By Max O'Connell | Indiewire February 22, 2014 at 9:59AM
We're nearing the end of awards season, but there's still plenty of talk going on. Indiewire's top stories this week included Peter Knegt's Oscar Predictions, Cate Blanchett's moving dedication of her BAFTA Best Actress Award to Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Eric Kohn's evaluation of "Omar" as the bleakest of any of this year's Oscar-nominees (clearly he hasn't seen "Jackass: Bad Grandpa"). We saw some disheartening statistics about the lack of progress in female representation in the media, but there's good news about the Berlinale breakouts this year. Besides, any world featuring CineFix's adorable video of children reenacting the Best Picture nominees can't be all that bad.
Take a look at all of these stories and more below as we take a look at the ten most viewed news, interviews, and features from this week at Indiewire:
1. 2014's Oscar Predictions.
Awards season (which is less a season than the half of the year between September and March) is upon us, and Indiewire is offering up our annual charts of predictions for the grand daddy of them all: The Oscars. Check out our predictions for the winners of the 86th Academy Awards below, which will be announced on March 2nd, 2014 (and clearly updated regularly between then and now).
2. Watch: Shia LaBeouf in a Very NSFW Clip From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac.'
Lars von Trier, who has refrained from doing press following his 2011 Cannes gaffe, has been teasing his latest work, the two-part sexual epic "Nymphomaniac," with a lot of ingredients: a sly poster, a mysterious website, and four tantalizing clips. Today sees a fifth scene hit the web, this one NSFW.
3. The 50 Indie Films Indiewire Wants to See in 2014.
With the avalanche of 2013 Top Ten lists petering out and the Sundance Film Festival a mere week away from introducing what could be this year's "Beasts of the Southern Wild" or "Fruitvale Sation," it's time to stop reflecting on the past year's cinema and start getting excited about this one's. Because if the 50 films most anticipated by Indiewire's editors listed below are any indication, it looks like a very promising year ahead
4. Watch Cate Blanchett Dedicate her BAFTA Award Speech To Philip Seymour Hoffman.
If you didn't get a chance to watch (or didn't have access to) the BBC's telecast of the BAFTA Awards tonight, some clips are already online and the one most worth watching is Cate Blanchett's emotional dedication of her best actress trophy to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
5. Review: The Bleakest Movie In This Year's Oscar Race Isn't '12 Years a Slave' Or 'The Act of Killing,' It's 'Omar.'
Setting aside the undeniable entertainment value of "Gravity" and "American Hustle," several of this year’s Oscar contenders share an uncharacteristically bleak quality, most notably "12 Years a Slave" and "The Act of Killing" — a double bill of persecution narratives that only a sadist would program. Yet even as Steve McQueen’s slavery opus and documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer’s disturbingly eccentric portrait of Indonesian torturers have managed a fair amount of publicity for their distinct approaches to dark human behavior, they’re not alone in that perspective. With best foreign language film nominee "Omar," which opens in limited release this week, they form one dour trifecta.
6. Heroines of Cinema: 10 Trans Actors Who Could Have Played Jared Leto's Role in 'Dallas Buyers Club.'
I was going to start this article by saying that I don't want to take anything away from Jared Leto's performance in "Dallas Buyers Club". But in a sense, I do. The performance certainly holds up as a piece of art, but as a part of our culture, I believe it needs contextualizing.
7. Berlinale Breakouts: 10 Folks That Made a Major Impression at This Year's Festival.
The Berlin International Film Festival came to a close this weekend, but there's many filmmakers and actors from the festival we'll likely be hearing about for some time. Over the course of the festival, there were numerous names few had heard of a few weeks ago that all of the sudden, were the subject of conversation thanks to their breakout work in the festival's program.
Now comes the annual report from the Women's Media Center, a nonprofit organization founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem with the goal of making women visible and powerful in media. While noting barriers broken by women like "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhines and The New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, WMC’s 2014 Status of Women in U.S. Media Report notes the overall lack of progress in terms of female representation. Women of color, who are spotlighted in this report for the first time, have lost ground in recent years.
9. Watch: 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years a Slave' and More Oscar Nominees Recast With Kids.
Take a break from predicting who's going to win what during next Sunday's Oscars ceremony by watching this hilarious video, courtesy of CineFix, that gives you a taste of what many of this year's nominated films (including R-rated fare like "The Wolf of Wall Street," "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle") would be like if they were cast with child actors.
10. 'Girls' Heads to the Beach for a Weekend of 'Healing' That's Anything But.
Just because you're friends with people doesn't mean you can't also hate them. "Beach House," the seventh and strongest episode of the season, was written by the formative "Girls" executive producer team of Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, which explains why it has some of the sharpest exchanges in the history of the series. "Girls" has always been stacked with dialogue that's double-edged and that often as not reflects worse on the one saying it, but this episode, helmed by Jesse Peretz, the show's most reliable go-to director, finally saw some open aggression when Hannah (Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) went out to North Fork ("for people who thinks the Hamptons are tacky") for a weekend of sun, beach time and "healing," reuniting with Elijah (Andrew Rannells) in the process.