<p>Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette and Helen Mirren at the New York premiere of &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Jessica Biel, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette and Helen Mirren at the New York premiere of "Hitchcock."

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

How do you hold a 'Hitchcock' premiere without Hitchcock?

Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Helen Mirren and Toni Collette bring the starpower

Fox Searchlight had a strange predicament on its hands. How do you hold a U.S. premiere for a movie when your leading man - the actor who plays the title character of the picture no less  - is an ocean away?  Thankfully for the mini-major, the director and producers of "Hitchock" found a supporting cast with prestige credentials and paparazzi appeal.

With Anthony Hopkins in London, the New York premiere for "Hitchcock" featured the film's co-lead, Dame Helen Mirren, "Avenger" Scarlett Johansson, Toni "shouldn't I have another Oscar nomination by now?" Collette and Jessica "she's more talented than she gets credit for" Biel. And yes, James D'Arcy and director Sacha Gervasi were there too, but this special screening surpassed the world premiere at AFI Film Fest earlier this month because there were actual stars in the house.

And when you're opening on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 16 theaters a little attention from the press ain't such a bad thing.  Check out the talented ladies in the gallery embedded in this post or read my AFI review here.

Are you looking forward to seeing "Hitchcock"?  Do you think Hopkins and Mirren have a shot at nominations? Share your thoughts below.

<p>Zoe Saldana</p>

Zoe Saldana

Credit: AP Photo

Zoe Saldana and Anna Kendrick to present 28th Spirit Award nominees

Rapper-actor Common will also be announcing

Zoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and rapper-actor Common will present the 2013 Film Independent  Spirit Award nominees.

The three presenters will unveil the nominees in a press conference at 10:00 am PT on Tuesday, November 27 at The W Hollywood.

Co-Presidents Sean McManus and Josh Welsh jointly made the announcement today.

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<p>Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio in &quot;The Departed.&quot;&nbsp;The Martin Scorsese directed thriller won the best picture Academy Award in 2007.</p>

Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Departed." The Martin Scorsese directed thriller won the best picture Academy Award in 2007.

Credit: Warner Bros.

Contender Countdown: Is this a 'Departed' or 'Chicago' type season?

Is it a legit three-way race?

As the annual Oscar season unfolds, there are a number of expected events that traditionally make or break a best picture winner.  These signposts usually indicate who is the frontrunner, who is gaining traction and who isn't.

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<p>Matthew McConaughey talks about &quot;Magic Mike,&nbsp;&quot;Bernie&quot;&nbsp;and losing 60 pounds for &quot;The Dallas Buyers Club.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey talks about "Magic Mike, "Bernie" and losing 60 pounds for "The Dallas Buyers Club."

Oscar contender Matthew McConaughey reveals how he lost 38 pounds and ponders a 'Magic Mike' sequel

He knows exactly what he's going to eat when it's over

BEVERLY HILLS – I’d seen the pictures. I'd seen the news reports.  I’d heard about Matthew McConaughey’s amazing weight loss for his role in the new independent film “The Dallas Buyer’s Club” from all aspects of social media.  It was another thing, however, to shake the hand of a man that looked like he’d lost half of himself since we last talked just five months before.  

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<p>Marion Cotillard talks about her new role in &quot;Rust and Bone.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard talks about her new role in "Rust and Bone."

Marion Cotillard says Katy Perry's 'Firework' helped her performance in 'Rust and Bone'

Oscar winner talks about difficulty working with whales in captivity

BEVERLY HILLS - Marion Cotillard really wanted to work with Jacques Audiard.  In fact, she was so committed to the director's follow up to his acclaimed drama "A Prophet" that she dropped her normal required prep time to make sure "Rust and Bone" fit into her schedule.  The Oscar winner was already locked into shooting Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" for much of 2011, but then immediately transitioned to "Bone" when it was over. And, for Cotillard, taking away that chance to really research and study a role is a big, big deal.

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<p>Daniel Craig, Berenice Marlohe and director Sam Mendes at a photocall for &quot;Skyfall&quot;&nbsp;in Germany last month.</p>

Daniel Craig, Berenice Marlohe and director Sam Mendes at a photocall for "Skyfall" in Germany last month.

Credit: AP Photo/Gero Breloer

Now that you've seen 'Skyfall' - secrets revealed from Sam Mendes

Big revelations for fans of the biggest Bond ever

BEVERLY HILLS - Sam Mendes probably smiled this much in a long time. It's been almost 13 years since he won an Oscar for directing best picture winner "American Beauty" and the years since haven't always been as celebratory. "Road to Perdition," "Jarhead," "Revolutionary Road" and "Away We Go" all have their fans, but none of Mendes' follow ups reached the critical or moviegoer adoration that "Beauty" did. Who knew a 50-year-old franchise would be his ticket back to the top of the mountain?

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<p>Alicia Vikander at the New York premiere of &quot;Anna Karenina.&quot;</p>

Alicia Vikander at the New York premiere of "Anna Karenina."

Credit: AP Photo/Andy Kropa

Discover the next big thing: Alicia Vikander of 'A Royal Affair' and 'Anna Karenina'

The 24-year-old actress should soon be a regular in Hollywood

BEVERLY HILLS - The most surprising thing upon first meeting Alicia Vikander is her accent. As we sit down in a hotel conference room to specifically discuss her new film "A Royal Affair," she sounds American.  Well, maybe American with a hint of international upbringing.  Considering Vikander's Swedish background it was obviously unexpected, but then again, Vikander continues to surprise.

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<p>Sally Field talks about her role as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Sally Field talks about her role as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

Sally Field says acting with Daniel Day-Lewis was like she'd 'died and gone to heaven'

Two-time Oscar winner gives an impressive history lesson on Mary Todd Lincoln

BEVERLY HILLS - You don't get to speak to a legend like Sally Field every day.  The 66-year-old actress has been in the public eye for over 45 years first gaining notoriety with her starring roles in the '60s TV series "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun." In the '70s she began to show an unexpected range. Whether it was her acclaimed performance in the TV movie "Sybil" or  indulging superstar Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" it was clear Field had more than a smile, she had fire.

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<p>Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis' &quot;Flight.&quot;</p>

Denzel Washington in Robert Zemeckis' "Flight."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Contender Countdown: 'Flight' goes from pretender to legit contender

One day or one weekend and you're in

As Heidi Klum is fond of saying on "Project Runway," "One day you're in, the next day you're out."  That pretty much sums up the pros and cons of a potential awards player set on debuting at a public festival.  Unlike a traditional release which usually has the early reviews staggered, a festival provides instant reaction thanks to the internet age.  So far, a number of films have played the festival game smoothly this season.  "Argo" and "Silver Linings Playbook" got big boosts from the Telluride/Toronto game.  "Lincoln" and "Flight" found fans at the New York Film Festival.  Last week, "Hitchcock" opened AFI Film Fest in LA with Oscar buzz for stars Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, but not so much for the film itself.

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<p>Eva Mendes walks the red carpet at the AFI&nbsp;Film Fest screening of &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Eva Mendes walks the red carpet at the AFI Film Fest screening of "Holy Motors."

Credit: AP Photo/Jordan Strauss

Awards Season Weekend: Marion Cotillard, 'Impossible' and AFI Film Fest

And 'Flight' makes a big move

Hurricane Sandy is still sadly the focus of the Northeast (as well as that of family and friends from those areas affected) and the 2012 election is finally coming to a merciful end Tuesday. And what that really means is we're about to enter eight weeks of very intense Academy campaigning. Technically, contenders have been holding screenings and Q&As from Los Angeles to San Francisco to New York (although it's been tough the past week) for months.  Beginning Thursday, the always awards-friendly AFI Fest began and the pressure cooker got a wee bit busier.  With that in mind, here's a snapshot of one pundit's busy award season weekend.

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