Oscars news: Behind the scenes of ‘The Imitation Game’ & ‘Selma,’ ‘Boyhood’ wins with Chicago and Toronto critics

In a fascinating first-person account, screenwriter Graham Moore candidly “discusses the final scene of ‘The Imitation Game‘, where code-breaking genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) reveals to his old colleague Joan (Keira Knightley) just how extensively the British government has persecuted him for being gay. Moore also explains why the film controversially omitted Turing’s eventual suicide via cyanide-laced apple, an act only discussed in a closing-credits title card.” Vulture

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

As Cara Buckley notes: “A colleague emerged from the Toronto International Film Festival highly annoyed that Jake Gyllenhaal’s creepy sang-froid performance in Dan Gilroy’s ‘Nightcrawler‘ was not generating a whole lot of awards buzz. Oh what a difference three months makes. Last week, Mr. Gyllenhall learned that the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the Golden Globes, nominated him for best actor. To prepare for the film, which was partly inspired by the street photographer Weegee and tracks an accident-scene videographer named Lou Bloom, Mr. Gyllenhaal lost some 30 pounds from everywhere except his eyes, which bulge like a pop-eyed cartoon character’s.” New York Times

The regional critics groups awards announcments are coming in daily now. On Tuesday, the following results were revealed:

Chicago: “Boyhood” for Picture, Director (Richard Linklater), Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette); “Birdman” for Actor (Michael Keaton), “Still Alice” for Actress (Julianne Moore); “Whiplash” for Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons). CFCA

Toronto: “Boyhood” for Picture, Director (Richard Linklater), Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette); “Locke” for Actor (Tom Hardy)’ “The Immigrant” for Actress (Marion Cotillard); “Whiplash” for Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons). TFCA

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Tim Appleo & Stephen Galloway report, “because  Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s speeches were licensed to another project, ‘Selma”s filmmakers had to find a way to re-create the meaning of words without tres­passing on his actual, historic language. That means they had to rewrite MLK, though sometimes this meant just altering a verb or two. During the scene at the funeral of civil rights demonstrator Jimmie Lee Jackson, for instance, the MLK in the film gives a rousing oratory, asking the crowd, ‘Who murdered Jimmie Lee Jackson?’ In real life, King asked, ‘Who killed him?’ In another scene, King rallies protestors with the words, ‘Give us the vote,’ while in reality King said, ‘Give us the ballot.’ The film skirts close to the words without using them. THR

In a must-read essay, Sasha Stone observes: “The Oscar race always wants to be about studio movies, for the most part, even if it’s given away Best Picture a couple of times lately to independent films made by directors from anywhere but America. Last year’s two frontrunners were directed by Mexican-born Alfonso Cuaron and British-born Steve McQueen. Yet the frontrunner is as indie as you can possibly get. Look up independent film in the dictionary and you’ll see ‘Boyhood‘ there. Cost practically nothing, premiered at Sundance, it has become ‘The Artist’ this year because nothing has come along to challenge it. Nothing has come close to the reviews its gotten, and no other film has an ‘Oscar story’ that’s better than 12 years of filmmaking edited together to look like a seamless two hour film. It’s remarkable.” Awards Daily

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