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Film academy reveals shortlists for nine different categories ahead of Oscar nomination voting

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the shortlists of semi-finalists in nine different categories for the 91st Oscars, including Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Song and Original Score), Visual Effects, and Documentary Feature, among others.

The unusual release of the shortlists, which, in the past, have been revealed over the course of several weeks rather than all at once, comes ahead of the start of the Academy’s nominations voting, which will begin on January 7 and run through January 14 before being announced on the morning of January 22.

Still without a replacement for the recently fired Kevin Hart, the 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and will air live coast-to-coast on ABC Television Network. You can check out the all nine Oscars shortlists below.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Fifteen films will advance in the Documentary Feature category for the 91st Academy Awards.  One hundred sixty-six films were originally submitted in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Charm City”
“Communion”
“Crime + Punishment”
“Dark Money”
“The Distant Barking of Dogs”
“Free Solo”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”
“On Her Shoulders”
“RBG”
“Shirkers”
“The Silence of Others”
“Three Identical Strangers”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Ten films will advance in the Documentary Short Subject category for the 91st Academy Awards.  One hundred four films had originally qualified in the category.  Members of the Documentary Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Black Sheep”
“End Game”
“Lifeboat”
“Los Comandos”
“My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes”
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End of Sentence.”
“’63 Boycott”
“Women of the Gulag”
“Zion”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 91st Academy Awards.  Eighty-seven films had originally been considered in the category.

Los Angeles-based Academy members from all branches screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 10.  The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.  Academy members eligible to participate in the Nominations round of voting will view the shortlisted films.  Members must see all nine films before casting their ballots.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Colombia, “Birds of Passage”
Denmark, “The Guilty”
Germany, “Never Look Away”
Japan, “Shoplifters”
Kazakhstan, “Ayka”
Lebanon, “Capernaum”
Mexico, “Roma”
Poland, “Cold War”
South Korea, “Burning”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING 
Seven films will advance in the Makeup and Hairstyling category for the 91st Academy Awards.  All members of the Academy’s Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  Members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar® consideration.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Stan & Ollie”
“Suspiria”
“Vice”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Fifteen scores will advance in the Original Score category for the 91st Academy Awards.  One hundred fifty-six scores were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The scores listed in alphabetical order by film title are:

“Annihilation”
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“The Death of Stalin”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Quiet Place”
“Ready Player One”
“Vice”

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
Fifteen songs will advance in the Original Song category for the 91st Academy Awards.  Ninety songs were eligible in the category.  Members of the Music Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The original songs, along with the motion picture in which each song is featured, are listed below in alphabetical order by film title and song title:

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Treasure” from “Beautiful Boy”
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther”
“Revelation” from “Boy Erased”
“Girl In The Movies” from “Dumplin’”
“We Won’t Move” from “The Hate U Give”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Trip A Little Light Fantastic” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Keep Reachin’” from “Quincy”
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG”
“A Place Called Slaughter Race” from “Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“OYAHYTT” from “Sorry to Bother You”
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
“Suspirium” from “Suspiria”
“The Big Unknown” from “Widows”

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Ten films will advance in the Animated Short Film category for the 91st Academy Awards.  Eighty-one films had originally qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Age of Sail”
“Animal Behaviour”
“Bao”
“Bilby”
“Bird Karma”
“Late Afternoon”
“Lost & Found”
“One Small Step”
“Pépé le Morse”
“Weekends”

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Ten films will advance in the Live Action Short Film category for the 91st Academy Awards.  One hundred forty films had originally qualified in the category.  Members of the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Caroline”
“Chuchotage”
“Detainment”
“Fauve”
“Icare”
“Marguerite”
“May Day”
“Mother”
“Skin”
“Wale”

VISUAL EFFECTS
Ten films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 91st Academy Awards.  The Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist.  All members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Saturday, January 5, 2019.  Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by title, are:

“Ant-Man and the Wasp”
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Black Panther”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
“Welcome to Marwen”

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With their case diminishing, prosecutors drop sexual assault charges against Kevin Spacey

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With their case against Kevin Spacey diminishing, Nantucket prosecutors asked Wednesday for charges to be dropped against the actor, who had been facing a felony charge for the alleged sexual assault of the teenage son of a former Boston TV news anchor in 2016.

In a document filed in the Nantucket District Court, Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said he was filing a “nolle prosequi,” which, in a criminal case, is an admission that the charges against the defendant cannot be proven. O’Keefe cited the “unavailability of the complaining witness” as his reason for the dismissal of the case.

O’Keefe’s decision to drop the charges against Spacey is not a particularly surprising one. During an evidentiary hearing last week, Spacey’s accuser refused to testify about what happened to a missing cellphone containing text messages — and possibly video — the night the alleged assault took place.

When asked if he knew that he could be charged with a felony should an investigation find that he had tampered with or destroyed evidence on the phone, Spacey’s accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment and was unwilling to continue his testimony, according to The New York Times.

The accuser’s lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said in a statement that the accuser and his family “have shown an enormous amount of courage under difficult circumstances,” and added that he will not be commenting on the case any further at this time.

Spacey’s lawyer, Alan Jackson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In December, just moments before the news of the felony charge against Spacey broke, the actor posted to YouTube a bizarre video in which he appears as his character Frank Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards and says he is “certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

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Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu lead a band of grifting strippers in the ‘Hustlers’ trailer

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Hustlers
STX FILMS

STX Films has released the first trailer for Hustlers, the upcoming stripper comedy featuring an all-star cast that includes the likes of Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Mercedes Ruehl, and Cardi B.

Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, the film follows a group of savvy former strip club employees who come together to turn the tables on their unsuspecting, money-grubbing Wall Street clients.

“These Wall Street guys — you see what they did to this country? They stole from everybody,” Lopez’s character says. “Hard-working people lost everything and not one of these douchebags go to jail. The game is rigged and it does not reward people who play by the rules. It’s like robbing a bank; except you get the keys.”

Scafaria based Hustlers on Jessica Pressler’s 2015 New York Magazine article titled “Hustlers at Scores,” which tells the real-life story of a band of New York City strippers scamming their wealthy clients out of thousands of dollars before eventually being caught by authorities.

In addition to starring in the film, Lopez also serves as a producer on Hustlers alongside Elaine Goldsmith Thomas, Jessica Elbaum, Benny Medina, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay. The film is a co-production between STX and Annapurna.

Hustlers will open in theaters on September 13.

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Taika Waititi signs on to direct ‘Thor 4’ as the live-action ‘Akira’ movie gets delayed indefinitely

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Taika Waititi Thor 4 Akira release date
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In a move that will force him to put the highly anticipated live-action adaptation of Akira on the backburner indefinitely, Taika Waititi has officially closed a deal to direct Thor 4 for Marvel Studios, sources tell Silver Screen Beat.

The development is a rather surprising one considering Akira — which has been in development at Warner Bros. ever since the studio acquired the rights to the popular Japanese manga in 2002 — was as close as it ever was to getting made.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, pre-production on Akira had been moving along smoothly — despite some concerns with the script that were later resolved — and Waititi had been meeting with and testing young Japanese actors for roles in the film as part of a worldwide search for talent.

But now that the project has experienced yet another major setback, execs can only hope that Waititi will pick up where he left off once he completes Thor 4, which will once again see Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the titular God of Thunder.

Waititi is currently prepping to hop on the fall festival circuit with his World War II-era satire Jojo Rabbit, which he wrote, directed, and stars in alongside Scarlett Johansson, Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Rebel Wilson, and Sam Rockwell. Fox Searchlight will release the film on October 18.

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