Former C.I.A. agent Valerie Palme and U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson

Former C.I.A. agent Valerie Palme and U.S. Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Watch: Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson know their life is 'Fair Game'

Historic couple discuss their lives on screen and off

There has to be something surreal about watching your life play out in a movie.  Whether it's Aron Ralston in "127 Hours" or Michel Oher in "The Blind Side" there is an emotional reaction to watching Hollywood recreate the ups and downs of your story.  Like that hiker and NFL Football player, Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson are reliving their own hell, one of the most dramatic moments of the Bush administration, on the big screen and are now hitting the road to help get the word out.

Read Full Post
"Despicable Me"

Blockbuster "Despicable Me" will have to fight for an Oscar nod if the best animated feature only has three slots as expected this year.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Oscar Watch: D-Day for best animated feature

Plus: Annette Bening gets another award and James Franco brings 'Three's Company' to Sundance

And in the always competitive race to land a best animated feature nominations, here are your, um…three nominees?  Uh, oh.  That's not what the Academy had in mind when it changed the rules this summer qualifying animated films just over 40 minutes as feature length.  Besides the fact it duplicates the live action rule, the goal was to try an insure that there were 16 nominees ever year to qualify five slots.  Nov. 1 was the deadline to hit that mark with official submissions and last count has the number somewhere around 14. 

Obviously, the more nominees the more drama and chances for an upset in a category which has been mostly predictable since its inception in 2001.  In fact, you can argue the only surprise in the honor's history was when "Happy Feet" upset "Cars" for the Oscar in 2006.  Unfortunately, it appears only 14 candidates will submit to the Academy by today's Nov. 1 deadline.  And while we won't know for sure until the end of the week, that likely means somebody gets screwed. Let's take a moment and look at the contenders shall we?

Read Full Post
<p>Nic Cage and Chloe Moretz in &quot;Kick-Ass.&quot;</p>

Nic Cage and Chloe Moretz in "Kick-Ass."

Credit: Lionsgate

'Kings Speech' takes on 'Kick-Ass' for British Independent best picture

Who knew Matthew Vaughn's flick would find more love than Mike Leigh's?

Legitimate award show nominations are finally starting to roll in.  Today, the British Independent Film Awards announced the nominations for the organization's 2010 event.  Unlike other kudos, the British Indie nods are selected by a larger pool (70 members) and then the winners are awarded by 13 judges. 

This year's lucky panel includes Mags Arnold (Editor), Finola Dwyer (Producer), Matthew Goode ("Watchmen"), Matt Greenhalgh (Writer), Andy Harries (Producer), Gemma Jones ("You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger"), David Mackenzie (Director), James Marsh (Director), Hannah McGill (Writer, Critic & Festival Programmer), Sean Pertwee (Actor), Jamie Sives (Actor), Jason Solomons (Film Critic), Gary Williamson (Production Designer).

Read Full Post
<p>George Clooney is returning to the director's chair with &quot;The Ides of March.&quot;</p>

George Clooney is returning to the director's chair with "The Ides of March."

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar Bait Alert: George Clooney finds 'The Ides of March' with Ryan Gosling

Evan Rachel Wood, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei will also star

George Clooney has landed the financing to return to the director's chair.  Exclusive Media Group and Cross Creek Pictures ("Black Swan") announced today they will finance and co-produce "The Ides of March" which Clooney will direct and star in.

Read Full Post
Nicole Kidman in the new poster for John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole"

Nicole Kidman in the new poster for John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole."

Credit: Lionsgate

Exclusive: Nicole Kidman looks forward in new 'Rabbit Hole' poster

Acclaimed new drama a wildcard in the Oscar race

Most movie marketing campaigns have months, sometimes years to come to fruition.  Even coming up with a trailer and a poster can take months on end of creative discussion.  In fact, in an extreme case, I remember seeing hundreds of comps for the final poster for "The Hours" back in the day when I was at Paramount.  You literally have no idea how many months it took for everyone to agree what order to put Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman in against a white background.  But, something must have worked because the film was nominated for best picture and Kidman won her first best actress Oscar (or maybe it was just the movie).  Eight years later, Kidman has delivered her finest performance since in John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole."

Read Full Post
Eddie Izzard

The Indie Spirits are heading to Santa Monica this February, but will last year's host Eddie Izzard be going with them?

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Oscar Watch: Indie Spirit Awards head back to Santa Monica

Plus: Jeff Bridges is hosting 'SNL'

What was pretty much guaranteed within days of last year's ceremony has officially come to pass: the Independent Spirit Awards are going home.  After making a 25th Anniversary prime time stop at L.A. Live this past March, the 2011 edition of the Spirts will return to the friendly, if not windy confines of Santa Monica Beach. 

This year's ceremony will be held Saturday, Feb. 26 at 2 PM PST.  However, unlike previous years where the ceremony was broadcast live, IFC has decided to rebroadcast cast the show in an edited form later that night at 10 PM EST/PST.  That will no doubt save the company money on satellite feeds, but ruin some of the fun for awards season fans.

Film Independent did announce more good news, however, when it revealed that Audrey Morrissey has agreed to join Dick Clark Productions to Executive Produce this year's telecast.  A veteran of the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, 2010 People's Choice Awards and 2009 MTV Latin American VMAs, Morrissey should bring a more professional and slicker presentation to what has always been a mixed bag affair.  Whether last year's host, Eddie Izzard, will be given another chance in a better setting remains to be seen (here's hoping). 

Read Full Post
Halle Berry goes psycho in "Frankie and Alice"

Halle Berry goes psycho stripper in "Frankie and Alice."

Credit: Freestyle

Oscar Watch: Halle Berry crashing the best actress race with 'Frankie and Alice'

Plus: LAFCA honors Paul Mazursky, BAFTA's Britannia Awards finds a TV home

Can Oscar lightning strike twice?  That's what Freestyle Releasing and Halle Berry are hoping for after moving the former best actress winner's new film, "Frankie and Alice," to a limited release in Dec.

Directed by Geoffrey Sax ("Othello," "White Noise"), the '70's era true story finds Berry playing Frankie Murdoch, a stripper trying to deal with her dissociative identity disorder or multiple personalities, one of which just happens to be racist (uh-oh).   The film debuted at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and while the picture didn't set the Croisette on fire, Berry got strong notices for her performance.  Now, Freestyle will release the picture for a qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 17, before a regular theatrical release occurs on Feb. 4, 2011 (assuming Berry gets a nomination).  

Read Full Post
<p>Jean-Luc Godard</p>

Jean-Luc Godard

Jean-Luc Godard will not accept his honorary Oscar in person

French filmmaking legend won't make the trip to the Governors Awards

As many expected, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that French filmmaking legend Jean-Luc Godard won't make the trip to the Governors Awards to accept his honorary Oscar in person.

In a statement from the Academy, Academy president Tom Sherak noted, “He reiterated his thanks for the award and also sent his good wishes to the other individuals being honored the same night – Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach – who he refers to as ‘the three other musketeers.’”

This isn't a huge surprise for the Academy as Godard is known to fear air travel and has even skipped Cannes to avoid it.

The Academy will pay tribute to Godard through film clips and commentary by his admirers (although why a satellite hook up isn't being arranged or even a Skype call is unclear). The award will be accepted on Godard’s behalf by the Academy and following the event his statue will be delivered to him in Switzerland.

The Governors Awards take place at the Hollywood and Highland complex on Nov. 13.

Read Full Post
Tyler Perry discusses his first adaptation, "For Colored Girls"

Tyler Perry discusses his first adaptation, "For Colored Girls."

Tyler Perry says adapting 'For Colored Girls' was about 'surrender'

Plus: Anika Noni Rose and Phylicia Rashad on the new drama

There is something interesting going on with the early reviews for Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls."  The adaptation of Ntozake Shange's play is the first picture Perry has directed that's not based on his own source material. It's his most challenging work to date and features stellar turns from Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton and Phylicia Rashad among others.  But will the critics give Perry's latest a fair shot?  We're not so sure.  But more on that later... 

Read Full Post
Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence at the premiere of "The Burning Plain" last year in New York.

Credit: AP Photo/Pete Kramer

Jennifer Lawrence skips 'X-Men: First Class' to return to 'Winter's Bone'

48 hour trip to LA to campaign for her Sundance breakout

Jennifer Lawrence cant get the blue makeup off her right ear.  The 20-year-old actress is in the middle of a 48-hour reprieve from being covered head to toe in blue make up in Matthew Vaughn's reboot of the Marvel mutant franchise, "X-Men: First Class," but even half way across the world from "X-Men's" London soundstages, she can't get rid of the blue stuff.  Lawrence has returned to Los Angeles to remind voters about her acclaimed performance in "Winter's Bone." And you can't blame her or distributor Roadside Attractions for breaking out the wine glasses once again.

Read Full Post