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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Bachelor Kimmel/Deflategate/Sniper Controversy

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Roeper Rundown: Super Bowl and Oscar odds

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Oscar: Talk About Odds-on Favorites!

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Now that the nominations are in, my friends at Bovada have posted the odds in the major categories–and we’re looking at some of most prohibitive favorites in recent memory.

For example, in the Best Picture category, “Boyhood” is a 1/14 favorite. You would almost never see a 1/14 favorite in any sports event or any horse race. What it means is this: if you wanted to net a single dollar on “Boyhood” winning Best Picture, you’d have to risk $14 of your own money.

Let’s say “Selma” springs the upset. The odds on “Selma” are 18/1, meaning you’d WIN $18 on a wager of $1.

For Best Actress, Julianne Moore is 1/20. That’s about right. It would be a huge upset if any of the other four nominees won.

Patricia Arquette is biggest favorite of all at 1/25 to win Best Supporting Actress. (You’d have to risk $100 to win four bucks!) No doubt Arquette is the popular choice, and I’m predicting a win for her, but if you were looking for one possible upset in the major categories, Supporting Actress has a history of surprises, including Marisa Tomei’s win over Miranda Richardson, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave and Judy Davis in 1993; Mira Sorvino besting Joan Allen and Kate Winslet in 1995; and Juliette Binoche’s stunning upset of Lauren Bacall in 1997.

Laura Dern at 20/1 would be worth risking a couple of dollars. (Imaginary dollars, of course, because gambling on the Oscars isn’t legal in the States. Plus it would be wrong. Cough cough.) Or you could check off Dern’s name in your Oscar pool just to be different.

It’s a wonderful performance by a popular, legacy actress. (Her father is Bruce Dern; her mother is Diane Ladd.) Dern probably won’t get enough votes to pull off the upset, but if the Academy revealed total votes, I’ll bet we’d find out she placed a strong second.

The Oscars – Best Picture
Boyhood 1/14
The Grand Budapest Hotel 12/1
Birdman 14/1
Selma 18/1
The Imitation Game 20/1
Theory of Everything 25/1
Whiplash 50/1
American Sniper 50/1

The Oscars – Best Director
Richard Linklater – Boyhood 1/14
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman 13/2
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher 25/1
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game 25/1
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel 25/1

The Oscars – Best Actor
Michael Keaton – Birdman 4/5
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything 1/1
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game 12/1
Steve Carrell – Foxcatcher 25/1
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper 33/1

The Oscars – Best Actress
Julianne Moore – Still Alice 1/20
Reese Witherspoon – Wild 10/1
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl 20/1
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything 20/1
Marion Cotillard – Two Days One Night 33/1

The Oscars – Best Supporting Actor
JK Simmons – Whiplash 1/18
Edward Norton – Birdman 9/1
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher 12/1
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood 20/1
Robert Duvall – The Judge 33/1

The Oscars – Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood 1/25
Emma Stone – Birdman 12/1
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game 20/1
Laura Dern – Wild 20/1
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods 25/1

Courtesy of Bovada, (, Twitter: @BovadaLV)

Richard Roeper: 2015 Oscar Nomination Surprises

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Richard Roeper on the 2015 Oscar Nominations

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Q & A with “Boyhood” Writer/Director Richard Linklater

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Last summer, Richard Roeper had a dinner conversation in Chicago with “Boyhood” writer/director Richard Linklater just prior to the film’s release. Since then, “Boyhood” has achieved nearly universal acclaim, with a 100% rating among “Top Critics” on Rotten Tomatoes (and a 98% favorable rating among all critics. “Boyhood” appeared on more critics’ Top 10 lists than any other 2014 release, with A.O. Scott of the New York Times, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and RR among those putting at No. 1.

Linklater won the Golden Globe for Best Director, Patricia Arquette won the Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the film was a Golden Globe winner in the Drama category. When the Academy Award nominations are announced Thursday, it will be a monumental upset if the picture doesn’t receive multiple nominations.

What follows is an edited transcript of Richard’s conversation with Mr. Linklater.

RR: We’ve seen documentaries such as the “Up” series that revisit people as they age, but in the fictional realm, this
is something entirely different. When did this idea first pop into your head?

RL: I was thinking about this starting in the late 90s and by 2001, I think I had my idea for how to tell this particular story. I wanted to tell a story about growing up, but when you’re (dealing with that age range), it’s not as simple as saying, “Oh now you’re 60, we’ll gray your hair.” My ideas were all over the map, and I kind of given up and then—boom—just at the moment I had given up, this idea hit. In my mind, I was sitting watching one film that felt very continuous, just one thing, and then just everyone just aged and grew up and it would be one film and I saw my narrative of how to make this movie.

RR: So this wasn’t something you went into and just said we’ll see how it goes year to year. You had pretty a clear construction in mind?

RL: It hit all at once—first through 12th grade…the whole public education…go off to college at the end. Older sister, mom with the empty nest…I had it all structured —the divorces, all of it. But the luxury was having all that time. That was our strong point, all the gestation time—those 4,000 days we weren’t shooting to just edit, and I would just watch everything we had done up to that point over the year in the interim and just feel my way through it.

RR: You knew Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette were pros and they were going to be able to revisit the characters every year and inhabit them again. The real risk was in casting the child actors—Ellar Coltrane as Mason, and your own daughter Lorelei as his older sister Samantha.

RL: That was the really volatile element in the chemical equation that could blow up, but it was also–you had to think of it as that was the fun thing, that was the secret sauce that would make it what it is. That would be a fun thing to look forward to. The film was just going to kind of gradually adjust itself to where the kids

RR: On year your daughter asked if maybe her character would be killed off. You also couldn’t know in advance if Ellar was going to be a good actor as a teenager—or if he would even want to continue to be in the film.

RL: Yeah, it was a huge leap of faith. You’re kind of casting the parents to a degree—his parents are artists and he wasn’t some kid off the street, he had been in a movie a couple of friends of mine had worked on, and they said “Oh, he’s a really good kid,” they liked working with him, so you know—little things. And kids like movie sets, there’s a lot of food, a lot of fun stuff going on, all these adults giving them their attention.

RR: Ellar was seven when you started shooting. There are so many things you don’t even remember happening to you at that age.

RL: He said when he saw the movie he didn’t even remember being there so much. My only hope was that he would kind of incrementally age into it and get a bigger understanding for what it was. He said about half way through for sure, he kind of thought like “Hmmm …wow …what a thing.” He could grasp it a little more at the halfway point.

RR: When we look back at your own childhood and teen years, it’s not as every single year carries the same weight. The film reflects that. Some years are more pivotal than others.

RL: Each year it kind of wanted to be its own thing. I wanted it all to feel like a memory of some kind, just some flowing thing.

RR: Then there’s all the pop culture stuff. Shooting in nearly real time, year by year, certain influences are pretty obvious. Other times, you’re guessing what will endure as a touchstone.

RL: Yeah, that was part of the collaboration with the unknown future. As it was happening you’re just kind of going, well is this significant? Would you remember this moment?
It’s funny how certain things age and how certain things get a laugh now. The Harry Potter scene, with the kids lining up for a midnight book party—they didn’t do that when I was a kid, they may never do that again. It’s kind of like the Apollo space program when I was as a kid. The stuff about the Obama campaign—we shot that before he won the election. But obviously no matter how it turned out, you would remember that election.

RR: Another thing I loved about the film was the big sister–little brother dynamic. At the beginning of the story Samantha’s a bratty little girl tormenting her brother with a Britney Spears song. By the time he’s a senior in high school and she’s off at college, they’re getting to that point where she knows she’ll be looking out for him for the rest of their lives. They’ll be friends.

RL: By the time she’s in college and he’s visiting she’ll lie for him. They had the same kind of dynamic off screen over the years.

RR: Did you ever show the kids the footage?

RL: No not the kids, they never asked. Patricia and Ethan were seeing it–Ethan a little more than Patricia. He’s more of a collaborator. I was thinking the kids might get self –conscious… it’s a unique position to see your physicality documented. It’s not a documentary about you, but it’s YOU, it’s how you looked at a certain place in time and it’s a trip for both of them.

RR: For the first time in a dozen years, you’re not planning the next round of shooting with these characters. Even though the reception to this film has been extraordinary, has it been tough to let go? It’s almost like you’re parallel with Patricia Arquette’s character in the film, having to say goodbye to Mason as he leaves the nest.

RL: As wonderful as the reception has been, it HAS been difficult to let go. I think I won’t fully let go until around the holidays.

RR: Seeing as how you returned twice to the Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy characters in the “Before” movies, I’m sure you’re getting the question: are we going to see what happens to Mason and Lorelei and their parents 10 or 15 years from now?

RL: That’s like asking a mother right after she’s given birth if she’ll have another baby way down the road. I haven’t even thought about that, but I would never say it’s never going to happen.

Patton Oswalt Talks new book ‘Silver Screen Fiend’

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015






RR Prediction: Nominees for the 87th Annual Academy Awards

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

​This thing called buzz, I just can’t fathom it.

​I’ve seen thousands of movies and I’ve covered dozens of awards shows. At least a few times every year, I’ll emerge from the cocoon of the screening room convinced I’ve just seen a nomination-worthy performance or film.

​And then a month later the movie is already disappearing from theaters, having created not even the slightest hint of a buzz.

​To be sure, some films and performances ARE sure things. I don’t know anyone in the business that saw “Birdman” and DIDN’T think Michael Keaton would get a Best Actor nomination. You’d be hard-pressed to find any industry analyst who doesn’t believe “Boyhood” will get a Best Picture nomination.

​The nominees for the 87th annual Academy Awards will be announced Thursday morning. Here are my predictions for the most popular categories, with a few runners-up in the Big Five.

Best Picture




​“The Grand Budapest Hotel”’

​“Gone Girl”

​“The Imitation Game”


​“The Theory of Everything”


​Just missing the cut: “Nightcrawler,” “Interstellar,” “American Sniper”

Best Actress

​Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”​

Marion Cotillard, “Two Days/One Night”

​Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

​Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”

​Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

​Just missing the cut: Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything,” Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”

Best Actor

​Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”

​Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”

​Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

​David Oyelowo, “Selma”

​Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

​Just missing the cut: Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper,” Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler,” Oscar Isaac, “A Most Violent Year”

Best Supporting Actress

​Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

​Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”

​Laura Dern, “Wild”

​Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”

​Emma Stone, “Birdman”

​Just missing the cut: Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods,” Tilda  Swinton, “Snowpiercer”

Best Supporting Actor

​Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”

​Robert Duvall, “The Judge’

​Edward Norton, “Birdman”

​Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”

​J.K Simmons, “Whiplash”

​Just missing the cut: Josh Brolin, “Inherent Vice,” Tom Wilkinson, “Selma,” Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

Best Director

​Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

​Ana DuVernay, “Selma”

​David Fincher, “Gone Girl”

​Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”

​Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Best Animated Film

​“Big Hero 6”

​“The Book of Life”

​“The Boxtrolls”

​“How to Train Your Dragon 2”

​“The Lego Movie”

TRAILER: Melissa McCarthy’s latest movie ‘Spy’

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

72nd Golden Globes

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

As is the case with almost every awards show, they wait until the very end to do the half-dozen categories of most interest to the home audience — so we get the obligatory jokes about how the show is running late, and some of the biggest and most accomplished stars in the world find themselves rushing to finish their speeches while the dreaded “play-off” music kicks in.

I admired Eddie Redmayne’s work in “The Theory of Everything, but I would have voted for David Oyelowo’s work in “Selma” or Steve Carell’s performance in “Foxcatcher.”

Julianne Moore won Best Drama Actress for “Still Alice.” In a month and a half, she’ll be adding an Oscar to her trophy case. Same goes for Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” and Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.” Your four acting Oscar winners are pretty much solidified, folks. Not because they won the Golden Globes (though that doesn’t hurt) but because they’re the clear favorites in their respective categories.

I’m not surprised the HFPA selected “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in that bizarre Comedy or Musical category. It wasn’t my favorite entry (that would be “Birdman”), but it’s the kind of movie the voters love.

As is the case with almost every awards show, they wait until the very end to do the half-dozen categories of most interest to the home audience — so we get the obligatory jokes about how the show is running late, and some of the biggest and most accomplished stars in the world find themselves rushing to finish their speeches while the dreaded “play-off” music kicks in.

I admired Eddie Redmayne’s work in “The Theory of Everything, but I would have voted for David Oyelowo’s work in “Selma” or Steve Carell’s performance in “Foxcatcher.”

Julianne Moore won Best Drama Actress for “Still Alice.” In a month and a half, she’ll be adding an Oscar to her trophy case. Same goes for Michael Keaton in “Birdman,” J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” and Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.” Your four acting Oscar winners are pretty much solidified, folks. Not because they won the Golden Globes (though that doesn’t hurt) but because they’re the clear favorites in their respective categories.

I’m not surprised the HFPA selected “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in that bizarre Comedy or Musical category. It wasn’t my favorite entry (that would be “Birdman”), but it’s the kind of movie the voters love.

9:32 p.m.

Perhaps the most stunning sight at the Golden Globes: George Clooney wearing a wedding ring.

Clooney has been nominated in more categories than anyone in the history of the Golden Globes, so even though he’s just 53, it didn’t seem premature for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to give him the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. The montage of movies Clooney has directed, produced and/or starred in was a reminder of one of the most remarkable careers of the last 20 years.

A number of favorites did take home the Globe, including J. K. Simmons for “Whiplash,” Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” (they’ll both win supporting trophies on Oscar night as well); Kevin Spacey getting a well-deserved Globe for “House of Cards”; and Richard Linklater honored for his directing on the masterful “Boyhood.”

The pre-game festivities on the red carpet were entertaining as always. NBC morning stars Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie seemed uncomfortable interviewing Matthew McConaughey et al.; Guthrie in particular was having a hard time, as she kept the microphone close to her mouth when SHE was talking, but held it way too low when the SUBJECT was talking.

8:29 p.m.

We’ve had a couple of surprises already, including:

• “How to Train Your Dragon 2” winning Best Animated Feature over the superior “The Lego Movie” and “Big Hero 6.”

• Amy Adams winning Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for “Big Eyes,” which I thought was actually a drama when I saw it. Emily Blunt was the favorite for “Into the Woods,” but I agree with the Hollywood Foreign Press on this one. Adams said she couldn’t have been less prepared — and she went on to prove it in a sincere but nearly incoherent speech.

• Not surprising: Ricky Gervais taking the stage with a glass of ale and proceeding to skewer Hollywood royalty in his typically precision-perfect fashion.

• As for Prince’s surprise appearance: even bigshot Hollywood stars whooped it up when he walked onstage sporting round sunglasses and some sort of walking stick, leading me to wonder for a moment if poor Prince had been struck blind.

No, he’s just the same silly genius he’s always been.

7:18 p.m.

The dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler killed it in their opening monologue, delivering smart, slightly edgy one-liners that poked fun at the audience and the silliness of show business while clearly enjoying what they said will be their last time co-hosting.

Yes, they went after Bill Cosby, trading bad imitations of Cosby as the audience laughed uncomfortably, if there’s such a thing as laughing uncomfortably.

Fey and Poehler stayed with the semi-snark throughout their monologue, making no mention of Paris. Instead, they noted Reese Witherspoon “did her own walking” in “The Wild.” They said a real-life painting of “Big Eyes” was in the audience — and the camera cut to Emma Stone, who didn’t seem thrilled to be the target of the joke. They called out Joaquin Phoenix, who said awards shows are nonsense and yet was in attendance.

Tina Fey cited Amal Clooney’s amazing accomplishments as a lawyer, human rights activist and author and cracked, “So tonight her HUSBAND is getting a lifetime achievement award.”

Great stuff. I’m gonna miss those two co-hosting this thing.

6:50 p.m.

Why bring a date when you work in a plug for your movie or your TV show?

From “The Boy Next Door” to “Girls” to “House of Cards,” co-stars appeared together on the red carpet to chat up their latest projects.

Meanwhile, the lovely but low-key Amal Clooney looked like she WISHED her husband had brought along a co-star — especially when Giuliana Ranci whipped out a bottle of Clooney’s Casamigos Tequilia and tried to get George and Amal to join her in a shot.

Amal was having none of it. George said he’d be at the bar after the show, but he said he was speaking at the awards and it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to drink beforehand, given what’s happened in the past when he tried that combo.

A game Giuliana downed a shot and said it was smooth.

George and Amal smiled.

Awkwardness prevailed.

6:16 PM

From the button on George Clooney’s lapel to the button on Amal Clooney’s purse to the signs held by Kathy Bates, Joshua Jackson and even some of the photographers, “Je Suis Charlie” was the dominant message on the red carpet of the Golden Globes.

Helen Mirren sported a pen-pin and explained it was to support, “Free speech…against the Charlie Hebdo atrocity. A reminder for all of us to stand behind the ideal of free speech.”

And why not. Say what you will about actors getting involved in politics—and I’ve never understood why it’s a bad thing for celebrities to get involved in noble causes—but actors and writers and directors are artists, and they’re as outraged as anyone else by the slaughter in Paris.

As Aud Berggren Morisse goes, so go the Globes.
Well. It’s not just good old Aud Berggren Morisse. Gilda Baum-Lappe, Tina Johnk Christensen, Yola Czaderska-Hayek and of course The Kingma had something to say about the winners as well.
The aforementioned are members in good standing of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, that small body of international entertainment, um, journalists, who determine the nominees and the winners of the Golden Globes.
There are just 85 members in the HFPA—some of them full-time entertainment journalists, others part-timers. They hail from Egypt, Italy, France, Australia, Mexico, Canada and a dozen other countries. The largest contingent is from Germany, which boasts some 10 members.
As most of you know, the Golden Globes used to be a joke. There was a time when nobody even wanted to televise the awards. Now, the Globes are second only to the Academy Awards in the minds of most fans—and many in the entertainment industry.
You can win a Golden Globe with as few as 18 votes. Carry Germany and you’re halfway there!

The dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting once again this year, so that’s a win right there. Here’s my take on who else will be coming home a winner this year. (I’m doing just the movie categories, as I haven’t seen enough of some of the nominated TV shows and actors to give a fair assessment.)

Best Motion Picture, Drama
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”
Will win: “Boyhood”
Should win: “Boyhood”

Best Actor, Drama
Steve Carrell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Will win: Eddie Redmayne
Should win: Steve Carrell

Best Actress, Drama
Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
Will win: Julianne Moore
Should win: Julianne Moore

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“St. Vincent”
Will win: “Birdman”
Should win: “Birdman”

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
Ralph Fiennes, “Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”
Will win: Michael Keaton
Should win: Michael Keaton

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhane Walls, “Annie”
Will win: Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Should win: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Will win: J.K. Simmons
Should win: J.K. Simmons

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Will win: Patricia Arquette
Should win: Jessica Chastain

Best Director
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Will win: Richard Linklater
Should win: Richard Linklater

Best Screenplay
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacbone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”
Will win: Wes Anderson
Should win: Inarritu et al.

Best Original Score
Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
Johann Johannsson, “The Theory of Everything”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
Antonio Sanchez, “Birdman”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”
Will win: Antonio Sanchez
Should win: Antonio Sanchez

Best Original Song
“Big Eyes” from “Big Eyes”
“Glory” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is” from “Noah”
“Opportunity” from Annie
“Yellow Flicker Beat” from “The Hunger Games”
Will win: “Glory Is”
Should win: “Yellow Flicker Beat”

Best Animated Film
“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”
Will win: “Big Hero 6”
Should win: “The Lego Movie”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Force Majeure”
“Get: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem”
Will win: “Force Majeure”
Should win: “Leviathan”

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