State of the Race

Composite of images from American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave

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  The Gurus of Gold have been asked for the top three in all of the major categories.  How much has changed since September? Not a lot. If either 12 Years a Slave or Gravity win Best Picture, that continues ...
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“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion ...
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“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” ― Ernest Hemingway The theme of the 86th Oscars is Heroes. That might come to be regarded ironically when all is said and done ...
Tom Hanks

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Last night in the Arlington theater I sat next to the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg. We were talking Best Picture. “Virtually any movie can win,” he said. “In the era of the preferential ballot we have no idea how the ...
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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama There are many ...
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“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” Oscar ballots don’t go out until February 14th. That’s two whole weeks of madness that might occur just as ballots are sailing ...
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The Producers Guild pulled out the rug out from awards season by awarding two films their top prize. This has never happened in all of PGA’s fairly short history, which started all the way back in 1989, when Driving Miss ...
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The early morning streets of Los Angeles were virtually empty as I drove down Wilshire towards the Academy theater. Nothing the Academy does is ever, to borrow a term my mother often uses, “half-assed.” Parking was easy. Getting into the ...
american-hustle-in-a-restaurant

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In all of the ways people think the Oscar race is predictable it always turns out to be surprising when the dust settles. There is no point in not saying what is the obvious writing on the wall — David ...
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This has been a banner year for women at the box office – Hunger Games ($361 million, #2 for the whole year so far), Gravity ($253 million), two starring Melissa McCarthy made it into the top twenty (The Heat—$159 million ...
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“The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you ...
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“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” ― John Steinbeck Three strong films in the Oscar race face down the rise of the 1% — a ...
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It isn’t just the Oscar race where everyone is an expert. We talk about movies now like we’re beat reporters at old-school Variety. Or assistants to producers having coffee and casually talking about the potential failure or success of a ...
2013

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Usually the year of films that are aimed at the Oscar race begins on a weak note. But 2013 wasn’t one of those years. With early films as good as Mud, Before Midnight and Fruitvale Station, you could tell already ...
NEBRASKA

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After witnessing how Argo took last year’s very competitive Best Picture race, the key to winning Best Picture seems to be clear — find a way to fly under the radar so that no one really pays much attention. We ...
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“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” – Emerson There is no doubt that America is changing. You can feel the old ways reaching out their talons to pull us back ...
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The central theme of many of 2013’s best and most important films is survival – in both literal and metaphoric ways. 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Captain Phillips, All is Lost, and Dallas Buyers Club are all about a protagonist’s ...
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Over the past few years, Telluride has become the launching pad for Oscar contenders and winners. You’d probably had to have been watching the race evolve over the past 15 years to understand why. Back before they changed the date ...
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As of this moment, only two films look poised to enter the Best Picture race with a golden ticket. Alexander Payne’s Nebraska and Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station. Already a champ at Sundance, an impressive reception at the Cannes Film Fest, ...

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My Oscar year started on the French riviera. It was cold and raining. Without the sunshine glimmering off the pavement we were instead teased by all of that sunlight in Rust and Bone, one of the more memorable films from ...

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