September 17, 2015
        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?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer                59th BFI London Film Festival Announces 2015 Lineup        

Oscars: “Hugo,” “The Descendants” and the Writers Guild winners in today’s Oscar news – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The final weekend before the Academy Awards, which will be held on Feb. 26, was bustling with Guild recognitions as Oscar contenders jockey for position and wait for what remains the biggest “game” in the entertainment industry. We’ll have ample coverage of the Oscars as the lengthy (lengthy!) marathon finally draws to a close. But for Monday morning, let’s run through the last few awards that were handed out before the Oscars finally get here:

– Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” won best original screenplay and “The Descendants” won best adapted screenplay at the Writers Guild of America awards Sunday night. If you ask me, both will take home the Oscars next Sunday.

– “The Descendants,” (edited by Kevin Tent, A.C.E.) and “The Artist” (edited by Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius) won Best Edited Feature Film (Drama) and Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical) respectively at the 62nd Annual ACE Eddie Awards. “Rango” (edited by Craig Wood, A.C.E.) won Best Edited Animated Feature Film and “Freedom Riders” (edited by Lewis Erskine & Aljernon Tunsil ) won Best Edited Documentary.

– At the same ceremony, Alexander Payne received the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year honor, which was presented to him by his “Election” star Reese Witherspoon.

– “Hugo” and the sound mixing team of Production Mixer John Midgley, Re-Recording Mixer Tom Fleischman, and CAS and Scoring Mixer Simon Rhodes had a big night at the 48th Annual Cinema Audio Society Awards on Saturday night. The family adventure won Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture, the evening’s top honor. The program also celebrated the professional contributions of Scott Millan, CAS, with the CAS Career Achievement Award.

– As the long, long season draws to a close, Jeff Wells argues that the race has value.

– But who benefits the most from this value? Did you see the L.A. Times’ breakdown of the Academy demographic. You might be surprised. Then again, you probably won’t be. “Oscar voters are nearly 94% Caucasian and 77% male, The Times found. Blacks are about 2% of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2%.”

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.”
– Producer Jim Burke for “The Descendants.”
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.”
Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
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.”
– Producer Grant Heslov for “The Ides of March.”

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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