Early Oscars Buzz for LEAVE NO TRACE — Jennifer Merin reports

Early Oscars Buzz for LEAVE NO TRACE — Jennifer Merin reports

Debra Granik is attracting early Oscars buzz for Leave No Trace, her third narrative feature. AWFJ selected Leave No Trace as Movie of the Week for June 29, and an informal poll of AWFJ members shows that the film is placing high on most members’ lists of best 2018 films to date. AWFJ says Leave No Trace has legs that will lead to Oscars, come awards season.

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90th Oscar Noms Mark Milestones for Women and Diversity — Brandy McDonnell reports

90th Oscar Noms Mark Milestones for Women and Diversity — Brandy McDonnell reports

The 90th Academy Awards seem to be shaping up to be the most diverse ever. In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo and a cavalcade of sexual misconduct scandals brought to light after explosive investigative reports about Harvey Weinstein, the 2018 Oscar nominations marked several milestones for women, African-Americans and transgender people making movies. Continue reading on THE WEEK IN WOMAN.

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Women Receive Two of Three Filmmaker Grants from the Independent Spirit Awards

Women Receive Two of Three Filmmaker Grants from the Independent Spirit Awards

Film Independent announced the winners of its five Spirit Awards filmmaker grants at its annual Spirit Awards Nominee Brunch held in West Hollywood on Janaury 6. John Cho (Star Trek, Columbus, Search) and Alia Shawkat (Search Party, Blaze, Duck Butter) co-hosted the event and handed out the honors. There’s quite a lot of money involved!

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Globes Honor Oprah but Pass on Female Directors, SAG Awards Boast Female Presenters — Brandy McDonnell reports

Globes Honor Oprah but Pass on Female Directors, SAG Awards Boast Female Presenters — Brandy McDonnell reports

Oprah Winfrey will receive the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, but that big honor for Oprah does little to the ease the sting of HFPA’s snub of women among its best director nominees. However, when the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are simulcast live on TNT and TBS, the presentation, hosted by Kristen Bell, will feature only women presenters in 13 of the categories. Read details on THE WEEK IN WOMEN.

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The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Foreign Film — Michelle Hannett reports

The Academy’s 90th Oscars: Latest Round Of Contenders for Best Foreign Film — Michelle Hannett reports

On December 19, AMPAS announced that nine feature films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category. Ninety-two films had originally been considered in the category. Foreign Language Film nominations for 2017 are determined in two phases.
The Phase I committee, consisting of Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 11. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist. Continue reading…

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AWFJ Members’ Oscars 2017 Opinions, in Brief — Jennifer Merin reports

AWFJ Members’ Oscars 2017 Opinions, in Brief — Jennifer Merin reports

This compendium of AWFJ members’ takes on Oscars 2017 represents our diverse opinions. Read what Jeanne Wolf, Susan Wloszczyna, Moira Sullivan, Diana Saenger, Sheila Roberts, Nell Minow, Brandy McDonnell, Michelle McCue, Karen Martin, Kimberly Lindbergs, Leba Hertz, Candice Frederick, Marilyn Ferdinand, Chaz Ebert, Katherine Brodsky, Liz Braun, Betsy Bozdech and Erica Abeel have to say about Oscar 2017. Exclusive commentaries with links to other coverage. Read on…

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Oscars 2017: Poise Under Pressure — Sheila Roberts comments (Exclusive)

Oscars 2017: Poise Under Pressure — Sheila Roberts comments (Exclusive)

Etched indelibly in my mind about the Oscars this year is how graciously the presenters and the filmmakers from “La La Land” and “Moonlight” handled the confusion that ensued on stage after the wrong Best Picture was announced. Noteworthy was the leadership of “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz who took charge and stepped in to clarify what had gone wrong, even when it meant acknowledging his own loss. It was done with a lot of class, dignity, and poise under pressure.

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Oscars 2017: We Need More Creativity on Stage! — Katherine Brodsky comments (Exclusive)

Oscars 2017: We Need More Creativity on Stage! — Katherine Brodsky comments (Exclusive)

This year had several worthy nominees and they were well-recognized. Although as a whimsical musical fan, I was rooting for “La La Land” as Best Picture, having finally caught up on “Moonlight” a few nights prior, I recognized what a great film it was as well. But here’s a sad fact: This year’s Oscar ceremony will be remembered most for the hiccup at the end rather than anything in between. Every year, I tune in to the Oscars telecast hoping for a great show, thinking that this year will be the one.

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Oooops! Oscars 2017 As Seen from the Pressroom — Jeanne Wolf (Exc;usive)

Oooops! Oscars 2017 As Seen from the Pressroom — Jeanne Wolf (Exc;usive)

What???? What’s going on? How could this happen? What went wrong? WOW! Oh my God! The F word flying in the air.

In such a wild – lightning bolt of a moment minds explode with a jumble of reactions and parallel narratives. Nervous laughter, adrenaline driven shouts, everyone guessing at an explanation, asking each other for an urgent reality check.

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Iran’s Oscar-Winning THE SALESMAN — Review by Susan Granger

Iran’s Oscar-Winning THE SALESMAN — Review by Susan Granger

Iran’s Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film is another marital drama from Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi (“The Separation”). When Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) Etesamis are forced to evacuate their crumbling Tehran apartment, they move into a more dilapidated abode, one that was previously occupied by a single woman with a young child. The clutter she left behind when she was evicted gives subtle clues as to who she is and the promiscuous life she led. She’s described as “a woman with lots of acquaintances…who lived a wild life.” Read on…

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Oscars and Movies and Targeting Millennials — Michelle McCue comments

Oscars and Movies and Targeting Millennials — Michelle McCue comments

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced – to widespread chagrin– that the press and publicists would no longer be a part of the annual tradition of being at AMPAS headquarters in Beverly Hills at the Samuel Goldwyn theater when the Oscar nominations are revealed on January 24.

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Please stand by….

AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Please stand by….

Thank you for following AWARDS INTELLIGENCER! We are on haitus until the arrival of the next awards season. Meanwhile, here’s to a new year full of great movies, greater equality and diversity in the biz and on screen and your ongoing fascination with and delight in cinema!

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Rooney Mara’s Evolution With Clues from Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson comments

Rooney Mara’s Evolution With Clues from Cate Blanchett, Todd Haynes – Quendrith Johnson comments

To hear fellow Oscar-nom, two-time winner Cate Blanchett, gush about her Best Supporting Actress and Carol consort Rooney Mara, is almost as shocking as when Blanchett uses the word “startling” to describe Mara’s acting chops. Next “The Great Cate,” a woman many Oscar watchers believe will one day match or best Katharine Hepburn in lead wins, cobbles together some descriptive sentences worthy of a literary titan…

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Maltin’s Gravitas Matters As Oscar Takes a Powder for Johnny Depp & BLACK MASS – Quendrith Johnson comments

Maltin’s Gravitas Matters As Oscar Takes a Powder for Johnny Depp & BLACK MASS – Quendrith Johnson comments

Leonard Maltin just tells it like it is, but with such heart and insight for viewers. So much so that the elder statesman of cinema had a life achievement award renamed after him at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) in 2015: The Maltin Modern Master Award. Last night his legacy was cemented as A-List actor Johnny Depp, or “John Christopher Depp,” as Maltin called him, came to SBIFF to accept The Other Golden Statuette.

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ArcLight Women First-Ever Summit: Gretchen McCourt, Geena Davis, Cathy Schulman & More

ArcLight Women First-Ever Summit: Gretchen McCourt, Geena Davis, Cathy Schulman & More

With the disparity in representation of women in the director’s chair and actor compensation, as Jennifer Lawrence penned in a recent letter, it’s no surprise that ArcLight Cinemas just presented an “Inaugural Women in Entertainment Summit” (WIE). Host Gretchen McCourt, Executive Vice President of ArcLight, can be said to be a driving force here, complete with a hashtag #arclightwomen.

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How Oscar 2015 Shapes 2016 With Kat Kramer & Thank Meryl via Patricia, Now Lily, Jane Fonda

How Oscar 2015 Shapes 2016 With Kat Kramer & Thank Meryl via Patricia, Now Lily, Jane Fonda

What happened after winner Patricia Arquette’s impassioned Equal Pay Oscar acceptance speech in 2015, remarkably, has had a ripple effect, not just with the projects it inspired for 2016, but also in legislation, and even a federal investigation into equal pay in Hollywood based on salary numbers leaked as part of the Sony Hack. ArquetteASFArquette’s trophy moment for Boyhood, Best Supporting Actress, crescendoed with “To every woman who gave birth, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality…”

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EAST LA INTERCHANGE: “If This Film Could Vote” With Director Betsy Kalin

EAST LA INTERCHANGE: “If This Film Could Vote” With Director Betsy Kalin

No one disputes that there are a lot of LA’s, from the ancient Los Angeles of Pueblo and Missions, to Hollywood and LA Film Noir, to the Watts Towers, to Dog Town Surf Culture, to CGI pioneers and Silicon Beach. But director Betsy Kalin’s new documentary East LA Interchange is likely one of the few to explore the neighborhood known as Boyle Heights.

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Que Horas Ela Volta? Or, Powerhouse Director Anna Muylaert’s Contender from Brazil

Que Horas Ela Volta? Or, Powerhouse Director Anna Muylaert’s Contender from Brazil

Sometimes you see a film and think, ‘is it just me, or is this movie really good?’ And, in the case of Brazilian Director Anna Muylaert’s new film Que Horas Ela Volta?, titled The Second Mother for US audiences which opened this past weekend, it’s clearly a critical hit. Meaning other critics and reviewers have weighed in with surprise and delight. But this politics-of-the-nanny story is made all the more remarkable once you get a chance to talk with the filmmaker.

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Top 10 Road Movies: His vs Hers, Why Not?

Top 10 Road Movies: His vs Hers, Why Not?

Summer is when a lot of us hit the highway, so a round-up of Road Movies makes sense. But how do you assess the genre, because the freeway and its parallel story-lines have been the purview of men traditionally? Easy, just compare two Top 10 His & Hers Road Movie Lists.

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Top 5 Movies Most Distorting to Female Psyche & The ‘Isotta Fraschini’ Syndrome

Top 5 Movies Most Distorting to Female Psyche & The ‘Isotta Fraschini’ Syndrome

Ever since Maggie Gyllenhaal went public with the fact that she lost a role, at 37, as a love interest for a 55-year-old leading male because she was “too old,” the internet lit up with shock. But why should we be surprised? Disparity in casting leading men and women has been around since the Silent Era. So has a distorted view of the female psyche on film. Not only a distortion as to who and what women represent, but how the props, set dressing, costumes, conspire with the script, even the director, to really hammer the point home.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Drone Strikes or “Good Kill”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Drone Strikes or “Good Kill”

When Voltage’s new war drama Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke, Bruce Greenwood, January Jones, and Zoe Kravitz is released on May 15, it will be viewed as thematic, a complex “message” movie riffing on modern warfare, specifically focused on weapons-grade drones. Will it win any awards though?

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Awards Discovery: Newcomer Lindsay MacKay & How Scaling Up Shorts Works

Awards Discovery: Newcomer Lindsay MacKay & How Scaling Up Shorts Works

During Awards Season when most focus on trophy sweeps by the majors, behind the scenes, 1000’s of films go up for some kind of consideration. Consider writer/director Lindsay MacKay, from Canada, who is now scaling up an award-winning short film, Clear Blue (2010), for another long-form film to match her feature-length flawless first effort, Wet Bum (2014).

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Golden Glaze, Or After the Awards Turn Into Ad Campaigns, What Will You See?

Golden Glaze, Or After the Awards Turn Into Ad Campaigns, What Will You See?

If you have noticed the Oscar wins have now turned into ad campaigns, you’re right, but there’s more to the story. Because Boyhood did not sweep the Oscars, IFC Films will underplay Patricia Arquette’s Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress, and sell the movie’s three Golden Globe Awards…

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How Colliding Shows and Dueling Schedules Imperil the Awards Season

How Colliding Shows and Dueling Schedules Imperil the Awards Season

When award shows collide, everyone feels the impact. An in-depth look at this clutch-time scramble sums up Awards Season 2015, where show dates overlap in a hectic mash-up of guilds, societies, and associations vying for limited calendar dates. So what are the actual stats on galas that make up filmed-entertainment’s biggest moment of the year? Read on…

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OSCAR CALCULUS: Why Best Actor is a Two-Way Race Between Keaton and Redmayne

OSCAR CALCULUS: Why Best Actor is a Two-Way Race Between Keaton and Redmayne

An informal red carpet survey may not be the most accurate way to gauge the Best Actor race for 2015, but this year it does confirm prevailing insider Hollywood sentiment that predicts a two-way tug between veteran Michael Keaton and newcomer Eddie Redmayne. leaving Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper and Benedict Cumberbatch on the sidelines. To understand voter calculus, let’s take a measure of the golden profiles of the Best Actor nominees, see what they bring to the gate, and reflect on what voters have said about their chances.

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