<p>Toni Servillo in &quot;The Great Beauty.&quot;</p>

Toni Servillo in "The Great Beauty."

Credit: Janus Films

Oscar winner 'The Great Beauty' loses out at Italy's Academy Awards

'Human Capital' takes top prize -- could it be their next Oscar submission?

"The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino's splashy valentine to Roman high society, was the most lauded foreign-language film of the last awards season -- it ruled the European Film Awards, and scooped Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars. (At all but the last of these, it beat out its Cannes conqueror, "Blue is the Warmest Color.") So you'd think it'd be a shoo-in at Italy's own Academy Awards, right? Wrong.

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<p>Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke in &quot;Regression.&quot;</p>

Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke in "Regression."

Credit: TWC-Dimension

Ethan Hawke lends Emma Watson a hand in first image from 'Regression'

'The Others' director Alejandro Amenabar returns to genre filmmaking

After making a smashing English-language debut in 2001 with "The Others," Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar hasn't been quite as busy in Hollywood as one might have hoped. He returned to Spain for his follow-up, the euthanasia-themed biopic "The Sea Inside," and picked up the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for his efforts. In 2009, he returned to international filmmaking with the Rachel Weisz-starring historical drama "Agora," an ambitious but rather turgid affair that didn't find much of an audience.

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<p>&quot;Speed&quot;</p>

"Speed"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Jan de Bont look back at 'Speed' 20 years later

It was a runaway success nobody saw coming

There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. As movie premises go, this one is absolutely ridiculous, right? You'd have been forgiven for thinking so, at least, as few involved with Jan de Bont's "Speed," which was released by 20th Century Fox on June 10, 1994, could have anticipated its popularity. The film was a runaway hit, winning two Oscars and grossing over $350 million worldwide. Now, 20 years later, it's a celebrated relic of an era before blockbuster filmmaking was so awash in digital wizardry, an era when practical movie magic sold the highest of concepts to the masses.

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<p>&quot;Speed&quot;</p>

"Speed"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Speed' 20th anniversary: Meet the passengers of bus 2525

An oral history of a surprise blockbuster

When director Jan de Bont set about casting the various faces and secondary characters that populated bus #2525 in his 1994 actioner "Speed," it was very important to him that they reflect the multicultural identity of Los Angeles. Not only that, but he wanted there to be a heavy dose of realism in his choices, actors who seemed to be people you could look over on a morning commute and see reading the paper, sipping coffee, gazing out the window and starting their day.

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<p>George Clooney</p>

George Clooney

Credit: AP Photo/Giuseppe Aresu

George Clooney and Josh Brolin reuniting with Coens for 'Hail, Caesar!' at Universal

Coens plus Clooney plus Brolin equals Oscar bait

Since breaking onto the cinema scene with 1985's "Blood Simple," Joel and Ethan Coen have made movies with Miramax, Focus Features, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, the long-gone Gramercy Pictures, Universal Pictures and CBS Films. Recently, the duo have partnered with uber-producer Scott Rudin on three straight movies, but now they are taking a break from their "True Grit" collaborator and reuniting with longtime buddies Working Title for "Hail, Caesar!" And, in something of a surprise, news broke today that the film will be released by Universal Pictures instead of the company's mini-major and previous Coens home, Focus Features. Could the Clooney factor be the reason?

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<p>Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum talk about &quot;22 Jump Street.&quot;</p>

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum talk about "22 Jump Street."

Does Jonah Hill have any Oscar advice for his '22 Jump Street' co-star Channing Tatum?

How do you make a sequel to a movie that spoofed a TV show that became a movie?

NEW YORK - The cast and crew of "22 Jump Street" have done something quite remarkable. They have taken a successful comedy that spoofed the idea of turning a TV show into a movie and made an even better sequel that spoofs the idea of, well, sequels.  Audiences are already hyped to see "22" based on the trailers and TV spots, but they have no idea just how smart the expected blockbuster really is.  Who says the summer movie season can't have a happy surprise or two?

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<p>&quot;Boy and the World&quot;</p>

"Boy and the World"

Credit: GKIDS

'Boy and the World' could be set for this year's animated Oscar race

The Brazilian musical spectacle is picking up prizes on the festival circuit

Oscar-watchers should have learned by now that when it comes to the Best Animated Feature race, you underestimate GKIDS at your peril. The independent animation distributor has only been around since 2008, but has already racked up four nominations in the race -- for the foreign titles "The Secret of Kells," "A Cat in Paris," "Chico and Rita" and "Ernest and Celestine." Each time, they've edged out more moneyed (and more widely predicted) US studio contenders, proving that the animation branch is often more persuaded by craft than by commerce. 

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<p>Ralph Fiennes and Wes Anderson on the set of &quot;Grand Budapest Hotel.&quot;</p>

Ralph Fiennes and Wes Anderson on the set of "Grand Budapest Hotel."

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Wes Anderson on how 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' made 'Grand Budapest Hotel' work

How has his creative process changed?

2014 is a little under halfway over, but one film that is still firmly entrenched near the top of my "best of" list is Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel." And three months after its release audiences have shown their own approval at the box office.

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<p>Rik Mayall in &quot;Drop Dead Fred.&quot;</p>

Rik Mayall in "Drop Dead Fred."

Credit: New Line Cinema

Cult British comedian Rik Mayall passes away at 56

The Emmy-winning actor-writer died unexpectedly at his London home

Seasoned devotees of British TV comedy -- as well as any children of the 1990s with fond memories of "Drop Dead Fred" -- are feeling a twinge of sorrow today with the news that Rik Mayall has passed away at the age of 56. The comic actor and writer, who made a name for himself in 1982 with the cult BBC sitcom "The Young Ones," died in his London home this morning. The cause of death has not yet been announced, but is not being treated as suspicious.

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<p>Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in &quot;The Fault in Our Stars.&quot;</p>

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in "The Fault in Our Stars."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Tell us what you thought of 'The Fault in Our Stars'

The Shailene Woodley-starring cancer drama is set to be a massive teen hit

Only a couple of months ago, I had never heard of John Green or "The Fault in Our Stars" -- as clear a sign as any that I'm no longer a spring chicken, since for a certain demographic and generation, the film adaptation of the young-adult bestseller is the biggest event of the summer. I remain mostly in the dark, since the film has yet to be screened for UK press, but I've gathered from responses so far that Josh Boone's film, a romance between two teens who meet at a cancer support group, looks poised to be a "Love Story"-type sensation for contemporary teens -- though evidently older folks have been weeping their way through it too. (Perhaps someday it'll earn a spot in our list of the all-time greatest tearjerkers.)

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