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Tag: Oscar campaigns (1-10 of 29)

Those amazing effects in 'The Tree of Life'? Not everything was CGI -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If you know anything about The Tree of Life, you’ve likely at least heard about the wordless, 20-minute opening act that chronicles nothing less than the creation and formation of the universe — and ends with a scene featuring dinosaurs. To help him achieve this sequence, writer-director Terrence Malick turned to one of the giants of cinema visual effects, Douglas Trumbull, who worked on the groundbreaking, eye-popping visuals of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner.

Trumbull had spent 30 years away from Hollywood, but Malick was able to cajole him to return to work on the film after the two bonded over the use of what Trumbull calls “organic effects.” Now that The Tree of Life has made the nominee short list for the Academy Award for visual effects, Fox Searchlight has put together a “for your consideration” vignette featuring many of the stunning visuals from The Tree of Life, with Trumbull discussing how he achieved them, and Malick’s overarching philosophy behind them. You can check it out below:  READ FULL STORY

For your consideration: 'Harry Potter' for Best Picture. But is it too late?

With the nominations for the Producers Guild Awards announced today, the field of Oscar contenders for Best Picture is getting clearer. While some Oscar prognosticators are noting the absence of the critically-acclaimed film The Tree of Life, another movie filled with eye-popping visual effects and that addresses profound questions about life and death was also left off the PGA’s short list: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2.

The Harry Potter franchise has had a surprisingly paltry haul when it comes to Oscar gold: No wins, and only nine nominations across the first seven films (and none at all for Chamber of Secrets and The Order of the Phoenix). But despite the Academy’s Muggle-like attitude towards the highest-grossing film franchise of all time — and the final film’s inability to break into the main pack of awards season contenders — Warner Bros. is still putting some serious marketing muscle into a campaign to win Harry his first Best Picture nod. Artful billboards with laudatory film critic quotes have been popping up all over Los Angeles for months now, and the studio has also been releasing a series of TV ads to the same purpose (which you can watch, embedded below). These ads are ostensibly to promote the film’s DVD and Blu-ray discs — which hit stores way back on Nov. 11, whereas Oscar ballots are due Jan. 13. Check them out below. Do you think the campaign is enough to convince Academy voters to give Harry Potter his due at the Kodak?  READ FULL STORY

'Warrior': Nick Nolte on his winning sports drama and his hope for a '48 Hrs.' reunion at the Oscars

In Warrior, Nick Nolte plays a recovering alcoholic whose destructive addiction cost him his family, including his two sons, played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. In his raging days, Paddy Conlon pushed his boys to be champions — one more than the other, perhaps — and when they enter the world of Mixed Martial Arts fighting, Nolte’s guilt-ridden pop seizes the opportunity to right past wrongs and salvage some sense of family. Characterized by a solemn bearing that masks a volcanic temper, Paddy fits Nolte almost too close for comfort, and it might be the best performance of his career. Last week, the SAG recognized him with a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Warrior, which arrives on video tomorrow, is the beginning of a career renaissance for the 70-year-old Nolte, who previously earned Academy Awards nominations for The Prince of Tides (1991) and Affliction (1997). He’ll pop up in next year’s star-studded L.A. noir, Gangster Squad, opposite Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Josh Brolin. And he plays the mysterious old horse trainer in HBO’s Luck, David Milch’s new drama about life at the racetrack.

Famously garrulous and philosophical, Nolte talked to EW about his latest good fortune and reflected on a career that has had more than its share of ups and downs.  READ FULL STORY

Tilda Swinton on 'We Need to Talk about Kevin,' Oscar chatter, and bran tubs

We Need to Talk About Kevin, the harrowing drama directed by Lynne Ramsey, arrives in theaters today after buzzy festival runs at Cannes, Telluride and Toronto. It stars Tilda Swinton as Eva Khatchadourian, a woman struggling to survive after her teenage son, Kevin (Ezra Miller), commits an act of shocking violence.  Swinton, 51, gives a performance that’s already won awards from the National Board of Review and European Film Awards and spurred unsurprising Oscar chatter. EW got a chance to sit down with the Oscar-winner:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How familiar were you with the 2003 Lionel Shriver book of the same name that this film is adapted from?
TILDA SWINTON: I had already read the book when I met Lynne, and I met her as a friend. I was supporting her to make Kevin her next film, but it didn’t occur to me that I should be in it. For the longest time I thought it had to be the real deal: An American, someone from Armenian descent, the whole lot. But then, over the course of time, the drafts progressed. And I began to think maybe I could be useful. I’m not as young as Eva is at the beginning or as old as she is at the end, so we had to kind of play with that. READ FULL STORY

George Clooney the alien, Gary Oldman the spy, and more from the 2011 Gotham Awards

Since last year’s Gotham Independent Awards gave steam to eventual Oscar contenders Winter’s Bone, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, and The Kids Are All Right, it’s sure to be a busy awards season yet for this year’s winners and nominees. But even before Beginners and The Tree of Life snagged a surprising tie for Best Feature last night, a lot went down at the Gothams.

EW was on the red carpet and inside the Winners Room for all the revelations and quips from A-list attendees including Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, Zachary Quinto and Felicity Jones. Want to know who inspired Theron’s Evil Queen? Whether Oldman has hung up his Sirius Black garb for good? And who called George Clooney an alien? Read on…

READ FULL STORY

Oscar Race: Herzog, Spurlock left behind as 15 documentaries advance

The Oscar for best feature documentary is officially closer for 15 films. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the list via a press release on Friday, after the Documentary Branch Screening Committee narrowed their picks down from 124. The Committee will now have to select the final five, which will be announced live along with the other nominees on Tuesday, January 24 at 5:30 a.m. They’ll have to choose between the West Memphis 3a wounded vet from Afghanistan, and a New York City chimpanzee, among others.

Their 15 picks are listed below in alphabetical order: READ FULL STORY

'Descendants' premiere: George Clooney vs. Alexander Payne for Best Director?

Back in 2005, George Clooney was nominated for three Academy Awards — for supporting acting in Syriana (he won) and for writing and directing Good Night, and Good Luck (he lost). This year, he’s a potential contender in multiple categories and dueling films again, juggling manifold duties in his Ides of March and starring in The Descendants, which had its Hollywood premiere last night. He’s a favorite to earn an Oscar nominee for his leading role as a Hawaiian attorney who stumbles on the fact that his now-comatose wife was cheating on him. But what might turn out to be a more interesting subplot to the Oscar season is if the film’s director, Alexander Payne, competes against Clooney for Best Director. READ FULL STORY

'Dragon Tattoo' director David Fincher talks Oscar campaigning and his new film's chances

Nobody has seen David Fincher’s much-anticipated film version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (in theaters Dec. 21), but there’s already Oscar buzz building for Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander) and director David Fincher, who’s been nominated twice before (for The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). So what does Fincher think about Dragon Tattoo‘s Oscar chances? “There’s too much anal rape in this movie” to get nominated, he says, half-jokingly. “I think we’re very safe.”

Fincher says he isn’t preparing for the Oscar process, but he points out that “we didn’t gear up for it last time, either” (2010’s Social Network scored eight nominations). And he’s not opposed to campaigning, especially if it helps out his collaborators. READ FULL STORY

'Flowers of War' to receive late-December Oscar-qualifying release

Flowers of War, director Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic about the brutal Japanese 1930s invasion and occupation, will receive an Oscar-qualifying release in late December, a spokesperson for the film said. In the U.S., Wreckin Hill will distribute the movie, which premieres in China on Dec. 16 and is already that country’s foreign-language selection for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. The limited American run, however, will enable award campaigns for Best Actor and Best Director. In the film, Christian Bale stars as a stranded American who pretends to be a priest to protect himself and others from the Japanese army. It’s not the first time Bale has played a character in such circumstances: In Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, he played a boy separated from his family in China during the same Japanese assault.

Watch the trailer for the new film, which blends English and Mandarin speaking roles, below: READ FULL STORY

Andy Serkis signs on for 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' sequel, gears up for 'Apes' Oscar campaign

Andy Serkis has officially signed on to return as Caesar in a sequel to this summer’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, EW has confirmed. Serkis has signed a seven-figure deal to return to the Apes franchise, a big addition to an already-busy slate for the motion-performance expert, who also has starring roles in this December’s Tintin and will reprise his iconically nefarious Gollum in the upcoming Hobbit duology. (Deadline first reported the story.)

Serkis’ reps also confirmed that Fox is preparing to wage an Oscar campaign for Serkis’ role in Apes. They’ll be giving him a supporting actor push.

Still unclear: Just what, exactly, they’re going to title the new Apes sequel. When I talked to screenwriters Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, who wrote Rise and will write the sequel, they vaguely suggested that the title might involve “Revenge.” Revenge of the Planet of the Apes, anyone?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:
‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ screenwriters: ‘We pictured a trilogy’
What would YOU title the next ‘Planet of the Apes’ movie?
‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ recap: Gorilla Warfare

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