Oscars news: Emily Blunt goes ‘Into the Woods,’ Brad Pitt (‘Selma’) honored by Producers Guild

Anthony Delassandro kicks off this engaging profile of Emily Blunt thus: “As an actress from across the pond, [she] stood the risk of falling into the period film trap. Blunt did period earning a Golden Globe nom for her portrayal of Queen Victoria in ‘The Young Victoria’ but it’s her gutsiness and rawness that has allowed her to show off her range, playing everything from a stoner in 2008’s ‘Sunshine Cleaning’ to a gun-wielding militant in last summer’s ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ This season, Blunt takes another leap with sublime ease: She shows the world that she can sing as the Baker’s Wife in Disney’s adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical ‘Into the Woods.'” Deadline

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

Brent Lang reports: “’The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies‘ bested all comers at the foreign box office this weekend, charging to the top of the charts with $105.5 million. The Middle-earth finale has racked up $355.6 million worldwide since it began its foreign rollout last week. Of note, the film opened in first place in South Korea with $10.4 million, saw Spain’s biggest opening of the year with $6.3 million and was the top-grossing film in Italy with $5.6 million.” Variety

Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are to be receive the Visionary Award at the 26th annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 25. The team from Plan B are being honored for their films, such as last year’s Oscar champ “12 Years a Slave” and this year’s contender “Selma,” that have “breathed new life into some of the seminal — and in some cases, most painful — episodes of our shared history.” PGA

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Steve Pond notes, “In the three years in which the system has been in use by the Academy, the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. has allowed me to instruct its accountant, Debbie Britton of CMM, LLP, in a recount of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards ballots using the Oscar method. While the CCMA use a weighted system that produces a flat 10 nominees, a recount using the Academy’s preferential system would have yielded eight Critics’ Choice nominees, not 10, in each of the last three years. And each time, Academy voters went on to nominate nine.” The Wrap

Sasha Stone readily admits, “I feel lucky to be living in a time when David Fincher is making great films, dark, smart and now, funny. ‘Gone Girl,’ Fincher’s highest grossing film to date, just sailed past the $165 million mark. If you’ve never heard Fincher speak about movies, you’re in for a treat. There are few films that have stuck with me this year as much as ‘Gone Girl’ has. That isn’t a surprise, given Fincher is one of the best directors currently working — needless to say — who has not yet won an Oscar (their problem, not his).” Awards Daily

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