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Tag: Best Picture Oscar (1-10 of 151)

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

Prize Fighter Analysis: BAFTA wins for '12 Years a Slave' and 'Gravity' further muddle a tight Oscar race

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Will it be Gravity or 12 Years a Slave? We keep looking for clarity, but this year’s award season is not forthcoming.

The BAFTA awards — think of them as the British Oscars — are considered a major Academy Award indicators, and this year 12 Years a Slave won Best Film. But … Gravity claimed the award for “Outstanding British Film” (since it was mostly produced there.)

So there.

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Oscars 2014: Breaking down the Best Picture nominees -- VIDEO

Let’s take a closer look at the nine Best Picture nominees at the 2014 Oscars, shall we? To refresh your memory…

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Below, EW Oscar expert Anthony Breznican breaks down the surprises, the snubs, and the front-runners:
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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.

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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.

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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

'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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