Oscar Beat: What Awards Prospects Does the First Half of 2014 Have to Offer?

by     Posted 46 days ago

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We’ve now passed the halfway point of 2014, and while we dusted off our awards column Oscar Beat to rundown the post-Cannes Film Festival atmosphere back in May, the Oscar season doesn’t begin in earnest until September.  That said, given that fall isn’t the only time of the year that’s considered eligible for awards notice, I thought it fitting to take a look back at the last six months to see what films might pop up in the Oscar conversation later this year.  Read on after the jump.

Oscars: Lupita Nyong’o, Josh Hutcherson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clark Gregg, and More Added to Academy Voting Body

by     Posted 58 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its list of actors, filmmakers, and others involved in the moviemaking industry that have been invited to join the Academy’s membership.  271 artists made the cut this year, ranging from recent winners and nominees like Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender to more eclectic choices like Rob Riggle, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Josh Hutcherson, and even Jason StathamChris Rock also finally gets a ballot years after hosting the ceremony, and Clark Gregg will bring some Marvel pedigree into the fold.  On the filmmaking side, brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, David Gordon Green, Denis Villeneuve, and Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees) join the directors branch, while DP Sean Bobbitt (12 Years a Slave) has been added to the cinematographers group.  Eddie Vedder and Pharrell Williams (sans hat) are also now Academy members should they accept their invitations.  The full list is still disappointingly short on females, however.

Hit the jump to check out the complete list of 2014 invitees to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The 2015 race will be here before you know it, folks.

Oscar Beat: Early Contenders Arise from Cannes Film Festival

by     Posted 89 days ago

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It seems like only yesterday we were closing out the lengthy and eventful awards season with my 2015 preview installment of Oscar Beat, but the next race is already starting to heat up.  The first awards barometer of each year arrives with the Cannes Film Festival, and the most recent fest is no different.  A number of potential contenders premiered on the Croisette over the past couple of weeks, and after all the standing ovations (and a fair amount of boos), some serious Oscar contenders have emerged.

Hit the jump as I take a look at the post-Cannes Oscar landscape, which includes contenders like Foxcatcher, Mr. TurnerMaps to the Stars, and even a possible Oscar nomination for Channing Tatum.

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

by     Posted 124 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.

Oscar Beat: 10 Films That Could End Up in the 2015 Awards Race

by     Posted 168 days ago

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With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now.  We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony.  Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race.  After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.

FROZEN Songwriter Robert Lopez Becomes Youngest Person to EGOT

by     Posted 173 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 174 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 174 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 176 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 177 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.

Adam Predicts the Oscars Part 1: Best Score, Original Song, Editing, Visual Effects, Animated Film, Foreign Language Film, and More

by     Posted 178 days ago

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And so we’re here at last, just days to go before the 86th Academy Awards, and it’s time to submit official predictions.  After months of covering this year’s Oscar race in Collider’s awards column Oscar Beat, I feel like I have a pretty solid hold on how some of the categories will play out, while others remain incredibly tough races that are proving rather difficult to predict with any degree of certainty.  Nevertheless, my official predictions for Sunday’s ceremony will be split into three separate articles, providing ample room to discuss the reasoning behind each pick as well as providing a possible upset candidate, my personal choice, and who should have landed a nomination but didn’t.

Our coverage begins today with some of the technical categories as well as the awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Foreign Language Film.  Hit the jump to take a look, and come back tomorrow for the second installment.  The Oscars will air on Sunday, March 2nd on ABC.

Full List of Oscar Presenters Announced; Includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, and Michael B. Jordan

by     Posted 180 days ago

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After a slow roll-out of announcements that began a few weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the full list of presenters for the upcoming 86th Academy Awards ceremony.  As expected, there are plenty of previous winners poised to make appearances, including all four of last year’s acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Christoph Waltz, and Anne Hathaway), as well as some members of “young Hollywood” to appeal to the younger viewers (Anna Kendrick, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, Channing Tatum).  On the “legends” side of things, we can also look forward to seeing presentations from Sidney Poitier and Bill Murray.

Hit the jump to take a look at the full list of presenters, and if you missed our latest Oscar-themed episode of our podcast The Collision, click here.  The Oscars will air on ABC this Sunday, March 2nd.

THE COLLISION: Episode 78 – The 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 181 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.

Oscar Nominees 2014 – Best Documentary Short Subject Films Review

by     Posted 186 days ago

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Short film documentaries require a depth we usually don’t require of other non-fiction short films.  When we see an episode of Dateline or an hour-long feature on CNN, there’s room for commercial breaks, and the subject is usually something exploitative or juicy to get the viewer to keep watching (“Who killed this family member?” “What’s endangering your children now?”) At their best, a good documentary short subject has not only a compelling narrative, but also something to challenge the viewer.  Otherwise, it’s just trivia or a homily.

This year’s selection of Oscar-nominated documentary short subjects has both. One has remarkable footage that couldn’t be obtained any other way and another has obvious life lessons that don’t need teaching.  One short examines a unique form of art and another examines why hate crimes are bad.  This batch of short documentaries shows us the format at its best and its worst.

Oscar Nominees 2014 – Best Live Action Short Films Review

by     Posted 188 days ago

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In some ways, short films are more admirable than longer ones.  They have to deliver just as satisfying of a punch in half the time.  Brevity is their strong suit and they’re appreciable when we’re reminded of features that run on far too long.  However, their short runtime can also make the story seem trite and unimportant.

This year’s batch of Oscar-nominated live-action shorts, sadly, were mostly on the latter side as the filmmakers struggled to find depth, took shortcuts, or, in the case of one short, demanded far more space than the confines of the format would allow.  However, there was a diamond in the rough, and it was a reminder of how live action shorts can adeptly hit the mark.

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