News Nuggets: Oscar producer Gil Cates (1934-2011)

Oscar producer Gil Cates has died at age 77: “‘Gil was our colleague, our friend and a former governor of the Academy,’ said Academy President Tom Sherak … ‘His passing is a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry, and our thoughts go out to his family.’ Cates produced the Academy Awards® 14 times between 1990 and 2008, more than any other individual. He was responsible for first bringing hosts Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and Jon Stewart to Oscar’s stage.” AWARDS DAILY

Scott Feinberg & Friends discuss films at risk of flopping when they’re finally screened: “This year, a number of films that looked on paper like serious awards possibilities have gone down in flames upon being screened — among them, ‘The Beaver,’ ‘One Day,’ ‘W.E.,’ and, last weekend, ‘The Rum Diary.’ Which was the most surprising flop? And which of the last awards hopefuls that have yet to be widely screened for the American press … is most at risk of joining them?” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Identifying bad scenes in some of the fall’s best films, including  “Drive“: “… I’m very decided that there’s no need for an inhumanely long, lingering gaze between The Driver (Ryan Gosling) and Irene (Carey Mulligan) at her apartment. The Driver is supposed to represent stoic, charitable heroism, but scenes like this squelch his pure intentions and recast him as a reticent homewrecker. He should want to help the beleaguered Irene, not bed her. Later in the film when he steals a kiss from Irene in a surreal elevator scene, the dissolution of The Driver’s saintly intentions is clear. He’s just a horndog with a decent coat and strong facestomping legs after all.” MOVIELINE

Steve Buscemi to direct an upcoming adaptation of William S. Burroughs‘s “Queer”: “At last night’s screening of ‘Rampart,’ director Oren Moverman teased us with a new project he’s scripted: an adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel ‘Queer,’ which will star Guy Pearce, Ben Foster, and Kelly Macdonald for director Steve Buscemi … Moverman says he first wrote the script ten years ago, and he can barely believe that it’s actually becoming a reality.” VULTURE

David Carr profiles Best Actor Oscar hopeful Woody Harrelson: “‘Woody has become a beloved figure in our culture, sort of like Willie Nelson,” said Owen Wilson, the actor and a close pal. “People come up to him like he is an old friend’ … He is more beloved than revered, a status that suits him just fine. A noncareerist who has nonetheless had a very remarkable one, Mr. Harrelson has displayed enviable range — pivoting from the quiet theatrics of ‘The Messenger’ to the hijinks of ‘Zombieland’ in a single year — but probably would not be on the public’s list of big-time serious actors.” NEW YORK TIMES

Pixar animator John Lasseter gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: “While Disney was promoting the Blu-ray and DVD release of ‘Cars 2‘ on November 1, the day Disney/Pixar animation czar John Lasseter happened to get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it was still a happy day and a well-deserved honor. Disney’s Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, Pixar’s Ed Catmull, Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, voice talent Owen Wilson, Bonnie Franklin, Patton Oswalt, John Ratzenberger and Don Rickles, as well as composer Randy Newman, all showed support for the guy Emily Mortimer called a ‘genius.'” THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

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