Latest Blog Posts

<p>Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in &quot;Blue Jasmine.&quot;</p>

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin in "Blue Jasmine."

Credit: Sony Classics

Roundup: Why studios need to get creative with the calendar

Also: Dressing '12 Years a Slave,' and January wasteland gems

"It makes no sense to me that Hollywood distributors mark off particular times of year as no-go zones for major theatrical releases. That practice serves only to tell our audiences to stop paying attention at certain times of the year -- and that benefits nobody." So writes National Association of Theater Owners president John Fithian, in a piece where he looks over the 2013 release calendar, and calls for distributors to be more creative with their scheduling, citing "Blue Jasmine" and "Gravity" as examples of films that bucked conventional programming wisdom to great effect, and the summer animation glut as an example of tentpole excess. [Hollywood Reporter]

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<p>Dane DeHaan in &quot;Kill Your Darlings.&quot;</p>

Dane DeHaan in "Kill Your Darlings."

Credit: Sony Classics

BAFTA picks Rising Star nominees, including Dane DeHaan and Lea Seydoux

Winner will be chosen by the public

The BAFTA nominations in all other film categories will be announced on Wednesday, but the British Academy got the ball rolling this morning will the five nominees for their Rising Star Award -- now in its ninth year, and the only BAFTA category in which the winner is determined by a public vote. The nominees, meanwhile, are chosen by a jury of journalists and industry professionals, which this year included Gemma Arterton (a nominee herself for the award a few years ago), producer Pete Czernin ("The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel") and chairwoman Pippa Harris, deputy head of BAFTA's film committee. And the five names they've chosen are...

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Seth Meyers unveils his 1st 'Late Night' promo

Seth Meyers unveils his 1st "Late Night" promo
"Basically, I'm moving 30 feet," says Meyers.

"Celebrity Big Brother" scolds Evander Holyfield for comparing gays to disabled people

The former heavyweight champion was given an official warning for his "homophobic comments."

Charlie Sheen calls Ashton Kutcher "lame"

Sheen wrote a "hey Jon!!!" tweet to Jon Cryer, and asked: "who's your lame side-kik?"

"Girls" joins Snapchat to send fans silly photos
"This season, we're living snappily whatever after," says the "Girls" Twitter account.

"The Good Wife" cast makes a "Tricky Trick" music video
Watch the cast dance in a video based on Sunday's episode.

NYPD's new commissioner tells Tom Selleck he's making a "Blue Bloods" uniform mistake
In real life, the NYPD commissioner doesn't wear a police uniform.

"Today" begins an "all-out counteroffensive"
The new media blitz, launching Monday with the tag line "Rise to Shine," is aimed at bringing "Today" back to the top of the morning show ratings.

"Game of Thrones": Check out the new Mountain
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson posted a pic of himself in costume. PLUS: "Thrones" casts a Braavosi captain.

Henry Rollins weighs in on the "Duck Dynasty" controversy
The punk rocker turned History channel star proposes that "Duck" become a gay porn series.

"NCIS: Los Angeles" star Daniela Rush welcomes a son
She gave birth to baby River Isaac on Sunday.

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Dear Academy members: Don't forget these contenders

Dear Academy members: Don't forget these contenders

Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Oscar Isaac, James Franco and more

No one likes to be told what to do, but with just two real days left for Academy members to submit their votes for the 86th Academy Awards ask our Oscar friends to indulge us in some unsolicited advice.  It may be their last chance to do the right thing before history is signed, sealed and delivered.

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Forest Whitaker holds his honor alongside colleagues and presenters Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett.
Forest Whitaker holds his honor alongside colleagues and presenters Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett.
Credit: Getty Images

Forest Whitaker reflects on an amazing year at Santa Barbara Kirk Douglas Award fete

Angela Bassett and Michael B. Jordan turn out to toast the multi-hyphenate

GOLETA, Calif. — Forest Whitaker has a little ritual on the many occasions he has rung in the new year in Santa Barbara. He goes down to the water, sits in the sand with his family, looks out over the ocean and up at the stars, and he reflects on the year that was.

As he transitioned into 2014 last week, there was certainly plenty for the actor to reflect upon. Whether it was giving a SAG-nominated performance in "Lee Daniels' The Butler," appearing in other films like "Black Nativity" and "Out of the Furnace" or producing the critically acclaimed "Fruitvale Station," Whitaker stretched himself considerably in 2013.

He was therefore a perfect choice for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's 8th annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence, which was presented to him at a fundraising dinner in advance of the fest Sunday night.

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"Downton Abbey"

 "Downton Abbey" 

Credit: PBS

'Downton Abbey' recap: Mary struggles after Matthew's death

Baby George isn't enough to shake Mary's grief

Yes, it's finally time for season four of "Downton Abbey" to cross the Atlantic, and while U.K. fans have soaked up the entire season, we'll just have to make due with this week's two-hour premiere. The story picks up six months after Matthew Crawley's untimely death in last season's very unhappy Christmas episode (happy holidays!), and as you might expect, Mary is not her usual, spunky self. At least, not at first. The heavy lifting in this episode seems to be left to our downstairs crew and, yes, Violet (Maggie Smith). It's actually heartening to see everyone trying to help out, given how deadly last season was for our poor (but very rich) Crawleys. But then, it seems everyone realizes that leaving the family (or more specifically, Robert) to their own devices will create a debacle from which Downton can never recover. 

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<p>Jonah Hill</p>

Jonah Hill

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Jonah Hill defends 'Wolf of Wall Street': 'The movie is not glorifying this behavior'

Actor takes on critics of the controversial Martin Scorsese drama

Jonah Hill isn't buying the recent criticisms surrounding "The Wolf of Wall Street."

While being honored at Variety's Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors to Watch brunch in Palm Springs on Sunday, the actor said he doesn't believe the Martin Scorsese drama glorifies the behavior of penny-stock fraudster Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his associates.

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<p>Amy Adams in &quot;American Hustle.&quot;</p>

Amy Adams in "American Hustle."

Credit: Sony Pictures

'12 Years a Slave' tops North Carolina critics' nominations

Amy Adams scores for 'American Hustle,' but not Jennifer Lawrence

Nope, we're not quite done with the regional critics' awards yet. North Carolina has weighed in with their nominations, and while the list reads much as you'd expect -- "12 Years a Slave," of course, leads with seven mentions -- there are a few quirks and variations here and there. Sarah Paulson notches up a Best Supporting Actress nod for "12 Years a Slave," for example, alongside the ubiquitous Lupita Nyong'o, while John Goodman scores a supporting actor bid for "Inside Llewyn Davis." Most refreshing of all is a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Francois Ozon's "In the House," though the film oddly doesn't place in their Best Foreign Language Film category. Full list below; everything else at The Circuit.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in &quot;Gravity&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in "Gravity"

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Gravity' wins four from North Texas film critics

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sandra Bullock take top acting honors

The North Texas Film Critics Association has declared Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" the year's best film. The space drama also received prizes for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Cinematography. Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave"), Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") and Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle" rounded out the acting victories. Check out the full list of winners below and remember to keep track of it all via The Circuit.

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<p>&quot;12 Years a Slave&quot;&nbsp;helmer Steve McQueen receives the Director of the Year Award from star Chiwetel Ejiofor.</p>

"12 Years a Slave" helmer Steve McQueen receives the Director of the Year Award from star Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Credit: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP

Hanks, McConaughey and more take stock of a great year for movies at Palm Springs awards gala

The awards season dives headlong into the new year

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala was held Saturday night and a wide array of stars came out to fete and be feted. Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Jane Fonda, Matthew McConaughey, Gary Oldman, U2's Bono, Amy Adams, Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep were just a few on hand as the Oscar season dived headlong into the new year.

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NBC promotes Fallon's 'Tonight Show' by acknowledging Conan -- while forgetting Leno hosted twice

NBC promotes Fallon's "Tonight Show" by acknowledging Conan -- while forgetting Leno hosted twice
A new promo seems to suggest that Conan O'Brien was Johnny Carson's successor, not Jay Leno.

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<p>Bono speaks at the 25th annual&nbsp;Palm Springs International&nbsp;Film&nbsp;Festival Awards&nbsp;Gala</p>

Bono speaks at the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

Credit: Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP

U2's Bono speaks out on Nelson Mandela and HIV/AIDS intervention at Palm Springs gala

'We are within reach of declaring the first AIDS-free generation.'

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — As part of the 25th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival's awards gala Saturday night, rock superstars U2 were recognized with the organization's Visionary Award, the first time the honor has not gone to a filmmaker. The band, whose original song "Ordinary Love" is featured in the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" have long been associated with activism, particularly in the realm of AIDS intervention and awareness (a cause dear to Nelson Mandela's heart), and in accepting the honor with bandmate Edge at the Palm Springs Convention Center, lead singer Bono took the opportunity to speak at length about the work being done domestically and internationally. What follows is the entirety of his speech.

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