<p>Mark&nbsp;Wahlberg in &quot;Lone Survivor&quot;</p>

Mark Wahlberg in "Lone Survivor"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Real life 'Lone Survivor' and Mark Wahlberg discuss the cost and depiction of war

Marcus Luttrell's story makes for a riveting account but is it an Oscar player?

In June of 2005, during a firefight with Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan that would claim the lives of three of his fellow Navy SEALs, Petty Officer First Class Marcus Luttrell broke his back. He broke his pelvis. He tore out his shoulder, bit his tongue in half and crushed his hand. He sustained facial bone damage, he was shot "through and through" his quads and his calves, his body was riddled with shrapnel from his ankles to his eyes…and he lived to tell the tale.

That tale was captured on the page in his 2007 memoir "Lone Survivor" and it has now been captured on the big screen by director Peter Berg with Mark Wahlberg in the starring role as Luttrell. A riveting depiction of the mission, called Operation Red Wings, the film eschews traditional structure and launches its players into the heart of darkness quickly before tearing through a 33-minute recreation of the firefight itself that recalls such nail-biting sequences as those captured by Steven Spielberg in "Saving Private Ryan" or Ridley Scott in "Black Hawk Down."

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Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim in "The Past."
Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim in "The Past."
Credit: Sony Classics

The Long Shot: No country for gold men

How long can Oscar pretend the foreign-language race is a cinematic Olympics?

Here's a fact of which not all awards-watchers are entirely aware: Michael Haneke hasn't won an Oscar. Neither has Francois Truffaut, nor Luis Bunuel. Pedro Almodovar has one for writing, but that's it. Ang Lee has two for directing, but nothing for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” And Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa each won honorary Oscars, but no competitive ones between them.

At this point, some of you might be crying foul. You expressly remember Haneke accepting his Oscar only a few months ago. You've definitely seen Almodovar give two acceptance speeches. And you know your Oscar history: Fellini has four of the damn things. What gives?

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<p>Nick Kroll</p>

Nick Kroll

Credit: AP Photo

Nick Kroll set to host Gotham Independent Film Awards

IFP event will take place December 2

Nick Kroll, the comedian and "Kroll Show" star, will host  IFP's Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday, Dec. 2 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

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Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."
Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."
Credit: Sundance Selects

France's Oscar entry snubbed by Louis Delluc jury, as Cannes hits make the grade

'Blue is the Warmest Color' the frontrunner for France's most prestigious award

Well, this isn't exactly a vote of confidence in France's submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Eyebrows were raised when Gilles Bourdos' attractive but not notably acclaimed period biopic "Renoir" was selected to represent the country at the Academy Awards, and those same skeptics will feel vindicated by today's shortlist for the most prestigious individual award in French cinema, the Louis Delluc Prize: eight films have been nominated, and "Renoir" is not among them. 

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<p>Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford in &quot;Ender's Game.&quot;</p>

Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford in "Ender's Game."

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Review: Virtual reality gets complicated in smart, solemn 'Ender's Game'

Orson Scott Card adaptation credits its young audience with some intelligence
The pint-size soldiers of Gavin Hood's “Ender's Game,” the long-awaited adaptation of Orson Scott Card's YA sci-fi franchise starter, are dab hands at fighting off alien invaders, unreasonable authoritarianism and each other – though we have yet to see how well equipped they are to handle a real-world human rights boycott. In the last few months, the volume of the marketing for this would-be tentpole has been rivalled by the pop-cultural pushback against its creator: not Hood, of course, but co-producer Card, a sophisticated, audience-attuned storyteller who also happens to be a vocally homophobic loon. Would that Summit could write him out of the production and retitle it “Gavin Hood's Ender's Game” – or, indeed, “Lee Daniels' Ender's Game.” But them's the breaks.

 Why open on this purely circumstantial note? The situation is not of the film's making, after all – Hood's adaptation is even at pains to remove whatever evidence of the author's dubious personal beliefs had seeped onto the page. (Sure, it's just a coincidence that Card settled on the term “Buggers” for the alien race threatening to wipe out humanity.) Meanwhile, a boycott is the last thing “Ender's Game,” a carefully constructed, serious-minded commercial entertainment that treats its young audience with an unusual degree of intelligence, deserves.

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Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen
Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Steve McQueen heads to HBO

Also: Underdog actresses and the danger of anticipating 'Wolf of Wall Street'

You could hardly ask for a better illustration of the current equality in status between film and television that the fact that the arguable frontrunner for this year's Best Director Oscar is already developing a new project at HBO. Following in the footsteps of Steven Soderbergh and Todd Haynes, among others, "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen is collaborating with writer Matthew Michael Carnahan ("World War Z") and producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Oscar winners for "The King's Speech," they also worked on McQueen's first two features) on a drama series about a young African-American man entering New York high society. Could the British artist-turned-filmmaker get an Emmy to go with his possible Oscar? [Deadline]

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Best Director 2014: Cuarón, McQueen and Jonze vie for Oscar

Best Director 2014: Cuarón, McQueen and Jonze vie for Oscar

Surveying the field of helmers from debut filmmakers to weathered vets

This year's Best Director race got thinned out a bit recently as such heavy hitters as Bennett Miller and George Clooney took their leave of the 2013 film awards season. But there's still a healthy crop of hopefuls, from debut filmmakers to veteran craftsmen. How will the final line-up shake down?

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in &quot;The&nbsp;Wolf of Wall Street&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Martin Scorsese has a present for you this Christmas

And it will be campaigned as a comedy for the Golden Globes

Were you fretting over the release date of Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street?" Well, you didn't really have to do that. We told you on Sept. 23 it was going to move off its Nov. 15 release date but that the goal was to release on Christmas Day. I Tweeted on Oct. 15 that the film was going to make that date. And today, after a few weeks of other outlets tripping over themselves to "exclusively" report that very simple information, you can "officially" rest easy, as Paramount has gone ahead and confirmed the Christmas release.

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<p>A moment from &quot;Aningaaq&quot;</p>

A moment from "Aningaaq"

Credit: Warner Home Video

Exclusive: Could both 'Gravity' and 'Aningaaq' end up with Oscar nominations?

Separate trips to Greenland inspired a thoughtful addition to the space thriller

As you might recall from HitFix's Telluride Film Festival coverage, Jonás Cuarón's short film "Aningaaq" is a companion piece to Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity." It depicts the other side of an SOS radio conversation between that film's main character, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and an Inuit fisherman named Aningaaq (Orto Ignatiussen) on the icy mass of Greenland. The short works both in tandem with the feature and separately as an emotional sliver of the greater work's themes. It could also join "Gravity" in the Oscar discussion later this season as Warner Bros. has submitted it for consideration in the Best Live Action Short category.

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Sarah Polley in "Stories We Tell."
Sarah Polley in "Stories We Tell."
Credit: Roadside Attractions

IDA Awards nominate 'Stories We Tell,' 'Act of Killing'

Is this a preview of the documentary Oscar race?

When it comes to the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, there's no particularly reliable precursor -- that branch of the Academy has a history of doing things their own way, after all. But the Independent Documentary Association (IDA) Award is among the most prestigious documentary prizes on the trail. Last year, they (along with pretty much everyone else) foreshadowed the Oscar win for "Searching for Sugar Man," and also pre-empted the Academy's nomination for "The Invisible War"; the year before, the Academy nominated none of their five chosen features. "Independent" is the operative word, then.

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