The long and winding road of another awards season is coming round the final turn. By early Thursday morning we'll all know who made the Oscar cut and who didn't. This year the battle to earn an Academy Award nomination is particularly fierce in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, among others. There are going to be many worthy contenders on the outside looking in and we're already feeling for them. Still, at this point hope still abounds, even after our In Contention crew provides their predictions for this year's nominees.
BEVERLY HILLS — A half-hour sitting across a table from Michael Mann is more than enough time to remind you of all the stuff you don't know. A consummate researcher-filmmaker, he never puts something out into the creative ether without knowing it inside and out, without knowing its world, its players — everything that needed to exist in order to birth it in the first place, he's canvased it. So no, he wasn't shocked to hear that last month, corporate giant Sony had been maliciously hacked leaving privileged information scattered to the public.
Thursday is a big day in Hollywood. Not only do we finally find out the nominees for the 82nd Academy Awards, but later that night many of the expected winners will get to rehearse their Oscar acceptance speeches at the 20th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
Harold Ramis, the man behind "Ghostbusters" and "Groundhog Day," passed away last February at the age of 69. Like many, the Writers Guild of America hasn't forgotten the impact he made over a 38-year career. The organization announced Tuesday that they will honor the writer/director/actor with the WGA's 2015 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement at the Writers Guild Awards ceremony next month. Ramis' wife, Erica Mann Ramis, and family will accept the award on his behalf.
If you were wondering what Ben Affleck, David Fincher and Gillian Flynn had planned for a "Gone Girl" follow-up, we've got your answer. How does this sound: a remake/re-adaptation of "Strangers on a Train" with Ben Affleck as an actor in the middle of an Oscar campaign solicited for a murder swap by a wealthy stranger who lends him a ride on his private jet. No, this isn't a drill. This is a real movie. "Strangers on a Plane?" Actually just "Strangers," it turns out.
Xavier Dolan may have been miffed that his "Mommy" was left off the list of finalists for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but he's surely pleased today that his film led the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television's film slate. It picked up 13 nominations total. David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars" was also strong.
The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is notable in the season for a number of reasons. First, it's a massive voting body unlike most on the circuit, so their nominations choices can often hint toward consensus. Second, their winner very often goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Director, which as we all know tends to presage the Best Picture Oscar. But...
It's starting to look like the BAFTA line-up of visual effects nominees will be mirrored at the Oscars. While one would have thought "Godzilla" would be strong all year, it missed with the Brits and, today, was snubbed across an array of categories by the Visual Effects Society. Ouch, guys.
Nominations have been announced for the 51st annual Cinema Audio Society Awards, and as ever with this group lately, there are a few surprises. For instance, "Unbroken" made the cut despite being mostly ignored by the guilds and industry groups so far, and Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" showed up as well. The biggest jaw-dropper might just be that after months of being the poster child for sound complaints, somehow, some way, "Interstellar" ended up in the mix (no pun intended).
The nominations for France's Lumière Awards were announced this morning, and leading the way was the film's Oscar foreign film entry "Saint Laurent" (which sadly didn't make it past the initial culling with the Academy). The film picked up four nominations and will compete for best film with Cannes hit "Girlhood," "La Famille Bélier," "Pas son genre," fellow Oscar foreign hopeful "Timbuktu" and "Three Hearts."