Oscar Screenplay Race: Handicapping The 2014-15 Contenders
The great thing about the screenplay nominations for the Academy Awards is that they aren't hampered by the same out-of-date thinking that makes the Writers Guild Award noms sometimes feel like also-rans. The difference between Oscar and WGA is that the guild steadfastly refuses to let any potential nominees into the party unless his or her film was a signatory to the guild's agreement and the writer is a bona fide WGA member in good standing. The Academy of Motion… Read
‘The Imitation Game’ Producers On Bringing Alan Turing’s Tale To Life
A thriller about a World War II code-breaking mathematician whose heroic life ends in suicide is, on its own, a tough sell. But The Imitation Game has had bigger hurdles to overcome in the five years since producers Ido Ostrowsky and Nora Grossman first heard Alan Turing's name. After the first-time producers hired screenwriter Graham Moore to write the story of the man who helped stop the Nazis' path through Europe, Moore's script hit the top of the 2011 Black List and… Read
Producer Jon Kilik On The Roadblocks ‘Foxcatcher’ Overcame
Producer Jon Kilik says his association with Foxcatcher began casually, in director Bennett Miller's New York kitchen. The two friends started talking about the tragic real-life story of John DuPont, heir to the DuPont family fortune, who died in prison in 2010 for killing Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. Miller wanted the dark tale to be his next film--and he knew exactly how it would begin and end. Although it took another eight years from that first meeting to get… Read
Pete Hammond’s OscarWatch Column On The Danger Of Ranking Films
'Tis the season. For prognostication, that is.
The other day someone interviewed me and asked if I would like to be identified in the article as an "Oscarologist." Say what?
Certainly the term has been used for some time on websites such as Gold Derby, but I wonder what the dictionary definition would be. "Oscarologist: A person whose whole life revolves around the study and prediction of all things relating to the Oscars."
No, being the serious journalist that I am, I… Read
Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist: A Preview Of Possibilities, Part 1
As the unveiling of the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist approaches, it's time for my annual look at the films that have a shot at making the cut. For the first time, we are splitting the preview into three parts — and listing the films in no particular order. But as with each year, I don't envy the committees that have to whittle down a record number of submissions — 83 this time around — of some truly remarkable films. There's an embarassment of riches out there and… Read
Handicapping The 2014-15 Documentary Feature Oscar Shortlist
Having unfettered access to a subject is always the goal for a documentary filmmaker, particularly when there's a risk the story might not be flattering in the end. But for two of this year's shortlisted documentary features--the Edward Snowden pic CitizenFour and Life Itself, based on Roger Ebert's memoir--filmmakers used frank conversations with people at critical moments in their lives to create complex, enduring portraits.
In fact, director Laura Poitras says there… Read
Cinematographers Roger Deakins and Bradford Young Discuss Their Work on ‘Unbroken’, ‘Selma’ And ‘A Most Violent Year’
This tremendous year for cinematography also might be a historic one for two directors of photography whose careers cross paths this Oscar season. In his fourth decade of image-making, with films from The Shawshank Redemption to The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford under his belt, 11-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins brings a vibrant and lush look to Angelina Jolie's World War II drama Unbroken, an ambitious biopic shot over 14 weeks in Australia on… Read
‘Into the Woods’ Director Rob Marshall On Making Movie Musical Magic
Once upon a time, before musicals were reborn at the box office, Hollywood tried to mount a feature adaptation of Into the Woods, the 1987 fairytale musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. Penny Marshall staged a reading with a cast that included Robin Williams, Cher and Goldie Hawn, but the film never happened. Jump to 2002, when choreographer-turned-filmmaker Rob Marshall rebooted the genre with Chicago, turning it into a $307 million global blockbuster and best… Read
‘Fury’ Director David Ayer On Finding The Truth In His War Film
David Ayer lately has garnered a reputation as a filmmaker adept at capturing man at his brutal worst. His blood-soaked, L.A.-gang drama End of Watch, after all, had cops getting shot, beaten to a pulp, even stabbed in the eye. But deep down, Ayer will tell you he's a softie. A friend once told him he makes "chick flicks for guys," a label he wears proudly and publicly. If there's a through line to Ayer's recent work, it's men, armed to the teeth, dropping their guards… Read
How Angelina Jolie Became The ‘Unbroken’ Director – The Contenders
Watch the video clip above as Universal executive Peter Cramer tells Deadline's Mike Fleming about 'Unbroken,' the movie adaptation of a best-selling book about Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner turned flier turned Japanese POW.
The book, by Laura Hillenbrand, made the film finally come together after decades of efforts to tell the tale. And it was Angelina Jolie's meticulous preparation and vision that made her the choice to direct the film, Cramer says.
The screenplay… Read
OSCARS: 7 Films Advance In Makeup & Hairstyling
The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Foxcatcher and The Theory Of Everything are among the seven films that remain in competition in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 87th Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said today. The shortlisted movies are The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent, Noah and The Theory of Everything
On January 10, all members of the Academy's Makeup Artists and Hairstylists… Read
‘Birdman’, ‘Budapest’ And ‘Boyhood’ Get Key Oscar Boost To Lead Critics’ Choice Movie Award Nominations; Jolie Rebounds From Globe Snub
Continuing its romp through the critics kudos this awards season, Fox Searchlight's Birdman drew a whopping 13 nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 20th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards. In fact it's a big day for Fox in general as Searchlight's March release, The Grand Budapest Hotel was remembered to the tune of 11 nominations, while big Fox scored 6 nominations with Gone Girl. All three compete for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and… Read