<p>In 2012, Angelina Jolie speaks ahead of a screening of her film &quot;In the Land  of Blood and Honey&quot;&nbsp;at the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.</p>

In 2012, Angelina Jolie speaks ahead of a screening of her film "In the Land of Blood and Honey" at the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London.

Credit: AP Photo

Angelina Jolie, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin and Piero Tosi to receive Honorary Oscars

The fifth annual Governors Awards will be held on Nov. 16

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced this year's Honorary Oscar recipients, to be presented at the fifth annual Governors Awards in November.

Actress Angela Lansbury, a perennial possibility for this honor each year, will finally get an Oscar, alongside comedian Steve Martin and, in keeping with a recent dedication to the crafts branches, costume designer Piero Tosi. Actress Angelina Jolie will receive the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

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<p>George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the world premiere of &quot;Gravity&quot;&nbsp;at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.</p>

George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuaron at the world premiere of "Gravity" at the 2013 Venice Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Denis Poroy

Contender Countdown: 'Gravity' and '12 Years A Slave' storm out of the gate

Who's ready for some Best Picture predictions?

And we're back! Yes, it's your favorite weekly rundown of Best Picture contenders. A snapshot of who's up, who's down, who's got it in the bag and who's a big whiny pretender.

With Venice almost completed, Telluride in the books and Toronto opening her red carpets to the world, the 2013-2014 awards season is in full swing. Last year, "Silver Linings Playbook" was the surprise at Toronto as "Argo" kept its Telluride momentum going. "Lincoln's" debut was over a month away and many pundits were getting smoke signals that "Zero Dark Thirty" might not even make its expected end-of-year release. So, yep, a lot can happen between now and Dec. 1st. Telluride, however, was quite, um, telling this year (as it increasingly steals Venice and Toronto's thunder). A number of films proved their worthiness (or not) there. With that in mind, let's review the countdown as it stands today, Sept. 5, 2013.

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<p>Dakota Fanning in &quot;Night Moves.&quot;</p>

Dakota Fanning in "Night Moves."

Credit: Maybach Film Productions

Review: Dakota Fanning and Jesse Eisenberg make slow, steady 'Night Moves'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Unnerving film may be a thriller, but unmistakably the work of Kelly Reichardt

VENICE - I didn't intend to wait four days to review "Night Moves" -- not least because, in the wake of her last three features, a toothpaste commercial directed by Kelly Reichardt would be high on the year's most-anticipated list -- but the combination of cumulative screenings and the slackening effects of illness kept pushing it unintentionally down the to-do list.

Yet if any film on the Lido this year belongs on the back burner, it's this one. That may be the lousiest compliment I've given a good film all year, but it's a compliment nonetheless; for the more time Reichardt's latest has to let its calculatedly flat terrors work on the brain, the more imposing and guileful an achievement it seems. "Night Moves" is a pretty slow burner while it's on the screen; off it, it's stubbornly inextinguishable, the trick birthday candle of this year's Venice fest.

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<p>Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in &quot;Tracks,&quot; a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.</p>

Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver in "Tracks," a nominee for Best Film at the LFF this year.

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Tracks,' 'Under the Skin' among nominees for top award at London Film Festival

The UK's biggest film festival revealed its lineup of 234 features today

Ordinarily, if a film festival announced its lineup and I found I'd already seen over 60 of the selections, I'd probably strike it from the to-do list. But it's a testament to the strength and breadth of this year's London Film Festival programme, which was announced this morning, that I'm still excited to dive into it. The LFF remains one of the world's great cherry-picking festivals: only 22 of the 234 features screening over the 12-day fest are world premieres, but it's a comprehensive catch-up of highlights from Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin and Sundance, to name just its biggest suppliers. For any UK readers getting itchy over our Venice, Telluride and upcoming Toronto coverage, this should be your first port of call.

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<p><span class="tooltip" id="previewtooltip_1912d9d9e01c4f09a1b18563cd0e4419" style="top: -229.8px; left: -15.8px; display: block;">James  Cameron Alfonso Cuar&oacute;n at the TagDF, an event on music, film, gaming and digital  art in Mexico City, in&nbsp;July.<br />
</span></p>

James Cameron Alfonso Cuarón at the TagDF, an event on music, film, gaming and digital art in Mexico City, in July.

Credit: AP Photo

James Cameron on 'Gravity': 'It's the movie I've been hungry to see for an awful long time'

The 'Avatar' director says Alfonso Cuarón's latest is 'the best space film ever done'

By now I imagine the well-worn quotes of glee from James Cameron regarding Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" have made it across your browser, but we might as well point to them, too.

Four years ago Cameron's "Avatar" became the highest grossing film of all time and made a huge impact as an experience, a roller coaster ride of a film. Cynicism has had its way with it since but I still think it's a major accomplishment in filmmaking, just as I do "Gravity."

Cuarón's latest is a full-on ride, as immersive an experience as you could hope for in a movie. It puts you right there with Sandra Bullock, having its way with your equilibrium. So it's high praise when a guy like Cameron calls it "the best space film ever done."

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<p>Solomon Northup</p>

Solomon Northup

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' featurette details the true story setting of Steve McQueen's film

Fox Searchlight's film is about to sieze the awards conversation again in Toronto

One of the reasons "12 Years a Slave" works so well is that it's rather naturally structured as a thriller. As the film follows Solomon Northup from freedom to shackles, his circumstances -- kidnapped in Washington D.C. and sold into slavery in the south -- are just terrifying, and director Steve McQueen follows that natural structure with convention and invention in equal measure.

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<p>Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in &quot;Foxcatcher&quot;</p>

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum in "Foxcatcher"

Credit: Sony Classics

'Saving Mr. Banks,' 'Foxcatcher' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis' set for 2013 AFI Fest

Bennett Miller's film will see its world premiere as a gala selection

AFI Fest has come out swinging with a pair of big premieres for the 2013 edition of the Los Angeles-based festival and a closing night selection reflective of an American indie skipping across the festival circuit like a stone this year.

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<p>Donald Rumsfeld in &quot;The Unknown Known.&quot;</p>

Donald Rumsfeld in "The Unknown Known."

Credit: TWC-Radius

Venice: American tricksters under scrutiny in 'The Armstrong Lie' and 'The Unknown Known'

Lance Armstrong and Donald Rumsfeld the focus of the fest's showcase docs

VENICE - Venice festival scheduling is a business that can seem haphazard at best, and perverse at worst. Kim Ki-duk's castration-and-incest bonanza "Moebius" straight after breakfast? Sure. Philip Groning's three-hour, 59-chapter dissection of domestic abuse to finish the day? Hey, why not? Sometimes, however, they let on that they really know what they're doing with a juxtaposition that seems too perfect to be accidental -- and they don't come much more effectively on-the-nose than last night's back-to-back double bill of Alex Gibney's "The Armstrong Lie" (B-) and Errol Morris' "The Unknown Known" (C+). (Even the titles have a pleasingly similar cadence.) It wasn't labelled in the programme as The Great American Douchebags Special, but we got the idea.

Perhaps it's a side effect of viewing them with only a 20-minute, theater-traversing in between, but the films seemed too well-matched -- not just in content, but in a number of their strongest and weakest points -- to review separately, even if they'll rarely be re-partnered outside the festival environment.

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<p>Chris Hemsworth and&nbsp;Daniel Br&uuml;hl in &quot;Rush&quot;</p>

Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl in "Rush"

Credit: Universal Pictures

Ron Howard's 'Rush' could shift into high gear this Oscar season

People are really responding to this biopic of F1 stars Niki Lauda and James Hunt

Ron Howard's "Rush" has occupied some prime real estate throughout our Contenders section for a number of weeks. Lots of "but racing movies don't register" and "it looks too commercial" or whatever greeted the suggestion that it could be an Oscar player. There's been a reason we've had a lot of faith in it: people love this movie. And today, Variety's Peter Debruge has posted a cartwheel-turning rave up one side and down the other.

I caught the film just before the Telluride Film Festival and had high hopes. I've been hearing stellar things about this one for a while now, particularly Daniel Brühl's performance. So maybe expectation was too high, but it felt like something was missing for me. Peter Morgan's script awkwardly makes its way through a story of rivalry and friendship between Formula One racing stars Niki Lauda (Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and it doesn't quite hit the high marks it apparently thinks it hits. But it's not like the film is a big miss or anything. There's a lot to appreciate here and I think it will continue to gather fans, perhaps on the way to major Oscar recognition.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin.&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin."

Credit: StudioCanal

First glimpse of Scarlett Johansson in the stunning 'Under the Skin'

Jonathan Glazer's ultra-minimalist sci-fi officially premieres in Venice tonight

VENICE - I want to sit with Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" for a while longer before writing about it at length: the film's hard surfaces are so immaculate, belying the powerful, frayed-nerve story of multiple forms of bodily invasion that nestles inside, that I may take in a second screening at Venice before trying to crack them. This much is immediately apparent: it's the riskiest, most extravagantly sensual and image-fuelled film in Competition at Venice. Naturally, a handful of dolts booed it at this morning's press screening. What else is new?

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