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Festival Fave & Belgium's Oscar Entry 'Broken Circle Breakdown' Leads European Film Awards Nominees

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • November 9, 2013 9:41 AM
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  • 6 Comments
The Broken Circle Breakdown
If there's one movie you might hear The Playlist prattling on about in the next few weeks, it's Felix van Groeningen's "Broken Circle Breakdown." Having already won the heart of Jessica Kiang when it hit Karlovy Vary earlier this year, I saw it this past week and was equally taken with the moving, messy, ambitious and beautiful film that has already received awards at both the Berlin Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. And the film's list of honors may continue at the Oscars, where it's Belgium's entry, but first it's stopping at European Film Awards, where it's leading the pack of nominees.

Oscars: Can Anyone Beat 'Gravity' Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki To The Prize?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • November 6, 2013 12:16 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Oscars Cinematography 2013
n the last three years, the race for the Cinematography Oscar has come down to a bout between two kinds of candidates: the oft-overlooked veteran who has somehow never won an Oscar, and the previously-lauded cinematographer who shot a visual effects-infused extravaganza. In all three years, the winner proved to be of the second category.

'Frozen,' 'Planes' & 'The Smurfs 2' Among 19 Finalists For 2014 Animated Feature Oscar Nomination

After our own Drew Taylor declared "Frozen" to be a new Disney classic, perhaps you won't be too surprised to learn that it has been submitted and accepted as a finalist for Best Animated Feature Film. But don't get fooled. The only criteria for the 19 movies that made the cut seems to be that they meet the eligibility requirements so flops like "The Croods" and "Free Birds" along with critical punching bags like "Planes" and "The Smurfs 2" get the same consideration as Hayao Mizayaki's "The Wind Rises." Read More »

Oscars: Is The Best Director Competition More Than A Two-Horse Race?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 30, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 6 Comments
If this year's Best Picture race is tough (and it is, even with films like "Foxcatcher" and "Monuments Men" pushed into 2014), it's nothing compared to the fight that's brewing in Best Director. The category has evolved somewhat since the Best Picture field expanded to ten films. Before that change, the line-up tended to mirror the five Best Picture nominees, with the occasional exception, usually for an arthouse Euro-auteur like Mike Leigh (for "Vera Drake" in 2005) or Julian Schnabel (for "Diving Bell & The Butterfly" in 2008). And it's still true that the directing nominees are mostly drawn from the Best Picture nominees, but with more opportunity for a film to get recognized in the bigger category, it does seem to have enabled the directors' branch to be more idiosyncratic in their choices.

Oscars: Which Films Will Pick Up Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 23, 2013 5:09 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Oscars 2013: Original & Adapted Screenplay Nominations
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the Twilight Zone. As long as almost anyone can recall, the Adapted Screenplay category has been more far more competitive than the original script slot. In general, more Academy-friendly films tend to have been adapted from novels, non-fiction books, plays, articles, or from other material, with the competition for original fare proving thinner. As a result, the Original Screenplay category has quietly been one of our favorites, allowing foreign-language films, tiny indies or genre fare to pick up nominations where they'd otherwise have difficulty.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actress Front-Runners, Including Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock & Amy Adams

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 16, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 32 Comments
Received wisdom has it that, in most years, the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards is less competitive than their male equivalent. It's certainly true, if it even needs to be said, that great roles for women are far, far less common than they are for men. But one only has to think of the performances that haven't been nominated in recent years to realize that it's not the lack of talent out there, so much as the Academy, or even the prognosticators, tending to be a little more conservative in their picks.

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Will Return To Host The Next 2 Golden Globes

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 15, 2013 9:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The yearly tradition of watching award shows, and then cringing through the broadcasts as talented people are forced to try and appeal to every person in the world with watered down jokes and lame puns, will at least get a reprieve at the Golden Globes. This past January, BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were a big hit at the Golden Globes, and so of course, they were courted to return. And that wooing went smashingly as the pair are gonna be regulars, at least for the immediate future.

Oscars: A Look At The Best Actor Hopefuls, Including Tom Hanks, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Matthew McConaughey

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 9, 2013 1:33 PM
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  • 9 Comments
As ever, all the Oscar categories look competitive even from this far out, but nothing is going to be a tougher fight this year than the Best Actor race. It's typically a harder slog than most categories -- ask John Hawkes, who missed the cut last year for "The Sessions," despite months of buzz and predictions -- but this year looks like something else entirely. It's still only October, with many of the major possibilities still to open, and a few still to be unveiled completely, and the line-up is stacked.

Oscars: A Look At The Supporting Actress Contenders, Including Oprah Winfrey, Cameron Diaz & Lupita Nyong'o

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 2, 2013 1:02 PM
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  • 5 Comments
It's been a busy week or so in Oscar Land: rumors have swirled around the release, or not, of "The Wolf Of Wall Street," previously thought a potential frontrunner, while Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" stormed into the race with an excellent teaser trailer, only for it to be announced almost immediately that the film wouldn't make its release date or AFI premiere, and would instead be released in 2014.

Oscars: A Look At The Supporting Actor Field, Including Michael Fassbender, Jared Leto & James Gandolfini

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 23, 2013 2:32 PM
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  • 9 Comments
So far, for the most part, a good chunk of the 2013 awards contenders have been seen, but only by those high falutin' critical types at film festivals -- as we saw last week. But that started to change last week with the release of two legit Best Picture contenders: Ron Howard's "Rush," and Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners." So even those trying to stick their head in the sand and avoid Oscar season aren't going to have much of a choice from here on out.

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