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<p>Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody on &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody on "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Season finale review: 'Homeland' - 'The Choice'

Carrie and Brody consider a future together, but how did the finale wrap things up?

A review of the "Homeland" season finale coming up just as soon as I apply to become your cabin boy...

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<p>The &quot;Survivor: Philippines&quot; Final 4</p>

The "Survivor: Philippines" Final 4

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Philippines' Finale - The Winner Is...

Skupin, Denise, Malcolm and Lisa battled for the million dollars
A bientot, Abi. No pre-credit sequence for finale week. Too much "Previously on..." recapping to do. It's Night 36 and it's a silent night, indeed. "That's like having a tumor removed," Skupin quips, calling the ousting of Abi "the best feeling" since he's been out there. "She was just full of fire," Denise says, euphemistically. "The bad news is that she went out with a bang," Malcolm laments, concerned that people keep blowing up at Tribal Council and praising him. Skupin reaffirms to Malcolm that they're still aligned, but Skupin calls this 'a 'Survivor' alliance." Skupin, however, isn't sure that Malcolm's such a slam-dunk and he suggests he has a better story than the presumptive winner. The next morning, Tree-Mail promises something about a dragon, but doesn't say whether it's Immunity or Reward. Denise fears she may be the next target, so she's ready for whatever comes next.
 
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'The Master,' Bigelow, Phoenix, Riva win San Francisco Film Critics Circle awards
Credit: Columbia Pictures

'The Master,' Bigelow, Phoenix, Riva win San Francisco Film Critics Circle awards

'Lincoln' wins for screenplay and supporting actor

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has joined the game, and the bandwagon for Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master," handing the film Best Picture and Best Actor honors. Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for "Zero Dark Thirty" while Emmanuelle Riva won Best Actress for "Amour." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the season at The Circuit.

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<p>Pedro Almodovar and Jean-Paul Gaultier at the former's Academy tribute on Thursday.</p>

Pedro Almodovar and Jean-Paul Gaultier at the former's Academy tribute on Thursday.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Stephen Frears, Jean-Paul Gaultier and others honor Pedro Almodóvar at Academy tribute

The two-time Oscar winner was toasted by AMPAS on Thursday in London

LONDON -- It scarcely needs to be stated that, in terms of professional arduousness, film journalism is not exactly coal-mining -- so I understand when our occasional complaints about the wearying nature of the circuit rankle with some readers. Too many festivals. Too many parties. Too many canapés. How your hearts must bleed.  

Still, the truth is that when attending such events becomes a key part of one's job -- and compared to my across-the-pond colleagues, it's a far smaller component of mine -- not everything is an unqualified pleasure. So when an invitation drops in your inbox that gets you even half as excited as a "Twilight"-bound tween, it must be for a rather special occasion. Such was the case when I was asked if I'd like to attend AMPAS's intimate tribute to one of our most essential living auteurs, Pedro Almodóvar, in London -- and that was before I knew Grace Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas were also on the guest list.

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<p>&quot;The Master&quot;</p>

"The Master"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Master,' 'Ang Lee' win with Kansas City Film Critics Circle

Other prizes to 'Argo,' 'The Cabin in the Woods' and 'Amour'

The second-oldest critics group in the country (behind the NYFCC), the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, has announced its slate of 2012 winners. "The Master" took Best Picture while "Life of Pi" helmer Ang Lee won Best Director.  Daniel Day-Lewis and Jennifer Lawrence won top acting honors for "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook," respectively. Check out the full set of winners below and remember to keep track of the season at The Circuit.

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<p>Emayatzy Corinealdi in &quot;Middle of Nowhere.&quot;</p>

Emayatzy Corinealdi in "Middle of Nowhere."

Credit: AFFRM

African-American Film Critics hail 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Middle of Nowhere'

Ben Affleck takes Best Director, Denzel Washington is Best Actor

The African-American Film Critics' Association is an interesting group on the precursor circuit -- while not explicitly dedicated to promoting black cinema and artists in the manner of, say, the Image Awards, their selections invariably reflect their identity to some extent. This year, for example, four of their five acting winners -- Denzel Washington, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Nate Parker and Quvenzhané Wallis -- are African-American.

Meanwhile, though Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" scooped yet another Best Picture gong, the group's biggest winner was African-American writer-director Ava DuVernay's "Middle of Nowhere." The indie drama landed four awards for Best Actress, Screenplay, Independent Film and Music, as well as placing at #4 on their 10 Best list. Nice to see this strong film having a day in the sun, even if its dynamite pair of supporting actresses, Lorraine Toussaint and Edwina Findley, couldn't defeat the redoubtable Sally Field. Full list of winners after the jump, and keep up with the trophy trail so far at The Circuit.

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<p>Tommy Lee Jones in &quot;Lincoln.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Tommy Lee Jones in "Lincoln." 

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'Lincoln' leads Houston Film Critics nods

'Anna Karenina' nabs a nomination... as the year's worst

“I think with each year, we come out and stake our ground on the question of best film, and particularly with some of our out-of-the-box choices.” So says Houston Film Critics' Society president Josh Starnes, and while I admire the sentiment, I'm struggling to identify too many out-of-the-box picks in their 2012 nominations list -- led by "Lincoln," with eight nods. Save a Best Picture nomination for the contentious "Cloud Atlas," and arguably a supporting mention for Judi Dench in "Skyfall," this looks largely like a copy-paste of umpteen other groups' lists this season, with "Les Misérables" and "The Master" also doing well with six nods apiece.

More wilful is their Worst Film of 2012 category, where the critics have decided to give Joe Wright's ambitious "Anna Karenina" a kicking -- and it's not the only film on the list that I rather like. Anyway, check out the full slate after the jump, and everything else at The Circuit.

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<p>&nbsp;Taylor Swift</p>

 Taylor Swift

Credit: Frank Augstein/AP

Music Power Rankings: Taylor Swift soars over Adele and Bruno Mars

Britney Spears and Mariah Carey also make the list

1. 12-12-12 Concert: The nearly six-hour Boomerfest raised more than $35 million for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. From the line-up however, it would appear that only old, white rockers care about helping hurricane victims.

2. Taylor Swift:
It’s a banner week as “Red” returns to No. 1, Swift earns her first Golden Globes nomination, and she celebrates her 23rd birthday with new beau, One Direction’s Harry Styles. Hmmm, which one of these will we get a song about first? 

3. Adele: “21” is the gift that just keeps on giving. Billboard names the British singer the biggest artist of 2012 and her 2011 album the biggest seller. The sky’s not falling out of her career any time soon.

4. Rush:
The power trio finally gets into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after years of lobbying bitching by its fans. KISS fans will now need to amp up their game.

5. Bruno Mars: He lands his 4th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 shorter than any other solo male artist since Bobby Vinton 48 years ago. Maybe they can record a doo-wop duet together.

6. Whitney Houston: It’s a sad honor to be sure, but Houston was the “top trending” search of the year. Hey, at least the late legend came in ahead of Psy, who galloped into second place.

7. Britney Spears: Forbes names Spears the richest woman in music in 2012, shortly after naming Dr. Dre the richest artist in music. Note: neither one achieved this feat by putting out a new album in 2012. That tells you all you need to know about album sales, doesn’t it?

8. Mariah Carey:
Eighteen years after she first released it, the new holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas” finally enters the Top 40.

9. Depeche Mode: The British post-punk pioneers sign a new worldwide deal with Columbia Records. We hear it comes with their own personal Jesus.

10. Jenni Rivera:
RIP

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Martin Short and Paul McCartney on the 'Saturday Night Live' set.

Martin Short and Paul McCartney on the 'Saturday Night Live' set.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Martin Short And Paul McCartney

How did the 'SNL' vet and the legendary rocker close out 2012?

Tonight’s “Saturday Night Live” host Martin Short is no stranger to the show. After all, he was a big part of the show’s 10th season cast. That cast is unusual in the show’s history: Made up of many seasoned comic veterans brought in by then-producer Dick Ebersol after the departure of Eddie Murphy led to a domino effect of other repertory players either leaving or being fired, it was as much a presence in the writer’s room as onscreen. As such, Short (alongside other cast members such as Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest) had tremendous power to help shape what they did each Saturday night. A lot of those elements were pre-produced, which gives that tenth season something in common with the current thirty-eighth installment. So it makes a sort of sense to have Short join this particular cast on this particular night. That’s a bit of a stretch, to be sure. But it’s something that also feels right as I look at the ratio of live-to-taped segments then compared with now.

Because of Short’s history with the show, combined with tonight being the Christmas episode, and further combined with the presence of musical guest Paul McCartney, and one can well assume many surprises are in store for tonight’s installment. A note about such surprises: because I’m liveblogging this episode tonight, I’m going to refrain from speculating about rumors swirling around Al Gore’s interwebs at the outset here. There’s one particularly juicy one that is intriguing not just because of the sketch in question, but what that sketch’s presence may mean for the immediate future of the program as a whole.
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<p>&quot;Beasts of the Southern&nbsp;Wild&quot;</p>

"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Exclusive: 'Les Mis,' 'Django,' 'Beasts,' 'Amour' among 2012 scripts not eligible for WGA

A look a the official ballot reveals the absence of a few usual suspects

Every year it's worth noting that a number of the original and adapted screenplays in the hunt for Oscar consideration won't get the extra bump of a nomination from the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Reasons for failing to qualify include the writer of the script not being a guild member or not retroactively handling the requisite process, among other things.

After taking a look at the official WGA ballot this season, I count 15 scripts from our screenplay Contenders pages that will not be eligible for consideration. Many of them seem out of the Oscar hunt for the most part and the number of notable exclusions is smaller than normal.

In the original screenplay category, as always, Quentin Tarantino will not be competing for his work on "Django Unchained." He has never been a member of the guild, but of course, that didn't stop his scripts for "Pulp Fiction" and "Inglorious Basterds" to go on to Oscar recognition. (Tarantino was similarly not a member of the DGA until this year, but he received two nominations prior nominations from that group, nevertheless.)

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<p>&quot;Men in&nbsp;Black 3&quot;</p>

"Men in Black 3"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Cloud Atlas' fails to make the finalists for Best Makeup and Hairstyling

'Hitchcock,' 'Looper' and 'Snow White and the Huntsman' are among the seven

The Academy has announced its shortlist of seven Best Makeup and Hairstyling contenders. The films will proceed to the "bake-off" stage, where reels of the work put into the makeup and hairstyling effects will be screened for the branch and three nominees will be chosen, revealed alongside the rest of the Oscar nominations on January 10.

The immediate exclusion of note is "Cloud Atlas," which transformed a number of movie stars across a variety of eras, ages and even races. Some of the work was quite wonderful, but much of it was a bone of contention for some, and clearly, that bore itself out in the narrowing process for the branch.

Also absent is "Holy Motors," which isn't a shock, one supposes. Who knows if the membership even bothered to watch the film. Because you'd think, if they had, they would have seen that it's far and away the best representation of their contribution to the form this year. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, and with "Who Were We?" failing to make the finalist cut for Best Original Song, the film's Oscar hopes in general have likely been dashed.

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<p>&quot;Cloud Atlas&quot;&nbsp;had a strong presence throughout.</p>

"Cloud Atlas" had a strong presence throughout.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Indiana Film Journalists Association announces longlists of nominees, 'The Master' leads the way

'Beasts of the Southern Wild' not far behind with seven

The Indiana Film Journalists Association has, for the first time this year, elected to publicly acknowledge its full list of nominees for superlatives to be announced on Monday. It's a massive list including, apparently, every film mentioned in each category by the group's respective members. Check out the full list of contending films and individuals below. "The Master" led the way with nine mentions. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" wasn't too far behind with seven. As always, keep track of all this madness throughout the season via The Circuit.

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