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

3 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

8 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

6 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before Oscar Sunday, that Greg P. Russell’s sound mixing nomination for “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” has been revoked for “violation of Academy campaign regulations.”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

11 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

12 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

6 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

14 hours ago | 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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Barry Jenkins Wins Independent Spirit Best Director Award For ‘Moonlight’

just now | 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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Animation Maestro Hayao Miyazaki Back at Work on Feature (Reports)

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

The Japanese media has reported a comment by veteran Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki that studio maestro Hayao Miyazaki is working on a new feature.

Suzuki spoke at an event in Los Angeles on Friday for the Michael Dudok de Wit Oscar-nominated animation “The Red Turtle,” on which Ghibli was a production partner. Suzuki said that Miyazaki is “hard at work” on the film, plunging in without a written script.

The 76-year-old Miyazaki officially announced his retirement in September of 2014, but when the studio became involved in the production of “The Red Turtle,” Suzuki noted, “He didn’t like it that someone else was making a film at Ghibli.” He started working on a proposal for a new feature that he presented to Suzuki last July. The film may be a longer version of “Boro the Caterpillar,” a CGI animated short that Miyazaki was making for screenings at the Ghibli museum in Tokyo, »

- Mark Schilling

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Spirit Awards: Casey Affleck Slams “Abhorrent” and “Un-American” Trump Policies – Watch

3 hours ago | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Political discourse was not a heavy topic at Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards, which seemed to be an apolitical ceremony compared to previous award shows this season. Casey Affleck won the Best Lead Actor for his role in Manchester By the Sea and upon taking the stage took a moment to slam Donald Trump's "abhorrent" and "un-American" policies. “The policies of this administration are abhorrent and they will not last. You don't have to clap out of obligation… »

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‘Toni Erdmann’ Remake: Maren Ade Praises Jack Nicholson, Says She Will ‘Definitely Not Be Involved’

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

After winning a Spirit Award for best international film, “Toni Erdmann” director Maren Ade stepped into the backstage press tent where the media was interested in asking her one question in particular: What does she think of the news that her film is set to be remade with Jack Nicholson touted to play a central role?

“It’s a bit funny because I always had the feeling that it was a movie that could be remade,” she said. “When we were shooting it was one of my favorite jokes to say, ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect, it will be done better in the remake,'” Ade said.


Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Feature Film Award

When asked if she would be a part of the remake, Ade dismissed rumors that she would be involved.

“That was a wrong announcement maybe, or it was misunderstood, I will definitely not be involved, »

- Will Thorne

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Isabelle Who…ppert? A Beginner’s Guide to the Oscar-Nominated ‘Elle’ Actress

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

“Isabelle who…?” It’s a question I’ve gotten more times than I’d care to count this Oscar season, as audiences discover the fearless star of Paul Verhoeven’s subversive French thriller “Elle” — who just added an Independent Spirit Award to the collection of accolades the role has earned. Still, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, if you count yourself among the cinephiles who are only now learning Mme Huppert’s name (pronounced “Hoo-pair”).

Just yesterday, the French film academy honored Huppert with her second César award — but even her compatriots are late to the party. She’s been nominated 16 times, but France takes the provocative — and extremely prolific — actress for granted. After all, she’s never not acting, whether it’s on stage (from “Medea” to “The Maids”) or screen (at a rate of two or three movies a year). When French audiences see “Elle,” in which »

- Peter Debruge

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Trailer Watch: Heidi Saman’s Namour

4 hours ago | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Philadelphia-based filmmaker Heidi Saman made our 25 New Faces list in 2014 on the basis of two works, one ongoing and one just finished. The ongoing one is her long-running film Tumblr “Four Eyes,” which consists of elegant frome/quote combinations. The just-finished project is her debut feature, Namour, which is being released March 1 by Ava DuVernay’s Array before being available widely through Netflix on March 15. Saman had made a previous short, The Maid, and works as a producer for NPR. From my “25 New Faces” profile: The Tumblr community was among those who supported Saman’s successful Kickstarter earlier […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Will ‘Moonlight”s Indie Spirit Awards Love Extend to Oscar Sunday?

4 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

When the Film Independent Spirit Awards started off with a standing ovation for the Best Editing Award for “Moonlight” (Joi McMillion and Nat Sanders), the course of the Santa Monica awards show was set.

In fact Barry Jenkins’ Miami triptych went on to win a record six Indie Spirit awards, including the Robert Altman ensemble award. The warmth in the tent was palpable, as the crowd kept leaping to their feet as “Moonlight” won Screenplay, Director, Cinematography, Editing and Feature.

Oscar contender Mahershala Ali was included in the Ensemble Award, and wasn’t competing for Supporting Actor, which went to Ben Foster for “Hell or High Water.”

“A lot of people pushed away that script” for fear of “hurting their careers” said screenwriter Tarrell Alvin McCraney, who wrote the play on which “Moonlight” was based. For his part Jenkins thanked his friend and producer Adele Romanski for making him get »

- Anne Thompson

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Oscars 2017 Gets Its Own Benghazi Controversy As ’13 Hours’ Nominee Disqualified

4 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

In case you forgot, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi” was nominated for an Oscar in Best Sound Mixing. And it seems that controversy involving Benghazi is touching the big show.

In a surprise announcement, the Academy announced this afternoon that ’13 Hours’ nominee Greg P. Russell has been officially disqualified, upon revelations that he phoned up others in the Sound Branch to essentially help get him nominated.

Continue reading Oscars 2017 Gets Its Own Benghazi Controversy As ’13 Hours’ Nominee Disqualified at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Moonlight Scores a Record Six Independent Spirit Awards, Including Best Picture and Best Director

4 hours ago | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Moonlight was the big winner at the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards, held this afternoon in Santa Monica, CA. Barry Jenkins’ incisive and complex dramatic triptych won a record six awards, including Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and the Robert Altman Award for its ensemble performers. In this acceptance speech for the Best Director Award, Jenkins confirmed the film’s budget — $1.5 million! — and thanked “anyone whose name was on a call sheet on those 24 hot-ass days in Miami.” The only other multiple winner was Robert Eggers’ 16th-century supernatural horror film, The Witch, which […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Donald Trump Didn’t Have A Starring Role At The 2017 Independent Spirit Awards

4 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Donald Trump loomed large over the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday afternoon, but  he did so from a distance (and we don’t mean a Florida golf course). The President’s name was spoken only a small handful of times during the show, but his presence — and that of the national mood he’s created — made itself known throughout.

Most of the explicit references could be found during Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s hilarious opening segment, in which the latter used Trump’s language to contextualize the indies nominated: “These films, are to quote the President: ‘Sad!’ exclamation point.” A few minutes later, he followed that up by setting up Kroll for a joke: “Do you know what Donald Trump thinks Barack Obama’s name is?” He asked. “Barry Jenkins,” Kroll deadpanned. The duo also commented on Trump’s recent decision to rescind protections for transgender Americans, wisecracking »

- David Ehrlich

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2017 Independent Spirit Awards: The Best Things Winners Casey Affleck, Isabelle Huppert and More Said Backstage

4 hours ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Film Independent Spirit Awards pride themselves on doing things a little bit different, happily throwing one heck of a party the afternoon before Oscar Sunday (on the beach in Santa Monica, lubricated by a pre-show cocktail “hour” that clocks in closer to three) to honor the best in indie film. This year’s outing was no different, aided by characteristically amusing hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and featuring a batch of impressive winners.

The nominees list was heavy on the “Moonlight” and “American Honey” nods, and the final awards tally leaned firmly to the “Moonlight” camp (filmmaker Barry Jenkins, quite charmingly, used his Best Director acceptance speech to call out other directors he loved from the category, including “American Honey” filmmaker Andrea Arnold), with the film picking up a stunning six awards.

Each winner happily shuffled backstage to chat with press after their wins, often serving up some of the most notable, »

- Kate Erbland

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Indie Spirits 2017: Nick Kroll & John Mulaney’s Hilarious Opening Monologue, In Memoriam Parody & Acceptance Speeches

4 hours ago | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If the Golden Globes have always been the looser, cooler brother to the Oscars, the Indie Spirits are the unpredictable, wilder cousin. This afternoon, the warmup to the big show tomorrow unfolded, and not only was it finished in just over two hours, it was actually kind of fun.

 Nick Kroll and John Mulaney delivered an opening monologue that was politically sharp and hilarious, and poked fun at the nominees too.

Continue reading Indie Spirits 2017: Nick Kroll & John Mulaney’s Hilarious Opening Monologue, In Memoriam Parody & Acceptance Speeches at The Playlist. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Casey Affleck Slams Trump Administration’s ‘Abhorrent’ Policies in Spirit Awards Speech

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

During what was a mostly apolitical ceremony — especially when compared with those of the awards season so far — Casey Affleck took his moment at the Spirit Awards podium to call out the Trump administrations’ “abhorrent” policies.

Affleck won best lead actor at the independent film awards on Saturday for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.”

After Affleck grabbed his trophy and gave initial thanks, he expressed some hesitation about saying anything political.


Spirit Awards: ‘Moonlight’ Wins Best Feature Film Award

“Now I’m going to do something that I know I shouldn’t do,” he said, sounding trepidatious. “I should just whisper it in the bathroom, and I have whispered it to myself in the bathroom.”

Then he resolved, “But I feel like increasingly my kids don’t listen to me unless it’s something I say on TV.”

And, with that, Affleck took aim at the White »

- Seth Kelley

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