Roundup: Can GKIDS crash the animation Oscar race again?

<p>A scene from "The Painting," one of GKIDS' four Oscar hopefuls this year.</p>

A scene from “The Painting,” one of GKIDS’ four Oscar hopefuls this year.

GKIDS was scarcely a blip on the radar when, nearly three years ago, they scored a shock Best Animated Feature Oscar nod for the very first film they distributed, “The Secret of Kells.” Last year, they announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with when they pushed two of their foreign toons into the race, at the expense of, among others, blockbuster “The Adventures of Tintin.” This year, as they jostle with four exotic offerings in the Oscar hunt, Rebecca Keegan looks at the rapidly rising profile of a company determined to bring some independent spirit and cultural diversity to the US animation market. “We haven’t needed a $3-million Oscar campaign,” says chief Eric Beckman. “Animators in L.A. are following what’s happening outside the country. We show them the films and they either win people’s hearts or they don’t.” [LA Times]


Joaquin Phoenix softens a little in his anti-Academy stance: “I guess I sound like a dick,” he says, before acknowledging the positive impact that his two Oscar nods have had on his career. [Sydney Morning Herald]

Justin Chang and Peter Debruge have a great back-and-forth about the Best Actor race, noting that many names most deserving of awards attention won’t receive it. A big ‘hell yes’ to Chang’s championing of Denis Lavant. [Variety]

Ramin Setoodeh asks where this year’s Best Actress contenders are. He has a point about the Hollywood gender gap, but I keep saying it: if you can’t find outstanding female performances, you’re not looking hard enough. Come on, people. [Daily Beast]

A.O. Scott talks to Robert De Niro, and argues that, for all the talk of a return to form in “Silver Linings Playbook,” he’s been on top form all along. De Niro’s one of my favorite living actors, but… no. [New York Times]

Sasha Stone examines the political currency of films in the Oscar hunt this year, with America’s history of slavery a recurring theme. [Awards Daily]

The Golden Globes will nominate any old musical, right? Wrong! Glenn Dunks looks at the HFPA’s 10 most egregious oversights within the genre they’re usually so hot for. They seriously didn’t nominate “All That Jazz?” [The Film Experience]

Joe Wright talks to Katey Rich about conceptualizing and choreographing his stylized take on “Anna Karenina.” [Cinema Blend]

In a break from movie talk, Roger Ebert has some advice for Barack Obama. [Salon

And to end on a sad note: R.I.P. Richard Robbins, the composer best known for his work with the Merchant-Ivory team, who netted Oscar nominations for “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day.” [The Guardian]

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