<p>Orlando Boom returns as a younger Legolas in &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;The Desolation of Smaug.&quot;</p>

Orlando Boom returns as a younger Legolas in "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Orlando Bloom avoids deja vu returning as Legolas in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

Oh, and a pretty good career move

WELLINGTON, NZ - Can you really go home again? Orlando Bloom is finding out as he returns to the world of Middle Earth in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Bloom reprises his role as the Elf with a bow, arrow and long luxurious blond hair, Legolas, that he originated in the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And, frankly, it's not bad timing.

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<p>Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in &quot;Saving Mr. Banks.&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson in "Saving Mr. Banks."

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

Contender Countdown: Will 'Saving Mr. Banks' crash the Best Picture race?

Things are getting tight

It may turn out to be the most competitive Best Picture race in years, but the showdown between co-frontrunners "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" to win it all may soon turn into a three-way race. Walt Disney Studios' "Saving Mr. Banks" will debut at the London Film Festival on Sunday as the Brits will be the first to chime in on the long-buzzed awards player. And, at this point, "Banks" may be the only remaining unseen contender who can make a real mark on the long marathon for the top prize.

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<p>Evangeline Lily as Tauriel in Peter Jackson's &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;The Desolation of Smaug.&quot;</p>

Evangeline Lily as Tauriel in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Evangeline Lilly goes from 'hired help' on 'Lost' to star treatment in 'The Hobbit'

An epic conversation on big elf ears and fighting for stunts

WELLINGTON, NZ - In May of 2012, Evangeline Lilly greeted a crew of American journalists on the set of "The Hobbit."  Actually, in theory it was the set of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." After our visit that changed and it's still not clear what movie features the scene we saw Lilly appear in, but her Middle Earth debut was subsequently pushed to a new "second" film, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." That meant the world would have to wait another year to meet Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh's original character, played by Lilly, Tauriel.

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<p>Raise your glasses, because Amy and Tina are back for two more years.</p>

Raise your glasses, because Amy and Tina are back for two more years.

Credit: AP Photo

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler save awards season and Oscar now has a 2015 job opening

Happy day, happy day

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Our long national nightmare is over. No, the government is still shut down and Congress is still driving us toward a default, but one of the greatest unanswered questions of the 2014 awards season has been answered: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the Golden Globes again.

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<p>Daniel Radcliffe during a press conference for &quot;The F Word&quot; at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.</p>

Daniel Radcliffe during a press conference for "The F Word" at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agonisti

Is Daniel Radcliffe having the time of his life? You bet he is

'Kill Your Darlings' star has had a busy two years

Let's be frank.  Daniel Radcliffe made enough money starring in eight "Harry Potter" films to never have to work a day in his life gain.  And, even at 25, that's an intriguing proposition.  Instead, like his co-star Emma Watson, Radcliffe has been working his butt off.

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<p>Sarah Paulson and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from Steve McQueen's &quot;12 Years A Slave.&quot;</p>

Sarah Paulson and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Exclusive: Sarah Paulson questions Chiwetel Ejiofor in '12 Years a Slave' clip

'American Horror Story' actress the film's unheralded performance

The cast of Steve McQueen's acclaimed new drama "12 Years a Slave" is something of a wonder. Whether it's the remarkable work of Chiwetel Ejiofor as kidnapped freeman Solomon Northup or Michael Fassbender as the shockingly inhumane plantation owner Edwin Epps or Best Supporting Actress contender Lupita Nyong'o, the film features some of the most riveting performances of the year. What has gone slightly unheralded, however, are the fantastic smaller turns by the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard. And, the always wonderful Ms. Sarah Paulson.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's &quot;Gravity.&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Stop comparing 'Gravity' to 'Avatar' when it comes to Oscar

Not all apples and oranges are the same

After a film strikes a chord with moviegoers like "Gravity" did last weekend, it's easy to try and find analogies for it among previous Best Picture nominees or winners. One comparison that continues to be made is to James Cameron's 2009 game changer, "Avatar." Before we judge the merits of that argument, let's jog your brain and revisit some movie history, shall we?

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<p>Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in &quot;The Dallas Buyer's Club.&quot; is this Focus Features last great movie for the foreseeable future?</p>

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in "The Dallas Buyer's Club." is this Focus Features last great movie for the foreseeable future?

Credit: Focus Features

Contender Countdown: Turmoil in the Best Picture race?

Certainly not for 'Gravity,' '12 Years' or 'Captain Phillips'

Based on the events of the past week you'd think Tinseltown was on the edge of having some sort of dramatic breakdown. Let us count the ways...

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Sandra Bullock and George Clooney take 'Gravity' to New York

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney take 'Gravity' to New York

Oh, and Emma Watson and Katie Holmes were invited too

Hey, boys and girls, it's time for another movie marketing lesson from your friends at HitFix.

What do you do when you have a film that mostly appeals to men, but you want to make sure you get the attention of younger women? It's really important those women go with their boyfriends on Friday and Saturday night, because that means their boyfriends will definitely go. Well, when your cast is limited to just two, cough, older, cough, actors, there isn't much you can do. Sure, rave reviews (97% on Rotten Tomatoes, 8 100 grades so far on Metacritic) and amazing footage are selling it pretty damn well, but it's opening week. The pressure is on! Someone in the studio is no doubt saying, "How can we liven things up a bit down the homestretch? I mean, yeah, the movie stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, but how do we make some noise on, y'know, those gossip sites (Sandra can't do this on her own!)?"*

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<p>Captain Richard Phillips appears via Skype at the Los Angeles special screening of &quot;Captain Phillips on Monday, Sept. 30 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.</p>

Captain Richard Phillips appears via Skype at the Los Angeles special screening of "Captain Phillips on Monday, Sept. 30 at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, CA.

Tom Hanks and the real 'Captain Phillips' appear at Los Angeles premiere

One virtually, one in person

Tom Hanks walked the red carpet with the man he plays in "Captain Phillips," Richard Phillips, Friday at the opening night of the 51st New York Film Festival. Unfortunately, Phillips couldn't make it to Los Angeles for the West Coast premiere of the film tonight, but that wasn't going to stop director Paul Greengrass from giving Phillips his due. Even after his ordeal of being taken hostage by Somali pirates in 2009, Phillips has returned to the sea as a ship captain. And as Phillips is actually setting sail this week (according to Greengrass at least), he said hello to everyone at the film's Los Angeles premiere via Skype. It was a fleeting moment, but one that will be remembered by the Academy, guild and industry attendees who will spread their enthusiasm for the Best Picture contender (i.e., it was a nice PR win).

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