Oscars news: Oprah and ‘Selma’ stars visit Ellen DeGeneres, ‘Boyhood’ celebrated

As Jason Hughes recounts: “Ellen DeGeneres invited the stars of ‘Selma‘ to her show on Friday, sitting down with Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo. She talked about the power of the film, which tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s voting rights marches of 1965, and how it impacted her emotionally. ‘I would have marched with you,’ DeGeneres said, adding that not only did she cry thoughout the film, but she could tear up just thinking about it … and in fact seemed about to do just that while talking about it.” The Wrap 


UPDATED: Experts’ Oscars predictions in 24 categories

Pete Hammond observes, “This is still a very big weekend in the first phase of the season, with tons of parties, the BAFTA tea and Independent Film brunch both on Saturday, and of course the Golden Globes on Sunday. Those results will obviously have no influence on the Oscar nominations, but certainly their noms might have convinced Oscar voters to check out some of the movies they may have missed. This remains a wide-open race:  No surefire winner has emerged, so that makes the nail-biting even more intense than usual.” Deadline

Sasha Stone delivers a fascinating insider’s look at campaigning as she reports on a party for the DVD launch of “Boyhood“: “It isn’t often I get to spend an evening with Academy members. At first I wasn’t sure who the attendees would be. This crowd seemed much older than the hipper faces I saw the last time I partied at the Chateau during Oscar season. This crowd were generally men and women over 40, into their 50s, 60s, and 70s. 90% were white. Their faces looked almost famous. I saw an almost Tea Leoni and an almost Robert De Niro. I saw tightened skin covering features that once must have been striking and angular. I saw a lot of comfortable people, relaxed in who they were, drinking, hugging, chatty. The mood was bubbly and celebratory. I saw Indiewire’s Bill Desowitz. When I said, “wow. This is quite the scene.” He said, ‘this is what it feels like to be at a party with the frontrunner.’” Awards Daily

See latest Oscar rankings when the Experts’ predictions are combined

Larry Rohter reports: “The nine films on the shortlist for this year’s Oscars, to be awarded Feb. 22, include two, from Georgia and Estonia, that take place during the same little-known conflict that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union: the 1992-93 war between the newly independent republic of Georgia and Russian-supported rebels from the breakaway province of Abkhazia. But the similarities between Estonia’s ‘Tangerines‘ and Georgia’s ‘Corn Island‘ don’t stop there. In both cases, the main character is a white-haired grandfatherly figure trying amid the chaos and violence to cultivate the crops that have always provided him with sustenance and a livelihood, and in both films his ancient, pacific routine is threatened when the Abkhazian conflict delivers wounded combatants to his front door and circumstance forces him to hide them.” New York Times

Scott Feinberg notes, “this year, many of the most buzzed-about Oscar hopefuls were actually shot, in whole or in large part, in Hollywood — among them ‘American Sniper,’ ‘Cake,’ ‘Chef,’ ‘The Gambler,’ ‘Inherent Vice‘ and ‘Nightcrawler‘ — an encouraging fact that will be celebrated at the fourth annual Made-in-Hollywood Honors on Feb. 2 at the site of the old Hollywood Brown Derby at 1600 Vine.” THR

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