THE BRIEF

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Best Animated Feature
Inside Out
Pixar Animation Studios

Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Inside Out
Pixar Animation Studios
Director: Pete Docter

Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Inside Out
Pixar Animation Studios
Cast: Phyllis Smith
Character: Sadness

Best Animated Short Subject
World of Tomorrow
Don Hertzfeldt

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SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  Actor Michael Keaton receives the American Riviera Award from Director Tom McCarthy and Actress Rachel McAdams at the Arlington Theater at the 31st Santa Barabara International Film Festival on February 5, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California.  (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival)

The Santa Barbara Film fest is in full swing. Jeff Wells has some nice coverage of last night’s tribute to Spotlight, with Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams.


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The DGA Awards are tonight. The DGA breakfast is happening now. It is perhaps the most wide open race we’ve ever seen, unless it turns out not to be and then we’ll all pick up our balls and go home, writing it off as another predictable season. This is your reminder of how unpredictable it is at this moment.

Although, as Erik Anderson pointed out on Twitter yesterday, it is a little strange that all of the pundits at Gold Derby are convinced the winner will be anyone but Adam McKay, he is still the most likely to win tonight if you go go by stats. If you go by anything other than stats, you are going to find things split up.

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As we head into the weekend, we’re at our last stop before Oscar ballots are mailed out to voters. It’s been a season full of twists and turns. It has been unpredictable in many ways, with the final verdict still to be determined. We don’t know if the Oscars themselves will surprise us by making history, or if they will surprise us by NOT making history in an unpredictable season.

Why is it unpredictable? Usually, either the acting races OR the Best Picture race are unpredictable. This is a year where Best Picture and Best Director are both too close to call. Usually voters have to decide between two Best Picture frontrunners, like last year’s Boyhood and Birdman. Sometimes there are three movies in the Best Picture race, like in 2013 when 12 Years a Slave and Gravity tied at the Producers Guild, Gravity won the Directors Guild, and American Hustle won the SAG Ensemble award. In the end, 12 Years won Best Picture and Gravity won Director, American Hustle went home empty-handed.

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If you think back over Oscar history and wonder why no films about journalists have ever won Best Picture, it suddenly becomes all too clear how much things have changed. When journalists were heroes the world was a better place. Watching how the press covers Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is proof that objectivity in journalism has been replaced by survival clickbait journalism, where bringing down a powerful woman and elevating a scrappy underdog becomes the narrative because that’s what sells.

This is true on network television, but it’s even more true online. When you have biased leftist outlets like Huffington Post or Salon, extreme right wing sites like The Blaze or Daily Caller, and mainstream trustworthy sites like The New York Times all painting basically the same hot-button headlines, you long for the days when journalists were respected and respectable. I’m not seeing much of that anymore. I’m seeing outlets that feed the mob to get clicks.

It is now more than ever that a film like Spotlight has relevance. Those Boston Globe reporters had the option of going off half-cocked, before having all of the information firmly in hand. Instead, they carefully and meticulously set about getting the story right and making it complete, asking the hard questions about molestation, building relationships with sources, questioning themselves and vetting their own coverage, all in the name of ethics. That is something we are sorely missing across-the-board now: yes, even at The New York Times, especially at The Los Angeles Times. Forget TIME magazine, and CNN you can shitcan too. Forget it. A mob of online clicktivists seem to be in control of our media and I personally have never longed more for a better firewall of journalistic ethics. We’ve also lost our two most trenchant media critics — Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It turns out they were sort of irreplaceable. Bill Maher has become so biased in his own coverage that he, too, has become unreliable. Where are we to turn?

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I wish he wouldn't try so hard by going the biopic rout ...
I'm not talking about accuracy; I think most of the aud ...
Al Robinson
Uh oh. That lol makes me nervous. Did you like it? (It' ...
Bryce Forestieri
Saw the revenant again lol
Gabriel Tiller
Yes Best Picture. I genuinely and wholeheartedly consid ...


Contender Tracker

FRONTRUNNERS

Best PicturEBirth of a Nation
Manchester by the Sea




Best ActorCasey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation



Best ActresS


Supporting ActoR


Supporting ActresS


Director
Nate Parker, Birth of a Nation
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea



Original Screenplay


Adapted Screenplay

Editing

CinematographY



Production Design


Sound Mixing


Sound Editing


Costume Design


Original Score



Foreign Language Feature



Documentary Feature


Animated featureZootopia
The Little Prince


Visual Effects


Makeup AND HAIR


Song


Live Action Short

Animated Short


Documentary Short



Social Counter

OscarWatch

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Academy Award®-winning director Oliver Stone, who brought Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street and JFK to the big screen, tackles the most important and fascinating true story ...
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The news about Passengers coming out of CinemaCon made it sound like a comedy, maybe not aimed squarely at the Oscars. But some further digging indicates that it’s not a ...
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Politics and Cinema

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One thing that is astonishing about this year’s presidential race is what it tells us about ourselves, and specifically, what decades of conditioning by animated films, the music industry, the ...
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Earlier today, Tim Robbins introduced Bernie Sanders at an event in Wisconsin, probably because the last two Bernie rallies have drawn scant crowds. Now they’re bringing out the celebrities who do ...
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