Oscars news: ‘Interstellar’ screenings reax, sneak peeks of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘Into the Woods’


Kris Tapley reports on Thursday’s screenings of “Interstellar“: “Ever the perfectionist, Christopher Nolan was on hand at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood right up until showtime, ensuring that the venue’s image and sound were up to snuff before it before it was projected on 70mm IMAX for a capacity crowd that saw some late-comers turned away without a seat. The reaction was uproarious when the final credits rolled, a typically generous SAG audience offering pops of applause to the three cast members — Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain — that they knew were in attendance for a post-screening Q&A (Nolan did not stick around to discuss). And given an audience of actors, naturally the discussion revolved around performance.” In Contention

Glenn Whipp delves into the snub of “Foxcatcher” for Best Feature at the Gotham Awards and the special award instead. “The committee deciding the acting honors apparently found it impossible to single out any one of “Foxcatcher’s” actors — Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo. Instead, it gave the group a special jury award as an ensemble. Los Angeles Times

Oscars predictions update: Experts still backing ‘Boyhood,’ Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, …

Keith Staskiewicz goes behind the scenes of the upcoming “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” to deliver this must-read report: “Imagine Peter Jackson in a general’s cap, planted wide-stanced in front of a huge New Zealand flag, teeth clenched around a cigarette holder as he rallies his troops of CG artists. While the reality is less Patton-esque, designing and creating the 45-minute fight at the climax is much like preparing for an actual full-scale assault. ‘There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through,’ says Jackson. ‘We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.'” EW

As Alonso Duralde observes: If you watched the news on TV or read coverage last fall, you saw that one picture of Edward Snowden over and over again: bespectacled, a little harried and focused. It’s a sign of just how involved director Laura Poitras was in the Snowden story that the picture is, for all intents and purposes, a still from “Citizenfour,” Poitras’ riveting account of how she connected with Snowden, introduced him to journalist Glenn Greenwald, and helped to bring his damning revelations about the National Security Agency, and its violation of the privacy of U.S. citizens, to a global audience. The Wrap

Oscars flashback: How smart or stupid were Experts at this point last year? 

Katie Roberts previews a four-minute video featurette on “Into the Woods,” which “gives audiences their first listen to stars like Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick singing the musical’s iconic tunes. The clip is interspersed with interviews from stars like Blunt and Streep, who praise director Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and songwriter Stephen Sondheim, and discuss the timeless themes that the film portrays”. Moviefone

Scott Feinberg wonders why, “if ‘Boyhood‘ is so beloved by Academy members, and it is, then why aren’t pundits giving the actor who plays its central character, 20-year-old Ellar Coltrane, much of a shot in the best actor category? I think that they — make that “we” — should.” THR

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The academy and the Mary Pickford Foundation will continue their annual celebration of silent film with the restoration world premiere of “Little Annie Rooney” (1925) on Monday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Bing Theater on the LACMA campus. The screening is presented in conjunction with the Academy’s current exhibition Hollywood Costume, which features the costume that Mary Pickford wore in the title role. Film historian Jeffrey Vance will introduce the film and discuss Pickford’s legacy as a trailblazing actress, writer, producer and preservation advocate. Academy Film Archive Director Michael Pogorzelski will discuss the film’s restoration. Oscars

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