Oscars news: Is Julianne Moore (‘Maps to the Stars’) in or out as Best Actress?

 Sasha Stone takes a look at the Best Actress race in the context of the potential absence of Cannes champ Julianne Moore (“Maps to the Stars“). “I personally think the role and her overdue status give her the stuff to drive it home to a win (think: Charlize Theron in ‘Monster’). I also think it’s premature to assume the Oscar voters are too soft to handle a movie like this. Most of them came of age during Ken Russell and Robert Altman, for chrissakes.” Awards Daily

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Host John Horn sits down with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to talk about “Birdman.” Among the tasty tidbits, this on casting Michael Keaton: “I always have considered Michael Keaton to be a phenomenal actor because he navigates drama and comedy. He has been the bad guy, the funny guy, and I needed somebody who can really navigate those two genres and I think few actors can do that. What he did is extraordinarily difficult, honestly. I think I have worked with great actors, but what he did it was almost a miracle, I have to say.” The Frame

Chris Willman counts down his seven takeaways from Telluride. For him, #1 was “Telluride isn’t always going to be a Best Picture bellwether.” As he explains: “What attendees did get were three films with very strong chances of getting Best Picture nominations … all with perceived handicaps strong enough that no one would consider any of them a shoo-in to win. “Birdman”: great … and weird. “Foxcatcher”: great … and grim. “The Imitation Game”: great … and slick, maybe even by the Academy’s standards.” The Wrap

Scott Feinberg considers “The Homesman, a film that could reap Hilary Swank a third Oscar: “The two roles for which Swank won her Oscars were also women inhabiting unconventional roles in society: one a woman transitioning into becoming a man and the other a woman who enters the historically male world of boxing. Hey, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (Roles of women who appear to be schoolmarms but later prove to be something else have been nominated by the Academy in the past, the most famous example being Katharine Hepburn in 1951’s The African Queen, with which this film shares more than a little in common.)” The Race

 Kyle Buchanan proclaims that “nobody loves other actresses more than Jessica Chastain.” He says that most women would simply compete with others for the few three-dimensional parts and awards. This two-time Oscar nominee and cinephile, however, has been known to publicly praise recent performances from Scarlett Johansson, Shailene Woodley, Cate Blanchett, and Emmanuelle Riva and many others. Vulture

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Sean O’Connell says that “The Imitation Game” and its star Benedict Cumberbatch are earning “authentic, palpable buzz” at Telluride this week. Directed by Morten Tyldum, the film is a true-life story of a World War II codebreaker who broke Germany’s Enigma code. He should have been celebrated in his home country of England, but he was outed as homosexual and prosecuted. Cinema Blend

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