Ramin Setoodeh declares that Steve Carell is a lock for Oscar recognition this year in the new Bennett Miller film “Foxcatcher.” He says the comedic actor “gives one of the most transformative performances of the year.” Even though the Academy Awards are over eight months away, he adds that the kickoff to awards season has now happened at the Cannes Film Festival with this film’s debut. Carell plays the schizophrenic millionaire John du Pont, who murders Olympic wrestler David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) after befriending his brother Mark (Channing Tatum) in 1996. He says that Carell is “barely recognizable” with a prosthetic nose, false teeth, and receding hairline. Variety.
NBC is poised to win the current TV season in the key 18-49 demo for the first time ina a decade. They have seen a 13% spike over last year. Its best improvement was on Mondays, with a 39% gain provided by new program “The Blacklist” with James Spader and Megan Boone. CBS remains the top overall network for the sixth straight year, followed by NBC, ABC, and then Fox. Deadline.
Groundbreaking cinematographer Gordon Willis dies at age 82. He was nicknamed the “Prince of Darkness” by fellow lenser Conrad Hall for his daring use of shadow. His work, especially in the 1970s, helped define the aesthetics of that era. He earned Oscar nominations for Woody Allen‘s “Zelig” (1983) and Francis Ford Coppola‘s “The Godfather, Part III” (1990). He received an honorary Academy Award in 2009. Other films in his career included “Annie Hall,” “Manhattan,” “The Godfather,” “The Godfather, Part II,” “Klute,” “The Parallax View,” and “All the President’s Men.” L.A. Times.
The blockbuster animated film “Frozen” will live on next as a Disney on Ice show beginning this September. The double Oscar winner starring the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and Idina Menzel has made over 1.2 billion worldwide. The production will feature 39 cast members, treating the audience to the chill from a giant blizzard created by 20 snow machines. A Broadway musical is also in the works but will take much longer to develop. Hollywood Reporter.
The Motion Picture Academy launches a new digital documentary-style video series called “Academy Originals.” The first three videos are now available on their website. They include “Let’s Go to the Movies with Patton Oswalt” (with a look at their film archive), “Not Much to See” (how blind people enjoy movies), and “Creative Spark” (writer and director Tina Gordon Chism on her creative process). AMPAS.
Singer and songwriter Lionel Richie is slated to receive the lifetime achievement award at next month’s BET Awards. He will also perform on the ceremony, set for June 29 at the Nokia Theatre and hosted by comedian Chris Rock. Richie is a five-time Grammy champ and also won an Oscar for the song “Say You, Say Me” in 1985. Previous recipients of this honor have included James Brown, Whitney Houston, the Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight, and Diana Ross. Entertainment Weekly.
Awards magnets Joel and Ethan Coen announce their follow-up film to last year’s acclaimed “Inside Llewyn Davis.” “Hail Caesar” is about a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s who works for the studios to protect their stars from bad press. The main character of Eddie Mannix will be played by Coen favorite George Clooney. HitFix.