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'A Most Wanted Man' director mourns loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman

The maker of one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last films, the espionage drama A Most Wanted Man, mourned the loss of his friend and leading man — just weeks after having spent time together at Sundance premiering the film.

Above is Willem Dafoe, director Anton Corbijn, Hoffman, and Rachel McAdams at the festival, in much happier times.

“Hearing that Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away came as much as a shock to me as to anyone else I’d imagine,” said Corbijn, who referred obliquely to the personal troubles Hoffman was now clearly facing: “We spent some time together only two weeks ago and he seemed in a good place despite some issues he had to deal with.”
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'Her' and 'Captain Phillips' win Writers Guild Awards

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Spike Jonze’s philosophical sci-fi love story Her, and Billy Ray’s harrowing true-life hostage saga Captain Phillips earned best original and adapted screenplays, respectively, from the Writers Guild Awards on Saturday.

In the original category, Her was facing its four rivals for the Oscar: American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska, so its victory can be seen as a strong harbinger of where the Academy Award could go on March 2. In anecdotal sampling of Academy members, EW’s Prize Fighter has also determined that Her is far and away the front-runner for this category.

The WGA’s predictive powers are less assured in the adapted category, since guild rules excluded some top Oscar contenders this year.

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'Alone Yet Not Alone': Academy says revoked Original Song composer contacted a third of voters

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Three days after yanking the Original Song nomination from the religious period-drama Alone Yet Not Alone, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has issue a more detailed explanation about why the theme song was disqualified.

At issue was composer Bruce Broughton, a former governor of the group’s music branch, who acknowledged that he privately emailed members of that voting division and asked them to consider his song from the relatively obscure movie.

Meanwhile, Broughton is questioning whether what he did was any different than the past award-season consulting done by the current Academy president, who comes from a background in marketing and public relations.

Since every film is hyped and promoted in some way, the Academy is now explaining why his actions were deemed improper — saying he directly reached out to nearly one-third of the voters in his field, and used his position as a leader to gain an advantage that other contenders didn’t have.

“The Academy takes very seriously anything that undermines the integrity of the Oscars voting process,” Saturday’s statement read. “The Board regretfully concluded that Mr. Broughton’s actions did precisely that.”

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'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Super Bowl teaser -- VIDEO

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Marvel Studios has dropped 10 seconds of imagery from the upcoming Super Bowl trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Oscars kill Original Song nomination for 'Alone Yet Not Alone' -- BREAKING

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It was a contender, yet not a contender.

In a shocking and extremely rare move, an Academy Award nominee for original song has had its nomination pulled amid accusations of electoral impropriety.

Alone Yet Not Alone, the theme song from a little-seen film with the same title, was the headscratcher of nominations morning two weeks ago. Few had heard of it before it secured a coveted place among the top five movie songs of the year.

Now it’s out of the race completely as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules that its composer, a former governor of the music branch and current member of its executive committee, took advantage of his leadership position to improperly lobby fellow members of the branch.

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'Tim's Vermeer': Teller talks (yes, talks!) about his astounding documentary

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In the new documentary Tim’s Vermeer, Texas-based inventor and non-painter Tim Jenison attempts to prove that seventeenth century artist Dutch Johannes Vermeer used an optical device to craft his masterpieces by adopting that technique to painstakingly recreate Vermeer’s The Music Lesson. If that sounds like a snooze on paper, the film is anything but, partly thanks to Penn Jillette‘s enthusiastic narration, and his magic-partner Teller’s assured direction. but mostly because of the possibility Jenison might actually drive himself insane attempting to complete his Herculean task. (EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently described the movie as “exquisitely fun” in his “A”-grade review.)

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'Doctor Who' star Karen Gillan gets terrorized in 'Oculus' trailer -- VIDEO

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We haven’t seen too much of Karen Gillan since she left Doctor Who — and even her appearance on last year’s special Christmas episode of the beloved sci-fi show was something of a blink-and-you’d-miss-it affair. But 2014 looks like it could be a big year for the Scottish actress, who has roles in both August’s Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy and the horror movie Oculus, in which she faces off against a supernatural force unleashed by an antique mirror.

The latter film is written and directed by Mike Flanagan and co-stars Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane, and Gillan’s fellow small screen sci-fi veteran Katee Sackhoff.

Oculus is released April 11, but you can check out the film’s new trailer below. Take a look and tell us what you think.
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Joe Swanberg talks about his kinky new thriller '24 Exposures'

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Anyone who had only seen prolific director Joe Swanberg‘s two films of last year — the Olivia Wilde-starring Drinking Buddies and the Jane Adams-topped All the Light in the Sky – might conclude he is a sensitive and PC-friendly chronicler of low-key social interactions. On the other hand, anyone who had only seen the filmmaker’s new movie 24 Exposures could come away with the impression that he is an auteur of a rather different, and kinkier, stripe.

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Wes Craven talks about 'Elm Street' doc 'Never Sleep Again'

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It has been very quiet on the A Nightmare on Elm Street front since the Jackie Earle Haley-starring reboot of Wes Craven’s original horror classic hit cinemas in 2010. But horror fans with both a desire to know more about the franchise and a Blu-ray player should definitely check out the exhaustive documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, which debuts on that format tomorrow. Directed by Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch and penned by Thommy Hutson (writer of the forthcoming horror movie Animal) the four-hour film finds Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, and many many more reminiscing about the trials and tribulations involved in bringing Freddy Krueger to the screen over the years.

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Oscars 2014: Ex-music branch chief has clear conscience over surprise Best Song nomination

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Eyebrows were raised with both surprise and suspicion yesterday when it was announced that the track “Alone Yet Not Alone” — from a faith-based film of the same name — had gained an Oscar nomination, beating out tunes by both Taylor Swift and Coldplay, among others. The surprise was due to the fact that very few people had heard of either the song or its parent film. The suspicion? That the song’s cowriter Bruce Broughton had used his position as a former chief of the Academy’s music section to egregiously game the voting system and convince people to tick the box for his song.

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