Oscars News: Is ‘Whiplash’ the perfect under-the-radar Oscar dark horse?

Sasha Stone wonders if the indie film “Whiplash” is “flying under the radar nicely” to become perfectly positioned for an Oscar Best Picture nomination. She calls it a “bit hard to take at times” but that it could “fit nicely” next to another coming of age nominee “Boyhood.” The film stars Miles Teller and Best Supporting Actor frontrunner J.K. Simmons. Other dark horse candidates might be “The Good Lie” starring Reese Witherspoon (who is probably better positioned for her other lead role in “Wild“) and “Get On Up” starring Chadwick Boseman as showman James Brown. Awards Daily

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Linda Ge reports that the Critics’ Choice Awards are jumping over to the A&E Network after years on CW. The Broadcast Film Critics Association votes on these awards, and they are one of the best barometers in predicting future Oscar nominations and winners. The 20th annual edition will air live on January 15 from the Hollywood Palladium. The new network will also telecast the recently-added television awards each June. The Wrap

Gregory Ellwood and Kris Tapley debate the merits of this year’s Oscar race for Best Actor, calling it “the most crowded” ever. They also call it “the least racially diverse” yet with “minorities few and far between.” Their headline singles out Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Michael Keaton with other contenders possibly being Ben Affleck, Chadwick Boseman, Steve Carell, Ellar Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jake Gyllenhaal, Matthew McConaughey, Bill Murray, Jack O’Connell, David Oyelowo, Eddie Redmayne, and Timothy Spall. HitFix

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Scott Feinberg asks if an undocumented American might land an Oscar nomination this season. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas has a new documentary about his experiences as in immigrant in America. His film “Documented,” which has already had a brief qualifying run, is about his fight for immigration reform. He says that some of his influences have been author James Baldwin and directors Robert Altman, Frederick Wiseman, and Mike Nichols. Hollywood Reporter

Meriah Doty interviews actor Jeremy Renner about his new passion project “Kill the Messenger.” Opening this Friday, Renner plays embattled journalist Gary Webb, who uncovered a shocking U.S. government conspiracy in the 1990s. The two-time Oscar nominee used his clout to get the true-life movie made and refers to Webb as “courageous and brave.” Yahoo Movies

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