From the Wall Street Journal:
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead Sunday afternoon in his New York City apartment, a law-enforcement official said.
The New York Police Department is investigating, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to determine exact cause of death. The official said Mr. Hoffman, 46 years old, was found dead at his apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
Mr. Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 film, “Capote.”
At the party for Cate Blanchett at the Santa Barbara film festival last night, Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere seized the opportunity to ask Blanchett about the Woody Allen story. Blanchett responded graciously:
Corrected Blanchett after listening to recording: “…and I hope they find some sort of resolution and peace.”
— Hollywood Elsewhere (@wellshwood) February 2, 2014
Corrected Blanchett after listening to recording: “Uhm, I mean it’s obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope…”
— Hollywood Elsewhere (@wellshwood) February 2, 2014
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin took our fucked up society to task because someone has to:
“What the f&@% is wrong w u that u think we all need to b commenting on this family’s personal struggle? You are mistaken if you think there is a place for me, or any outsider, in this family’s issue,” Alec tweeted in response to a fan asking about the situation. “USA is supposed to be THE place where you get a fair trial. Can a fair trial be conducted w everyone’s tired opinions on the internet? Americans have fallen victim to a sanctimony about things they know little about. You don’t ‘defend’ either party. You defend due process.
Best Animated Feature:
Frozen, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Annie Award for Best Animated Special Production:
Chipotle Scarecrow, Chipotle Creative Department, Moonbot Studios
Best Animated Short Subject:
Get A Horse!,Walt Disney Animation Studios
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Jonathan Freeman, Game of Thrones – “Valar Dohaeris”
Half-Hour Series Television
Blake McClure for Drunk History, “Detroit”
Television Motion Picture or Miniseries
Jeremy Benning, Killing Lincoln
ASC International Award
Lifetime Achievement Award
WRITERS GUILD AWARDS
Best Original Screenplay
Her, Written by Spike Jonze
Best Adapted Screenplay
Captain Phillips, Written by Billy Ray
Best Documentary Screenplay
Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley
Best New Series
House of Cards
Cate Blanchett, on her way to winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Jasmine in Blue Jasmine is going to be feted tonight at the Santa Barbara Film Fest. At the same time, a personal open letter by Dylan Farrow has just been published at the New York Times accusing Woody Allen of having an inappropriate relationship with her, assaulting (molesting) her one day, and marrying her sister Soon-Yi to cover it all up. Moreover, she points the finger right at those who have participated in his success, starred in his films, been his friend over years. This is a war that has been going on with Ronan Farrow and Mia Farrow on Twitter, then defended by the Daily Beast, and finally, put to rest by Dylan Farrow.
Now everyone wants to know, does this hurt Cate Blanchett’s chances? On the one hand, who wants to talk about any of this in the face of something so awfully tragic to the family. On the other hand, voters are going to have to make a choice. Woody Allen should have been convicted in a court of law for those crimes. The letter states that Farrow dropped the charges because she feared for Dylan’s emotional health. Either way, we are now trying Allen’s guilt in the court of public opinion. That puts the Academy squarely in the position of being complicit, as Dylan Farrow has now charged. In short, anyone who honors or works with Woody Allen is a supporter of child abuse.
So I’ll put it to you, Oscarwatchers. Not worth discussing because the context trivializes the accusation? Worth discussing? Does it make any difference at all? Who stands to gain? If you’re asking me I will say I believe it will have a negative impact on Blanchett. It is very likely an opportunity for Amy Adams to be the one winner from American Hustle’s four acting nominations. I just wrote an article about how the shit always hits the fan right before ballots go out. This open letter is meant to finish the protests by Ronan and Mia Farrow, that Woody Allen, and any film he makes from here on out, not go unpunished.
The Board of Governors’ decision to rescind the Original Song nomination for “Alone Yet Not Alone,” music by Bruce Broughton, was made thoughtfully and after careful consideration. The Academy takes very seriously anything that undermines the integrity of the Oscars® voting process. The Board regretfully concluded that Mr. Broughton’s actions did precisely that.
The nominating process for Original Song is intended to be anonymous, with each eligible song listed only by title and the name of the film in which it is used—the idea being to prevent favoritism and promote unbiased voting. It’s been a long-standing policy and practice of the Academy—as well as a requirement of Rule 5.3 of the 86th Academy Awards® Rules—to omit composer and lyricist credits from the DVD of eligible songs that are sent to members of the Music Branch. The Academy wants members to vote for nominees based solely on the achievement of a particular song in a movie, without regard to who may have written it.
Since the SAG awards began 20 years ago, whenever Best Picture and Best Director split, the SAG ensemble foretold Best Picture in every case, except once where the ensemble sided with Best Director.
2012 - SAG ensemble + DGA + PGA = Argo, Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Director
2005 – SAG ensemble + Eddie + WGA = Crash, Brokeback (PGA+WGA+DGA), director
2002 - SAG ensemble + DGA = Chicago, Roman Polanski, director
2000 – PGA+Eddie = Gladiator, SAG ensemble + WGA director (Steven Soderbergh)
1998 – SAG ensemble+WGA = Shakespeare in Love, (PGA+DGA) Steven Spielberg
This year’s SAG ensemble winner? American Hustle. Funny, right? Of course, none of these years represent a preferential ballot, except last year of course! And there has never before been a tie for the PGA.
It is that time of year again for the Santa Barbara International Film Fest, on the heels of the Palm Springs Fest, where many of the Oscar contenders were in attendance. Those selected to be part of this year’s fest here in lovely SB include Bruce Dern, Cate Blanchett, Leo and Marty, to name a few. The first tribute gala for the fest this year was David O. Russell, who was named by the festival Outstanding Director of the Year. The fest’s director, Roger Durling, calls Russell his favorite director going all the way back to Spanking the Monkey. Because Russell has been plugged into the Oscar game for three consecutive years now – winning Oscars for his actors along the way — one forgets his humble beginnings, his more rebellious younger self, and, frankly, how funny he is. I’ve only ever seen two people wrestle control from Durling during one of these events — Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell. It is no wonder she functions so beautifully as his muse. They are cut from the same cloth, speak the same shorthand, and seem to have much the same sense of humor.
Before Sliver Linings and Lawrence, though, there was The Fighter and Oscar wins for Melissa Leo and Christian Bale. Leo was on hand last night to present the award to Russell and the two made a pact to work together again very soon.
The festival itself has had some major upgrades from last year, including a new VIP room where guests of the festival can drink lots of alcohol, sponsored by a major label, and eat pretty/tiny hors d’oeuvres. This year, Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey are two honorees who each missed out on Oscar nominations but decided to attend anyway. To me that says they agreed to do the fest and either they stand by their word or they feel that experience is worthwhile with or without AMPAS’ validation. Surely both are living legends who don’t need a golden statue to make them more worthy to humanity. The very notion is laughable. But this is a game and the game has rules and this time these two are breaking them, which I think is kind of boss.
The Academy has just posted this reminder that And the Winner Is will show tonight on TCM. Here is how they describe it:
TCM presents the premiere of “And the Oscar Goes To…” (2014), a new documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards. Airing Saturday night (February 1st at 8pm), the doc tells the story of the iconic gold-plated statuette that became the film industry’s most coveted prize. It delves into the history of the Academy itself, which began in 1927 when Louis B. Mayer, then head of MGM, led other prominent members of the industry to form this professional honorary organization. More here:
I don’t know about you but I’ve been having way too much fun poring over the videos the Academy has put up online. For instance, here is 1967 – all of the Redgraves are in attendance. Lady Redgrave. Lynn and Vanessa. Ronald Reagan too. The camera identifies Walter Matthau but not Mike Nichols sitting in front of him.
It still makes my stomach hurt that Emma Thompson was shut out of this year’s Oscar race all because, what, silliness. As usual, the wrong people get punished when the hysteria machine goes into overdrive. But this second video was the Mary Poppins year.
Foreign Language Film
Live Action Short