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Oscars

Join us at In Contention in taking the wrapping off our shiny new digs.

Credit: Reuters

Welcome to In Contention, powered by HitFix

Join us in taking the wrapping off our shiny new digs

Dedicated readers, welcome to our new digs. First-time readers, I hope you're ready for more film awards coverage than you know what to do with.

On behalf of my contributors, Guy Lodge and Gerard Kennedy, allow me to say it's exciting and inspiring to be plugged into the impressive infrastructure here at HitFix, and to be in the able hands of its talented behind-the-scenes team. We enjoyed five splendid years of growth at InContention.com and we're stoked to continue our coverage here and reach an even wider audience with our little niche.

That niche, obviously, is awards season obsession. As the bio to the right says, In Contention represents a collective of awards obsessives who comment and reflect upon, muse about and attempt to decipher the Oscar season on a daily basis throughout the year, and especially during the Oscar crunch of the fall. So for those who may just now be saddling up to what we do, allow me to shed some light on...what we do.

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<p>Melissa McCarthy is crowned best actress in a comedy series for her work on &quot;Mike and Molly&quot;&nbsp;during the 2011 Emmy Awards.</p>

Melissa McCarthy is crowned best actress in a comedy series for her work on "Mike and Molly" during the 2011 Emmy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Can 'Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy go from Emmy winner to Oscar winner?

Her surprise Emmy win may prompt an unexpected campaign

For the first time in Academy Awards history, the Emmy Awards might have given a hint to a serious Oscar nominee. 

Well, maybe.

At face value, Melissa McCarthy's stunning win for best actress in a comedy series just looks like one of those surprise upsets that happen every once and awhile on most awards shows. Perhaps presumed favorites Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Laura Linney or Eddie Falco just cancelled each other out to allow McCarthy to sneak in (nothing against Martha Plimpton, but she didn't have a chance).  Granted, that may be part of the reason McCarthy won, but it clearly isn't because of her sitcom "Mike & Molly." The CBS show is hardly a critic's darling and its "Molly" recognition was the show's only major nomination.  What was more apparent, is that the Groundlings veteran got a big boost from her supporting role in the monster hit "Bridesmaids" this summer. In an ensemble of very funny women including Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Rose "Who knew?" Byrne, McCarthy's butch and man-hungry Megan was an audience favorite.

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Gerard Kennedy predicts...

Gerard Kennedy predicts...

UPDATED: February 23, 2013

Best Picture
"Argo"
(alt. "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Director
David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"
(alt. Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln")

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
(alt. n/a)

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
(alt. Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour")

Best Supporting Actor

Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
(alt. Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
(alt. Sally Field, "Lincoln")

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"Argo"
(alt. "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
"Django Unchained"
(alt. "Amour")

Best Cinematography
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "Skyfall")

Best Costume Design
"Anna Karenina"
(alt. "Les Misérables")

Best Film Editing
"Argo"
(alt. "Zero Dark Thirty")

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
"Les Misérables"
(alt. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey")

Best Music (Original Score)
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "Skyfall")

Best Music (Original Song)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
(alt. "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted")

Best Production Design
"Anna Karenina"
(alt. "Les Misérables")

Best Sound Editing
"Skyfall"
(alt. "Zero Dark Thirty")

Best Sound Mixing
"Les Misérables"
(alt. "Skyfall")

Best Visual Effects
"Life of Pi"
(alt. n/a)

Best Animated Feature Film
"Wreck-It Ralph"
(alt. "Brave")

Best Foreign Language Film
"Amour" - Austria
(alt. "Kon-Tiki" - Norway)

Best Documentary Feature
"Searching for Sugar Man"
(alt. "The Invisible War")

Best Documentary Short
"Inocente"
(alt. "Mondays at Racine")

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Curfew"
(alt. "Buzkashi Boys")

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Paperman"
(alt. "Adam and Dog")

 

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Gregory Ellwood predicts...

Gregory Ellwood predicts...

UPDATED: February 19, 2013

Best Picture
"Argo"

Best Director
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"

Best Supporting Actor
Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Chris Terrio, "Argo"

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"

Best Cinematography
Claudio Miranda, "Life of Pi"

Best Costume Design
Jacqueline Durran, "Anna Karenina"

Best Film Editing
William Goldberg, "Argo"

Best Makeup

Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Best Music (Original Score)
Mychael Danna, "Life of Pi"

Best Music (Original Song)
Adele, Paul Epworth, "Skyfall" from "Skyfall"

Best Production Design
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock, "Life of Pi"

Best Sound Editing
Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers, "Skyfall"

Best Sound Mixing
Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, and Simon Hayes, "Les Miserables"

Best Visual Effects
"Life of Pi"

Best Foreign Language Film
Michael Haneke, "Amour"

Best Animated Feature Film
"Wreck-It-Ralph"

Best Documentary Feature
"Searching for Sugar Man"

Best Documentary Short
"Mondays at Racine"

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Paperman"

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Buzkashi Boys"

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Guy Lodge predicts...

UPDATED: January 13, 2014

Best Picture
"American Hustle"
"Blue Jasmine"
"Captain Phillips"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Gravity"
"Her"
"Nebraska"
"Philomena"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Director
David O. Russell, "American Hustle"
Paul Greengrass, "Captain Phillips"
Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity"
Spike Jonze, "Her"
Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave"

Best Actor
Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Actress
Amy Adams, "American Hustle"
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"
Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"
Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"
James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"
Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
June Squibb, "Nebraska"
Oprah Winfrey, "Lee Daniels' The Butler" 

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"Before Midnight"
"Captain Phillips"
"Philomena"
"12 Years a Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
"American Hustle"
"Blue Jasmine"
"Her"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Nebraska"

Best Cinematography
"The Grandmaster"
"Gravity"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Prisoners"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Costume Design
"American Hustle"
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
"The Invisible Woman"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Film Editing
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity"
"Rush"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
"American Hustle"
"Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa"
"The Lone Ranger"

Best Music (Original Score)

"All is Lost"
"The Book Thief"
"Gravity"
"Philomena"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Music (Original Song)
"Let It Go" from "Frozen"
"The Moon Song" from "Her"
"In the Middle of the Night" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
"You and I Ain't Nothin' No More" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
"So You Know What It's Like" from "Short Term 12"

Best Production Design
"American Hustle"
"Gravity"
"The Great Gatsby"
"The Invisible Woman"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Sound Editing
"All is Lost"
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity"
"Lone Survivor"
"Rush"

Best Sound Mixing
"All is Lost"
"Captain Phillips"
"Gravity"
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"12 Years a Slave"

Best Visual Effects

"Gravity"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"The Lone Ranger"
"Oblivion"
"Pacific Rim"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Broken Circle Breakdown" (Belgium)
"The Hunt" (Denmark)
"The Notebook" (Hungary)
"The Great Beauty" (Italy)
"Omar" (Palestine)

Best Animated Feature Film
"The Croods"
"Ernest and Celestine"
"Frozen"
"Monsters University"
"The Wind Rises"

Best Documentary Feature
"The Act of Killing"
"Blackfish"
"The Square"
"Stories We Tell"
"20 Feet From Stardom"

Best Documentary Short
TBA

Best Short Film (Animated)
TBA

Best Short Film (Live Action)
TBA

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Kristopher Tapley predicts...

UPDATED: February 21, 2013

Best Picture
"Argo"
(alt. "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Director
Ang Lee, "Life of Pi"
(alt. David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
(alt. Bradley Cooper, "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Actress
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
(alt. Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Supporting Actor

Robert De Niro, "Silver Linings Playbook"
(alt. Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained")

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
(alt. Sally Field, "Lincoln")

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
"Argo"
(alt. "Silver Linings Playbook")

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
"Amour"
(alt. "Django Unchained")

Best Cinematography
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "Skyfall")

Best Costume Design
"Anna Karenina"
(alt. "Les Misérables)

Best Film Editing
"Argo"
(alt. "Life of Pi")

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
"Les Misérables"
(alt. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey")

Best Music (Original Score)
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "Skyfall")

Best Music (Original Song)
"Skyfall" from "Skyfall"
(alt. "Suddenly" from "Les Misérables")

Best Production Design
"Les Misérables"
(alt. "Life of Pi")

Best Sound Editing
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "Argo")

Best Sound Mixing
"Les Misérables"
(alt. "Life of Pi")

Best Visual Effects
"Life of Pi"
(alt. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey")

Best Animated Feature Film
"Brave"
(alt. "Wreck-It Ralph")

Best Foreign Language Film
"Amour" - Austria
(alt. "Kon-Tiki" - Norway)

Best Documentary Feature
"Searching for Sugar Man"
(alt. "The Gatekeepers")

Best Documentary Short
"Mondays at Racine"
(alt. "Open Heart")

Best Short Film (Animated)
"Paperman"
(alt. "Head Over Heels")

Best Short Film (Live Action)
"Curfew"
(alt. "Buzkashi Boys")

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<p>&quot;Friday Night Lights&quot;&nbsp;star Kyle Chandler wasn't expecting his Emmy win any more than we were, but his smile tells the tale of its awesomeness.</p>
<br />

"Friday Night Lights" star Kyle Chandler wasn't expecting his Emmy win any more than we were, but his smile tells the tale of its awesomeness.


Credit: AP

Emmys '11: Expected wins for 'Modern Family,' 'Mad Men' sandwiched around pleasant shockers

'Friday Night Lights,' Margo Martindale and Peter Dinklage among the show's delights

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards started out incredibly predictable, and they ended virtually the same way. But sandwiched in between those two familiar slices of white bread was an incredible, unpredictable filling, featuring a number of delightfully shocking winners like Margo Martindale, Peter Dinklage and, in a stunning but welcome farewell tribute, “Friday Night Lights.”

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<p>Mike (Jonathan Banks)&nbsp;waits for a meeting on &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Mike (Jonathan Banks) waits for a meeting on "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

'Breaking Bad' - 'Salud': Down Mexico way

Jesse heads south of the border, while Walter Jr. celebrates a birthday

A review of tonight's "Breaking Bad" coming up just as soon as I use up every cleaning product in a 50-mile radius...

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<p>I had a woman at the Toronto Film&nbsp;Festival tell me she wanted to steal my skin and sneak in to interview Joseph Gordon-Levitt about his new film '50/50.'&nbsp; I can't imagine why</p>

I had a woman at the Toronto Film Festival tell me she wanted to steal my skin and sneak in to interview Joseph Gordon-Levitt about his new film '50/50.'  I can't imagine why

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks '50/50' and, of course, 'The Dark Knight Rises'

We talked to the confident young star in Toronto

At this point, I think it's safe to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has carved out a space for himself as one of the most promising talents in his age range, and he's demonstrated a pretty remarkable range over the past twenty years in front of the camera.

Even as a kid on "Third Rock From The Sun," he managed to stand toe-to-toe with John Lithgow who was turned up to Full Ham.  And Lithgow at Full Ham is like ten times anybody else at Full Ham.  To stand there and play scenes with that when you're still in your teens is no easy feat, but Gordon-Levitt always made it look easy.

And as he's come into focus as an adult performer, he has been lucky enough to find collaborators that have helped him redefine himself with grace and style.  I always wonder what would have happened to Kurt Russell if there was no John Carpenter, and likewise, I wonder about Gordon-Levitt if there was no Rian Johnson.  "Brick" may not have been a giant box-office hit, but it was a key step in the way he evolved into a credible leading man, and without him playing that role, he might not have been given a shot at films like "The Lookout," "Stop-Loss," or "500 Days Of Summer." 

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<p>Emmys host Jane Lynch</p>
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Emmys host Jane Lynch

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Live-Blog

All the winners, losers and fun, presented with ample snark

Happy Emmy Night, Boys & Girls. 

For 364 days out of the year, TV cowers in the shadow of feature films even though we all know that TV is better. But on one night, Emmy night, the biggest stars in television get to get together and honor the year's best... movie stars who deigned to do TV.

I kid.

But let's all sit down and count the minutes till Kate Winslet moves herself one step closer to EGOT.

Full Emmys live-blog after the break...

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<p>Amber Heard of &quot;The Playboy Club&quot;</p>
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Amber Heard of "The Playboy Club"

Credit: NBC

HitFix Interview: Amber Heard talks 'The Playboy Club'

NBC's new Bunny isn't shy about discussing her new show's message
It probably shouldn't have been surprising that last month's Television Critics Association press tour panel for NBC's "The Playboy Club" became an ongoing debate as to whether the period drama was empowering or exploitative.
 
While all of the show's stars and producers were closely on-message about the idea that employment at the Playboy Club in the early '60s was a progressive choice, leading lady Amber Heard was particularly passionate on the subject. [Read more from that panel.]
 
At the NBC party that evening, I caught up with Heard ("Hidden Palms," "All The Boys Love Mandy Lane"), who plays Maureen, the newest Bunny at Chicago's Playboy Club, for a few follow-up questions regarding her take on the show's message.
 
[Click through for the brief interview...]
 
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<p>&nbsp;The cover of Lady Antebellum's &quot;Own the Night&quot;</p>
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 The cover of Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night"

Credit: Capitol Records Nashville

Will Lady Antebellum's 'Own The Night' own next week's Billboard 200?

How does an 11-year old Beatles album come back on the chart?

It’s way too soon to know if Lady Antebellum’s new album, “Own The Night,” can top 2010’s “Need You Now,” which has sold more than 3 million copies, but the trio’s latest get if off to a great start: it will handily top next week’s Billboard 200 with sales of up to 340,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

Its lead is so commanding that Adele’s “21,” which bounces back up to No. 2, will sell 200,000 fewer copies than “Own The Night.” Both “21” and Lil Wayne’s “The Carter IV” are targeted to move around 115,000 units.

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