Jessica Chastain charms and Rene Russo holds court at pre-Globes gatherings

Jessica Chastain charms and Rene Russo holds court at pre-Globes gatherings

The annual Spirits Brunch and BAFTA Tea bring out the stars

LOS ANGELES — It was pencils down at 5pm PST Thursday afternoon as balloting for the nominations stage of the 87th annual Academy Awards drew to a close. This weekend, then — until the competition takes hold once again Sunday night at the Golden Globe Awards — provides a beat to breathe. But not too much. It's still the circuit. And this year's toasted talents were out in force Saturday at events like the morning's Film Independent Spirit Awards brunch in West Hollywood and the annual BAFTA Tea gathering down the street in the afternoon.

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Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's 'Mistress America' finds a home with Searchlight

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's 'Mistress America' finds a home with Searchlight

First Sundance acquisition two weeks before the festival begins

Sundance is about two weeks away and the first major acquisition has already occurred. Fox Searchlight has picked up Noah Baumbach's "Mistress America" which is scheduled to premiere on Jan. 24 in Park City, Utah.  "America" is the second collaboration between Baumbach and Greta Gerwig after 2012's critically acclaimed dramedy "Frances Ha." Once again the duo co-wrote the screenplay, Baumbach directed and Gerwig stars.  She's joined ths time around by newcomer Lola Kirke and a relatively unknown cast.  

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Bradley Cooper
Credit: Ap

‘Honeymoon With Harry’ could mark Bradley Cooper's directorial debut

He'll star in the movie alongside Robert de Niro

Bradley Cooper wants "movie actor" to be one of many business cards he carries in his wallet. In 2014, he showed off that ambition, shepherding "American Sniper" to the big screen as a producer and jumping to Broadway after developing his take on "Elephant Man." Now, as many Renaissance men and women do, he’s looking to direct, with the stars are aligning for his debut.

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Tell us what you thought of 'Selma'

Tell us what you thought of 'Selma'

Ava DuVernay's MLK biopic opens wide this weekend

After landing with authority and already weathering a significant storm of controversy, Ava DuVernay's "Selma" has arrived nationwide. The film did pretty well in limited release, amassing over $2 million at around 20 venues since its Christmas Day limited bow. Now, a week shy of the Martin Luther King holiday, it lights out for more territories.

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'Star Wars' director JJ Abrams will help announce nominees for all 24 Oscar categories

'Star Wars' director JJ Abrams will help announce nominees for all 24 Oscar categories

Alfonso Cuarón will join him, while Chris Pine and Cheryl Boone Isaacs will reveal major categories

The Academy announced Friday that next week's Oscar nominations announcement will be a "two-part presentation" and that for the first time ever, nominees all 24 Oscar categories will be announced live on television.

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Jake Gyllenhaal
Credit: Open Road Films

Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton among Georgia Critics’ 2014 winners

Plus, David Oyelowo gets an award for having a killer year

The Georgia Film Critics Association 2014 awards nominations were par for the course, sure-things with a sprinkle of outliers. Voting for the winners followed suit, with Jake Gyllenhaal, emerging as a likelier and likelier Oscar contender, taking Best Actor and "Snowpiercer" costar Tilda Swinton earning praise for her villainous caricature. 

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Juliette Binoche
Credit: AP

Juliette Binoche-led 'Nobody Wants the Night' to open 65th Berlinale

It’s the latest drama from writer-director Isabel Coixet

The Berlin International Film Festival announced early Friday morning that "Nobody Wants the Night," the most recent work by Spanish director Isabel Coixet, will open the festival as well as play in the international competition. Previous fest kick-offs included "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "The Grandmaster." We’re sure "Nobody Wants the Night" is quite grand in its own right, even if it doesn’t flaunt it in the title.

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'Grand Budapest' dominates BAFTA as 'Selma' snub raises Oscar red flags

'Grand Budapest' dominates BAFTA as 'Selma' snub raises Oscar red flags

'Birdman' and 'Theory of Everything' tie with 10 nominations each

The most important thing to consider when looking at the 2015 BAFTA Awards nominations is that the voting process is actually (mostly) the opposite of the Academy Awards.  For the Best Film and acting categories, the entire membership can vote on the nominations and winners. Other honors, such as Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume Design, Director, Editing, Make-Up & Hair, Original Music, Production Design, Sound, and Special Visual Effects, are determined completely by their respective branches. That means, for the most part, that the BAFTA nominations are a reflection of broad support in the top five races. Keep that in mind.

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2015 BAFTA Awards nominations

2015 BAFTA Awards nominations

'Grand Budapest Hotel' leads with 11 nominations

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced the nominees for the 2015 BAFTA Awards early Friday morning. 

For complete analysis of this year's nominations and what they could mean for the upcoming Oscar nods click here.

The complete list of this year's BAFTA Awards nominees is as follows:

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'Birdman,' 'Only Lovers Left Alive' popular with Alliance of Women Film Journalists

'Birdman,' 'Only Lovers Left Alive' popular with Alliance of Women Film Journalists

Female Focus sidebar provides a ripe opportunity to shine a light

With 10 mentions, "Birdman" was far and away the top nominations hog with the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, but there were some twists along the way, too. "Only Lovers Left Alive" was popular with the group, while the female focus and special categories serve as a nice opportunity to shake things up.

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