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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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HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Uncovers Series High On Sunday

By | Tuesday February 25, 2014 @ 8:50am PST

An average of 2.6 million viewers watched the drama anthology, which this season stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, at 9 PM, besting ttrue-detective-hbohe premiere’s previous high of 2.3 mil on January 12. Across its three plays for the night, True Detective was watched by 3.6 million viewers –  also a series high. Season-to-date, the series cops an average gross audience of 10.9 million viewers. Girls, which followed at 10 PM, averaged 916,000 viewers in its slot, and, for the night tallied 1.3 million viewers. The Lena Dunham starrer has an average gross audience of 4.3 million viewers season-to-date. NBC announced this morning Dunham will make her guest-hosting debut on Saturday Night Live on March 8.

For the third week in a row, HBO’s Looking found another series high at 10:30 PM with 519,000 viewers, up 54% from the series premiere. Across all Sunday night plays, Looking attracted 749,000 viewers. Season-to-date, Looking has an average gross audience of 2 million viewers .

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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: Matthew McConaughey And Jared Leto Share Secrets And Challenges Of Bringing ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ To Life (Video)

Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto have become the focus of Focus Features’ Academy campaign for Dallas Buyers Club with ads proclaiming “the year’s two most transformative performances are now its most honored”. Certainly it would be hard to argue with that as both won at SAG, the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Movie Awards, not to mention just about a clean sweep for Leto among the many critics groups who dole out these kinds of honors. The awards haul have made them front-runners according to pundits, but both have been acting like they are running from behind, appropriate for a movie that took 20 years to get to the screen, that no one wanted to make, that was shot on a tight 24-day schedule for under $5 million and used only available light. Neither is leaving any stone unturned in bringing attention to the ‘little-film-that-could’ in this year’s Oscar race. McConaughey, for example turned up during Jay Leno’s last week on The Tonight Show and he will be doing Jimmy Kimmel and Queen Latifah’s talk shows next week in addition to Inside The Actors Studio and personal appearances for the Actors Fund in LA and NY. In this featurette the pair talk about working together and the challenges of bringing these unique roles to life.

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OSCARS: On The Scene As Nominees Lunch Brings Out Record Number And EVERYONE Is A Winner In This Room

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 6:17pm PST
Pete Hammond

No question the nominees lunch, which took place today at the Beverly Hilton, is the feel good event of a very long Oscar season — at least as far as the86th Oscars®, Nominees Luncheon, Group Photo nominees who have made it this far are concerned. If the Governors Awards in November is a great networking opportunity for contenders, this luncheon has become a “must attend” for nominees, who get their certificates, a goodie bag and the chance to meet their fellow nominees in a collegial atmosphere where everyone’s a winner. At least until March 2. Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron made a point of telling them a billion people will be watching in more than 225 countries and that the time begins the moment they hit the microphone and they will have only 45 seconds. “But don’t be nervous,” smiled Zadan. “Just prepare”.

Related:
86th Academy Awards Nominees Photo
OSCARS: 86th Academy Award Nominations
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Jay Leno’s Last ‘Tonight Show’ Tuesday

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 3:05am PST

On Jay Leno‘s last Tonight Show Tuesday, some of Jay’s favorite guest appearances were shown: President Obama reminiscing about when he and Donald Trump grew up together in Kenya, John Kennedy Jr. and Jerry Seinfeld reminiscing about Seinfeld’s Contest’s episode, former President George W. Bush giving Jay a portrait, Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing his candidacy, Betty White announces she’s as horny as she ever was, Hugh Grant explaining his escapade on Sunset, etc. Guest Matthew McConaughey reflected on advice that Jay gave him many years ago, and Charles Barkley retired Jay’s jersey:

Watch here:

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Matthew McConaughey To Topline Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 6:41pm PST

Matthew McConaughey mugGus Van SantThe Dallas Buyers Club Oscar nominee has lined up his next role. Matthew McConaughey will star in Sea Of Trees, a drama from director Gus Van Sant about a suicidal American who befriends a Japanese man lost in a forest near Mount Fuji. Ken Watanabe also stars. Chris Sparling is scripting the film, with Gil Netter (Life Of Pi) producing. CAA and WME are talking to financiers about Sea Of Trees, and both will rep domestic rights. McConaughey, who stars on HBO’s new drama True Detective, already has bagged a SAG Award, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Movie Award for his Dallas Buys Club role. Van Sant, a two-time Best Director Oscar nominee for Milk and Good Will Hunting, will direct a segment of WGN America’s Ten Commandments event series. Variety first reported the news.

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OSCARS: ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Makeup Budget Was $250 — But That’s A Lot of Grits

By | Monday February 3, 2014 @ 4:28pm PST

ht_matthew_mcconaughey_dallas_buyers_club_ll_130828_16x9_608matthew-wm90023 days. A $250 “budget” for makeup. That’s all Best Makeup Oscar nominee Robin Mathews had to transform her Dallas Buyers Club actors from healthy to sick. To make sure she didn’t bust the budget, at one point during the 4 1/2-week shoot Mathews had a PA drive over and gather up grits and cornmeal from her mom’s house to create the look of the dermatitis rash for the characters. Mathews is from New Orleans, where the film was shot. “As I was applying this mixture of grits and cornmeal to Matthew [McConaughey], I was thinking this could be the end of my career or it’s going to be OK, but I had no idea which way it was going to go.” When she saw it on camera, she could breathe again. “We tried it … and it worked. Had I had my choice, I would have used prosthetics, but we didn’t have the time, help or the money for that.”

Related: OSCARS: Who Were The Unsung Heroes Of 2014′s Academy Award Pics?

Mathews had worked on such films Oz The Great and Powerful and Django Unchained. But Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features) was only a $4.5M budget, shot with a handheld camera by director Jean-Marc Vallee and (every makeup person’s challenge) only ambient lighting so Mathews — depending on the scene — had to bring them from health to sickness and back again many times within hours. “Some days, I’d have to take them from their most skeletal, sickest look to the 25-pound-heavier, healthier look five times a day as quickly as possible with little time in between.” For research, she looked at photos provided by an infectious disease doctor, David Hardy, who explained three conditions that people with full-blown AIDS suffer from: muscle wasting, which causes the faces of those afflicted to become very skeletal (sunken eyes, protruding cheekbones and recessed temples); seborrheric dermatitis, which causes a rosacea rash on different parts of the face (red, flaky and dry with boils); and, finally, lesions that can develop anywhere on the body. “Our actors came to us at least 40 pounds lighter each, and they maintained that weight during the entire four-week shoot … so I don’t think people realize that a lot of what they look like is just makeup.”

Related: OSCARS: Matthew McConaughey’s Chances Rising As Season Intensifies: Video
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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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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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Golden Globes Film: Leo, Matthew and Jennifer Show Their Stuff, But Will It Be Good Enough To Get Them To The Oscars?

Pete Hammond

So what do the Golden Globes mean for Oscar? Probably nothing. But, boy was it fun.

GoldenGlobes_logo__131127005408-275x166__140108194926-1__140113015020There’s no question the Globes is genuinely a great party; there’s nothing else quite like it. But in this ultra-competitive year, the way they came down Sunday night – spreading the love all over the map — the Globes has done little to clarify an increasingly confusing contest. Best Director presenter Ben Affleck told me he thinks the race will really start to take shape when the guilds start handing out trinkets next weekend, particularly the Producers Guild. I think he’s right. But right now, we have the Globes, so let’s deal with the ramifications:

71st Annual Golden Globe Awards - Press RoomWith major awards distributed to a wide group of movies including three for the night’s big winner, American Hustle, two for Dallas Buyers Club, and one each for Blue Jasmine, The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Great BeautyMandela: Long Walk To FreedomHer, All Is Lost and Frozen, not much can be said about any definitive trend lines from this one. There was a different movie winning Picture (American Hustle, 12 Years A Slave), Director (Gravity) and Screenplay (Her), and that really shows how divided voters are about this year’s impressive lineup of movies. Everyone has a favorite, but there’s no consensus. That was the conclusion I came to in talking to Globe voters over the weekend and it was borne out by the results of their show.

RelatedGolden Globes Winners: The Complete List Read More »

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PHOTOS: 2014 Golden Globes – The Winners

Golden Globes Winners 2014

Co-host Amy Poehler found herself celebrating at Sunday’s Golden Globes when she won a statuette herself between emcee duties; Bryan Cranston wound up double-fisting Breaking Bad‘s two Globes on the night, one for his star turn as the conflicted Walter White. See all of the night’s victors take the winners’ circle backstage, including Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and the makers of American Hustle; Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor – Comedy/Musical, The Wolf of Wall Street), Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor – Drama, Dallas Buyers Club), Cate Blanchett (Best Actress – Drama, Blue Jasmine), Michael Douglas (Best Actor, Miniseries/Made for TV movie Behind the Candelabra), and more: Read More »

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TCA: HBO’s ‘True Detective’ Stars Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson Bromance It Up On Panel

By | Thursday January 9, 2014 @ 3:58pm PST

TCADeadline__140109155905__140109183154It may be the ultimate anti-buddy show, but True Detective stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were in full bromance mode today in Pasadena. “I love Matthew, my brother, a phenomenal amazing person,” said Harrelson of his co-star. “Woody and I, part of why we’re friends is that we get on each HBO Winter 2014 TCA Panelother’s frequencies,” added McConaughey. Amidst much laughter and in-jokes, the actors were joined on the TCA stage at the first of HBO‘s panels by Michelle Monaghan, who plays Harrelson’s character’s wife; EP/writer Nic Pizzolatto; and EP/director Cary Fukunaga. “I love Michelle,” Harrelson said. “I’ve known her many many years. Cary’s a terrific director, and Nic wrote this amazing script I couldn’t put down.”

Related: TCA: Mike Judge Pokes Fun At “Billionaire Vibe” In HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’

Set to debut on Sunday, the eight-episode series stars McConaughey and Harrelson as Louisiana state police detectives Rust Cohle and Martin Hart. The two are partnered up in the mid-1990s on what appears to be an occult-themed serial killer case. True Detective toggles between 1995 and modern day as two contemporary detectives reopen the case of almost 20 years beforehand. Under that dark premise, the antagonistic relationship between McConaughey’s Cohle (a former undercover narcotics cop suffering from hallucinations, social disconnection and an obsessive sense of duty) and Harrelson’s Hart (a hard-drinking philanderer but more by-the-book officer) makes up the heart of the show. “I can’t imagine anyone playing that part better,” said Harrelson of McConaughey. “It was different than any other part I’ve seen him play before, and he knocked it out of the park.” Still, McConaughney rejected the idea of doing more episodes. “It’s contained, that’s it,” he responded to a question from the audience.

Related:
TCA: HBO Sets Season 4 Premiere Date For ‘Game Of Thrones’
TCA: HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’ To End Run After Season 5

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OSCARS: Matthew McConaughey’s Chances Rising As Season Intensifies: Video

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 3:36pm PST
Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey has yet to be nominated for an Oscar in his career, but the wayPalm Springs Film Fest: Matthew McConaughey things are going that’s about to change thanks to his performance in Dallas Buyers Club and a little help from Mud and Wolf Of Wall Street, a couple of other 2013 movies in which he made a strong impression. But it is Dallas that seems to really have the heat. He has Best Actor nominations so far from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Movie Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, 2 Sag nominations (including one as part of the ensemble cast) and Saturday night he lit up the Palm Springs Convention Center with his acceptance speech as the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s Actor of the Year. Now he’s back in New York where he won the Gotham award near the beginning of the season. Liza Minnelli hosted a luncheon for him today at NYC’s Monkey Bar and I’m told he received two standing ovations at a SAG NY screening before heading off for an Inside The Actor’s Studio taping (an obligatory stop in recent years for any serious Oscar contender). On top of all that he’s winning raves for his new HBO limited series, True Detective which premieres Sunday and co-stars Woody Harrelson. But before Emmy talk can commence for that he’s got to get through this season first. He famously lost 47 pounds to play the part of … Read More »

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2013 Gotham Awards: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Fruitvale Station,’ ‘Short Term 12,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club’; Lee Daniels Talks Racism: “I Became Very Angry At White People”

IFP's 23nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - ShowThe Coen brothersInside Llewyn Davis won Best Feature tonight at the fourth annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards but lost some of the spotlight to presenter Lee Daniels, who made some eyebrow-raising remarks. Kicking off awards season in NYC, the trophy show propelled the CBS period folk music drama and Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, and docu The Act of Killing toward the Oscars. The raucous audience at Cipriani Wall Street chattered so loudly during Daniels’ tribute speech his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them with a few f-bombs. Gotham Awards 2013“Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up,” admonished Daniels. He wasn’t the only presenter to complain onstage about the Gothams crowd, as Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting another tribute, to Before Midnight helmer Richard Linklater.

Jared Leto GothamsBig wins went to Fruitvale Station, which nabbed Best Breakthrough Director and Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively. Dallas Buyers Club star and Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey won the Gothams’ inaugural Best Actor award and accepted via iPhone through co-star Jared Leto with his signature “All right, all right, all right.” Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress honors, boosting the SXSW winner’s awards profile. Presenting Best Documentary, Morgan Spurlock took a shot at public television (“PBS: We pay more money than IFC”) before presenting the Gotham to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar hopeful The Act of Killing.

Related: OSCARS: An Early Look At The Best Picture Race – Frontrunners In A Crowded Field

Host Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) struggled with the ambivalent room early on with a roast of the indie scene: “To the people from L.A. or abroad, I hope you’re enjoying your tiny hotel room you had to pay for out of pocket because Magnolia or IFC wouldn’t pony up.” Riffing on the night’s nominees, he quipped, “A common theme in this year’s movies are the horrors we inflict upon one another – slavery, war, folk music… .” Unfortunately for Kroll, he was upstaged by New York Mayor Bloomberg. “Independent filmmakers and New York have a lot in common… We both want Harvey Weinstein to be nice to us.” Boosting local filmmaking versus runaway production to neighboring Canada while presenting the tribute to his Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg joked, “For the record: the mayor of Toronto and the mayor of New York do not have a lot in common.” Read More »

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OSCARS Q&A: Matthew McConaughey On The Struggle To Get ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Made & Diving Into Dramas

By | Sunday December 1, 2013 @ 4:29pm PST

matthewmccon1Over the last two years, Matthew McConaughey has transformed from simply being a bankable romantic-comedy lead to a gritty performer who doesn’t hesitate to roll up his sleeves and plumb emotional depths. In the same year he showed his flashy, exhibitionist side in Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, McConaughey demonstrated exceptional range in a trio of smaller films with distinctive directors: Richard Linklater’s Bernie, William Friedkin’s Killer Joe and Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy. This year’s slate, which includes Dallas Buyers Club and Mud, shows that the actor isn’t finished taking risks. AwardsLine.LogoBWHe lost 47 pounds to play AIDS activist Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club and was a major force in getting the film into production; he’s working with Martin Scorsese in The Wolf Of Wall Street; and he’s shooting a sci-fi film, Interstellar. All that, and he still finds time to helm his nonprofit JKL Foundation, which focuses on the health and wellness of high-school students.

AwardsLine: What compelled you to help get Dallas Buyers Club produced?
Matthew McConaughey: It was something that I had on my desk that I was trying to do for a while, but it wasn’t popular enough for anyone to come up with the money. So we were like, “Let’s find the right team.” The more pieces you put in place, the more you show somebody that you’ve got a full package, then it becomes a more viable situation to get the money. And (director) Jean-Marc (Vallee) and I were locked, and we’re like, “Let’s set a date and do this thing this year.” We had Jared (Leto) and Jennifer (Garner) cast, and we budgeted for a lot less than Jean-Marc thought he could make it for. A week before the shoot, Jean-Marc calls me and says, “This is just not enough money to make this. We don’t have it, and we shoot in a week. (But) I’ll be there if you’ll be there.” I was like, “Yeah.” I had been losing the weight, and then I kept hearing “This is not happening.” And I was like, “This is happening.” Then that last bit of money came like a wave.

AwardsLine: What kind of feedback did you get from financiers as to why they didn’t want to come onboard?
McConaughey: (Laughs.) Well, Hollywood’s not quick to really expound on the “why not?” Usually the message that gets to me is, it’s not for them. Period piece, AIDS drama? That one line hurt. I’m sure there were many desks where that one-liner was all they read. Read More »

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The Contenders 2013: Producer Robbie Brenner On Two Decade Quest To Get ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Made: “Like Pushing A Rock Up A Hill” (Video)

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 1:32pm PST
Pete Hammond

At Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS sold-out daylong event last Saturday, producers Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter told the gathered AMPAS and Guild members the epic saga of getting Dallas Buyers Clubthis “little-movie-that-could” — made. As Brenner says after actors like Brad Pitt came and went, it finally was Matthew McConaughey who proved the charm, even if he still had to force the issue after losing 47 pounds for the role. Dallas Buyers Club is getting especially strong Oscar buzz for its actors including McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto. Jennifer Garner has also gotten some of the best reviews of her career.  After opening with limited runs last week, the film about Texan Ron Woodroof’s fierce battle against AIDS in the early years of the outbreak is expanding to more theaters today.

Related: The Contenders 2013: ‘Gravity’ Screenwriter Jonas Cuaron


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