While film actors seem to vie their whole lives to be recognized by AMPAS for even just a single performance, it's amazing how many singers and non-actors all but wander into receiving Oscar nominations.
Screenwriters never have it easy, do they? They often complain they are seen as second class citizens to the director. Actors often get credit for improvising a line they wrote and, worse, producers will often play games with the media, insisting they came up with a key storyline or the entire project themselves. Things get even more complicated with the sometimes unfair arbitration rules that often find the wrong writer getting final credit for a project (often because of a contract he or she signed). Frankly, all of this adversity might be one reason why winning an Academy Award means so much to a working Hollywood screenwriter.
On one hand, the Best Visual Effects Oscar has felt like it should go ahead and be engraved since before the season really took off. On the other, the frontrunner from afar crashed on the rocks of some divisive critical opinion in November, leaving some question as to how things might actually shake out. Let's take a look…
Neil Patrick Harris is clearly going to be one of the smarter hosts in Oscar history.
The actor opened up in a new "Academy Originals" video about his plans for Sunday's ceremony, and although he didn't give much away, he has (seemingly) put real and comprehensive thought into his act. He says he's watched past ceremonies and analyzed what did and didn't work. Do we think Seth MacFarlane put such care into his hosting gig? I sincerely doubt it.
Check out his plan below. I'm really, really psyched for the ceremony.
As we touched on in Writers Guild Awards coverage over the weekend, the screenplay categories are a certifiable mess this year because of all the unexpected wild cards. Best Picture frontrunner "Birdman" was ineligible for WGA. Indie favorite "Whiplash" competed in the original category with the WGA but was deemed adapted by the Academy. There hasn't been a lot of consistency in the run-up to the Oscars, so basically, you can argue things just about any way you'd like and you would have a point. But let's look at adapted specifically.
The last couple of years have really come down to the wire as the Oscar race has rarely been so seemingly close. And when there's a close race, you can bet — at least in some quarters — there is plenty of handwringing over ballot selections going on. This year voters are trying to decide between frontrunners like "Birdman" and "Boyhood" while passion for just about every other Best Picture nominee has been spread thin. But what are the toughest choices the Academy ever had to make?
If you caught "Saturday Night Live's" 40th anniversary special Sunday night, you saw some of this year's Oscar nominees capitalizing on the massive exposure opportunity with final Oscar ballots due Tuesday.
Less than a week away from the Oscars and things still, if you ask around, feel unsettled. But is it? Wasn't the die cast by the Producers Guild victory for "Birdman?" And the notion fortified with SAG ensemble and DGA victories? And again with further industry kudos from the art directors, cinematographers, sound mixers and sound editors?
The Motion Picture Sound Editors' (MPSE) 62nd annual Golden Reel Awards honored a full spread of films Sunday night. "American Sniper," "Birdman," "Unbroken," "Get On Up" and "Big Hero 6" all walked away with hardware.
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) has awarded "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" top honors for cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki also won the award last year, making him the first back-to-back recipient to date. This is his fourth ASC award after "Children of Men," "The Tree of Life" and "Gravity," all of them in the last eight years.