'Guardians of the Galaxy' leads Makeup and Hairstylists Guild nominations

'Guardians of the Galaxy' leads Makeup and Hairstylists Guild nominations

'Grand Budapest Hotel,' 'Interstellar' and 'Into the Woods' also pick up multiple nods

This is the second year for the Makeup and Hairstylists Guild joining the awards game, and they've been a welcome addition to the circuit. They spread their nods thin across a number of categories, but it's a good window into what this branch digs, for sure.

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McFarland USA
Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'McFarland, USA' will close out 30th annual Santa Barbara Film Festival

Plus: SBIFF announces its Artisan Awards winners

A self-acknowledged "showcase for Academy Award frontrunners," the Santa Barbara International Film Festival is often overlooked for the actual films that earn it festival status. An amalgamation of international discoveries and ’merica’s circuit highlights, the SBIFF curates a week of best-of-the-best to pair with their star-praising. The 2015 edition offers another expansive selection, bookended by two films that aren’t on any radars just yet.

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'Gone Girl,' 'Inherent Vice' among USC Scripter Awards finalists

'Gone Girl,' 'Inherent Vice' among USC Scripter Awards finalists

Celebrating adapted screenplays and their source materials

I'm super bummed that this year I can't make it to the USC Scripter Awards (alas, I'll be in Santa Barbara for Michael Keaton's tribute, which I just can't miss). They are my favorite event of the year, typically, a swanky little gathering in the Doheny Library on the USC campus that always brings back grad school memories. Sigh. Wait, there's news to tell you here…

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Matthias Schoenaerts
Credit: AP

Matthias Schoenaerts joins Tom Hooper’s gender-bending 'The Danish Girl'

'The Drop' actor will costar opposite Eddie Redmayne

After 2011’s "Bullhead" earned a Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination, Matthias Schoenaerts could have become a James Bond villain and called it a day. Instead, the muscle-laden Belgian actor has challenged type-casting by sticking to promising films and name costars. Schoenaerts’ next project is destined for an awards frenzy: He’s set to join current Best Actor contender Eddie Redmayne in "The Danish Girl."

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Adam Sandler
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

People’s Choice Awards help Adam Sandler, 'Divergent' finally get their 2014 dues

'Maleficent' takes home the ambiguous "favorite movie" award

Since 1975, the People’s Choice Awards have been sidestepping the critics, guild members, Hollywood insiders, and anyone who could potentially earn the "professional" label to play litmus test of the general public. Anyone can vote using the PCA’s online, paving the way for a populist read on pop culture. What can we gather from the 2014 results? For one, the country is watching different movies.

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'CITIZENFOUR' wins big at Cinema Eye Honors documentary awards

'CITIZENFOUR' wins big at Cinema Eye Honors documentary awards

Four prizes for the steamroller

In my opinion, there are better documentaries than "CITZENFOUR" in the Oscar race this year. Much better. But to judge by the circuit, they were nary a blip. Really unfortunate, I feel, but a steamroller is a steamroller. Laura Poitros' film dominated tonight's Cinema Eye Honors, which I honestly didn't expect from a group that has spread things a bit in the past and found interesting crevices in the documentary landscape.

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Julianne Moore gives us her Kristen Stewart impression and talks 'Still Alice'

Julianne Moore gives us her Kristen Stewart impression and talks 'Still Alice'

Sometimes what you observe is the most important thing in researching a role

Covering the awards season beat means you are often lucky enough to spend some time moderating post screening Q&As with some of the most talented filmmakers and actors in the world.  I've seen some amazing reactions from audiences to some great films and some incredible talent on hand.  What I hadn't seen before this season was a sold out theater give a standing ovation to a star at the beginning of a Q&A and then give another standing o after the Q&A was completed. That, ladies and gentlemen, was for the one and only Julianne Moore.

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A timeline of the 'Selma' controversy

A timeline of the 'Selma' controversy

Catch up with the on-going debate here

As Ava DuVernay's "Selma" moves out into wide release Friday, just 10 days shy of the Martin Luther King holiday on Jan. 19, the film finds itself in a tug-of-war over accuracy and dramatic license. If you've only skimmed the headlines or caught wind peripherally, here's a quick timeline of some of the debate's highlights.

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North Carolina critics award 'Grand Budapest,' Essie Davis, 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

North Carolina critics award 'Grand Budapest,' Essie Davis, 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

Zach Galifanikas wins special recognition for local ties

Members of the North Carolina Film Critics Association have joined their Southeastern Film Critics Association counterparts in handing Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" the award for best narrative film of the year. Richard Linklater picked up Best Director for "Boyhood," while Michael Keaton ("Birdman") and — in a nice twist — Essie Davis ("The Babadook") took top acting honors.

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Writers Guild members prefer Marvel bubble gum to PTA/Pynchon

Writers Guild members prefer Marvel bubble gum to PTA/Pynchon

Gaps left by ineligible contenders keep things interesting

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominations announcement is always an interesting bend in the Oscar road if only because of the various awards season players that find themselves ineligible. "Selma," "Mr. Turner" and "The Theory of Everything" were among the non-signatory DQs this year, as was "Birdman" — a fact I cop to completely missing somehow when I first wrote about the scripts that would not be competing this year. (*facepalm*) Those gaps are a beautiful thing for fringe players looking for a foothold, however.

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