News Nuggets: Did Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight’ ruin the Oscars?

Did Christopher Nolan ruin the Oscars? Mark Harris discusses the 2009 decision moving from five Best Picture nominees each year to 10 due to Nolan’s hit “The Dark Knight” failing to get into that field. He states that “lots of silly reasoning went into this decision…that if the Oscars continued to recognize movies like ‘Milk’ but not the ones that were grossing half a billion dollars in the U.S., they would soon be doomed.” His research shows that a recent trend resulting from this move has a less diverse field within the top categories. For 2013, only 11 films are represented in the top six categories of picture, director, acting – the nine picture nominees plus “August: Osage County” and “Blue Jasmine.” Grantland.

Two-time Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino abandons “The Hateful Eight” as his next film. Even though he only gave his brand new ensemble Western script to a small number of people, it has somehow leaked within the industry. Saying he is “very, very depressed” in an exclusive by Mike Fleming, Jr., he personally provided the screenplay to actors Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth. He believes that one of them “let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood.” Deadline.

Nick Venable analyzes the Oscar race for Best Original Screenplay and determines that the frontrunner is “Her.” Written by the film’s director Spike Jonze, he calls it “a story that transcends genre and gets to the heart of who we are as people.” He believes “American Hustle” and “Blue Jasmine” are strong contenders, but that “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Nebraska” are dark horses. Cinema Blend.

Jonah Hill speaks out to Howard Stern and says he wanted to work with director Martin Scorsese so much that he took the SAG minimum of $60,000 for his role in “The Wolf of Wall Street.” That decision turned into a surprise Oscar nomination last week. Of the nod he said, “I honestly was not expecting this, on a level you can’t even imagine. Again, I’m clearly in shock.” E! Online.

Three of the toughest Oscar categories to predict tend to be the shorts (animated, documentary, and live action). Beginning January 31, they will be accessible to most everyone with video-on-demand. Some of the outlets to view all of these films will be iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and DirecTV. HitFix.

Legendary rocker Neil Young is celebrated by the Recording Academy’s producer and engineer wing. As part of Grammy week, he received the award for his artistic creativity and philanthropy Tuesday night at The Village, a historic Los Angeles recording studio. On stage he told the behind-the-scenes crowd, “You’re honoring me, you’re honoring yourself. It’s not me. It’s you.” USA Today.

The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) names “12 Years a Slave” as its best film of the year. Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club“) and Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) are the lead acting winners. James Franco is singled out as the Wilde Artist of the year. In the television categories, top honors go to “Behind the Candelabra,” “Orange is the New Black,” and “Girls.” Hollywood Reporter.

Lifetime’s “Flowers in the Attic” scores the most basic cable viewers of any original movie since November, 2012. Based on the 1979 horror novel by V.C. Andrews, it brought in 6.1 million total viewers when it premiered Saturday. The film stars Ellen Burstyn, Heather Graham, and Kiernan Shipka. TV Line.

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