The Sandman, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy try and bring Jack Frost on board to stop Pitch from taking over the world's children in DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians."
The Sandman, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy try and bring Jack Frost on board to stop Pitch from taking over the world's children in DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians."
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

'Rise of the Guardians,' 'On the Road' and 'Life of Pi' among AFI Fest galas

'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'The Impossible' and 'Central Park Five' will also screen

LOS ANGELES - After already setting "Hitchock" as its opening night gala and "Lincoln" as its closing night gala, AFI revealed its slate of centerpiece galas and special screenings for the 2012 AFI Film Festival.

This year's centerpiece galas include best animated picture contender "Rise of the Guardians," Ang Lee's 3D visual extravaganza "Life of Pi," Walter Salles' already well traveled "On the Road" and Jacques Audiard's Cannes breakout "Rust and Bone." The latter ties into a special Tribute to Marion Cotillard that will be held during the eight day event. Cotillard, a prime best actress contender, received a similar honor at the Telluride Film Festival last month.

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<p>Ben Affleck talks to HitFix about &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck talks to HitFix about "Argo."

Q&A: Ben Affleck on going back to 1980, Jimmy Carter and the real people behind 'Argo'

An in depth video interview with the - yep - acclaimed filmmaker

BEVERLY HILLS - Ben Affleck is battling bronchitis. In fact, when he appears to introduce his acclaimed new film "Argo" at its official LA premiere a few days later, his cough and haggard voice will be even more pronounced.  This day though, it's slight enough to just seem like a simple cold.  Considering the love his new thriller has received since its sneak premiere at the Telluride Film Festival a month before, the momentary illness may be the toughest fight Affleck has to face at the box office or during "Argo's" expected awards season run.

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<p>Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln."

Credit: DreamWorks Studios

First Reaction: Daniel Day-Lewis is mesmerizing in Spielberg's fantastic 'Lincoln'

Tommy Lee Jones is 'exceptional'

NEW YORK - On Monday night, the New York Film Festival held their second (apparently now annual) 'Secret Screening.'  Last year, at the first such screening, audiences were treated to Martin Scorsese's then merely award contender "Hugo," this year they got a look at Steven Spielberg's upcoming "Lincoln."  

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<p>Florence + The&nbsp;Machine perform &quot;Breath of Life&quot;&nbsp;from &quot;Snow White and the Huntsman&quot;&nbsp;at the Hollywood Bowl, Sunday, October 7, 2012.</p>

Florence + The Machine perform "Breath of Life" from "Snow White and the Huntsman" at the Hollywood Bowl, Sunday, October 7, 2012.

Credit: HitFix

Florence and the Machine bring 'Breath of Life' to Hollywood

Is this the closest she'll get to the Dolby Theater this season?

HOLLYWOOD - Florence + The Machine brought their long running Celestials tour to the famed Hollywood Bowl Sunday night for the first of two sold out shows and the acclaimed singer songwriter didn't disappoint.

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<p>George Clooney and Stacey Keibler walk the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

George Clooney and Stacey Keibler walk the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of "Argo."

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Clooney and Affleck bring 'Argo' to Hollywood

Oscar player brings its wares back home

BEVERLY HILLS - After triumphant screenings at Telluride and Toronto, Warner Bros. held the official Los Angeles premiere for Ben Affleck's "Argo" at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater Thursday night and it had to be characterized as a rousing success.  

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<p>A&nbsp;poignant moment from Ang Lee's &quot;Life of Pi.&quot;</p>

A poignant moment from Ang Lee's "Life of Pi."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Contender Countdown: A slice of 'Pi' for Oscar

Plus: The Gurus of Gold make some post-TIFF predictions

Last week Ang Lee's long awaited adaptation of the popular novel "Life of Pi" opened the 50th New York Film Festival to wide critical acclaim.  Richard Corliss of Time called it "a giant leap forward" for filmmaking.  Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter referred to it as "gorgeous and accomplished."  Justin Chang of Variety was less enthusiastic, but praised the epic as a "harrowing high-seas adventure."  HitFix's own Kris Tapley called it "affecting" and praised its "univeralist heart."  At the same time, Tapley also noted the picture's clunky first act, and having recently seen "Pi" I have to agree with him.

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<p>Florence Welch, Adele and Katy Perry could make the best original song category a massive superstar showdown.</p>

Florence Welch, Adele and Katy Perry could make the best original song category a massive superstar showdown.

Adele vs. Florence Welch vs. Katy Perry: Dare to dream?

Plus: Thoughts on Seth MacFarlane's selection as host

What a Monday for Oscar.  

First, Adele and Sony Pictures confirms the news everyone already knew, that she has recorded the title track to the new James Bond film, "Skyfall."  Second, the Academy announced a somewhat surprising choice to host this year's Academy Awards, Seth MacFarlane.  Combined, the duo could help Oscar hit its highest ratings in years.

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<p>'Hitchcock'</p>

'Hitchcock'

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Hitchcock' to open AFI Film Festival

Anthony Hopkins starrer will make its world premiere at L.A. event

This year's AFI Film Festival will open with the world premiere of "Hitchcock," starring Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense.

The film explores the making of the director's iconic 1960 horror film "Psycho."

It also stars Helen Mirren as Hitch's wife Alma, while the "Psycho" cast will be portrayed as follows: Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins.

Sacha Gervasi ("Anvil! The Story of Anvil") is directing from a script based on the Stephen Rebello book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho."

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<p>Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Sam Mendes' &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem in Sam Mendes' "Skyfall."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Contender Countdown: Could 'Skyfall' land James Bond a best picture nomination?

Plus: Who drops out of the top 10?

When is an Oscar Bait picture not an Oscar bait picture?  Or, if it meets the qualifications of an Oscar Bait picture should it always be considered one?

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Can Michael Peña break through with 'End of Watch'?

Can Michael Peña break through with 'End of Watch'?

Veteran supporting actor has paid his dues

Like many moviegoers across the country this weekend, you may have bought a ticket for David Ayer's new drama "End of Watch" instead of the more hyped offerings such as "Trouble with the Curve" or "House at the End of the Street."  And guess what?  You made the right choice.  One of the better reviewed movies recently, "Watch" follows the working relationship and off the clock friendship between two LAPD officers played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena.  Gyllenhaal is already being positioned as a contender in the very, very competitive best actor race, but the film's best chances at awards recognition may just be with Mr. Pena in the supporting category.*

*And yes, I clearly realize you could make the argument Pena should also be in the lead field, but SAG and Oscar should buy the supporting claim (maybe).

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