THE ENVELOPE
Hollywood's Awards and Industry Insider
Producers Guild Awards: Last stand for 'Boyhood's' competitors?

Producers Guild of America members broke bread (mostly Danish, to be precise) Saturday morning at a breakfast honoring the teams behind the 10 movies nominated this year for the guild's best picture award.

At a panel discussion immediately afterward, PGA national executive director Vance Van Petten touted the group's diversity, noting the presence of four women (all blonds though ... where are the brunets?), one Mexican-born producer ("Birdman's" Alejandro G. Iñarritu) and "one from the AARP."

That would be Clint Eastwood, the senior member of the producers panel that convened onstage at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Eastwood ("American Sniper"), Iñarritu and "Boyhood" filmmaker Richard Linklater told the best stories from the stage, with Iñarritu revealing that he had once pestered Eastwood over dinner about the latter's ability to quickly shoot movies. ("Actors come to work warm and ready," was the reply. "You don't need to wait for a seventh take for them to get it right.")...

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What 'Boyhood' cast, director learned about family while filming

"Boyhood" premiered 368 days ago at the Sundance Film Festival, "sneaking up on people," as writer-director Richard Linklater puts it, despite the fact that he had spent the previous 12 years making this singular coming-of-age story.

Now, after winning the Golden Globe Award for best picture drama and countless prizes from critics' groups, Linklater's $4-million movie isn't taking anyone by surprise. Nominated for six Oscars, including nods for picture, director, screenplay and actors Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood" stands as the award season's kingpin, a distinction that still blows Hawke's mind.

"It never occurred to me that this would be more successful than something like 'Waking Life' or 'Before Midnight,'" Hawke says, naming two of his many collaborations with Linklater. "I figured it'd play in a few art house theaters and then 30 years from now I'd be doing a Q

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Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki aimed high on 'Birdman'

Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is known for his long takes and bold innovation, but capturing an entire backstage comedy with the illusion of one unbroken shot? Working on "Birdman" with director Alejandro G. Iñárritu was a new experiment.

"I didn't know if it was working or not," says Lubezki, known to his friends as "Chivo" ("young goat" in Spanish). "It was very satisfying to feel the energy of the actors and the crew and everybody. Even if Alejandro is pushing you to the cliff, everybody is so passionate about it."

Lubezki ("Children of Men," "Gravity") and the rest of the collaborators on "Birdman" dove into the divine madness of Iñárritu's laboratory.

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015

"Everybody's on their toes," says the cinematographer. "Often when you do a master shot, the actors are giving very little. It's when you go in to their close-ups that you go, 'Whoa, this guy's amazing!' But in this case, all the acting, the sound mixer, the focus puller, everybody knows...

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Keira Knightley ponders acting, feminism and a new role as a mother

Keira Knightley has been in the Hollywood spotlight for years, but arguably 2014 was the year when she was not just seen but really heard. She acquitted herself nicely as a singer in "Begin Again," earned a fourth Golden Globe nomination and a second Oscar nomination for "The Imitation Game," and made headlines by taking a stand for feminism in words and deeds (like the topless unretouched photo of herself published in November in Interview). The Envelope spoke with the now mom-to-be about her changing roles, both on screen and in real life.

Does it surprise you to hear that you've been acting for more than half of your life?

No! I don't remember wanting to be anything else. … For a while, I probably burned myself out by doing end-to-end-to-end jobs because I was so terrified it would stop — because it does, and it still may do. I have to pace myself. You have to try and grow and change, otherwise your audience won't be interested.

In "Imitation Game," you play Joan Clarke, the lone...

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Oscars 2015: Best picture, director and script front-runners

The day after Oscar nominations, while clearing away the "Lego" rubble, award season consultants began calling, repeating the same fear-soaked refrain: Beware the Phase Two Harvey.

For the uninitiated: Phase One of the Oscar campaign is earning nominations. Phase Two is winning Oscars. And nobody has cut a swath through the later portion of the season more than Harvey Weinstein, whose company has taken best picture honors for "The English Patient," "Shakespeare in Love," "Chicago," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist."

FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015

Can Weinstein pull off another win this year for "The Imitation Game," a British period drama possessing many elements — British accents, World War II, a social consciousness — that academy members find hard to resist? Let's take an early look at that race along with the categories for director and screenplay. Other categories will follow in the coming weeks.

PICTURE

The nominees:

"American Sniper"

"Birdman"

"Boyhood"

"The Grand Budapest Hotel"...

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Oscar Watch: 'American Sniper' zeroes in on best picture
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