<p>Billy Crystal stops by the 83rd Academy Awards earlier this year.</p>

Billy Crystal stops by the 83rd Academy Awards earlier this year.

Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Surprise: Billy Crystal wants to host the Oscars again

Should he?

After the startling news that the Academy was bringing back last year's Oscar co-producer Don Misher and teaming him with, um, Brett Ratner (lord, it's gonna be a long season) it appears one of the award show's most famous faces has seen an opening.  

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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's &quot;J. Edgar&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Clint Eastwood says Hoover's sexuality open 'for interpretation' in 'J. Edgar'

Plus: New images of the Leonardo DiCaprio drama

The fall movie season is less than a month away and with the shorter days and chillier nights Hollywood enters it's "serious" season.  The prestige picture extravaganza will begin with the triple threat of festivals in less than three weeks, Venice, Telluride and Toronto.  However, there are a few films currently skipping those early showcases in hopes of awards season glory later one.  One is the increasingly curious biopic "J. Edgar."

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<p>Caesar (emoted by Andy Serkis, CG by WETA) hugs John Lithgow in Rupert Wyatt's &quot;Rise of the Planet of the Apes.&quot;</p>

Caesar (emoted by Andy Serkis, CG by WETA) hugs John Lithgow in Rupert Wyatt's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Is 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' really an Oscar player?

Can Andy Serkis make motion capture history?

Sometimes it's best to wait through the pre-release hype to see a movie. That's a rare occurrence for this pundit, but every once in awhile it happens with a big movie. In this case, travel and business schedules dictated viewing Rupert Wyatt's acclaimed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" six days after its debut.  The early buzz had been iffy on "Apes" and Fox certainly wasn't screening it early, but a funny thing happened on the way to opening day - some very strong reviews.

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<p>Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Stephen Daldry's &quot;Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."

Credit: Warner Bros.

First Look: Tom Hanks in Stephen Daldry's 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Oscar player hits theaters in Nov.

A strong resume can be both a blessing and a curse.  For director Stephen Daldry it's been just the latter.  Unless, of course, he lives under the pressure of having every two of his three films nominated for the Academy Award for best picture and personally being nominated in the best director category for all of them.  Something tells us that with the constant stream of good source material at his hands, he doesn't.

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<p>Carey Mulligan discuss her new thriller &quot;Drive&quot;&nbsp;at San Diego's Comic-Con 2012.</p>

Carey Mulligan discuss her new thriller "Drive" at San Diego's Comic-Con 2012.

Carey Mulligan on the power of quiet love with Ryan Gosling in 'Drive'

A deep conversation on the art of acting at, um, Comic-Con

SAN DIEGO - Comic-Con is not necessarily the first "festival" that springs to mind when thinking of British ingenue Carey Mulligan.  An Oscar nominee for her sparkling turn in "An Education," Mulligan career has seemed more suited for the red carpets of Cannes, Toronto, Venice and Park City.  And yet, last month, Mulligan and a few of her co-horts found their way to Comic-Con's massive Hall H where they pitched the new thriller "Drive" to the pop culture festival's more genre-friendly audience. 

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<p>Anna Paquin in an unapproved image from &quot;Margaret.&quot; Or maybe it was.&nbsp; It's been awhile.</p>

Anna Paquin in an unapproved image from "Margaret." Or maybe it was.  It's been awhile.

'Margaret' will finally be released almost six years after production began

Anna Paquin drama has legendary behind-the-scenes drama

Fox Searchlight announced today that Kenneth Lonergan ensemble drama "Margaret" will be released in theaters Sept. 30.  Normally, this would be intriguing, but not major news in the movie industry except that "Margaret" is Lonergan's follow up to his critically acclaimed directorial debut "You Can Count on Me."  That film was released in 2000, almost 11 years ago.  

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<p>Brett Ratner</p>

Brett Ratner

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Hell freezes over: Brett Ratner to co-produce the 84th Academy Awards

Don Mischer also returns

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that Brett Ratner and Don Mischer will produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast.

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<p>Michelle Williams as the legendary Marilyn Monroe in &quot;My Week with Marilyn.&quot;</p>

Michelle Williams as the legendary Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'My Week with Marilyn' gets its close up at the New York Film Festival

Marilyn Monroe love story a NYFF gala centerpiece

There were a number of expected awards season players missing from the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festival lineup announcements last week including Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" and "The Iron Lady."  Now we know why as one of those titles, "My Week with Marilyn," has been selected as the centerpiece gala for the 2011 New York Film Festival.

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<p>Director Nick Broomfield in a scene from his new documentary &quot;Sarah Palin - You Betcha!&quot;</p>

Director Nick Broomfield in a scene from his new documentary "Sarah Palin - You Betcha!"

Sarah Palin, Comic-Con and Werner Herzog highlight 2011 Toronto Film Festival doc selections

Oscar winning filmmakers debuting new documentaries

The Toronto International Film Festival announced a new wave of documentary screenings for this year's festival and they include some premieres from notable filmmakers.  Morgan Spurlock, Wim Wenders, Jessica Yu, Alex Gibny, Nick Broomfield and Toronto regular Werner Herzog will all have documentaries debuting.  Additionally, Jonathan Demme's doc "I'm Carolyn Parker: The Goo, the Mad, and the Beautiful" was announced along with the bulk of the narrative selections last week.  

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<p>Oprah Winfrey</p>

Oprah Winfrey

Credit: AP Photo

Oprah Winfrey and James Earl Jones to receive honorary Academy Awards

Makeup artist Dick Smith also recognized

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced tonight that Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and Dick Smith will receive honorary Academy Awards at the Academy's 3rd Annual Governor's Awards. Winfrey will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Jones is one of the most acclaimed film and stage actor in American history, but he has never won an Oscar  ahd has only one Oscar nomination to his credit for his work in 1969's "The Great White Hope."  The iconic voice of Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" series, Jones made his debut his big screen debut in 1964's "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."  Other credits include "Field of Dreams," "Coming to America," "Patriot Games," Clear and Present Danger" and the voice of Musafa in "The Lion King."  The 80-year-old legend has three Emmys, a Golden Globe and two Tony Awards on his mantle already.

Oprah Winfrey was nominated in 1986 for her big screen debut as Sofia in Steven Spielberg's "The Color Purple."  Her only other film credit is for 1999's "Beloved," but Winfrey is being honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her long list of philanthropic efforts which include Oprah’s Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which opened in South Africa in 2007.  Winfrey was presented with the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor in 2010.

Smith, this year's final honoree, is known as the "godfather of makeup."  His career began on NBC in 1945 and his film work includes "The Godfather," "The Exorcist," "Taxi Driver," "Amadeus" (Oscar winner 1984) and "Dad" (Oscar nominee 1989).  He's also known for shepherding and training the careers of such acclaimed makeup artists as Rick Baker, Greg Cannom, Kevin Haney, Kazuhiro Tsuji, Mike Elizalde and Carl Fullerton.

The 3rd Annual Governors Awards will be held Sat., Nov. 12 at the Grand Ballroom above the Kodak Theater at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

 

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