Blog: News & Views

Oscars podcast: Scott Feinberg and Tom O'Neil dish predictions

By Tom O'Neil
By Tom O'Neil
Dec 09 2013 13:03 pm
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May 23 2015 16:15 pm
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Oscars

Everybody's an Oscars genius after SAG Award and Golden Globe nominations come out, but Scott Feinberg (Hollywood Reporter) and I aren't afraid to boldly size up the derby just days before we get those tea leaves. At this point in the derby, Scott's betting on "12 Years a Slave" to win Best Picture (see his full predix here) and I'm aboard that "Gravity" rocket ship (my picks here). Both of us agree that "The Wolf of Wall Street" is a serious threat. Tune in below to hear our noodlings about all top races.

 

 

AFI's Top 10 TV Shows: 'Breaking Bad' in, 'Modern Family' out

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Dec 09 2013 12:46 pm
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May 21 2015 12:22 pm
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Reigning Emmy drama champ "Breaking Bad" was among the top 10 TV achievements of the year as named by the American Film Institute Monday.

However, four-time Comedy Series Emmy winner "Modern Family" failed to make the cut with this jury for the first time in its five-year run.

The only laffers on this list are newcomers "Orange is the New Black" and "Veep." 

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Returning for a record sixth time is the drama series "Mad Men." Also earning repeat recognition were "Game of Thrones" and "The Good Wife."

And four new dramas made the cut: "The Americans," "House of Cards," "Masters of Sex" and "Scandal."  

These TV shows, along with the winners of the movie awards, will be feted during a Jan. 10 luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

What do you think will win Best Comedy Ensemble at the SAG Awards? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.

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'Gravity,' 'Her,' '12 Years a Slave' among AFI top 10 American movies

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Dec 09 2013 12:22 pm
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May 21 2015 12:22 pm
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AFI top 10 American Film Institute movies entertainment news 13579086

The American Film Institute's list of the Top 10 Films of 2013 includes all of our likeliest Oscar contenders for Best Picture but for "The Butler" and "Blue Jasmine." 

TOP 10 FILMS OF 2013
"12 Years a Slave"
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Fruitvale Station"
"Gravity"
"Her"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Nebraska"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

However, such snubs dont rule these picture out of Oscar contention.Two years ago, the AFI overlooked eventual Oscar nominee "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." And, in 2006, the AFI failed to include eventual Oscar Best Picture champ "The Departed" among its top 10. 

Of this year's top Oscar contenders, only "Philomena" and "Blue is the Warmest Color," which just won two awards from the LA film critics, were ineligible for AFI consideration as they are foreign-made. 

Last year, the AFI named seven of the eventual nine Best Picture nominees, missing only the Gallic import "Amour" and the late release "Django Unchained." 

In 2011, eventual Oscar Best Picture winner "The Artist" was ineligible as it was a French film but it received honorary mention. In 2010, the AFI named nine of the eventual 10 Best Picture nominees, with only the champ -- British-made "The King's Speech" -- missing from the list. It too received a special prize. And in 2009, the AFI snubbed eventual Best Picture nominees "Avatar" and "Inglourious Basterds." 

These films, along with the winners of the TV awards, will be feted during a Jan. 10 luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

What do you think is going to win Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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Uh, oh: Will Leonardo DiCaprio be snubbed by Oscars again this year?

By Riley Chow
By Riley Chow
Dec 09 2013 12:10 pm
5
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May 25 2015 15:09 pm
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Leonardo DiCaprio Wolf of Wall Street Oscars movies news 13579086

It has become a running gag at just how unlucky Leonardo DiCaprio has been at the Academy Awards. Every year, he gives another great performance in another great film and we wonder if this will finally be the one that earns him that elusive win. But lately, the more important question is whether he will even be nominated.

This year, he has already headlined the spring hit “The Great Gatsby” and stars in the eagerly-anticipated “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The latter marks his fifth collaboration with Martin Scorsese, for whom he headlined the 2006 Best Picture champ "The Departed" which finally won the director an Oscar.

Despite the pedigree of this project, DiCaprio has odds of just 14 to 1 to win Best Actor, with only one Expert and one Editor, no Top 24 Users and just 5% of All Users predicting him to prevail. 

The last of his three Oscar bids was back in 2006. He was snubbed for 2008’s “Revolutionary Road,” despite earning a Globe nomination. 2010 saw his two biggest commercial successes since 2002’s “Catch Me if You Can,” with Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” but no Oscar recognition for either.

Things were looking up in 2011 when he played a closeted-gay CIA director in Clint Eastwood’s biopic “J. Edgar." The role sounded like such blatant Oscar bait that it was hilariously spoofed by Funny or Die in the fake trailer “L. DiCaprio." Indeed, DiCaprio was an early Best Actor frontrunner.  But while he reaped Globe and SAG nominations for the role, he was snubbed at the Oscars in favor of Demián Bichir -- best known for a recurring role in television’s “Weeds” -- for "A Better Life," an independent film that grossed less than a fifth of its budget.

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Last year, it looked promising as DiCaprio appeared in a film without top billing for the first time in more than a decade, thus allowing him to campaign in the traditionally less-competitive supporting category. For playing a villain in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”, he earned his eighth Globe nomination and won the National Board of Review prize. But he was overlooked by the Oscars. That marked the fifth time that he had appeared in a Best Picture contender but gone without a nomination himself.

Will Leonardo DiCaprio be nominated for Best Actor at this year's Oscars. Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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Isn't it time for the Oscars to add Best Voice-Over category? (Poll)

By Marcus James Dixon
By Marcus James Dixon
Dec 09 2013 11:30 am
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May 24 2015 19:19 pm
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The Academy Awards are far from perfect, failing to honor key aspects of motion pictures. Every year, the Oscars ignore the hard work of stunt coordinators and casting directors. And they combine hairstyling and makeup in a single category as if they're the same thing.

But the biggest oversight of this 85-year-old awardsfest is the lack of recognition for voice-over performances. (Be sure to vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.)

This year that shameful exclusion is being felt across Hollywood. You've probably already heard about about the show-stealing performance of Scarlett Johansson in "Her." However, she's been deemed ineligible by the Golden Globes because she doesn't appear physically on-screen. Johansson's story is gaining a lot of attention in the aftermath of this announcement, particularly because she still can be nominated at the Oscars and SAG ... as Best Supporting Actress. But no voice-over performer has ever contended at the Oscars.

Johansson's isn't the only voice causing an uproar. When "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is released on Dec. 13, audiences will be blown away by Benedict Cumberbatch's impressive and nail-bitingly frightening performance as the titular dragon. (Another franchise star, Andy Serkis, has had his fair share of Oscar snubs over the years as Gollum, but that's another story altogether.)

Yes, antagonists and haters will argue that audible-only performances like Johansson's and Cumberbatch's get lots of unfair help in post-production from the sound crews and visual effects wizards.

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DC critics winners: '12 Years a Slave' sweep stopped by Alfonso Cuaron ('Gravity')

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Dec 09 2013 09:56 am
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May 21 2015 12:22 pm
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After being all but shut out at the Gotham and LA critics awards, "12 Years a Slave" continues to rally with the regional groups.

On Monday, the DC scribes joined their brethren in Boston by feting the film with six prizes, including Best Picture, Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyongo), Adapted Screenplay and Score. 

LA champ Alfonso Cuaron ("Gravity") claimed Best Director and his blockbuster also won for lensing and editing. 

Oscar frontrunner Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") continued to pile up Best Actress gongs as does featured player Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club").

"Her" had to settle for just one award -- the original screenplay by helmer Spike Jonze

The full list of winners is below. After reviewing this, be sure to cast your vote for what will win Best Picture at the Oscars. 

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Watch: Secret to 'The Croods' success

By Tom O'Neil
By Tom O'Neil
Dec 08 2013 22:03 pm
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May 23 2015 16:15 pm
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<a  data-cke-saved-href=/candidates/the-croods.html href=/candidates/the-croods.html>The Croods</a>

Ever wonder why it takes three to four years to make an animated blockbuster like "The Croods," which went on to earn $587 million worldwide? Doesn't that seem like production moves at a sloth's pace? Hey, is that why there's a sloth in the story? What's really happening behind the scenes?

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News Nuggets: Kennedy Center honors Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana

By Chris Beachum
By Chris Beachum
Dec 08 2013 20:00 pm
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May 26 2015 17:28 pm
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entertainment news nuggetsThe 36th annual "Kennedy Center Honors" celebrates the careers of opera singer Martina Arroyo, jazz man Herbie Hancock, rock and pop star Billy Joel, actress Shirley MacLaine, and rock guitarist Carlos Santana. The special was taped in Washington Sunday night and will air on CBS December 29. Santana was first up and was feted by Harry Belafonte, Juanes, Tom Morrello, Buddy Guy, Sheila E., and Steve Winwood. Arroyo was then honored by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, tenor Joseph Calleja, and soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. Bill O'Reilly introduced the Hancock segment which included Snoop Dogg and Mix Master Mike. Kathy Bates began the MacLaine tribute with Sutton Foster, Patina Miller, and Anna Kendrick performing. The final tribute for Joel featured Tony Bennett, Don Henley, Garth Brooks, and Rufus Wainwright. USA Today.

entertainment news nuggetsThe Santa Barbara Film Festival taps seven stand-out performers for their Virtuosos Awards. Daniel Bruhl ("Rush"), Adele Exarchopoulos ("Blue is the Warmest Color"), Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Michael B. Jordan ("3Fruitvale Station#"), Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club"), and June Squibb ("Nebraska") will be honored on February 4. Hitfix.

entertainment news nuggetsCarrie Underwood takes to Twitter over the weekend, responding to critics who "slammed" her performance as Maria in NBC's live production of "The Sound of Music." She says, "Plain and simple: Mean people need Jesus. They will be in my prayers tonight... 1 Peter 2:1-25." Just after the special wrapped on Thursday, her prior tweet said, "I couldn't be more proud. What a tough thing to pull off and we did it! I am so blessed!" New York Daily News.

entertainment news nuggetsThe British Independent Film Awards choose "Metro Manila" as their Best Picture this weekend. James McAvoy ("Filth") is Best Actor; Lindsay Duncan ("Le Week-end") is Best Actress; Ben Mendelsohn ("Starred Up") is Best Supporting Actor; and Imogene Poots ("The Look of Love") is Best Supporting Actress. L.A. Times.

entertainment news nuggetsThe weekend box office after the Thanksgiving holidays "is usually one of the year's weakest." Disney's animated "Frozen" moves into the top slot with $31.6 million. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" falls to second place with $27 million. "Out of the Furnace" debuts in third position with a modest $5.3 million. Thompson on Hollywood.

entertainment news nuggetsScott Feinberg interviews Oscar winner Christian Bale about his new roles in awards contenders "American Hustle and "Out of the Furnace." In the lengthy Q&A, they discuss his experiences as a child actor (working in his first film with Steven Spielberg), his reservations about being famous, and his blockbuster run in the Batman franchise. Hollywood Reporter.

entertainment news nuggetsNew HBO documentary "Six by Sondheim" focuses on six songs written by Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim. Airing Monday night, the project was the brainchild of conductor James Lapine and writer Frank Rich. The 83-year-old Sondheim has won an Oscar and multiple Tony and Grammy Awards. He says, "I'm aware that the people who like my work are expecting so much. It's very hard at my age. You're getting public accolades, being reminded how people have praised you - and criticized you. You have to try to forget all that, because it can be paralyzing." USA Today.

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See how you did predicting LA Film Critics Awards

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Dec 08 2013 17:29 pm
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May 21 2015 12:22 pm
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Almost 400 Gold Derby readers predicted the winners of this year's Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards. In total, our Users logged almost 4,000 predictions. To see how you fared, log in to your account and under your profile picture click Los Angeles Film Critics Awards 2013.

Click here for a breakdown of all top scorers. To see how we fared predicting each category, click here.

Once again, this Southern California based group came up with some real headscratchers among their roster of winners. The frontrunner -- "12 Years a Slave" -- was all but shut out, taking just one award while "Her" proved to be a surprisingly strong contender, tying "Gravity" for Best Picture. 

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Even so, one of our Users -- Christian -- scored an impressive 82% and won our reader contest. His prize: a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Another 13 Users scored above our best Expert -- Edward Douglas (Coming Soon) and Editor -- Matt Noble -- who both came in at 64%.

I got 55% as did Daniel Montgomery while Rob Licuria and David Schnelwar got 46%, Tom O'Neil scored 37, Chris Beachum got 30 and Tariq Khan (Fox News) was at 28%. 

Overall, we did best at predicting two of the races with ties -- Actress and Supporting Actor -- as well as the Cinematography award for "Gravity." Our worst categories were Production Design which went to "Her" and that Animated Feature win for "Ernest & Celestine".

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