<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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<p>Leonardo DiCaprio in &quot;Shutter Island.&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Shutter Island."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Shutter Island,' 'Modern Family' and 'Glee' sound off as CAS Award nominees

Should '127 Hours' and 'Tron Legacy' have made the cut?

he Cinema Audio Society announced the nominees for the 47th Annual CAS Awards today and there were actually a few surprises in the field.  The movie nominees include "Black Swan," "Inception," "Shutter Island," "True Grit" and "The Social Network."  For some bizarre reason "127 Hours," "Tron Legacy" and "Unstoppable" didn't make the cut.  Guess it's just that competitive this year. 

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<p>Robert De Niro</p>

Robert De Niro

Credit: AP Photo

Robert De Niro will head 2011 Cannes Film Festival jury

Becomes third American in four years to rule the Croisette

In what could be a disturbing trend for the world's premier film festival, Robert De Niro was named the head of 2011 Cannes film jury today.  No disrespect to the great De Niro, who will receive the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille award later this month, but this marks the third time in the last four years an American has lead the influential jury.  De Niro follows Tim Burton and Sean Penn who presided over the 2010 and 2008 juries respectively.  Before Penn, the last American to hold court on the Croisette was Quentin Tarantino in 2004.

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<p>Watch out Oscar, here comes &quot;Scott Pilgrim.&quot;</p>

Watch out Oscar, here comes "Scott Pilgrim."

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Scott Pilgrim,' 'Inception' 'Tron Legacy' make Oscar's visual effects seven

'Hereafter' surprise finalist

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the seven finalists for the Visual Effects Oscar and some genre-friendly films made the cut.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:             

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<p>Ewan McGregor in a key moment from &quot;The Ghost Writer.&quot;</p>

Ewan McGregor in a key moment from "The Ghost Writer."

Credit: Summit Entertainment

USC Scripter awards remind voters of 'Ghost Writer' and '127 Hours'

'The Social Network,' 'Winter's Bone' and 'True Grit' also in the mix

Looking for the true indicator of the five nominees for best adapted screenplay?  We may have found it in the USC Scripter Awards.  Established in 1988 to honor the screenwriter as well as the author of the work in which the screenplay is based, this honor is not contingent on strict Writer's Guild rules.  Therefore, this year's nominees are much less surprising than the WGA's were earlier this week.  The 2011 finalists are:

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<p>Lou Taylor Pucci and J.K. Simmons in &quot;The Music Never Stopped.&quot;</p>

Lou Taylor Pucci and J.K. Simmons in "The Music Never Stopped."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Sundance starts early as Roadside picks up 'The Music Never Stopped'

First acquisition occurs over two weeks before festival begins

It appears the acquisitions market has turned around.  Whether it's a buyer's or seller's market remains to be seen, however.  Still, in a preemptive and surprise strike, Roadside Attractions has acquired 2011 Sundance Film Festival opening night drama "The Music Never Stopped."

Directed by Jim Kohlberg, "Music" is based on Oliver Sacks' novel "The Last Hippie" and tells the real-life story of a father (J.K. Simmons) trying to adjust to his son's (Lou Taylor Pucci) cerebral trauma and a longtime estranged relationship.  Working with a music therapist (Julia Ormond) he uses songs '60s groups such as The Grateful Dead to connect with his son.

In a statement, Roadside Co-President Howard Cohen noted, "    "We were really moved by such a soulful, true story of a father and son changing their lives through their love of music.  And you can't beat The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash music in this film!"

"I am thrilled to be working with Roadside Attractions to distribute The Music Never Stopped because of their great record with independent films,” Kohlberg also said in a press release issued by Roadside. “I always connected deeply to the story and the redemptive qualities of the characters and the iconic music. It was an honor to work with our great and talented cast and crew, and for my first feature could not have imagined a better result and recognition of the film's quality."

Roadside had significant success releasing Sundance Film Festival dramatic jury winner "Winter's Bone" over the summer.  The critically acclaimed film is now a potential best picture and best actress player for the 83rd Academy Awards.  The company also got behind prestige players "I Love You Phillip Morris" and "Biutiful" Javier Bardem.

There is no national release date for "Music" at this time.

Look for continuing coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on HitFix beginning Thurs. Jan. 20.

<p>A scene from Roland Emmerich's &quot;Anonymous.&quot;</p>

A scene from Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous."

Credit: Sony Pictures

First Look: Is Roland Emmerich's 'Anonymous' Oscar bait?

The director of 'ID4' and '2012' goes 16th Century old school

Roland Emmerich has talked for years about finally making a film that doesn't involve a aliens, a natural disaster or 200 CGI shots. He struck out the first time around with 2000's middling "The Patriot," but after the global success of "2012," Sony Pictures has finally given him another chance with "Anonymous."

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<p>Design concepts for &quot;Tron Legacy.&quot;</p>

Design concepts for "Tron Legacy."

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

'Tron Legacy,' 'Black Swan' and 'True Blood' lead Art Director's Guild nominees

Surprise: 'Conan' and 'Outsourced' get their first awards recognition

The prestigious Art Director's Guild of America announced the nominees for their 2010 Awards this morning and on the movie side there were absolutely no surprises.  Every expected best picture contender made the cut with guild's three categories (Period Film, Fantasy Film, Contemporary Film) with only the animated "Toy Story 3," "Winter's Bone" and "The Kids Are All Right" failing to get recognized.  Unfortunately, the surplus of nods make it hard to determine who will make the Academy Awards cut of just five honorees, but "Black Swan," "Inception," "Alice in Wonderland" and "True Grit" are prime contenders.

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<p>Robert Pattinson is returning to the awards circuit to no doubt promote his new movie &quot;Water for Elephants.&quot;</p>

Robert Pattinson is returning to the awards circuit to no doubt promote his new movie "Water for Elephants."

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Robert Pattinson, Matt Damon and Jennifer Lopez presenting at the 68th Golden Globes

HFPA avoids the cost of issuing a press release and uses twitter

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has announced the first three confirmed presenters for this year's 68th Golden Globe Awards and they are sure to make broadcaster NBC very happy.  Well, at least one of them will.

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