"I was regularly very, very frightened making this film," says director Orlando von Einsiedel about "Virunga," which documents efforts to protect the Congo's Virunga National Park from encroaching rebel forces and an energy company looking to exploit its natural resources. The film is now one of 15 contenders on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.
"I didn't anticipate getting the [awards] attention for the song initially because my intention for the song was to create something that really captured the spirit of the civil rights movement and brought it to present day," says actor and musician Common, who co-stars in "Selma" as civil rights leader James Bevel and earned Golden Globe and Critics' Choice Award nominations for co-writing the song "Glory" with John Legend. (Watch our complete interview with Common below.)
The Irish animated film "Song of the Sea" opened on December 19 to strong reviews – as of this writing, 77 on MetaCritic and 95% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. Can it surprise in the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature despite flying under the radar? It wouldn't be the first time director Tomm Moore ambushed the Oscars.
Join the feisty discussion going on right now in our infamous message boards where Hollywood stars, directors, execs and other honchos hide behind cyber-nicknames. Sample comments below with links to those hot threads. See more here.
"Top Five" is a comeback of sorts for Chris Rock, a celebrated stand-up comic and TV host whose filmic ventures have ranged from successful (the "Madagascar" animated franchise) to not so much ("Pootie Tang," "I Think I Love My Wife," the critically drubbed "Grown Ups" films). But with "Top Five," which he wrote, directed, and stars in, he has gotten the best reviews of his film career. So why were he and the film snubbed at the Golden Globes?
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third and final installment in Peter Jackson's trilogy, is already a hit: it opened Wednesday with an impressive $24 million first-day haul. The previous two films in the franchise were also blockbusters – "An Unexpected Journey" (2012) made more than $1 billion worldwide, and "The Desolation of Smaug" (2013) earned nearly that much – but even though the films have made money on par with Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, they have not fared nearly as well with critics and awards voters.
"I was a little surprised that 'Foxcatcher' got snubbed in the best film and ensemble categories. I had read such favorable reviews of it that I thought the critics really liked it," admits Gold Derby's contest champ Amber Knieriem (Hummingbird Amber in our forums). Knieriem beat all others while predicting the Critics Choice Awards nominations, earning the #1 position on our leaderboard and winning a $100 Amazon gift certificate thanks to her 88% accuracy. See all of Knieriem's predictions here.
Also in our chat, this 40-year-old cataloguer from Utah talks about her favorite performances of the year and what she thinks the critics will name Best Picture. Below, read the entire Q&A with our 2014 Critics Choice Awards nominations contest winner.
"Though I haven't heard great things about 'Unbroken,' I was a little shocked to see that the HFPA paid no attention to Angelina Jolie. Usually they're all over her," admits Gold Derby's contest champ Michael Swan (mswan in our forums). Swan beat all others while predicting the Golden Globes Film nominations, earning the #1 position on our leaderboard and winning a $100 Amazon gift certificate thanks to his 89% accuracy. See all of Swan's predictions here.
Also in our chat, this 24-year-old film/television production company receptionist from West Hollywood, CA warns that even though Patricia Arquette ("Boyhood") is favored to win Best Supporting Actress, "You can never count out Meryl Streep ("Into the Woods"). Especially at the Golden Globes." Below, read the entire Q&A with our 2014 Golden Globes Film nominations contest winner.
The scandal over those star-bashing emails at Sony film studio could actually end up benefiting Angelina Jolie and her new film "Unbroken" at the Oscars, Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair) says in our webcam/podcast chat.
"Angelina had a very tough week with SAGs and Globes, but that was before these emails came out with Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal. Very shabby. Whatever the truth is about all of that stuff, Angelina came off as a real class act and I have a feeling that will build some sympathy for her."
Like most of Gold Derby's experts, Hogan has "Boyhood" out front for Best Picture, Director (Richard Linklater) and Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette), but he sides with me picking Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything") over Michael Keaton ("Birdman"), who now has a slight edge in the Best Actor race. See latest rankings.