<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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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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<p>Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of &quot;Les Miserables.&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in Tom Hooper's big screen version of "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Watch: 'Les Miserables' sets itself apart by singing live on set

Awards contender makes its pitch

Over the last decade or so, filmmakers have stretched and played with the movie musical structure in pictures such as "Chicago," "Across the Universe," "Moulin Rouge," "Dancer in the Dark" and "Dreamgirls."  When it was announced director Tom Hooper would follow up his Oscar-winning work in "The King's Speech" with a big screen version of the classic musical "Les Miserables," the question was how would Hooper differentiate this adaptation?  The answer is revealed in a new behind-the-scenes featurette Universal Studios released today.

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<p>Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in &quot;Hitchcock.&quot;</p>

Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock in "Hitchcock."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'Hitchcock' crashes the awards season party with a last minute November release

HBO's 'The Girl' arrives a month earlier

Get ready for a lot of Alfred Hitchcock over the next few months. 

Fox Searchlight made a surprise announcement this morning that Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" will open in theaters on Nov. 23.  This was unexpected as "Hitchcock" was in production just this past Spring and while Searchlight felt they had something special on its hands, they didn't believe they could get manufacture all the necessary trappings of a proper awards season prestige campaign in time.  The studio is so enamored with the film they've decided to take the chance.

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Jake Gyllenhaal isn't kidding when he says making 'End of Watch' 'changed my life'

Jake Gyllenhaal isn't kidding when he says making 'End of Watch' 'changed my life'

First ride along featured a murder

TORONTO - It may seem like a silly cliche or easy hyperbole for an actor to claim their life has changed because of a role in a movie, but after looking into Jake Gyllenhaal's eyes its hard to dispute his claim.  The 31-year-old actor trained more for David Ayer's "End of Watch" than any previous role and what he went learned to play LAPD officer Brian Taylor has clearly stuck with him.

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<p>Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;An Unexpected Journey.&quot;</p>

Martin Freeman is Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Credit: Warner Bros.

Adventure and comedy await in new 'Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' trailer

Plus: Gandolf and Elrond foreshadow the danger that awaits

For months, industry buzz has centered on how Warner Bros. plans on marketing Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" more to families than the previous "Lord of the Rings" films.  Of course, "Rings" drew in tons of families and fans of all ages, but New Line's campaign at the time generally centered on the novels' epic and dramatic themes.  The primary goal was for audiences to take the world of Middle Earth seriously.  The "Lord" films would take you on a grand adventure, but there were dark and serious consequences at every turn. J.R.R. Tolkien's predecessor to the "Rings" books, "The Hobbit," has its scary moments, but was a little, well, lighter.  Warner Bros., MGM and New Line released the latest and perhaps final trailer for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" this morning and that broader tone is starting to seep through.

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