Contender Countdown: So long, farewell...already?

Contender Countdown: So long, farewell...already?

Plus: Questions for all the major Best Picture contenders

The Oscar race has barely started, but there is already a laundry list of once-expected contenders that will not get released in 2014 and will try to be in the game next year.

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Well blow me down, Sony Animation has some 'Popeye' test footage for you

Well blow me down, Sony Animation has some 'Popeye' test footage for you

The film is set for release in 2016

We still need to tell you what's up with this year's Best Animated Feature Film Oscar race, which we'll get to in due time. But for now, here's a sneak peek at a probable contender for 2016's race: Sony Pictures Animation's "Popeye."

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12 Years a Slave
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Despite MPAA's 'R' rating, '12 Years a Slave' to become a high school learning tool

A new initiative will send the Best Picture winner to the educational realm

If the National School Boards Association is to be believed, we're in a golden age of education Oscar movies.

Fox Searchlight announced today that a partnership with the NSBA, New Regency and Penguin Books will make copies of the 2014 Best Picture winner "12 Years a Slave" and Solomon Northup's autobiographical source material available to America’s public high schools. This follows Participant Media's own educational campaign for "Lincoln," which put DVD copies of Steven Spielberg's historical film and the necessary projection technology in a number of underserved communities.

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Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain will weather 'A Most Violent Year' on New Year's Eve
Credit: A24

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain will weather 'A Most Violent Year' on New Year's Eve

J.C. Chandor's 'All is Lost' follow-up is primed to crash the party this season

Lots of questions have been surrounding J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" follow-up "A Most Violent Year" this season, but we've been telling you to chill out, it's coming, etc. The sound mix has been moving along this month and it's being primed for a big winter bow. Now it has a date: Dec. 31. A platform release in January is expected to follow.

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Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, and Emma Watson Among 2014 Britannia Awards Recipients

Mike Leigh and Dame Judi Dench join 'The Avengers' winners.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA Los Angeles) has announced that Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Emma Watson, Mike Leigh and Dame Judi Dench are among the first honorees of this year’s Jaguar Britannia Awards ceremony. Each year, BAFTA Los Angeles honors "individuals who have dedicated their careers to advancing the art forms of the moving image in the U.S., U.K. and beyond."

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Men Women and Children - Ansel Elgrot
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Ansel Elgort is the glue holding new 'Men, Women & Children' trailer together

New spot digs deeper into Jason Reitman's tech-driven ensemble drama.

Similar to the first wave of Telluride reviews for "Labor Day," just a year ago, reactions sprouting out of the Toronto Film Festival for Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" encompassed a full spectrum. Critical opinion from voices on the ground ranged from impressed praise to cries that the film was DOA. A new trailer for "Men ,Women & Children" cuts through the schizophrenic chatter.

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Force Majeure
Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Trailer for Sweden's Oscar submission, 'Force Majeure,' touts caustic comedy

The Cannes and TIFF favorite arrives Oct. 24

You won't find many comedies in the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language Film category (2003's "The Barbarian Invasions" and last year's "The Great Beauty" stand out as recent, funny-ish winners). But that's not stopping Sweden from backing Ruben Östlund's incisive, family dramedy, "Force Majeure," as its 2015 contender. The film's first trailer should help skeptics understand the decision.

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<p>&#39;The Judge&#39;</p>

'The Judge'

Robert Downey Jr. lays down some big city justice in newest 'Judge' trailer

Will Robert Duvall pull off a supporting actor nomination?

"The Judge" is back in court for another trailer.

Oscar vets Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall star in this family drama about a slick, big city lawyer returning to his hometown to defend his father -- a renowned local judge -- in a murder case.

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Paramount preps Chris Rock's 'Top Five' for December 2014 release

Paramount preps Chris Rock's 'Top Five' for December 2014 release

Producer Scott Rudin has a new player on the battlefield

The moment Paramount Pictures plopped down a hefty chunk of change for Chris Rock's "Top Five" in Toronto, all eyes turned toward it as a potential awards player. After all, it was wildly loved out of the fest. One even wonders if it was a significant threat in the People's Choice Award situation up there. But the studio has a ton on its plate for the end of the year. Could it really take on another end-of-year opener? "Oh well," they seem to be saying on Melrose. "Let's go for it." A December release it shall be. Dec. 5, to be exact.

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Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Serena

Nobody wants to release Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper drama, 'Serena,' apparently

Susanne Bier's drama is an Oscar no-go as it defaults to Magnolia Pictures

Fans of Danish director Susanne Bier have been crossing their fingers for "Serena." When the project was announced, all the elements of a great film were there: Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, surrounded by "Silver Linings Playbook" buzz, would star; Bier, Best Foreign Language Film Oscar-winner for 2010's "In a Better World," was in the director's chair; Together, they'd translate an acclaimed novel by author Rob Rash. That was in April 2012. Two years of radio silence painted a discouraging picture in need of wishful thinking.

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