MTO Opening

This could be the most coincidental leak of all time, the most perfectly timed viral image of all time, or just a complete misunderstanding. Regardless, on Monday a CNN program briefly showed a supposed glimpse of the plaque that will decorate the Best Actor Oscar at March 2nd’s Academy Awards. Is it real? Probably not, but it’s interesting because this potential spoiler happened on the same day a huge group of people protested the Oscar-nominee luncheon to call for stronger security. See the image, and read more below. Read More »

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WGA Rewards ‘Her’ and ‘Captain Phillips’

captain-phillips01

By this point in the awards race, it’s usually pretty clear who the frontrunners are. Most of the guilds have already thrown their support behind a few favorite films, which typically then go on to fare well at the Academy Awards. Nevertheless, there were a couple of mild surprises when the WGA announced its 2014 Writers Guild Award winners this weekend.

In the original screenplay category, Spike Jonze beat out the likes of David O. Russell and Woody Allen to pick up a prize for Her. That bodes well for Jonze on Oscar night, as the list of Oscar nominees perfectly matched the list of WGA nominees this year. A more unexpected result is Billy Ray‘s adapted screenplay win for Captain Phillips, but that doesn’t really make him the Oscar favorite. He didn’t have to compete against 12 Years a Slave or Philomena, both of which were deemed ineligible for the WGAs. Hit the jump to see who else won in the film and TV categories.

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alone

When the Oscar nominations were announced a week and a half ago, there was one big surprise in the Best Original Song category: a tune called ‘Alone Yet Not Alone,’ from a film of the same name. The movie is obscure, but the song’s composer is not. Bruce Broughton, acclaimed for scores including the Oscar-nominated Silverado, wrote the music.

There was something funky in the details, however: Broughton was until recently a governor of the music branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and remains an exec committee member of the branch. He had reportedly reached out to other friends in the Academy to give the song a little love.

Surprise: that’s vaguely like the Oscar version of insider trading, and falls well outside even the acceptable limits of heavy politicking and influence-wielding that goes along with every batch of Oscar nominations. In a strange move that isn’t unprecedented, AMPAS has just stripped Broughton and the song of the nomination. A replacement nomination will not be named. Read More »

Alfonso Cuaron shooting Children of Men

The Directors Guild of America handed out its awards tonight for directorial achievement in 2013. Alfonso Cuarón took the top prize, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, for his work on Gravity. That all but locks him in as the Best Director Oscar winner. Steven Soderbergh won as best director of a TV movie or mini-series for Behind the Candelabra, and Vince Gilligan won the award for direction in a dramatic series for the Breaking Bad episode ‘Felina,’ beating out fellow Breaking Bad nominee Bryan Cranston, and also David Fincher, who was nominated for the pilot of House of Cards.

Read the full list of winners below. Read More »

Whiplash' with Miles Teller

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival is coming to a close and, Saturday night, the best films of the festival were named. Whiplash, the Miles Teller drumming film, was the night’s big winner, taking both the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award as well as the Grand Jury Prize. Sony Classics picked it up earlier in the week.

Peter, Russ and myself are all back from in Park City, UT and over the next few days, we’ll tell you our favorite films of the best. But, below, look at the full list of official award winners.  Read More »

12 Years a Slave

American Hustle took home the big prize at the SAG Awards on Saturday night, but as it turned out, its moment in the sun was fleeting. 12 Years a Slave and Gravity regained their awards season momentum at the Producers Guild of America Awards on Sunday night, as both won the top trophy in a tie — the first ever in PGA history.

The results are a blow to American Hustle‘s Oscar odds, since the PGA Awards are a fairly reliable predictor of the Best Picture trophy. Of the past 24 Darryl F. Zanuck Award winners, 17 have gone on to win Best Picture. The last time the two awards didn’t match up was 2006, when the PGA chose Little Miss Sunshine over The Departed.

Elsewhere, Frozen and We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks won prizes for best animated picture and best documentary, respectively, while Behind the Candelabra and Breaking Bad continued to steamroll the competition in the long-form TV and TV drama categories. Hit the jump for the full list of results.

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2014 Screen Actors Guild Award Winners

American Hustle

Park City, Utah might be the home of independent film this week but back in Hollywood, the Screen Actors Guild gave out their annual awards to the best acting performances of the year. Most of the trophies lined up with the Golden Globes, and likely the Oscars, but there was a surprise or two in there. Check out the winners for movies and TV below. Read More »

12-years-a-slave-TIFF-review

Chris Hemsworth and AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs woke up early this morning to announce the nominees for the 86th Academy Awards. American Hustle and Gravity led with ten nominations each, while 12 Years a Slave picked up nine. The Wolf of Wall Street fared better than many had predicted, snagging nominations in the Best Picture and Best Director categories. Nebraska also had a fairly strong showing, with nods for both Bruce Dern and June Squibb.

On the flip side, Saving Mr. Banks and Inside Llewyn Davis were largely overlooked, while Rush and Lee Daniels’ The Butler were shut out altogether (sorry, Oprah). Tom Hanks failed to secure a nomination for Captain Phillips, although his co-star Barkhad Abdi managed to get one. And while it’s not really surprising to see smaller films like Frances Ha, Fruitvale Station, and Short Term 12 get no love, it’s disappointing nonetheless. But hey, at least Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa gets to refer to itself as an Oscar nominee now.

Read the full list after the jump.

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