The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring plenty of those little indies which deserve the honor and recognition that, this year, they might not receive at the Oscars. We love featuring these because there's always some gems to find. This is an excellent year of nominees, featuring a wide range of some of the best filmmaking of the year. The five Best Features alone: a stop-motion animated feature (Anomalisa), a film shot on an iPhone starring transsexuals (Tangerine), Todd Haynes' film about lesbian lovers (Carol), and the African fighters thriller (Beasts of No Nation). There's so many outstanding people featured this year, so take a look below. Read on for the list of noms.
"I'm not so sure you want to be me." It was an opportunity I couldn't pass - the chance to interview Jason Segel. He stars as the late author David Foster Wallace in one of my favorite films this year, The End of the Tour directed by James Ponsoldt. The film is about the actual end of his (book) tour, specifically the time David Foster Wallace spends with fellow writer/journalist David Lipsky, played in the film by Jesse Eisenberg. The two meet in winter and discuss all kinds of topics, and it's really a beautiful film about life and honesty, and still being real even though you may be brilliant, as with DFW. Segel gives a phenomenal, Oscar-worthy performance as David Foster Wallace - and I don't bat an eye saying that. I had to meet him.
It's official. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has announced that Chris Rock will return to host the 88th Academy Awards coming up in late February next year. This will be the second time that Rock hosts the Oscars, as he first hosted them back in 2005 (when Million Dollar Baby won). He has not been nominated yet, but Rock returns as a successful filmmaker this time, having made the films I Think I Love My Wife and Top Five since last hosting. "Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry," said producers David Hill & Reginald Hudlin. "Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he's done it all. He's going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!" And he's funny. Bring on the Oscar season.
The American Film Institute has announced that the recipient of the 2016 AFI Life Achievement Award is composer John Williams. This is the first time in the 43 year history of the Life(time) Achievement Award that a composer has been chosen. Last year's recipient was Steven Martin, and the first recipient ever was John Ford in 1973. The AFI Life Achievement Award was established to honor a single individual for his or her lifetime contribution to enriching American culture through motion pictures and television. Williams certainly deserves it, as he has been a composer for over 50 years working on so many classic films, earning 49 Oscar nominations and 5 wins over the years. And he still has a few more Star Wars scores in the works.
Briefly: This isn't the most exciting or revealing news, but it is an important industry update worth noting. The Academy is pulling a Marvel and announcing the next three dates for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremonies. AMPAS has locked down these dates at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the next three years: Sunday, February 28th, 2016; then Sunday, February 26th, 2017; and finally Sunday, March 4th, 2018. So there you have it, that's when we'll be celebrating the Oscars for the next three years. Even if you don't like them, or pretend not to care about them, the Academy Awards still remain the pinnacle award in filmmaking and it will always be a prestigious event. For now, we've got a long way until awards season.
Since 2010, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have allowed for up to 10 nominees in the Best Picture category after the rules were changed to make the awards ceremony more inclusive for films like The Dark Knight. It was a move aiming to get more people to tune in to the Oscars see if their favorite movie would win the big prize. However, THR reports The Academy is now considering dropping the number of competitors back down to the traditional five nominees. So the six year run of allowing up to 10 nominees hasn't worked as a trade source says, "They tried it, and it really didn't do us any good."
Congratulations Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, winner of the Oscar for Best Director! This is now four years in a row that I've interviewed the Best Director winner. Though at the time, I wasn't thinking about awards or anything else besides what to ask about the film and their process as a filmmaker. In an industry that loves data and obsessing over success, I can't help but notice a bit of a pattern here. Not that I am any indicator or predictor or grand wizard of the Oscars, but if anything I have my eye trained on very talented filmmakers and outstanding films. With Iñárritu winning this year, that makes four years in a row of winners interviewed, including Alfonso Cuarón, Ang Lee, even Michel Hazanavicius (of The Artist).
If you didn't watch the 87th Academy Awards last night, you should at least watch the live performance of "Everything is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie. The musical duo Tegan & Sara and the comedic hip-hop trio The Lonely Island took to the stage with an energetic and colorful performance that even had Will Arnett as LEGO Batman and Questlove as Robin on the drums. And during that number, a whole bunch of dancers handed out LEGO Oscar statues to some of Hollywood's biggest names in the audience, such as Oprah Winfrey, Emma Stone, Steve Carell and more. And you may be able to get your own. Look!
It's become tradition for Jimmy Kimmel to have some fun with a cavalcade of Hollywood's biggest talents right after the Academy Awards are over. Last year he had actors like Kevin Spacey star in feature film adaptations of internet viral videos, and previously he delivered trailers for Movie: The Movie as well as the sequel Movie: The Movie 2V starring the likes of Tom Hanks, Jessica Chastain and more. This year he put together The Kimmel School of Perfect Acting featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Lupita Nyong'o, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Aniston and of course, Matt Damon (and tons of other actors and actresses as well). The late night host also gave Neil Patrick Harris a pep talk after the show too. Watch below now!
We already know who took home a trophy last night at the 87th Academy Awards (check out the full winner list right here), but since it's the morning after, people are still buzzing about the ceremony. There were some incredible speeches from the winners as well as cool musical performances as well. But we also wanted to call attention to some great graphic design work from Henry Hobson for creating the title cards for last night's nominees. We've got a video showing off his creations for all eight Best Picture nomiees, and you can see some stills from the other categories too. They're stylish and meticulously crafted. Look now!
During last night's 87th Academy Awards, there were more than a couple of musical performances. Not only was there an opening number from Neil Patrick Harris and Anna Kendrick, as well as a 50th anniversary tribute to The Sound of Music from Lady Gaga, but each of the Best Original Song nominees also got time to shine. However, The LEGO Movie and Selma clearly had the standout performances from the nominee pool for very different reasons. While the performance of the catchy "Everything is Awesome" was colorful and crazy, the rendition of "Glory" brought tears to many eyes. Watch below!
Hollywood's big night has come and gone, and now that the 87th Academy Awards have been presented, we can look back at the highlights of last night's ceremony that only ran 40 minutes long. Neil Patrick Harris was the host last night, and while the show started with a pretty cool musical number and some genuine opening remarks about the magic of film, the show still devolved into being boring, slow and delivering only remarkable moments in the speeches from the night's winners. But there were some great performances from the Best Original Song nominees and also one special segment from Lady Gaga. Watch!
The 87th Academy Awards are upon us and it's time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony is being broadcast live from the Dolby Theatre with the always-entertaining Neil Patrick Harris as our host this year. With a line-up of eight Best Picture nominees, everyone is anxious to find out if Boyhood will beat Birdman, and if Selma will get any love, or if American Sniper or The Grand Budapest Hotel or even The Imitation Game will sneak in for the win. It's finally time to find out who is taking home an Oscar, and who isn't, at the Academy Awards this year. The full list below will be updated with winners marked as they're announced live tonight - refresh for updates.
Read on for a complete list of #Oscars2015 nominees & winners. Let us know what you think of the results!
This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of editorial commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.
The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring plenty of those little indies which deserve the honor and recognition that they usually don't receive… Now celebrating their 30th year. There's quite a few repeats here that will end up winning at the Oscars, but so be it. The 2015 winners of the Spirit Awards were announced Saturday before the Oscars at a ceremony out in Santa Monica. The big winner this year was Birdman, awarded Best Feature, with everything else spread between a variety of winners including Richard Linklater, Nightcrawler, J.K. Simmons, Julianne Moore. Nothing out of the ordinary, but a solid set of winners this year. Read on for the list of Indie Spirit results.