<p>Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson in &quot;&quot;Martha Marcy May Marlene.&quot;</p>

Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson in ""Martha Marcy May Marlene."

Sundance Review: Elizabeth Olsen makes her name in 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'

Cult drama meanders but will find a loyal following

If you haven't heard of Elizabeth Olsen yet, you soon will and for all the right reasons.  The younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen has two films at this year's Sundance Film Festival, but it's the dramatic competition entry, "Martha Marcy May Marlene," that is a superb showcase for her talent.

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<p>Adepero Oduye is impressive as Alike in Dee Rees' &quot;Pariah.&quot;</p>

Adepero Oduye is impressive as Alike in Dee Rees' "Pariah."

Sundance Review: Striking 'Pariah' proves good gay cinema isn't dead yet

Strong cast and vision make Dee Rees' drama memorable

You may be able to take true independent gay cinema off life support now.

After almost a decade of disappointing and at times embarrassingly bad feature films that consistently descended into stereotypical cliches, independent gay cinema may be on something of an upswing.  One of the first signs was last year's Sundance hit "The Kids Are All Right." Granted, while it was very low budget for Hollywood standards, the Oscar contending "Kids" still looked and felt like a studio film thanks to some famous faces in the fold.  That is certainly not the case with Sundance Film Festival opening night selection "Pariah." Shot on a shoestring budget, Dee Rees' impressive drama proves there is a lot of powerful gay stories to be told in fresh and moving ways.

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<p>So far, only Bill Condon has been able to get a reasonably good big screen performance out of Beyonce Knowles in &quot;Dreamgirls.&quot;&nbsp; Can Clint Eastwood do him one better?</p>

So far, only Bill Condon has been able to get a reasonably good big screen performance out of Beyonce Knowles in "Dreamgirls."  Can Clint Eastwood do him one better?

Credit: DreamWorks

Oscar Bait: Clint Eastwood will try and tame Beyonce in a musical 'Star is Born'

Can the acclaimed veteran tame Sasha Fierce's acting style?

Update: 11.:00 PM PST - Warner Bros. has confirmed that Eastwood is in talks  to direct and Beyonce is negotiating to star. 


Clint Eastwood may just be tempting fate.

The multiple Academy Award winning director and actor has been known to venture out of his damatic comfort zone with pseudo sci-fi flicks such as "Hereafter" and "Space Cowboys," but Clint Eastwood is going boldly where he's never gone before: the world of the movie musical.  And not only is he going to venture into that strange unknown, he's going to do it with Beyonce Knowles as his leading lady.

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<p>Robert Redford discusses the opening of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.</p>

Robert Redford discusses the opening of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Surprise: Robert Redford has no plans on retiring from Sundance

Festival faces 'challenges' in 2011, but 'could be biggest year ever'

PARK CITY - Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford, Director John Cooper and new Executive Director Kerri Putman answered the media's questions during the indie film event's annual kick-off press conference Thursday afternoon and as usual it was a mostly dry affair.

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<p>Morgan Spurlock pitches &quot;The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.&quot;</p>

Morgan Spurlock pitches "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold."

Credit: Sony Classics

Sony buys Morgan Spurlock's 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold'

Fourth major acquisition before Sundance official kicks off

The Sundance Film Festival hasn't even officially opened and yet another picture has found a home.  Sony Pictures Worldwide announced today it has acquired the rights to Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold." The film finds Spurlock exploring the world of product placement, marketing and advertising through a film financed entirely by product placement, marketing and advertising.  Basically, a possible indictment of the Hollywood moviemaking system. Sony Classics will release the picture in the United States and Canada.

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<p>Johnny Depp in &quot;Alice in Wonderland.&quot;</p>

Johnny Depp in "Alice in Wonderland."

Credit: Walt Disney Studios

'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Tron Legacy' key Costume Designer Guild Awards nominees

HBO dominates the TV honorees

The Costume Designers Guild announced the nominees for their 13th Annual Awards today and Colleen Atwood's work in "Alice in Wonderland" and Amy Wescott's frocks in "Black Swan" are among the top honorees.  Divided into Contemporary, Period and Fantasy categories on the film side, other intriguing contenders include "Burlesque," "The Fighter," "Tron Legacy" and  "The Tempest."

On the television side, HBO dominated the nods with recognition for "Big Love," "Treme," "The Pacific," "Temple Grandin,""You Don't Know Jack" and "Boardwalk Empire."

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<p>Matt Damon in &quot;True Grit.&quot;</p>

Matt Damon in "True Grit."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Watch: Carter Burwell settles the score in 'True Grit'

Why can't this man get an Oscar nomination?

After the fantastic reviews and jaw-dropping box office ($129 million and counting), there is one sad story surrounding "True Grit," the Oscar fate of Carter Burwell.

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<p>A&nbsp;stirring moment from &quot;Incendies.&quot;</p>

A stirring moment from "Incendies."

Credit: Sony Classics

'Biutiful' and 'Incendies' makes Oscar's foreign language cut

Nine films will be screened over the weekend

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the latest field for the best foreign language Oscar.  The following nine contenders will be screened by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles Friday, Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan 23.

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<p>Aron Ralston, Danny Boyle and James Franco at the London premiere of &quot;127 Hours.&quot;</p>

Aron Ralston, Danny Boyle and James Franco at the London premiere of "127 Hours."

Credit: AP Photo

Contender Countdown: '127 Hours' and 'Winter's Bone' fight for the 10th slot

Plus: Some thoughts on Ricky Gervais and the HFPA

Before we tackled the best picture race leading up to Tuesday's nominations, some final key thoughts on Sunday's night's Golden Globes.

The HFPA has a major public relations problem...again.
Over the past decade many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association worked very hard to change the perception of the exclusive and quirky org.  Ever since stories of actors such as Sharon Stone sending expensive watches to members to try and land a nomination had became known in the mainstream media, the HFPA had put in strict rules and seemed very intent on lessening the studio's influence on the Golden Globes nominees and winners. Especially during a time when the Globes ratings were going upward and big brother, the Academy Awards, were falling.  When the writer's strike occurred in late 2007, awards season came to a grinding halt and the HFPA came up with an embarrassingly lame press conference show to try to salvage their lucrative contract with NBC. The fact they insisted on the presentation should have been the first sign things weren't as kosher as they seemed. Then came new President Philip Berk, a gentleman who doesn't seem to have a sense of humor and appears to want to have a swift temper instead.  Berk was largely responsible for the ouster of the Michael Russell Group, a publicity firm that had been the HFPA's biggest ally for two decades.  You can learn about the gory details here, but the resulting lawsuit filed over the past week accused the organization of participating in payola (uh oh).  Even if it can't be proven in court, it's damning in the court of public opinion, the media and the industry.  Worse, those charges came just a month after the HFPA picked some of their most ludicrous and star-[expletive] nominations in years in the comedy or musical categories ("The Tourist," "Red") and has eyebrow raising nods for Scott Caan and Piper Perabo on the television side.  And you know things aren't going well when your Cecil B. DeMille winner, Robert De Niro, is ripping your organization in his acceptance speech.  The HFPA now have a whole year to try and turn things around.  Good luck with that fellas.

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<p>Christina Aguilera, in her thinner days, in Dorian Award winner &quot;Burlesque.&quot;</p>

Christina Aguilera, in her thinner days, in Dorian Award winner "Burlesque."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Surprise: Gay Critics honor 'Burlesque' for campy - intentional or not - film of the year

'The Good Wife,' 'Glee,' 'I Am Love' and, um, 'Hung' also honored

Sometimes something pops into your inbox and you just can't resist writing a piece on it.  So, here goes...

The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics (no, I have no idea who they are either) announced the winners for the second annual Dorian Awards for Film and Television this afternoon.  Notable wins included this pundit's favorite of 2010, "I Am Love" for Film of the Year, "The Good Wife" for TV Drama of the Year (also a favorite), Annette Bening, "I Love You Phillip Morris," Michael C. Hall, Jane Lynch, Chris Colfer, "Glee" and, um, "Hung."  Needless to say, the organization has a sense of humor about itself.  Check out the winners as noted in a press release sent to the media.

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