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<p>Alexander Ebert</p>

Alexander Ebert

An epic interview with Alex Ebert on 'All Is Lost,' Golden Globes and Edward Sharpe

Frontman/composer on the history of cool, Oscars, Grammys and that Heath Ledger musical

LOS ANGELES - The score to Robert Redford's quiet, isolated film "All Is Lost" is, as one could expect, quiet and isolated. It's very patient output from composer and songwriter Alex Ebert, whose regular gig in the roving roots rock and psych-pop band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros features him resembling more of a tent revival preacher, a charismatic reveler-leader of a pack 12-strong musicians plus their fervent fans.

So "All Is Lost" is a reflection of alternate abilities, or a weirder, more alienated take on Ebert's knack for headstrong melodies and executions. He's stretched out, too, before in his old project Ima Robot and as a solo act, having released one album, "Alexander," as the latter. But it's this recent film music endeavor that's earned him a Golden Globe Awards nomination, for Best Original Score.

The singer and songwriter and I met in Los Angeles during this hotly contested awards season to talk about the making of the grave "All Is Lost" soundtrack and the evolution of Edward Sharpe, among plenty of other topics like the history of cool, Heath Ledger's creative strengths, derivative works, "selling out," starving art and activism. Below is our abridged Q&A.

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<p>Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in &quot;12 Years a Slave.&quot;</p>

Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Gravity' leads BAFTA nods, '12 Years a Slave' and 'American Hustle' close behind

No love for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Things were close at the top, but thanks to a Best British Film nod that I didn't see coming, "Gravity" leads this year's BAFTA nominations with 11 bids. "12 Years a Slave" and "American Hustle" are close on its heels with 10, as is "Captain Phillips" with nine. Surprising omissions, however, include "Dallas Buyers Club" -- absent from all categories. Full list below; more analysis to come shortly.

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Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams talk about the future in 'Her'

Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams talk about the future in 'Her'

Well, at least Amy does

NEW YORK - I'm somewhat torn as to whether to communicate just how awkward my interview with Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams was for Spike Jonze's masterful "Her" last month. Our video editing team did a wonderful job of making it seem less so, but let's just say that Mr. Phoenix lived up to his well deserved reputation. It's one reason you hear a lot more from the wonderfully charming Ms. Adams in the interview embedded at the top of the post than the movie's leading man. Granted, we were able to discuss a bit about Jonze's vision of a future Los Angeles and the changes to the project through production, but it certainly wasn't what I'd hoped for when I walked in the interview room. Certainly not for a film that ended up at no. 9 on my top ten list of 2013.

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<p>Oscar Isaac picks up another Best Actor prize after winning the NSFC award over the weekend.</p>

Oscar Isaac picks up another Best Actor prize after winning the NSFC award over the weekend.

Credit: CBS Films

'12 Years a Slave,' Alfonso Cuarón win Vancouver critics prizes

And Oscar Isaac lands another lead actor trophy

The Vancouver Film Critics Circle has hopped on the "12 Years a Slave"/Alfonso Cuarón bandwagon, but I'm mostly interested in that Best Actor win for Oscar Isaac. After the guy couldn't get arrested on the circuit, he's finally landed a couple of wins, first from the National Society of Film Critics over the weekend and today with the Vancouver crowd. "Inside Llewyn Davis" also won the group's screenplay prize. Check out the nominees here, the full list of winners below, and remember to keep track of it all via The Circuit.

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<p>Edi Gathegi and Timothy Olyphant in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Edi Gathegi and Timothy Olyphant in "Justified."

Credit: FX

Season premiere review: 'Justified' - 'A Murder of Crowes'

Raylan heads to Florida to deal with Dewey Crowe's family, while Boyd and Wynn go to Detroit

"Justified" is back for a fifth season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I tell you about Tim Horton's...

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<p>Tricia Helfer in &quot;Killer Women.&quot;</p>

Tricia Helfer in "Killer Women."

Credit: ABC

Series premiere talkback: 'Killer Women'

What did everybody think of the new ABC cop show with Tricia Helfer?

Yesterday, I posted my review of ABC's "Killer Women." Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Do you buy Tricia Helfer as a badass, insightful Texas Ranger? Even though Number Six and Anders almost never interacted on "Battlestar Galactica," was it weird to have Michael Trucco in the cast with her? Did you like the chemistry between Helfer and Marc Blucas? Did you like the revelation about her ex-husband? Did the investigation, and the mission south of the border, interest you? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

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Bob Costas: NBC Winter Olympic coverage won't duck Russia's anti-gay laws

Bob Costas: NBC Winter Olympic coverage won't duck Russia's anti-gay laws
"If Putin doesn't drag his butt into the studio," says Costas, "then we'll talk about it without him. But if he shows up, we’d rather talk to him. Wouldn't you rather hear it from the horse's mouth? I would. That's what I was trying to say." PLUS: Once again, NBC won't stream the opening ceremony.

Report: Letterman hopes to have the living Beatles on for a 50th-anniversary Ed Sullivan Theater reunion
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Feb. 6, 1964 Beatles performance, "The Late Show" is considering making the entire week of Feb. 3 to 7 a Beatles-themed week, with guests Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Why "SNL's" black female casting search was a "diversity travesty"
Lorne Michaels made a spectacle of his diversity efforts by creating a "false urgency" to hire a black female, says Andrew Wallenstein. "The minute the show threw open its doors to the process–another rarity–this became a spectacle," he says. "It wasn't just that 'SNL' wanted to right a wrong; it wanted to be seen as righting a wrong." PLUS: "SNL" doesn't deserve praise for doing the right thing, Bobby Moynihan on Sasheer Zamata: "I think we're very, very lucky to get her," and CNN's Don Lemon says she needs to be "a lot funnier than she is black."

Amy Poehler on "SNL" alums hosting everything: "We may all host ourselves to death..."
Poehler and Tina Fey talk about hosting the Golden Globes, the new drinking game and "Saturday Night Live" alums being everywhere, hosting-wise. Plus, Fey talks about the racial controversy, while Poehler declines.

"Modern Family" books Aisha Tyler
She'll play Mitch's former law school classmate.

"Game of Thrones" promotes Michael Huisman for Season 5

He's taking over the role of Daario Naharis in Season 4.

Ex-"Bachelor" contestant: Producers manipulated me into behaving like a bimbo
Kylie Lewis says producers decided she should dye her hair red and wear a pink dress, while also tweeting about meeting Juan Pablo. PLUS: Ex-"Bachelorette" Emily Maynard gets engaged.

Kitten Bowl starting lineup includes: Terry Bradclaw, Tim Teepaw, Tomcat Brady

See the entire lineup for the Hallmark Channel event.

"Sons of Anarchy" makes Drea de Matteo a series regular
She'll be promoted for the final season.

Brandon Routh gets "Enlisted"
The former Superman will guest on two episodes of the Fox military comedy as a sergeant.

"Pushing Daisies" alum Anna Friel to star in NBC's "Odyssey"

She'll play a stranded female soldier in the "Traffic"-like drama project from Peter Horton.

Jason Biggs has a Twitter meltdown over "The Bachelor"

Check out the "Orange is the New Black" star's misogynistic tweets.

Watch a preview of Stevie Nicks on "American Horror Story"
The singing legend makes her debut Wednesday on an episode titled, "The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks."

London mayor OK with "Sherlock" mocking him
The buffoonish Boris Johnson was supposedly attacked on this week's episode airing in the UK.

Sophia Bush recalls her brief marriage to "One Tree Hill" co-star Chad Michael Murray
It's been nine years since their five-month marriage. When asked about it on "Watch What Happens Live," Bush said, "That's such an interesting question. But my mother once said to me that if you don't have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all."

Clark Gregg on "S.H.I.E.L.D.": "I don't think we're there just yet"
"There were hints at the end of Episode 10 at how deep and rich the fabric of this is, how much it connects to the cinematic and comic book universe," he says. "And I think only in the back half of this season will all of the things that we’ve started to set up, and really the true nature of the show, get fully revealed." PLUS: What happened to Agent Coulson on Tuesday's episode?

Katie Couric accused of being transphobic in chat with "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Orange is the New Black" stars
Couric asking about the genitals of Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera amounted to "ignorance trolling," says J. Bryan Lowder.

CBS' "Intelligence doesn't know how to use Josh Holloway
"It’s great to see the actor get the chance to anchor a series of his own," says Zack Handlen, "but even Holloway can't redeem cliché-addled scripts and a premise 40 years past its sell-by date." PLUS: "Intelligence" is unbearably stupid, "Intelligence's" audience would be better served watching "Almost Human," and Holloway didn't want to rehash another spy show.

"Idol" alum Crystal Bowersox: I'm bisexual
"I've been bisexual for, I don't know, as long as I can remember," she said this morning while promoting her new "Coming Out for Christmas" single.

Jimmy Kimmel spent New Year's Eve vacationing with Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston
Kimmel was also joined by longtime vacation pal Howard Stern in Cabo San Lucas.

"Cougar Town" won't have too many guest-stars in Season 5

Also, Bill Lawrence doesn't want to throw too many curve balls with the 5th season, which premieres tonight.

BET changes its approach with "Being Mary Jane" starring Gabrielle Union
Debuting tonight, "Mary Jane" is the first scripted drama developed for BET, and it sometimes plays as an "extremely self-serious version" of "The Mindy Project."

"Teen Wolf" returns to a series high

The MTV drama's midseason premiere brought in 2.5 million viewers.

ABC's "Killer Women" is truly bad TV
"This is a really bad show," says Tim Goodman. "It's a show so bad that if it was smart enough to be a spoof, it would be genius. But it's not." PLUS: "Killer Women" is clunky, cliched and unforgivably sexist, and Tricia Helfer on her "Killer" role.

"Justified" is still a good show, but it has abandoned what made it so great

All the elements that made "Justified" a great show in Seasons 1 and 2 are largely missing as Season 5 begins. "'Justified' is TV’s least pretentious show about a morally ambiguous man," says Willa Paskin, "but over the years it has become progressively less thoughtful about that man and what he does—which is kill people.  As a comedic procedural, Justified remains aces; as a thought-provoking drama, well, Raylan's pants continue to fit him very nicely." PLUS:Why so much death early on?, It's still too inconsistent, and the cast previews Season 5.

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<p>On &quot;Cougar Town,&quot;&nbsp;Jules (Courteney Cox), Travis (Dan Byrd)&nbsp;and Laurie (Busy Philipps)&nbsp;try to deal with their awkward new situation.</p>

On "Cougar Town," Jules (Courteney Cox), Travis (Dan Byrd) and Laurie (Busy Philipps) try to deal with their awkward new situation.

Credit: TBS

Season premiere review: 'Cougar Town' - 'All or Nothin'

The Cul-de-Sac Crew is back, and trying to deal with Laurie and Travis' relationship

A quick review of tonight's "Cougar Town" season premiere coming up just as soon as I have a respectable Latin mustache...

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<p>I've seen wooden extras before, but this is ridiculous.</p>

I've seen wooden extras before, but this is ridiculous.

Credit: ABC/Marvel Studios

'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' offers answers about Coulson but frustrates anyway

Is that really how they're going to explain things?

When the last episode of "Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD" aired, it seemed like a natural and intriguing place to hit pause for the season, and they promised that they'd be offering answers when the show finally returned.

So… did they?

Starting with the "previously on" clips package, there is an admirable sense of urgency to the episode. It felt like they took the mid-season break into account, using the entire pre-title teaser to re-introduce the team in action. We get May and Ward breaking up a deal to sell "100% premium grade Chitauri metal," and one guy gets away and takes off running. We get to see Fitz/Simmons and their drones head him off in one direction, we see Skye hacking the building's security network, and when the guy finally reaches the roof, there's a full SHIELD team waiting there with Agent Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) at the head of it.

Picking up 36 hours after Coulson's abduction, things have definitely changed a bit. Agent Hand has taken over The Bus, which is now packed with agents, and it seems that there are two different agendas in play. Hand is looking for Centipede, and the team is worried about Coulson.

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<p>Meghan Ory and Josh Holloway in &quot;Intelligence.&quot;</p>

Meghan Ory and Josh Holloway in "Intelligence."

Credit: CBS

Series premiere talkback: 'Intelligence'

What did everybody think of the new CBS spy show with Josh Holloway?

Yesterday, I posted my review of CBS' "Intelligence." Now it's your turn. For those who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Did it play as "Chuck" without the sense of humor and nerd references, or as something cooler? Do you feel like the show did a good job of showing how much better Josh Holloway is than a guy with a smartphone or Google Glass? Does "cyber-rendering" seem interesting, or just like a higher-tech version of the scenes where Will Graham or the CSIs visualize what happened at a crime scene? How did you feel about Meghan OryMarg Helgenberger as the slightly disapproving boss? Sawyer with a haircut? And even if the rest of the show was middling, was Holloway charming enough to keep you around? 

Have at it.

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<p>A &quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;flashback reveals how Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.)&nbsp;became Coach.</p>

A "New Girl" flashback reveals how Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) became Coach.

Credit: FOX

Review: 'New Girl' - 'Clavado En Un Bar'

Jess ponders a career change in another flashback-heavy episode

A review of tonight's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as our school has an ethnic gay bully...

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"Killer Women"

 "Killer Women"

Credit: ABC

Interview: 'Killer Women''s Tricia Helfer on trumpets and serial killers

The star talks about the smoky scene she was 'happy was a short clip'
Most celebrities are literally underwhelming. Hollywood is the land where short actors can pass for giants thanks to clever cinematography and the occasional well-placed apple box. What struck me first about Tricia Helfer (the star of "Killer Women," which premieres tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET on ABC) when I met her on the show's Albuquerque set is just how tall she is.
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