Oscars news: ‘The Imitation Game’ honored by Human Rights Campaign, 10 Best Actor nominations?

The Human Rights Campaign announced that the cast and filmmakers of “The Imitation Game” will be honored at the group’s upcoming New York Gala Dinner in January. “We are proud to honor the stars and filmmakers of The Imitation Game for bringing the captivating yet tragic story of Alan Turing to the big screen,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Alan Turing was a true hero who saved countless lives with his revolutionary thinking and determination. Yet during the most tragic part of his lifetime, he stood alone and endured unimaginable torment and shame because he was gay. This film will give millions across the globe a chance to celebrate a truly brilliant man for his groundbreaking contributions to the world.” HRC

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

In a compelling first-person essay, “Whiplash” writer/director Damien Chazelle admits, “when I decided to write a movie about my experiences as an aspiring big band jazz drummer, I hoped that by zeroing in on a world I had lived in and showcasing the details that were particular to that world — the ticking clocks of the rehearsal rooms, the padded soundproofing of the practice booths, the trombonists emptying spit valves, the popped blisters and bleeding hands — I might be able to examine how that world reflected America as a whole.” Los Angeles Times

Pete Hammond observes, “Just as the Academy did in expanding the best picture race to allow for as many as 10 nominees in any given year, they should do the same for the acting races. While we are at it, the directors as well. There are at least 30 legitimate, viable contenders for lead actor this year. Why not at least offer voters the opportunity to recognize up to 10 of them? You might say that wouldn’t make sense because, conversely, this year there aren’t enough worthy lead actress candidates to even fill out that category as it is now. I actually don’t agree with that as far as this year’s crop goes, but, even if it is true, then nominate only three. Or four. Or whatever. Why, in other words, does it have to be a fixed number?” Deadline

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Matt Patches notes that “Antonio Sanchez and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu lost their bid with the Academy’s music branch to have ‘Birdman‘ compete in the Best Original Score category. After the initial move to disqualify the improvised, drum-centric score on grounds that it didn’t fill enough of the film’s runtime, protest from Team ‘Birdman’ resulted in a consistent decision. Why? We jumped on the phone with Sanchez to hear his thoughts and break down the situation. The Academy is known for their dark and mysterious rules, but in this case, it stands out as a move against originality.” In Contention 

Scott Feinberg reports: “A Kansas City man who filed a civil suit Friday against Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and others involved in the making of the documentary “Citizenfour” has also taken his case to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, arguing that the movie should be disqualified for Oscar consideration. He based his claim on the fact that footage that Poitras shot of Snowden appeared online in 2013, arguing that violates Academy rules that require a film to have a theatrical run before it appears online or on TV. But after reviewing the case, the Academy has decided that the movie is eligible.” THR

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