Oscars news: Angelina Jolie had ‘fun’ making ‘Unbroken,’ Mark Wahlberg on remaking ‘The Gambler’

In this fascinating feature, Anne Thompson recaps the making of “Unbroken” and concludes with a compelling Q&A with director Angelina Jolie who admitted, “What could be more fun than retracing the footsteps of somebody you really love and admire, and every day you learn from them? How do we shoot 47 days in a raft and move everybody in the raft? And then you’re smiling to yourself thinking, ‘How did they do this? Where did they sleep?’ What a great challenge.” Thompson on Hollywood

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 19 categories

The regional critics groups awards announcments are coming in daily now. On Wednesday, the following result was revealed:

Phoenix: “Birdman” for Picture, Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Actor (Michael Keaton), Supporting Actress (Emma Stone); “Wild” for Actress (Reese Witherspoon); “Whiplash” for Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons). PFCS

As Kyle Buchanan observes in his intro to a must-read interview: “In Rupert Wyatt‘s ‘The Gambler,’ Mark Wahlberg plays Jim, a hollow-cheeked college professor (Wahlberg lost 60 pounds for the role) with a compulsion to spend his nights throwing good money after bad on the blackjack table. A remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan, ‘The Gambler’ hands Wahlberg his flashiest character in years, and as the actor told Vulture last week, he didn’t take that opportunity for granted. Here’s what Wahlberg had to say about his intense preparation, how he turned his career around, and what he makes of those Sony leaks blasting actors like Angelina Jolie.” Vulture

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Pete Hammond chats with “Selma” star David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay. “Oyelowo, nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance as King, talks about his ‘dramatic and spiritual connection’ to the script when he first read it. And DuVernay talks about the challenges of carving out a tale that can fit into a film’s two-hour space from the vast canvas of King’s ‘very episodic’ life. Deadline

Kris Tapley writes: “I’ve delighted in seeing the “Nightcrawler” star pop up on a few critics’ nominations lists, and even win. But as Jake Gyllenhaal slowly works on cracking the Best Actor five, Rene Russo‘s stunning work needs to be remembered, too. I watched the film again last night and a few things stood out (not that they didn’t on first pass). It’s smooth as hell, for starters, clicked into place thanks to a water tight script that is just a dazzling showcase for actors. Also, Robert Elswit, man. But Russo in particular continues to stand out this season to me with her depiction of a forthright, determined news division head desperate for ratings.” In Contention


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