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Tag: Best Actress Oscar (1-10 of 107)

EW's PrizeFighter analyzes the Best Actress race, brought to you by Reese Witherspoon

Thank goodness for Reese ­Witherspoon.

Despite a recent surge in strong roles for women (e.g., Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Jennifer ­Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook), Hollywood really dropped the ball when it came to showcasing interesting roles for actresses in 2014. If it weren’t for Witherspoon’s newfound strength as a producer, two of this year’s likely ­nominees wouldn’t exist—and the Best Actress race would look even more dire than it currently does.

Witherspoon herself is one of the primary contenders, of course, for her portrayal of a novice hiker looking for redemption in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild (which the actress produced). But she also optioned and developed the box office hit Gone Girl, which should land a nomination for Rosamund Pike, playing the iciest (and scariest) wife in modern ­cinema. Neither of them is the front­runner, however. READ FULL STORY

Oscar analysis: '12 Years a Slave' breaks Academy's trend of playing it safe

Shoulda trusted the coin.

About two weeks ago, sitting in the office of EW assistant managing editor Sean Smith, we were discussing EW’s official Oscar predictions and mulling the reaction I was getting from many voters: Gravity was taking the lead in the tightest Best Picture race in years, and those who favored 12 Years a Slave seemed soft in their support.

For months, ever since the historical drama premiered at the Toronto film festival, it was at the top of my predictions list — a crushing, emotionally resonant film that addressed how we perceive and treat those who appear to be different from ourselves. But it was also an uncompromising film, full of brutality that was often difficult to watch, and we all know the Academy Awards have compromised a lot in the past.

So I switched our pick toward Gravity, which was garnering a groundswell of support in other categories, and seemed to be the popular, more accessible favorite. The graphics people were alerted to make a last-minute adjustment, and I stayed with that through the final round of guessing. It was close enough to give me a stomachache. (Believe it or not, the predictions truly are made based on our best assessment of voters. There’s no advocacy or favoritism. The cold, hard pragmatism of wanting to be right guides those choices.)

The call was made: Gravity it would be, by a hair. But then I flipped a quarter, and Sean called it: Tails, it would be 12 Years a Slave.

Again — shoulda trusted the coin. READ FULL STORY

Oscar Analysis: 'Gravity' and 'Hustle' tie, Oprah snubbed, and 'Wolf' un-shamed among Academy shocks and sure-things

Gravity and American Hustle tied for a leading 10 Oscar nominations , and 12 Years a Slave was right behind them with nine.

The Wolf of Wall Street fared better with Academy members than expected, while Saving Mr. Banks fared worse.

And for once, it’s no fun to be Oprah and Tom Hanks.

These are the immediate takeaways as the 86th Academy Award nominations were revealed Thursday morning.

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Golden Globes: What '12 Years a Slave' victory means for Oscar race -- ANALYSIS

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A kind of hopelessness had set in at the Golden Globe viewing party hosted by Fox on Sunday night. The mood only got worse and worse as the show went on. The overall sense going into the ceremony was that members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were not major fans of Fox Searchlight’s harrowing 12 Years a Slave. 

Still, there were a few chances … all of them lost. Almost.

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Golden Globes: Sure-things, shocks, and shutdowns -- ANALYSIS

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It was a good day to be lesser-known. If Barkhad Abdi, June Squibb, and Lupita Nyong’o can win nominations from the celebrity-obsessed Golden Globes, then their path to the Academy Awards ceremony is a near certainty. On the other hand, today’s list of contenders was not so kind to one of the most famous women on the planet.

Sorry, Oprah. You’ve been snubbed. The Globes also had two opportunities to get George Clooney at the ceremony — and declined both chances.

READ FULL STORY

Screen Actors Guild noms: '12 Years a Slave' leads while 'The Butler' surprises -- BREAKING

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Good news for 12 Years a Slave and The Butler … not so good for The Wolf of Wall Street.

The harrowing drama about a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into bondage on a Southern plantation had a leading four nominations at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this morning: best ensemble, lead actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor, and supporting bids for Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.

Among the notable snubs were Robert Redford, the lone actor in the survival saga All Is Lost, and The Wolf of Wall Street, which got zero nominations.

The big surprise was The Butler, the blockbuster drama about a black man who spends a lifetime working in the White House under eight presidents. It hasn’t been present in many of the critics awards this season, but came on strong with three nods from the actors union: best ensemble, lead actor for Forest Whitaker, and supporting actress for Oprah Winfrey.

Also with three nominations each, including best ensemble: August: Osage County and Dallas Buyers Club.

Contenders for the SAG Awards were announced in both film and television fields this morning. The guild awards are closely watched as an Oscar bellwether since actors are the single largest voting bloc within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A nod here can cement an actor’s chances, while a snub can sometimes reveal a fatal lack of momentum. There’s no Best Picture prize, but the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Ensemble award is typically seen as a key stepping stone in that race for that Oscar. READ FULL STORY

Oscar Predictions: EW's Prize Fighter on who is rising and falling

December is the time for Oscar whiplash. The last of the Academy hopefuls starts to screen, the first of the non-stop ancillary trophies begin to flow, and those who watch the race closely can find their heads spun in all sorts of different directions as momentum in the Best Picture race shifts, often from day to day.

Here is EW’s Prize Fighter analysis of what’s connecting with voters right now in the big races.

READ FULL STORY

'Enough Said': Julia Louis-Dreyfus Q&A turns into adorable mini-'Seinfeld' reunion -- VIDEO

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If anyone can make you seek out the bittersweet romantic comedy Enough Said maybe George Costanza’s mother can pressure you into it.

Enough Said, which is in theaters now, stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a massage therapist who discovers that one of her clients (Catherine Keener) is the ex-wife of her new boyfriend (a lovable, lunkish James Gandolfini) and decides to use the relationship to secretly gather intel on her new man.

At a recent Q&A for the Nicole Holofcener film, Louis-Dreyfus talked a lot about her late co-star Gandolfini, whose final lead performance is also one of his most sweet and tender, and making the leap from cringe-comedy like her Emmy-winning role on Veep to a film with a more dramatic and romantic edge.

But then, at the very end, the entire show was stolen by one 85-year-old woman …

READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2013: EW's no-nonsense Prize Fighter analysis of early contenders '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity,' more ...

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The conversation begins …

The Toronto International Film Festival unofficially kicks off the Oscar race each year as the best-of-the-best line up for their shot at awards glory – and the movie-fan attention (and ticket sales) that inevitably accompanies it.

Right now, we’re six months away from the March 2 Academy Awards, any film can still pull ahead or fall back. But as the Toronto festival draws to a close this weekend, it’s clear which films will rank among the fiercest competitors. 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

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