Roundup: How ‘The Hobbit’ made the VFX shortlist sight unseen

<p>"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"</p>

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

The shortlisting and ensuing “bakeoff” that results in the Oscar nominees for Best Visual Effects is a notably imperfect process — all the more so when the Academy compressed its voting calendar by a couple of weeks. David S. Cohen looks into this year’s race, and finds that “The Hobbit” made the Academy’s 10-film shortlist despite the fact that most of the VFX committee hadn’t seen it by November 28, the day they met to draw up the list. Chairman Craig Barron describes the sight-unseen inclusion as a no-brainer, but other members were less happy: “One interest is concerned with having an awards process that is conducted as promptly as possible, and that of course has to vie with the interest that is mainly preoccupied with ensuring the process maintains its integrity,” says Jonathan Erland. “It’s self-evident that there’s a problem.” What do you think? [Variety]


Argo” may have been banned in Iran — quelle surprise — but that hasn’t stopped bootleg DVDs from selling by the truckload. [Wall Street Journal]

David O. Russell on the scene he found hardest to write in “Silver Linings Playbook.” It’s the same scene that could win Jennifer Lawrence the Oscar. [Vulture]

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Forrest Wickman thinks a lot of people need to give Anne Hathaway a break. (Still, if she was as widely disliked as his article would have you believe, she wouldn’t be an Oscar shoo-in.) [Slate]

David Koepp, writer of “Jurassic Park” and “Spider-Man,” will receive the WGA’s Career Achievement Award at the tender age of 49. As it happens, he’s never been nominated for a WGA Award. [Hollywood Reporter]

DGA president Taylor Hackford, an Oscar nominee eight years ago for “Ray,” will not be pursuing a third term at the head of the table. [Variety]

Sasha Stone traces the timeline of “Argo”‘s ascendance to frontrunner status. Some pundits had it there all along, mind you. [Awards Daily]

Why British cinema, after a strong 2011, took an artistic and commercial step back in 2012. No mention, oddly, of either the absence of a Harry Potter film, or the Conservative Party scrapping the UK Film Council. [The Guardian

Denzel Washington is planning to direct the long-awaited film adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences,” for which he and Viola Davis won Tony Awards on its last revival. Could be major. [Empire]

Want to go see all the Best Picture nominees back-to-back? Of course you don’t. Still, the opportunity is there if you change your mind. [AMC]

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