Oscar news: ‘Big Eyes’ gets big opening, ‘Foxcatcher’ snares attention


Steve Pond reports: Tim Burton‘s “Big Eyes” was unveiled to the public on Thursday night at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the same museum that recently presented a career-spanning exhibition of Burton’s work. “Big Eyes” adds something of a change of pace to that career, though it also contains lots of the things audiences have come to appreciate about the director’s work: It’s got flashes of creepiness and abundant humor, it puts outrageousness side-by-side with emotion, it’s populated by misfits looking for a place in a sometimes hostile world, and like Burton’s 1994 film “Ed Wood” (written, as was “Big Eyes,” by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski) it tells a true story that sometimes seems too weird to have actually happened. The Wrap

For Kris Tapley: “Big Eyes” brought with it the potential for a new contender (Amy Adams) in a sorely lacking lead actress race and all the design considerations that come with a Burton experience. The crowd of LACMA members popped and seemed to really enjoy it, particularly relishing Christoph Waltz‘s over-the-top display as Walter Keane, wife of artist Margaret Keane whose “big eyes” portraits became a global sensation and forged an empire. In Contention

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Anne Thompson reveals: Bennett Miller and I have learned to talk to one another, over time. He doesn’t give up his secrets easily. He’s a serious, ambitious, deeply careful and precise filmmaker, who likes to take his time, and think, and explore, and find the heart of the story that fascinates him. With “Foxcatcher,” pushed back from its original 2013 release date before debuting to raves and winning the Best Director award at Cannes 2014, it was worth the wait. TOH

And Steve Mason has a fascinating in-depth conversation with “Foxcatcher” scripters E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman about their work on crafting this real-life tale of crime into a film. YouTube

As Sam Adams observes: It’s notoriously hard to predict which feature documentaries will end up as the film academy’s final five nominees, but surveying the field, one thing is clear: It’s been an extraordinary year for nonfiction on-screen. Even discounting long shots like “20,000 Days on Earth,” a riveting mixed-media portrait of doom-laden rocker Nick Cave, or “Actress,” which follows Brandy Burre, a onetime star of “The Wire” as she tries to reenter the business after a long hiatus, one could make a solid case for dozens of films. Los Angeles Times

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Greg Ellwood notes: Like a number of actors still in the awards season mix, Hilary Swank has been talking about her contender along with films from Sundance or Cannes for a long time. In fact, she’s been promoting Tommy Lee Jones‘ “The Homesman” from one film festival to another across the country for the past six months. Sitting in a Beverly Hills Hotel room the morning before its last stop, AFI Fest, the two-time Oscar winner admits she’s happy to have something so good to talk about. HitFix

Scott Feinberg wonders: Could the iconic musician Glen Campbell, who currently resides in a memory care facility, land an Oscar nomination? James Keach‘s “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” is a deeply moving chronicle of its 78-year-old subject’s “Goodbye Tour” after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and Campbell could score a Best Song bid for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” the last song ever recorded by the “Rhinestone Cowboy,” which plays at the end of the doc, before the credits roll. THR

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