle; Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Outside Shot:

Will Forte, Nebraska; James Gandolfini, Enough Said

This another category where it looks like the nominees are a given. I think Leto already has the Oscar, so the other nominations are just a consolation prize to the particular actor. Of the rest, I believe Abdi is safe from being knocked out by any kind of surprise nomination.

Brühl, Cooper and Fassbender should round out the list, but if there will be a glaring omission, it will come from these three.

Gandolfini has a slight, sentimental advantage over Forte as a possible upset candidate.

Best Supporting Actress:

Almost Certainly:

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Definite May Be:

Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine; Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave; Julia Roberts, August: Osage County; June Squibb, Nebraska;

Outside Shot:

Scarlett Johansson, Her; Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station; Oprah Winfrey, Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Like Supporting Actor, Lawrence is enough of a front runner that a nod is a given, and the rest of the field is pretty much set as well.

The only weak link in the next tier, in my opinion, would be Hawkins. No in the sense that she doesn’t deserve the nomination, she does, she more then held her own with Blanchett, but she has done Oscar worthy work before and has been passed over by the Academy.

This might open a spot for Winfrey, who was considered a lock to maybe win the whole thing before her film came out. Now, she’s an outsider looking in for a nomination. Personally, I’m rooting for Johansson to get a nomination for her voice work in Her.

Best Director:

Almost Certainly:

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity; Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave; David O. Russell, American Hustle

Definite May Be:

Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips; Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Outside Shot:

Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee, Frozen; Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station; Lee Daniels, Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Spike Jonze, Her; Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Cuarón most likely has the Oscar already, so he will be in. Although, to be fair, I thought the same about Ben Affleck last year and he wasn’t even nominated. McQueen and Russell should definitely get the nods as well.

Greengrass has the best chance of the rest, and Scorsese should be able to hold off Payne and Jonze for the last slot.

Buck and Lee are my “wishful thinking” picks for an outside shot. I don’t think it’s likely they’ll get in, I’m just listing them here because I think they deserve to be nominated.

Best Picture:

Almost Certainly:

American Hustle, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave

Definite May Be:

Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen

Outside Shot:

Her, Nebraska, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks, Blue Jasmine, Fruitvale Station, The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis, Saving Mr. Banks, Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

With a floating five to ten spots for potential nominees, it is really hard to pin down what films will make the cut. The only sure thing is that American Hustle, Gravity  and 12 Years a Slave will get nominated.

Captain Phillips is in the best picture mix in a lot of places. I do believe that the acting nominations for Dallas Buyers Club will be enough to give it a Best Picture nod, and with ten possible spaces, it will be a sin if Frozen doesn’t get a nomination. I haven’t seen many of the films eligible this year, but Frozen was the best film I have seen in a long time. A Best Animated award is a lock, but I think it deserves a Best Picture nod as well.

After that, well, it depends on how deep the Academy wants to go with their choices. This list could only scratch the surface of the possible candidates.

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What The Producers Guild Award Nominees Mean For The Oscar Race

Posted on 06 January 2014 by Rich Drees


On Thursday, the Producers Guild announced the nominees for their annual Producers Guild Awards. As we’ve noted in years past, the PGAs are a pretty good indicator of what film will win the Academy Award for Best Picture. So invariably, all eyes will be on the Guild when they announce their awards on January 19th. In the last six years, the winner of the PGA has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture and the two awards have gone hand-in-hand 18 times in the 24 years that the Guild has been handing out their own statues. For many, it is a pretty strong sign as to what to expect at the Oscars, and this is not even factoring in the frequency in which the Director’s Guild Awards often predict the Best Director Oscar winner and how often the Best Director and Best Picture Oscar winners are linked.

But even before the awards are handed out, we can still get an idea as to how the season will play out from just the list of nominees. (Full list below.)

Unsurprisingly, the three major Academy Award frontrunners – 12 Years A Slave, Gravity and American Hustle – all have made the list. Also on the list are a number of expected titles including Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Saving Mr. Banks and Wolf Of Wall Street as well as the critical darlings Her and Nebraska.

But there are some surprsing omissions from the list as well, most notably August: Osage County, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Philomena. All have received strong reviews and in the case of Inside Llewyn Davis, made numerous Top 10 critics lists over the last few weeks. And while there exclusion by the PGAs does place them as long-shots for even being nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Picture, there is a chance that the Academy’s weighted balloting process which yields anywhere between five and ten final nominees, could secure them a spot. But even then, it would be a statistical uphill battle for any of these films.

Will all the films nominated by the Producers Guild also make it to the Best Picture nominee list for the Oscars? Hypothetically, yes. But I don’t see some of them passing muster with Academy voters. Woody Allen has not done well with Academy voters since the 1970s and Dallas Buyers Club has not been receiving quite the level of critical buzz that many of the other PGA nominees have. It also remains to be seen if the controversy over some of the content of Wolf Of Wall Street will keep some of the stodgier members of the Academy from ticking it off on their ballots.

How these nominations will intersect with the Directors Guild Award nominees will be seen tomorrow, January 7th, when the DGA’s list of nominated films are announced. Then we’ll have a better idea as to how the Oscar race may play out.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • American Hustle (Columbia Pictures) Producers: Megan Ellison, Jon Gordon, Charles Roven, Richard Suckle
  • Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics) Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures) Producers: Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Scott Rudin
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) Producers: Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
  • Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures) Producers: Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
  • Her (Warner Bros. Pictures) Producers: Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze, Vincent Landay
  • Nebraska (Paramount Pictures) Producers: Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Producers: Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner
  • Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures) Producers: Riza Aziz, Emma Koskoff, Joey McFarland

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • The Croods (DreamWorks Animation) Producers: Kristine Belson, Jane Hartwell
  • Despicable Me 2 (Universal Pictures) Producers: Janet Healy, Chris Meledandri
  • Epic (Twentieth Century Fox) Producers: Jerry Davis, Lori Forte
  • Frozen (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) Producer: Peter Del Vecho
  • Monsters University (Pixar Animation) Producer: Kori Rae

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures:

  • A Place At The Table (Magnolia Pictures) Producers: Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington, Kristi Jacobson, Lori Silverbush
  • Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (First Run Features) Producers: Brad Bernstein, Rick Cikowski
  • Life According To Sam (HBO Documentary Films) Producers: Andrea Nix Fine, Sean Fine, Miriam Weintraub
  • Ww Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks (Focus Features) Producers: Alexis Bloom, Alex Gibney, Marc Shmuger
  • Which way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life And Time Of Tim Hetherington (HBO Documentary Films) Producers: James Brabazon, Nick Quested

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Updated: For Your Consideration: 36 2014 Academy Award Best Screenplay Hopefuls

Posted on 28 December 2013 by Rich Drees


(Updated to add a number of films whose screenplays were being held back pending their theatrical release.)

It is the holiday present that film geeks with a penchant for wanting to read screenplays wait for every year – studios placing online the scripts that they hope will be nominated either one of the Best Screenplay categories for the Academy Awards. The first round of nominations may only be open to the members of the writing branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but anyone can go to the studios’ “For Your Consideration” websites and download the screenplays for their own perusal. As some hopeful films are still to be released over the next couple of weeks, their screenplays have been held back, so we will update this list as they become available. In the meantime, enjoy.

The Bling Ring
The Spectacular Now
Spring Breakers

Monsters University
Saving Mr Banks

DreamWorks Animation
The Croods

Fox Searchlight
12 Years a Slave
Enough Said

Focus Features
Dallas Buyers Club
The Place Beyond the Pines (6/14/2011 Draft)
Place Beyond The Pines (9/26/2011 Final Draft)

The Fifth Estate
We Steal Secrets (transcript)

Labor Day
Wolf Of Wall Street

Roadside Attractions

Sony Pictures Classics
The Armstrong Lie (documentary transcript)
Before Midnight
The Invisible Woman
Kill Your Darlings
The Past

Universal (Click on screenplay link)
Despicable Me 2
Lone Survivor

Warner Brothers
The Great Gatsby

The Weinstein Company
August: Osage County
Fruitvale Station
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
One Chance

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Nine Films Make Up 2014 Oscar Foreign Language Film Short List

Posted on 21 December 2013 by Rich Drees

Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster

Nine films from around the world have made it through to the short list for potential nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s upcoming Academy Awards.

As usual, there are some films whose presence on the list comes as no surprise as much as other films’ absence from the list such as Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster. But as happens, there are a few notable omissions including Asghar Farhadi’s The Past (Iran), Yuval Adler’s Bethlehem (Israel) and Haifaa Al-Mansour’s Wadjda (Saudi Arabia). One of the fall’s most buzzed about films, France’s Blue Is The Warmest Color was ineligible for the category because its distributor did not release it in its home country by the rules’ October 1st deadline, although it is eligible to compete in other categories. It would be eligible for nomination next year in the Foreign Language category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

  • Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;
  • Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;
  • Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;
  • Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;
  • Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;
  • Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;
  • Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;
  • Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director.

In a press release, the Academy describes how the nomination process works for the category –

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 16. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 12, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014 with the awards ceremony set for March 2, 2014.

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Oscar Visual Effects Shortlist Has Some Interesting Omissions

Posted on 06 December 2013 by Rich Drees


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences have announced the 10 films on the shortlist for consideration for this year’s Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The ten films, listed below, that have made the cut are by and large pretty solid films in terms of special effects. Though I do confess some surprise that The Lone Ranger made the list as I found some of the work in the film’s overly-long climactic action sequence to be not as good as some of the film’s preceding set pieces. But what really stands out is the omission of certain films, specifically Man Of Steel, Ender’s Game and The Wolverine. All featured some rather sterling work and admittedly I am not sure outside of perhaps The Lone Ranger what film you could take off this list to make room for one of these three.

The next steps for these ten films comes in January, when selected sequences from each will be screened for voting members of the Academy’s Visual Effects branch. From those votes will come the final nominees for the category that will be announced on January 16, 2014 and voted on by the entire Academy membership.

Here are the films that have made the short list –

  • Elysium
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Oblivion
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Pacific Rim
  • World War Z

The 86th Academy Awards will be held on March 2st, 2014.

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Nineteen Films In First Round Of Consideration For Best Animated Feature Academy Award

Posted on 07 November 2013 by Rich Drees


Academy Award season is upon us and as it gets closer to next March’s Oscar telecast we’re going to be hearing a lot about which pictures are eligible for which awards. And that starts with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences releasing the titles of the 19 animated films that qualify for the Best Animated Feature category.

Not surprisingly, the list does contain a lot of the animated studio fare that we’ve seen over the year, but it also does feature a few smaller films, both domestic and foreign, that have only gotten limited releases. Hopefully, by just being eligible to be nominated will draw some more attention to these films, as they tend to be the ones that generally have a bit more artistic merit than typical Hollywood product.

Here is the complete list of eligible films –

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
The Fake
Free Birds
The Legend of Sarila
A Letter to Momo
Monsters University
O Apóstolo
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion
Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury
The Smurfs 2
The Wind Rises

In their press release the Academy also notes –

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles qualifying runs. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules before they can advance in the voting process. At least eight eligible animated features must be theatrically released in Los Angeles County within the calendar year for this category to be activated.

Films submitted in the Animated Feature Film category may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture, provided they meet the requirements for those categories.

The Academy Awards will be presented on March 2, 2014.

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Ellen Degeneres Returns To Host Oscars

Posted on 02 August 2013 by William Gatevackes

tumblr_mcn3qaGO2e1riwrryo1_400The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried to woo in younger viewers to its telecast this year by choosing the edgy Seth MacFarlane to host the ceremony and it worked. But MacFarlane bowed out of a repeat performance next year, and instead the Academy went with a safer choice.

It was announced today that comedian and talk show host Ellen Degeneres will return to host next year’s Oscar telecast. It will be her second time hosting, the first coming in 2007’s telecast.

Degeneres’ performance during that show was received with mixed reviews, although, in all fairness to her, she was saddled with on of the longest telecasts in Oscar history (four hours!), which would have made many a critic cranky. The main criticism of her hosting was that it was too-low key and not at all biting, which I am not sure the Academy would consider to be negative criticism.

The Oscar ceremony will take place on March 2, 2014.

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MacFarlane Passes On Hosting Next Year’s Oscars

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Rich Drees

He may have had his detractors and he may have helped raise the ratings for this year’s Academy Awards telecast, but Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane stated today on Twitter that he would not be back to host next year’s Oscars.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise really. In addition to overseeing his TV animation empire, FOX has just picked up the live action sitcom Dads which he is executive producing. He also is shooting the western comedy A Million Ways To Die In The West which he will follow up with the sequel to last summer’s hit comedy Ted.

The search now begins for show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to find a replacement.

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