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<p>A scene from &quot;A&nbsp;Cat in&nbsp;Paris&quot;</p>

A scene from "A Cat in Paris"

Credit: GKIDS

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Animated Feature Film

'A Cat in Paris,' 'Chico & Rita,' 'Kung Fu Panda 2,' 'Puss in Boots' and 'Rango' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

Early on in the season it was decided that a full slate of five nominees in the Best Animated Feature Film category would be allowed, as there were at least 16 qualifying titles. However, that didn't necessary mean there WOULD be five, as the scoring system within the branch might still have yielded less that were deemed worthy.

In the end, five managed to surface, and a number of surprises bubbled up along with it. One formidable hybrid contender that was doing well on the precursor circuit failed to overcome inherent bias against it, while two fringe contenders from the indie world (and the same studio, no less) found their way in over other laureled studio efforts.

The nominees are…

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<p>Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch</p>

Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch

Listen: Jim Jarmusch prepares 'Eternal' music album, releasing 'Firey' song

Filmmaker and music-man-about-town collaborates with lute player Jozef Van Wissem

Jim Jarmusch is getting closer and closer to that inevitable solo project, but in the meantime, he's linked up again with lute player/producer/composer Jozef Van Wissem for a collaborative, experimental album "Concerning the Entrance Into Eternity."

The set, due out on Feb. 28 through Important Records, features the famed director on guitar and is preceded by a new track "The Sun of the Natural World Is Fire." Check it out below (via SSG).

It's all texture and clock-like repetitions, with static and dissonance dominating the lute's structures. From a visual standpoint, I'd say its more interstitial than narrative, but a gorgeous, melodramatic piece nonetheless.

The duo will be promoting the set with two shows at the Issue Project Room (110 Livingston in Brooklyn) on Feb. 3.

Jarmusch has previously worked with Wissem on other projects, and lent other talents to music acts like Bad Rabbit and the Wu-Tang Clan. His last film was 2009's "The Limits of Control."

Will any of his musically inclined actors from previous films -- like RZA, Jack White or Tom Waits -- show up?

Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissem - "The Sun of the Natural World is Pure Fire" by SSG Music

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<p>Tate Taylor at the 2012 BAFTA Tea Party.</p>

Tate Taylor at the 2012 BAFTA Tea Party.

Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

Tate Taylor to receive WGA's Paul Selvin Award

The writer/director of 'The Help' gets a boost of his own

After a strong showing for "The Help" at Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, the film is set to receive another boon on its way to Oscar night. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that it will honor writer/director Tate Taylor with the 2012 Paul Selvin Award, which recognizes "written work that embodies the spirit of constitutional rights and civil liberties,” according to the press release.

“Tate Taylor’s adapted screenplay for 'The Help' artfully distills the empowering essence and core emotional truths of Kathryn Stockett’s novel, translating it into a film that forcefully illustrates how ordinary people can impact positive social change,” said WGAw president Christopher Keyser. “Tate’s honor is well deserved and his script does Paul Selvin’s legacy proud by conveying the continuing power of the written word.”

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<p>The official poster for &quot;The Artist.&quot;</p>

The official poster for "The Artist."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Win a poster for 'The Artist' signed by SAG winner Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and Michel Hazanavicius

Get it while it's hot

It's been a song and a dance so far for "The Artist" as the underdog silent film has magically made its way toward destiny and a likely* best picture win at this year's Academy Awards.  And now, thanks to The Weinstein Company, you can win the movie's poster signed by SAG and Golden Globe Award winning actor Jean Dujardin, his leading lady Bérénice Bejo and DGA Award winner Michel Hazanavicius.

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Watch: Lil Wayne paints his pain in video for 'Mirror' with Bruno Mars

Watch: Lil Wayne paints his pain in video for 'Mirror' with Bruno Mars

There's plenty of symbolism here to decipher

Lil Wayne is exorcising some psychic pain in his new video for “Mirror.”

The song, from the deluxe version of “Tha Carter IV,” is the closest we generally get to a ballad from Lil Wayne, who even invokes Michael Jackson, when he says “No message could be any clearer, so I’m starting with the man in the .... “ then adds, “MJ taught me that.”

The Antoine Fuqua-directed video opens with a close up of Lil Wayne’s closed eyes, tattooed with “Fear” on his right eyelid and “God” on his left lid. That camera then caresses slowly down his painted torso. A shirtless Wayne begins created some unseen masterpiece as red paint, symbolizing red blood, spills in rivulets.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Nicki MInaj in &quot;Turn Me On&quot;</p>

Nicki MInaj in "Turn Me On"

Credit: VEVO

Watch: David Guetta builds the perfect beast with Nicki Minaj in 'Turn Me On' video

Minaj comes to life, but has monstrous thoughts

David Guetta and Nicki Minaj continue on their winning ways. After their success with “Where Them Girls At,” they’re at it again with “Turn Me On” from Guetta’s “Nothing But the Beat.”

The Sanji-direced video for the smash came out today and it’s a fun, somewhat literal interpretation with Guetta as a Dr. Frankenstein of sorts and Minaj as his finest creation brought to life, as she sings, “Make me come to life, come on and turn me on.”

In the depths of his 19th century labratory, Guetta is turning shiny steel into human-like figures, some of whom turn into real live girls and boys, although the nude ones have a Barbie and Ken doll kind of genitalia (still, this video probably is NSFW). Only one of them has pink hair! Guess who?

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Lana Del Rey's &quot;Born to Die&quot;</p>

Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die"

Review: Lana Del Rey's 'Born to Die' slumps on impact

Is she gangster, gay, campy, sexy or slouchy?

I don’t have a problem with Lana Del Rey’s scarlet-harlot-starlet get-up. I don't mind a little peril. My hope was that she wore it well.

The issue of “wearing,” too, is apt in that female pop stars frequently face the demand to “put it on” or risk derision, more so than their male peers. But, no, in this case she wears it out – thins, shrinks -- on “Born to Die,” her debut album.
 
The 12-song set is like a prism through which we view the same dour, half-lidded persona, masochistically bed-bound for her flawed-but-handsome lover to the tune of some very silly rhyming schemes. Each production boldly attempts the same arc and faithful malaise of “Video Games,” her breakout single from 2011, but Del Rey’s vocals and words frequently fail her.
 
She experiments with a variety of vocal affectations, like the squeak toy on “Off to the Races,” pooling her “tiring’” coo behind the beat on “Carmen” and blum-drumming her “standing oh-vay-sha-ah-ahn” on unbearable “National Anthem.” The easy vibrato on “Blue Jeans” warps into a heaving toddler-trill when she’s forced into her higher register. Her pretty lower-middle range is where she should revel, like on “Dark Paradise,” “Video Games” and “Summertime Sadness" (give me a dub remix of this any day). Instead, she often sounds bored, like she could just as easily be asking for directions to the closest subway station as she could be crawling across dirty bedsheets.
 
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<p>Martin&nbsp;Scorsese tells one of a number of stories to the SBIFF&nbsp;audience as Leonard Maltin watches on.</p>

Martin Scorsese tells one of a number of stories to the SBIFF audience as Leonard Maltin watches on.

Credit: Ventura County Star/Karen Quincy Loberg

Martin Scorsese talks 'Mean Streets,' 'Taxi Driver' and rediscovering that childlike spark with 'Hugo'

The iconic director charts his evolution for a captivated SBIFF audience

SANTA BARBARA - Last night the big tributes wrapped up here at the Santa Barbara fest with the presentation of the American Riviera Award to "Hugo" director Martin Scorsese. Leonard Maltin conducted the on-stage interview, which got started nearly a half hour late and still blew past the usual two-hour time frame as a captivated, capacity audience at the Arlington Theatre never budged and delighted in hearing the director's tales of 50 years at work in the film industry.

Scorsese reflected first on the severity of awards season these days, which he said is "very arduous, in a way. But it's a very high class problem to have." Even the process of opening a film is much different, he noted, thinking back on his work in the early 1970s. "When the film opened, there was really no red carpet unless it was 'Cleopatra' or 'Ben-Hur,'" he said. "We'd go in on a Sunday to see if anyone was in line to see the movie, then we'd go get Chinese food or whatever and that was it."

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<p>Director Michael Mann on the &quot;Luck&quot;&nbsp;set with star Nick Nolte. </p>

Director Michael Mann on the "Luck" set with star Nick Nolte.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Luck' for season 2

Milch/Mann horse racing drama continues pay cable's recent pattern of quick renewals

HBO has renewed "Luck" for a second season, only two days after the series premiere of the horse racing drama, created by David Milch, directed by Michael Mann and starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, among others. The new season will be 10 episodes — up 1 from the 9-episode debut season — and will premiere in January 2013.

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<p>Madonna on the set of &quot;W.E.&quot;</p>

Madonna on the set of "W.E."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Round-up: Madge's vote for Malick

Also: In praise of Viola Davis, and J.Lo and Uggie added to Oscar bill

I have a special place in my heart for Academy members who spill the beans on who they're voting for -- who isn't curious to know what their favorite director or actor's ballot looks like? Every year, there are always a few voters who anonymously share their choices with certain outlets, but since when has anonymity ever suited Madonna? Yep, the auteur, actress and sometime singer is an Academy member, and her Best Picture vote is going to "The Tree of Life" -- a noble choice, though I'm disappointed she's not even trying a write-in for "W.E." Where's her fighting spirit? This proves why we shouldn't be so quick to pass judgement on who is admitted to the Academy: for all we know, the Madonnas and Beyoncés and Brands are voting more adventurously than the establishment. [24 Frames]

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<p>Jordan Peele as President Obama and Keegan-Michael Key as &quot;anger translator&quot;&nbsp;Luther in &quot;Key &amp;&nbsp;Peele.&quot;</p>

Jordan Peele as President Obama and Keegan-Michael Key as "anger translator" Luther in "Key & Peele."

Credit: Comedy Central

Review: Comedy Central's very funny 'Key & Peele'

Sketch comedy duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele deal with biracial and non-racial humor
Early in the premiere episode of Comedy Central's new sketch comedy series "Key & Peele," the show's two stars, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, talk about the challenges of of being biracial in 21st century America.
 
"We find ourselves particularly adept at lying," Key explains, "because on a daily basis we have to adjust our blackness."
 
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"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' - 'Reunion Pt. 1'

After a lovey dovey finale, the gloves come out for the first of a three part wrap-up

Oh, oh my. I knew the second season reunion for "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" would be chock full of drama. I mean, this season had the usual infighting, plus two new cast members (though only Brandi shows any sign of lasting into season three -- buh-bye, Dana. Don't forget your $25,000 sunglasses!). Add to that Russell Armstrong's suicide, and the reunion was sure to have some tears, some laughs, and possibly some grumbling, right? Well, that's only the first few minutes. This reunion show so overflows with drama that it's been split into three parts. This is a good thing, as the first part actually made my head hurt. So much strife! So little time!

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