Oscars 2014: 25 films to watch for

Oscars 2014: 25 films to watch for

Should George Clooney start staking out another spot on the mantle?

The engravings on Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Best Picture Oscars for "Argo" are still fresh and already the gears are spinning across the net on what to expect in the film awards season next year. Of course we were going to pile on.

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<p>A placard held by a visual effects community protester at the Oscars on Sunday</p>

A placard held by a visual effects community protester at the Oscars on Sunday

Credit: Billy Brooks

Tech Support: Visual Effects Society issues a 'call to action'

Executive director Eric Roth sends out a determined open letter

If you've paid any attention to the film industry the last few weeks, or maybe at least noticed green icons all over Facebook and Twitter, you're well aware of the on-going state of frustration within the visual effects community. HitFix's Drew McWeeny laid out a very compelling and considered piece this week examining why the industry playing chicken with these guys is a bad, bad idea, and the reportage on the "fragile underpinnings" of all of this really stems back to a David Cohen piece in Variety two weeks ago. In so many words, we're approaching a watershed moment.

With that in mind, Visual Effects Society Executive Director Eric Roth has issued an open letter and a "call to action," imploring government and, certainly, industry attention be paid to this post-production sector. "The amazing irony," he writes, "is that while 47 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven and billions of dollars of profits are generated yearly, the actual people who create the work are becoming an endangered species in California."

Read the letter in its entirety below.

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<p>Quvenzhan&eacute; Wallis walks the red carpet at the 85th annual&nbsp;Academy Awards</p>

Quvenzhané Wallis walks the red carpet at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Sony sets 'Annie' with Quvenzhané Wallis for Christmas 2014

Is it too early to talk Oscars 2015? It is? Okay.

You didn't think you had heard the last of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" star Quvenzhané Wallis, I hope. The youngest Best Actress nominee of all time was shrewdly announced on Oscar Sunday as the lead in the Will Smith-produced, Will Gluck-directed adaptation of the musical "Annie," and today a release date has been announced: Christmas 2014.

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<p>Zac&nbsp;Efron and Dennis Quaid in &quot;At Any&nbsp;Price&quot;</p>

Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid in "At Any Price"

Credit: Sony Classics

Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid chase a dream 'At Any Price' in the film's first poster

Sony Classics will release Ramin Bahrani's latest on April 26

I'm a huge fan of Ramin Bahrani. Films like "Man Push Cart," "Chop Shop" and "Goodbye, Solo," to me, announced a vital new voice in American independent filmmaking. And when Guy caught and liked "At Any Price" at the Venice Film Festival last year, I was excited to catch it myself at the Telluride Film Festival just a few days later. There was something fetching there, but I couldn't quite saddle up to it. I've nevertheless been looking forward to giving it another look sooner or later, and the film's April 26 release date (opposite another bold American indie voice, Jeff Nichols and "Mud"), will provide a great opportunity to do just that. In the meantime, though, Collider has premiered the first poster for the Sony Pictures Classics release. Check it out below.

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<p>&quot;Stoker&quot; is the first English-language feature from South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook.</p>

"Stoker" is the first English-language feature from South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

With 'Stoker' on the way, 10 great English-language debuts by foreign directors

From F.W. Murnau to Alfonso Cuarón, these directors didn't get lost in translation

To call any foreign auteur attempting his first English-language feature a "fish out of water" doesn't give him (or her) a great deal of credit: a fish out of water is a pretty dead fish, after all, and it's hardly a novel observation that many artists are positively inspired by unfamiliar climes. But film history littered with enough unsuccessful crossover attempts to make us nervous whenever an esteemed world-cinema name decides to shed the subtitles (well, for us, at least).

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The 2012-2013 Film Awards Circuit

The 2012-2013 Film Awards Circuit

Charting the winners and losers of this year's Oscar season

And that, as they say, is that. The 2012-2013 film awards season was, in so many words, exhilarating, competitive, contentious, record-breaking, precedent-setting and awe-inspiring. Whether your favorites won or didn't even get an invite to the dance, the whole of it was a journey with many twists and turns. In the end, Ben Affleck's "Argo" dominated the critics awards, the industry awards and, eventually, the Oscars. And even if things soon enough settled into a bit of predictability, getting there was a blast. So if you'd like to relive all of the craziness along the way, feel free to do so via the links below, charting the ups and downs throughout the season.

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<p>Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Picture at the 85th annual Academy Awards</p>

Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for Best Picture at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Off the Carpet: A roller coaster season comes to an end

Please step off to your left. We hope you enjoyed the ride.

What can one really say at the end of a season this contentious, this exciting, this tight every step of the way other than: "Gee, that was fun."

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Oscar Talk: Ep. 108 -- Special Edition! -- Wrapping up the 85th annual Academy Awards

Oscar Talk: Ep. 108 -- Special Edition! -- Wrapping up the 85th annual Academy Awards

The curtain drops

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

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<p>Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum at the 85th annual Academy Awards.</p>

Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum at the 85th annual Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Everybody's fine: closing thoughts on an Oscar season of multiple narratives

With eight of nine Best Picture nominees rewarded, it wasn't all about 'Argo'

Hours before last night's Academy Awards ceremony, I was called up by a UK news network that required a last-minute talking head to discuss the evening ahead. In the cab on the way to the studio, the channel's researcher briefed me on the ground we'd cover, before asking, "So what's the big story of the night going to be?"

I reeled off something about "Argo" being the probable Best Picture winner, with a side order of The Vindication of Ben Affleck, but inside I was slightly thrown by the question. What was the big story going to be at the end of a long, circuitous race in which no one film has had everything its own way -- but one which looked ready to test any number of rare precedents, and perhaps create one or two of its own?

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<p>Sean&nbsp;Fine and Andrea Nix&nbsp;Fine backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards</p>

Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine backstage at the 85th annual Academy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar-winning director Sean Fine shows some RG3 support at the Academy Awards

Is it wrong that this makes me like the movie even more?

Here's a nice story that totally blind-sided me today. Did you know that Oscar-winning filmmaker Sean Fine ("Inocente") is a huge Redskins fan? It goes deeper than that, actually, and this blog post from Stephen Czarda lays out the story, which led to Fine sporting some nifty burgundy and gold socks on the red carpet last night.

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