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Tag: Oscars (21-30 of 550)

Watch Neil Patrick Harris' festive first Oscar promo

As the flurry of holiday season winds down, Neil Patrick Harris is telling you to give your kids a cost-efficient gift: watching him host the Oscars. The host advertises, well, himself, in these new Christmas-themed Oscars promos, as an alternative gift this holiday season. READ FULL STORY

'Ida,' 'Force Majeure' among 9 films on Academy's Foreign Language shortlist


Poland’s Ida, Russia’s Leviathan, and Sweden’s Force Majeure are on the shortlist for the Oscars’ Foreign Language Film category.

Nine films, out of 83 submitted, advanced in the competition, and some notable films did not make the cut. Among those that will not get a nomination: Cannes Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep from Turkey, Cannes jury prize winner Mommy from Canada, and the Dardenne brothers’s Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard. READ FULL STORY

Channing Tatum to judge aspiring filmmakers in 'Team Oscar' contest

Young filmmakers who want to walk out onto the Oscar stage can get a jump on their careers by entering this year’s “Team Oscar” challenge.

Oscar telecast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have announced Channing Tatum will serve as a spokesman and one of the judges in their third annual contest in which aspiring filmmakers make short videos to compete for the opportunity to appear as presenters during the 87th Academy Awards.

(Well … presenters to the presenters, actually. These are the trophy handlers who give the statuettes to the celebrity announcing the winner.) READ FULL STORY

Oscars announce 114 films advancing in Best Original Score category

The Academy has announced 114 film scores eligible for the Best Original Score at the 87th Oscars, including Gone Girl, Big Hero 6, The Fault in Our Stars, and more.  The nominees will be announced on Jan. 15. READ FULL STORY

Jennifer Aniston on her Globes nom: 'I'm just humbled'


Jennifer Aniston has been to the Golden Globes before. In fact, she took home a top prize in 2003. But that Best Actress win was for her role as Rachel Green, the Friends character that made Aniston one of the most famous and beloved actresses on the planet. In Cake, the small indie that earned her a Best Actress in a Drama nomination this morning, people might not even recognize her.

Aniston plays Claire, an angry, scar-faced woman who suffers from chronic pain that drives her to irritable and irrational extremes. When a member of her chronic-pain group (Anna Kendrick) commits suicide, she finds herself drawn into the shattered life of the widower (Sam Worthington). To see Aniston tackle such an unglamorous role—she eschewed makeup and wore a backbrace to limit Claire’s movement—that so contradicts the America’s Sweetheart image, evokes the reaction of audiences when Mary Tyler Moore played an unfeeling mother in Ordinary People. “Daniel Barnz the director has said that, and it’s what I’m so grateful and thankful for about him, that he did sort of take the chance,” says Aniston. “I begged and pleaded and promised I would go to the moon and back with him. It was an unexpected way to go and he believed in me.”

Aniston has played against type before, like in 2002’s The Good Girl. But her role in Cake, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, was beyond anything she’d tackled in that regard before. Normally, when you hire Jennifer Aniston for a movie, you want “Jennifer Aniston”—her famous face, her smile, her hair. Aniston had bumped into those superficial demands before, recently in Horrible Bosses. “I wanted [Dr. Julia] to have long dark hair, like Brigitte Bardot but brunette. And they were saying, ‘But they’re not going to know who you are,'” she says. “But obviously in this case, that was not an issue. We made it for $3 and we were just this little movie that could. We were focused on portraying her as honestly and truthfully as it possibly could be told. Making it bulletproof. And for me, as an actor it was such a great exercise in my craft. Being able to sort of mine a character and unearth her.”

Aniston, who also was nominated for Best Actress by the Screen Actors Guild, has now elbowed her way into the Oscar conversation. Cake will get a qualifying run later this month and open more widely on Jan. 23. “I’m just humbled,” she says. “It’s just all happening so fast and so beautifully. The Globes are a big fun party and it’s so fun to celebrate with your peers. My friend Emily [Blunt] is nominated so I’m excited for her. We’re just going to have a fun night.”

Are the Golden Globes going legit?

Just a day after the Screen Actors Guild completely ignored the Martin Luther King biopic, Selma, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association threw down its full support for the film with nominations for its actor David Oyelowo, its director Ava DuVernay, the film itself, and even its song, “Glory,” written by John Legend and Common. Yet the small voting body also chose to echo SAG’s choices in the actress category and the Supporting Actor category, with nominations for Jennifer Aniston in Cake and Robert Duvall in The Judge. Which actually leads me to ask the question: Are the Golden Globes getting legit?

The craven, star-guided nominations we are used to seeing—the Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie bomb The Tourist springs to mind—were really kept in check this year. They even eschewed an easy opportunity to up the room’s star power by snubbing one of their faves, Jolie. Her second directorial effort, the upcoming feature Unbroken, was shut out and even her performance in Maleficient, one of the year’s highest grossing films, was also ignored. Who would have thought the HFPA would have resisted the tabloid-salivating opportunity to put Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Aniston in the same room? READ FULL STORY

SAG nominations: Big day for 'Boyhood,' 'Birdman,' and Aniston

It should really come as no surprise that the film that tracks the travails of fame and tries to understand the psyche of an actor took home the most nominations Wednesday morning from the Screen Actors Guild. In fact, it would have been ridiculous to bet against Birdman: The Alejandro G. Iñárritu film landed four nominations including Best Ensemble, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton), and Best Supporting Actress (Emma Stone.)

Yet Boyhood, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything all got close with three nominations each, affirming that there really isn’t a frontrunner in this race yet. READ FULL STORY

PrizeFighter: What the Gothams, NYFCC and NBR really mean for the Oscar race

In the last 24 hours, the filmmakers behind Boyhood, Birdman and A Most Violent Year have had a lot to celebrate. Boyhood walked away from the New York Film Critics Circle with three top prizes—for film, director Richard Linklater and actress Patricia Arquette. Meanwhile, the Gotham Independent Film Awards crowned Birdman its best feature and Michael Keaton its best actor. (Seriously, how could the Gothams resist awarding film’s first Batman? Keaton went with the joke, quipping, “It’s good to be back home.”) Then there’s A Most Violent Year, which isn’t on most Oscar predictors’ lists—but was named best picture of the year by the National Board of Review anyway.

So, does this mean Boyhood, Birdman, and A Most Violent Year are the frontrunners in the Oscar race? Not exactly. READ FULL STORY

EW's PrizeFighter checks out the Best Director race, which just got more interesting

If 2014 is the year of the auteur, with filmmakers driving their independent visions onto the screen without the ­benefit of megabudgets—I’m not talking to you, Christopher Nolan—the battle for Best Director will come down to who executed that vision most successfully. And it’s sure to be a hell of a race.

The locks, in my opinion, go to four directors with distinct, incisive points of view: ­Richard Linklater for his 12-year effort Boyhood, one of the year’s best-reviewed movies, which excels in transcending what could have been little more than a ­gimmick (it also nabbed prizes for director, picture and supporting actress from the New York Film Critics Monday); Alejandro G. Iñarritú, the brooding Mexican who lightened up (finally) this year with Birdman, a dark comedy that feels like a bright jazz riff; David Fincher, who turned the pitch-black best-seller Gone Girl into a $160 million juggernaut that mixes ­stylized pulp with impeccable craft; and Ava DuVernay, the rising filmmaker who is stunning audiences with her grand-but-intimate portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Adding oomph to her odds, she would be the first African-American woman—and only the fifth woman ever—to land a directing nod. READ FULL STORY

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

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