September 23, 2015
        Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling - "The Big Short" enters 2015 and could shake the Oscar race up                "Room" wins the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival                “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?        

Meryl Streep, “War Horse” and “The Descendants” in today’s Oscar news – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The awards race has kicked into high gear. The National Board of Review kicked things off. The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards extends the madness tonight. And we still have the Golden Globes (with host Ricky Gervais) and, of course, the Oscars on the horizon.

As a result, a lot of little pieces are shifting into place as campaigns jockey for prime position. Let’s run through the Oscar news of the day as we get ready for tonight’s CCMAs, which is bound to pull the awards race into focus … or sending it careening in a completely different direction.

– “The Iron Lady,” with Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, plans a theatrical expansion right before the Golden Globes.

– EW’s Oscar expert Dave Karger wonders if the “War Horse” Oscar momentum is fading.

– Fox Searchlight, meanwhile, is upping its campaign for the editing and cinematography on Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.”

– We reported earlier that the Oscars could leave the Kodak Theatre in time. Now THR says that the ceremony could end up at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.

– Douglas Trumbull, the visual effects wizard whose resume includes such masterpieces as “2001,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Blade Runner,” will receive the the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for his body of work and technical innovation in cinematic visual effects. The presentation will occur at Feb. 11th’s Scientific and Technical Awards.

– The Internet Film Critic Society announced the winners of their 5th Annual Movie Awards, giving the top honor (Best Drama) to Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” Malick also won the Best Director prize. Other awards went to Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Best Comedy), “Drive” (Best Action Film), and “Attack the Block” (Best Horror or Science Fiction Film). George Clooney picked up the award for Best Actor for his performance in “The Descendants,” and Rooney Mara won Best Actress for her role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

– And finally, Steve James’ excellent documentary “The Interrupters” took home the top prize at Cinema Eye Honors in NY. The ceremony honors nonfiction works. Too bad James’ film isn’t eligible for an Oscar this year.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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