<p>Eddie Redmayne</p>

Eddie Redmayne

Credit: AP Photo

Eddie Redmayne's Stephen Hawking biopic chases Oscar with a November release

Focus Features will release 'Theory of Everything' in the US

Back in June last year, we mentioned the theoretical likelihood of awards attention for "Theory of Everything," James Marsh-directed biopic starring Eddie Redmayne as motor neuron disease-affllicted physicist Stephen Hawking. Now, with the news that Focus Features will be releasing the British production, and has selected a November 7 release date, that looks even likelier.

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<p>Paul Walker</p>

Paul Walker

Credit: AP Photo

MTV Movie Awards to pause the silliness for Paul Walker

The late actor will be remembered with a clip reel and onstage tribute

Amid the presentations for Best Shirtless Performance and Conan O'Brien's comic mugging, moments of earnestness are likely to be few at this week's MTV Movie Awards -- which is as it has always been. But the levity will be suspended for at least a couple of minutes, as organizers have announced that the show will feature a tribute to the late "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker, nearly five months after the 40-year-old actor died in a car crash.

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<p>Sean Penn and Charlize Theron, who are also romantically linked at the moment.</p>

Sean Penn and Charlize Theron, who are also romantically linked at the moment.

Credit: AP Photo

Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are making a movie together

'Tree of Life,' '12 Years a Slave' producer Bill Pohlad also on board

It looks like Sean Penn is set for the director's chair for the fifth time in his career with "The Last Face," a drama starring Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem and "Blue is the Warmest Color" starlet Adèle Exarchopoulos.

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"Party Girl"
"Party Girl"
Credit: Cannes Film Festival

'Party Girl' to get the party started in Un Certain Regard at Cannes

Argentinian auteur Pablo Trapero will head the jury

Hard to believe that the Cannes Film Festival is just a month away -- before you know it, people will be cranking up the Oscar conversation again. The full lineup will be announced in Paris on April 17, but another nugget was revealed this morning. The opening film of the theoretically secondary, but increasingly prestigious, Un Certain Regard competition will be a French title: "Party Girl," the joint directorial debut of Marie Amacoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis.

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<p>Hilary Swank winning Oscar #2 for &quot;Million Dollar Baby&quot;</p>

Hilary Swank winning Oscar #2 for "Million Dollar Baby"

Credit: AP Photo

Oscar Bait: 'You're Not You' with Hilary Swank coming to theaters this year

Entertainment One acquires North American distribution rights

Let's dust off the old part-time specialty feature "Oscar Bait" with some news on an acquisition, shall we?

Now, this time last year a lot of eyes were turned toward Naomi Watts in what seemed like a baity role as Princess Diana in "Diana." Then the film waited for a distributor, and waited, and waited. The writing was on the wall by the time Entertainment One grabbed it and it went nowhere with critics, audiences and, certainly, awards-voting bodies.

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<p>Lisa Cholodenko</p>

Lisa Cholodenko

Credit: AP Photo

LA film fest announces Lisa Cholodenko as Guest Director and special award for SPC honchos

Other programs revealed, including conversations with Atticus Ross and Key & Peele

The Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF) is gearing up for a bow this June, having already announced Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" as the opening night premiere. Today Film Independent, which puts on the fest, announced this year's guest director and a special honor for two all-timers in the indie game.

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Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn in "Land Ho!."
Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn in "Land Ho!."
Credit: Sony Classics

Sony Classics set Sundance hit 'Land Ho!' for July 11

A refreshing summer slot for Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens' road comedy

Perhaps the film I was most disappointed to miss at January's Sundance Film Festival was "Land Ho!," an Iceland-set road comedy from directors Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens. I've been a Katz fan for some time: his third feature, the Portland semi-noir "Cold Weather," landed in my 2010 Top 10. (I also interviewed him at that year's London Film Festival.)

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10 MORE fun facts about the MTV Movie Awards: Jennifer Lawrence, Jaden Smith, Oscar crossover

10 MORE fun facts about the MTV Movie Awards: Jennifer Lawrence, Jaden Smith, Oscar crossover

The 23rd annual ceremony is just around the corner

Last year we dug through the often heart-breaking history of the MTV Movie Awards (which seem to be leaning slightly less…bad…lately) to come up with a list of 10 fun facts for your perusal pleasure. With the 23rd annual show on the horizon, we thought we'd do a bit more searching to see if there were any other interesting factoids, and sure enough, there were a couple. (I say "we," but really I'm the only one sick enough to have bothered with this.)

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<p>Bruce Dern and Leonard Maltin at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January.</p>

Bruce Dern and Leonard Maltin at the 29th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January.

Credit: AP Photo

Santa Barbara fest extends schedule in honor of 30th annual event

Also announces 'Wave' summer film festival

In honor of its upcoming 30th anniversary, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has extended its calendar by one day, just one of a number of ways the annual event will be celebrating as it enters its third decade.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer&#39;s &quot;Under the Skin.&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin."

Credit: A24 Films

Did Scarlett Johansson really walk around Scotland unnoticed filming 'Under the Skin?'

A must-read Q&A for any fan of the modern masterpiece

"Under the Skin" finally arrived in theaters this past weekend and, happily for moviegoers, A24 Films were rewarded for their gutsy acquisition of Jonathan Glazer's transcendent film. "Skin" grossed $140,000, or $35,000 per screen in just four theaters, in New York and Los Angeles. It's the second-highest limited per-screen of the year after "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and quite impressive considering A24 did it almost completely via old-fashioned publicity and word of mouth.

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