LOS ANGELES — As always, there were a number of surprises Thursday morning with the announcement of the 87th Academy Awards nominations, but one of the biggest ones was Marion Cotillard's nod in the lead actress category for "Two Days, One Night."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards Thursday morning and Fox Searchlight's "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel" led all nominees with nine each. "The Imitation Game" followed with eight and "Boyhood" and "American Sniper" each found six nominations. "The Theory of Everything," "Whiplash," "Interstellar" and "Foxcatcher" were the other films to receive major recognition earning five each.
Harold Ramis, the man behind "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day," passed away last February at the age of 69. Like many, the Writers Guild of America hasn't forgotten the impact he made over a 38-year career. The organization announced Tuesday that they will honor the writer/director/actor with the WGA's 2015 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony next month. Ramis' wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and family will accept the award on his behalf.
BEVERLY HILLS — Once the Golden Globes show is over, the party really begins. Actually, let's rephrase that: that's when the "parties" begin. This year there were six on the grounds of the Beverly Hilton and another just a few miles away. But, as you'd suspect, the place to be is where the winners are and for the movie world that meant the FOX/20th Century Fox/Fox Searchlight shindig or the now legendary annual Warner Bros./In Style fete. The former featured big winners from "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Birdman," "How To Train Your Dragon 2" and FX's "Fargo." The latter is the party where every possible movie, TV and music star collides in a shoulder-to-shoulder extravaganza of pop culture. There was one moment at the WB/In Style event, however, which just has to be discussed before anything else.
A year after it tried to live up to an unfathomable and unfair wave of hype that crowned it the "gay" "GIRLS," HBO's "Looking" returned for its second season Sunday night. The series began by introducing us to three "almost" best friends, Patrick (Jonathan Groff), Augustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Dom (Murray Bartlett) and then almost immediately sent them their separate ways for most of the first eight episodes. Augustin moved out of his apartment to be with his then boyfriend Frankie (O.T. Fagbenle), Dom seemed to mostly hang out with his own roommate, Doris (Lauren Weedman), and Patrick pretty much became the center of the show. Not what most people expected based on the TV spots and outdoor ads.
Sundance is about two weeks away and the first major acquisition has already occurred. Fox Searchlight has picked up Noah Baumbach's "Mistress America" which is scheduled to premiere on Jan. 24 in Park City, Utah. "America" is the second collaboration between Baumbach and Greta Gerwig after 2012's critically acclaimed dramedy "Frances Ha." Once again the duo co-wrote the screenplay, Baumbach directed and Gerwig stars. She's joined ths time around by newcomer Lola Kirke and a relatively unknown cast.
The most important thing to consider when looking at the 2015 BAFTA Awards nominations is that the voting process is actually (mostly) the opposite of the Academy Awards. For the Best Film and acting categories, the entire membership can vote on the nominations and winners. Other honors, such as Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Director, Editing, Make-Up & Hair, Original Music, Production Design, Sound, and Special Visual Effects, are determined completely by their respective branches. That means, for the most part, that the BAFTA nominations are a reflection of broad support in the top five races. Keep that in mind.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominees for the 2015 BAFTA Awards early Friday morning.
The complete list of this year's BAFTA Awards nominees is as follows:
The Sundance Film Festival announced today that it will hold a series of panels titled the "Art of Film Weekend" which will take place Jan. 29-31. This new initiative should create more buzz worthy moments during a period when the Festival is traditionally winding down. The slate will kick off with a conversation between Festival founder Robert Redford and George Lucas that will be streamed online at Sundance.org.
Covering the awards season beat means you are often lucky enough to spend some time moderating post screening Q&As with some of the most talented filmmakers and actors in the world. I've seen some amazing reactions from audiences to some great films and some incredible talent on hand. What I hadn't seen before this season was a sold out theater give a standing ovation to a star at the beginning of a Q&A and then give another standing o after the Q&A was completed. That, ladies and gentlemen, was for the one and only Julianne Moore.