<p>Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in &quot;Hannah and Her Sisters.&quot;</p>

Woody Allen and Mia Farrow in "Hannah and Her Sisters."

Credit: MGM

What if Woody Allen and Mia Farrow had stayed together?

How they might have fared without one of Hollywood's most acrimonious breakups

This week HitFix is revisiting some of the key turning points in recent entertainment history and considering what would have happened if history had turned a bit differently. What if...?

In the long and luridly storied history of Hollywood breakups, you'd be hard pressed to find an uglier one than the nuclear meltdown that occurred between Woody Allen and his longest-serving muse, Mia Farrow, in 1992. The quintessential New York writer-director and the Beverly Hills-born actress -- an industry princess who had already been married to Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn -- were an unlikely match when they got together in 1980, but their relationship proved a fruitful one, producing three children and 13 films together. Allen's a director known for reusing favorite actors, but not even former partner Diane Keaton approaches Farrow for the title of his most frequent collaborator: between such films as "Zelig," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Alice" and their brilliant parting effort "Husbands and Wives" -- a film released in the heat of their breakup, and a brutally close-to-the-bone blueprint thereof. 

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<p>A scene from &quot;Glory,&quot; for which Donald O. Mitchell won his only Oscar.</p>

A scene from "Glory," for which Donald O. Mitchell won his only Oscar.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Motion Picture Editors' Guild honors Oscar-winning sound mixer Donald O. Mitchell

Veteran's screen credits range from 'Top Gun' to 'Terms of Endearment'

The Motion Picture Editors' Guild -- a body that covers not just editors, but other post-production professionals too -- will present veteran sound re-recording mixer Donald O. Mitchell with its Fellowship and Service Award on October 5 in Los Angeles. The award acknowledges not just the recipient's screen work but their spirit of collaboration and peer support within the industry.

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<p>Last year's WGA documentary winner, &quot;Searching or Sugar Man.&quot;</p>

Last year's WGA documentary winner, "Searching or Sugar Man."

Credit: Sony Classics

WGA gets stricter on documentary eligibility

New rules impose same eligibility criteria on documentary and narrative films

File this under "eligibility rules I didn't know weren't already in place." Any seasoned-awards watcher knows that Writers' Guild of America Awards for Best Original and Adapted Screenplay are inconsistent with other precursor honors in the category because of their highly exclusive eligibility criteria, which dictate that only films written by Guild signatories can be considered. It's a rule that annually disqualifies many of the leading contenders in the race: earlier this year, "Django Unchained" (which, of course, ueventually won the Academy Award) headed a list of barred titles that also included Oscar nominees "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild."

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<p>Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;</p>

Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum in "Magic Mike."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Casting Society of America nominees range from 'Argo' to 'Mud' to 'Magic Mike'

The Artios Awards for film, TV and theater will take place on November 18

Last month, the Academy's Board of Governors created a new branch for casting directors, 30 years after they were first invited to join the Academy. Few could argue that the move wasn't overdue, but there was more debate over the inevitable question that followed: should the Academy Awards have a category for Best Casting? There are arguments to be made in either direction, but I'd ultimately say no: casting is a highly skilled profession, but not a screen craft, and I don't think most Academy members are qualified to assess it. (Yes, most Academy members aren't qualified to assess sound editing either, but that's another discussion.)  

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<p>Oscar Isaac in &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

2013 New York Film Festival line-up unveiled: 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'The Invisible Woman,' 'The Wind Rises'

The fest ups its profile as a few awards films dodge Toronto and head for the City

The Coen Brothers, James Franco and Hayao Miyazaki are all headed to the Big Apple.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center has announced the main slate of selections for the 51st annual New York Film Festival, and it's another choice cross-section of top festival offerings from the year so far. Of immediate note, the Coens' "Inside Llewyn Davis," Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" and J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost" will make the transition from Cannes to the City (via Telluride), but will skip Toronto, making their profile at this year's NYFF all the more significant.

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<p>Edda Magnason in &quot;Waltz For Monica.&quot;</p>

Edda Magnason in "Waltz For Monica."

Credit: StellaNova Film

Swedish cinema sings on key at Way Out West fest

Major local productions jostle with the likes of Alicia Keys for audience attention

GOTHENBURG, Sweden - Every film festival comes with its own set of perks and difficulties, but I've only been to one so far where my chief scheduling challenge has been squeezing a Public Enemy gig in between a screening and an interview, wading in wellingtons across muddy parkland, through a sea of lanky twentysomethings in impossibly skinny jeans and Doc Martens, to do so. (It's still easier than traversing the Croisette in full flow, I'll have you know.)

Or where the evening's festivities have ended not at a midnight premiere or cocktail-suited industry party, but at a beery bolthole at 3am, watching the aptly named New York punk outfit Pissed Jeans tear the tiny stage a new one. Or, indeed, where you run into Alexander Skarsgard at the bar, and the off-duty star for once has nothing to promote but his love for Swedish electro-eccentrics The Knife. (Their daftly thrilling set later that evening, all boiler-suited dance troupes and disembodied vocals, more than justifies his enthusiasm.)

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<p>&quot;It really is a knock-out, you know?</p>

"It really is a knock-out, you know?

Credit: United Artists

Saying goodbye to the good city and the good people

A New York year felt like it was over in a New York minute

On a bit of a personal note this weekend, it's been more or less 12 months since my wife and I said, "Hey, let's try New York for a year." The sheer luck of being able to make such a decision isn't lost on us and the experience, one I've dreamed of for some time, was a fruitful and rewarding one. And in just a few days, it'll all come to a close.

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<p>Chad Hartigan</p>

Chad Hartigan

Credit: Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Chad Hartigan on the personal layers and professional rewards of 'This is Martin Bonner'

The Sundance-endorsed drama opens in New York and Los Angeles today

EDINBURGH - As we sit down in the appealingly tatty coffee shop of Edinburgh's Filmhouse – the stone-built base camp of the city's venerable film festival – Chad Hartigan admits feeling pleasantly bemused at being interviewed for In Contention. As well he might do. It's not that long ago that Hartigan's name appeared in bylines rather than headlines on this site – one of several where he plied his trade as a box office analyst for five years, while laying the foundations of an independent filmmaking career. 

I'm half-tempted to ask Hartigan for a projected gross for his own film; after all, it's not every scrappy indie writer-director who can boast such cool-headed commercial instincts, even (or perhaps especially) with regard to blockbusters fare a million miles from their own. “A lot of people wonder if all that work has given me some kind of like secret code,” he says, with a dry laugh. “Like I could make the failsafe blockbuster. After five years, I still don't know what exact science makes a hit. But I do know that 'This is Martin Bonner' is not it.”

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<p>'Short Term 12' director Destin&nbsp;Cretton</p>

'Short Term 12' director Destin Cretton

Credit: AMPAS

Destin Cretton on the Academy's Nicholl Fellowship and 'Short Term 12' as a potential TV series

The writer/director's 'I Am Not a Hipster' follow-up is already an award winner on the festival circuit

NEW YORK - While attending film school at San Diego State University some years ago, Destin Cretton would always take note of an annual poster calling for script submissions. It was a contest held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called the Nicholl Fellowship. He never tried applying for it until a script called "Short Term 12," which was inspired by his time working at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers. He never thought there would be much of a chance at winning but he gave it a shot and went right back into working out the kinks of his script.

A short time later, he was incredibly frustrated with those kinks, as well as the rejections the script was getting at other outlets, and he was just about ready to throw in the towel. Then he received an email notifying him that he had landed in the quarterfinals of the competition. The good news gave him further encouragement to finish his rewrite (which, three years later, would finally make its way to the screen with him behind the camera). Before long, the circuit ended with "Short Term 12" being one of the 10 winning finalists for the honor, and Cretton still can't believe that's how it panned out.

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<p>Chlo&euml; Grace Moretz in &quot;Kick-Ass 2.&quot;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

Chloë Grace Moretz in "Kick-Ass 2."

 

Credit: Universal Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Kick-Ass 2'

Do you have time for one more superhero movie this summer?

As a critic, it's my job to see most major releases that come down the pike -- but everyone's allowed a few passes, and when it became clear to me that I wasn't required to review "Kick-Ass 2" for any outlet, I had no regrets about skipping all screenings. That may be my loss. But the first big-screen outing for self-made superhero Dave Lizewski rubbed me the wrong the way in 2010, and I can't imagine warming to its smugly ironic violence and queasy fetishization of Chloë Grace Moretz's Hit Girl this time round, particularly when reviews, by and large, have been less enthusiastic than those of its predecessor. (HitFix's Drew McWeeny, however, found plenty to enjoy in it.)

Still, I know the franchise has plenty of fans out there, and many may be curious to see what Jim Carrey brings to the equation in the sequel. After a summer where many superhero films have taken flak for being too po-faced, perhaps the timing is right for a jokier effort. Either way, we want to know what you think. Once you've seen the film, come back here to share your thought, and be sure to vote in the poll below.