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Oscar Watching: The First Sure-Fire Best Picture Nominee Has Just Arrived And It’s Only July – Let The Race Begin

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Emmy nominations may only have been released yesterday, and I know it's still just July, but with the opening of Richard Linklater's Boyhood today I am declaring July 11th the new official start of the Oscar season (at least for this year) with a film that I predict will occupy one of those prized Best Picture slots when Academy Award nominations are announced six months from now. It's a bold statement considering last year's first of nine eventual Best Picture nominees, G… Read

Film

‘Boyhood': 39 Shooting Days, A 4,200-Day Production Schedule

'Boyhood' cast at Arclight Theater screening

The first thing that catches you about Richard Linklater's new movie, Boyhoodis the gimmick: It took 12 years to make. And this wasn't some Orson Welles-like fight with a studio or money people or an artistic fugue state like those afflicting early Terrence Malick or late Stanley Kubrick. It was done on purpose. And the studio behind the project, IFC, was all for it, doling out about $200,000 a year so Linklater could annually gather his cast and crew to shoot a few… Read

Awards

Oscars: Controversy Erupts Over New Documentary Branch Rules – Are Smaller, More Serious Films Being Pushed Out Of Race?

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The June 27th announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences regarding new and tweaked rules for the 87th Academy Awards seemed pretty much by-the-numbers at the time, but in the days since has engendered controversy over a new requirement in the Documentary Feature category that now requires even stiffer regulations for a film's seven-day qualifying run. Instead of the previous requirement of two shows a day without specifying times, the new rule calls… Read

Film

An Appreciation Of Louis Zamperini, A True American Hero

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What sad pre-holiday news: American Olympian track star and WWII hero Louis Zamperini passed away last night at age 97, just one day short of Independence Day. It's somehow poignant that Zamperini's shadow hovers over the July 4th holiday; it comes half a year before the Universal Pictures release of Unbroken, the Angelina Jolie-directed adaptation of the Laura Hillenbrand bestseller about a man whose unwillingness to break despite the most difficult of circumstances in a… Read

Film

Academy Sues Auction House & Oscar Winner’s Heirs For Selling 1942 Statuette

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As it has dozens of times before, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has sued in response to someone trying to make a buck hawking an Oscar. This time the case involves a statuette sold to an unknown buyer for nearly $80,000 just one week ago. In a suit filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), the Academy takes umbrage to Briarbrook Auction Services auctioning off the Oscar awarded to Joseph Wright in 1942 for his color and art direction on My… Read

Awards

Academy Reveals Submission Dates For 87th Oscars

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced category submission deadlines for 87th Academy Awards consideration. Here are the dates: Scientific and Technical Awards: Friday, July 11 Documentary Short Subject: Tuesday, September 2 Documentary Feature: Monday, September 22 Animated Short Film: Wednesday, October 1 Live Action Short Film: Wednesday, October 1 Foreign Language Film: Wednesday, October 1 Animated Feature Film: Friday, October 31 Original… Read

Film

Roger Ebert’s Final Hollywood Premiere: Can A Movie About A Movie CRITIC Be Oscar Bound?

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Before the screening began at last night's Hollywood premiere of director Steve James' Roger Ebert documentary Life ItselfEbert's remarkable wife Chaz shared something with the packed crowd of industry notables that her late husband told her as they were embarking on the shooting of the film. “Roger said, 'Make sure Steve doesn't make a movie I don't want to see',” she laughed. Mission accomplished, but in a cruel stroke of irony for the world's most famous film critic… Read

Awards

Academy Approves New Rules For 87th Oscars, But They’re Not Earth-Shaking

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The new rules that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors approved for the 87th Oscars are minor tweaks to existing rules and won't greatly affect this year's race. The most significant change allows producer duos who meet certain criteria to compete as a single producer, which creates the possibility of more producing nominees for Best Picture. Also, if a music group opts to submit a song for Oscar consideration under the group's name, its… Read

Awards

Eli Wallach Appreciation: How Oscar Finally Got It Right After Nearly 60 Years Of No Nominations

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I like the fact that Turner Classic Movies announced today a special 11-hour tribute to the now-late and always-great Eli Wallach, who died last night at age 98. He was such a magnificent actor, particularly onstage, where he won a Tony in The Rose Tattoo or on TV in countless performances including his Emmy-winning turn in 1966's Poppies Are Also Flowers. His movie roles were memorable too, but he never quite got that truly great moment onscreen that could have ignited… Read

Film

R.I.P. Eli Wallach

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UPDATE: Broadway to dim the lights: Theater District marquees will go dark for one minute at 7:45 PM Friday as Broadway marks the passing of Eli Wallach, who died June 24 at age 98. TCM has also set a five-film tribute marathon on June 30 starting at 9 AM ET. The character actor likely was best known as Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's classic spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad And The Ugly A lifelong theater actor and all but accidental movie and TV star… Read

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Oscar Music Branch Rules Changed In Wake Of ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ Controversy Last Year

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced updated rules and regulations in how contending movies can be promoted and marketed to members, but other than a specific addition to rules concerning the music branch, there wasn't much new in the announcement except a tweak here and there. Publicists and Academy consultants were invited to a meeting earlier this month led by Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and marketing head Christina Kounelias. As is the case each… Read

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