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See Bradley Cooper Play a Reluctant Hero in New ‘American Sniper’ Clip (Exclusive)

20 December 2014 9:46 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter 

American Sniper is not off to the sort of start that Warner Bros. wanted for its principal Oscar hopeful this season — after landing a spot on the AFI’s year-end top 10 list, it was completely excluded from the SAG and Golden Globe nominations and recognized only in the action movie categories of the Critics’ Choice noms — but Oscar nomination voting doesn’t begin until Dec. 29, and there is still time for Academy members to catch up with and/or come around on Clint Eastwood’s drama about the deadliest American sniper of the Iraq War, Chris Kyle, who is played in the film by Bradley Cooper.

I think they might.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Palm Springs Film Fest: Robert Duvall, Alejandro G. Inarritu Join List of Honorees

19 December 2014 9:33 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

The Judge’s supporting actor Robert Duvall will receive this year’s Icon Award and Birdman‘s co-writer and director Alejandro G. Inarritu will receive this year’s Director of the Year Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s 26th annual Awards Gala on Jan. 3, Psiff announced on Friday. The fest will run Jan. 2-12.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Foreign Oscar Shortlist: Great Choices — and Horrible Headscratchers, as Usual (Analysis)

19 December 2014 8:39 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

On Friday morning, the Academy released its foreign-language committee’s shortlist of nine films — selected from a record 83 submissions this year — from which the five nominees for the best foreign-language film Oscar will soon be chosen.

For the most part, the list is pretty unobjectionable. It includes several big critical darlings, led by Poland’s black-and-white post-Holocaust drama Ida, Russia’s stark and unusual Leviathan, Sweden’s haunting character study Force Majeure and Argentina’s hilarious sextet of shorts Wild Tales. It has a few true-life stories that could prove engrossing and appealing to a wide cross-section of people: the Netherlands’ The Accused and Venezuela’s The Liberator. And it includes works from several countries that have not frequently, if ever, been recognized, effectively putting them on the map: Mauritania’s Timbuktu (the nation’s first film ever submitted), Estonia’s Tangerines (the nation »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Meet the Bros. Dardenne, Belgium’s National Treasures Behind ‘Two Days, One Night’

19 December 2014 9:12 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

If you don’t frequent the Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, or at least your local art house movie theater, you may not know the names Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. But, as someone who does, take my word for it: these soft-spoken, unassuming sexagenarian brothers from Belgium are as talented and consistently on-the-mark as any filmmakers in the world — and they have been for years.

That’s why I find it so utterly unbelievable that the Academy has never even nominated one of their projects for the best foreign language film Oscar, even though three have been submitted by their motherland over the years — and why, I must confess, I am crossing my fingers that this grave injustice will be corrected, or at least not extended, when the Academy, sometime in the next 48 hours, reveals the names of the nine »

- Anjelica Oswald

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‘Art and Craft’ Could Join These Ten Art-Related Docs to Garner Oscar Noms

19 December 2014 9:09 AM, PST

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

For almost 30 years, Mark Landis forged artwork and passed it off as his own to various museums around the country. It wasn’t until Matthew Leininger, a registrar at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, investigated the pieces in 2008 that the forgery was exposed. Leininger dedicated his time to investigating Landis further, and the scale of forgeries was revealed in 2012. Both men are featured in Art and Craft, a documentary about Landis, directed by Jennifer Grausman and Sam Cullman and co-directed by Mark Becker. Because Landis never sold his work to the museums, only donated the works in what he calls acts of “philanthropy”, he was never prosecuted.

The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore said, “The film will appeal to art lovers, but some viewers who can hardly tell their Cezannes from Chagalls will find the story fascinating as well.”

The film was picked by »

- Anjelica Oswald

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People Magazine Awards: ‘Cake’ Star Jennifer Aniston Wins First Film-Acting Prize of Career

19 December 2014 8:23 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Sure, the inaugural People Magazine Awards, which took place on Thursday evening at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and was televised nationally on NBC, was a blatant “pseudoevent,” in the sense that it only existed as an excuse to generate attention for those associated with it: People, the 40-year-old weekly fan magazine; Entertainment Weekly, its sister publication; and whatever celebrities they could get to show up and accept prizes and/or perform in person.

(As was the case with November’s Hollywood Film Awards — also put together by Dick Clark Productions, which shares a parent company withTHR — there weren’t nominees for the various awards, but rather just predetermined winners, and the process by which they were selected kept deliberately vague.)

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Sony Hack: Father of North Korean Leader Was Obsessed With Hollywood Movies

18 December 2014 9:50 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s Supreme Leader from July 1994 until his death in Dec. 2011, was credited with many far-fetched accomplishments during his lifetime, from inventing the hamburger to curing dwarfism to shooting 11 holes-in-one the first time he played golf to never having had a bowel movement. But one remarkable thing that he actually did do, according to reliable reports, is watch more American movies than most people who work in Hollywood.

And it was under this man’s roof that North Korea’s current dictator — Kim Jong-il’s son Kim Jong Un, the man lampooned in the comedy The Interview and suspected of authorizing a cyberterrorism attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation — came of age.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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The Rise of Cinematographer Bradford Young

18 December 2014 8:47 AM, PST

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Though he may sound unfamiliar to folks at home, Bradford Young is one of the names to emerge during recent Oscar discussions for his cinematographic work on two films this year: J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year and Ava DuVernay‘s Selma. Both films premiered at AFI Fest.

The 37-year-old director of photography was first recognized for his work at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for Dee ReesPariah (2011), which took home the excellence in cinematography award. He won the award a second time in 2013 for David Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George (2013). He most recently received a Spirit Award nomination for Selma, which was also nominated for best picture and director, and he may very well land his first Oscar nomination this year.

Young previously worked with DuVernay on Middle of Nowhere (2012), which put DuVernay on the map. »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Oscars: ‘Gone Girl’ Composer Trent Reznor Reveals How He Gets Into David Fincher’s Head

17 December 2014 7:36 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.

“Is it good? I’m not sure, but I know I worked my ass off,” Trent Reznor, the Nine Inch Nails frontman/Oscar-winning film composer told me of his latest score — the one that he and Atticus Ross put together for David Fincher’s smash-hit Gone Girl — when we sat down for an hour-long conversation a few weeks ago in Beverly Hills.

It took a while for me to accept that the person sitting across from me — a clean-cut, soft-spoken and polite family man just months shy of his 50th birthday — is the same one behind Nin, the post-punk “industrial rock” band that he founded in 1988. Ever since, the band has churned out a constant flow of hit songs like “Closer” and “Something I Can Never Have” — the sort »

- Anjelica Oswald

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The Relationship Between Globe-nominated Musical or Comedies and Best Picture Oscar Noms

17 December 2014 8:33 AM, PST

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

The 2015 Golden Globe nominees were announced Dec. 11,  with Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s Birdman leading the pack with seven nominations, including best picture — musical or comedy. Assuming Birdman will walk away with the win, what does that mean for its chances at the Oscars?

Well, since the musical or comedy category was created at the Globes in 1951, 51 of the films have been nominated for best picture at the Oscars and 13 have won.

Since 2001, 18 of the 70 films (26 percent) nominated for musical or comedy have received best picture nominations from the Academy and only two have won. Eight of the past 14 films (57 percent) to win for best musical/comedy at the Globes were also nominated for best picture at the Oscars. In contrast, 54 (77 percent) of the Globe-nominated dramas (including all 14 winners) have been nominated for best picture and 11 have won.

After breaking down the list of 14 Globe-winning musical »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Oscars: Is ‘Snowpiercer’ Actress Tilda Swinton Being Underestimated?

16 December 2014 7:36 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

The holiday season is always a bit hectic, so it is understandable if you, like me until recently, failed to notice something that’s actually been brewing under the surface of the awards discussion for some time: namely, the grassroots support behind the best supporting actress Oscar candidacy of Tilda Swinton for her work in Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer.

On Monday, the 54-year-old’s performance as a gender-neutral politician in the dystopian RADiUS-twc drama — which comes on top of other chameleonic work this year in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (a best ensemble SAG nominee) and Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive — was nominated for the best supporting actress Critics’ Choice Award, a major profile boost.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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SAG-Globes Noms: Is Jennifer Aniston In and Laura Dern Out for Oscar Nod? Not So Fast

16 December 2014 7:33 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Far too often, people forget the major distinctions — in terms of size, origin and background — between the groups that determine the nominations for the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe and Academy Awards. SAG noms are determined by 2,100 randomly selected, U.S.-based members of SAG-aftra; Golden Globe noms are determined by about 90 non-American journalists; and Oscar noms are determined by approximately 6,000 people from all over the world who actually make movies.

Because many — in fact, most — Oscar-nominated performances do receive SAG and/or Globe noms en route to their Oscar noms, there is an assumption that performances that do not snag SAG and/or Globe noms instantly fall out of the running for an Oscar nom, and that performances that do snag SAG and/or Globe noms are locks for Oscar noms. A look at the last 12 years of results from all three groups, »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Palm Springs Film Fest: Oscar Hopeful ‘Selma’ to Open Academy-Favorite Gathering

16 December 2014 7:28 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

A screening of Selma, the Golden Globe-nominated drama about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will kick off the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 2, the fest announced Tuesday. The opening-night slot — and a post-screening reception at the Palm Springs Art Museum at which talent from the film will be on hand — will help to shine a spotlight on the Paramount contender in front of a desert community in which hundreds of Academy members live or have second (or third) homes.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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A Look at Female-directed Documentaries at the Oscars

16 December 2014 8:45 AM, PST

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

This year’s Oscar race could make history with two possible best picture nominees directed by women — Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If both women are nominated for best director, that would also be a historical moment. But though these accomplishments in the narrative field are possible, more women directors are breaking into the documentary categories. Four of the 15 shortlisted documentaries feature women at the helm: Jennifer Grausman (co-directed with Sam Cullman and Mark Becker) with Art and Craft, Tia Lessin (co-directed with Carl Deal) with Citizen Koch, Laura Poitras with Citizenfour and Rory Kennedy with Last Days in Vietnam. Additionally, three of the eight shortlisted documentary shorts feature female directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent with Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Aneta Kopacz with Joanna and Lucy Walker with The Lion’s Mouth Opens. More often than not, women directors tend to »

- Anjelica Oswald

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‘Begin Again’ Song “Lost Stars” Rebounds From Globes Snub, Finds ‘Voice’

16 December 2014 7:00 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Fans of the best original song Oscar hopeful “Lost Stars” — which was co-written by Grammy winner Gregg Alexander (who I recently profiled) and performed in John Carney‘s charming indie Begin Again by Adam Levine and Keira Knightley — were down in the dumps last Thursday after it was left off the list of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe nominations.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Santa Barbara Film Fest: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to Share Honor

15 December 2014 5:57 PM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, who play Stephen Hawking and Jane Hawking, respectively, in James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything — and both of whom have received SAG Award, Golden Globe Award and, on Monday, Critics’ Choice Award nominations — will jointly receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 2015 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Sbiff announced on Monday. The honor will be presented at Santa Barbara’s historic Arlington Theatre on Jan. 29 as part of the fest’s 30thedition, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 7.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Designers of Wes Anderson’s Distinguishable Aesthetic Have Yet to Land Oscar Noms

15 December 2014 8:30 AM, PST

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

From the color palette to the set design to the quirky characters, a Wes Anderson film is distinguishable for its unique aesthetic and each film is its own world.

Howie Kahn, for the Wall Street Journal, said Anderson “has honed a visual language all his own, refining his signature aesthetic in a way that enriches the emotional lives of his characters.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy also pointed out the distinguishable techniques in his review for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): “From the first moment, there’s no mistaking who made this film. Constant lateral tracks, push-ins, whip-pans, camera moves timed to dialogue, title cards, chapter headings, miniatures, use of stop-action, fetishization of clothing and props, absurdist predicaments — all the techniques Anderson has honed over the years — are used to pinpoint effect here.”

Though Anderson’s films have been recognized for original screenplay (2001’s »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Critics’ Choice Awards: Noms Give Hope to On-the-Bubble Oscar Hopefuls

15 December 2014 8:09 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

I would venture a guess that a handful of longish-shot Oscar hopefuls — among them Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie, Gone Girl’s David Fincher, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Ralph Fiennes, Two Days, One Night’s Marion Cotillard, Inherent Vice’s Josh Brolin and Snowpiercer’s Tilda Swinton — could have quoted Dumb and Dumber’s Jim Carrey on Monday morning when the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced its nominees for the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”

That’s because the Bfca smiled upon each of these individuals with major nominations, whereas few, if any, other major organizations have done the same.

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- Anjelica Oswald

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Chris Martin Performs Oscar-Contending Song, Charms Voters at ‘Unbroken’ Party

15 December 2014 5:00 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken hasn’t even opened yet, but Universal’s big Oscar hopeful has already hit a few rough patches. Last week, it was shut out of both the SAG Award and Golden Globe Award nominations. And then Jolie came down with the chickenpox, which precluded her from attending the film’s official DGA and Academy screenings and Q&As and will also keep her from attending its Los Angeles premiere this week. None of that will help the film’s opening weekend box office on Dec. 25 or its eventual Oscar prospects.

But the film did get a much-needed boost of adrenaline on Sunday when Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, whose original song “Miracles” plays over the film’s closing credits, flew in from London to give a special performance at a cocktail party packed with Academy members — including some from its music »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Al Pacino on His Great Roles, Frustrations with Fame, Return to Form in ‘The Humbling’

15 December 2014 4:30 AM, PST

By Scott Feinberg

The Hollywood Reporter

“I was sort of blasted out of a cannon,” the legendary Al Pacino told me when we sat down last week for an hour-long conversation about his life, career and most recent performance — his best in years, in my opinion — in Barry Levinson‘s The Humbling. “Five films, five Oscar nominations. I blew out with The Godfather and I didn’t know what was happening to me. I was drinking and doing and having fun and not having fun and dying and going crazy — I was doing all of those things — but I kept going. I didn’t know where I was… I knew how explosive it was, but I was inebriated most of the time. I was trying to numb up to get through it.”

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- Anjelica Oswald

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