Asghar Farhadi with Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim on the set of "The Past."
Asghar Farhadi with Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim on the set of "The Past."
Credit: Sony Classics

Asghar Farhadi on why 'The Past' is a brother to 'A Separation'

The foreign-language Oscar hopeful opens in limited release tomorrow

"You can't go home again," wrote Thomas Wolfe, and that much-worn phrase echoes mournfully in the mind as one observes the chilly corridors and gaping personal distances of "The Past," Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi's first feature since winning the Oscar for his crisp, complex and universally acclaimed marital drama "A Separation."

An elegantly turned melodrama, detailing the terse emotional warfare that ensues when an Iranian man travels to Paris to finalize his divorce from his estranged French wife, it might well have been titled "Another Separation": Farhadi's fascination with the politics and shadow structures of marriage and family -- within and without Iranian tradition-- is a binding element of his filmography.

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<p>Brie Larson in &quot;Short Term 12&quot;</p>

Brie Larson in "Short Term 12"

Credit: Cinedigm

Black Film Critics Circle awards '12 Years a Slave,' Brie Larson

Five prizes for Steve McQueen's circuit champ

The Black Film Critics Circle has named "12 Years a Slave" the best film of the year. Steve McQueen's drama won five prizes, but the group eschewed the usual bandwagon in the Best Actress field by finding room to recognize "Short Term 12" star Brie Larson. Check out the full list of winners below and remember to stay current with the season's goings-on at The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;Gravity&quot;&nbsp;star Sandra Bullock won two prizes:&nbsp;the &quot;Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star&quot; and &quot;Actress Defying Age and Ageism.&quot;</p>

"Gravity" star Sandra Bullock won two prizes: the "Kick Ass Award For Best Female Action Star" and "Actress Defying Age and Ageism."

Credit: Warner Bros.

'12 Years a Slave' named best film of the year by Alliance of Women Film Journalists

And boy do they hate 'The Counselor'

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has crowned "12 Years a Slave" the years Best Film and given Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" a shellacking. The latter film "won" three awards: the AWFJ Hall Of Shame Award, the Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent award (Cameron Diaz) and the Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn’t Award. Well, then. Check out the nominees here and the full list of winners below. As always, keep track of it all via The Circuit.

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Introducing the inaugural HitFix Oscar Power List

Introducing the inaugural HitFix Oscar Power List

Counting down the brokers, artists and strategists crucial to this time of year

Have you ever wondered who the power players really are on the awards circuit and how they stack up this time of year? Are you curious to dive deep on the industry side of things to discover just how that element of the Hollywood machinery operates? Then HitFix's inaugural Oscar Power List is right up your alley.

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Roundup: Palm Springs hails Meryl Streep as an Icon
Credit: AP Photo

Roundup: Palm Springs hails Meryl Streep as an Icon

Also: Variety's Directors to Watch, and who's out to get Lana del Rey?

As notices for "August: Osage County" continue to cool, Meryl Streep's beginning to look the most vulnerable of the presumed Best Actress frontrunners -- but she's still Meryl Streep, so awards will keep coming her way regardless. The latest comes from the Palm Springs Film Festival, which will present her with the Icon Award at the awards gala on December 4. The prize, first given to Michael Douglas, is effectively a career achievement award, though festival chairman Howard Metzner's statement focuses specifically on her "Oscar-worthy" work in "August." Incidentally, Streep's co-star Julia Roberts will receive the Spotlight Award. [PSIFF]

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<p>French Oscar submission &quot;Renoir&quot; received four nods.</p>

French Oscar submission "Renoir" received four nods.

Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

'Blue is the Warmest Color,' 'French Minister' among leading Lumiere nominees

'The Past' is largely overlooked
On the French awards circuit, the Lumiere Awards are roughly to the Cesar Awards what the Golden Globes are to the Oscars -- though there's often quite a lot of disparity between their nomination lists. Bertrand Tavernier's political satire "The French Minister" leads the Lumiere nods with five mentions, with four apiece for "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Grand Central," "Nine Month Stretch" and French Oscar submission "Renoir." Interestingly, Asghar Farhadi's "The Past" was largely overlooked, receiving only a screenplay nod, while Berenice Bejo missed the Best Actress lineup. Full list of nominations below; everything else at The Circuit
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'12 Years a Slave,' McConaughey, Thompson get lucky with Las Vegas critics
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'12 Years a Slave,' McConaughey, Thompson get lucky with Las Vegas critics

Wide-ranging awards also include 'Pacific Rim' and 'This is the End'
The Las Vegas Film Critics' Society gives out awards in more categories than most, so this time "12 Years a Slave" can claim Best Costume Design and Best Original Score alongside its wins for Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress. Their second-favorite film, "Dallas Buyers Club," took Best Actor and Supporting Actor, while Emma Thompson landed Best Actress for "Saving Mr. Banks." "Gravity," meanwhile, settled for four technical prizes and the Best Picture bronze medal, while they even found categories for "Pacific Rim" and "This is the End." Full list after the jump; everything else at The Circuit
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<p>Zach Braff</p>

Zach Braff

Credit: AP Photo

Zach Braff returns to Sundance with Kate Hudson in 'Wish I Was Here'

'Clerks' to celebrate 20th anniversary with a Midnight Screening

Things have been kind of quiet in the land of Zach Braff of late. Unless you count his appearance as a bellhop monkey in "Oz the Great and Powerful." Or the critically savaged play he wrote a couple of years ago, the title of which escapes me. (I saw it; the critics were not entirely wrong.) On the directorial front, meanwhile, he hasn't made a feature film since his 2004 debut, "Garden State" -- which earned him enough first-film accolades, including Independent Spirit and National Board of Review wins, plus a WGA nod, that you'd have expected a follow-up sooner rather than later.

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<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;&nbsp;star Lupita Nyong'o received two awards.</p>

"12 Years a Slave" star Lupita Nyong'o received two awards.

Credit: Fox Searchlight

'12 Years a Slave' tops with Florida film critics

Steve McQueen's drama picked up six awards

The Florida Film Critics Circle wasn't looking to flip the script today as members of the group handed Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" the prize for Best Picture of 2013. The film's star, Lupita Nyong'o, picked up two honors, for Best Supporting Actress and the year's Breakout Award. Check out the full list of winners below, and as always, keep track at The Circuit.

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<p>Adele Exarchopoulos in &quot;Blue is the Warmest Color.&quot;</p>

Adele Exarchopoulos in "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Credit: Sundance Selects

'Blue is the Warmest Color' takes France's prestigious Louis Delluc Prize

Abdellatif Kechiche becomes only the fifth director to win the award twice

The César may be the most Oscar-equivalent honor on the French awards circuit, but arguably the most prestigious is the Louis Delluc Prize, established in 1937 and awarded annually by a jury of critics and industry figures to the film they deem the best French production of the year.

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