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'Science Fiction Land': Will 'Argo's' Oscar help doc about real movie behind fake movie?

Argo’s Oscar triumph will certainly enhance the careers of all those involved, none more so than its producer, director, and star, Ben Affleck. But it could also boost another filmmaker who has absolutely nothing to do with Argo, except a desire to bring to screen a part of the story that the acclaimed historical drama left out.

EW.com first told you about Science Fiction Land last fall, when its director, Judd Ehrlich, was seeking Kickstarter support to raise $50,000 to finish the project. (Mission: Accomplished.) To briefly recap here: Argo was based on the true-life tale of CIA agent Tony Mendez (played by Affleck in the movie), who posed as the producer of a fake science fiction flick to rescue six Americans trapped in Iran in 1979. Science Fiction Land is a documentary that will profile an idealistic dreamer-schemer named Barry Ira Geller, whose bid to make a Star Wars-esque sci-fi opus based on Roger Zelazny’s 1967 sci-fi novel Lord of Light (and build a $400 million, 1000-acre theme park called Science Fiction Land) proved to be a wild and weird adventure that ended in scandalous failure in 1980. What Geller didn’t learn until just a few years ago was that the Oscar-winning make-up artist who had been working on Lord of Light, John Chambers (played in Argo by John Goodman), was also a CIA consultant who helped Mendez plan the rescue operation, and that they used Geller’s script and concept art, drawn by comic book legend Jack Kirby, as props in their ruse.
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Oscar winners: Analysis of who won, why, and where EW went wrong and right

prize_fighter1_bannerThere weren’t many upsets at the 2013 Oscars — more like a lot of sure-things, and a few very close races that could have gone one of three (or sometimes four) different ways.

As expected, Argo claimed the Best Picture award, riding an unstoppable wave of support after Ben Affleck was denied a directing nomination. Did voters cast their ballots last night, and throughout all the pre-Oscar guild awards, because they felt bad for the actor/filmmaker? That’s absurd. The Academy Awards may make pitiful choices sometimes, but they are not a pity party. READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2013: The best acceptance speeches, starring Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck & more -- VIDEO

From Christoph Waltz’s surprise Best Supporting Actor win to Ben Affleck’s emotional, heartfelt remarks after Argo snagged Best Picture, last night’s Academy Awards were filled with memorable acceptance speeches — and notable pre-speech journeys to the stage. (How’s your knee, Jennifer Lawrence?)

Relive the night’s best post-win soliloquies below. Think any will eventually reach “You like me! Right now, you like me!” status? READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2013: The full winners list

Just as viewers seemed divided over Seth MacFarlane’s hosting of this year’s Oscars, so Academy voters were split over the films themselves. Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Amour, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook all scored major awards, with Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis winning the top acting Oscars. But Life of Pi director Ang Lee took home the Best Director prize while Argo won Best Picture. You can check out the full list of winners below.

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'Beasts of the Southern Wild' breakout Quvenzhane Wallis to star in new big-screen 'Annie'

Nine-year-old Beasts of the Southern Wild breakout Quvenzhané Wallis may be a long shot to win the Best Actress award at this year’s Oscars, but no matter what happens tonight, you can bet your bottom dollar that the sun will come out tomorrow for the young actress — especially now that she has officially signed on to star in Sony Pictures’ new big-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie. The fresh take on the beloved tale of the plucky orphan was originally developed by Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment production company and rapper Jay-Z’s Marcy Media as a starring vehicle for Smith’s daughter, Willow. But with the 12-year-old Willow having aged out of the role, Wallis—who EW learned earlier this month was in talks for the project—will now step in. Will Gluck (Easy A) is on board to direct the film.

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'Silver Linings Playbook' wins big at Independent Spirit Awards

The weekend’s other big movie awards ceremony—the Independent Spirit Awards—was held this afternoon in Santa Monica, Calif., with Andy Samberg on board as host. The big winner was David O. Russell’s romantic dramedy Silver Linings Playbook, which took home four prizes: best feature, best director, best actress, and best screenplay. But there was plenty of love spread around the year’s top indies. Here’s the full list of winners: READ FULL STORY

Oscars: 'Les Miserables' cast performing for first time together onstage

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prize_fighter1_bannerFrom stage to screen — and now back again.

Les Miserables fans who’ve longed for the stars of the Oscar-nominated film to join forces in a live performance will see their wish come true this Sunday at the Academy Awards.

At rehearsals for the show Friday, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter took part in a massive production number made up of a medley from the film, including the Oscar-nominated original song “Suddenly.”

They weren’t alone. It was a Les Mis reunion in more ways than just the movie …

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Jennifer Hudson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and 'Les Mis' cast to sing at Oscars

In addition to musical performances by Adele, Dame Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones, and Barbra Streisand — and a closing musical number from Seth MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth — Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced the names of the actors involved in the show’s live Broadway tribute, which will spotlight Chicago, Dreamgirls, and Les Misérables.

The actors involved have all starred in big-screen adaptations of the three featured musicals, including Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls; Catherine Zeta-Jones from Chicago; and Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, and Helena Bonham Carter from this year’s Les Misérables.

Read more:
Melissa McCarthy among latest names added as presenters at Oscars
Oscars: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, and more presenters announced
‘Les Mis’ returning to Broadway in 2014 as re-imagined adaptation
‘Behind the Ballot’: Film editors weigh in on their craft
‘Behind the Ballot’: Production design
‘Behind the Ballot’: Oscar makeup and hairstyles
‘Behind the Ballot’: Video series launches

Andy Samberg on hosting the Spirit Awards and what's up his (ripped-off) sleeve

With the Film Independent Spirit Awards looming on Saturday, Feb. 23 (IFC, 10 p.m), Andy Samberg has been rigorously preparing to shine as the host. Make that rise and shine. “It’s actually filmed at 1:30 in the afternoon, so I’m slowly trying to change my sleep schedule,” says the SNL vet and star of Celeste and Jesse Forever. “Every standup worth his salt will tell you that the best comedy happens at 1:30 p.m., so I’m looking forward to that. Other than that, just trying to eat right, do a lot of crunches and yoga, and get my body and mind right and in tune with one another so I can come out and really dominate the stage, which I’m told is very shallow.”

Keep reading to see what else Samberg told EW about emceeing the indie Oscars. READ FULL STORY

Oscar Predictions: EW's final forecast for all 24 categories

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There’s no award given for Best Oscar Predictions — and if there were, I’m sure somehow Argo would figure out a way to win that, too.

But we at EW have done our best homework and legwork to try to gauge which films will triumph at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony.

We talked to scores of voters, factored in guild wins and other pre-Oscar prizes, weighed critical assessments, checked our guts, flipped coins, threw darts at a board, prayed to St. Vitriol, patron saint of award season pundits, and watched an octopus and a gorilla repeatedly arm wrestle while they wore top hats emblazoned with the names of the two frontrunners in each category.

Science, baby.

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