News Nuggets: Screenwriters gather for a roundtable discussion

This season’s highest-profile screenwriters sit down for a roundtable discussion: “Together, the six A-list screenwriters invited to participate in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual awards-season roundtable have received a whopping 12 Academy Award nominations (plus five wins). But not once during the lively hourlong discussion at Hemingway’s Lounge in Hollywood did the subject of awards or accolades come up. Instead, the panel — Pedro Almodovar, 62 (‘The Skin I Live In‘), Dustin Lance Black, 37 (‘J. Edgar‘), Oren Moverman, 45 (‘Rampart‘), Eric Roth, 66 (‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close‘), Aaron Sorkin, 50 (‘Moneyball‘) and Steven Zaillian, 58 (‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ ‘Moneyball‘) — discussed their insecurities, how Oscar winners can collaborate and what they would do if they couldn’t write.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Early reactions to “We Bought a Zoo” hit the web: “[Cameron] Crowe’s new film is being judged against his last narrative feature, ‘Elizabethtown,’ and from there, there’s no place to go but up. Curious patrons probably went in wondering if this was a step back toward the edgier filmmaking Crowe did with ‘Singles,’ ‘Almost Famous’ or ‘Vanilla Sky.’ Yet this appears to be, as Drew McWeeny on HitFix puts it, ‘a big fat right down the middle mainstream family movie.'” HOLLYWOOD NEWS

John C. Reilly, an Oscar nominee for the musical “Chicago,” tries his hand at a singing career: “… he’s going full-on legit with the release of two official singles via Third Man Records, the Nashville label headed by Jack White, who also produced both tracks. The first, a cover of the Delmore Brothers ‘Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar,’ featuring Tom Brosseau, can be found streaming on Brosseau’s website, but you’ll only find his collaboration with Becky Stark … here.” EW.COM

Martin Scorsese discusses why he’s a proponent of 3D: “I have always been fascinated by it. Even before I saw 3D films, I remember getting a packet of 10 postcards that were stereoscopic from the late 19th century and looking at them through a little device. Then there’s the wonderful View-Master which had beautiful stereo images. Not only did it immerse you in the picture, but was like a story.  I was fascinated by depth and I placed such moments carefully in ‘Hugo.'” DEADLINE

Single fathers dominate this fall’s Oscar season: “This is especially poignant in three films – ‘Moneyball,’ ‘The Descendants‘ and ‘We Bought a Zoo.’  It’s even funnier that it happens to be George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, the Oceans gang, but also the Sexiest Men Alive troika.  Remember how Clooney and Pitt were campaigning for Damon? Another thing they have in common, other than caring for their children – all three have daughters, only Damon has a son — is that they cry.  Both ‘The Descendants’ and ‘We Bought a Zoo,’ those tears are brought on by their personal relationship. In ‘Moneyball,’ the tears are more about happiness, disbelieving happiness that things worked out, for once, in Billy Beane’s life.” AWARDS DAILY

The trouble with biopics: “Biopics are as high concept as anything released as a summer tentpoles, and they always seem to be shamelessly positioned for award glory. Biopics are unique in entertainment in that all human foibles and repulsive character traits can be aired without audiences being repelled in the way they would if the antics were of a suburban non-entity. In fact, the nature of biopics, compressing a lifetime of events into a couple of hours, make them ideal for a cavalcade of a life’s more sensational and grim episodes, terribly tempting for actors to go through the gears and throw in a few cartwheels. For actors they undoubtedly represent a very good opportunity to gorge at the award trough.” THE WRAP

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