It happens pretty much every year: some adorable animal in one of the year's major awards titles charms critics enough that its "performance" places in various year-end polls, while others make irony-laced calls for awards recognition. Two years ago it was that craven red-carpet whore Uggie; this year, it's the cat/s of "Inside Llewyn Davis" that has surfaced in the Indiewire critics' poll for Best Supporting Performance. Joe Reid, albeit with his own tongue fairly far in cheek, is tired of the joke: "Handing an Academy Award to your cat is something to do when you're eight years old and holding pretend Academy Awards in your bedroom, because you're an only gay child who just wants to re-enact the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted 1998 Oscars, and the cat makes a better Gwyneth Paltrow than you do." The old Billy DeWolfe song "Don't Dress Your Cat in an Apron" comes to mind. [The Wire]
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Kurt Sutter had "Sons of Anarchy's" Season 6 finale shocker planned for years
"I knew early on in the series," he says. "I won't say from the very beginning, but fairly early on ... Obviously, I wasn’t quite sure of the circumstances that would get us there, but I knew that that’s what we were ultimately writing towards." PLUS: Maggie Siff on how she prepared for the finale, Sutter is surprised by hatred toward Tara, Rockmond Dunbar and Theo Rossi talk about their pivotal scenes, and Katey Sagal talks "Team Gemma."
If you happened to watch "Saturday Night Live" last weekend, you might have caught the show's spoof on the recent trend of African-American themed holiday films entitled "White Christmas." The skit featured Paul Rudd as a Caucasian version of Tyler Perry's signature Madea character as well as also poking fun at the box office smash "The Best Man Holiday." Conveniently, HitFix spoke to Perry, who was promoting "A Madea Christmas," less than 12 hours after the skit aired and asked him what his reaction was.
When I first started writing about movies online, we were smack-dab in the middle of the first era of Mike De Luca. At that point, he was the enfant terrible of New Line Pictures, the guy who helped transform them from a sort of low-grade exploitation house into the studio that ended up winning Best Picture with "Return Of The King." De Luca was the risk-taker, the guy who championed films like "Boogie Nights," and along with Richard Brener and Stokely Chafin, he built New Line into something bigger and better than just "the house that Freddy built."
De Luca was young, though, and he embraced a certain kind of lifestyle that led to bad press, fair or unfair. He became a liability for the company, and he eventually left under a dark cloud. It has taken him years to build himself back up, and he's done it by working hard and completely rebuilding his image in the industry. When he was just promoted to co-president of production for Sony Pictures, it was a major, major moment for him, a redemption fulfilled, and it happens at a moment where the industry could use a guy with the same sort of edgy sensibilities that made him such a superstar in the first place.
Forgive me if this goes astray, but I'm still working through my stages of grief over this "Sons of Anarchy" finale. I'm currently on depression, and hoping that writing this will move me toward acceptance.
[Here's an obligatory spoiler alert if you decided to click on an article about the "Sons of Anarchy" finale and yet don't want to know a thing about it. I'm not going to bury the lede because it's really the only thing worth talking about. Most of this episode was extremely slow and incredibly boring.]
It's not a new trick to put Oscar contenders that have mostly come and gone from the multiplex back into theaters this time of year. It can often help regain steam heading into the voting period or, better yet, rack up on extra box office dollars in the latter-year fog of awards season.
Today, Sony Classics and Sony Pictures each announced that Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" and Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips," respectively, would be heading back to screens. Allen's film, which features a Cate Blanchett performance that has been dominating on the critics circuit and may well win the Oscar, will re-release into 300 theaters this weekend, while Greengrass' gripping account of Somali piracy off the coast of Africa starring Tom Hanks will expand into a whopping 1,000 theaters on January 15, just one day before the Oscar nominations.
Those who have seen Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" have likely taken plenty of pleasure in Mark Orton's musical compositions in the film. The heartland plucking and bowing of strings throughout carries the narrative with a helping of nostalgia and a touch of levity and you might end up humming this or that tune on your way out of the theater. But what you might not know is that the music is not original to the film.
In our last recap, I talked about my mounting frustration with "Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and part of my problem was the fact that it feels like they've been stuck in neutral so far. While they've certainly spent time setting up various story threads, it's all felt fairly low-stakes so far, and even the episodes I've enjoyed haven't really felt like they were compelling me to watch.
This week, the last new episode of 2013, seems to be the moment where everything they've done so far comes together, and by the end of the episode, they've essentially promised to answer the show's big questions in the very near future. Based on a quick scan of Twitter, many fans finally felt vindicated by tonight's episode, and it certainly felt like a major turning point for the series. Is it too little too late, or is this what they've been building towards the entire time?
When started working on reviewing this show this year, it was with the second week it aired, and I stated at that point that it felt like there were three big ongoing storylines for the year. In order, they were: (1) Who or what created the Centipede? (2) How did Agent Coulson really return from the dead? (3) Is Skye who she claims to be?
Tomorrow, the Oscar race takes a significant turn, as we move beyond the critics' awards -- though there are still plenty of those to come, of course -- and into the realm of industry opinion. The Screen Actors Guilds are the first taste we get of peer voting, and more often than not, the Academy echoes their selections with only a couple of exceptions -- not least because the bodies share a not-inconsiderable number of voters.
NBC will re-air "Sound of Music Live" on Saturday
Meanwhile, the original broadcast has now surpassed 21 million viewers, with three million watching via DVR. PLUS: Why NBC should pick "Cinderella" with Beyonce for next year's live musical.
"Sons of Anarchy's" Tara has become a target of "fan-bros"
Maggie Siff's character has become the new Skyler from "Breaking Bad" -- the latest female to be demonized for getting in the way of the bad-boy protagonist. As Siff herself put it, "I think it’s the hostility that’s the most disturbing thing — the amount of vehemence or anger or righteousness that people can feel when they say, 'She should be shot. She should be killed.'"
"Suits" star Patrick J. Adams gets to guest on one of his fave shows, "Orphan Black"
Months ago, Adams tweeted that the BBC America series "is a masterclass in all things television. I’m a better actor after watching Tatiana work."
Has hate-watching become a ratings strategy?
It seems to be working with programming like "Sound of Music Live" and "Bonnie and Clyde."
Jenna Fischer and Judith Light to star in Neil LaBute's DirecTV short film series
They'll each star in a 10-minute short film.
Discovery mulls owning Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel
Discovery Communications is considering an offer to acquire Scripps Networks.
Former "Walking Dead"/"Vampire Diaries" actress pleads guilty to sending ricin to Obama
Shannon Guess Richardson, who played small guest roles on both shows, pleaded guilty so that she wouldn't serve more than 18 years in prison.
E! announces a 2-hour "I Am Britney Jean" documentary starring Britney Spears
The Dec. 22 film will go behind the scenes of Britney's new Las Vegas show.
John Oliver promises a "fantastic explanation" for his "Community" absence
The explanation, he says, "makes simultaneously complete sense, as well as no sense whatsoever."
Has "The Voice" ruined itself with overproduction?
The NBC reality show no longer seems to be about finding a "voice."
Bette Midler as Mae West: Should an icon play an icon?
While Midler seems perfect for the HBO role, it'll be hard separating her from the classic screen star.
Jennifer Lawrence used "Real Housewives of New Jersey" for inspiration in her new movie
Her "American Hustle" accent may be based on the Bravo reality show.
"Bible-mafia" drama series "King David" is in the works
eOne's "King David" plans to mash up the mafia and the bible.
Peter Capaldi's "Doctor Who" costume will mix the old and the new
The costume, which is being kept under wraps, will try to give a nod to Capaldi being the oldest Doctor, while also looking towards the future. PLUS: "Who" meets "Powerpuff Girls."
Katie Couric admits she screwed up with her HPV vaccine episode
"We simply spent too much time on the serious adverse events that have been reported in very rare cases following the vaccine," she wrote on The Huffington Post. "More emphasis should have been given to the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccines."
Meet "The Real World: Ex-Plosion" cast, plus their exes
MTV has put up a video of the seven strangers and their former significant others. PLUS: Check out the interior decoration of the new "Real World" house.
"Crocodile Hunter" gets autotuned
Watch a tribute to the late Steve Irwin.
Watch a preview of "Broad City"
The Comedy Central show from producer Amy Poehler premieres Jan. 22.
"SYTYCD" stars wed
Stephen "Twitch" Boss and Allison Holker tied the knot today at Nigel Lythgoe's winery.