<p>Tom Hanks in &quot;Captain Phillips.&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Tom Hanks battles modern-day pirates in tense new trailer for 'Captain Phillips'

Can this true story return Hanks (and Paul Greengrass) to the awards season?

In our recent list of 10 under-the-radar films to watch out for this summer, I listed the small Danish thriller "A Hijacking" as a title especially worthy of your attention. A sparse, nerve-shredding account of a Danish cargo ship held hostage by ruthless Somali pirates, it's a must-see on its own terms -- but also worth checking out as a primer (and yardstick) for this fall's pumped-up Hollywood take on a notably similar story: Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips." Now the first trailer has arrived, and it's a good one.

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<p>Zhao Tao in &quot;A Touch of Sin.&quot;</p>

Zhao Tao in "A Touch of Sin."

Credit: Office Kitano

Cannes Check 2013: Jia Zhangke's 'A Touch of Sin'

Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition

(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Jia Zhang Ke's "A Touch of Sin.")

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<p>A scene from &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

Fresh images from 'Inside Llewyn Davis' put a different spin on orange and teal

The brothers are trying out a new cinematographer, and the results sure look pretty

After initially being something of a question mark on the schedule (remember when IMDb rather unconvincingly asserted that it was being released in February?), the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" now seems to be falling into the prestige groove we expect for the directors' work these days. A high-profile premiere in Competition at Cannes is just around the corner, while last week, an awards-friendly release date of December 6 was announced for the period folk-music drama. CBS Films may not be terribly experienced in this game, but they sure are aware that three of the brothers' last four films nabbed Best Picture nominations.

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<p>Ben Affleck winning the Best Picture Oscar for &quot;Argo.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Ben Affleck winning the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo." 

Credit: AP Photo/John Shearer

Ben Affleck to direct his second Dennis Lehane adaptation with 'Live By Night'

His debut, 'Gone Baby Gone,' was also based on the Boston crime writer's work

After Ben Affleck won the Best Picture Oscar for "Argo" -- and, apparently, the admiration and sympathy of the industry at large -- at February's Academy Awards ceremony, he could probably have persuaded Hollywood to greenlight just about anything he felt like making. Those on the lookout for a grand, overreaching folly in the actor's fourth outing behind the camera, however, may be disappointed to hear he'll be on familiar turf: like his 2007 debut "Gone Baby Gone," "Live By Night" will be an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane novel.

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<p>Reese Witherspoon at this year's Academy Awards.</p>

Reese Witherspoon at this year's Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Reese Witherspoon to reunite with director James Mangold for 'Three Little Words'

He directed her to an Oscar in 'Walk the Line,' so can he get her back on form?

Her recent run-ins with the law may be mildly tarnishing her name at the moment, but the question of what's up with Reese Witherspoon has been on my mind for several years now -- and it has nothing to do with any offscreen activities. Rather, the decline of Witherspoon as a vital screen actress -- all while she's held onto her stardom with impressive ease -- has been far more troubling to witness than any standard-issue TMZ fodder.

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<p>Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in &quot;Only Lovers Left Alive.&quot;</p>

Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in "Only Lovers Left Alive."

Credit: Recorded Picture Company

Cannes Check 2013: Jim Jarmusch's 'Only Lovers Left Alive'

Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition

(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Jim Jarmusch's late entry, "Only Lovers Left Alive.")

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<p>Leonardo&nbsp;DiCaprio in &quot;The&nbsp;Great Gatsby&quot;</p>

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Great Gatsby"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Will 'The Great Gatsby' find any room in a new Oscar season?

The film, which charms on its own terms, was rescheduled last year

Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" is hitting theaters this week in advance of opening the 66th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15. If you'll recall, the film was all set to open last December amid the awards season glut as part of an already packed Warner Bros. slate. But it was shuffled on to a summer 2013 release to allow more time for post-production and, surely, to have a fighting chance at making some money.

I saw the film a few weeks back and, even as a Luhrmann fan, I was prepared for the worst. Why? A mixture of advance buzz, a trailer indicative of a film that could fall on either side of the line and even that rescheduling scenario, which is the kind of thing that rarely spells much more than trouble. After struggling for about a half hour to get into the film (Luhrmann's usual largesse really takes some getting used to when married with 1920s New York), it settled in and a simple fact took hold: it takes a lot to ruin a story this great. F. Scott Fitzgerald keeps it on an even enough keel, I think.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Grigris.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Grigris."

Credit: Pili Films

Cannes Check 2013: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's 'Grigris'

Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition

(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun with "Grisgris.")

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<p>Bright ideas from the Academy...well, one, anyway.</p>

Bright ideas from the Academy...well, one, anyway.

Credit: AP Photo

The Academy opens up all 24 categories to the entire voting membership

For the first time ever everyone has a say on everything

There's really only one thing to report out of today's big AMPAS conclave: the entire membership of the Academy will now be able to participate in the final vote for all 24 categories at the Oscars. And that wasn't even part of the business at hand, it was something the Board of Governors had decided upon, so they just went ahead and announced it in tandem.

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<p>Scott Cooper accepts the award for Best First Feature at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. How will he follow it up?</p>

Scott Cooper accepts the award for Best First Feature at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. How will he follow it up?

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

'Out of the Furnace' director Scott Cooper on the road after 'Crazy Heart'

An impressive slate that could include...Elvis Presley?

Scott Cooper's slate of upcoming projects is about as impressive and varied as fellow Cooper Bradley's as of late. Three years removed from his debut film, "Crazy Heart" (which earned Jeff Bridges an Oscar for Best Actor), the writer/director is set to traverse the nation, from the streets of New York to Depression Era Central California, the Tidewater of Virginia to the blast furnaces of Pittsburgh.

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