Oscar news: Secrets of ‘Interstellar,’ preview of ‘Selma’

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Kevin Polowy delves into the secrecy surrounding “Interstellar” with writer/director Christopher Nolan: “It’s very important to try to preserve the experience for the audience. I think ‘Interstellar,’ more than any other film I’ve made, really benefits from people not knowing too much about the story.” Yahoo! Movies

The Hollywood Film Awards, which will make their TV debut Nov. 18 on CBS, announced a slew of winners for the craft prizes: Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”); Costume Design (Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”); Editing (Jay Cassidy and Dody Dorn, “Fury”); Production Design (Dylan Cole and Gary Freeman, “Maleficent”); Score (Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”); Sound (Ren Klyce, “Gone Girl”); and Visual Effects (Scott Farrar, “Transformers: Age of Extinction”). HFA

Sasha Stone tallies up scores from the members of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Assn., which bestows the Critics’ Choice Awards, on the hottest Oscar contenders and finds “Boyhood” leads with 96 followed by “Whiplash” at 93. However, as she notes, “the BFCA isn’t the be all, end all, it’s kind of a good barometer of how they will vote. On the other hand, ‘Nine’ once led the Critics Choice nominations with a 79 score overall.” Awards Daily 

Oscar experts: ‘Boyhood’ will win 5, ‘Interstellar’ 4, ‘Birdman’ 2

Emily Blake recaps the first trailer for “Selma“: “Directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb, the film covers the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, as Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) led a movement to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The film will culminate in the march from Selma to Montgomery and President Johnson’s (Tom Wilkinson) signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” EW

Steve Pond sits down with “A Most Violent Year” writer/director J.C. Chandor to discuss the film, “featuring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as a married couple whose New York City business runs into trouble during 1981.” As Chandor reveals: “I’d always been fascinated with mom-and-pop shops, and how some of them remain mom-and-pop shops and others grow to become huge multinational corporations. What makes that difference?” The Wrap

As Bill Desowitz reports, “Designing wormholes, black-holes and other space-time-bending phenomena was a first for production designer Nathan Crowley, who approached Christopher Nolan‘s ‘Interstellar‘ like a kid in a candy store. ‘As a director and designer, we realized that we had to be quite brave here. Something new,’ says Crowley, who has twice been Oscar-nominated for Nolan films ‘The Prestige’ (2006) and ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008). This year, there’s no question that he is the frontrunner.” Thompson on Hollywood

Oscars flashback: How smart or stupid were Experts at this point last year? 

Ryan Lattanzio previews “The Gambler,” which will screen as part of the AFI Fest on Nov. 10. “Borrowing liberally from James Toback‘s original script, this remake of Karel Reisz’ 1974 thriller follows Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg, stepping into James Caan‘s shoes), an English professor and high-stakes gambler who borrows from a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) and hands over his own life as collateral. As he enters an illicit underground world (what else is new?), Bennett juggles his wealthy mother (Jessica Lange), a loan shark (John Goodman) and a relationship with a student (Brie Larson).” Thompson on Hollywood

Kris Tapley reports: Emboldened by “Birdman”’s box office impact in limited release so far, Fox Searchlight will be expanding the film to nearly 50 more markets this week, bringing its theater count up to 450. Hopefully if it’s been elusive for you, the film will finally make it close to your neck of the woods. In the meantime, however, the studio has a fun treat for you: the trailer for Riggan Thompson’s “Birdman Returns!” In Contention

Susan King interviews Harry Belafonte, who will receive the Hersholt Huminatarian honorary Oscar at this Saturday’s Governor Awards. As academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs observes, “Mr. Belafonte has been an activist his whole life.” Los Angeles Times

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