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The Playlist

'Stand Up Guys' Goes For Gold With An Oscar-Qualifying Run

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 24, 2012 3:16 PM
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  • 2 Comments
You know what the Academy loves? Old people. You know who it's largely made up of? Old people. Give them an elderly person emoting and they'll hand out an Oscar nod, particularly if it's a legendary actor who is beloved and has been kicking around for a while. And when your movie stars Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, why not see if these guys can generate a bit of awards season heat?

Oscars: Can 'The Sessions' Star John Hawkes Beat Out Better Known Competition To Win Best Actor?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 22, 2012 1:59 PM
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  • 15 Comments
Only a few years ago, John Hawkes was one of Hollywood's best kept secrets. He'd been acting for decades, and cropped up in dozens of big film and TV projects, but at best was simply one of those "Hey, it's that guy!" character actors. But the mid '00s saw him eke towards center stage with a lead role in Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know," and as a regular on "Deadwood," and 2010 saw him finally make an indelible mark, as the terrier-like Teardrop in "Winter's Bone," which saw him pick up a surprise Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Biting The Hand That Feeds? 10 Actors Who Dissed The Oscars Before Joaquin Phoenix

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 19, 2012 3:28 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Yesterday, "The Master" star Joaquin Phoenix raised some eyebrows when a choice quote from his conversation with Elvis Mitchell in Interview Magazine, in which he slammed the awards process, made the rounds: "I'm just saying that I think it's bullshit. I think it's total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it. I don't believe in it. It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other...It's the stupidest thing in the whole world... It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when 'Walk the Line' was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don't know how to explain it—and it's not like I'm in this place where I think I'm just above it—but I just don't ever want to get comfortable with that part of things."

Joaquin Phoenix Says Goodbye To Oscar Chances, Calls Awards "Total Utter Bullshit"

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2012 10:23 AM
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  • 57 Comments
Nearly everyone who has seen Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" agrees that the performances by it's two leads, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, and co-star Amy Adams, are Oscar-caliber turns. Given rich, complex characters to dive into, in a world unlike anything we've really seen on the big screen, the trio really deliver some special moments in the film. But let's be frank, Oscars are as much of a political campaign as the race for the White House, and if you aren't willing to play ball, you won't be invited to the Dolby Theater. Yes, there are exceptions, but that's the basic rule of thumb. And one man who has already been absent for most of the press tour for "The Master," has essentially written himself out of the Oscar race as well.

Oscars: James Franco Will Compete For Supporting Actor With 'Spring Breakers' & Anne Hathaway For Best Actress In 'Dark Knight Rises'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 15, 2012 9:21 AM
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  • 16 Comments
Get our your crystal ball Oscar prognosticators, because it's time to shake it up again. The weekend brought with it a couple more bits and bobs and changes to the Oscar race, with a couple more folks chasing the statue in some unlikely films.

Oscars: Can Anyone Beat Philip Seymour Hoffman To Best Supporting Actor?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 5, 2012 11:00 AM
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  • 26 Comments
Last week in our category spotlight, we took a look at the relatively thin Supporting Actress field, so it feels only natural to head over to the Supporting Actor boys this time around. And of all the acting categories, it might be the most interesting: it's not as locked-up as the leading men (which has six or seven heavy hitters battling it out for five slots), and not as sparse as the actress categories, with multiple contenders any of whom could win, or fall out altogether.

Oscars: Could Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi' Go All The Way?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 2, 2012 12:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments
There's been some significantly sesmic shifts in the Oscar field in the last few days, and not just the surprise announcement that "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane will be hosting the ceremony itself (for the record, this writer dislikes pretty much everything he's ever done, but based on his 'SNL' appearance a few weeks ago, he's a pretty savvy choice by the Academy). But last Friday, one of the most anticipated movies of the season was unveiled, as Ang Lee's "Life Of Pi" opened the New York Film Festival (read our review here). And what was already looking like a busy field got a little more crowded.

Surprise: Seth MacFarlane Selected To Host The Oscars

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 1, 2012 12:19 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Wow, we didn't expect this. After a brief flirtation with Jimmy Fallon, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences seem to have found the sweet spot with a presenter who will skew to younger crowds, while keeping ABC happy in getting someone who isn't a direct rival to their late-night talent. And that man is Seth MacFarlane.

Oscars: Taking A Look At The Wide Open Best Supporting Actress Field

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 28, 2012 1:04 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Our Oscars coverage has, over the last few months, principally focused on the Best Picture race, which makes sense as what films look like possibilities continues to come into focus. But with the dust now settled on the festival season (well, except for the New York Film Festival getting underway today), we want to come in a little tighter, as it were, and start to think about the individual categories.

Oscars: How Does Fox Searchlight's Surprise 'Hitchcock' Shake Up The Award Season?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 21, 2012 12:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Surprisingly, the Toronto International Film Festival, which in years past has seen previously unregarded pictures like "The King's Speech" and "Slumdog Millionaire" break out into Oscar front-runners, didn't really provide an out-of-nowhere shocker this year. Sure, there were "Argo" and "Silver Linings Playbook," as we discussed on Monday, but they were both mostly considered to be strong candidates even before they screened, as was Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master."

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