<p>E!'s Ryan Seacrest and Katherine Heigl schmooze on the red carpet of the 81st Academy Awards in 2009.</p>

E!'s Ryan Seacrest and Katherine Heigl schmooze on the red carpet of the 81st Academy Awards in 2009.

Credit: AP Photo/Amy Sancetta

Oscar Watch: Academy and ABC making red carpet pre-show a priority

New program will try to take bite out of competitors

It looks like ABC and AMPAS have just about enough of E!, CNN, TV Guide Network and the likes cramping up the red carpet before the Academy Awards. AMPAS announced today that the 30-minute pre-show, which has run from 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT for the past decade or so, will now be expanded to 90 minutes and begin at 7 PM ET/ 4 PM PT.  Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare will executive produce the extended red carpet extravaganza.

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in &quot;Inception.&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Inception."

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Black Swan,' 'Inception' and 'True Grit' among Cinematographers Guild nominees

'The King's Speech' and 'Social Network' also in the running

The American Society of Cinematographers announced the nominees for the 25th Annual ASC Awards tonight and two familiar names were joined by three newcomers to the honors.

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<p>Josh Brolin as &quot;Jonah Hex.&quot;</p>

Josh Brolin as "Jonah Hex."

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Jonah Hex' and 'The Wolfman' make Oscar's Makeup cut

'True Grit,' 'Alice in Wonderland' also in contention

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the seven finalists for the best makeup Oscar this afternoon with some eyebrow raising contenders.  Listed in alphabetical order, the remaining contenders include:

“Alice in Wonderland”
“Barney’s Version”
“The Fighter”
“Jonah Hex”
“True Grit”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

On Saturday, January 22, all members of the Academy’s Makeup Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

Considering the costly losses associated with "Jonah Hex" and "The Wolfman" for Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures respectively, something suggests they wouldn't mind it if neither made the final cut.

The final three nominees will be announced on Oscar nomination morning Tuesday, Jan. 25 at 8:30 AM EST/ 5:30 AM PST.

<p>A&nbsp;VES nominated moment from &quot;Tron Legacy.&quot;</p>

A VES nominated moment from "Tron Legacy."

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

'Tron Legacy,' 'Inception' and 'Boardwalk Empire' top VES Awards nominees

'Halo Reach' and 'World of Warcraft' top video game nods

The Visual Effects Society announced the nominees for the 9th Annual VES Awards this morning and as expected, "Inception" and "Tron: Legacy" lead the way among the movie nominees.  Television were surprisingly dominated by "Boardwalk Empire" and "The Pacific" with five and three nods respectively.  Animated features are spread out across the board with multiple nominations for "Tangled," "How To Train Your Dragon," "Shrek Forever After" and "Toy Story 3."  "World of Warcraft" and "Halo: Reach" were the top honorees in the video game categories.

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<p>Christopher Nolan on the set of &quot;Inception.&quot;</p>

Christopher Nolan on the set of "Inception."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan and David Fincher lead DGA nods

Update: David O. Russell's emotional reaction

The Director's Guild of America announced their 2010 nominees for Outstanding Direction of a Feature Film his morning and there were no major surprises.  Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan"), Christopher Nolan ("Inception"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") and David O. Russell ("The Fighter") are this year's honorees.  Danny Boyle ("127 Hours") and Joel and Ethan Coen ("True Grit") were the only other legitimate players for a nomination. 

[Update: In separate statements, both Nolan and Russell commented on their DGA nods.  

Nolan remarked, ""I'm thrilled that the DGA membership has chosen to nominate me and my DGA team (Jan Foster, Nilo Otero, Brandon Lambdin, Greg Pawlik, Lauren Pasternack) for our work on 'Inception.' The recognition of our peers is extremely gratifying - this is an incredible honor."

Russell was a tad more emotional noting, "“When Taylor Hackford called me this morning I have to admit I started to cry . I am so humbled because it is such a talented field this year,  I had prepared myself to not be part of it. To be recognized by my peers, moves me beyond words with gratitude and humility. Like boxing, our business doesn't always give second chances. I'm eternally grateful to Mark Wahlberg for bringing me into this very special project about truly inspiring people like Micky Ward, Dick Eklund,  and the families of Lowell;  as I am grateful to producers David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman, the phenomenal cast, Paramount, Relativity, and the members of the DGA.”]

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<p>Jeff Bridges</p>

Jeff Bridges

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Jeff Bridges celebrated as an 'American Master' in 'The Dude Abides'

On Lebowski: 'I'm partial, but that is a good movie'

Could one documentary change the expected outcome of this year's best actor race?  Probably not, but the season premiere of PBS' "American Masters," which focuses on Jeff Bridges, will make it hard for Academy members to not vote for the cinematic icon once more.

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<p>Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield in &quot;The Social Network.&quot;</p>

Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield in "The Social Network."

Credit: Sony Pictures

National Society of Film Critics pick 'Social Network' for best picture

Jesse Eisenberg wins best actor and David Fincher director

Showing little appetite to deviate from their fellow critic's groups, The National Society of Critics announced their year end awards in New York today and "The Social Network" was the big winner.  David Fincher's drama won best picture, best director and best actor for Jesse Eisenberg.

In something of a surprise, "Vincere" star Giovanna Mezzogiorno won best actress.  Geoffrey Rush won best supporting actor for "The King's Speech" and Olivia Williams best supporting actress for "The Ghost Writer."

THe NSFC is made up of approximately 60 critics from across the country including well known names such as Roger Ebert, the LA Times' Kenneth Turan, Time's Richard Corliss, EW's Lisa Schwarzbaum, Newsweek's David Ansen and the Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern.  The entire membership is listed here.

<p>Andrew Garfield, Jesse Eisenberg and Armie Hammer at the &quot;Social Network&quot;&nbsp;DVD and Blu-ray launch event.</p>

Andrew Garfield, Jesse Eisenberg and Armie Hammer at the "Social Network" DVD and Blu-ray launch event.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake celebrate 'Social Network' once more

Just in time for the DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday

This all might be a bit much for Jesse Eisenberg.

"The Social Network" star has never been one to enjoy too much of the spotlight and the requirements of a non-stop awards campaign can be somewhat overwhelming the first go around.  Last night, Eisenberg joined his director, David Fincher, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, producer Scott Rudin (making a rare L.A. appearance) and co-stars Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer to celebrate the early awards and box office success of "Network," schmooze media (including a lot of awards press) and help promote the film's DVD and Blu-ray releasing Tuesday. 

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<p>Barbara Hershey is one of the few surprises on the 2011 BAFTA&nbsp;Awards longlist.</p>

Barbara Hershey is one of the few surprises on the 2011 BAFTA Awards longlist.

Credit: Fox Searchlight

BAFTA Longlist gives lots of love to 'King's Speech,' 'Black Swan' and 'Social Network'

The halfway there nominees list leaves few surprises

Like the SAG Awards and many of the other guild awards, the BAFTA Orange Film Awards is a partial indicator to what Academy members may be thinking for the Academy Awards. Granted, there is less crossover between the British Film Academy and AMPAS then say SAG or the Writer's Guild, there is enough and its certainly a lot more applicable than the Golden Globes or Critic's Choice Awards. 

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<p>Innovators, engineers and programmers get Oscars too.</p>

Innovators, engineers and programmers get Oscars too.

Credit: AMPAS

Academy honors 10 for Scientific and Technical Achievements in 2011

Innovators get their due

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its annual recipients of Scientific and Technical Achievements this morning.  The 2011 honorees will be presented their awards in a special ceremony on Feb. 12, 2011.  Hardly celebrities, these winners have provided the industry and moviegoers with huge technological advances over the years.  Here are the details from the Academy's release:

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