Friday, December 19, 2014

Oscars 2015: Shortlist of 9 announced for Foreign Language


Nine films remain in the race for the Foreign Language Oscar, the Academy announced Friday.

The list was whittled down from submissions by a record 83 countries, including first-time entrants Kosovo, Malta, Mauritania and Panama, announced in October.

Here are the films, listed in alphabetical order by country:
  • Argentina, "Wild Tales," Damián Szifrón, director;
  • Estonia, "Tangerines," Zaza Urushadze, director;
  • Georgia, "Corn Island," George Ovashvili, director;
  • Mauritania, "Timbuktu," Abderrahmane Sissako, director; (first-time entrant)
  • Netherlands, "Accused," Paula van der Oest, director;
  • Poland, "Ida," Paweł Pawlikowski, director;
  • Russia, "Leviathan," Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
  • Sweden, "Force Majeure," Ruben Östlund, director;
  • Venezuela, "The Liberator," Alberto Arvelo, director.
Belgium, Cambodia, Denmark, Italy and Palestine were the countries whose films were nominated last year.

Nominations for Foreign Language are done in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the eligible films between mid-October and Dec. 15. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The five nominees are determined by specially invited committees in New York, Los Angeles and — for the first time — London. They will spend Friday, Jan. 9, through Sunday, Jan. 11, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

New rules announced two years ago no longer require Foreign Language Film contenders to be exhibited in 35mm or DCP in their countries of origin, but still must be submitted to the Academy in those formats.

Oscar voting for nominations begins Dec. 29. We are less than 28 days away from the 87th Academy Awards nominations announcement on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at 5:35 a.m. PT.

The 87th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2014, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book review: ‘85 Years of the Oscar’ chronicles storied past of the iconic golden statuette


By James A. Molnar
TGK Editor

There is something remarkable about a golden statuette that keeps audiences interested, especially for more than eight decades.

The Academy Awards, known for its iconic Oscar statuettes, have a rabid following among cinephiles and fashionistas alike. One group watches all of the nominees and predicts the winners; another looks forward to the couture gowns and priceless baubles on the Red Carpet.

85 Years of the Oscar,” penned by film historian Robert Osborne and published by Abbeville Press last fall, captures this enthusiasm and includes stories and pictures from each year since the inception of the accolades in 1928.

An official publication of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the Oscars, the 472-page book offers meticulous details of every ceremony and the culture around it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Oscars 2015: Channing Tatum returns for 2nd ‘Team Oscar’ contest


The "Team Oscar" competition will return for February's Oscars ceremony, Channing Tatum announced via a YouTube video Wednesday.



For a second year under the title "Team Oscar," the Academy and the Oscars producers are offering the next generation of filmmakers a chance to come to its Oscars ceremony and be statuette presenters.

The difference from last year: The contest is open to all U.S. citizens, age 18-30, not just college students.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies’ ends bloated trilogy


By James A. Molnar
TGK Editor

The annual holiday Hobbit tradition is coming to an end.

Finally.

This unexpected journey from director Peter Jackson lost its spontaneity as it trundled along.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the conclusion to the trilogy out nationwide Wednesday, adds its 144-minute runtime to equal a bloated total of 474 minutes for the three-film series. That's six minutes shy of eight hours (not counting the extended edition runtimes) and about four hours too many.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oscars 2015: Shortlist of 7 announced for Makeup and Hairstyling


Seven films remain in the race for the Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, the Academy announced Monday.

On Saturday, Jan. 10, all members of the Makeup Artists and Hairstylists branch are invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each film. Members will then vote to nominate three of the films, according to the Academy.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:
  • "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"
  • "Foxcatcher"
  • "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
  • "Guardians of the Galaxy"
  • "Maleficent"
  • "Noah"
  • "The Theory of Everything"

The Academy's Board of Governors approved a rule change two years ago to rename the category from Makeup to Makeup and Hairstyling.

We are less than 30 days away from the 87th Academy Awards nominations announcement on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, at 5:35 a.m. PT.

The 87th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2014, will be presented on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Oscars 2015: 114 Original Scores in the race


Original Scores from 114 eligible feature-length films, the same number as last year and up from 2012's 104 and 2011's 97, have made the cut to contend for the 87th Academy Awards, the Academy announced Friday.

All members of the Music Branch will vote in the order of their preference for no more than five achievements. The five receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations — to vie for the Oscar — on Jan. 16.

To be eligible, "the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible," according to the Academy.

The Golden Globe-nominated score from "Birdman" is not on the list.

Here are the 114 eligible scores, along with composer, listed below in alphabetical order by film title:

Oscars 2015: 79 Original Songs in the race

Seventy-nine Original Songs from eligible feature-length films, up from last year and 2012's 75 and up from 2011's 39, have made the cut to contend for the 87th Academy Awards, the Academy announced Friday.

Members of the Music Branch will be asked to watch songs clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category. The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film, according to Academy rules.

To be eligible, a song "consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits," rules stipulate.

Rules were simplified two years ago after a stringent point system almost killed the category.

Here are the 79 songs, along with the film in which each song is featured, listed in alphabetical order by film and song title: