Latest Blog Posts

<p>Elle Fanning in &quot;Ginger &amp;&nbsp;Rosa&quot;</p>

Elle Fanning in "Ginger & Rosa"

Credit: A24

10 outside-the-box considerations as the Academy votes

Performances that could use a look

With ballots in Academy members hands as of yesterday, the great settling is off and running. Various critics groups and top 10 lists have narrowed the pile enough that voters have a pretty good idea of the landscape in each category. More than that, "frontrunners" have staked their claim on the race, leaving precious little space for dark horses to maneuver.

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Daniel Day-Lewis to receive Montecito Award at Santa Barbara fest
Credit: Nino Munez

Daniel Day-Lewis to receive Montecito Award at Santa Barbara fest

Can anyone come between the man and his third Oscar?

When you're winning, you're winning. Daniel Day-Lewis hasn't missed a stop on the awards circuit so far this season, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival wasn't about to be the first. It was announced today that the two-time Oscar champ will receive one of the festival's loftiest honors, the Montecito Award, both in recognition of his work in "Lincoln" and his career as a whole.

The award, which will be presented to Day-Lewis at a tribute evening on January 26, recognizes "a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances throughout his/her career," and has been presented to Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Javier Bardem, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore and Geoffrey Rush since its instatement in 2005. I don't think many would deny that Day-Lewis meets the criteria. 

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<p>Imagine Dragons</p>

Imagine Dragons

Exclusive: Behind the scenes on Imagine Dragons' 'Radioactive' video shoot

What happens when Superstorm Sandy shuts down production?

Music video shoots are often fraught with drama, but rarely so much so as Imagine Dragons’ shoot for “Radioactive.” While the  Las Vegas rock band was filming the clip in New York, the quartet came face to face with Superstorm Sandy.

In this exclusive behind-the-scenes footage below, lead singer Dan Reynolds talks about how the wacky concept for the video came about.  As you know, the music video, which came out last week, features stuffed animals and puppets fighting it out in a “puppet octagon.” The losers who survive are sent to a prison, where the members of the band are being held.  The clip also stars Lou “Diamond” Phillips as the evil overlord and Alexandra Daddario as a force for good. Director James Larese calls it “‘Fight Club for puppets.’”

Not only do the band members, Daddario and Phillips talk about making the clip in this exclusive footage, the victorious Pink Bear, whom Phillips refers to as “The Jackie Chan of the bear world,”  also does his share of interviewing. Turns out shooting lasers out of his eyes isn’t his only talent.

About half-way through the the shoot, Sandy closed production down and after being evacuated, the band hightailed it to London to complete the shoot. Appropriately, the band realizes its trials are nothing in the grand scheme of things. “We all got stuck [In New York] for a few days, but we made it out with our health, so we count ourselves as lucky for that,” Reynolds says.

“Radioactive,” the band’s follow up to its breakthrough hit, “It’s Time,” is No. 8 with a bullet on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart. The group’s new album, “Night Visions,” bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September.  The band will embark on its first headlining tour this spring. For more tour info, go here.

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Jessica Chastain on mining for details and feminism's new moment in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Jessica Chastain on mining for details and feminism's new moment in 'Zero Dark Thirty'

And, of course, the nuance of depicting torture in the film

NEW YORK -- As the stage lights dim at the Walter Kerr Theatre, signaling an act break for "The Heiress," actress Jessica Chastain gets up off the floor and exits stage left. She sniffles back the tears she effortlessly manifested for the previous scene, preparing for the next act. Her character, Catherine, is frail, emotional, precious, and at the end of this act, burdened by the unloving eye of her father and twisted-up passion for a would-be beau. One can't help but think, "Maya would never be in this position."

Maya is Chastain's character in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," a dense and principled account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. She's driven, single-minded, seemingly without emotion, save for the tears she can finally shed when her mission is over. It's a fascinating foil to Catherine, who spends the entirety of "The Heiress" moving to a place of rigid, emotionless resolve. And so while on the stage Chastain is performing a fragile character's journey of clenching up, strengthening and hardening, on the screen she's performing a hardened character's journey of releasing, letting go and softening.

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Watch: Dido and Kendrick Lamar's lyric video for gorgeous 'Let Us Move On'

British singer and American rapper combine for an emotional track

Dido has a voice that seems to float ethereally above the notes. It works best when it’s tethered to the ground by an opposing vocals such as on Eminem’s “Stan,” which used her song “Thank You.” *

Here, on Dido’s new song “Let Us Move On,” Kendrick Lamar’s gruff rap fills that role.

[More after the jump...]

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"Project Runway"

 "Project Runway"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' returns with a host of big stars for first-ever teams edition

Michael Kors will be taking a back seat while Zac Posen steps in
You know how the designers emit a collective groan whenever team challenges come up on "Project Runway"? Guess what! The 11th season of the show (premiering Thurs. Jan. 24 at 9:00 p.m.) will be the first-ever teams edition. The designers will have to work together for every challenge (yes, every challenge). Did you hear that? I think it was sobbing!
Other changes are also afoot. Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia will be joined by "featured judge" designer Zac Posen, while Michael Kors will be a "finale guest judge." While the judges table will be changed, the good news is that Tim Gunn will be returning to mentor the designers. Phew! 
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<p>Christoph Waltz seemed pleased with Quentin Tarantino's new film 'Django Unchained' when we sat down to discuss it.</p>

Christoph Waltz seemed pleased with Quentin Tarantino's new film 'Django Unchained' when we sat down to discuss it.

Credit: HitFix

Christoph Waltz on speaking the language of Tarantino for 'Django Unchained'

We talk with the Oscar winner about using words as weapons

It was strange being in New York this weekend doing back to back to back junkets and talking about fictional bloodbaths and violence while everyone at the event was also trying to absorb the real-life news about Newtown and the elementary school shootings.  And I'll be clear… it wasn't uncomfortable because I think there is a correlation between violence in art and violence in real life.  I don't.  It was uncomfortable because we were all processing something real, and that makes it hard to be invested in the pretend.

I've chatted with Christoph Waltz a few times now, and I think he's a really sharp, well-spoken performer who doesn't really like digging too deep into his own process or going over projects other than the one that he's currently discussing.  I think he had a long professional career before "Inglourious Basterds," and he got used to doing things a certain way, and just because more people are paying attention to the work on an international scale, that doesn't mean Waltz has any obligation to change the way he works.

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"Zero Dark Thirty"

Credit: Columbia Pictures

'Zero Dark Thirty' wins Best Picture from Austin film critics...and nothing else

'The Master' picked up three awards, however

"Zero Dark Thirty" remains on top of the critics awards haul today with another Best Picture nod, this time from the Austin Film Critics Association. Oddly, though, the film won nothing else. "The Master" seemed to be more of a favorite, taking Best Director, Best Actor and Best Cinematography. Check out the full list of winners below and, well, you know -- The Circuit.

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<p>Daniel&nbsp;Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in &quot;Lincoln&quot;</p>

Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "Lincoln"

Credit: Touchstone Pictures

'Lincoln' finally wins a critics award for Best Picture, from Dallas-Ft. Worth

'Zero Dark Thirty' wins Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay

After sitting idly by and watching films like "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Argo" reap most of the critics' Best Picture awards, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" finally has one of its own, from the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association. The film won Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress in addition to Best Picture, but fell to Kathryn Bigelow in the Best Director category. Check out the full list (ranked through runners-up) below, and keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

'Argo' wins big with Florida Film Critics Circle

Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain also win...again

The Florida Film Critics Circle has joined a recent build for Ben Affleck's "Argo" in the critics awards circuit, handing the film Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay honors. Daniel Day-Lewis and Jessica Chastain added to their lead actor and actress haul, while Philip Seymour Hoffman and Anne Hathaway were singled out in the supporting ranks. Check out the full list of winners below, and keep track of the season via The Circuit.

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<p>Michael Fassbender received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for &quot;Prometheus.&quot;</p>

Michael Fassbender received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for "Prometheus."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Amour' and 'The Master' lead London Critics' Circle nominations

'Beasts,' 'Pi' fend off 'Lincoln,' 'Zero Dark Thirty' in Film of the Year field

The London Film Critics' Circle joined their American counterparts today in announcing their nominations, and I think they did rather a good job. Then again, I would say that: I'm one of the voters. And it's pretty clear which films we responded to most as a collective: Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and Michael Haneke's "Amour" handily lead the field with seven nominations each, including a trio of acting nods apiece.

A number of US critics' favorites, however, fell short: "Lincoln" was confined to the acting categories alone, while "Zero Dark Thirty" managed nods for Best Director, Screenplay and Actress, but just missed out in the Film of the Year category, which was filled out with "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Life of Pi." (It's perhaps coincidental but nonetheless interesting that both are dramas centered very much on US political concerns -- are Brits simply less invested? It'll be interesting to see how BAFTA respond.) 

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<p>Robin (Cobie Smulders)&nbsp;isn't happy with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris)&nbsp;on &quot;How I&nbsp;Met Your Mother.&quot;</p>

Robin (Cobie Smulders) isn't happy with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) on "How I Met Your Mother."

Credit: CBS

Review: 'How I Met Your Mother' - 'The Final Page'

Barney gets jinxed and Ted's building finally opens in a memorable two-parter

A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I have dance-based revenge fantasies...

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