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Santa Barbara fest taps seven break-out 2013 'Virtuosos'

Santa Barbara fest taps seven break-out 2013 'Virtuosos'

One of the most impressive line-ups for the award to date

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has as of late extended its role call of "Virtuosos" Award winners, an annual tip of the hat to a given year's stand-out performers not honored elsewhere in its tribute program. And this year's line-up is as exemplary as ever.

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<div id="r1PostCPBlock" style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none; position: absolute; left: -99999px;">Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.<br />
<span>Read more at <a href="http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99" style="color: #003399;">http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99</a></span></div>
<div id="r1PostCPBlock" style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none; position: absolute; left: -99999px;">Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.<br />
<span>Read more at <a href="http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99" style="color: #003399;">http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99</a></span></div>
<div id="r1PostCPBlock" style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none; position: absolute; left: -99999px;">Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.<br />
<span>Read more at <a href="http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99" style="color: #003399;">http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99</a></span></div>
<div id="r1PostCPBlock" style="overflow: hidden; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-align: left; text-decoration: none; border: medium none; position: absolute; left: -99999px;">Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.<br />
<span>Read more at <a href="http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99" style="color: #003399;">http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.9</a></span>Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.</div>
<p>Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.</p>
Alfonso Cuarón netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99
Alfonso Cuarón netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.99
Alfonso Cuarón netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention#MhyguW6YXbgQclZR.9Alfonso Cuarón netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.

Alfonso Cuarón netted his second Best Director prize of the day from the group.

Credit: Warner Bros.

New York Film Critics Online award '12 Years a Slave,' Cuarón, Ejiofor

Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto keep on an even keel

The New York Film Critics Online also jumped into the fun on a very busy day for the precursor circuit by handing "12 Years a Slave" its Best Picture award. "Gravity" helmer Alfonso Cuarón took Best Director while acting honors went to Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o: the consensus quartet at this stage, I think it's safe to say. Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;&nbsp;picked up eight nominations</p>

"12 Years a Slave" picked up eight nominations

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'12 Years a Slave' leads with Houston film critics nominations

Intersting notices for 'The Hunt' and 'Man of Steel'

The Houston Film Critics Society has announced its list of nominees for 2013, and "12 Years a Slave" leads the way with eight nominations. The slate is full of the usual, though there were unique notices for "The Hunt" (Best Actor) and "Man of Steel" (Best Original Score). Check out the full list of nominees below, and remember to keep track of the season at The Circuit.

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"Look at my shee-yit... LAFCA award included."
"Look at my shee-yit... LAFCA award included."
Credit: A24

'Gravity' ties with 'Her' as LA critics' Best Picture winner

Acting winners include Adele Exarchopoulos and, yes, James Franco

Well, the esteemed men and women of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association were certainly in an indecisive mood today: in the course of today's voting, which took over four hours to complete, no fewer than three categories ended in ties. Chief among them, of course, was Best Picture, where Alfonso Cuaron's space epic "Gravity" was named alongside Spike Jonze's more intimate technological drama "Her." Both were clear favorites throughout: "Gravity" took three other awards, for Best Director, Cinematography and Editing, while "Her" won the day's first award (for Production Design) and was a close ruinner-up for Director, Screenplay and Music.

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<p>Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jamres Gandolfini in &quot;Enough Said.&quot;</p>

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jamres Gandolfini in "Enough Said."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave,' James Gandolfini win with Boston Society of Film Critics

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Cate Blanchett take top acting honors

Well, one thing we've learned this weekend is that Beantown critics think very highly of "12 Years a Slave." Steve McQueen's film practically swept the Boston online critics' awards yesterday, taking seven awards in all. And it was similarly triumphant in today's voting by the Boston Film Critics' Society -- the more established and arguably more prestigious of the city's two groups -- where it took Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

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<p>Andrew Dominik and MOMI&nbsp;Chief Curator David&nbsp;Schwartz discuss &quot;The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford&quot;</p>

Andrew Dominik and MOMI Chief Curator David Schwartz discuss "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Credit: HitFix

The 'Jesse James' revival sets sail from Queens

A resuscitated masterpiece hits the road to redemption

NEW YORK — The big screen revival of Andrew Dominik's 2007 western "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," economically dubbed the "Jesse James Revival" by a passionate young man named Jamieson McGonigle who set the whole thing in motion, kicked off in earnest Saturday night with a presentation of the opus to a sold out crowd at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens.

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<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;</p>

"12 Years a Slave"

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Boston online critics hand '12 Years a Slave' seven awards

Steve McQueen's drama dominated the group's list of superlatives

It's safe to say members of the Boston Online Film Critics Association were big fans of Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave." The group handed the film seven awards Friday including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Best Supporting Actress (Luipta Nyong'o). Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") and Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") rounded out the acting honors, while "Before Midnight" took Best Screenplay. Check out the full list below.

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<p>Spike Jonze's &quot;Her&quot;&nbsp;picked up nine nominations including Best&nbsp;Actor.</p>

Spike Jonze's "Her" picked up nine nominations including Best Actor.

Credit: Warner Bros.

'12 Years a Slave' and 'Her' lead the way with Washington D.C. critics nominations

'Olympus Has Fallen' and 'White House Down,' this is your moment

Spike Jonze's "Her," Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" and especially Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" turned up great showings in the nominations stage for the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association this year. All three films were nominated for Best Film along with David O. Russell's "American Hustle" and the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis."

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<p>Caleb of &quot;Survivor: Blood vs. Water&quot;</p>

Caleb of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Caleb Bankston talks 'Survivor: Blood vs. Water'

Latest bootee discusses the Brad Culpepper blindside and more
As the "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" season started, most viewers eyed Caleb Bankston suspiciously and thought, "What kind of man could be engaged to Colton Cumbie?"
 
But rather than emulating his verbally glib, camera attentive significant other, Caleb proved to be an amiable background performer. Unlike Colton, Caleb never said anything controversial. Unlike Colton, Caleb never complained about the harsh conditions. In fact, how many Caleb talking head segments do you remember from his 30-ish days in the game? 
 
And unlike Colton, Caleb made it past the Merge and even though he was eliminated from the game and became the third member of the Jury, Caleb's run on "Survivor" is almost certain to be remembered mostly for one positive moment of gameplay. It was Caleb who single-handedly brought down Brad Culpepper, the dominant figure in the game's first half, pulling the sort of anti-blindside rarely seen on "Survivor." Sensing Tribal Council unrest and fearing his head might be on the block, Caleb announced that he was flipping on his former alliance-mate and urged others to come along, getting the necessary votes to oust Brad after an initial tie. 
 
It was a good moment.
 
Caleb had a different vantage point for the season's other big Tribal Council moment when, in his first night on the Jury, he got to witness only the second tie-breaking rock-drawing in "Survivor" history.
 
In this week's exit interview, Caleb talks about those exciting Tribals and also about the tile-stacking Duel that sent him home. He also discusses why he was never prepared to write Colton's name down in the game and how frequently "Survivor" Colton surfaces in Real-World Colton.
 
Click through for the full Q&A...
 
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Paul Rudd and One Direction

Paul Rudd and One Direction

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Paul Rudd and One Direction

The 'Anchorman' star and the pop phenoms kick off the show's December run

We’re in the home stretch for 2013 episodes of “Saturday Night Live.” Starting tonight, we have a run of three weeks involving hosts familiar with the program. Paul Rudd is making his third appearance as host to kick things off, and if you think he’s the only actor associated with the “Anchorman” franchise that will appear tonight in Studio 8H, well, I have some swampland to sell you. Not only is Will Ferrell an alum of the show, but the film’s co-writer/director Adam McKay tweeted earlier today that he would be writing another iteration of a moderately-famous recurring sketch as well. (And others involved with the franchise have experience as well, almost too many to name here.)

 
What will be interesting to see over these next three weeks is how much the new cast gets integrated versus pushed to the side. Logically speaking, the latter will happen, which only once again raises the question of why "SNL" culled such a large cast together this season in the first place. Throw in the fact that there’s almost no way One Direction won’t appear in at least one (if not more) non-musical segments, and you have a very good chance that more than half of the cast will get next to no screen time tonight.
 
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<p>James McAvoy will no doubt be an important puzzle piece for Simon Kinberg as he tries to build a larger 'X-Men' movie universe</p>

James McAvoy will no doubt be an important puzzle piece for Simon Kinberg as he tries to build a larger 'X-Men' movie universe

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Some thoughts on Simon Kinberg, 'X-Men,' 'Fantastic Four,' and world-building

As every studio rushes to build a mega-franchise, we examine the urge

Simon Kinberg has quickly become one of Fox's greatest assets, and it looks like they're about to double-down on him for the foreseeable future.

Earlier today, I recorded a short video piece about Kinberg's new deal to help expand both the "X-Men" and "Fantastic Four" worlds on film, and I'm sure he's got some big ideas about what to do with both of those properties. He's also hard at work on his "Star Wars" spin-off film, whichever one it is, as well as the TV show "Star Wars: Rebels." He's joined that club where he is pretty much booked every day of the year, and on giant movies that are absolutely going to be made. It's pretty rarefied air, and he seems to be handling it well. When I spoke to him last, at an event for "Elysium," he talked a little bit about how great it had been participating in the "Star Wars" process and spending time with Lawrence Kasdan, who has to be considered one of the old school masters of this sort of thing.

This raises a larger question, though, about the sudden move everyone's making to this model that's worked so well for one company. I feel like I may not have made the point I was trying to the other day, or at least I didn't make it clear with what I wrote. When I wrote about the way Warner is approaching their DC comic movies right now, I wasn't trying to say that I know the way they HAVE to fix things. Far from it. Ultimately, all that matters is that each studio look at what they have and find the best way to make it. That's all any of them can hope to do. There are hundreds of ways to screw up any potential adaptation, and only a very few ways it really works.

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<p>Toni Servillo in &quot;The Great Beauty.&quot;</p>

Toni Servillo in "The Great Beauty."

Credit: Janus Films

Italian Oscar entry 'The Great Beauty' wins big at European Film Awards

Other winners include 'The Broken Circle Breakdown' and 'In the House'

As I anticipated, "The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino's visually extravagant, Fellini-referencing reflection on contemporary Rome, emerged the big winner at tonight's European Film Awards in Berlin, taking four prizes for European Film of the Year, European Director of the Year, European Actor of the Year for Toni Servillo and European Editor of the Year for Cristiano Travaglioli. The film, a critics' pet since Cannes, is Italy's entry for the foreign-language Oscar; and this haul lends a handy boost to its campaign across the pond.

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