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Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Dominates En Route to the Oscars

13 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Four of the last five Film Independent Spirit Award winners for best feature have gone on to secure the best picture Oscar. But that wasn’t always the status quo. Rather, it’s indicative of the Academy Awards’ slow evolution into something resembling the Spirits.

The last best feature Spirit winner to sit out the Oscars’ top race was “The Wrestler” in 2008, which was notably the last time the Academy’s best picture field was limited to five nominees. Since that shift, every Spirit champ has also been Oscar-nominated for best picture (some fudged in thanks to softly governed budgetary limitations).

Why? You have to go back to that very critical Academy decision eight years ago, expanding the best picture field first to 10 nominees, then to anywhere from five to 10 depending on how Byzantine math unfolds. It was a move meant to open the door to popular films, but instead »

- Kristopher Tapley

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13 Oscar Records That Could Be Broken Sunday, From ‘La La Land’ to Denzel

18 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Anybody who wins an Academy Award is bound to think of it as a historic night, but there’s also some real history that could be made on Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre. Here are a baker’s dozen landmarks that could happen at the 89th Oscars show. 1. If Damien Chazelle wins for directing “La La Land,” he’ll become the youngest Best Director winner in Oscar history. On February 26, Chazelle will be 32 years and 38 days old. The current record holder as the youngest Best Director winner ever is Norman Taurog, who won for “Skippy” at the age of »

- Steve Pond

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Academy Rescinds Sound Mixing Oscar Nomination for Violation of Campaign Regulations

16 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Academy announced on Saturday, the day before Oscar Sunday, that Greg P. Russell’s sound mixing nomination for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” has been revoked for “violation of Academy campaign regulations.” Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth remain sound mixing nominees for the film.

“The decision was prompted by the discovery that Russell had called his fellow members of the Sound Branch during the nominations phase to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying,” the release said.


Who Should Win the 2017 Oscars? How Variety’s Critics Would Vote

“The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind Mr. Russell’s nomination was made after careful consideration,” Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs said in a statement. “The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process. »

- Seth Kelley

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Syrian-Born ‘The White Helmets’ Cinematographer Not Allowed to Enter Country for Oscars

21 hours ago | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The Syrian-born cinematographer of the Oscar-nominated “The White Helmets” won’t be able to attend Sunday’s awards after being barred him from entering the country, according to the Associated Press. “The White Helmets” is nominated for Best Documentary Short, but 21-year-old cinematographer Khaled Khateeb can’t travel to Los Angeles, according to internal Trump administration correspondence, obtained by the AP, stating the Department of Homeland Security won’t allow him in the country. Khateeb was scheduled to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul, according to the AP, but U.S. officials have »

- Brian Flood

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Razzie Awards 2017 Winners List: ‘Hillary’s America,’ ‘Batman v Superman’ Dominate

22 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Even the Razzies got political at the 2017 awards, recognizing the “worst in film.”

The Golden Raspberry Awards, nicknamed the “Razzies” crowned “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” the worst picture of the year on Saturday, the day before the Academy Awards. The critically drubbed political documentary, which earned a staggering 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, also swept the worst actor, worst actress and worst director categories.

As to not be entirely overlooked, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” also took home four awards for worst supporting actor, screenplay, screen combo and, finally, worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel.


The Worst Films of 2016

The only category not won by either of the two films was Kristen Wiig’s prize for worst supporting actress in “Zoolander 2.”

Revel in the full list of 2017 nominees below with the winners denoted in bold:

Worst Picture

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice »

- Seth Kelley

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2017 Independent Spirit Awards: The Best Things Jeff Nichols, Kirsten Johnson, Matt Ross and More Told Us From the Blue Carpet

16 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

In the annual cluster of late-season awards shows, the Film Independent Spirit Awards always ends up as a unique gathering. With a clear view of the water from the beach in Santa Monica, there’s definitely a more relaxed air, even as the general awards festivities near their fever pitch.

With that in mind, the Independent Spirits arrivals, on an infamous blue carpet, become a more jaunty affair. More of a big late-morning chat than a twilight press blitz, it gives the filmmakers and performers a chance to share some light-hearted thoughts that other pre-show traditions might not afford.

Read More: 2017 Independent Spirit Awards: Full Winners List — Updating Live

So, here, as per annual tradition, here are our favorite dispatches from “the blue carpet,” the best things said to IndieWire before this year’s Indie Spirits.

Ira Sachs, director of “Little Men

“There’s a sense of affirmation that the struggle was received appreciatively. »

- Steve Greene

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Razzie Awards: 'Batman v Superman,' 'Hillary's America' Top Winners

25 February 2017 7:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dominated the 37th annual satirical awards show. The two films combined to "win" in every category except for worst supporting actress, which went to Kristen Wiig for her botoxed fashionista character in Zoolander No. 2.

Director Dinesh D'Souza's anti-Hillary Clinton film took home four Razzies, including worst picture, beating out Batman v Superman, Gods of Egypt, Bad Grandpa, Zoolander No. 2 and Independence Day: Resurgence. D'Souza also earned himself personal honors for worst director and worst actor - D'Souza played himself in the film. D'Souza was a good sport about his "win", »

- Kimberly Nordyke ,Patrick Shanley

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Universal/Blumhouse’s ‘Get Out’ Now Grabbing A $30M+ Opening: Sunday Update

27 minutes ago | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

5th Writethru Sunday Am: Refresh for updates… More moviegoers got out of the house on Saturday to get into Universal/Blumhouse’s Get Out. By textbook box office definitions, horror films are frontloaded. Genre fans typically show up in bulk on Thursday and Friday, then taper off on Saturday. Not this one. The Jordan Peele feature directorial according to latenight estimates earned $12.8M today, repping an 18% jump over yesterday’s $10.8M. That’s a bigger… »

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Box Office: Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’ Scores Monster $30.5 Million Opening

33 minutes ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Get Out,” a trenchant horror film about race relations, rode critical raves to a smashing box office debut. The low-budget film was the weekend’s top-grossing domestic release, earning $30.5 million, and propelling its director and writer Jordan Peele onto the Hollywood A-list. The film, which centers on a black man who discovers that his girlfriend’s  liberal, lily-white hometown is guarding a sinister secret, marks a departure for Peele, who is best-known for his work on the Comedy Central series “Key & Peele.” It proves he can handle scares, as well as laughs, supplying sly social commentary in both genres.

Get Out” also extends Blumhouse Productions’ hot hand. The film company scored earlier this year with “Split,” a thriller about a man with a personality disorder that racked up $130.8 million stateside on a $9 million budget. Universal distributed both movies.

Get Out” benefited from being embraced by reviewers, earning a rare 100% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, »

- Brent Lang

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It's my first time attending the Oscars – here's my wishlist for the night | Peter Bradshaw

2 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Will La La Land clean up? Will the stars come out against Trump’s travel ban? And will Ryan Seacrest give a certain debonair British film critic the red carpet moment he deserves?

I have to admit that I am rather excited about the 2017 Oscars ceremony. Because this year, for the first time in its history, the ceremony’s dinner-jacketed audience is to include … me. After years of pining, Cinderella-like, at home in London, or watching the ceremony in the office, mashing Pringles and Diet Coke into the gaps between the laptop keys, I have been invited to the ball. Stepping daintily out of the Uber that has transported me from the Econo Lodge in Burbank, I get to go on the red carpet — apparently a brief and heavily policed admission with a herd of other overseas, overexcited bozos — and then I get to sit in the theatre, way up in the “nosebleed” seats. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Barry Jenkins Wins Independent Spirit Best Director Award For ‘Moonlight’

3 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

In a small sign that some things are still right in the world, Barry Jenkins took home the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director at the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

It was the fifth award of the night for “Moonlight,” which also won for editing, cinematography, screenplay and the Robert Altman Award that recognizes an ensemble cast, director and casting director of a film.

Sporting a sharp Hawaiian button up befitting of the Miami native, Jenkins called out fellow directors Andrea Arnold and Kenneth Lonergan (whom he apparently calls “Uncle Kenny”), for making work that inspires him. Thanking his cast and crew, Jenkins concluded by saying: “This thing it has my name about it, but it’s absolutely about all y’all. Much love.” Also nominated were Pablo Larrain for “Jackie,” Jeff Nichols for “Loving,” and Kelly Reichardt for “Certain Women,” in addition to Arnold.

Read More: 2017 Independent Spirit Awards: »

- Jude Dry

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By numbers: breaking down the key facts behind the Oscars

4 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

How rude can a movie be and still win best picture? How many men with toupees have triumphed? And does anyone watch it anyway? We’ve trawled the archives to unearth the real history of the Academy Awards

TV ratings for the Oscars broadcast have been on a steep decline in the Us, despite the producers revamping the ceremony and drafting in an endless parade of new hosts. Polls this year suggest that a Trump-focused show could prove a turn-off for his supporters – so incoming host Jimmy Kimmel will have his work cut out. The one thing that does make people tune in is really giving a damn about the big movie. In 1998, 57.3m people watched James Cameron’s iceberg-fated romance trawl its way to 11 wins. This year, six in 10 Americans can’t name a single Oscar nominee. You do the maths.

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- Guardian graphics

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Dress to protest: why the Oscars red carpet is set for a revolution | Jess Cartner-Morley

6 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The ceremony’s biggest political statements might come not from the podium, but on the catwalk outside, as the stars hit the campaign trail Hollywood cares about most

Hollywood has had a lot to say for itself recently. Meryl Streep, a 20-time Academy Award nominee, riled the Trump White House with her Golden Globes speech. Tom Ford, who directed Nocturnal Animals, refuses to dress the first lady. George Clooney says of Donald Trump: “I didn’t vote for him, I don’t support him, I don’t think he’s the right choice.” Natalie Portman, meanwhile, took to the podium at last month’s Women’s March in Los Angeles to call for a women’s revolution against the Us president. Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair, the publication of record for the west coast entertainment industry, has pulled no punches in its editorial attacks on Trump. In the new America, »

- Jess Cartner-Morley

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The Fits review – unnerving mystery

6 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Anna Rose Holmer’s terrific debut invites comparisons with Hitchcock as tensions rise in a local youth centre

The pure products of the Us go briefly, unnervingly crazy in The Fits, a terrific rites-of-passage drama that charts an outbreak of mass hysteria inside a Cincinnati sports centre. Full credit to debut director Anna Rose Holmer for wringing the maximum mileage from a paltry $170,000 (£13,600) budget. Restricting herself to a single location and its immediate surrounds, she whips up a quiet storm of everyday horror; an allegory of adolescence, crawling with existential dread. The Fits is a small, spare picture; it blows in and off the screen in 71 minutes flat. But it shakes you to the core and the effects last for days.

This small, spare picture whips up an allegory of adolescence, crawling with existential dread

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- Xan Brooks

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Patriots Day review – taut dramatisation of the Boston marathon bombing

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg team up again after Deepwater Horizon for this briskly paced procedural

There’s something very satisfying about films that follow professionals tested by extraordinary situations – movies like Paul Greengrass’s United 93 for example. Director Peter Berg has already delivered one such celebration of the skilled everyman with Deepwater Horizon. He reunites with Deepwater star Mark Wahlberg for Patriots Day, a taut, multi-stranded account of the Boston marathon bombing.

As a police procedural, this is first-rate: unflinching, briskly paced film-making that pieces together the fast-moving investigation in a wholly satisfying manner. The nature of the terror attack means that there are distressing images of injuries. Berg doesn’t shy away from this, but he pulls back out of a sense of decency when it comes to the fatalities. Boston-born Wahlberg is strong in the central role, a tough-guy cop with a temper and a »

- Wendy Ide

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It’s Only the End of the World review – spittle-flecked drama

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

An adaptation of a play about a gay man’s return to the bosom of his family is not easy to watch – or listen to

The latest picture from the prolific Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan is certainly not the easiest watch. An adaptation of a play by Jean-Luc Lagarce that tells of the return of a sensitive, successful gay son to his tempestuous family home, this is stridently confrontational in its approach. Dolan favours so many extreme, spittle-flecked closeups of shouting family members that it leaves you gasping for breath and longing for a wide shot.

Gaspard Ulliel plays prodigal son Louis, Nathalie Baye is screechy and lurid as his mother and Marion Cotillard delivers sensitive work as the browbeaten sister-in-law he has never met. But it’s Vincent Cassel’s character who is the most problematic – older brother Antoine is furious but it’s a hollow, noisy anger that »

- Wendy Ide

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Best (George Best: All By Himself) review – recycled pub anecdotes

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A documentary portrait of the Manchester United star shows us little that we haven’t seen before

What aims to be an Amy-style documentary portrait of a troubled genius ends up as a rehash of every prurient tabloid story that crowed over George Best’s self-destructive behaviour without trying to understand the root of it.

Best is most satisfying when it explores the early years of a footballer so skilled that even someone completely uninterested in the game could recognise his talent. But most of the talking-head interviews here are second tier and their insights little more than pub anecdotes.

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- Wendy Ide

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A Cure for Wellness review – slick horror full of plot holes

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

While weirdly impressive, Gore Verbinski’s sanatorium shocker runs more on atmosphere than logic

It takes some chutzpah to start a story in the sterile boardrooms and status-clawing world of Wall Street and end it with a gothic macabre grand guignol that has as much in common with the creepy ambiguity of Lucile Hadžihalilović’s Evolution as it does with most mainstream American cinema. There are flashes of icky Cronenbergian body horror; parallels with Park Chan-wook’s Stoker and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, but a lack of pacing and focus defuses the meticulously styled atmosphere. However, if nothing else, Gore Verbinski’s A Cure for Wellness is the weirdest thing to come out of Hollywood in a long time.

Dane DeHaan, probably the most authentically unhealthy-looking movie star currently working, is an astute choice for the role of Lockhart, the soul-sick young executive who has traded his ethics »

- Wendy Ide

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Southern Fury review – substandard kidnap caper

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

This violent thriller has no redeeming features – and that includes Nicolas Cage’s fake nose

This needlessly violent crime thriller is an assault on the eyes. A retina-scalding palette of toxic orange and teal blue, combined with numerous ultra-slow-motion shots of spurting blood makes for a migraine in movie form. Adrian Grenier plays the upstanding businessman who must save his deadbeat older brother (Johnathon Schaech) from kidnappers.

Nicolas Cage, wearing a fake nose and a nylon wig and looking like a cross between Toni Erdmann and a homicidal mariachi band, plays the local crime boss. The only thing that is less convincing that Cage’s prosthetic schnozz is the car crash of a plot.

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- Wendy Ide

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Bitter Harvest review – worthy account of 1930s Ukraine famine

7 hours ago | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Some impressive action sequences fail to enliven this tale of an artist living in the shadow of the Stalin regime

A well-meaning but overstated drama set during the 1930s famine in Ukraine, Bitter Harvest focuses on talented artist Yuri (Max Irons) and his beloved Natalka (Samantha Barks). Separated when Yuri is imprisoned by Stalin’s oppressive regime (led by a malevolent Tamer Hassan as a local commissar) the couple must survive Holodomor, the death-by-starvation programme by which Stalin hoped to quell the Ukrainians.

The Cossack horseback action sequences are impressive, but there are too few shots of thundering hooves and too many scenes of stilted political discourse for this picture to take flight.

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- Wendy Ide

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