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OSCAR CONTROVERSY: “Alone Yet Not Alone” Removed From Oscar Contention

Posted on 30 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

BrucebroughtonWhen the nominees were announced for Best Original Song for this year’s Oscars, you might have noticed a small chuckle raising from the stunned, puzzled audience when one of the nominees was announced. That nominee was for the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film, Alone Yet Not Alone. People began to wonder why a song from a film they never heard of would be in contention for the same award as songs done by the like of Pharell, Idina Menzel and U2 from films such as Despicable Me 2Frozen and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Some people did more than wonder. A public relations firm working for a snubbed rival hired a private investigator to see if the film itself was eligible to be nominated because it was not advertised in the Los Angeles area as per the Academy’s requirements.

The Academy decided the newspaper ads ran by the Encino theater that showed the film once a day for a week was sufficient advertisement. However, people who wanted to get the song removed from consideration would get their wish. It was discovered that the song’s nominated writer, Bruce Broughton, seen above, had e-mailed members of the music branch in order to make them aware of his submission. The Academy found this to be in violation from it’s standards and practices, and the song has now been disqualified from Oscar contention.

In a time where many trade journals are filled with “For Your Consideration” ads leading up to the nominations, this might seem at best a double standard. But what made Broughton’s campaigning a step over the line is that he was a former governor and current executive committee member of the music branch of the Academy. This takes his plea from a composer asking his peers for consideration to a man in a position of power asking the people who he works for for a favor. That apparently is an Oscar no-no.

“No matter how well-intentioned the communication, using one’s position as a former governor and current executive committee member to personally promote one’s own Oscar submission creates the appearance of an unfair advantage,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the Academy president.

“I’m devastated,” Broughton said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it.”

If Broughton can take some cold comfort for this, it that none of the accused competition will be able to reap the benefits from “Alone Yet Not Alone” being removed from contention. The Academy has decided to not replace the song with any of the other 70 songs eligible for nomination, and will just go with the four remaining nominees.

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GRAVITY’s Alfonso Cuaron Nabs Directors Guild Award

Posted on 26 January 2014 by Rich Drees

640_Sandra_Bullock_Gravity_

Alfonso Cuaron took home top honors at last night’s Directors Guild Award for his science-fiction tale of survival Gravity. Cuaron beat out fellow directors Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), David O. Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf Of Wall Street).

The win, along with it tying for Best Film at last weekend‘s Prodocers Guild Awards, seems to position Gravity for the top prize at March’s Academy Awards, as the DGA and the PGA awards are often seen as predictors who will win their respective Oscar categories. Only seven times in the award’s 65-year history has the winner of the DGA not gone on to win the Best Director Oscar and only 13 times have the winning film at the DGAs gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

But some Oscar prognosticators are saying that there is still an outside chance that either 12 Years A Slave or American Hustle could still win in an upset. Gravity and 12 Years A Slave were not nominated in next weekend’s Screenwriters Guild Awards – 12 Years A Slave was ineligible due to a rule in the Guild’s bylaws – and American Hustle could pickup some much needed awards buzz with a win there.

It is perhaps worth remembering that Cuaron had a difficult time getting Gravity into production. The film was originally set up at Universal, but the studio put it into turnaround after original star Angelina Jolie dropped out. Finding at home at Warner Brothers, Cuaron found the project in danger a second time over casting when Robert Downey Jr. dropped out of the project while Cuaron continued to hunt for a lead with Natalie Portman was one of many contenders for the role that Sandra Bullock finally one.

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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

AmericanHustle

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
Frozen
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
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
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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12 YEARS A SLAVE, AMERICAN HUSTLE Take Home Golden Globes

Posted on 13 January 2014 by William Gatevackes

GoldenGlobeIf the Golden Globes are truly the early indicator for Oscar glory, then we have a two horse race for Best Picture.

The 71st Golden Globes were given out in Los Angeles Sunday night. American Hustle led in the statute counts in the film category with three awards, including the award Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. Dallas Buyers Club was second with two awards.

American Hustle’s win immediately gives it boost in the Oscar race, but odds-on Oscar favorite 12 Years a Slave also won an award, for Best Motion Picture, Drama. It will be interesting to see if the former overtakes the latter by Oscar night.

If we were looking for surprises, we’d find them in the male actor awards. Matthew McConaughey defeated the highly favored Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama and Leonardo DiCaprio overcame both Bruce Dern and Christian Bale in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy. If you were to look at this in terms of Academy Award chances, McConaughey’s chances of taking home an Oscar have just become very, very good and DiCaprio’s chances of possibly being nominated might have just registered a slight uptick. Maybe.

Here is a complete list of nominees and winners:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
*12 Years a Slave
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Philomena
Rush

 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
*Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
*Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

 

Best Director – Motion Picture
*Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

 

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
*Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope and Steve CooganPhilomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle

 

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
*American Hustle
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
The Wolf of Wall Street

 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
*Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
*Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

 

Best Animated Feature Film
*Frozen
The Croods
Despicable Me 2

 

Best Foreign Language Film
*The Great Beauty (Italy)
Blue Is the Warmest Color (France)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Past (Iran)
The Wind Rises (Japan)

 

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

 

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
*Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

 

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
*Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex HeffesMandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave

 

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
*”Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
“Atlas,” The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
“Let It Go,” Frozen
“Please Mr. Kennedy,” Inside Llewyn Davis
“Sweeter Than Fiction,” One Chance

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Coen Brothers Shut Out Of Directors Guild Awards Nominees

Posted on 07 January 2014 by Rich Drees

Oscars

The Directors Guild of America announced the five nominees for for their annual Guild Awards and as you can see from the names below, there are no surprises as to who made the list. And while all the directors who were nominated this year are deserving, there are still some surprises as to who is not on the list.

Chief and most glaring among the omissions are the Coen Brothers for their film Inside Llewyn Davis. Although it has received some heavy critical acclaim, its lack of nomination here and at the Producers Guild Award suggest that the moody tale of a folk singer in 1960s Greenwich Village could very well be shut out of Academy Award consideration when the Oscar nominations are announced later on this month. Although there is a long history of the winner of the DGAs going on to take Oscar gold as well, there still is the chance that one of the nominees here might not make the jump to the potential Academy Award Best Director hopefuls. Last year, Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck securing places onto the nominations list of the Directors Guild did not translate to similar spots on the Academy’s nominee list. If one of the five below don’t make it, perhaps that will open up a spot of the Coens.

The nominees for the Directors Guild Award for feature films –

  • Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • David O. Russell (American Hustle)
  • Martin Scorsese for (Wolf of Wall Street)

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What The Producers Guild Award Nominees Mean For The Oscar Race

Posted on 06 January 2014 by Rich Drees

OscarStatues

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

Screenplays

(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.

A24
The Bling Ring
The Spectacular Now
Spring Breakers

Disney
Frozen
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)

IMG
The Fifth Estate
We Steal Secrets (transcript)

Paramount
Labor Day
Nebraska
Wolf Of Wall Street

Roadside Attractions
Mud

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

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

Warner Brothers
42
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Prisoners

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

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Grandmaster

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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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