News Nuggets: Oscar-bound ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ receives ‘rapturous’ debut response

Pete Hammond reports that debut screenings for Martin Scorsese‘s “The Wolf of Wall Street” were “rapturously received” by the “packed-to-the rafters house.” Stars Leonardo DiCaprio (“simply never been better”) and Jonah Hill (“hilarious and memorable”) are “sure to gain Oscar recognition” for their onscreen “contemporary debauchery.” He also said there are “a number of remarkable set pieces including a storm-driven yacht voyage that has to be seen to be believed.” Deadline.

Tom Shaw places ABC entertainment president Paul Lee on his current “bubble watch.” He wonders if the increasing number of network failures in recent months (like “Back in the Game,” “The Goldbergs,” “Lucky 7,” and “Super Fun Night“) will cause Disney to fire him soon. TV by the Numbers.

Scott Feinberg moderates a film retrospective with actor John Goodman, an awards contender this year for “Inside Llewyn Davis.” In his sixth appearance in a Joel and Ethan Coen film, he plays Roland Turner, “an enigmatic, doped-up, crippled blues man… who spends most of his time in the back of a car driven by a young chauffeur.” The 37-minute video provides a look back at many of Goodman’s movie roles. Hollywood Reporter.

Jeff Sneider discusses the career of actor Paul Walker, who died in a car crash this weekend. Beyond the “Fast and Furious” film franchise, he provides five movie roles in which he gave “standout” performances: “Varsity Blues,” “She’s All That,” “The Skulls,” “Joy Ride,” and “Running Scared.” The Wrap.

Sasha Stone analyzes this year’s Oscar race for Best Picture and predicts there will be nine nominees again. She says it’s almost impossible to reach a maximum of ten because voters can now only provide their top five choices. Several reasons are offered, including that strong guild support helps but not conclusively and that “emotional response” is key. Awards Daily.

Two films gobble up almost 75% of the holiday weekend box office: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was first with $74 million; the debut of “Frozen” was second with $66 million. Collectively, the entire weekend of $192 million for all movies was about $6 million short of last year’ smark. Thompson on Hollywood.

Is “The Place Beyond the Pines” really an awards contender? According to Tim Gray, star Bradley Cooper and director Derek Cianfrance are hearing from “countless people” and Academy voters who have told them “how much they love the movie, and it turns out they’ve seen it recently on airplanes.” The plot-twisting film debuted last April and was one of the first to send out screeners this year. Variety.

The annual Sight & Sound poll is called the “best monitor of international critical consensus.” Their top 10 films of 2013 are (in order): “The Act of Killing,” “Gravity,” “Blue is the Warmest Color,” “The Great Beauty,” “Frances Ha,” “A Touch of Sin,” “Upstream Color,” “The Selfish Giant,” “Norte, the End of History,” and “Stranger by the Lake.” Hitfix.

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