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Oscar Bits and Bites – Oscar viewers polled and more

The Hollywood Reporter polled “hundreds” of Oscar voters to find out their screening habits. I’m not surprised that the film most saw in the theater was Boyhood – because the kick-ass publicity team behind the film made sure they did, knowing that if given the chance many might skip it ...

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Women Flat on Their Backs but Sparkling Once Again for Oscar Week – Women and Hollywood’s Great Video Tribute

Made by Women and Hollywood. The best advocate for women and women of color in the Oscar race is Women and Hollywood’s Melissa Silverstein. It isn’t easy standing up for women because trust me, the dirty little secret out there is that the vast majority of men don’t like women ...

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Fandor’s “Alternative History” of the Academy Awards

Our friends at Fandor have created a cool digital flip book detailing an “alternative history” of the Academy Awards. In its pages, you won’t find a dry recap of the films that have won Oscar gold over the years. Instead they have opted for a less traditional approach, featuring: Films ...

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Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing – An Overview

The AMPAS’s sound categories—Achievement Sound Mixing and Achievement in Sound Editing—are often trivialized afterthoughts to viewers at home, and even to some Academy voters who may not be primed in the specific mechanics of cinematic sound. The Hollywood Reporter disclosed an anonymous Academy member’s ballot earlier this week. The voter ...

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Spirit Awards Contest

We’ll be posting our predictions a bit later but wanted to give you a crack at the predictions contest. The winner received a $100 gift card to Amazon.com.  

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Let Them Eat Cake – Another Academy Voter Opens Mouth, Embarrasses Self

Scott Feinberg talks to an Academy voter who reveals her true opinions. As someone on the receiving end of a letter by an Academy voter, these two sound like they sit at the same table. Entitled, pampered, wealthy Hollywood business people. To this voter, money is more important than just ...

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How Agenda-Driven Bloggers Punish the Wrong People – Boyhood Under Fire

We live in era where every journalist and every news site is click-bait hungry. They’re looking for any controversy to draw readers, drive comments and jack up traffic. At what cost? When the rope tightens around the neck of honorable films because there’s nothing left to attack, it does damage ...

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The State of the Race: Pencils Down, Last Day to Vote

When I look at how Oscar race 2014 turned out I see the worst case scenario, almost, all the way down the line. Every bad thing that could happen did happen. What I see when I look at this year’s race is nothing but limitations. The legendary Patti Smith shut ...

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Featurette on the Writing of Theory of Everything

One thing I do love about this film is its focus on the female character, Jane Hawking. While it would have been great if Jane Hawking had chosen a female to adapt the work, this was clearly a passion project for the writer – and that counts for a lot. ...

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Will Boyhood and Birdman Split the Academy Vote?

Gold Derby is paying out a cool $1,000 for the winner of this year’s Oscar prediction contest. Head on over to play. Tom O’Neil who runs Gold Derby asked me why, if I keep saying Birdman is going to win Best Picture, I keep predicting Boyhood. Here is my answer: ...

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Recent Posts

Why is Nobody Talking About What Serial Left Out?

Undated yearbook photo of Hae Min Lee, which  Justin George copied from one of Hae's former teachers at Woodlawn High School.

Sarah Koenig today updated fans of the wildly popular, game-changing podcast series Serial with an update on the new shows, yet another award they won and the recent news about the case against Adnan Syed. Syed was the subject of the podcast and is currently serving a life sentence, 15 years in, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, 17 year-old Hae Min Lee. While there have been plenty of websites salivating over the recent update on Syed’s case, including Huffington Post, The Frisky, and a few others, there is still a glaring flaw in the story that began with Serial ...

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AFFRM Hosts 12-Hour Twitter Takeover with over 40 Black Filmmakers

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Check it out — taking action via social media, Ava DuVernay’s AFFRM will host a 12-hour long Twitter takeover “with over 40 black feature filmmakers to raise awareness for AFFRM’s mission called Array Releasing. AFFRM + ARRAY’s amplifies varied voice and visions in film and is currently in the middle of a member drive at www.arrayaction.com.” Filmmakers from far and wide are standing with AFFRM + ARRAY from hot festival favorites like Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) and Rick Famiyuwa (Dope) to studio stalwarts like Tyler Perry (For Colored Girls), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond The Lights) and Malcolm Lee (The Best Man) ...

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An Appreciation of Michael Mann’s Heat, 20 Years On

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by guest author Nick Clement Find Nick here Michael Mann’s Heat represents the finest distillation of the filmmaker’s stylistic and narrative obsessions, the ultimate synthesis of plot, character, and action, all fused together in a nouveau package that still feels fresh and contemporary 20 years after its initial release. Mann, a writer/director who has often reached greatness throughout his career, appears to be most comfortable when telling stories about crime and its effects on the various people that surround his multilayered stories. A reworking of his earlier NBC movie of the week, L.A. Takedown, Heat still holds up now even ...

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The State of the Race: On the Hunt for Important Men Doing Important Things

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The Oscar race could be flipped this year to feature films about important women doing important things, which would be highly significant in that it could mirror what’s happening, or might soon happen, in the Oval Office. Pixar’s Inside Out is here to represent on the animation side. Charlize Theron and her gang of feminist fugitives could dominate the effects genre films for the year, eclipsing Age of Ultron quite handily. Perhaps The Force Awakens will indeed feature a female at its center (not counting on it just yet). Finally, we have two films headed for the Best Picture race, ...

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Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan wins Palme d’Or at Cannes; Rooney Mara, Emmanuelle Bercot share Best Actress prize

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Palme d’or: Dheepan, dir. Jacques Audiard Grand Prix (second prize): Son of Saul, dir. Laszlo Nemes. Best Director: Hou Hsiao-Hsien, The Assassin Jury Prize – The Lobster, dir. Yorgos Lanthimos Best Actress: Rooney Mara, Carol & Emmanuelle Bercot, Mon Roi Best Actor: Vincent Lindon, Measure of a Man Camera d’Or – Land and Shade, writer/director Cesar Acevedo  

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Festival de Cannes 2015, open thread

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[Update: the live stream of the broadcast has of course ended, but the discussion continues after the cut.] From May,13th to May,24th 2015, join us for live coverage of the Festival de Cannes Competition 24/24 (Red Carpet, Press Conferences, Photocall) TODAY’S AGENDA Sunday, 24th May 18h00 Red carpet Ice and the sky – Luc Jacquet 20h00 Awards evening 20h15 Press conference Jury 20h30 Photocall Award Winners 20h45 Press conference Award Winners 21h15 Interview Pierre Lescure and Thierry Frémaux  

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Todd Haynes’ Carol awarded the Queer Palm

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Todd Haynes’ Carol has been named the winner of the 2015 Queer Palm prize at Cannes. The Queer Palm was instituted in 2010 by journalist Franck Finance-Madureira to honor films for their portrayal of LGBT themes, and is selected from among all the films nominated or screened at Cannes each year. Queer Palm Winners 2010: Kaboom – dir. Gregg Araki 2011: Beauty – dir. Oliver Hermanus 2012: Laurence Anyways – dir. Xavier Dolan 2013: Stranger by the Lake – dir. Alain Guiraudie 2014: Pride – dir. Matthew Warchus 2015: Carol – dir. Todd Haynes  

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Cannes 2015: Un Certain Regard

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PRIZE OF UN CERTAIN REGARD HRÚTAR (Béliers / Rams) by Grímur Hákonarson JURY PRIZE ZVIZDAN (Soleil de plomb / The High Sun) by Dalibor Matanić BEST DIRECTOR PRIZE Kiyoshi Kurosawa for KISHIBE NO TABI (Vers l’autre rive / Journey to the Shore) UN CERTAIN TALENT PRIZE COMOARA (Le Trésor / Treasure) by Corneliu Porumboiu PROMISING FUTURE PRIZE MASAAN by Neeraj Ghaywan Ex aequo NAHID by Ida Panahandeh  

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Cannes Directors’ Fortnight winners

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SACD Prize My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin) Europa Cinemas Label Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven) Art Cinema Award Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra) Illy Prize Rate Me! (Fyzal Boulifa) Special Mention The Exquisit Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky) Oceans Prize Pape (Nicolas Polixene) (via Paddy Mulholland at screenonscreen)  

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Son of Saul, Masaan win Fipresci Ahead of Palme

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The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) gave out their top awards to Son of Saul, probably the most buzzed film of the festival, and to Masaan. It is not unheard of for a film to win both this prize and the Palme d’or. Blue is the Warmest Color swept Cannes, winning both, only to then deflate somewhat once it played elsewhere. That was a good example of how things that happen in Cannes can sometimes stay in Cannes. On the other hand, Son of Saul is not loaded with the same kind of controversy nor hype. It should have ...

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Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender Earn Raves in Cannes

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Macbeth screened on the last day in Cannes and earned raves both for Cotillard and Fassbender. That should launch them into the race for Actor and Actress, as expected. Guy Lodge’s elegantly written review has this wonderful paragraph about Cotillard: A plum role for any actress, Lady Macbeth proves an exhilaratingly testing one for Cotillard, whose gifts as both a technician and an emotional conduit apparently know no linguistic barrier. Streaked with unearthly blue eye shadow — Jenny Shircore’s daring makeup designs are a constant marvel — and working in a cultivated Anglo-Continental accent that positions the character even more ...

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First Look: Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

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Pathe released the first photo today of Meryl Streep as the famously tone deaf opera singer, Florence Foster Jenkins.  Jenkins tells the tale of the New York Heiress who used her money to embark on a singing career, performing in concert venues in the 1920’s.   Florence Foster Jenkins is directed by Stephen Frears. Hugh Grant plays her partner St.Clair Bayfield. The film has started shooting in the U.K      

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Cannes Diary: Coming Home

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When the high heel controversy hit Cannes, my first thought was unless you’ve been here it’s impossible to know how steeped in tradition it is. There’s that iconic image of a beautiful woman on the red carpet at Cannes. She ain’t wearing flats, my friends, I can tell you that. She’s wearing high heels. Men in tuxes, women in glamor and heels. The mistake isn’t that they want women to dress up — it’s that they turn others away for choosing not to. There is a tradition to it. You might argue that the tradition needs to die but then ...

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