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'Foxcatcher' writer Dan Futterman recalls Mike Nichols' case of the 'Birdcage' giggles

'Foxcatcher' writer Dan Futterman recalls Mike Nichols' case of the 'Birdcage' giggles

He's on the circuit as a writer but he had a front row seat to fireworks as an actor

When we lost Robin Williams and Mike Nichols this year, I couldn't help but feel an added pang of sadness as the talented actor and director each gifted us with one of the great comedies of the 1990s: "The Birdcage." The film boasts one of my favorite awards season victories, in fact, a Screen Actors Guild win for Best Ensemble at the industry organization's third annual ceremony in 1997. One of the individuals who shared in that victory was Dan Futterman, who finds himself on the circuit again this year as a screenwriter on Bennet Miller's "Foxcatcher."

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2014 movies that won't make my list - vampires, emo auteurs, and big laughs

I hate to specifically disappoint Jenni Miller, but when she was guessing at films on my list for this year, she mentioned Jim Jarmusch. For me, though, "Only Lovers Left Alive" qualified for last year's list, and while it didn't make my top ten, I am a fan of the film.

One of the things I love about it is that it managed to be a straight-faced take on vampires and still somehow avoided cliche. It felt fresh because it was so simple, so unafraid of the archetypes. On the other hand, knowing those cliches isn't a bad thing every time. Take the example of "What We Do In The Shadows," the wicked mockumentary about a house full of vampires living in modern-day New Zealand. It is a painfully funny film, and one of the things I love about it is how they manage to tweak each and every iteration of the pop culture vampire using each of the characters in the house.

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'So You Think You Can Dance': Mary Murphy leaving, Paula Abdul joining?
Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance': Mary Murphy leaving, Paula Abdul joining?

Rainn Wilson is a 'Total Dick' in “Backstrom” ad

“So You Think You Can Dance”: Mary Murphy leaving, Paula Abdul joining?
Long-time “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Murphy “may be leaving,” according to Deadline. And Fox and the producers are considering former “Idol” judge Abdul, though no formal talks have been held.


Rainn Wilson is a “Total Dick” in “Backstrom” ad
The “Brilliant detective, total dick” ad is the latest Fox attempt at a profane marketing. Over the summer, “scary bitch” was used to promote “Red Band Society.”


Michael Sam will talk his Oprah about his experience in NFL locker rooms
Sam, who has been cut by the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys, will sit down with Oprah for an OWN special airing Dec. 27. Sam originally was supposed to star in an Oprah reality show about his attempt to join the NFL.


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Coming up for air

See, this is what happens.

I am nothing but good intentions. But real life has a way of climbing all over those good intentions and kicking me around a bit. In this case, it's just been a labor-intensive week, and everything's been focused on finishing that top ten list, as well as the worst of list for next week.

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<p>Key &amp; Peele</p>

Key & Peele

Credit: Comedy Central

Review: How 'Key & Peele' went amazingly, wonderfully grim in season 4

Comedy Central sketch series took on a more morbid but rewarding tone

"Key & Peele" tweaked its format for its fourth season, whose finale aired last night(*). The main title sequence was replaced by one that spoofed the "True Detective" opening credits, and the live audience stand-up segments were replaced by Key and Peele bantering on an endless road trip through the desert. The driving scenes serve the same function as the ones with the audience — setting up the themes of sketches, and giving viewers a sense of the chameleon-like stars' real personalities — and are likely cheaper and easier to produce. But the two changes felt more than merely cosmetic/logistical. Instead, they seemed like the perfect aesthetic shift to reflect the much heavier comic tone of this season.

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Sony Classics' Michael Barker responds to 'Foxcatcher's' SAG and Golden Globes surge

Sony Classics' Michael Barker responds to 'Foxcatcher's' SAG and Golden Globes surge

'You take this stuff as it comes,' he says of early critics opting out

As Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker tends to put it, mornings like these always turn out to be bittersweet. Because for all of the attention that movies like "Foxcatcher," "Leviathan," "Still Alice" and "Whiplash" may have received from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — a nice cross-section representing the diversity of the SPC slate — there are others like "Mr. Turner," "Saint Laurent" and "Wild Tales" left on the sidelines. But "Foxcatcher" in particular is surging as of late, no thanks to the early critics groups that have virtually ignored the film.

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Eddie Redmayne learned he was a Golden Globe nominee while Christmas shopping

Eddie Redmayne learned he was a Golden Globe nominee while Christmas shopping

Brit talks about how 'weird' awards season is

Most Golden Globe nominees were trying to wake up at a God-awful hour on the west coast this morning. Many were doing the same at a more reasonable time in New York. Best Actor in a Drama nominee, SAG Awards nominee and "Theory of Everything" star Eddie Redmayne? Well, Christmas shopping came first.

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Unbroken
Credit: Universal Pictures

2015 Golden Globes nominees snubs and surprises: What happened to 'Unbroken?'

Plus: What happened to Julia Roberts, Helen Mirren and Amy Poehler

Thursday morning, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association woke every awards season addict up at the crack of dawn to announce the nominees for the 72nd Golden Globe Awards. For those following every step on the road to the Oscars, many of the nominations were predictable and safe. But even the HFPA goes off the rails sometimes, making bold and baffling choices that can shake up the race.

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<p>Sofia Vergara of &quot;Modern Family&quot;</p>

Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family"

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Modern Family,' 'Criminal Minds' lead Wednesday as 'Arrow' dips

'Nashville' wins the 10 p.m. hour in the key demo

Fast National ratings for Wednesday, December 10, 2014.

"Criminal Minds" was Wednesday's most watched show, while "Modern Family" was tops in young viewers, leading CBS and ABC to split primetime.

All of ABC's comedies bounced back after slow performances last week, with "The Middle" even rising into a tie among young viewers with "The Goldbergs."

Meanwhile, The CW's "Arrow" was up from two episodes ago, but lost much of last week's "Flash" bump.

On to the numbers...

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Rick Springfield: I’ve joined 'True Detective'
Credit: Associated Press

Rick Springfield: I’ve joined 'True Detective'

'South Park' tackles the Bill Cosby rape scandal with Taylor Swift

Rick Springfield: I’ve joined “True Detective”
The “Jessie’s Girl” singer announced on Twitter that he’s part of Season 2 of the HBO series. No word on his role, but Springfield likes to dabble into acting. He played Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital,” he was himself on “Californication” and he was a guest-star this year on “Drop Dead Diva."


Golden Globes continues its trend of celebrating new TV — while tossing aside last year’s celebrated new TV
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” which won two Golden Globes in January, didn’t even get nominated this year, while new shows like “Jane the Virgin,” “The Affair,” “Silicon Valley and “Transparent” earned nominations. PLUS: 4 of 5 comedy/musical noms have female showrunners, more snubs include Julia Roberts and Kerry Washington, and even more snubs.


“South Park” tackles the Bill Cosby rape scandal with Taylor Swift
Watch “Cosby" serenade Taylor Swift with "Baby, It's Cold Outside."


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'Birdman' director says it's important to stay busy during ego-stroking awards season

'Birdman' director says it's important to stay busy during ego-stroking awards season

'It's insane to be in the middle of the storm.'

Alejandro González Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have done something outrageous. They've made a film like "Birdman" and then gone off to Calgary to shoot a film in the middle of the awards season. Anyone trying to get Lubezki on the phone in particular, it's impossible. I've come *this* close to hopping in the car and driving into Alberta myself for a "Searching for Chivo" piece or what have you. But it's also recommended, I think, to stay busy when you have a film in the thick of the Oscar race, as these two do.

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Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, and more react to 2015 Golden Globes nominations

Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, and more react to 2015 Golden Globes nominations

Hear what the stars have to say about their noms.

If you woke up one morning to learn that you scored a Best Actor or Actress nomination at the Golden Globes, you’d be excited. Well, guess what? Famous people: They’re just like us. 

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