Oscars news: Michael Keaton on passion of ‘Birdman,’ Richard Linklater on casting ‘Boyhood’

Among those Ryan Lattanzio chatted with after the Oscar nominees luncheon was Michael Keaton who spoke candidly about working with “Birdman” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: “He was passionate and crazy and at the end he was more passionate and crazier. He’s become a very good friend… I had seen [his] really diverse films and was an enormous fan, like everyone I think, and [‘Birdman’ is a] movie where there’s no choice but to be intimate and talk and he’s extremely open and forthcoming about his personal life and what he thinks about things. It really transfers to the film.” Thompson on Hollywood 

UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

Kevin Polowy reflects on six Oscar categories that no longer exist: “What began in 1929 as a private dinner with just 15 categories has evolved into an hours-long affair featuring 24 awards and 124 Jack Nicholson reaction shots. Along the way, the Academy has tweaked, trimmed, or altogether tossed some of the Oscar categories — some of which didn’t make sense as the years go on, and a few of which never made much sense to begin with. As we gear up for the 87th Annual Academy Awards (Feb. 22), here’s a look back at a number of categories that have gone extinct: Best Director, Comedy Picture (1929) — Humor fans have long begrudged the Oscars for not recognizing works of comedy.” Yahoo Movies 

Cara Buckely observes: “Richard Linklater’s crowning cinematic achievement, ‘Boyhood,’ seems locked neck-and-neck with Alejandro G. Inarritu’s ‘Birdman‘ in the race for best picture. Yet way back in the early aughts, when Mr. Linklater decided to move ahead with his idea of filming a fictional family over a dozen years, he wasn’t sure if such a movie could even work. The idea hinged on finding the right boy, which Mr. Linklater did in Ellar Coltrane, who was cast when he was 6.” New York Times 

See Oscar rankings when Experts’ predictions are combined

Richard Horgan writes, “Remember the time the Oscars were hosted by Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn and Warren Beatty? Of course you don’t. Back in those days, the Academy liked to enlist multiple MCs and people still tended to read print newspapers. On the morning of Tuesday March 27, 1977, Best Actress winner Faye Dunaway (‘Network’) posed for a famous photo, poolside at another LA institution, surrounded by that morning’s newspapers … photographer Terry O’Neill and Dunaway married in 1983, the year of Shirley MacLaine/’Terms of Endearment’ and parted in 1987, the year of Cher/’Moonstruck.'” FishBowl NY

For Sasha Stone, “This year calls for an extraordinary winner in the Best Picture category. If Richard Linklater wins Best Director he’ll have broken a four year streak of directors from other countries winning the prize. With so many British imports in the acting, writing and directing category, it brings up the argument about what is happening to storytelling in this country? What is happening to our actresses? What is happening to our directors? I don’t know many things. I don’t know what drives a consensus to align behind one movie. I don’t know why anyone would choose Boyhood over any other film but I do know that once in a lifetime movies like that don’t come around very often. When they do, and when they’re rewarded with gold statues it makes the whole ugly game seem worth it; what are awards meant for but the extraordinary?” Awards Daily

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