Oscars News: Why the Academy should double the number of acting nominees

Pete Hammond believes this year’s Oscar race for Best Actor is the “most crowded ever” and asks why the Academy doesn’t double its number of acting nominees. He calls it a “serious glut of qualified” contenders in 2014 with just under 30 legitimate men in the discussion. Hammond reminds that even “sure things” like Tom Hanks and Robert Redford could not get nominations last year. The current list starts with Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”), Michael Keaton (“Birdman”), and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”). Then throw in Ben Affleck (“Gone Girl”), Chadwick Boseman (“Get on Up”), Gael Garcia Bernal (“Rosewater”), Ellar Coltrane (“Boyhood”), Kevin Costner (“Black and White”), Robert Downey, Jr. (“The Judge”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”), Matthew McConaughey (“Interstellar”), Bill Murray (“St. Vincent”), David Oyelowo (“Selma”), Al Pacino (“The Humbling”), Joaquin Phoenix (“Inherent Vice”), Brad Pitt (“Fury”), Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”), and more. Deadline

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Anne Thompson provides three reasons to worry about “Gone Girl” with the public and at the Academy Awards. She just enjoyed screening the new David Fincher film “with considerable pleasure” at the New York Film Festival. Regarding the movie starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, her questions are whether it is “mainstream enough” to be a hit,” whether it is “too genre” (meaning Hitchcockian with characters doing “dastardly things”) for Academy voters, and whether its “misogyny debate” will prove to be good or bad. Thompson on Hollywood

Tim Gray offers up a dozen Oscar entries as Best Foreign Language Film that are already building buzz. The ones you should be watching: “Wild Tales” (Argentina), “Two Days, One Night” (Belgium), “Mommy” (Canada), “Beloved Sisters” (Germany), “The Golden Era” (Hong Kong), “Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem” (Israel), “Human Capital” (Italy), “Rocks in My Pockets” (Latvia), “Catinflas” (Mexico), “Ida” (Poland), “Force Majeure” (Sweden), and “Winter Sleep” (Turkey). Variety

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Kyle Buchanan brings his current “crystal ball” forecast for the Oscars with who is up and who is down. His nine films nominated for Best Picture are: “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Imitation Game,” “Interstellar,” “Into the Woods,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything,” and “Unbroken.” The Best Actor race has: Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, David Oyelowo, and Eddie Redmayne. The nominees for Best Actress are: Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Hilary Swank, and Reese Witherspoon. Vulture

Steve Pond is surprised by Russia’s “bold choice” in the Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film.  He calls the drama “Leviathan” controversial because it is a dark adaptation of the Bible’s Book of Job set against “the backdrop of corrupt Russian politics.” Many thought it would be unlikely for the Russian committee to actually choose the Andrey Zvyagintsev film. It will be distributed by Sony Pictures Classics and could now be a favorite to be nominated. The Wrap

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