<p>Lola Creton in &quot;After May.&quot;</p>

Lola Creton in "After May."

Credit: Palace Films

Exclusive: First international trailer for Olivier Assayas' Venice winner 'Something in the Air'

1970s memory piece is being released elsewhere as 'After May'

From "Irma Vep" to "Demonlover" to "Summer Hours," Olivier Assayas has been one of the world's most vital filmmakers for some time now, but it seems many only caught wise to his gifts two years ago with "Carlos," his galvanizing five-hour biopic of infamous 1970s political terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Thanks to its unusual release both in cinemas and as a TV miniseries, the film managed to win Assayas a slew of US critics' awards, a TV Golden Globe and even an Emmy nomination. (If that wasn't surreal enough, he lost to "Downton Abbey.")

It'll be interesting to see if the Frenchman's newly acquired admirers follow him to "Something in the Air," a softer, woozier, faintly autobiographical reflection on an equivalent period of 1970s radicalism to "Carlos." You may also know the film as "After May," a literal translation of the French title being used in other territories. It's also the one used in the first international trailer for the film, which we're pleased to premiere below -- by kind permission of Australian distributor Palace Films.

A shimmery ensemble piece casting its gaze upon a group of teenage activists variously finding their own place in the post-1968 countercultural war, it takes more cues from Assayas' 1994 breakthrough feature "Cold Water." IFC Films is releasing the film Stateside in 2013; Artificial Eye will be doing the honors in the UK.

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<p>Tom&nbsp;Hanks in &quot;Cloud Atlas&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks in "Cloud Atlas"

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Tech Support: 'Cloud Atlas' and 'The Hobbit' lead the race for Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The category gets a name change as a varied field takes shape

A couple of weeks ago, I commented on how Best Production Design is a welcome name change for the category previously known as Best Art Direction. It is not the only such change this year, as the award for Best Makeup is now finally called Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

For years, I have said that the hairstyling portion of this award has been neglected. Whether the sorts of films that get nominated will change remains an open question. But at the very least, this should highlight for the public that the category isn't all about prosthetics and foundation.

This remains a unique category in that there are only three nominees. Moreover, said nominees are chosen from a group of seven finalists that are announced in the weeks leading up to the nominations. Voters from the branch view bake-off reels on the work done in those seven films before choosing the nominees.

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<p>Daniel Day-Lewis in &quot;Lincoln.&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Roundup: Why Abe isn't gay (or straight) in 'Lincoln'

Also: Women vying for foreign Oscar, and Channing Tatum's first 2012 award

Was Abraham Lincoln secretly gay or bisexual? Playwright and "Lincoln" co-writer Tony Kushner believes there's ample reason to speculate that he may have been, but you won't find any such suggestions in Steven Spielberg's recently-released film. Why? Because matters of sexuality have no place in this particular strand from Honest Abe's political career, says Kushner. "I wanted to write about a very specific moment and I chose this moment and I don't feel that there was any evidence at this particular moment that Lincoln was having sex with anybody," he tells Tom O'Neil. "I don't say in my movie whether the Lincoln character was gay or straight. You can ask Daniel (Day-Lewis) what he was playing, but it did not seem to me a thing to make a movie about now." [Gold Derby]

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<p>Jeremy Irons in &quot;The Mission,&quot; the score for which was composed by Ennio Morricone.</p>

Jeremy Irons in "The Mission," the score for which was composed by Ennio Morricone.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'The Mission' tops Variety composers' poll of the all-time greatest film scores

40 composers, from Michael Giacchino to Cliff Martinez, were surveyed

Variety published a music-focused Eye on the Oscars special today, and it's packed with interesting nuggets, from spotlights on individual composers in the awards race this year -- including "The Master"'s Jonny Greenwood, "Anna Karenina"'s Dario Marianelli and everything's Alexandre Desplat -- to a piece on the recent reversal of rules in the Best Original Song category, hailed by many branch voters as a victory for common sense.

The headlining feature of the special, however -- if only because the movie world is powerless to resist a Top 10 list -- is a poll of 40 working composers on the greatest film scores of all time. Participants range from Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino ("Up") to Coen Brothers favorite Carter Burwell to Cliff Martinez ("Drive"), with the list compiled by asking each one to name his/her three favorite scores. It's too small a survey to qualify as anything more than a bit of fun, but the results are surprising and inevitable in equal measure.

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<p>Keira Knightley in &quot;Atonement,&quot; one of Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner's many award-winning productions.</p>

Keira Knightley in "Atonement," one of Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner's many award-winning productions.

Credit: Focus Features

'Les Mis' and 'Atonement' producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner to receive PGA's highest honor

Will that be the only award they win from the Producers' Guild this season?

I'm always slightly surprised when awards bodies choose to bestow a lifetime achievement honor upon a recipient already firmly in the running for a competitive prize that year. Something about it seems a tad gauche and redundant to me: why not single out a worthy candidate not already being feted throughout the season?

Still, it's a route the Producers' Guild of America has taken for the last few years with their highest career honor, the David O. Selznick Award Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. Last year, Steven Spielberg was given the award on top of his Producer of the Year nomination for "War Horse," and his equivalent citation in the animated field for "The Adventures of Tintin." (He won the latter, to boot.) The year before, Scott Rudin received the Selznick Award, just as he was favored by many to take the PGA prize for "The Social Network." (As it turned out, he didn't.)

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<p>A scene from &quot;The Painting,&quot; one of GKIDS' four Oscar hopefuls this year.</p>

A scene from "The Painting," one of GKIDS' four Oscar hopefuls this year.

Credit: GKIDS

Roundup: Can GKIDS crash the animation Oscar race again?

Also: Phoenix makes amends, and the most deserving Best Actor no-hopers

GKIDS was scarcely a blip on the radar when, nearly three years ago, they scored a shock Best Animated Feature Oscar nod for the very first film they distributed, "The Secret of Kells." Last year, they announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with when they pushed two of their foreign toons into the race, at the expense of, among others, blockbuster "The Adventures of Tintin." This year, as they jostle with four exotic offerings in the Oscar hunt, Rebecca Keegan looks at the rapidly rising profile of a company determined to bring some independent spirit and cultural diversity to the US animation market. "We haven't needed a $3-million Oscar campaign," says chief Eric Beckman. "Animators in L.A. are following what's happening outside the country. We show them the films and they either win people's hearts or they don't." [LA Times]

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<p>Sally Field in &quot;Forrest Gump.&quot;</p>

Sally Field in "Forrest Gump."

Credit: Paramount Pictures

On Sally Field and that phantom 'Forrest Gump' nomination

As the actress seeks her third Oscar nod, we remember one that got away

In Contention readers are generally a hawk-eyed bunch, quick to leap in with corrections when Kris or I make an honest error or suffer an accidental brain-fade, particularly on matters of Oscar trivia -- collectively, you can make for an intimidatingly officious subeditor. So it's all the more surprising that, over the past week or so, I've been corrected by three separate readers on a point I had right in the first place: that with her allegedly fiery performance in "Lincoln," Sally Field is seeking her first Oscar nomination in 28 years, and her third overall.

In each case, a reader either commented or tweeted to politely remind me that Field actually received her third Oscar nomination back in 1994, as a supporting actress in Best Picture shoo-in "Forrest Gump." And in each case, as much as I appreciated the gesture, I had to reply that, not to put too fine a point on it, she wasn't.

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<p>Garret Dillaunt and Alan Cumming in &quot;Any Day Now.&quot;</p>

Garret Dillaunt and Alan Cumming in "Any Day Now."

Credit: Music Box Films

Trailer for 'Any Day Now' promises a rare acting showcase for Alan Cumming

Music Box Films is releasing the indie drama on December 14

"Any Day Now" is one of those films that's been creeping steadily along the festival circuit since the spring, quietly amassing critical goodwill and prizes. The Tribeca, Chicago, Seattle, Woodstock and Outfest festivals may not command much attention individually, but when a film manages to walk away with the Audience Award from all of them, it clearly has something going on.

Though I'd repeatedly heard the title on the fringes of various festival reports, I hadn't really clocked to what it is or what it's about -- not having had an opportunity to see it on my side of the pond -- until the film's newly released trailer landed in my inbox.

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<p>THR's 2012 Actor&nbsp;Roundtable</p>

THR's 2012 Actor Roundtable

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Arkin, Damon, Foxx, Gere, Hawkes and Washington in THR's Actor Roundtable

Six of the season's fixtures mull over fear and fame

I finally got around to watching The Hollywood Reporter's Actor Roundtable this morning, an annual gathering of top names in the awards race and always a solid, informative, open chat. Participating this year was Alan Arkin ("Argo"), Matt Damon ("Promised Land"), Jamie Foxx ("Django Unchained"), Richard Gere ("Arbitrage"), John Hawkes ("The Sessions") and Denzel Washington ("Flight").

Much of the discussion revolved around what fame and the business has meant on a deeper level for the actors, their socio-political invigoration as a result of being public figures and how fear still feeds them even in times of success. And for Damon, who took off at an early age ("Good Will Hunting" landed when he was 27-years-old), it was jarring to witness what the transition to stardom really meant.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Wreck-It Ralph.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Wreck-It Ralph."

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Roundup: Is there a Disney/Pixar identity crisis?

Also: Affleck recognized as a Modern Master, and 'Les Mis' cast goes Vogue

Are the Disney and Pixar animation brands beginning to merge into each other? Josh L. Dickey is asking the question, as he notes that Pixar's tradition-focused summer hit "Brave" seemed to borrow significantly from the classic Disney storybook, while Disney's current smash "Wreck-It Ralph" is a hi-tech, pop-savvy firecracker that seems more informed by the contemporary Pixar model of crossover entertainment. (Dickey also wonders if "Ralph"'s box office performance would be even more impressive if it had been released under the Pixar label.) Are the twin houses going to borrow more from each other from here on out, or should Disney be mindful of preserving its more old-school identity? With their next film a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale adaptation, perhaps the overlap is temporary. [Variety]

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