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‘Rathergate’ Drives ‘Truth’ Film; Robert Redford To Play Dan Rather, Cate Blanchett To Play Producer Mary Mapes

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 11:51am PDT
Mike Fleming

‘Rathergate’ Drives ‘Truth’ Film; Robert Redford To Play Dan Rather, Cate Blanchett To Play Producer Mary MapesEXCLUSIVE: Robert Redford is attached to play CBS News icon Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett is attached to play his producer Mary Mapes in Truth, a film that will mark the directorial debut of James Vanderbilt, the A-list screenwriter behind the first two installments of The Amazing Spider-Man. The film will explore the scandal that erupted after Rather reported on 60 Minutes II that George W. Bush had gotten preferential treatment that put him in the National Guard to avoid the Vietnam War draft. The ensuing scandal during Bush’s reelection campaign left Mapes fired and Rather’s storied reputation in tatters.

Truth And DutyVanderbilt is adapting Mapes’ 2005 memoir Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power. Pic will be produced by Mythology Entertainment, the production partnership between Vanderbilt, Brad Fischer and Laeta Kalogridis. Fischer, William Sherak, Vanderbilt and Mikkel Bondesen are producing. They are eyeing a fall start, so this is all moving on a fast track. The project has not yet been set at a studio, but I expect it will not take long. Read More »

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Cannes: DreamWorks Animation Celebrates 20 As ‘Dragon 2′ Breathes Fire On The Fest

Pete Hammond

Among other things, Cannes this year might as well be called the Jeffrey Katzenberg International Film Festival. He’s had his cast and starCannes2014_badge dragon from How To Train Your Dragon 2 cruising the Croisette looking for paparazzi — and finding them. He’s had his cast, including new Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, working the press. He’s celebrating in style the 20th anniversary of DreamWorks Animation here with a gala World Premiere screening in a prime Friday night Out Of Competition slot in the Grand Lumiere Theatre, where fest topper Thierry Fremaux broke all precedent at this by-the-book festival and personally000_dv1727981 introduced the film and its players. DWA threw a big bash at Baoli beach featuring a special exhibit of concept art with more than 100 pieces from the film – and the weather cooperated. Perfect night on the Cote d’Azur. On Saturday at noon at the Palais, Katzenberg will be the recipient of a rare Commander of Arts honor presented by the French Minister Of Culture. And best of all he’s getting tons of worldwide publicity in advance of the June 6 launch of the sequel to one of DWA’s biggest hits, and one I think should be a major Best Animated Feature Oscar contender. It really manages to top the 2010 first film in terms of heart, laughs, action and pure exhilaration. And it won a major ovation at its official screening Friday. On top of all that, Katzenberg’s “date” for Saturday’s Vanity Fair party at Hotel du Cap is Harvey Weinstein. Yes, they are going together. “I told him he will be the missus — Mr. and Mrs. Katzenberg,” he laughed.

Related:
Cannes 2014: A Look At Hot Titles; Was It Over Before We Got Here And Paramount Made Record Deal?
Harvey Weinstein Defends Actions On ‘Grace Of Monaco’

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Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington, Rose Byrne Among 2014 Women In Film Honorees

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 10:52am PDT

womeninfilm__130429172832-200x100Women In Film has announced recipients of the 2014 Crystal + Lucy Awards honoring exemplary women in the entertainment industry. Cate Blanchett will receive the 2014 Crystal Award for Excellence in Film. The Lucy Award for Excellence in Television goes to Kerry Washington; Rose Byrne will be honored with the Women In Film Max Mara Face of the Future Award; Jennifer Lee will receive the 2014 Dorothy Arzner Directors Award; and Eva Longoria will be honored with the 2014 Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award. The Crystal + Lucy Awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 11 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

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Oscars: Ellen DeGeneres And Samsung Make More Selfie Headlines; Lupita Nyong’o Talks Lip Gloss; Pizza Guy Gets Tip: Video

After partying until 3 AM-ish today, Ellen DeGeneres continued making Oscar headlines today when she announced on a live post-Oscar edition of her syndicated talk show that Samsung would donate $3 million to charity in celebration of her celebrity-hug selfie during the Academy Awards and its record-setting 3 million retweets. She also played host to Oscar winners Lupita Nyong’o, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto — and Edgar the Pizza Guy.

Related: Oscars Viewership Hits 10-Year High

Watch Nyong’o explain the lip gloss here:

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OSCARS: 2014 Winners Photo Gallery

Oscars 2014 Photos

Warner Bros’ Gravity took home the most hardware at Sunday’s 86th Academy Awards and 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture, but everyone was all smiles backstage in the winners’ circle. Check out Deadline’s gallery of photos with the night’s big Oscar winners, including Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Alfonso Cuaron, those peppy Frozen songwriters, and more: Read More »

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Oscars Fashion: Who Wore What

By | Sunday March 2, 2014 @ 9:20pm PST

Monica Corcoran Harel is contributing to Deadline’s Oscars coverage.

Cate Blanchett croppedClearly, God loves a red carpet. How else to explain how the torrential rain miraculously ceased by noon today so we wouldn’t have to see actresses with frizzy hair and streaked mascara in belted trench coats? Instead, this year’s Oscar red carpet brought us a bevy of gold beaded dresses, dozens of bare shoulders, an al fresco Jennifer Lawrence pratfall and many leading men in blue.

Related:
2014 Oscars Gallery
OSCARS: Deadline’s Live Blog

That red carpet also brought about $2.3M to our local economy, according to a recent study from a Los Angeles consulting firm that tallied wardrobe expenses for women attending the Academy Awards. (Of course, nominees and presenters don’t have to buy anything — all is custom designed or borrowed.) Celebrity stylists, however, can earn up to $10,000 per day for prepping, pulling looks and fitting clients. (Having co-written a book with Rachel Zoe last year, I can attest to stress of the task. However, any monthlong job that earns enough money to buy a Tesla is no crap gig, eh? )

Related: Oscars Winners List

Sandra Bullock croppedThis year, beaded metallics reigned. Cate Blanchett in pale gold Armani Prive, Angelina Jolie in sparkly Elie Saab Couture, Sally Hawkins in Valentino and Lady Gaga wearing Atelier Versace were reflective. With barely any sunlight, the flashes of paparazzi made these women sparkle. Bare shoulders also were a major trend, and the ones who did it right opted for dramatic bodices and necklines, including Charlize Theron in Christian Dior, Sandra Bullock in navy Alexander McQueen and Amy Adams in Gucci Couture. The lack of straps also makes a great canvas for diamond necklaces, as we saw on Lawrence in $2 million worth of Neal Lane sparklers.

Related: Backstage At The Oscars

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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.

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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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Indie Spirit Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Takes Best Feature And Dominates With Five Wins; McConaughey & Blanchett Top Actors

By | Saturday March 1, 2014 @ 1:24pm PST

!2YearsASlaveSpiritsUPDATED WITH ALL WINNERS AND REACTIONS: The 29th annual Independent Spirit Awards ended up more like a cast party for Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave, which won five of the seven categories for which it was nominated today — including Best Feature and Best Director for Steve McQueen. The strong showing for the slave drama gives the pic plenty of momentum headed into tomorrow night’s Oscars, the marquee event in a long awards season in which 12 Years has been one of many films ebbing and flowing buzz-wise along with Warner Bros’ Gravity ahead of what’s being called one of the more wide-open Academy Awards in a long while.

Dede Gardner, a producer on the pic with her Plan B partner Brad Pitt, thanked the many people involved in making the movie (including Pitt for “getting the movie made when he said he would”). She also thanked the descendants of the film’s subject Solomon Northup. “It’s a reminder to care-take our freedom,” she said.

Spirit Award WinnersWith most of the big studio pics in the Oscar Best Picture race sitting it out today with the focus on indie fare under a tent on the beach in mostly rain-free Santa Monica, it allowed others to shine. Dallas Buyers’ Club‘s acting duo of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Male Lead and Supporting Male, respectively. Cate Blanchett continued her hot streak winning Best Lead Female for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, making her a solid favorite to win tomorrow night. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Female for 12 Years. That pic rounded out its wins with a Best Screenplay nod for John Ridley and Best Cinematography for Sean Bobbitt.

2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Backstage And AudienceThe Weinstein Company also had a good day during the ceremony, hosted by Patton Oswalt. Best Documentary went to the distrib’s 20 Feet From Stardom, whose subjects performed today, and Best First Feature went to writer-director Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station, which started its fruitful awards-season at Sundance 2012 when TWC acquired it for $2 million.

Oswalt presided over one of the most memorable parts of the show, when a black drone flew in and delivered the scroll announcing Nyong’o's win. Later, after Blue Is The Warmest Color won Best International Film, Oswalt came back out onstage covered in blood. ”Don’t touch the drone,” he quipped.

The weather, such an issue during the blustery and wet 2011 Spirit Awards, held for most of the day, with rain beginning to fall just as Blanchett reached backstage after her acceptance speech. ”There’s a storm coming,” she said to the press. “It was nice knowing you all in case we’re swept away.”

Related: Oscars Rainout? Organizers Say No Way

The Spirit Awards will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on IFC. But here’s how the day went down, with on-scene coverage by Deadline’s Pete HammondDominic Patten and Anthony D’Alessandro and contributor Diane Haithman.

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BAFTAs: Cate Blanchett Dedicates Award To Philip Seymour Hoffman (Video)

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 9:15am PST

One of the most poignant moments of Sunday’s BAFTA Awards came during Cate Blanchett‘s acceptance speech after winning the Leading Actress prize for Blue Jasmine, when she paid tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The two starred together in The Talented Mr Ripley. Clearly Hoffman had a profound impact on her. Check it out:

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BAFTA Shakes Up The Race, But Everything Still In Play As Oscar’s Moment Of Truth Nears

Pete Hammond

Breathing a sigh of relief once again Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years A Slave pulled out another squeaker at the BAFTA Awards just as it did at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and the Producers Guild (where it tied Gravity). Going into the BAFTAs  with ten nominations  and favored status, as it was directed by Brit Steve McQueen and starred Brit Chiwetel Ejiofor,ee bafta it looked like a total shutout losing award after award and going 0 for 7 (including surprising losses for Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor) but finally BRITAIN-ENTERTAINMENT-FILM-AWARDS-BAFTAgetting on the board with Ejiofor’s Best Actor win and then pulling off Best Film shortly after in a ceremony that reflected the kinds of splits we have seen all season. At the Globes you may recall it went 0 for 6 before nabbing Best Drama Picture at the end of the evening. Somehow McQueen winds up on stage at the end of all these shows making an acceptance speech and that’s what counts.

Related: BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Wins Best Film But ‘Gravity’ Carries Most Weight With Six Total Nods; Chiwetel Ejiofor & Cate Blanchett Take Actor Wins; ‘American Hustle’ Scores 3 Including For Jennifer Lawrence

BAFTA Awards 2014This is an unusual year to say the least and the BAFTA win for 12 Years A Slave where it helps the most gives it bragging rights as Oscar voting is getting underway this weekend. But these kinds of narrow victories might be a little tension-headache inducing for Searchlight as it now heads to the Oscars in the tightest race in years. Slave was expected to do much better here than it did overall. The results indicate voting was all over the map.  BAFTA is important as there may be as many as 500 members that it shares in common with the motion picture Academy. The outcome really did nothing to add more clarity or certainty in a see-sawing Best Picture Oscar race with Gravity’s six BAFTA wins including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron and Outstanding British Film keeping it in strong contention.  Perhaps BAFTA voters thought they could offer up their own PGA-style split by giving these two films their own producing prize? Who knows?   Here’s the good news for Slave . The BAFTA Best Film winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture for the past five years a row. However in the four previous years before that streak it failed to match Oscar’s top winner, so into  which camp will Slave fall? Again, who knows? Makes things exciting though. Read More »

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BAFTA Awards: ‘12 Years A Slave’ Wins Best Film But ‘Gravity’ Carries Most Weight With Six Total Nods; Chiwetel Ejiofor & Cate Blanchett Take Actor Wins; ‘American Hustle’ Scores 3 Including For Jennifer Lawrence

BAFTA Award WinnersUPDATED WITH FULL LIST OF WINNERS AND REACTIONS: Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave rallied from a slow stat to win the Best Film award tonight at the 62nd BAFTA Film Awards in London. The slave drama from Fox Searchlight had 10 nominations but won just two awards, after Chiwetel Ejiofor took the Leading Actor prize for playing Solomon Northup. Despite the marquee victory in the last major kudofest before the Oscars, it still seemed as though the night belonged to Warner Bros’ Gravity. The space drama picked up a leading six wins from its 11 overall nominations, including for Outstanding British Film — which will keep the debate going about just how British the pic is. Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director and the pic cleaned up in the craft categories, taking Sound, Cinematography and Special Visual Effects in addition to a nod for Steven Price’s Original Score. The BAFTA crowd at the packed Royal Opera House in Covent Garden exploded with each win for the movie, which had a leading 11 nominations going into the night.

Related: BAFTA Shakes Up The Race But Everything Still In Play As Oscar’s Moment Of Truth Nears

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Winners RoomThe EE British Academy Film Awards: Dinner - Red Carpet ArrivalsStill, the 12 Years A Slave victory tonight maintains the film’s front-runner status going into the Oscars on March 2; the film also won the Golden Globe for Motion Picture-Drama. Many feel the Academy will lean the same way, honoring Gravity in the craft categories but not for the Best Picture. The two films have been going head to head all awards season, even scrapping to a rare tie in the PGA Awards contest. “It’s very important,” McQueen said backstage after the victory. “The way the public here — but not just here, in the U.S. — by going to see the picture, means a hell of a lot.” Added producer Brad Pitt: “This is an excuse for us to all get to gather and say job well done. We’re very proud of our work here, and it means a lot to us because of the people we got to work with.” Read More »

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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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Deadline Awards Watch 62: The Talking To Cate And Julia Podcast

Deadline Awards Watch ep 62In this week’s podcast, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond talks with host David Bloom about which films and performers got an Oscar bump out of the WGA, Annie and Cinematographers awards shows this past Saturday; check in on the Santa Barbara film festival’s celebration of Cate Blanchett and whether the controversy over her Blue Jasmine director in will spill over into the Oscar race; dissect the Academy’s defense of its de-nomination of “Alone Yet Not Alone” in the face of complaints by, particularly, religious and conservative critics; and discuss the highlights of Pete’s sit-down with Julia Roberts this week to discuss her supporting actress Oscar nomination for “August: Osage County.”

We’ll also get Pete’s take on the week’s notable movie debuts, including the true and likable WWII story The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney with a big-name cast, and The Lego Movie, a fast-moving and smart animated film that Pete suggests could be in the Oscar hunt a year from now.

You can listen to the podcast in your choice of formats here:
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Awards Watch podcast 62 (.M4A version)
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Super Bowl? WHAT Super Bowl? More Awards, Controversy, & The Santa Barbara Film Festival Keeps Oscar Season Sizzling

Pete Hammond

If you think Hollywood’s awards season will come to a complete stop just because of a little thing called Super Bowl29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Outstanding Performer of the Year Award to Cate Blanchett Weekend, think again! As already covered extensively on Deadline yesterday, the pre-Oscar madness was running full tilt Saturday with the WGA, ASC and Annie awards, the Santa Barbara Film Festival and lots of lingering controversies about nominees and “rescinded” nominees. Whew! You’d think they’d give it a rest to let football take over but NOTHING gets in the way of Hollywood’s own Super Bowl!

Related:
28th Annual ASC Awards: ‘Gravity’s Emmanuel Lubezki Wins Feature Film Honor
WGA Awards: ‘Captain Phillips’ & ‘Her’ Win Top Film Awards
Annie Awards: ‘Frozen’ Wins Big Including Best Feature

I am up at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this weekend where I moderated the two-hour sold-out Performance Of The Year tribute to Oscar frontrunner Cate Blanchett at the 2000-seat dream palace known as the Arlington Theatre. At the end of it, Cate received a standing ovation when future co-star Rooney Mara (they start shooting Todd Haynes’ Carol in March) presented her with the latest trinket in a season in which she has so far run the table  in terms of awards. She was a willing and warm subject onstage as we showed clips and I dissected her career, informing her at one point that, with The Aviator in which she played Katharine Hepburn, she became the only person to win an Oscar playing an Oscar winner. Always glad to pass on useless trivia to movie stars.

Over the years I have hosted several of these tributes, which are obviously well-timed as part of the Academy season. Festival executive director Roger Durling picks the honorees months in advance but always seems to have a good hunch who is going to be in the Oscar game. Among those 29th Santa Barbara International Film Festival -  Outstanding Performer of the Year Award to Cate BlanchettSBIFF plays to are numerous Academy members who live in the area, so it’s always smart exposure on the part of awards consultants — just as is the early-January Palm Springs fest in the pre-nomination period. Durling himself moderated a rollicking free-form session with American Hustle writer-director and Oscar nominee David O. Russell at the same venue Friday night. And earlier Saturday at the Lobero, there was a producers panel mostly populated with Oscar nominees followed by the annual Women’s Panel (moderated in style as usual by Madelyn Hammond — yes, we’re related) which also sported several current contenders. Among those coming up in the next week are Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio and several others. Some landed nominations, some didn’t, but they are all showing up regardless. It’s that time of year. Read More »

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SAG Awards Film: ‘American Hustle’ Gets A Big Boost, But Will These First Guild Results Impress Oscar?

Pete Hammond

More often than not the SAG Awards turn out to be a very good barometer of future Oscar success. If thatsagawards__130708181913 continues to be the case this year then things are looking awfully good for Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong’o and American Hustle, the latter winning the Outstanding Cast award which is sometimes a harbinger of Best Picture success — as it was last year when the cast of Argo won. Being the first major guild awards of the season, SAG is extremely significant in that it means we have turned the corner from critics awards and moved into peer voting. Guilds traditionally are the best indicators of where the Oscar winds may be blowing, so with the SAG results (on top of wins earlier in the week at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Movie Awards)  there can be no doubt McConaughey and Blanchett are clear frontrunners 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Showto take those lead Actor and Actress Oscars. At this point it just doesn’t appear Blanchett can be beaten — and she still has BAFTA to go before the Academy opens its envelopes on March 2nd. She is a favorite there too. Could Judi Dench for Philomena sneak up and steal her thunder? It’s happened before at BAFTA (being held February 16). That’s where Marion Cotillard made a late-inning run all the way to Oscar after losing to Julie Christie earlier in the season. Can Sandra Bullock turn around the Blanchett steamroller? Could be very tough right now. It looks like Cate’s year, and SAG just added more heat. Plus she delivers a great acceptance speech (“You’re giving me only 29 seconds after Matthew McConaughey was just up here talking about Neptune???”)

Related: SAG Awards: ‘American Hustle’ Wins Best Motion Picture Ensemble

As for McConaughey (whose speeches also have been terrific), his film Dallas Buyers Club has yet to open in England even though it was eligible for BAFTA nominations. It didn’t get any, and so after taking the Globe, CCMA and now the all-19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Showimportant SAG Award — all this week — he’s got to wait until the Oscars to see if the momentum can continue. I would say his biggest rival right now is Leonardo DiCaprio, who is nominated for lead actor at BAFTA opposite Bruce Dern, a sentimental favorite for Nebraska who has lost to McConaghey three times this week (as have two other BAFTA nominees, Tom Hanks and Chiwetel Ejiofor). But DiCaprio did win on the comedy side at the Globes and CCMAs and has been gaining his own momentum.  A BAFTA win could really help throw some added heat his way for The Wolf Of Wall Street.  He wasn’t nominated at SAG primarily because Wolf was barely seen by the SAG nominating committee since it was finished so late in the SAG voting process. It was the only film that also did not send screeners. Wolf and DiCaprio were clearly victims of the insanely early voting deadlines SAG imposes on its members for nominating the best of the year (c’mon SAG, can’t you wait a couple of weeks like the other guilds?). It should be a cautionary note that last year’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Christoph Waltz was not even nominated at SAG because his film Django Unchained just like Wolf this year was screened so late most on the SAG nom comm didn’t get a chance to see it.  On the other hand, McConaughey is also helped by his brilliant cameo opposite DiCaprio near the beginning of Wolf, and there’s still residual fondness for his earlier 2013 release, Mud. It looks like it could be his year, but I am not ready to call this yet. Six weeks is an eternity in an Oscar race.

Related: SAG Awards Winners List

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20th Annual SAG Awards: ‘American Hustle’ Wins Best Motion Picture Ensemble, Matthew McConaughey & Cate Blanchett Best Actors; ‘Breaking Bad’, Bryan Cranston And ‘Modern Family’ Take Top TV Honors

Related: SAG Awards Winners (Full List)

SAG Awards 2014UPDATED WITH WINNERS AND BACKSTAGE REACTIONS: American Hustle cemented its status as on Oscar Best Picture frontrunner tonight, taking the top ensemble award at the 20th Annual SAG Awards, which were handed at LA’s Shrine Auditorium. The actor races also gained further clarity with more wins for Matthew McConaughey and his Dallas Buyers Club co-star Jared Leto, and Blue Jasmine‘s Cate Blanchett. 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Show(A mild upset came in Supporting Actress, when 12 Years A Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o won over a field that included Golden Globes winner Jennifer Lawrence.) On the TV side, Breaking Bad ended its final season on the air by taking the Best Ensemble Drama Series crown for the first time, with Bryan Cranston winning Best Drama Actor for a second consecutive year. In comedy, Modern Family won its fourth consecutive ensemble award, and Ty Burrell became the first individual winner from the series. There were a few good one liners over the two-hour-plus ceremony (organizers eventually asked winners to pare their speeches to 45 seconds — some did, some didn’t). Among the cracks were Burrell’s 5 Simple Steps to 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Show20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - ShowSuccess in Acting; Rita Moreno’s F-bomb (caught by the censors) at the beginning of her Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech; and Blanchett brushing off an off-camera clock during her time onstage, saying of McConaughey’s, er, wide-ranging speech just before hers: “Matthew McConaughey just spoke about Neptune, so I think I can have an extra 5 seconds.”

Related:
SAG Awards Film: ‘American Hustle’ Gets Big Boost, But Will First Guild Results Impress Oscar?
SAG Awards TV: ‘Breaking Bad’ Has Great Last Hurrah, ‘Modern Family’ Extends Streak

Actor statuettes up for grabs in 13 categories — five for film and eight for TV. There also are TV and film stunt ensemble categories, with those winners unveiled ahead of the main ceremony simulcast live on TNT and TBS. Final voting by the Screen Actors Guild’s eligible membership — that’s about 100,000 actors — was due yesterday, which gave ballot-casters a chance to soak in the Golden Globe winners last weekend.

Deadline had all the SAG scoops in our live-blog of the ceremony. Jen Yamato and Ross Lincoln were on the ground at the Shrine, and Film Editor Anita Busch, TV Editor Nellie Andreeva and Awards Columnist Pete Hammond provided analysis. Here’s how it went down: Read More »

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Golden Weekend: ‘American Hustle’ One Of Many Films Taking Advantage Of Pre-Globe And SAG Q&A Circuit (Video)

By | Sunday January 12, 2014 @ 1:58pm PST
Pete Hammond

Second only to Academy Awards week , the days leading up to tonight’s Golden Globes are chock-full of enoughGolden Globes 2014 presenters industry happenings and parties to drive a contender crazy. And though I spoke to many Globe voters over the weekend at these events I couldn’t get much of a consensus about what actually might win tonight, which is somewhat out of the norm for a show that’s usually a little more predictable.

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What is predictable is this is one weekend that really brings the stars out. It started Friday with the AFI Awards Lunch and accelerated from there. Saturday alone there were plenty of destinations with the Film Independent Brunch at BOA, the BAFTA tea at the Four Seasons, Paramount’s packed pre-Globes party at Chateau Marmont, The LA Film Critics banquet, an Australian party, a CBS party and on and on. Globe nominees and awards contenders were hustling from one to another. At the crowded, star-studded BAFTA party I saw Cate Blanchett‘s publicist trying diligently to get the popular (and mobbed) Blue Jasmine nominee out of the room and back on the road. “We’ve got three more things to go to after this, ” she said. Even more impressive, the stars and filmmakers have been working in several BAFTA LA 2014 Awards Season Tea Party - InsideQ&As between all the pre-parties for awards consultants taking advantage of having talent in town for the weekend. Even though the Oscar nomination and Golden Globe polls closed Wednesday, it hasn’t stopped campaigners or slowed down the volume of Q&As aimed at getting those votes. You’d think talent might get a few days off from this particular circuit, but with SAG voting in full swing, and other guild contests going into Phase 2 it’s apparently still prime time. Most important, the Academy’s more stringent restrictions on Q&As for Phase 2 don’t go into effect until Thursday after nominations are announced so studios don’t have to use up one of their precious four Q&A slots allowed from January 16 through end of balloting in late February and can still get some free bang for their buck. As one consultant told me: “We’re still not limited by the number of Q&As we can do. I think it’s a new trend to take advantage of everything going on around the Globes.” Read More »

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