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A scene from Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell."
A scene from Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell."
Credit: Roadside Attractions

Sarah Polley eyes next year's doc Oscar with 'Stories We Tell'

Roadside will release her intimate family portrait in mid-2013

I'm a bit behind the curve on this news, but since it was rather buried beneath the surge of autumn Oscar-contender updates, I thought it worth flagging up anyway. I've recently been combing the US release calendar for possibilities in the Best Documentary Feature race, looking in particular for the slightly left-of-center contenders that routinely pop up in the branch's shortlist -- the eligibility rules may have changed this year, but we have no reason to think voters will suddenly start focusing more intently on much-hyped frontrunners.

In doing so, I found myself wondering what became of "Stories We Tell," Sarah Polley's lovely non-fiction debut -- a critical hit at the Venice and Toronto festivals that did rather well for itself by scoring a US distribution deal with a relatively high-profile indie outfit, Roadside Attractions. In recent years, Roadside has been a tidy little player in the Oscar race, scoring major nominations for "Winter's Bone," "Biutiful," "Albert Nobbs" and "Margin Call," in all cases against significant odds. However, they made their name with the Academy in the documentary race: founded in 2003, they landed their first nod less than two years later with "Super Size Me," and took the win five years later with "The Cove."

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<p>Louis C.K. will be taking an extended break before &quot;Louie&quot;&nbsp;season 4 premieres.</p>

Louis C.K. will be taking an extended break before "Louie" season 4 premieres.

Credit: FX

Louis C.K. delays 'Louie' season 4

Emmy-winning comedy will return to FX in spring 2014

For the second day in a row, the return of a critically-adored comedy has been delayed. But where NBC decided to shelve "Community" for now, Louis C.K. was the man who decided that "Louie" won't be returning until the spring of 2014, rather than the summer 2013 schedule we all assumed.

C.K. has always made "Louie" his own way. He takes a much smaller production budget than an average cable scripted half-hour, and in exchange, FX mostly leaves him alone to make the exact show he wants to make. And he's decided that, in order to keep making exactly what he wants, he needs some extra time to do it.

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<p>Alan Arkin in &quot;Argo&quot;</p>

Alan Arkin in "Argo"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Interview: Alan Arkin on teaming with Ben Affleck and John Goodman in 'Argo'

Rounding up a (very) few words from an old pro

Five years ago Alan Arkin won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in "Little Miss Sunshine," an award many thought would end up going to "Dreamgirls" star Eddie Murphy. He's back knocking on the door of another tip of the Academy's hat with his work as a cranky, seen-it-all film producer in Ben Affleck's "Argo." But he probably couldn't care less.

"To me that's a euphemism for saying, 'I liked your work,'" he says of awards speculation by telephone. "I'm just as happy with people saying that."

Nevertheless, as short-answered and moderately cantankerous as Arkin can be in an interview situation, there's something lovable there. He's not the sort who has to work the circuit hard to get kudos because, after all, we're talking about someone whose first nomination was 45 years ago (for "The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming"). He's been there. Done that. So the terse replies to queries become a bit of a warm blanket that lets you admit, yes, this is all rather silly.

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<p>Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet in &quot;The Intouchables.&quot;</p>

Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet in "The Intouchables."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Roundup: 'Intouchables' wins the Oscar screener race

Also: The landing of 'Lincoln,' and Variety finds a home

Pete Hammond reports that the Weinsteins have won yet another Oscar race: the annual scramble to see who can get the first formal For Your Consideration screener mailed out to voters -- an early-bird strategy that has previously paid off for under-the-radar contenders like "A Better Life" and "Frozen River." (Millennium sent out "Bernie" a while back, but it was a commercial disc that didn't comply with official Academy regulations.) The lucky beneficiary? French Oscar submission "The Intouchables" -- an obvious contender for Best Foreign Language Film, but a crowdpleaser that I think most pundits are underestimating in other categories. Omar Sy is an outside shot who shouldn't be discounted in the Best Actor race, while I recently added the film to my Best Original Screenplay predictions. [Deadline]

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<p>Chris Elliott and Alyson Hannigan in &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Chris Elliott and Alyson Hannigan in "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'Nannies'

Lily and Marshall need childcare help, Barney falls off the wagon and Ted and Robin compete

A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I spend 7 grand on merch...

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<p>The new &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;producers were big fans of the show's first paintball episode.</p>

The new "Community" producers were big fans of the show's first paintball episode.

Credit: NBC

New 'Community' producers Moses Port and David Guarascio talk about life after Dan Harmon

They loved the first three seasons, want to keep pleasing the fans
If NBC's fall schedule had worked out as planned, "Community" fans would be 10 days away from seeing what the NBC comedy looks and sounds like without its creator, Dan Harmon, running things. Instead, on Monday, NBC opted to delay the fourth season, run by veteran sitcom producers Moses Port and David Guarascio, indefinitely.
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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>Was this the best &quot;Voice&quot; Battle EVER?</p>

Was this the best "Voice" Battle EVER?

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' Monday - The Battles Premiere

How would the Steal impact the revamped Battle Round?
With blind auditions finally over, it’s time to move onto the next phase of “The Voice”: the Battle Rounds. This phase of the time will see this season’s big twist in the form of “The Steal.” (No, I don’t know if the show will have some anonymous woman croon “This is The Steal!” after each commercial break.) Each coach will get two steals, which should theoretically alter how each coach will pair up his or her team members during this phase of the game. I say “theoretically” because it’s just as likely that Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine will inadvertently screw themselves over during this part of “The Voice” as help themselves. Another new feature, “Knockout Rounds”, will eventually shrink this current field of 64 down before the start of the live broadcasts. When will those broadcasts start? Sometime before the next Olympics, ostensibly.
 
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"Dancing with the Stars"

 "Dancing with the Stars" 

Credit: ABC

Recap: 'Dancing with the Stars' hands the creative reigns to the celebs

Paula Abdul is announced as next week's guest judge

This week, the "creative director" role falls onto the already overburdened shoulders of the celebrities, who are already having a hard time doing things like moving in synch to music, wearing silly dance shoes and getting used to mesh panels in places where they may not really want mesh panels. Really, I'm hoping this creative director thing is just a chance for them to say stuff like, "Please God, don't make me wear spangles and booty shorts this week" or "I don't want to pretend I'm a super hero/lame movie character/furry." 

But wait! The producers couldn't possibly let the celebrities have too much control! That's what leads to vanity projects and horrible children's books! So, they have complete control… to the extent they get to re-do an iconic dance from the show. So, um, maybe they can suggest some arm flapping and a favorite color. 

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<p>To prepare for this tearful scene from 'The Canyons,' Lindsay Lohan merely had to think about all the opportunities she's pissed away in the last few years.</p>

To prepare for this tearful scene from 'The Canyons,' Lindsay Lohan merely had to think about all the opportunities she's pissed away in the last few years.

Credit: The Canyons, LLC

Watch: Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen in the first 'Canyons' trailer

Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader seem to have found rock bottom

When I posted the story earlier today about Kelly Marcel being hired to write Universal's upcoming adaptation of "Fifty Shades Of Grey," the last thing I imagined would be that Marcel would end up as the controversial part of the story.

Within a half-hour, though, some woman on Twitter was happy to tell me why I am wrong about Marcel as a writer to the point where she eventually started calling me names because I dared to like Marcel's work, and no less than Bret Easton Ellis weighed in on his Twitter feed, which has proven to be reliably insane ever since he signed on.  He was obsessed with "Fifty Shades Of Grey," and he basically used Twitter to pitch his approach to the adaptation for what seemed like months on end.  I guess we shouldn't be surprised, then, that he is outraged and infuriated that he is not the man doing the job.  Here's what he had to say.

"Kelly Marcel?!? KELLY MARCEL?!? Kelly Marcel is WRITING the script for 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'?!? THIS is the movie they want to make? ARGH."

He followed that about ten minutes later with this one:

"Kelly Marcel: the creator of (gulp) 'Terra Nova' and a Mary Poppins bio-pic has been blessed by EL James and no one can stop her. Dear God."

First, I'd like to point out that it is incredibly poor form for any writer to crap all over another writer when they got the job that you wanted.  Ellis doesn't seem to understand even the basics of professional decorum, though.  His tantrum would maybe carry a bit more weight if he had not also just posted the first trailer for "The Canyons," the movie that he wrote for Paul Schrader to direct with Lindsay Lohan and James Deen starring.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Frankenweenie.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Frankenweenie."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Does 'Frankenweenie''s disappointing box office harm its Oscar chances?

Disney's campaign will have to focus on art and sentiment over commerce

I could tell things weren't going swimmingly for "Frankenweenie" this weekend when I could use a single hand to count the responses to our post inviting your thoughts on the film. For whatever reason, and not for lack of critical enthusiasm, Tim Burton's peculiarly personal stop-motion animated feature just hadn't caught the public's imagination, and the figures last night made for discouraging reading: after opening wide in over 3000 theaters, "Frankenweenie" limped into fifth place with $11.4 million, less than half of what rival Halloween-friendly animation "Hotel Transylviania" managed to gross in its second weekend. International box office will surely be required to clear a budget of $39 million.

I'm no box office analyst, but as disappointed as I am by this tepid reception for a lovingly made film that deserves an audience, I'm hardly surprised. As much as Disney tried to underline Burton's money-raking "Alice in Wonderland" credentials in the marketing, "Frankenweenie" is a tough sell: a stylized, macabre and boldly black-and-white mosaic homage to vintage horror/monster movies, it's a film for the director's devotees who likely loathed "Alice."

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<p>Don't high-five Annie's Boobs just yet, Alison Brie!&nbsp;NBC&nbsp;has delayed the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;premiere.</p>

Don't high-five Annie's Boobs just yet, Alison Brie! NBC has delayed the "Community" premiere.

Credit: NBC

'Community' & 'Whitney' premieres delayed by NBC

Friday sitcom bloc won't debut as planned on October 19

Good news, "Communityfans: your show may not have to air on Fridays, after all.

Bad news, "Community" fans: your show won't be returning 11 days from now.

NBC has decided to hold the October 19 premieres of both "Community" and "Whitney." I'm told the goal is to give both of them more proper support, but it's unclear if that means keeping them on Fridays but delaying them long enough to do a better marketing campaign, or if one or both of the shows will be sent in to replace a sitcom that's struggling earlier in the week (like, for instance, "Up All Night").

NBC has had successes with its Monday and Tuesday lineups, thanks to "The Voice" and the shows that immediately follow it, but the Wednesday and Thursday lineups have been a mess. "Community" or "Whitney" could be sent there, or NBC may just not have the resources to launch a fourth sitcom bloc right now, and the two will be paired together later in the season.

Sing it with me: Troy and Abed on hiaaaaaaatus!

UPDATE: NBC has now issued a statement: 

Given the success we’ve had for the past four weeks – including winning the first week of the season in A18-49 – we’ve decided to continue to concentrate our promotional strength on our new NBC shows that are scheduled Monday through Wednesday and have therefore decided to hold COMMUNITY and WHITNEY from their previously announced premieres of October 19th.  Without having to launch these comedies on Friday at this time, we can keep our promotion focused on earlier in the week -- plus we will have both comedies in our back pocket if we need to make any schedule changes on those nights.  When we have a better idea of viewing patterns in the next few weeks,  we will announce new season premieres of WHITNEY and COMMUNITY.

 

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