News Nuggets: Why Oscar campaigns are better than political campaigns

Tim Grierson explains why Oscar campaigns are better than political campaigns: “Now that the presidential election is finally over, we can turn our attention to another never-ending campaign: Academy Award season … Let’s be clear: I’m not trying to minimize the importance of elections. As opposed to Oscar handicapping, they’re actually a meaningful part of our democracy that can shape the future of our country. But after enduring months of political ads and televised debates, I recognize that certain elements of awards season aren’t nearly as toxic. For that, we can be grateful.” IFC

MoMA screens the Gotham Awards nominees for Best Undistributed Film. From the press release: “MoMA’s Department of Film, in collaboration with IFP and its quarterly publication Filmmaker Magazine, will screen the five nominees for the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You Award. The nominees, selected by Filmmaker’s editorial staff and Joshua Siegel, Associate Curator, Department of Film, MoMA, represent the year’s best American independent films on the festival circuit that have yet to be picked up for theatrical distribution.  The winner receives a one week run at Cinema Village, ad support in the New York Times and a $15,000.00 grant.  Filmmaker Q&A’s will follow many of the screenings.”

Tim Goodman wonders if season two developments on “#Homeland#” could hurt the show’s momentum: “Few series have careened as drastically — with exhilaration and creativity — from the beginning to the end of a season as Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ during its first season … Ah, but it’s early yet. It’s wonderful to get that hardware — and stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes were exceptional in their Emmy-winning performances — but true greatness is earned with time. Television is a living, breathing, endless story that is so difficult to keep sharp episode to episode, season to season. That’s why so few series are unquestionably brilliant. As season two moves onward for Homeland — it has been equally spectacular this year, following up on jaw-dropping twists from season one — some of the nagging worries I had about the show from the start have started to pop up.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Sasha Stone wonders if cinematographer Roger Deakins on his way to his 10th losing Oscar bid: “All props to In Contention‘s astute Oscar pundit (I’m sure he’ll hate that description) Kris Tapley  for pointing out that of ‘Skyfall’s’ potential nominations — Sound, Sound Editing — Cinematography is certainly among them … Cinematography goes with Best Picture when there is a near sweep of the categories. But when it doesn’t go to Best Picture it either goes to a strong Best Picture candidate as a consolation prize or else it’s totally off the wall, like ‘Legends of the Fall.’ To beat Deakins now, though, you have to either sweep or be a movie that almost wins Best Picture, or has strong enough support in the Academy to overcome what is now an embarrassing oversight … Deakins winning for ‘Skyfall’ after losing for ‘No Country for Old Men,’ ‘Jesse James,’ ‘Kundun’ and ‘The Man Who Wasn’t There’ is like Al Pacino finally winning for ‘Scent of a Woman,’ but hey, better late than never.” AWARDS DAILY

Paul McCartney teams with Adele producer Paul Epworth for his next album: “He picked up a couple of Grammys, penned Bond theme ‘Skyfall‘ with Adele, and became a dad. But if that wasn’t good enough, he’s now had a call from Sir Paul McCartney to work on new music together. The Beatles legend has started sessions for a solo record, likely to be released next year, which is great news in itself … Kings of Leon producer Ethan Johns and Mark Ronson have also been involved in early sessions. Now he has Epworth on board and if it works out the results should be very interesting. The Londoner helped to shape Plan B’s ‘The Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ album as well as Florence and the Machine’s ‘Lungs’ and ‘Ceremonials.'” THE SUN

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