<p>Idris Elba in &quot;Mandela:&nbsp;Long Walk to Freedom&quot;</p>

Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Full trailer for 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' promises the Mandela you didn't know

The Idris Elba biopic opens in November

The Weinstein Company has announced it is celebrating "Mandela Day" (today is Nelson Mandela's 95th birthday and, happily, he seems to be getting a bit better after his recent health scare) by dropping a full-length trailer for Justin Chadwick's upcoming "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." It's a bigger slice than that teaser we got last weekend, which was purely about capitalizing on star Idris Elba's presence at the multiplexes with "Pacific Rim."

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Timberlake in David Fincher's &quot;Suit and Tie&quot; video.</p>

Justin Timberlake in David Fincher's "Suit and Tie" video.

Credit: RCA

David Fincher racks up VMA and Emmy nods on consecutive days

The two-time Oscar nominee is proving his multi-media skills this year

Admittedly, any statistic in this business can be unique if you make it specific enough, but David Fincher's maiden Emmy nomination this morning -- Best Directing of a Drama Series for the pilot episode of Netflix's "House of Cards" -- brought him to a unique awards milestone. He's now the first person to have been nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards... and the MTV Video Music Awards.

Read Full Post
<p>Helen Mirren and Al Pacino in &quot;Phil&nbsp;Spector&quot;</p>

Helen Mirren and Al Pacino in "Phil Spector"

Credit: HBO

Oscar winners crash the 2013 Emmy nominations

The list is flush with movie award-winning talent this year

I'll leave it to those more embedded in Emmy history to tell us whether Oscar winners landing a slew of nominations from the TV Academy is typical or not. But it was nevertheless striking to me how many Academy Award winners popped up on today's nominations list.

Read Full Post
<p>&quot;House of Cards&quot;&nbsp;director David Fincher</p>

"House of Cards" director David Fincher

Credit: AP Photo

My favorite Emmy nominees: Anna Chlumsky, David Fincher, Jonathan Banks

Spotlights on 'Veep,' 'House of Cards' and 'Breaking Bad' made my day

So the 2013 Emmy nominees were announced this morning. Poor Kate Mara had engine trouble (her plane, not her) in New Mexico and so Emmys host Neil Patrick Harris filled in at the last minute to announce the lucky names alongside "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul.

Looking over the nominees, yeah, okay, right, that's expected, oh that show's still on?, etc., etc. I rarely find much to get excited about in an Emmy announcement, I mean. I had all my hopes on Rob Lowe's facelift getting a supporting actor nomination for "Behind the Candelabra" and somehow they spring for the window dressing of Scott Bakula. Huh?

My favorite notices, however, came for HBO's "Veep," my favorite comedy show on television right now. Last year it got a handful of looks including, naturally, leading lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but this year Tony Hale and (this next part is so awesome) Anna Chlumsky got to tag along in the supporting ranks and that's just awesome.

Read Full Post
<p>Sarah Polley in &quot;Stories We Tell.&quot;</p>

Sarah Polley in "Stories We Tell."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

'Stories We Tell,' 'Incendies' compete in Venice Days's Film of the Decade poll

Public invited to choose between 50 standouts from the Venice sidebar's history

The Venice Film Festival may be celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, but there's a separate, smaller milestone contained within it: the tenth birthday of the independent Venice Days sidebar. Founded in 2004 by an association of Italian filmmakers to showcase offbeat independent work  outside the main festival selection, Venice Days is effectively the festival's equivalent of the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes, and while it doesn't get as much publicity, a number of significant films have premiered there over the past decade.

Read Full Post
<p>Lea Seydoux in &quot;Blue is the Warmest Color.&quot;</p>

Lea Seydoux in "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Credit: Sundance Selects

Sundance Selects fails in plea against 'Blue' Oscar ineligibility

French distributors decide against changing release date in order to qualify

A couple of weeks ago, the news landed that this year's vastly acclaimed Palme d'Or winner, Abdellatif Kechiche's romantic drama "Blue is the Warmest Color," is ineligible to be the French entry in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. The simple reason: its domestic release date falls nine days after the submission deadline, making it eligible for consideration in the category next year, but not this time round.

Read Full Post
<p>Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl in &quot;The Fifth Estate.&quot;</p>

Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl in "The Fifth Estate."

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Benedict Cumberbatch is Julian Assange in first trailer for 'The Fifth Estate'

Bill Condon's WikiLeaks drama opens October 18 in the US

I recently caught up with Alex Gibney's terrific documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," a no-nonsense study of Julian Assange's rise and fall that plays, for all our familiarity with the elements at hand, very much as a thriller. Still, the material was bound to make for a narrative film sooner or later, and sooner it is: Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate" opens on October 18, presumably after premiering on the fall festival circuit. Now the first trailer for the film has landed, and it looks to be glossy, smart mainstream entertainment.

Read Full Post
<p>Tony Leung in &quot;The Grandmaster.&quot;</p>

Tony Leung in "The Grandmaster."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Academy to host screening of Wong Kar-Wai's 'The Grandmaster'

After a rough Berlin debut, the martial arts epic is seeking a second wind

Wong Kar-Wai's long-awaited, long-delayed martial arts epic "The Grandmaster" looked to be the dream opening film at this year's Berlin Film Festival, but it received a slightly rude awakening when it finally premiered. I was far from the only critic to voice my disappointment with the film, which bore the scars of work that had been labored over a little too long -- though it still offered sporadic thrills and ravishing beauty aplenty.

Read Full Post
<p>John&nbsp;Lithgow at the 2010 Primetime Emmy&nbsp;Awards</p>

John Lithgow at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

John Lithgow joins the cast of Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar'

Yet another awesome ensemble has taken shape

The cast of Christopher Nolan's upcoming "Insterstellar" is, well, stellar. There are a handful of amazing ensembles out there these days, from "12 Years a Slave" to "Out of the Furnace," but this one is just jam-packed with prestige, movie stardom and just about anything you'd want out of a cast. And now we can add John Lithgow to the ever-expanding list.

Read Full Post
<p>Hugh&nbsp;Jackman in &quot;The Wolverine&quot;</p>

Hugh Jackman in "The Wolverine"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Lucky 7: Seven actors who played the same role at least seven times

Hugh Jackman joins a select group with the upcoming 'Days of Future Past'

Comic-Con is on the way but I'm skipping out on San Diego entirely this year for various reasons -- none of them unfortunate. Meanwhile, James Mangold's "The Wolverine," one of at least 10 comic book adaptations hitting screens this year, is right around the corner.

The new film will be Hugh Jackman's sixth as the mutant Logan/Wolverine after "X-Men" (2000), "X2" (2003), "X-Men: The Last Stand" (2006), "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009) and "X-Men: First Class" (2011). Not only that, but next year's "X-Men: Days of Future Past" will bring him into the rare air of a seventh portrayal, and as he told HitFix's Drew McWeeny in a recent interview, the actor is "not ready to give him up just yet."

All of this got me thinking: Who else has played a character seven times?

Read Full Post