Sasha Stone makes pleas for some underdogs now that Oscar voters have their ballots. Her top choice for Best Picture is “All is Lost,” the J.C. Chandor film she calls “a moving meditation, a cinematic poem about life.” Stone also makes the case for a Martin Scorsese directing bid and his “astonishing” work on “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Among the acting categories, she would like to see nods for Robert Redford (“All is Lost”), Amy Adams (“Her“), and Will Forte (“Nebraska“). Awards Daily.
Celebrating the stars who died in 2013, EW asked their friends or admirers to write reflections. The special section offers Jamie-Lynn Sigler on James Gandolfini; Dwayne Johnson on Paul Walker; Martin Scorsese on Roger Ebert; Mick Rock on Lou Reed; Ryan Murphy on Cory Monteith; Sally Struthers on Jean Stapleton; Brad Paisley on George Jones; Paul Anka on Annette Funicello; Jimmy Kimmel on Jonathan Winters; Mackenzie Phillips on Bonnie Franklin; Mariel Hemingway on Peter O’Toole; Calista Flockhart on Julie Harris; and more. Entertainment Weekly.
Tim Gray wants to know why the new Peter Berg film “Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg is not getting more awards attention. The Afghan war film just began a qualifying run for Oscar consideration and will open wide on January 10. If it gains big numbers at the box office, voters may pay attention even though it has not earned anything from the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, or critic groups. He says “the reception was enthusiastic” at early industry screenings, so they may be relying on the below-the-line technical branches to carry them through to nominations. Variety.
Steve Pond asks five burning questions about this year’s Oscar races. Will “12 Years a Slave” be as big with Academy voters as with critics? Will unexpected films crash the Best Picture category (like “Dallas Buyers Club” or “The Butler“?)? Who will be left out of the “brutal” Best Actor race (Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar Isaac, and others)? What do voters really think of “The Wolf of Wall Street”? Will the directors branch be as “weird” as it was last time around (when it snubbed Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow)? The Wrap.
The days surrounding Christmas are always filled with major releases. This year’s box office returns show continued success by “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which remains at the top with over $20 million for Wednesday/Thursday. Holdovers “Frozen” (with $15.5 million) and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (with $14.7 million) are in second and third places, respectively. “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “American Hustle,” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” are next in line. Deadline.
In a list that no program wants to appear, TorrentFreak compiles the most pirated television shows of the year. For the second straight time, the “honor” goes to HBO’s fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” Second place is held by the final season of “Breaking Bad,” followed by “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland,” and “Dexter.” Huffington Post.
Awards analyst Scott Feinberg offers up his top 10 films of 2013. The favorite of the year is “Gravity,” followed by “Short Term 12,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “All is Lost,” “The Hunt,” “20 Feet from Stardom,” and “Gimme the Loot.” Hollywood Reporter.
Performers are lining up to appear on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” hosted by Ryan Seacrest. The list includes Blondie, Capital Cities, Miley Cyrus, Daughtry, Fall Out Boy, Florida Georgia Line, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Joel, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, and The Fray. TV by the Numbers.