Way back on Independence Day I settled on what I anticipated the narrative of the 2011 Oscar season to be: The Year of the Beard. Steven Spielberg is as prolific as ever, and across media, working feverishly both as director ("War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn") and producer ("Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Super 8" among others) on the big screen, while helping to usher things to the small screen, too, like "Falling Skies" and "Terra Nova." And he's hard at work in Virginia right now on next year's "Lincoln." Michael Cieply at the New York Times has caught up with this line of reasoning, it seems, and comes at it from the angle of Spielberg coveting recognition as an artist above a commercial player. [New York Times]
Jeff Wells, meanwhile, wants The Beard to take more commercial risks if he's to be taken seriously in the artistic realm. [Hollywood Elsewhere]
Speaking of Clooney, here's yet another piece about his double-dipping 2011. [Hollywood Reporter]
"Iron Man 3" heads to my back yard, North Carolina, and will pump $80 million into the local economy. [WWAY]
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