Oscars news: Benedict Cumberbatch on reality of ‘The Imitation Game,’ Channing Tatum joins ‘Team Oscar’

As Chris Jancelewicz observes, “Despite all the fame and attention, Benedict Cumberbatch manages to invest himself fully into his movies, including his latest role as noted scientist/math genius Alan Turing in ‘The Imitation Game.’ Playing a real-life person is a challenge he’s familiar with (he played Julian Assange in last year’s ‘The Fifth Estate’), and by all appearances he’s mastered the art. Moviefone spoke with Cumberbatch at the Toronto Film Festival, where we chatted about the difficulty of taking on Turing, his propensity for tackling real-life roles, and his abysmal math skills.” Moviefone

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

Steve Pond does a stellar job handicapping the Foreign-Language Feature race. In the intro to his must-read analysis, he notes: “By the end of the week, all but nine of the contenders will likely be eliminated. For the last two and a half months, 83 different countries have been able to entertain dreams of glory … On Friday, 74 of those countries will see those dreams disappear, as a nine-film shortlist eliminates them from competition. And the immediate reaction from many quarters will no doubt be howls of protest that the Academy left off one, two or more deserving films.” The Wrap

As per this announcement from the academy, Channing Tatum said: “I’m honored to be returning to launch the Team Oscar competition and encourage the next generation of filmmakers to join me onstage at this year’s Oscars. It’s inspiring to see how these young filmmakers rise to the challenge, and I can’t wait to see the talent we uncover.” Kudocast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron added, “We are thrilled to bring the Team Oscar competition back to the show for the third year, and that Channing Tatum will be our spokesperson and one of the judges. We are very happy that the idea we initiated has turned into an annual tradition, and is now open to a wider range of filmmakers who are passionate about film and the moviemaking process.” Oscars

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Cara Buckley reports: “Every year brings celluloid surprises that few Oscar prognosticators see coming, usually in the form of vivid performances in small-scale independent films. This year’s batch includes ‘Still Alice‘ with Julianne Moore, who’s been garnering loads of awards buzz for the lead role, and ‘Cake‘ starring Jennifer Aniston as Claire, an emotionally and physically shattered woman seeking respite in a sea of prescription painkillers.” New York Times

Scott Feinberg recaps his compelling conversation with Trent Reznor in which the musician says, “he caught a bug working with David Fincher on ‘The Social Network’ that led him and Atticus Ross to return to score the director’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ just a year later (resulting in another Globe nom) and ‘Gone Girl’ three years after that (which has bagged them yet another Globe nom, as well as a Grammy nom, and could earn them a return-trip to the Oscars, as well). THR

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