Oscars News: Watch an exclusive ‘Birdman’ behind-the-scenes video with Michael Keaton

Meriah Doty offers an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette of Oscar contender “Birdman” and its star Michael Keaton. She says that the “press-shy” actor rarely does interviews, so in this case is “leaving an aura of mystery around the project.” The two-minute video shows Keaton as Riggan Thomson, “a former superhero-movie star whose career has fallen on hard times, and whose strange hallucinations suddenly begin to come to life.” Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, the film opens October 17 and also stars Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts. Yahoo Movies

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Mark Harris proclaims “the first Oscar lock of the year” is not what you might think. He believes the only “certain” contender that has actually opened in theaters nationwide is “Boyhood.” Director and writer Richard Linklater shot the film over 12 years, following a boy (Ellar Coltrane) growing to become a man. He says that being a summer film might hurt it since most Best Picture winners are released in October, November, or December. He also wonders if an unproven IFC Films can actually push it to a big win. Grantland

Ryan Lattanzio offers a new trailer for strong Oscars contender “The Imitation Game.” After a great run last month at the Toronto Film Festival, it will now premiere at the London Film Festival next week. He says the Morten Tyldum film has “all the right stuff” since it is a Brit biopic, stars an incredibly popular Benedict Cumberbatch, and has The Weinstein Company backing it. The espionage drama is about a closeted Enigma codebreaker who helps save World War II for the Allies. Thompson on Hollywood

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Steve Pond wonders if the recent obsession by Oscar voters with “feel-good” documentaries is healthy. He says that the Academy has been rewarding the “friendliest” nominees in recent years, which has divided observers of this phenomenon. This year’s champ was “20 Feet from Stardom,” a film about the lives and careers of backup singers. The previous winner was “Searching for Sugar Man,” about an unlikely resurrection of a long-lost singer. The Wrap

Scott Feinberg states that a “stunning” number of foreign language submissions this year debuted earlier at Cannes. The Oscar deadline for submissions was Wednesday, and more than 60 titles have been unveiled by their countries. Nine films at Cannes are now in the Oscar race: “Wild Tales” (Argentina), “Two Days, One Night” (Belgium), “Mommy” (Canada), “Saint Laurent” (France), “White God” (Hungary), “Timbuktu” (Mauritania), “Leviathan” (Russia), “Force Majeure” (Sweden), and “Winter Sleep” (Turkey). Hollywood Reporter

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