Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Returning to Produce 2015 Oscars for Third Straight Year

by     Posted 180 days ago

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The Academy seems intent on playing things safe for the foreseeable future.  It was announced today that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the 2015 Oscars ceremony, marking the duo’s third-straight telecast.  The 2014 Academy Awards ceremony pulled in 43.7 million total viewers, marking the most-watched telecast since 2000, so the Academy presumably didn’t feel the need to shake things up.  Ellen Degeneres did a fine job of hosting this year, but I thought the structure of the ceremony itself was unremarkable so I’m not exactly over-the-moon about the news of Zadan and Meron coming back.  After all, this is the same duo that put together a “tribute to movie musicals” during the 2013 ceremony that was essentially a celebration of Chicago—a film that they themselves produced.

Regardless, the overall enjoyment factor of the ceremony will come down to the host, so now we await that announcement later this year.  Personally, I’m in favor of just having Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host everything.  Read the full press release after the jump, and sound off in the comments with who you think should host the 87th Oscars on February 22, 2015.

FROZEN Songwriter Robert Lopez Becomes Youngest Person to EGOT

by     Posted 229 days ago

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Last night, Robert Lopez took home an Academy Award for co-writing “Let It Go” from Frozen, and became the youngest person to “EGOT”, i.e. win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.  Lopez previously won the Grammys and Tonys for The Book of Mormon, and received Daytime Emmy Awards for music direction and composition for the kids TV series The Wonder Pets.

Per Variety, other “EGOT” members include Whoopi Goldberg, Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, and Scott Rudin.  So if you need a bit a trivia about last night’s ceremony, you can point at Lopez’ win.

12 YEARS A SLAVE Wins Best Picture; GRAVITY Wins Seven Oscars Including Best Director

by     Posted 230 days ago

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For the first time in at least six year, we have a Best Picture winner that will stand the test of time.  Cynics thought the Academy’s highest honor would go to American Hustle, the numbers were pointing slightly towards Gravity, but the Oscar ultimately went to 12 Years a Slave, the definitive major motion picture about slavery.  The ceremony itself was an absolute chore, but it was wonderful to see Steve McQueen’s harrowing drama pick up the win at the end.  Additionally, Gravity–another great movie–received plenty of love by earning seven Oscars including Alfonso Cuaron for Best Director.  Among the acting categories, there were no surprises: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress.  It was not a shocking night, and the biggest “upset” was Mr. Hublot beating out Get a Horse! for Best Animated Short Film.  Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with this year’s winners, especially since Spike Jonze took home Best Original Screenplay for Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of this year’s Oscar winners, and click here for my live-blog.

Matt Live-Blogs the 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 230 days ago

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This year, our awards coverage was more extensive than ever, and Adam, our Oscar expert, laid his predictions out over three articles.  However, the humble task of sitting through the ceremony and poking fun at it for over three hours falls to me.  To be fair, there are a few exciting races this year, especially Best Picture.  But when it comes to the actual program, I think we’re going to be rolling our eyes together as the Academy salutes “heroes”, whatever the hell that means.

My live-blogging will kick in around 8:00pm (EST) and then just keep refreshing the page for my latest thoughts on the 86th Academy Awards.  I’ll also be tweeting (why only mock the Oscars on one platform?), and you can follow me on Twitter at @MattGoldberg.  The 2014 awards race is almost over.  Let’s pull each other across the finish line with jokes, faux-outrage, and perhaps, if we’re lucky, genuine happiness towards a deserving winner.  The ceremony begins at 8:30pm (EST)

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 3: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, and More

by     Posted 232 days ago

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After running down predictions for the Oscars in a number of categories over the past two days, we’ve now come to the big ones.  As I’ve said many times before over the course of this awards season, this is quite possibly the closest Best Picture race in history; a coin flip would not be unwarranted.  And while some of the acting categories are pretty sewn up, Supporting Actress remains a bit tricky and there’s some intense competition in the race for Best Original Screenplay.  I’ve had a lot of fun covering this year’s awards race over the last five months with Oscar Beat and I look forward to doing it all over again this fall, but for now here’s the culmination of this season’s coverage.

After the jump you’ll find my predictions for the final categories ahead of this weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony as well as my full predictions list for the ceremony, and if you missed Part 1 or Part 2 be sure to check them out.  The 86th Academy Awards will air on Sunday, March 2nd on ABC, during which time our own Matt Goldberg will be live-blogging the ceremony right here on Collider.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 2: Best Cinematography, Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup, and Short Categories

by     Posted 233 days ago

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Continuing on with predictions for this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, today we take a look at the rest of the technical categories and the shorts—aka where Oscar ballots are made or lost.  I surmised that Gravity would clean up in most of yesterday’s categories, but the love will have to be spread around when it comes to Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, and possibly Production Design.  After the jump, I run through these categories as well as the contenders for Best Animated Short, Live-Action Short, and Documentary Short in Part 2 of my Oscar predictions.

THE COLLISION: Episode 78 – The 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 237 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we look back at the road to the 86th Academy Awards, the films that dropped off, the films that surged, and the films that persevered.  We then go through all 24 categories giving our predictions on who will win and who we think deserves to win.  If you need help on your Oscar ballot, it’s better to listen to Adam than me.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“RoboCop“), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Academy Exercises Common Sense; Idina Menzel to Perform “Let It Go” at the Oscars

by     Posted 249 days ago

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The Oscars are all about pageantry, but oddly they don’t feature musical performances of the Best Original Song nominees every year.  Part of that is for a show that’s always worried about running long on time, but perhaps it’s better to cut one of the 18 self-congratulatory tributes rather than the live performances.  Thankfully, the Academy will be embracing their Best Song category this year.  Pharrell Williams was already announced to perform “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, and now the show will also feature Idina Menzel performing one of the biggest hits of the year, “Let It Go” from Frozen.  Since Williams was already tapped to perform, it’s not surprising that the Oscars would also go after a singer for another nominated song, and it’s certainly not surprising for “Let It Go”, which is the clear frontrunner in the category.  It also helps that the album is the longest-running #1 soundtrack since 2003, and Disney has held sing-along screenings.

In case you need to hear the amazing song again, hit the jump to watch the scene from Frozen.  The 86th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 2nd.

Academy Rescinds Best Original Song Nomination for ALONE YET NOT ALONE Citing Insider Campaigning

by     Posted 262 days ago

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In an odd bit of pre-Oscars drama, one of the Academy’s nominations has been rescinded citing insider campaigning.  Now before you point fingers in the direction of the closest Weinstein, let me tell you that the nomination that has been yanked out of contention is the Best Original Song nod for Alone Yet Not Alone’s title song.  Bruce Broughton, a former Academy member who wrote the music for the song, made the mistake of emailing Academy members to bring his song to their attention.  That little bit of insider campaigning explains how this little-talked-about picture landed a nomination, and why it’s been pulled (which might end up bringing more attention to the film anyway).

Hit the jump for the full press release explaining the mess.

2014 Oscar Nominations Announced; AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY Lead with 10 Nominations Each [Updated with Commentary]

by     Posted 275 days ago

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The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards have been announced. American Hustle and Gravity lead with 10 nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave isn’t too far behind with 9 nominations.  Looking over my predictions, there weren’t actually too many surprises this morning–at least no genuine “snubs” on the scale of Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow last year.  Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale made the Best Actor cut over Robert Redford and Tom HanksHer, Dallas Buyers Club, and Philomena all got Best Picture nominations over Saving Mr. Banks, and Sally Hawkins landed a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Blue Jasmine, seemingly taking Oprah Winfrey‘s spot from Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Also, the Academy apparently did not take a liking to Saving Mr. Banks, as the film missed out on a Best Picture nomination and a Best Actress nomination for Emma Thompson.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full nominations list.  The 86th Oscars will be broadcast March 2nd on ABC. [Update: I've added my commentary on some of the categories after the jump.]

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Returning to Theaters on Wednesday, January 15th in Advance of Academy Award Nominations

by     Posted 312 days ago

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In an effort to goose Oscar buzz, Sony is re-releasing Captain Phillips into theaters starting Wednesday, January 15th.  The Tom Hanks-starrer is expected to expand to 1,000 theaters from its current tally of 640 by the time the Academy Award nominations are announced the very next day.  Hanks plays the title role, the captain of a ship taken over by Somali pirates.  The action-adventure biopic has already made north of $100 million domestically and is nearing $200 million worldwide.  On the awards front, buzz is building for newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who played the lead pirate thrust into taking action that was far beyond his own abilities.  Hit the jump for more.

Best Documentary Shortlist Announced; Includes THE ACT OF KILLING, STORIES WE TELL, and 20 FEET FROM STARDOM

by     Posted 319 days ago

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The Academy’s rules for Best Documentary are so arbitrary and asinine that I always hold my breath when it comes to their shortlist.  A list of final nominees is frustrating in any category, but it’s infuriating when a good film doesn’t even get a chance to compete.  Thankfully, there are plenty of good choices among this year’s shortlist.  The films eligible for a Best Documentary Oscar nomination include The Act of Killing (I’d be ballistic if this wasn’t in the running; my review), Cutie and the Boxer, God Loves Uganda, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Stories We Tell (my review, although the movie didn’t hold up as well on a repeat viewing), and 20 Feet From Stardom (my review).  If you have HBO GO, you can check out Pussy Riot along with other shortlisted docs The Crash Reel, First Cousin Once Removed, and Life According to Sam.  As far as snubs go, I wish Casting By was in the running, but considering that it directly criticizes the Academy for not having an award for casting directors, I’m not surprised by its exclusion.

Hit the jump for the full shortlist.  Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards will be announced on January 16th.

Seth MacFarlane Asked to Return to Host 2014 Oscars

by     Posted 1 year, 183 days ago

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Seth MacFarlane got mixed reviews as host of the 2013 Academy Awards.  But the audience grew to 40.3 million viewers over the previous year hosted by Billy Crystal —more importantly, the audience grew younger, with 20% more 18-34 viewers.  This year’s telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to oversee the 2014 Oscars and have reportedly asked MacFarlane to host again.  A source tells Just Jared:

“After defending his performance, the producers reached out to Seth and invited him back to host the show again.  He’s not sure if he’s going to do it, but he has to decide within the next couple of weeks.”

MacFarlane has stated he does not want to host again, tweeting “No way” shortly after the ceremony.  If he changes his mind, I would like to see him try again.  MacFarlane was admittedly hit-or-miss his first time around, but I would like for my generation to have a Bob Hope/Billy Crystal type—a go-to host.  The most important step toward that goal is to give a natural talent several chances to refine his approach.  I believe MacFarlane is qualified.  Next year’s Academy Awards are set for March 2, 2014.

2014 Oscar Ceremony Set for March 2nd; 2015 Oscars Moved Up to February 22nd

by     Posted 1 year, 207 days ago

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The Academy has announced some important dates for its 86th and 87th Academy Awards ceremonies.  Next year’s Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 2nd, while 2015’s Oscars will take place on February 22nd.  Nominations for the 2014 ceremony will be announced on January 16th.  The move for the 2014 Oscars means there will be yet another extended amount of time between when the nominations are announced and when the actual Oscars take place, so ready yourselves for yet another long awards season.

The prolonged period between the nominations and the ceremony means that voters should have enough time to see everything, but it also means that the studios’ campaigns get pretty intense as we start hating films that we actually used to like simply because their “Oscar-worthiness” is being shoved down our throats.  Nevertheless, there’s no lack of awards material set to debut later this year, so the 86th Academy Awards should be another interesting ride.

Matt Live-Blogs the 85th Academy Awards

by     Posted 1 year, 236 days ago

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You’ve read our predictions, you’ve read all of our Oscar coverage, and tonight the winners of the 85th Academy Awards will be announced.  As I’ve done in past years, I will be live-blogging the ceremony and some of the red carpet.  Seth MacFarlane is hosting this year’s ceremony, and I’ve got a good feeling that he’ll do a solid job.  Of course, it’s the Oscars so there will be plenty of silliness both intended and unintended, and I’ll be providing my thoughts on all of it throughout the night.

My live-blogging will kick in around 8:00pm (EST) and then just keep refreshing the page for my latest thoughts on the 85th Academy Awards.  I’ll also be tweeting (cross-platform mockery!), and you can follow me on Twitter at @MattGoldberg.  We’re almost at the finish line of the 2013 awards race.  Let’s brave Hollywood’s self-congratulatory ceremony together.  The ceremony begins at 8:30pm (EST).

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