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Oscars: How Cannes May Have More Impact Than Ever On The 2014 Race

Pete Hammond

As my French fog lifts in the wake of my return from the Cannes Film Festival it’s a good time to look at how it might havethe-academy-oscars-new-logo-1 impacted the 2014 Oscar race as the calendar turns to June and we have the first big benchmark out of the way. That’s not to say that Cannes is a huge indicator of where this thing will be come Fall when it really heats up, but this is one of the better years I think in terms of Cannes and potential for its ultimate impact on the awards season. Some years are better than others. You might recall in 2011 three films in the official Cannes selection, The Tree Of Life, Midnight In Paris and The Artist all went on to Best Picture nominations with the latter even winning. It’s never too early to speculate.

Related: DeadlineNow: Early Frontrunners In The Oscar Race (Video)

sony-pictures-classics-logoSony Pictures Classics (which had Midnight In Paris)  certainly seems to think 2014 is going to similarly big so they put out a press release earlier this week touting their triumph on the Cote d’Azur . They held the hot hand this year with a flurry of titles they brought and bought to Croisette.  They come out of Cannes very strong with contenders of various stripes across several categories including Best Picture for Foxcatcher and Mr. Turner (with an outside shot for Directors Fortnight entry Whiplash which actually … Read More »

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OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Our Past And Our Future And Hits Just The Right Notes

By | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PST
Pete Hammond

In the end the Academy Awards fell right into place with every other awards show this season. Gravity got LOTS of love but it ended with 12 Years A Slave‘s Steve McQueen making the big Oscars selfie Ellenacceptance speech of the night for Best Picture — just like it went at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, BAFTA, PGA and others. It’s a weird year when a blockbuster picture like Gravity can win seven Oscars including Best Director yet lose the big one. But science fiction is not a category the Oscars have ever embraced in that way, and this year was no exception. In 1977 Star Wars also won seven Oscars yet lost in the end to Best Pic winner Annie Hall, which only picked up four awards overall much like Slave’s haul of three nods this year. The record still stands though with 1972′s Cabaret winning eight Oscars but losing ultimately to The Godfather which won only three including Best Picture.

Related:
OSCARS: The Complete Winners List
OSCARS: 2014 Winners Photo Gallery

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowHow do you explain it? It’s called spreading the wealth but wanting to save your most important award for a movie that has real gravitas, one that breaks barriers over what the Academy has ever done before. A movie directed by a black person has never before won nor has a film that so harrowingly details one aspect of the black experience. 12 Years A Slave may have depicted the dark side of this country in a way Oscar had never before recognized, but the Academy wanted to spotlight that and reward it with its highest prize in a year of great films about the black experience. In fact the whole show was full of diversity including numerous black presenters and the Best Director award to Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron.

Related:
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog
Backstage At The Oscars

Read More »

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Deadline’s Oscars Blog: ‘12 Years A Slave’, ‘Gravity’ And Boredom Reign Supreme

By and | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST

Oscars Live Blog
Here we are again after the Golden Globes,  Mike Fleming and Anita Busch taking on the task of play by play during the most wide-open Oscar race we can remember. Even on the party circuit, industry insiders who usually have a grasp of who’ll walk away with Oscars were evenly torn between Alfonso Cuaron’s 3D masterpiece Gravity and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave. Then again, there were so many terrific films that got Best Picture nominations, and all of them have at least a puncher’s chance at an upset.

Related: OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions

That includes American Hustle, where David O Russell co-wrote the Best Original Script nominee with Eric Warren Singer and got tour de force performances and nominations for Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Perfs so strong there was no room on the nomination roster for perennial Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner. The film is up for 10 awards, and has grossed over $240 million on a $40 million budget.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetThen there is The Wolf Of Wall Street, with Leonardo DiCaprio giving the most emphatic and complete performance of a great career, and Jonah Hill right there with him as his crazy con man sidekick. The film is up for five nominations, including Martin Scorsese for directing a terrific adaptation from The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire vet Terence Winter.

Read More »

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Backstage At The Oscars

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 5:29pm PST

Anna Lisa Raya, Diane Haithman, and Anthony D’Alessandro are contributing to Deadline’s Oscar coverage.

Related: OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowSo did the 12 Years A Slave team contemplate a potential best pic loss tonight? According to producer and co-star Brad Pitt — it didn’t matter if they won or lost. 12 Years A Slave in and of itself is a benchmark in cinematic history, unlike many films being made Oscars selfie Ellentoday. Asserted Pitt, “I love this story. It’s a historical story of man in an inhumane situation finding freedom. It’s an important film because it deals with our history that hasn’t been shown on screen. It’s important that we understand this era as it explains who we were, so we can better understand who we are now. The film is a gentle reminder that we’re all equal and want dignity for ourselves and for our families.” Fielding a question about how 12 Years A Slave has evolved cinema about African-Americans in the south since Gone With The Wind 75 years ago, McQueen exclaimed, “It’s obviously a progression. The background characters are now in the foreground and now they’re being recognized. It’s indicative of what’s going on; how people are ready for this narrative and how they want to look at this history. It’s like Brad said, ‘If you don’t know your past, we don’t know our future.’” Speaking about 12 Years‘ momentum around the world, producer Dede Gardner pointed out how Solomon Northup’s book is now available in high school libraries throughout the country after being out of print, while producer Jeremy Kleiner said, “the universality of the film’s story has broken down ideological concepts of what is a domestic and what is an international story.”

Related: OSCARS: The Complete Winners List

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OSCARS: Pete Hammond’s Absolute FINAL Predictions In Every Category In One Of The Most Competitive Races Ever

Pete Hammond

This column originally ran Thursday.

With no real clarity from the usually reliable guild contests and critics awards, the best picture race is one of the mostOscar Predictions 201480th Academy Awards NYC Meet the Oscars Opening unpredictable in years. Considering the preferential Oscar voting system, it is not probable there will be a winner on the first ballot because it’s unlikely any film in this great year for films will be able to  muster more than 50% of the first-place votes required. The second choice on those best picture ballots could end up being the most important. The top three contenders—12 Years A Slave, American Hustle and Gravity—are in a real dog fight, which means a dark horse like The Wolf Of Wall Street, PhilomenaDallas Buyers Club or Nebraska could sneak in if a true three-way split occurs, although I don’t think that scenario is too likely. Never say never though. In 1981 for example no one was expecting a small British film called Chariots Of Fire to sneak in and take Best Picture but indeed it did. The last huge upset in the Picture race was probably Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2005 but judging from voter interviews that year I saw a tidal wave of last minute support. This year I don’t get that. There are lots of opinions out there and it looks like … Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘American Hustle’ Nominee Jennifer Lawrence On Her Role And Chemistry With David O Russell

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The chance that Jennifer Lawrence will repeat as an Oscar winner, this time for Best Supporting Actress for her work Jennifer Lawrence American Hustle Oscar Racein American Hustle, has grown stronger since she won the Golden Globe and then surprisingly took the BAFTA award for Supporting Actress.

While Lawrence probably ate more salmon than an Alaskan grizzly bear during last year’s endless awards circuit banquet campaign leading up to winning the Best Actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook, she has been relatively scarce in this race, mainly because she has been busy moving between her role as Katniss Everdeen in the final two installments of The Hunger Games shooting back-to-back, and playing Mystique in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Lawrence was doing re-shoots on the latter when she won the BAFTA last week. It was David O Russell, who directed Lawrence in both Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, who accepted the award in her place. “I’d sat with her at last year’s BAFTAs, when she didn’t win, and me being loyal to her, I was upset and that became a screen grab for everybody and so this year, it was my pleasure to give what might have been the most heartfelt speech ever on her behalf after Leonardo DiCaprio gave me her award,” Russell told me.

Where was Lawrence during all this drama?

american-hustle-clip-jennifer-lawrence-photo“Oh, it was a big surprise,” she told me when she took a few minutes away from shooting. “I didn’t remember that the BAFTAs were happening that day. I certainly did not think I was going to win one so I put it out of my mind,” she said. “So there I was, in the middle of being painted blue, and someone said, ‘You just won the BAFTA!’ And I said, ‘Oh, go f*ck yourself!’ And then it turned out they were serious.”

This is the refreshing thing about watching this young actress grow up before our eyes. She is more fun to watch than a lot of veteran actresses who win, and act like it’s the first time even as you suspect they’ve already made room on the mantel for yet another trophy. With Lawrence, the coltish awkwardness and unpredictability seem genuine, and seem just right for a 23-year-old who has gotten her third Oscar nomination and who anchors one of Hollywood’s most lucrative film franchises in Hunger Games. In fact, these awards fill her with so much anxiety that she has found it refreshing to be working rather than going from one campaign stop to the next. Read More »

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OSCARS: A Look Back On The 50th Anniversary Of Sidney Poitier’s Historic Win – How Far Have We Come?

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 5:39pm PST
Pete Hammond

The 1963 Oscar ceremony marked a significant milestone in the history of the Academy Awards—and AwardsLinefor African-American actors. Sidney Poitier took the best actor prize for Lilies Of The Field, an “Amen” moment, to quote the best picture nominee’s famous song, if ever there was one. Until Poitier, only Hattie McDaniel, who won best supporting actress in 1939 for Gone With The PoitierWind, held the distinction for any African-American actor, and it would take another two decades after Poitier’s seminal win for it to happen again (when An Officer And A Gentleman’s Louis Gossett Jr. won a supporting statuette in 1982). After presenter Anne Bancroft opened the envelope and excitedly read Poitier’s name, he bounded to the stage as the orchestra played “Amen” and he famously called it, “a long journey to this moment.” Poitier said he didn’t expect to win, and many predicted Tom Jones star Albert Finney would take it. (Neither Finney nor the other nominated actors—Paul Newman (Hud), Richard Harris (This Sporting Life) and Rex Harrison (Cleopatra)—were in attendance, but that was not uncommon in Oscar’s earlier days.) After all, Tom Jones would prove to be the evening’s big winner, taking best picture and three other Oscars.

Related: Acting Races Head Into The Homestretch
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OSCARS: Acting Races Head Into The Homestretch — So Who’s Got The Best Shot For The Gold?

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 12:27pm PST
Pete Hammond

It’s a banner year for Oscar newcomers in the uber-competitive acting races. Outside of the veteran-AwardsLineheavy lead actress contest, 13 of the 20 nominees in lead and supporting are receiving either their first or second nominations. Considering how often the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tends to play favorites, it is good to see new blood. As voters enter the final balloting period before the March 2 ceremony, the guilds and other precursor awards have provided two fairly solid lead-category frontrunners—one of whom is a first-time nominee.

Related: SAG Awards: American Hustle Gets A Big Boost

matthewmccon1__131129221532-e1385763361431With wins at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey has leapt to the front of the pack in the incredibly tight best actor race, which has see-sawed all season. But storm warning ahead, Matthew: The all-important British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards are still to come on Sunday, and you didn’t even snag a nomination there, leaving an opening for your chief rivals: The Wolf Of Wall Street’s Leonardo DiCaprio, a four-time acting nominee looking for his first win; 12 Years A Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor (who is British and a first-time Oscar nominee); and Nebraska’s Bruce Dern, enjoying his second nom. American Hustle’s Christian Bale, who won a supporting Oscar in 2011 for The Fighter, rounds out the category.
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OSCARS: Dressing ‘The Invisible Woman’

79f00e7e-8459-11e3-_510625b“There are so many people doing such great work out there,” said The Invisible Woman costume designer Michael O’Connor, who is Oscar-nominated for Best Achievement in Costume Design. O’Connor — who worked on the period drama about the life of Charles Dickens — was one of the most gracious people I’ve ever interviewed, handing out credit to his staff, his director Ralph Fiennes and even to his peers on other films. “If you look at a film like Nebraska, those clothes say everything about those people,” O’Connor said. “It’s good, intelligent work.” His appreciation and passion for the work is evident in every detail of the clothing he speaks of. He’s also fascinated with the historical research that comes into play prior to the actual designs and selection of fabrics. “The looking into it is the fun part,” he said. “There are subtleties that change throughout the years, and I love monitoring and watching that stuff. You know, the men started wearing suits at this time in the 1850s. The women’s bonnets changed shape as the shape of the dresses changed. The bonnets became shorter, more rounded and less of the face is hidden. They were made with a clever craft that no one makes these days anymore. The corners, the pockets for the watches, the overall attention to detail was there always.”

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations

He said some of his inspiration came from the French neo-classical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, whose work is displayed in the Louvre. He and Fiennes — who portrayed Dickens with a contagious enthusiasm — spent a lot of time thinking about what a particular character would weare. the_invisible_woman_ralph_fiennes_felicity_jones_2Felicity Jones, for instance, played Dickens’ very young and demur mistress. “We had discussions like, ‘Would her character really wear this kind of dress?’ Even little, tiny rickrack mossy, mustard-colored braids on Felicity’s dress, we discussed because we wanted to make sure the costume wasn’t speaking beyond the character. You didn’t want her to gleam out even though she was the lead actress, because the camera is going to find her anyway, so (in a scene with her family) you put her sisters around her in pink.” His greatest find was an original, mint condition waist coat from the period with green vine leaves and grapes on it against black that Fiennes wore in one scene. O’Connor said his director embraced the period completely because he wanted it to be a truthful film. “When the actors are wearing these clothes, it makes them feel different,” he said. Which is the same kind of thinking behind the costuming of one of the greatest films of all time, Gone with the Wind.

Related: Hot Trailer: ‘The Invisible Woman’
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French Presidential Scandal Spills Over To Local Oscars: Have The César Awards Suddenly Become A Must-Watch?

quai-d-orsay-afficheThis morning’s César Award nominations set Twitter and the media ablaze in France, but not for the usual who’s in/who’s out debate. The reason for today’s increased gusto was that listed amongst the noms for the Césars, the local equivalent to the Oscars, is a supporting turn for Julie Gayet in Bertrand Tavernier’s political satire Quai D’Orsay. The accomplished actress and producer has famously been linked to an alleged affair with France’s president, François Hollande, since earlier this year. That alone, it’s been suggested, could give Canal Plus its best-ever ratings for the César ceremony when the kudofest airs February 28. Last year’s César ceremony drew 2.58M viewers, one of Canal’s top three scores since it started broadcasting the show in 1994. But let’s be honest, the Césars are usually a snoozefest, and even sometimes an embarrassment. I’ve been attending or following the show for more than 15 years and there have been plenty of groan-worthy moments including fumbling attempts to “Oscarize” the proceedings with the host being inserted into clips of the nominated films à la Billy Crystal. One French exec I spoke with today said of Gayet’s nomination, “Well in that case, I’ll definitely watch!”

julie gayetHere’s some background on why: The French are soaking up a sort of delicious ironie of Gayet picking up her first ever César nomination for a role in a politically themed movie set inside the Foreign Affairs Ministry (see the trailer here). What’s more, as France’s Premiere magazine pointed out this morning and, as Twitter keeps tweeting, her character’s name is Valérie — the first name of President Hollande’s longtime companion, Valérie Trierweiler, who moved into the Elysée Palace with him post-election and from whom he has now split. Read More »

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Wild Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Brings Out Oscar Nomination Day’s Winners And Losers; Julia Roberts Compares It To “Some Strange Fellini Movie”

Pete Hammond

19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Backstage And AudienceLast night’s Critics’ Choice Movie Awards pretty much mirrored the results of the Golden Globes handed out just a few days earlier. The winners – 12  Years A Slave for Picture, American Hustle for Comedy Picture, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Cate Blanchett, Amy Adams, Leonardo DiCaprio, director Alfonso Cuaron, Spike Jonze for his Her screenplay, and animated film Frozen – were awarded similar honors from the Hollywood Foreign Press on Sunday. The only real variation was in Supporting Actress, where Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o was the choice of the Broadcast Critics (I am a member of the group) while Jennifer Lawrence grabbed the Globe. Lawrence did win a CCMA too, though, as part of the victorious ensemble of Hustle.

Related: Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Winners

So does this mean an Oscars consensus is finally forming as awards season begins to heat up? Not really. We are still talking awards from media groups here. The real contest Critics-Choice-Movie-Awards-logo-e1379366211768starts this weekend when the first two big guild awards — SAG on Saturday and the Producers Guild on Sunday — declare their winners and the industry gets its say. These results will be significant and I am particularly looking towards the PGA (which has turned out to be a kingmaker in recent seasons, matching Oscar’s Best Picture the last six years in a row) to add some clarity to the season which at this point is wide open — although I would say, by virtue of a major Best Picture win at the Globes and CCMAs, 12 Years A Slave is having a good run this week.  And remember, for whatever reason, the Broadcast Critics Association members often seem to reflect the sentiment of Academy voters. It has a good track record predicting eventual Oscar wins.

19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Press RoomBut where the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards really made its mark last night was that it came at the end of a long day where Oscar nominations were revealed. This is the second year in a row BFCA chose the same date as the Academy for a major awards season event. You might recall Ben Affleck’s “I’d like to thank the Academy…” speech last year when he won the CCMA after being snubbed by the Academy for a Best Director nomination earlier that morning.  There weren’t quite the same dramatic moments last night, but the vibe in the room was electric. A whole group of brand new Oscar nominees were in a celebratory mood, and the networking and backslapping going on was every bit as fun as the crazy atmosphere that surrounds the Globes.

Related: Bullock, Cooper Drop F-Bombs On Live Critics’ Choice Show Read More »

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Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Named Best Picture; ‘Gravity’ Leads Field With 7 Wins

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:00pm PST

Steve McQueenGravity scored a leading seven wins, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, but it couldn’t land the big prize at the 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. Instead, Best Picture went to 12 Years A Slave, one of its three wins on the night less than 14 hours after it scored nine Academy Award nominations — and four days after it took Best Drama at the Golden Globes. American Hustle scored the second-most trophies from the Broadcast Film Critics Association’sAlfonso Cuaron 19th annual, including Best Acting Ensemble and Best Comedy. Dallas Buyers Club, Blue Is The Warmest Color, Frozen, The Great Gatsby and Lone Survivor snagged a pair of wins each at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Deadline’s Pete Hammond will have a full wrap-up and analysis of the show later tonight. Meanwhile, here is the complete list of winners:

Related: Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper Drop F-Bombs On Live Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Show

BEST PICTURE
12 Years a Slave

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

BEST ACTOR
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Spike Jonze, Her

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
American Hustle

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Frozen

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Blue Is the Warmest Color

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
20 Feet from Stardom

BEST COMEDY
American Hustle

Related:
OSCARS: Academy Chooses Strong Field Of Nominees, But In Super-Tight Race Who Is Going To Take The Gold?
OSCARS: Who Were The Unsung Heroes Of 2014′s Academy Award Pics?
OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

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Execs React To Best Picture Noms: ‘Gravity’, ‘12 Years’ ‘Captain Phillips’ Add Theaters, ‘Philomena’ Following ‘King’s Speech’ Distribution Plan

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 1:26pm PST

Oscar100__130208155647Studio chairmen and their marketing and distribution executives were meeting across town today talking about their future plans for their Best Picture Oscar films. And all have the same marching orders: Get the pictures nearing the end of their runs back into the nation’s theaters ASAP. To that end, Gravity, 12 Years A Slave, and Captain Phillips are adding theaters (some more than others), and those already in their runs — August: Osage County and Philomena are all getting big adds over the next two weeks (some more than others). Not all can take advantage of the noms as some films are way past their theatrical runs, but even a film like Blue Jasmine, which bowed this past summer and is headed to DVD next Tuesday, will add a tiny number of theaters.

Related: OSCARS: Academy Chooses Strong Field, But Who Will Take The Gold?

The addition to the box office after a nom can be significant. The Artist was at $12.3M going into the nominations, and before it won its Best Picture it did another $19.5M. After the win, it made another $13M. The King’s Speech was at $58M prior to the nomination but grossed another $56M before Oscar night and another $25M after it won the big prize. The same holds true for Million Dollar Baby, which was at $8.8M when Oscar noms hit, made another $56.3M during the window between Oscar night and walked away not only with the Best Picture Oscar but tucked away another $36M at the box office afterward.

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations

Alfonso-Cuaron-Sandra-Bullock-George-Clooney-Gravity-setWarner Bros’ Gravity, which is at the end of its theatrical run having been released at the beginning of October, already has grossed a whopping $675M worldwide (thanks to former exec Jeff Robinov for pushing it through) and will be in 944 theaters this weekend. Its other Oscar-nominated picture Her is holding steady as she goes. “We’re thrilled that our pictures have gotten the recognition that they have,” said Warners head of distribution Dan Fellman. “We’re pleased that Her has gotten the recognition that we think it deserves. It’s great to see the film recognized.” Fellman said that they are not changing the strategy for the Spike Jonze picture. (That’s not surprising as it was a well-though-out distribution plan; WB guys are pros.)

Related: OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?
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OSCARS: Academy Chooses Strong Field Of Nominees, But In Super-Tight Race Who Is Going To Take The Gold?

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 9:38am PST
Pete Hammond

Academy Award Nominations AnalysisJackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is an Academy Award nominee but Robert Redford and Tom Hanks aren’t. Welcome to the Oscars!

You can always count on the Academy to shake things up a bit, but other than the Best Actor logjam that resulted in the actors branch bypassing Redford and Hanks, the complete omission of Lee Daniels’ The Butler and most notably Oprah Winfrey in Supporting Actress there weren’t a whole lot of surprises on this list. Even the number of Best Picture nominees with 9 is exactly the same as the past two years and the films on the list are the ones I expected — particularly after the guilds snubbed the Coen Brothers’ once-thought-to-be-a-contender Inside Llewyn Davis (it received noms for a couple of below the line categories: Cinematography and Sound Mixing). Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks was once thought to be possible but was nearly shut out except for a music nomination. Emma Thompson was thought to be a surefire Best Actress nominee for that film but instead the Academy actors branch would not deny Meryl Streep an incredible 18th nomination for August: Osage County. She just keeps breaking her own record and no one will ever catch her. Amazing.

Related: OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

American HustleBut the really big story is just how wide open this race remains. American Hustle, the co-leader with 10 nominations, is a definite contender with key noms for Picture, Director David O. Russell, Screenplay and noms in all four acting categories for Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (at 23 now the youngest ever to receive three acting nominations).  The remarkable feat of landing all four actors repeats the feat of another Russell film last year, Silver Linings Playbook, which was the first to do it since Reds in 1981.  Since the actors branch is by far the largest there could be huge support  for the film above the line, while Gravity , also with 10 nominations, has such a stronghold on technical achievements that it can also be a major player with below-the-line support in the Academy.

gravityThen there’s strength with 12 Years A Slave grabbing nine nominations but inexplicably being left out of Cinematography and Music Score (for Hans Zimmer) where it was also expected to compete. I had thought this film might lead the field, but Gravity and Hustle took the honors — and the headlines. Still Slave’s impressive nine can’t be discounted and should be enough to entice those reticent Oscar voters who have yet to watch the film (and you know who you are). Add Paramount’s duo of Nebraska and The Wolf Of Wall Street getting key picture, acting, writing and directing nods, throw in Dallas Buyers Club with its impressive six nominations, and this could turn into a very interesting, nail-biting race indeed.

Related: OSCARS: Nominations By Picture Read More »

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OSCARS: Nominations By Studio & Distributor

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 8:25am PST

Oscar Nominations By StudioUPDATED WITH COMPLETE ANNOTATED LIST BELOW

Related:
OSCARS: Nominations By Picture
OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations (Full List)

NOMINATIONS BY STUDIO AND DISTRIBUTOR
Not counting shorts categories

Sony Pictures (includes Sony Pictures Classics) – 21
Warner Bros – 21
Paramount – 13
20th Century Fox (includes Fox Searchlight) – 11
The Weinstein Company (including Radius-TWC) – 11
Universal (including Focus Features) – 10
Disney – 7
CBS Films – 2
Adopt Films – 1
Drafthouse Films – 1
Enthuse Entertainment – 1
GKIDS – 1
IFC Films – 1
Janus Films – 1
Magnolia Pictures – 1
Netflix – 1
Participant Media – 1
Strand Releasing – 1
Tribeca Film – 1
Worldview Entertainment – 1
Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions – 1 Read More »

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OSCARS: Reactions To Academy’s Nominations

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 8:23am PST

Anita Busch, Jen Yamato, Diane Haithman and Cari Lynn contributed to this report

Oscar Nominees ReactionsREFRESH FOR LATEST…

Best Picture

American Hustle
For Chuck Roven, one of the producers of American Hustle, it’s been a long journey to the Oscar red carpet as he receives his first Academy Award nomination. Roven, who started in the film industry in 1973 and in 1975 hung out his producing shingle, first produced Heart Like A Wheel in 1982 and never stopped making films. "American Hustle" New York Screening - Outside ArrivalsIn recent years has gone on to produce several commercially successful films when Warner Bros put the seasoned producer on its most important franchises — such as Man Of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises. He remembers the beginnings of how Hustle came together. “The original script by Eric Singer was developed by Atlas at Sony and then David (O. Russell) had just finished shooting Silver Linings Playbook and was looking for his next movie, so we gave him the script and he turned it into a David O. Russell film,” Roven said. “We had a really short period of time between juggling pre-production while he was on the Oscar campaign for Silver Linings Playbook,” the film that had been nominated for Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and all of the four acting categories. “We had an amazing group of people working incredibly hard on the movie. Amazing partners. The fact that the movie got this many nominations from its peer group, it’s so humbling and satisfying to think that your peers — that people you work with — in the secrecy of the film balloting are actually recognizing you and it’s especially humbling where there are so many fantastic works by so many this year.” Roven starts production Monday on Warcraft and also starts later this year on the untitled Zach Snyder project at Warner Bros. that is generally known as Superman v Batman (but that will not be the title).

Related: OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations (Full List)

Dallas Buyers Club
“We’re over the moon how could you not be — I think we’re just kind of going between laughing hysterically, crying, in shock — wow. This is a moment in time we’ll have for the rest of our lives”, said producer Robbie Brenner, also president of production at Relativity Media (“I also have a day job,” she said of that gig). “I think the six nominations really represent the teamwork,” producer Rachel Winter added. “The crew worked so hard; we had no money. Terry (husband Terence Winter) is so thrilled for Dallas Buyers Club. There kind of aren’t words — we were just saying how one day our kids might have this really fun fact: Well, one year, they both went to the Oscars.” Winter said she’s currently in postproduction on Stealing Cars, and is working on films being directed by William H Macy and Michael Morris.

Philomena
“Steve Coogan read a story about the book and there was a photo with Michael Sixsmith (author of the book The Lost Child Of Philomena) and Philomena Lee smiling and this odd couple just piqued his interest and my interest in it,” producer Gabrielle Tana said. “It was such a strong story and we were just driven by the story. Once we had the screenplay in hand and Judi [Dench] came aboard, it was pretty easy to get going then.” With the help of the BBC and Pathe Communications, the picture was financed. Tana is said she is working again with Philomena writers Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan on something right now: an original coming-of-age story. “It’s been a real privilege to do this and we had an amazing team,” she said.

12 Years A Slave
12-years-a-slave-steve-mcqueen-lupita-nyongoOut of the mouths of babes. 12 Years A Slave producer Dede Gardner found out about the Oscar nomination for Best Picture from her young son. “I’ll confess that I woke up at 8 AM. My 9-year-old son came in and said, “You got 9 nominations and now we have to go school.” Said fellow producer Jeremy Kleiner: “I woke up after the broadcast but I spoke to my Mom in New York and she was psyched. My father who passed away was a big movie buff so it was cool.” Gardner and Kleiner have worked together for a decade producing movies together such as World War Z and Eat Pray Love. Asked if they knew there was something special about this film, Gardner said, “We believed it would be great, but you never know if it’s going to be received. We loved it and we just hoped other people would love it too.” Kleiner said, “The dailies were very powerful and effective, but we had 35-day schedule and everyone was working and when you’re inside of it, you’re just doing the work.” One of the interesting things about the screenplay is that it is very faithful to the book, written in 1853. In fact, it begins with the same vernacular of its author, Solomon Northrup, on whom the movie is based. “Steve [McQueen, the director] responded to the formality (of the language),” said Gardner. “It was a powerful contrast to the event that Solomon was living through. It lent an alien quality to the world we are experiencing. Steve found his story so undeniable and so the commitment was really to restoring the story with as much authenticity as you could.” The producers are in post production on two projects currently: The Normal Heart for HBO which will premiere in May and True Story for New Regency. They have yet to pick their next project.

Related: OSCARS: David O Russell’s Nomination Hot Streak

The Wolf Of Wall Street
“I’m on cloud nine. I’m sowolf3 thrilled for Marty and Leo and Terry and oh my god, Jonah. I’m so thrilled for the academy’s recognition of the film. (This morning) I just texted everybody – Marty, Leo, Jonah, Terry, our whole team, as many crew as I could get to, and my phone’s been going off the hook with family and friends. It’s been a celebratory few hours. We could not have done this without the amazing Red Granite, Joey McFarland and Riza Aziz. They stepped up and came in and said, ‘We are here, make the movie you want to make within reason,’ but they never balked at anything. They gave Marty and Leo the creative and financial freedom they needed to make this movie. We would not have a movie without them. For me, running the production on the ground was no small feat but I was a small part of that. I had the most incredible production team, we had a phenomenal creative team for Marty in place. Everybody from our grips to our teamster to our ADs, everybody just gave 200 percent and we just knocked it out for these guys and made sure every day Marty and Leo were armed with the means they needed to make this incredible film.” –Emma Tillinger Koskoff

Gravity
“What’s great is it’s a reward for Alfonso [Cuaron], whose vision really this is, and the thousands of people who worked to make the film. It’s a great reward. The journey of the film in many ways mirrors the themes, which is adversity and rebirth. It was at Universal, it came to WB – it died and was reborn. Through every step of the way there was adversity. Looking back now it’s amazing it has done as well as it has at the box office. It may seem obvious now but it wasn’t at the time. Making a film with so many taboos – two people alone in space, where their voices are muddled, and the performances are given through visors in space suits where you can’t see their physical expression… and yet it connected. It’s been amazing. The fact that critics and audiences have embraced it so has been rewarding.” — producer David Heyman

Best Actor

Bruce Dern, Nebraska
brucedern1“There are three people nominated this year, and go figure, I’m the baby of the group — there’s June Squibb, Judi Dench, and me,” Dern said. “It’s like the peers of ours, if you will, have all gotten together and said, ‘Hey, there are still roles! And they’re good roles, in very good movies!’ I think these nominations will pump hope into people who are older and still looking to make a living as an actor or actress. I am quite honored to be included, it’s really big stuff. And I’m saying this even though I started out with Roger Corman. I also hope this helps more people discover Nebraska. The hardest thing about this role was the detachment and being there, but not really being there all the time. It was there on the page, though — it was all there on the page. Now, June [Squibb] brought something to her role that wasn’t there on the page, I couldn’t have done what she did. Her rashness and her courage to just blow that sh*t out! Will Forte, he should have gotten a nomination, he’s the lynchpin to this movie. For 20 years he’s done the opposite, broad jokes, broad humor, so to him just there doing this was really something.” As for what’s next? “I’m not sure. The exciting thing is who will step forward and say, ‘Come on down!’ I’m always excited at how other people will see me and cast me. And what writers dare to dream that I might have a chance to play now. That’s the joy of Alexander Payne — he’s made six movies, and he’s had nominations in every movie. He gives people opportunities that no one’s used to seeing. He loves to surprise audiences. He gets it, he just flat out gets it.

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
“I’m very excited that the film got this much attention. It’s an honor to be recognized for a film like this. What Marty [Scorsese] does is he doesn’t judge his characters. He ultimately puts these people onscreen as authentically as he possibly can and lets the audience extract what they can from it…. The reaction we wanted was for there to be a dialogue about this attitude. This is a very destructive attitude, and what some people don’t get is that is ultimately not a cautionary tale but an indictment of this world…. It’s not often you get the opportunity to do movies that are that loose and take that many chances.” — DiCaprio

Related: OSCARS: Leonardo DiCaprio On Scorsese, ‘Wolf’: “I Knew It Would Be Polarizing”

Dallas Buyers ClubMatthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
“I was making all the choices for the experience, because there’s something in the material I found original, because I felt I would be able to work with directors and a production that would allow the freedom to tell the story in an honest way and never try to placate or bring it back to the middle … there was always a wonderful risk in all of these choices and that turned me on. Now, kind of for the first time on this scale, here come these results! I win a Golden Globe other night, the movie is nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the Oscars, Jared [Leto]’s work is being recognized – these results are coming in! Usually you finish a movie, you move on, you go make something else, they call the you back to promote a film… well, this one sticking around! It’s relevant, it’s more than relevant – it’s vital right now.” – McConaughey

Related: Sundance: Robert Redford Claims “No Campaign” From Roadside Attractions

Best Actress

Amy Adams, American Hustle
“It’s so exciting to me that everybody was recognized – I know how much work went making this movie in all categories, so it’s nice to see not only cast but wardrobe, and I feel it’s a real acknowledgement for the crew who worked really hard. David [O. Russell] knew after The Fighter even if he wrote a walk-on that I would show up for him. I felt like he really gave me a great opportunity to break type in The Fighter and that wasn’t an opportunity I was getting at the time. To be honest, I was a little scared because the way he described her she was really such a complex character and I knew I had to surrender something of myself to accomplish her. She’s playing so many roles so you have to develop who she is and then on top of it play the role. It was one of those characters where I thought, ‘Gosh, if I don’t get this right the level of humiliation will be up there,’ [laughs], you know? I think that’s a normal fear going into anything, then you surrender to that fear. You have to. You want to grow. I’ve never wanted to be a type.” — Adams

Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Gravity-c“It’s not just the feeling of what’s happening now, it’s also what the last two years have been like with the amazing experience of Gravity. All we cared about was that Alfonso [Cuaron] got recognized because this is his story, his journey, his life story. I feel like I have an embarrassment of riches and now something horrible is going to happen. [Laughs] But I want to not blow through this. I want to savor every moment, I want to enjoy it. I want to hang out with my fellow ladies like I have been when we see each other on these crazy press tours. I just don’t want to miss a thing, like Aerosmith said. Yes the circumstances were bizarre and difficult. You’re acting by yourself and are forced to dig deep to find emotions hanging from things and being in pain and twisted… but you also got to have this amazing, never-done-before experience. We didn’t think we were making a blockbuster – we thought we were making an art house film that happens to be in space, it’s existential, and it has these beautiful life metaphors. I’m sure the studio can tell you didn’t think in a million years this film would make a dime. But Alfonso stayed with his vision, he knew what he was making.” – Bullock Read More »

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OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations Announcement: Nine Best Film Nominees – ‘American Hustle’ And ‘Gravity’ Lead Way With 10 Noms Each, ‘12 Years A Slave’ Gets 9 (FULL LIST)

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 5:31am PST

Related: OSCARS: Who Got Snubbed By Academy?

Oscar Nominees 2014Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced at 5:30 AM PT this morning at a news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Best Picture category ended up with nine nominees, including for Sony’s American Hustle and Warner Bros’ Gravity, which led the field with 10 nominations overall. They were followed by Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which had nine noms overall. 86th Academy Awards Nominations AnnouncementThe rest of the Best Pic list: Sony’s Captain Phillips (though no actor nom for Tom Hanks or director nom for Paul Greengrass), Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club, Warners’ Her, Paramount’s Nebraska, The Weinstein Company’s Philomena and Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, the last and maybe most hot-button movie to land in voters hands this awards season which also landed noms for Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Directing (Martin Scorsese) and Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter).

Related:
OSCARS: Nominations By Picture
OSCARS: Nominations By Studio & Distributor

New Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs presented the nominees list this year with Thor star Chris Hemsworth. The Oscars for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be awarded on Sunday, March 2 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, televised live on ABC and hosted by Ellen DeGeneres for a second time. Nominations voting in the Oscars’ 24 categories closed January 8 and final voting begins February 14, with ballots due back February 25 at 5 PM PT. Here is the full list of nominees:

Related: OSCARS: Reactions To Academy’s Nominations

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Christian Bale in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bruce Dern in “Nebraska” (Paramount)
Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Amy Adams in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” (Warner Bros.)
Judi Dench in “Philomena” (The Weinstein Company)
Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County” (The Weinstein Company)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County” (The Weinstein Company)
June Squibb in “Nebraska” (Paramount)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Croods” (20th Century Fox)
Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” (Universal)
Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” (GKIDS)
Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
“Frozen” (Walt Disney)
Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” (Walt Disney)
Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Grandmaster” (The Weinstein Company) Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” (CBS Films) Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” (Paramount) Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” (Warner Bros.) Roger A. Deakins

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” (The Weinstein Company) William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” (Warner Bros.) Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” (Sony Pictures Classics) Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Patricia Norris

ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) David O. Russell
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Alfonso Cuarón
“Nebraska” (Paramount) Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount) Martin Scorsese

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“The Act of Killing” (Drafthouse Films)
A Final Cut for Real Production
Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” (RADiUS-TWC)
An Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic Production
Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” (IFC Films)
A Civic Bakery Production
Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” (Netflix in association with Worldview
Entertainment and Participant Media)
A Noujaim Films and Maktube Production
Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” (RADiUS-TWC)
A Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Production
Nominees to be determined

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
“CaveDigger”
A Karoffilms Production
Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear”
A Jason Cohen Production
Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” (Mudhouse Films)
A Hot Spot Films Production
Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
A Reed Entertainment Production
Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”
A Prison Terminal LLC Production
Edgar Barens

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features) John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight) Joe Walker

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” (Tribeca Film) – Belgium
A Menuet Production
“The Great Beauty” (Janus Films) – Italy
An Indigo Film Production
“The Hunt” (Magnolia Pictures) – Denmark
A Zentropa Entertainments 19 Production
“The Missing Picture” (Strand Releasing) – Cambodia
A Bophana Production
“Omar” (Adopt Films) – Palestine
An Omar Production Company Production

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features) Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” (Paramount) Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” (Walt Disney) Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)
“The Book Thief” (20th Century Fox) John Williams
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.) Steven Price
“Her” (Warner Bros.) William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” (Walt Disney) Thomas Newman

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SONG)
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone” (Enthuse Entertainment)
Music by Bruce Broughton
Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2” (Universal)
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen” (Walt Disney)
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her” (Warner Bros.)
Music by Karen O
Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” (The Weinstein Company)
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
Lyric by Paul Hewson

BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR
“American Hustle” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures Production
Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
“Captain Phillips” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
“Dallas Buyers Club” (Focus Features)
A Voltage Pictures, R2 Films, Evolution Independent Production
Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
“Gravity” (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Limited Production
Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
“Her” (Warner Bros.)
An Annapurna Production
Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
“Nebraska” (Paramount)
A Paramount Vantage Production
Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
“Philomena” (The Weinstein Company)
A Pathé, BBC Films, BFI, Canal+, Cine+ and Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae Production
Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
“12 Years a Slave” (Fox Searchlight)
A River Road, Plan B, New Regency Production
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (Paramount)
A Red Granite Production
Nominees to be determined Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

By | Sunday January 5, 2014 @ 5:15pm PST

Catch up with Deadline’s best film stories of the week:

hollywood-signYear-End: How A Growing Global Mandate And Franchise Fever Led To Movie Studio Tsuris
By Mike Fleming – Considering that global movie ticket sales reached precedent levels after a particularly robust holiday period and a mostly sizzling summer, 2013 was one of the most turbulent years I can remember in the executive suites of major studios.

Box Office: Nation In Deep Freeze As Ticket Sales Plummet; ‘Frozen’ Still No. 1, Just Shy of $300M; ‘Paranormal’ Audiences Scared While ‘Wolf’ And ‘Hustle’ Close
By Anita Busch – With the nation in a deep freeze, pictures across the board were affected this weekend. And Sunday moviegoing is expected to be down. With more estimates coming in, the odds are that The Wolf of Wall Street will just nudge out American Hustle by a mere $200,000 for the weekend to take the fourth spot.

Year-End: UK Tax Breaks Too Much Of A Good Thing? Tasty Danish Offerings; French Film Biz Blues; Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain
By Nancy Tartaglione – The UK emerged in 2013 as an increasingly attractive location destination with new and expanded tax credits – but can it stand the bulge? Hollywood has cozied up to Britain, not only bringing its films there to shoot, but now its TV programs while it also continues to plumb it as a source of original drama to be remade in the U.S.

Inside Llewyn DavisWGA Continues Strong Awards Season For ‘Wall Street’, ‘Hustle’, ‘Dallas’ & Woody, But ‘Gravity’, ‘12 Years’ & Coens Not Invited To The Party
By Pete Hammond – It continues to be a good week for American Hustle, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Her, Captain Phillips, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska. All followed up yesterday’s Producers Guild nominations with WGA noms this morning, making it 2-for-2 in the early guild contests of this new year. Read More »

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OSCARS: ‘Philomena’ Puts Judi Dench Right Back In The Thick Of The Race

Pete Hammond

Dame Judi Dench is poised to have a very happy new year. She is certainly no stranger to awards, but there could be more in her immediate future. She’s had 6 Oscar nominations  and one win as 1998 Supporting 1318861512_Judi_Dench_Oscars_1998_WideActress for an eight minute role in Shakespeare In Love. There are also 11 Golden Globe nominations and two wins. And then the British superstar can also boast of an astounding 25 BAFTA nominations and 10 wins split between her film and television work — the most recent coming for her final appearance as M opposite James dench6fb-toned-webBond in 2012′s Skyfall. So what does she need another one for?

The fact is she’s back in awards contention in a big way again this season in Philomena, another signature role  as Philomena Lee, a true life story of a woman who had to give up her young child for adoption in the Irish orphanage where she worked — only to search for him 50 years later and discover some startling truths along the way. She’s already racked up SAG, Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award nominations for the crowd-pleasing film (which also has a Best Drama Picture bid at the Globes too) and seems a sure thing for another go at the Oscars when nominations are announced January 16th. This would be her fifth nod (in addition to Mrs. Brown, Iris, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Notes On A Scandal) as actress in a leading role , quite a feat for a performer at any age but particularly one who just turned 79 years old earlier this month. A win would make her the second oldest ever (after Driving Miss Daisy’s Jessica Tandy) to nab the Best Actress Oscar.

Related: The Real ‘Philomena’ Answers NY Post Critic Who Condemns Her Film Read More »

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