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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

Recap: 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' - 'Three Wigs and a Baby'

Kim has a kid, Sheree commits to court and NeNe has an Italian admirer
So, it's the episode we've all been waiting for (or, actually, maybe not). Kim is going to squeeze out her boy spawn after many months of flopping on her bed like a dying whale, if dying whales compulsively ate junk food and whined. I'm sure this will be presented as a heartwarming moment, but I suspect what we won't see will be fairly nightmarish moments when she details all the different ways she intends to kill Kroy while he silently thinks of ways he can get full custody of his son and flee the country once his football career is over. 
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<p>Nucky (Steve Buscemi)&nbsp;has his day in court in the &quot;Boardwalk Empire&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Nucky (Steve Buscemi) has his day in court in the "Boardwalk Empire" season finale.

Credit: HBO

'Boardwalk Empire' - 'To the Lost': Nucky, get your gun

Jimmy and Nucky try to make peace, while Nucky hatches a plan to avoid jail

A review of the "Boardwalk Empire" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I take the ducks...

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Awards Season Super Sunday: LA Film Critics anoint 'The Descendants' as AFI dumbfounds
Credit: Fox Searchlight

Awards Season Super Sunday: LA Film Critics anoint 'The Descendants' as AFI dumbfounds

Boston Film Critics also have their say

The presidential campaign may have Super Tuesday, but awards season has Super Sunday.  Sure, you could argue that moniker should be designated to Oscar Sunday, but when you have the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the AFI yearly Top 10 and Boston Film Critics being announced on the same day, that's pretty significant.  Plus, there's also those minor orgs such as the San Francisco Film Critic's Circle, the New York Online Film Critic's and the Houston Film Critic's Circle who dish out their yearly picks on this fine December day.  (And, no, the last three really don't mean anything in the larger scheme of things, but they look pretty on for your consideration ads).

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<p>&quot;Win Win&quot; stars Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer greet the news of their film's Houston critics' nom with typical enthusiasm.</p>

"Win Win" stars Paul Giamatti and Alex Shaffer greet the news of their film's Houston critics' nom with typical enthusiasm.

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'The Artist' leads with 7 Houston film critics nods

'Descendants,' 'Win Win' also favorites and Andy Serkis gets another mention

Okay, this is just getting silly: if you’re a small regional critics’ group hoping to get some attention for your awards, why announce on the weekend when apparently everyone but the Delaware Christian Youth Film Enthusiasts Society has chosen to do the same? Be that as it may, the Houston critics yesterday announced a list of nominations, and most of the usual suspects rate a mention, with a few pleasing curveball choices.

I can't help but wonder about their intentions when a late release like "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" shows up in their Best Picture category without scoring a single other nomination -- are they truly voting for their favorites, or simply predicting the Academy's ballot? Happily, there's evidence of sincere individual thinking in the Best Picture nomination for Thomas McCarthy's "Win Win," while it's interesting to see the film's young star Alex Shaffer show up in the Supporting Actor category. (No love for Paul Giamatti, however.)

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<p>Sean Penn in &quot;The&nbsp;Tree of Life&quot;</p>

Sean Penn in "The Tree of Life"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

San Francisco critics honor 'Tree of Life,' 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

Unique set of winners also includes Tilda Swinton and Errol Morris's 'Tabloid'

Oh, you though we were done? Well settle back in because we have more. We'll be posting the Houston film critics nominations momentarily, but for now, we have the San Francisco Film Critics Circle's full list of winners.

Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" won Best Picture and Best Director (as well as Best Cinematography), and it's really an outside-the-box pair of decisions when you get right down to it. Obviously "The Descendants" and "The Artist" are poised to be the lazy, generally agreed-upon critical darlings all season. So to spring from something like this is, well, commendable.

The lead acting prizes were also unique, Gary Oldman winning Best Actor for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and Tilda Swinton winning Best Actress for "We Need to Talk About Kevin." And the rest of the picks were equally singular. Though Albert Brooks did chalk up his third win of the day. Check out the full list of winners below.

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<p>Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart and Michael Shannon in &quot;Take Shelter.&quot;</p>

Jessica Chastain, Tova Stewart and Michael Shannon in "Take Shelter."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'Take Shelter' leads Detroit critics nods

Nominees feature surprise mentions for Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling

Hey, have you heard the news? Apparently, in a last-minute schedule change, the Academy has moved the Oscar ceremony up to tomorrow. Critics' groups, as a result, have gone into panic mode, desperately flinging out awards announcements today in the hope of remaining relevant to the Oscar race. That's my theory, anyway. Seriously, what's wrong with the other six days of the week?

Anyway, after Los Angeles, Boston and the New York Online crowd had their say (with San Francisco still to come this afternoon, I gather), the Detroit critics' nominations aren't exactly the biggest news. Indeed, one could argue that nominees are an unnecessary indulgence for smaller critics' groups. But it's hard to complain when it allows for some unusual suspects to show up, and such is the case with the Motor City's list, which is unexpectedly topped by Jeff Nichols' disquieting indie hybrid "Take Shelter."

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<p>At least something new won a Best Picture prize.&nbsp;Congratulations to Alexander Payne's &quot;The Descendants.&quot;</p>

At least something new won a Best Picture prize. Congratulations to Alexander Payne's "The Descendants."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'The Descendants,' Terrence Malick win with LA film critics

Fassbender takes Best Actor, Best Actress brings another perennial surprise

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has finished its annual voting on this year's awards-worthy efforts. Firstly, though, a quick note of huzzah to them for sticking with this week rather than leaping to go first ahead of the New York Film Critics Circle's nonsensical date. And kudos to the LAFCA member (who shall remain nameless) who proposed moving the date to January when that announcement was made.

And the awards themselves represent a classy, unique perspective on the race, to say the least. Starting with an inspired choice for Best Music/Score and continuing with nice tops of the hat in the screenplay and director categories, it was just a refreshing vote to watch unfold.

However, when the dust settled on the Best Picture category, it was a bit anti-climactic, with "The Descendants" taking the honor amid all that unique thinking. Ah well, it's a distinguished set regardless. Check out the full list of winners with my real-time commentary scattered throughout below.

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<p>Matt&nbsp;Damon, Anna Paquin and Kenneth&nbsp;Lonergan on the set of &quot;Margaret&quot;</p>

Matt Damon, Anna Paquin and Kenneth Lonergan on the set of "Margaret"

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Boston Society of Film Critics issues press release expressing regret over 'Margaret' screening procedures

Organization calls for screeners to be made available to AMPAS

This morning the Boston Society of Film Critics announced its list of award winners, and it was clear Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret" was close in a number of areas. Though whoever was controlling the organization's Twitter feed made a note about how few of them were able to see the film, the group has issued the following via its official website:

"The Boston Society of Film Critics expresses its regret that Fox Searchlight refused to distribute screeners of the film 'Margaret' and scheduled only a last-minute screening after numerous requests. The film, which received an extremely limited release, was a favorite of many BSFC members and could have won several awards had it been made available for viewing within a reasonable time frame. Despite this disadvantage, 'Margaret' was a runner-up in three of the BSFC’s award categories. We encourage Fox Searchlight to not compound this oversight and to make screeners available to the voting body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and so give the film a fair chance in the upcoming awards competition."

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<p>Michael Shannon's win for Best Actor in &quot;Take Shelter&quot;&nbsp;was a high note.</p>

Michael Shannon's win for Best Actor in "Take Shelter" was a high note.

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

'The Artist' wins Best Pic from NY online critics, 'Bridesmaids' clearly a favorite

Top acting honors went to Michael Shannon and Meryl Streep

The New York Film Critics Online have announced their list of awards winners today as well, and the big winner? Yeah, "The Artist." But more unique were some scattered honors for "Bridesmaids" (clearly a favorite among the bunch, taking Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble) and "Take Shelter" (which brought Michael Shannon a much-deserved Best Actor prize).

It was nice to see some singular thinking in the debut director field, where Joe Cornish won for "Attack the Block." Even if I didn't like the film (which I didn't, really), it's an outside-the-box pick and that's commendable this time of year.

Check out the full list of winners below with my real-time commentary scattered throughout. With the Boston critics, the NYFCO and the AFI top 10 list out of the way, we have one more group to finish out the day: the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

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"Bridesmaids" made the cut, just like "The Hangover" two years ago.
"Bridesmaids" made the cut, just like "The Hangover" two years ago.
Credit: Universal Pictures

'Bridesmaids,' 'The Help' among films cited for AFI's 2011 top 10 list

'The Artist' and 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' among those not eligible

The American Film Institute has issued its top 10 films of the year, and as always, ineligibilities (only US productions can make the cut) made it an easy field for dubious contenders to slide in.

I'm still embargoed on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," despite the fact that it's been reviewed and has popped up in a few year-end superlative lists, but it's on there. It shouldn't be, but it is. So is "Bridesmaids," which is just odd.

I don't know, what can you say about this list at this point? Year after year it leads the charge of dubious studio product and token indies, and rarely manages to cite the best from either field. How do you not stand up for "Beginners" or something? Anyway, it's just another notch in the 2011 awards season belt, so check out the full list of films below and feel free to move on to the next thing.

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"The Artist" picks up yet another critics prize for Best Picture. Are we seeing a victory march to Oscar?
"The Artist" picks up yet another critics prize for Best Picture. Are we seeing a victory march to Oscar?
Credit: The Weinstein Company

'The Artist,' Scorsese, Pitt and Williams win top honors from Boston critics

'Margaret' was so close it hurts

The Boston Society of Film Critics dished out its annual list of kudos this morning amid a flurry of other groups doing the same. Last year they stood out somewhat by handing Juliette Lewis their Best Supporting Actress prize for "Conviction," and this year, they went their own way in a couple of areas, which was nice to see.

Throughout the voting, it was clear that "Margaret" was a favorite film among the crowd. Unfortunately it could only manage a few runner-up citations and never won a prize, but it's so wonderful to know that it was so seriously considered.

The big winner of the day was "The Artist," which won the Best Picture prize despite "Hugo" and "Margaret" looking like obvious favorites throughout the vote. On the latter, whoever was updating the BSFC's Twitter account wrote: "It's worth noting that many of us couldn't see MARGARET because the studio did not issue screeners and there was only 1 screening." If only Fox Searchlight had thrown some level of interest behind this film, it could have been a player. Maybe someone will stick up for it still. We'll see.

Check out the full list of winners with my real-time commentary below.

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<p>Gary Oldman (left)&nbsp;and John&nbsp;Hurt in &quot;Tinker, Tailor,&nbsp;Soldier, Spy&quot;</p>

Gary Oldman (left) and John Hurt in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

Credit: Focus Features

Tell us what you thought of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

The film hits theaters this weekend

I meant to have this post up on Friday, but Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" opened on Friday and it's time to get reactions. I'd say it's been thoroughly covered around these parts. Guy was a fan at Venice fest. I dug it as well. We also spoke to Gary Oldman and listed his best performances to date. But now it's time to hear what you have to say. If you get around to the film this weekend, come on back here and give us your perspective.

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