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Tag: Best Actress Oscar (11-20 of 106)

'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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Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain to grace Oscar stage

The Oscar list of star-studded presenters continues to grow with the addition of nominees Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence — who are not fighting with each other, mind you — and Argo‘s Ben Affleck.

Affleck received an Oscar in 1997 for his work co-writing Good Will Hunting. Chastain was nominated last year for her supporting role in The Help, and Lawrence was nominated in 2010 for her leading role in Winter’s Bone. This year, Chastain and Lawrence are rivals in the Best Actress category, while Affleck’s film is the current frontrunner for Best Picture.

The Academy Awards will air on ABC on Feb. 24.

Read more:
Inside the Best Picture nominees: A deep dive into ‘Amour’
Oscars 2013: The few, the proud, the redheaded
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock to present at Oscars

Oscar analysis: Bad day for 'Argo,' 'Les Mis' and 'Zero Dark Thirty'

prize_fighter1_bannerYou could hear the gasp when Benh Zeitlin’s name was read. It reverberated throughout Hollywood, which has to feel good if you’re the first-time feature director.

Even he didn’t expect himself to get a nomination. “For director, I honestly didn’t think there was any possibility that that was going to happen,” he told EW’s Karen Valby this morning. “And I thought they’d finished announcing the names so I wasn’t even nervous. … I just sort of tuned out and then I just heard my name out of the back of my head and I went into a black-out.”

If you’re three particular veteran directors … it didn’t feel quite so great.

The Beasts of the Southern Wild director wasn’t considered a favorite at all for a best director nomination … And where was Argo‘s Ben Affleck, Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, and Les Miserables‘ Tom Hooper?

The directing category provided the most shocks, differing from the Directors Guild Awards contenders not just by one (which is typical) but by three. The other two surprises in addition to Zeitlin: Silver Linings Playbook‘s David O. Russell and Amour‘s Michael Haneke.

Here’s a breakdown of how some of the top categories shook out: READ FULL STORY

CONSIDER THIS: Alfre Woodard on the lovelorn 'Middle of Nowhere'

prize_fighter1_bannerWith Academy Awards voting underway, EW’s Prize Fighter is kicking off the “Consider This” series, asking folks with Oscar histories of their own to share their personal favorites of the year. Alfre Woodard, who had a supporting actress nomination in 1983 for Cross Creek and is best known for the movies Scrooged, Passion Fish and Primal Fear, wrote this essay about her love of Middle of Nowhere, an indie love story about a nurse struggling to maintain her relationship to a husband in prison, only to find herself falling for another man:

In Middle of Nowhere, we experience an exquisite, intimate tale of a woman in progress — as told through the vivid screenplay and deft direction of Ava DuVernay and the breakout performance of Emayatzy Corinealdi.

These are the kind of women artists rarely heard in modern day cinema. They are women of color telling a universal tale in a very specific way. And it is important that their work in Middle of Nowhere be seen by those of us who truly care about film. READ FULL STORY

Keira Knightley: Sex and self-destruction in 'Anna Karenina'

prize_fighter1_bannerKeira Knightley’s new film, Anna Karenina, is like a snowglobe version of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel.

As crafted by filmmaker Joe Wright (who directed Knightley in Atonement and Pride & Prejudice), the epic tale of a woman who cheats on her politically powerful husband (Jude Law) plays out almost entirely within the confines of a lush theater, which magically shapeshifts into any and all parts of czarist Russia.

But there’s more resonance to the film (which is in theaters now) than clever production design and lavish costumes. Knightley portrays a woman who is no victim, who consciously chooses to trade her fate and the misfortune that follows for a brief run of passion with the younger Count Vronsky, played by Kick-Ass actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

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Adorable secret behind monsters of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Everybody knows the little girl in Beasts of the Southern Wild is beyond adorable, but who would’ve guessed that the creatures playing the monsters would also trigger cute overload?

In this exclusive making-of clip, we get a close look at the tiny, hoofed actors who portrayed the giant, apocalyptic aurochs in this dreamlike indie fable, about a little bayou girl helping her ailing daddy fight back against the end of the world.

The movie, which debuted last January at the Sundance Film Festival and hits Blu-ray and DVD today, was shut out of the shortlist for the visual effects Oscar, but it remains a player for a number of other top awards, including Best Picture.

These two videos pull back the curtain on the do-it-yourself ingenuity that the low-budget movie employed to bring its prehistoric behemoths to life.

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First Oscars: Academy hopefuls turn out at honorary Governors Awards

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Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic; Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty Images

“This is kind of amazing,” legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker said, looking down at his honorary Oscar. “I mean, everybody here probably has one of these already.”

A nervous ripple of laughter went through the ballroom.  Actually, many people were at the Academy’s Governors Awards because they don’t — but want one.

The four-year-old event, which presents lifetime achievement Oscars to deserving individuals, has become a prime campaign spot for those hoping to persuade members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to vote for them.

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Shirley MacLaine earns AFI life-achievement award

It’s not just a single life that gets toted up when Shirley MacLaine receives a career award. It’s all her lives — past, present, and future.

MacLaine earned the American Film Institute’s life-achievement award Thursday night with friends and colleagues praising her accomplishments in this life — and cracking jokes about the reincarnation believer’s other lives.

Co-stars Julia Roberts, Jack Nicholson, Jack Black, Sally Field, Meryl Streep, and others contributed to the loving roast of MacLaine, along with such friends, co-workers and admirers as Katherine Heigl, Don Rickles, Morgan Freeman and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. READ FULL STORY

'The Hunger Games': Can Jennifer Lawrence score a second Oscar nomination?

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After starring in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara managed to land a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance in the violent film adaptation of a cult-smash novel. Can Jennifer Lawrence do the same with The Hunger Games? At this point we have no real idea of what her potential competition could be, but I’d say it’s not out of the question. After all, Lawrence has already caught the Academy’s eye thanks to her breakout turn in the 2010 Sundance hit Winter’s Bone. And The Hunger Games has become an instant hit with both audiences and critics. In her review of Hunger Games, my colleague Lisa Schwarzbaum said that Lawrence “is, in her gravity, her intensity, and her own unmannered beauty, about as impressive a Hollywood incarnation of Katniss as one could ever imagine… Lawrence is expressive in her stillness, and moves with athletic confidence.”

The main question is whether Lawrence’s buzz can last all the way through early next year. READ FULL STORY

Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum: Is the Academy using the Oscars to promote its own credibility? -- VIDEO

Hollywood’s biggest night is only two days away — do you have your special Academy Awards sweats picked out yet?

Get a head start on your Oscar weekend debates with Movie Talk with Owen and Lisa — in which EW critics Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum lament how the Oscars aren’t channeling the public anymore and name their picks for who should win Lead Actor and Lead Actress. Spoiler: It’s not “this French guy no one has ever heard of”! READ FULL STORY

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