Oscars news: ‘Boyhood’ and ‘A Most Violent Year’ boosted by kudos from critics


Sasha Stone thinks, “the National Board of Review just aimed the race in a slightly different direction with their announcement this morning, naming J.C. Chandor’s Lumet-esque brooding meditation on American life, ‘A Most Violent Year‘ as their top pick.  Like the New York Film Critics choice of Marion Cotillard for Best Actress and Timothy Spall for Best Actor, it seemed as though someone was shaking the tree, going way outside the box.  That’s assuming, of course, that these groups are even paying attention to the awards chatter or simply and quietly doing their thing, awarding what they liked best.” Awards Daily

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

Observes Nicole Sperling: “This year’s Oscar season is already a messy one. As these critics’ groups illustrate, no one film is a true frontrunner so far. Things will start clearing up once the various guilds—actors, writers, producers and directors—start making their selections. Stay tuned; we’re just warming up.” EW

David Bloom recaps a recent interview in which, “‘The Imitation Game‘ producers Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman (‘All Is Lost’) talk about finding the story of Alan Turing, the cryptology and computing pioneer whose work helped hasten the end of WWII, and building a film that does justice to the achievements and tragedy of Turing’s life. They also talk about how easy it was (and why) to get Benedict Cumberbatch and the rest of the top-flight cast – which includes Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode and Charles Dance – to sign on.” Deadline

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Steve Pond reports, “the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival will screen 50 of the record 83 entries in the Academy Awards race for Best Foreign Language Film, continuing its longstanding tradition as the most exhaustive showcase for Oscar contenders outside of official AMPAS screenings. All films will be viewed by a FIPRESCI jury, which will choose best picture, best actor and best actress awards from the eligible films. The Wrap

Oliver Gettell wonders, “how much dust and dandruff does it take to convincingly render a world composed of Legos and inhabited by mini-figures? How do you render clouds of smoke using plastic play pieces? Such are the questions that filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller faced while crafting the animated hit ‘The Lego Movie.'” Los Angeles Times

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