Oscars news: ‘American Sniper’ vs. Selma,’ ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ back in theaters

Glenn Whipp wonders, “How did ‘American Sniper‘ elbow its way past ‘Selma‘ and into the hearts of academy members? Demographics offer a partial explanation. A 2013 Los Angeles Times survey of voters found the academy membership to be 93% white, 76% male with an average age of 63. In other words, this is the target audience for a Clint Eastwood war movie, not necessarily the one for a historical drama made by a black woman that shows black people changing the course of American history. Yes, just last year the academy gave its best picture prize to ’12 Years a Slave’ and an Oscar to its black director, Steve McQueen. And the academy has been making real attempts to add youth and color to its membership over the past three years, an effort that ‘will increase,’ academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs reiterated Thursday morning.” Los Angeles Times

NEW: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

Kevin Polowy delves into the Oscar nominations and discovers 14 fascinating facts. Among them: Meryl Streep isn’t the only nominee with a boatload of Oscar nominations. Cinematographer Roger Deakins — who has incredibly never won an Oscar — landed his 12th nomination for ‘Unbroken.’ Clint Eastwood earned his 11th as a producer on ‘American Sniper’ (though he was left out of the Best Director race), and has won four. Costume designer Colleen Atwood also nabbed her 11th nom for ‘Into the Woods‘; she’s won three times before. And famed composer Hans Zimmer got a 10th nomination (Best Original Score for ‘Interstellar‘); he’s won once.” Yahoo! Movies

Patrick Hilpe notes, “Fox Searchlight dodged enough champagne corks last night following its big Oscar nominations day to decide it will rerelease Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘ in select cities for special return engagements beginning today … The pic was an early starter by awards-season standards, opening in the U.S. on March 7 after a world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. It was the year’s biggest specialty bow and already is Anderson’s highest-grossing move to date with a $59.1M domestic cume and $174.6M in worldwide box office coming into the week.” Deadline

See early Oscar rankings when Experts’ predictions are combined

Cara Buckley reports, “The Women’s Media Center, which was founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem and tracks gender equity, or lack thereof, in the media, found that in nonacting categories, women made up under 20 percent of the nominees. In seven categories –directing, writing, original screenplay and more — dudes drew all of the nominations. The one place where women are establishing a foothold is in documentary features, with women winning four times in the last decade and nabbing two of five nominations this year. Documentaries aside, this imbalance, the center’s president Julie Burton said in a statement, ‘demonstrates that male voices and perspectives are largely responsible for what we see on screen.'” New York Times

Thelma Adam observes, “Only a few years ago, we women bothered by the bias in Hollywood and at the Oscars were howling more or less alone. Now, the status of women in Hollywood, and the imbalance of the Awards has become a common topic. While we can decry the snub of Ava DuVernay as a Best Director nominee, even as her movie Selma got its rightful place among the Best Picture nominees. Another thing that strikes me is the Best Actor and Actress categories. There has been a lot of talk about the weakness in the potential actress nominees and the incredibly competitive actor category. This is totally symptomatic, not of actors being superior but of male actors having better opportunities and more challenging roles.” IndieWire

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