News Nuggets: Casting Society of America honors Ben Affleck

Kris Tapley analyzes the Oscar race for Best Animated Feature: “Currently there are 18 titles assumed eligible for the award, which has been dished out at the annual Oscars for 11 years now. And that 12-year history has shown an interesting progression for the category … traditional animation is well-represented amid the usual CG flurry in 2012, as is stop-motion. A pair of this year’s contenders even make brief use of live action footage, while another uses traditional two-dimensional animated characters placed into computer-generated 3D environments. Claymation even makes an appearance in one instance.” IN CONTENTION

Tony Awards Adminstrative Committee meets for the first time to consider eligibility for 2013 awards. From the press release: “The four productions discussed include: ‘Harvey’; ‘Bring It On: The Musical’; ‘Chaplin’ and ‘An Enemy of the People’. The committee has made the following determinations: Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in ‘Harvey.’ Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren will each be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for their performances in ‘Bring It On: The Musical.’ Rob McClure will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in ‘Chaplin.’ Boyd Gaines will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in ‘An Enemy of the People.’ All other eligibility determinations were consistent with the opening night credits.”

Ben Affleck among Casting Society honorees: “The Casting Society of America has announced the honorees for the Artios Awards for outstanding film, TV and theatre casting, given out at twin ceremonies at New York’s XL Nightclub and Los Angeles’s Beverly Hilton on Oct. 29, when the winners for Outstanding Achievement in Casting will also be announced … ‘Argo‘ director/star Ben Affleck will receive the Career Achievement Award (previously won by Quentin Tarantino and Dick Wolf). The Hoyt Bowers Award goes to ‘Argo’ casting director Lora Kennedy (past winners include Meg Liberman and Ellen Chenoweth). Harvey Fierstein wins the New York Apple Award, as have Mike Nichols and Tony Kushner in past years.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Unseen films loom large in the Oscar race: “Friday’s opening of ‘Cloud Atlas‘ and next week’s bow of ‘Flight‘ will introduce two more Oscar contenders to the masses, but they won’t change the film community’s waiting game. Waiting for ‘Les Miserables.’ Waiting for ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’ Waiting to see if those or any other highly anticipated end-of-year releases will seize the reins at the next Academy Awards or whether the race will continue to comprise a cluster of films without a frontrunner for the grand prize. Some years, an early season leader completes its journey to Oscar glory (say, ‘Forrest Gump’), while others fall just shy of the ultimate honor (‘Saving Private Ryan’). Other years, eventual Oscar winners don’t emerge until other contenders stumble, as was the case with ‘Gladiator.'” VARIETY

Sasha Stone on the scarcity of great female characters in American film: “Most of the best actress performances this year function as supporting female characters, even when they’re leads. There are a few that don’t, especially if they were made in other countries. Go to the Cannes Film Festival if you want to see movies about women as people rather than women as mattresses, eye-candy or ego-propper-uppers. In these films a woman’s internal life and character arc are important on their own, and don’t depend on the male’s story arc. Movies like ‘Beyond the Hills‘ (Romania’s foreign language entry), or ‘Rust and Bone,’ or ‘Amour‘ present audiences with a whole different spectrum of life than we’ve become conditioned to see over here … It is different on TV. Look at Carrie on ‘Homeland‘ or Olivia on ‘Law and Order: SVU.’ The pressure to make bank isn’t as urgent on TV or in films made on a smaller scale in other countries. This scarcity of strong leading women on the big screen is uniquely American. That’s the free market for you. Leave it up to the suits in the corporate suite and it’s all white male all the time.” AWARDS DAILY

“Saving Private Ryan” stars Tom Hanks and Matt Damon reunited for “Colbert Report” segment: “Tom Hanks enlisted the help of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ castmate Matt Damon to help educate kids about Halloween costumes on ‘The Colbert Report.’ And no, Hanks promised us, his appearance did not have anything to do with promoting his new film, ‘Cloud Atlas.’ Damon and Stephen Colbert didn’t sound entirely convinced.” THE WRAP

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