Oscars News: Can Chris Rock make an awards comeback with raunchy comedy ‘Top Five’?

Pamela McClintock says that almost every studio wanted the new Chris Rock film “Top Five” after its Toronto debut. With Rock directing and Scott Rudin producing, they ultimately chose Paramount for distribution after being offered the full asking price of $12.5 million plus a marketing budget of at least $20 million. That made it the biggest deal from this year’s Toronto festival. Paramount worldwide president Megan Colligan called the comedy “an awesome blend of heart, raunch and classic New York filmmaking.” The R-rated movie will now open in December starring Rock as a comic who wants to become a serious actor. After such an enthusiastic response, it could at least be a strong contender in the Golden Globe comedy categories. Hollywood Reporter

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Thelma Adams proclaims that “The Imitation Game” has “risen to the top of the Oscar pack” after leaving Toronto with much acclaim. Other films now considered strong Best Picture contenders are “”Birdman,” Foxcatcher,” “The Theory of Everything,” and “Whiplash.” On the other hand, she feels like “The Drop,” “Clouds of Sils Maria,” and “Maps to the Stars” are now out of that conversation. Yahoo Movies

Steve Pond announces that a documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will premiere at the New York Film Festival. Directed by Oscar nominee Laura Poitras (“My Country, My Country”), the film “Citizenfour” will screen on October 10. NYFF director Kent Jones calls it “a brave documentary, but also a powerful work from a master storyteller.” Snowden began anonymously e-mailing Poitras in early 2013. The Wrap

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Scott Feinberg reports that heavyweights Stephen Sondheim, Mike Nichols, and Scott Rudin hosted a special New York screening of the new dramedy “Pride” on Monday. Directed by Matthew Warchus, it is the true story of a group of gays and lesbians in London who banded together to raise money for striking miners in Wales. The movie will be released by CBS Films on September 26 and is aiming for the comedy categories at the Golden Globes. It stars Paddy Considine, Bill Nighy, and Imelda Staunton. Hollywood Reporter

Sasha Stone discusses her love for the composing work of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who are collaborating for a third time with director David Fincher. Their film “Gone Girl” will first be seen at the upcoming New York Film Festival. Reznor and Ross won an Oscar for “The Social Network” and also worked with Fincher on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” She was very pleased they “crashed that exclusive club” within the Academy’s composer branch. Awards Daily

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