<p>Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin&nbsp;Scorsese and Jonah Hill at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film&nbsp;Festival</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese and Jonah Hill at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Credit: AP Photo

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio look back on a fruitful collaboration

The director and actor received Santa Barbara's Cinema Vanguard Award Thursday

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio hit the stage at the Arlington Theatre Thursday night as co-recipients of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Cinema Vanguard Award. A two-hour discussion, moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy, covered all bases of their 12-year pas de deux, including, of course, their introduction to each other's work.

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<p>Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in a scene from &quot;Dallas Buyers Club.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner in a scene from "Dallas Buyers Club."

Credit: Focus Features

Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey breaks down key 'Dallas Buyers' scene

The balance between sincerity and sentiment

The unexpected love thrown to "Dallas Buyers Club" by the Academy was on of the best surprises when the Oscar nominations were announced last month.  The film's 6 nods are a testament to the moving direction of Jean-Marc Valle (he earned an editing nod), the smart script by  Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack and, obviously, the career best performances from stars Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner and other unheralded members of the film's ensemble. McConaughey and Leto are the frontrunners in the best actor and best supporting actor categories respectively and have deservedly swept the equivalent Golden Globe and SAG Awards honors.  

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<p>Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave in Wes Anderson's &quot;The Grand Budapest Hotel.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave in Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Is 'Grand Budapest Hotel' the first Oscar contender of 2014?

It may be the best thing Ralph Fiennes has ever done

It's taken five weeks, but 2014 finally has a great movie on its hands. No, it's not "Boyhood," any other selection from the Sundance Film Festival last month or Lars Von Trier's slightly overrated "Nymphomaniac." It's Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel." That's no disrespect to Richard Linklater's buzzed drama, it's no doubt great. "Grand Budapest" is very different from "Boyhoood" or any other film that screened in Park City. Simply, Anderson's latest is an example of an auteur at the peak of his cinematic powers.

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<p>Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori in &quot;The Grand Budapest Hotel.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori in "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Review: Wes Anderson's delightful 'Grand Budapest Hotel' never outstays its welcome

Ralph Fiennes is wonderful in dizzy but unexpectedly touching caper

BERLIN - At no point in its fleet runtime does anyone break into an actual dance routine -- and honestly, someone probably should -- yet the average Busby Berkeley musical barely contains as much regimented choreography as Wes Anderson's dizzy, chintzy and improbably touching "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Cast members don't walk; they glide, skip and occasionally pop into the frame as if released by a lever. The camera doesn't pan or track; it whirls and soars. The mise-en-scene is pulled into shape via an intricate operation of cogs and pulleys -- some of them visible. All moving parts -- cars, trains, bobsleds, even actors -- run like artisan-built clockwork toys.

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<p>Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee</p>

Steve Coogan and Philomena Lee

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Roundup: Philomena's audience with the Pope

Also: Perils of talking movies on Twitter, and is 'Labor Day' a victim of 'urban critics?'

Last I heard, Pope Francis is not an Academy voter, though at a time in the season where every headline opportunity counts, an appointment with him can't hurt. Oscar-nominated "Philomena" star/writer Steve Coogan and the film's real-life subject, Philomena Lee, met with His Holiness yesterday -- obviously not to promote the film (though there are reports of a screening being scheduled at the Vatican), but to campaign for the release of 60,000 adoption files held by the state and Church in Ireland. Lee says, "As the film portrays, I have always put great faith in the church and the good will to put the wrongs of the past right. I hope and believe that his Holiness Pope Francis joins me in the fight to help the thousands of mothers and children who need closure on their own stories."   [BBC News]

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<p>Oprah&nbsp;Winfrey at the 29th annual&nbsp;Santa&nbsp;Barbara International Film Festival</p>

Oprah Winfrey at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Credit: AP Photo

Oprah reflects on 'The Color Purple,' America's disinterest in news and '12 Years a Slave'

The Montecito resident picks up SBIFF's Montecito Award

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — After dancing across the stage at the Arlington Theatre to start a two-hour salute to her work on the big screen, Oprah Winfrey sat down across from moderator John Horn of the LA Times and made it clear from the outset that she was under "no illusion" about her "body of work," as she playfully referred to her scant work as a film actress throughout the evening. "God bless the editor who put that together," she said of the typical introductory clip package that kicked off the Montecito Award tribute off.

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<p>A scene from &quot;The&nbsp;Grandmaster&quot;</p>

A scene from "The Grandmaster"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Philippe Le Sourd on shooting 'The Grandmaster' and the historic final roll of Fujifilm

'It's a great adventure today to be a working cinematographer.'

Wong Kar-wai's "The Grandmaster" is just the latest stylish entry in the filmography of a revered auteur. Yet remarkably, none of his films had been nominated for the Oscar for Best Cinematography until two weeks ago when his latest broke that unusual streak with a nomination for Philippe Le Sourd.

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<p>Tina Fey and&nbsp;Amy&nbsp;Poehler at the 71st annual Golden&nbsp;Globes last month</p>

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the 71st annual Golden Globes last month

Credit: AP Photo

NBC sets date with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for 2015 Golden Globes

The duo will roast Hollywood for a third straight year on Jan. 11, 2015

My memories of this year's Golden Globes will forever be unhappy ones, not because of the list of winners (which mostly made for a respectable line-up), but because I was couch-ridden with the same flu-like thing everyone else was fighting off last month. So I look forward to getting back out to the Beverly Hilton next year and hitting the afterparty circuit as NBC has claimed a date for the 72nd annual: January 11, 2015.

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<p>Lupita Nyong'o and Emma Thompson at the SAG&nbsp;Awards</p>

Lupita Nyong'o and Emma Thompson at the SAG Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Women fight back on the red carpet

Also: Jared Leto's heart-to-heart with heckler, and John Hurt takes on Harvey

Even for those of us who enjoy the red-carpet portion of awards season, the vacant questions and 360-degree cameras that female stars must face from the likes of E! have become a bit exasperating. But as Hadley Freeman notes, the women are beginning to fight back against this institution, with stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Thompson and Elisabeth Moss making a point of rebelling against red-carpet routine, whether by photobombing fellows stars or giving the finger to the (ugh) "manicam." "We have reached peak red carpet," writes Freeman. "It's all just got too stupid and too hysterical, and there are too many savvy, funny women working in the industry to put up with this bullshittery any more, or to swallow the old line that any bad behaviour on the red carpet could destroy their career." [The Guardian]

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<p>Matthew McConaughey at the 2014 SAG&nbsp;Awards.</p>

Matthew McConaughey at the 2014 SAG Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Matthew McConaughey dives into Gus Van Sant's 'Sea of Trees'

The Oscar frontrunner's streak of prestige projects keeps going

If Matthew McConaughey wins the Best Actor Oscar next month -- and the smart money says he will -- you could forgive the guy for taking his foot off the pedal a bit, and maybe dallying in one shoddy romantic comedy for old times' sake. Instead, however, the McConnaissance is continuing unabated, as the revived Hollywood golden boy keeps signing up for one classy project after the next.

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