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Another nomination list, another leading haul for "12 Years a Slave." This time, it's the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, and Steve McQueen's film receives nine nods. It's not an especially inventive list, but it's a solid one: nice to see the stars of "Blue is the Warmest Color" rack up another mention, while those of you rooting for "The Wolf of Wall Street" will be pleased to note nominations for Best Picture, Director and Actor. Perhaps the least expected mention: Harrison Ford's supporting actor nod for "42." That dogged FYC campaign finally yields some fruit. Winners will be announced on Sunday.
The Detroit Film Critics Society mixed things up a little with their awards, giving Spike Jonze's "Her" another Best Picture win, but also going so far as to hand Scarlett Johansson their Best Supporting Actress prize for her voice work in the film. They also went against the grain in Best Actress, giving the win to Brie Larson for indie darling "Short Term 12" -- then doubling up by handing her their Best Breakthrough Performance award too. Larger-scale filmmaking muscled in with a Best Director win for "Gravity." Full list after the jump.
In this banner year for black filmmakers, the African-American Film Critics' Association -- which doesn't exclusively honor black-themed cinema, but leans heavily in that direction -- was always going to be spoilt for choice. No surprise, then, to see "12 Years a Slave" take Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Breakout Performance for Lupita Nyong'o, while their Best Picture runner-up, "Lee Daniels' The Butler," won acting awards for Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. Sandra Bullock and Jared Leto round out the top prizewinners, while it's nice to see Andrew Dosunmu's superb "Mother of George" recognized further down. Full list after the jump.
Steve Harvey lands an interview with Obama
The president is taping an interview at the White House for Harvey's daytime talk show.
Warren Buffett dresses as Walter White for his Christmas card
"Spoiler alert: Walter faked his death and moved to Omaha," says the billionaire "Breaking Bad" fan's Christmas card.
Cheryl Hines to guest on "The Crazy Ones"
She'll reunite with her former "RV" co-star, Robin Williams.
Watch videos of the black female comedians who are competing for "SNL" slot
They include standup comics and sketch performers who've appeared on shows like "30 Rock" and "My Wife and Kids."
"Hawaii Five-0" does an episode devoted to Pearl Harbor
Tonight's episode will not only revolve around the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 but will also delve into the Japanese-American internment camps on Hawaii. PLUS: It's a hell of an episode.
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is broadcast in special installments throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
On the docket today…
Here's something I like about Richard Armitage: I don't get any sense that he has any interest in or illusions about being a movie star.
Instead, like most of the people Peter Jackson casts in his "Lord Of The Rings" films, Armitage strikes me as a character actor who doesn't mind vanishing into the make-up he wears as Thorin Oakenshield. My kids are huge fans of both of the "Hobbit" movies so far, and if they ended up in the same elevator with Armitage, they'd never know it was him. The transformation is that complete.
This is my second time chatting with him about the series, and what struck me this time is how much Thorin is already teetering on losing his battle with the rising darkness within him. Unlike Bilbo, who is battling the influence of the One Ring that he found, Thorin's darkness is completely generated from within. There is a madness that seems to set in around the vast mountains of money waiting for him in Erebor, and the closer Thorin gets to fulfilling what he sees as his destiny, the more he seems willing to do anything to anyone to make it happen.
I haven't yet caught up with "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" myself. On my one opportunity to see it this week, it was scheduled against "The Wolf of Wall Street" and -- well, you know. I didn't get on at all with "An Unexpected Journey" last year, finding it narratively listless and visually garish (not helped by the divisive 48fps technology).
But my curiosity has been renewed after a number of trusted colleagues deemed the new instalment significantly superior to its predecessor. Drew McWeeny is among the believers, declaring the film a "thrilling" improvement. Now it's your turn. Do you agree that "Smaug" is a step up? Perhaps you thought the first film required no improvement? Or can you still not get over the division of one slender book into three films? Share your thoughts in the comments if and when you've seen the film, and vote in our poll below.
Rob Corddry and Dwayne Johnson are set to become HBO "Ballers"
Peter Berg will direct the half-hour dramedy pilot about a group of current and former athletes in Miami. Johnson will play a former running back and Corddry -- who isn't leaving "Children's Hospital" -- will play his boss.
Baz Luhrman & Shawn Ryan are shopping a show about the dawn of the hip-hop era
The potential series -- which is being pitched to Netflix, Amazon, FX, Showtime and other cable networks -- would explore the birth of hip-hop from the perspective of two young New Yorkers.