Jennifer Aniston - Cake
Credit: Cinelou Films

Jennifer Aniston’s 'Cake' performance earns SBIFF honor

Is this the most aggressive campaign of the year?

Clearly drunk on Netflix’s mass uploading of all 10 "Friends" seasons, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced Friday evening that Jennifer Aniston would earn its Montecito Award. The fest’s prestigious accolade reconigzes a performer who has "given a series of classic and standout performances throughout his or her and whose style has made a major contribution to film." Previous winners include Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bradem, Naomi Watts, and Annette Bening. SBIFF honors Aniston for her "inspirational performance" in "Cake." 

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Industry cinematographers weigh in on film vs. digital

Industry cinematographers weigh in on film vs. digital

As Mike Leigh smacks Quentin Tarantino's crusade as 'bollocks'

The on-going film vs. digital debate seemed to reach a bit of a fever pitch in 2014. A lot of that had to do with the fight by filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan to maintain Kodak's production of film stock. It was a fight they won in August, while the industry at large would surely prefer to march headlong into the (more affordable) future of ones and zeroes. But this "debate" has remained a somewhat nuanced one, even as the separate passionate sides have presented it as cut and dried.

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Interstellar
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Hear directors breakdown scenes from 'Interstellar,' 'Birdman' and 'Inherent Vice'

Mini-commentaries for the season’s major contenders add massive insight

The future of director commentaries is grim. Without physical DVD releases to bulk up with extras, digital downloads arrive bare boned. The new-fangled iTunes Extras could pave the way for a new era, or independently produced accompaniments could emerge — who wouldn’t pay $1.99 for a podcast commentary, new or old? — but for now, rambling explanations from our favorite filmmakers is a dying art.

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Could 'Nightcrawler' make a play on a Best Picture nomination?

Could 'Nightcrawler' make a play on a Best Picture nomination?

With SAG and ACE notches on its belt already, how far can it go?

Voters are, well, voting, ballots in hand, catching up with screeners and such. As already laid out earlier this week, there's plenty in the news to help curate the field in this way or that, but this is also the time for outright discovery. And you know what film is playing really, really well to voters lately? "Nightcrawler," that's what.

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'American Sniper,' 'Nightcrawler' join Oscar players with ACE editing nominations

'American Sniper,' 'Nightcrawler' join Oscar players with ACE editing nominations

A tie yields six nominees in the dramatic category

If you were looking for things to be shaken up a little bit in this year's Oscar race, the American Cinema Editors (ACE) offered a slight jolt Friday with the organization's 65th annual list of nominees for film editing. And if you were wondering if "Nightcrawler" might make a serious play on the circuit, well…

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Selma
Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Selma' to screen for free in town where history was made

Alabama locals will be able to catch the movie starting January 9.

As the holiday season comes to a close, Paramount Pictures delivers one more gift. When the studio’s Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma" opens wide on Jan. 9, the film will play for free in the town where it all started: Selma, Alabama. 

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2014: the year in movie superlatives

2014: the year in movie superlatives

This is the best of the best in Oscar's categories and others

The year has finally drawn to a close. They're celebrating 2015 already in some parts of the globe (I guess our troops in Afghanistan are popping champagne right about now). But before really send 2014 off into the the sunset, a last look at the best of what silver screens had to offer this year...in one guy's opinion, anyway.

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'Foxcatcher' subject Mark Schultz goes on tirade against director Bennett Miller

'Foxcatcher' subject Mark Schultz goes on tirade against director Bennett Miller

A Facebook post and a series of deleted Tweets reveal unrest with interpretation of the film

As is often the case with biographical films, accuracy can become an easy target for criticism. Regardless of how changes or alterations reflect dramatic and thematic intent, and that narrative films aren't meant to be documentaries, those with a bone to pick about how history is seen through an altered lens will lash out, particularly if a film is an Oscar season threat. We've already seen it happen with "Selma," but now Bennett Miller and "Foxcatcher" are taking on fire…from one of the very people depicted in the film.

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The top 10 shots of 2014: part two

The top 10 shots of 2014: part two

Wrapping up the year in film imagery

As I said a few weeks ago in spotlighting some of the most exciting cinematographers working today, I believe we're quietly going through a golden age for the form. There are some dynamic ideas making their way through the system these days thanks to exceptional artists behind the camera, and hopefully this little feature does its part in celebrating what they have to offer.

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If I had an Oscar ballot...

If I had an Oscar ballot...

...it might look a little something like this

We're winding down the year-in-review game here at HitFix as 2014 draws to a close. For whatever reason I took a year off of the ballot/superlatives posts, but I'm back with those personal assessments of the best of the year, beginning today with my top picks across the Academy's 24 categories.

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