Latest Blog Posts



Credit: Magnolia Pictures

'Melancholia' and 'The Artist' receive multiple European Film Award nominations

Tilda Swinton, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Firth among acting nominees
"Melancholia," "The King's Speech" and "The Artist" are among the top nominees for this year's European Film Awards.
Lars Von Trier's existential apocalypse drama received nods in the film, director and two acting categories (for Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg). "The King's Speech," last year's big Oscar winner, earned nominations for film, lead actor Colin Firth and composer Alexandre Desplat, among others. The latest from favored Euro auteurs like Susanne Bier, Bela Tarr,  Aki Kaurismäki and The Dardennes Brothers also picked up multiple noms. Tilda Swinton also received notice for her work in "We Need to Talk About Kevin."
The European Film Academy and EFA Productions announced the nominations Saturday at the Seville European Film Festival. 
EFA Members will now vote for the winners in each category. The awards will be presented December 3 in Berlin.
It should be noted the the EFAs are rarely indicative of the Academy Awards nominations. Last year's EFAs were dominated by Roman Polanski's "Ghost Writer," which failed to receive a single Oscar nomination. 
Here is the complete list of nominees:
"The Artist", France
Written & Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius
Produced by: Thomas Langmann & Emmanuel Montamat
"Le Gamin Au Velo" ("The Kid With a Bike"), Belgium/France/Italy
Written & Directed by: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Produced by: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd & Andrea Occhipinti
"Haeven" ("In a Better World"), Denmark
Directed by: Susanne Bier
Written by: Anders Thomas Jensen
Produced by: Sisse Graum Jørgensen
"The King's Speech", UK
Directed by: Tom Hooper
Written by: David Seidler
Produced by: Iain Canning, Emile Sherman, Gareth Unwin
"Le Havre", Finland/France/Germany
Written & Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki
Produced by: Aki Kaurismäki & Karl Baumgartner
"Melancholia", Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany
Written & Directed by: Lars von Trier
Produced by: Meta Louise Foldager & Louise Vesth
Susanne Bier for "Haeven" ("In a Better World")
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne for "Le Gami Au Velo" ("The Kid with a Bike")
Aki Kaurismäki for "Le Havre"
Béla Tarr for "A Torinoi Lo" ("The Turin Horse")
Lars von Trier for "Melancholia"
Kirsten Dunst in "Melancholia"
Cécile de France in "Le Gami Au Velo" ("The Kid with a Bike")
Charlotte Gainsbourg in "Melancholia"
Nadezhda Markina in "Elena"
Tilda Swinton in "We Need To Talk About Kevin"
Jean Dujardin in "The Artist" 
Colin Firth in "The King's Speech"
Mikael Persbrandt in "Haeven" ("In a Better World")                  
Michel Piccoli in "Habemus Papam"                  
André Wilms in "Le Havre"
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne for "Le Gami Au Velo" ("The Kid with a Bike")                  
Anders Thomas Jensen for "Haeven" ("In a Better World")
Aki Kaurismäki for "Le Havre"
Lars von Trier for "Melancholia"
Manuel Alberto Claro for "Melancholia"
Fred Kelemen for "A Torinoi Lo" ("The Turin Horse")
Guillaume Schiffman for "The Artist"
Adam Sikora for "Essential Killing"
Tariq Anwar for "The King's Speech"
Mathilde Bonnefoy for "Drei" ("Three")
Molly Malene Stensgaard for "Melancholia"
Paola Bizzarri for "Habemus Papam"                 
Antxón Gómez for "La Piel Que Habito" ("The Skin I Live In")
Jette Lehmann for "Melancholia"
Ludovic Bource for "The Artist"
Alexandre Desplat for "The King's Speech"
Alberto Iglesias for "La Piel Que Habito" ("The Skin I Live In")
Mihály Vig for "A Torinoi Lo" ("The Turin Horse")
Read Full Post
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>


Watch: Producers John and Morgan Langley talk 'Cops'

What would producers do if cops ever came for THEM?
I'll admit it: I don't usually write about "Cops" and I don't usually watch "Cops," but last month I had a really fun sit-down with "Cops" executive producers John and Morgan Langley.
This interview isn't particularly timely, since "Cops" premiered back in September -- due to baseball and "America's Most Wanted" pre-emptions, it feels like I've been waiting for six weeks to post -- and my intro question pertains [very loosely] to that premiere, but most of the interview is everygreen and I think it's really funny in places. 
I feel like I could have talked to John and Morgan for hours, because even though "Cops" isn't a show I regularly DVR, it's a phenomenon that's fascinating, especially with the show in its mind-boggling 24th season.
In this interview, we talk about the "Cops" phenomenon and I also get to ask the key pressing question: What would the Langleys do if the cops came for THEM. 
Find out that answer and more in this interview...
Read Full Post
<p>Rachel Weisz and Bill Nighy in &quot;Page Eight.&quot;</p>

Rachel Weisz and Bill Nighy in "Page Eight."

Credit: PBS

Review: All-star cast shines in 'Masterpiece' film 'Page Eight'

Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes headline espionage drama

Johnny Worricker, the hero of the new "Masterpiece Contemporary" film "Page Eight" (Sunday at 9 on PBS), is in British intelligence, but not in the James Bond sense. He may occasionally don a tuxedo for professional reasons, and he's irresistible to a certain kind of woman (the lonely kind, mostly), but his job is to sit at a desk, study the reports that come across it, and figure out what they mean.

And it's a specific piece of paper that gives "Page Eight" both its title and its central conflict. Johnny has been in the game a long time, as has his boss and best friend Benedict, and while those years add wisdom, they can also create ennui. So it takes Johnny quite a while to notice there's something very wrong on page eight of his latest report, and even longer to realize what that means and what he has to do about it.

Read Full Post
<p>Anson Mount of &quot;Hell on Wheels&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Anson Mount of "Hell on Wheels"

Credit: AMC

HitFix Interview: Anson Mount talks 'Hell on Wheels'

AMC's new Western hero talks Clint Eastwood, Common and more
"Dude, I wasn't just thinking of Eastwood, I was stealing from Eastwood," Anson Mount laughs when I ask about the iconic Western influences on his revenge-minded central character in the new AMC drama "Hell on Wheels."
That's never a bad place to start.
Set in 1865 along the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad, "Hell on Wheels" is also the story of Cullen Bohannon (Mount), a former Confederate out to avenge his wife's death. He's a violent, tormented guy who finds himself in the midst of the lawless traveling town that gives the show its name.
Mount previously toplined a string of short-lived network shows that ranged from highly respected (ABC's "Line of Fire") to instantly forgotten (The WB's "The Mountain") all while getting seasoned for his first cable vehicle.
Earlier this week, I caught up with the impressively candid Mount, who was in Savannah for their local film festival, via phone to talk about this dark new role.
Click through for the complete interview...
Read Full Post
<p>Justin Bieber</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Justin Bieber

Credit: Enrique Castro Mendivil/AP

Justin Bieber may get more than a kiss on next week's Billboard 200 with 'Mistletoe'

Wale, Susan Boyle and Miranda Lambert all come on strong

Justin Bieber is getting an early Christmas present next week: no, not a bundle of joy, but rather a No. 1 album as “Under The Mistletoe” is on target to sell up to 220,000 copies.

That would make the title Bieber’s third No. 1 album. And he’s only 17. But “Mistletoe” is only one of six new titles revamping the top 10 of the Billboard 200 next week.  Bolstered by the success of hit single, “That Way,” rapper Wale could see “Ambition” blast onto the chart at No. 2, with sales of as much as 175,000 copies. That’s certainly a nice leap from his last album, which peaked at No. 21, according to Billboard.

Susan Boyle’s “Someone To Watch Over Me,” also looks strong with the potential to sell 150,000 in its opening frame. Boyle has become a standby for fourth quarter releases since capturing the world’s attention on “Britain’s Got Talent.”

Read Full Post
<p>Christine of &quot;Survivor: South Pacific&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Christine of "Survivor: South Pacific"

Credit: CBS

HitFix Interview: Christine Markoski talks 'Survivor: South Pacific'

What was it like spending two weeks on Redemption Island?
For most the pre-Merge segment of this season, there were effectively three tribes: There was the Upolu tribe, featuring the returning Benjamin "Coach" Wade. There was the Savaii tribe, featuring Ozzy Lusth. And finally, there was the Redemption Island tribe, which was basically Christine Markoski and whoever happened to be visiting her. 
After initially describing Coach as "temporary" and putting a target on her back, Christine was the second player voted out this season, but she followed torch-snuffing by going on run that saw her win five consecutive Duels.
Christine's run of Duel supremacy was so impressive that it prompted Ozzy to voluntarily get voted out just to beat her on Redemption Island, despite Christine's not-so-secret hostility towards her former Upolu mates. 
Regardless of the logic behind his decision, Ozzy's move didn't backfire and he defeated Christine on Wednesday's episode.
In our exit interview, Christine talked about making Redemption Island home, Ozzy's gamble and whether she'd still call Coach "temporary" if she had a do-over.
Click through...
Read Full Post
<p>Connie Nielsen in &quot;Boss.&quot;</p>

Connie Nielsen in "Boss."

Credit: Starz

'Boss' - 'Swallow': Old gray mayor

Tom has another message for his doctor, and the gubernatorial race turns ugly

A quick review of tonight's "Boss" coming up just as soon as I compare myself to Hitchcock...

Read Full Post
<p>Joshua Jackson of &quot;Fringe&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Joshua Jackson of "Fringe"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Novation'

Peter returns, but the some of this season's problems remain

We learned last week that The Observers are probably St. Louis Cardinals fans. How else to explain the machinations that led to the delay of this week’s “Fringe”? Maybe the return of Peter Bishop to the show prompted them to realize that they needed to interfere more, not less, with the course of human history. Who knows? In any case, we’re back tonight with “Novation,” an episode that re-inserted Peter Bishop into the mix but didn’t really solve any of the problems that his absence created. If that sentence makes your blood boil, don’t bother to read on. I promise I won’t take it personally. For the rest of you? Let’s continue.

It’s only fitting that the title of the episode comes from the legal system. Novation refers to the replacement of one obligation with a new one, or replacing a party involved in said obligation with a new member. Given the shapeshifting nature of tonight’s plot, the title is clearly meant to be ironic. But the tortured definition offers a few sentences ago speaks volumes about the insane narrative weight under which the show is currently operating. If the title of the episode meant to evoke the ways in which the new breed of shapeshifters can weave their way even more insidiously into our world, it also evoked the reality that Peter’s presence only leads to a new set of conundrums to replace the old ones.

Read Full Post
<p>Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski)&nbsp;goes climbing on &quot;Chuck.&quot;</p>

Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) goes climbing on "Chuck."

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Bearded Bandit': With great power...

Morgan gets cocky, Casey gets a competitor, and Captain Awesome gets a commercial opportunity

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I come back from four weeks of snorkling and sexual experimentation in Hawaii…

Read Full Post
<p>Real Estate</p>

Real Estate

Song Of The Day: Real Estate's 'It's Real' music video is for the dogs

Indie-pop-rock group's 'Days' already out

Real Estate's first music video from new record "Days" is for the dogs.

Beginning with what appears to be a Ralph Lauren commercial circa 1987 tumults into an amiable Twilight Zone of happy pooches in "It's Real." The clip was shot in Livingston, N.Y. and directed by Weird Days, who named themselves keenly.

Read Full Post
<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

2011 CMA Awards Predictions: Will Taylor Swift win big? Blake Shelton?

Who takes home entertainer of the year?

The 45th Annual CMA Awards, country music’s equivalent to the Grammys, will air Nov. 9 on ABC. The performance-packed show already has a number of potential water cooler moments, including Keith Urban, Brad Paisley and Vince Gill’s salute to Glen Campbell;  Lionel Richie singing a number of his hits with top country artists (all of whom appear on his forthcoming country album); the past and present meeting in Blake Shelton and Kenny Loggins’ duet on “Footloose, ” and appearances by Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, American Idols’ Scotty McCreery, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert. No Gwyneth Paltrow repeat performance though.

In between the singing, they’ll give away a few awards. Here are my predictions for the winners. It’s a tough year with no clear front runner in many categories (I left out vocal group since Sugarland is a lock). Tune back here the night of the show as I’ll be blogging the proceedings live.

Single of the Year (award goes to artist and producer)
“A Little Bit Stronger,” Sara Evans
“Colder Weather,” Zac Brown Band
“Don’t You Wanna Stay,” Jason Aldean with Kelly Clarkson
“Honey Bee,” Blake Shelton
“If I Die Young,” The Band Perry

“If I Die Young” has a lock on song of the year, but I don’t know if it has the same hold on single in this very competitive category.  Plus, I don’t understand why “Dirt Road Anthem” isn’t on this list as it would be my winner. All the songs were huge hits and my favorite is “Colder Weather,” but probably only because it would have made a great James Taylor tune (loved his duet with ZBB on it, by the way). Shelton’s performance on the sweet, uncomplicated  “Honey Bee” is classic country.
Winner:  “Honey Bee,” Blake Shelton

Album of the Year

“All About Tonight,” Blake Shelton
“My Kinda Party,” Jason Aldean
“Speak Now,” Taylor Swift
“This Is Country Music,” Brad Paisley
“You Get What You Give,” Zac Brown Band

This is between “My Kinda Party,” which has stayed in the top 5 of the Billboard country albums chart for a full year and really marked Aldean’s breakthrough, and “Speak Now,” which started out incredibly strong (1 million its first week) and has still sold tremendously well. I don’t know if an artist on an indie label has ever won this award so Aldean may be the first to do so, however, we think Swift will prevail.
Winner: “Speak Now”

Song of the Year (award goes to songwriters)

“Colder Weather” (Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey and Coy Bowles)
“Dirt Road Anthem” (Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford)
“If I Die Young” (Kimberly Perry)
“Mean” (Taylor Swift)
“You And Tequila” (Matraca Berg and Deana Carter)

Nice batch of tunes and it’s nice to see some not so usual names here among the songwriters. “You and Tequila” is my personal favorite here, but there is no denying the impact that “If I Die Young” has had in terms of its poignancy and potency: “The sharp knife of a short life...”
Winner: “If I Die Young”

Read Full Post
<p>AMPAS pays tribute to Vanessa Redgrave in London on November 13.</p>

AMPAS pays tribute to Vanessa Redgrave in London on November 13.

Credit: Premier PR

AMPAS to salute Vanessa Redgrave in London

Could tribute be followed up with an Oscar for 'Coriolanus?'

A couple of things are unusual about the Academy Salute to Vanessa Redgrave, an AMPAS tribute evening (not to be confused with the Governors' Awards) dedicated to the Oscar-winning British acting legend, and taking place next Sunday. For one thing, it's being held in London, where Redgrave is currently performing on stage in a West End revival of "Driving Miss Daisy" -- the first time one of these AMPAS Salutes has taken place outside the US. (Which is lucky for me: I've got an invite.)

Furthermore, I can't remember the last time one of these evenings -- which have in recent years been held for the likes of Malcolm McDowell, Robert Evans and the late Hal Ashby -- was staged for someone already in the thick of Oscar talk that year: Redgrave is currently a Best Supporting Actress frontrunner for her tremendous performance in Ralph Fiennes's revisionist Shakespeare adaptation "Coriolanus." A tribute evening like this has no real bearing on the awards themselves, but this is nonetheless a nice bit of lily-gilding to kick off what promises to be a busy awards season for the veteran actress.

Read Full Post