"Boyhood" Tops 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards Nominations 

And the Oscar season is off and running! Nominees for the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards have been unleased and Richard Linklater's fantastic "Boyhood" led the pack with four nods including Best Feature, Best Actor for Ethan Hawke, Best Actress for Patricia Arquette, and Breakthrough Actor for Ellar Coltrane.

We'll find out the winners of the 2014 Gotham Awards on December 1st! Here's the complete list of nominees:

Best Feature

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director; Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, producers (IFC Films)

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, director; Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Love Is Strange
Ira Sachs, director; Lucas Joaquin, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Under the Skin
Jonathan Glazer, director; Nick Wechsler, James Wilson, producers (A24 Films)

Best Documentary

Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Robert Greene, producers (The Cinema Guild)

Laura Poitras, director; Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky, producers (RADiUS, Participant Media, and HBO Documentary Films)

Life Itself
Steve James, director; Zak Piper, Steve James, Garrett Basch, producers (Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films)

Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, directors; Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, producers (The Cinema Guild)

Point and Shoot
Marshall Curry, director; Marshall Curry, Elizabeth Martin, Matthew Van Dyke, producers (The Orchard and American Documentary / POV)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Kino Lorber)

James Ward Byrkit for Coherence (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Eliza Hittman for It Felt Like Love (Variance Films)

Justin Simien for Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Best Actor*

Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year (A24 Films)

Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Miles Teller in Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

* The 2014 Best Actor nominating panel also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award jointly to Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum for their ensemble performance in Foxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics).

Best Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights (Relativity Media)

Julianne Moore in Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin (A24 Films)

Mia Wasikowska in Tracks (The Weinstein Company)

Breakthrough Actor

Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Macon Blair in Blue Ruin (RADiUS)

Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood (IFC Films)

Joey King in Wish I Was Here (Focus Features)

Jenny Slate in Obvious Child (A24 Films)

Tessa Thompson in Dear White People (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Twenty writers, critics and programmers participated in the nomination process, considering 199 eligible submissions. The Nominating Committees for the 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards were:

Nominating Committee for Best Feature and Breakthrough Director:

Justin Chang, Senior Film Critic, Variety

Eric Kohn, Lead Film Critic, Indiewire

Christy Lemire, Film Critic, ChristyLemire.com and co-host, What the Flick?!

Andrew O’Hehir, Film Critic, Salon.com

Joshua Rothkopf, Film Editor, Time Out New York

Nominating Committee for Best Documentary:

Charlotte Cook, Director of Programming, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Bilge Ebiri, Film Critic, New York Magazine and Vulture

Cynthia Fuchs, Film-TV Editor, PopMatters

Tom Hall, Executive Director, Montclair Film Festival

Sky Sitney,Visiting Artist, Georgetown University Film and Media Studies Department

Nominating Committee for Best Actor and Best Actress:

Mark Harris,Editor-at-Large, Entertainment Weeklyand columnist,Grantland

Ann Hornaday, Film Critic, The Washington Post

Glenn Kenny,Critic, RogerEbert.com; author, Anatomy of an Actor: Robert De Niro

David Rooney, Film & Theater Critic, The Hollywood Reporter

Elizabeth Weitzman, Film Critic, New York Daily News

Nominating Committee for Breakthrough Actor:

Sam Adams, Editor of Criticwire, Indiewire

A.A. Dowd, Film Editor, The A. V. Club

Sheila O’Malley, Film Critic, RogerEbert.com

Ronnie Scheib, Film Critic, Variety

Stephen Whitty, Film Critic, Newark Star-Ledger

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ Grant

For the fourth consecutive year, IFP is proud present the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers ‘Live the Dream’ grant, a $25,000 cash award for an alumna of IFP’s Independent Filmmaker Labs. This grant aims to further the careers of emerging women directors by supporting the completion, distribution and audience engagement strategies of their first feature film.

The nominees are:

Garrett Bradley, director, Below Dreams

Claire Carré, director, Embers

Chloé Zhao, director, Songs My Brothers Taught Me

SOURCE: Indiewire

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Nicholas Sparks Talks About "The Best Of Me!" 

Nicholas Sparks, for better or for worse, is a prolific writer about love – familial (which is often the case) and unrequited love (which is often the case). So is his new film, “The Best of Me” one of the best in Sparks’ oeuvre? Or is it horrible? I sat down with the author to find out if he envisions a project cinematically while writing it, how is the movie compared to his novel, and how he’s the current king of love! Take a look at my fun but short (they’re running out of time!) interview.

Official “The Best of Me” Synopsis

Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances. . (c) Relativity


• James Marsden as Dawson Cole
• Michelle Monaghan as Amanda Collier
• Sebastian Arcelus as Frank Reynolds
• Gerald McRaney
• Jon Tenney as Harvey Collier
• Caroline Goodall
• Ian Nelson as Jared
• Schuyler Fisk as Older April
• Rob Mello as Ted Cole
• Hunter Burke as Abee Cole
• Sean Bridgers as Tommy Cole

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Why You Have to See "Kill the Messenger!' 

“Kill the Messenger” arrives in theaters near you but is this film worthy of Jeremy Renner’s performance? Here’s what I can tell you. The movie is scary! Why? Because it happened in real life! Take a look at my review!

Official “Kill the Messenger” Synopsis

Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner ("The Bourne Legacy") leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation's streets...and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. Despite warnings from drug kingpins and CIA operatives to stop his investigation, Webb keeps digging to uncover a conspiracy with explosive implications. His journey takes him from the prisons of California to the villages of Nicaragua to the highest corridors of power in Washington, D.C. - and draws the kind of attention that threatens not just his career, but his family and his life. (c) Focus


• Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb
• Barry Pepper as Russell Dodson
• Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Anna Simons
• Rosemarie DeWitt as Susan Webb
• Ray Liotta as John Cullen
• Paz Vega as Coral Baca
• Oliver Platt as Jerry Ceppos
• Michael Sheen as Fred Weil
• Richard Schiff as Walter Pincus
• Andy García as Norwin Meneses
• Robert Patrick As Ronny Quail

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Late Post: From "Gone Girl" to "The Judge," See My Latest Movie Reviews 

Hi guys, so sorry for my late posts! I was in the Philippines for the last week and a half and I've been busy reconnecting with family and friends that I didn't have time to post. Sorry :sad Please forgive me!

But better late than never, and there they are. My movie reviews of "Gone Girl," "The Good Lie," and "The Judge." Coming up, how many kisses does "Kill the Messenger" get? I'll have your answer tomorrow! But for now, let's settle for Ben Affleck, Reese Witherspoon, and Robert Downey Jr. Jeremy Renner can wait HA!

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NPH at the Oscars! Actor Set to Host the 2015 Academy Awards! 

So long Ellen, hello NPH! Veteran stage and screen actor will host the 87th Oscars according to show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on Sunday, February 22, 2015. He dances, he sings, and perhaps, he can take better selfies than Ellen!

Here's the rest of the press release:

"We are thrilled to have Neil host the Oscars," said Zadan and Meron. "We have known him his entire adult life, and we have watched him explode as a great performer in feature films, television and stage. To work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm, all of his resources and talent coming together on a global stage."

“It is truly an honor and a thrill to be asked to host this year’s Academy Awards. I grew up watching the Oscars and was always in such awe of some of the greats who hosted the show,” said Harris. “To be asked to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Ellen DeGeneres, and everyone else who had the great fortune of hosting is a bucket list dream come true.”

“We share Craig and Neil’s excitement in welcoming the incredibly talented Neil Patrick Harris,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “He is the consummate entertainer. Neil’s distinctive charm and showmanship make him the ideal host to honor the Oscar legacy and ensure we all enjoy another unforgettable celebration.”

“Neil is a terrific actor, singer, risk-taker and collaborator,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “We can't wait to see the show that he and Craig and Neil create together.”

“Neil Patrick Harris is highly energetic and a definitive entertainer,” said Paul Lee. “We are thrilled to have him as our 2015 Oscar host.”

A triple-threat performer, Harris has enjoyed a successful career in entertainment. He can currently be seen starring opposite Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in David Fincher’s critically-acclaimed feature film, “Gone Girl.” Harris garnered multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe award nominations for his role as Barney Stinson on the hit television series, “How I Met Your Mother,” and he won an Emmy for his guest-starring role on “Glee” in 2010. He also recently starred in the title role of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway, earning the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Harris served as host of the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as the 63rd, 65th, 66th and 67th Tony Awards, for which he won four Emmys. Most recently, Harris added the title of author to his list of accomplishments with the release of his autobiography from Crown Publishing, “Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography.”

The last two Oscars telecasts, which were produced by Zadan and Meron, received a major spike in the ratings. The 86th Oscars was TV’s most-watched entertainment event in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership since 2000, with more than 45 million viewers. The show resulted in dramatic gains in younger demos and social media conversation, with more than one billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions happening on Facebook on Oscar Sunday. Additionally, the star-studded “selfie” became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.

The Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network at 4 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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