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<p>George Clooney accepting his Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2005 Academy Awards.</p>

George Clooney accepting his Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 2005 Academy Awards.

Credit: AMPAS

The elite Oscar club George Clooney is set to join

How many Oscar-winning actors also boast wins in other categories?

Amid all the fuss over Ben Affleck in the run-up to Sunday's Academy Awards -- with his path from surprise omission to probable vindication, all in the space of a few weeks, likely to be the lasting narrative of this year's Oscars -- there's been markedly little attention paid to his nominated co-producers. That wouldn't normally be very surprising: producers, by and large, don't tend to be as photogenic or as headline-friendly as the Ben Afflecks of this world. But it's slightly different when one of the co-producers in question in George Clooney.

Clooney has been a typically urbane, but graciously quiet, presence on the campaign trail for "Argo" all season long: it's Affleck's film, after all, and he's been selling the hell out of it, so there's no call for his fellow A-list star to switch on the jazz hands.

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<p>Daniel Craig in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall."

Credit: Sony Pictures

Roundup: The greatest hits of Roger Deakins

Also: Does the Academy still have a blockbuster blind spot?

I'm not sure "Skyfall" represents the best work in the field -- though I prefer it to the presumed frontrunner in the category -- but it's hard not to root for Roger Deakins in the Best Cinematography race on Sunday. The British DP's perennial bridesmaid status at the Oscars has grown into a widely publicized sticking point, and Vulture has further highlighted the debt with a great piece on 10 key shots from his career, and how he got them. (Hey, that sounds not unlike one of our favorite annual features.) For "Skyfall," they've selected Bond's arrival at the Macao gambling palace for scrutiny. Deakins explains the difficulties of faking mass candlelight, and brushes off talk of how he excels in the digital department: "Whether or not it's film or digital, much more of my career has been about choosing the location, getting an idea of the look of something, and choosing the practical kinds of lighting and the positions of the windows, anything that enables you to get the look you want." [Vulture

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<p>Might I suggest you move your potentially life-threatening conspiracy conversation indoors where you're less immediately visible together?</p>

Might I suggest you move your potentially life-threatening conspiracy conversation indoors where you're less immediately visible together?

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Review: Dwayne Johnson's 'Snitch' is no action movie, no matter what the trailers say

A small-scale issue movie about mandatory minimum sentences may shock action fans

The most surprising thing about Ric Roman Waugh, the co-writer/director of "Snitch," having started his career as a stuntman from a family of stuntmen is that "Snitch" is, for the most part, a drama and not the action movie that the poster and the trailers would want to make you believe it is.  That's not really a problem with the film so much as it is a case of misleading marketing.  Taken on its own merits, "Snitch" is a solid, small-scale story about what a father is willing to do to help correct an injustice he sees landing on his teenage son after he makes an inexcusably stupid mistake.

Participant Media is one of the production partners on the film, and if you know them as a company, you know that their mandate is making movies that deal in some way with social issues, and I was surprised to see that this is really a movie about how flawed the mandatory minimum sentencing system is in the war on drugs.  At the start of the film, Jason Collins (Rafi Gavron) is at home, and a college friend tells him that there's a package coming that he'll need to sign for, a package he'll pick up as soon as he gets home from school.  It's a huge shipment of Ecstasy tablets, and when it arrives, he not only signs for it, but he opens it, and right away, the DEA descends on the house.  They were ready for him to accept ownership of the package, and they treat Jason as a major drug dealer.  Thanks to the amount they caught him with, they've got him on the hook for at least ten years, and they can go as high as thirty years if they choose to.  The US Prosecutor on the case is the politically ambitious Joanne Keeghan (Susan Sarandon), and she seems more than happy to throw the book at this dumb kid.

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Final 2013 Oscars predictions: Where did HitFix's experts land?

Final 2013 Oscars predictions: Where did HitFix's experts land?

Which 14 categories did our pundits agree on?

The 85th annual Academy Awards are right around the corner as Oscar weekend is ready to descend on Tinseltown and, indeed, the world stage. Is it smooth sailing for "Argo" and Daniel Day-Lewis? Did the tight races for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor yield surprises? What mysteries do the envelopes still hold? We'll know for sure next week and the Monday morning quarterbacking will be fascinating to behold, but in the meantime, it's last call on predictions.

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP

A guide to the top 2013 Oscar musical performances

Other than Adele and Babs, who should you look out for on Sunday night?

After ignoring last year's two nominees for best original song, this Sunday’s 85th Annual Oscar ceremony looks like it will be overloaded with musical performances. In addition to Adele and Barbra Streisand, here's a guide to whom else you should look out for as of three days before the big show.

*Adele: The multiple Grammy winner will perform her Oscar-nominated tune “Skyfall” from the James Bond movie of the same name. The Academy Awards are planning a 50th anniversary salute to 007 so Adele’s performance  will be a  part of that and will also include  Shirley Bassey, best known for singing Bond themes “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever.”  How awesome would it be if Carly Simon, Paul McCartney, Sheena Easton and Duran Duran also showed up? 

*Norah Jones: She will sing nominated son, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,”  co-written by Oscar host Seth McFarlane.

*Jennifer Hudson and Catherine Zeta-Jones will be among the artists participating in a tribute to recent movie musicals, “Dreamgirls,” “Chicago” and “Les Miserables.” Also confirmed for the tribute is the cast of  “Les Miserables,” including Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried, so expect Jackman to break into Oscar-nominated song “Suddenly” at some point.

*Barbra Streisand: Just as you don’t put Baby in a corner, you don’t put Streisand in a medley with other artists.  While producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan are keeping mum on how Streisand, who is singing on the show for the first time in 36 years, will participate, the pair told The Hollywood Reporter, “Streisand is going to come on and do something really special and blow people away.”

*Kristen Chenoweth and Seth McFarlane: As my colleague Guy Tapley previously reported, instead of ending the show with the presentation of the  Oscar for  best picture,  the Academy Awards will close with  a musical number by  McFarlane and Chenoweth because, as producers Meron and  Zadan  told The Hollywood Reporter,   “We want to have an actual ending.” Sadly, the sound of their singing may be drowned out by the sounds of people clicking their televisions off, no matter how amusing or clever the final song may be.

*As of now, there’s still no word on how nominated songs,  “Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”  or “Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”  will be represented.


 

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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Will Jeremy survive in 'Stand By Me'?

Elena grapples with another uphill battle

All too often it seems "The Vampire Diaries" moves at such a breakneck speed that truly powerful moments whip past our heads so fast they barely register. Tonight's episode actually takes a breath, and it's to everyone's benefit. It is, perhaps, the last significant death we'll have for a while (or at least we can hope so), and instead of the plot soldiering on, Elena and company take time to really grapple with what it means, to embrace the enormity of the loss, and the idea that (as powerful as they are thanks to vampirism and witchcraft), not every plot twist can be handily erased.

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<p>Amy Poehler in &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Amy Poehler in "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ben and Leslie/Correspondents' Lunch'

The gang tries to throw an impromptu wedding, and Leslie battles a local reporter

I'm on vacation this week, but I got to see both of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" episodes before I left, and I have a few thoughts on them coming up just as soon as I figure out what Neve Campbell sounds like...

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<p>On &quot;Community,&quot;&nbsp;Abed (Danny Pudi)&nbsp;brings Britta (Gillian Jacobs)&nbsp;and Troy (Donald Glover)&nbsp;to an Inspector Spacetime convention.</p>

On "Community," Abed (Danny Pudi) brings Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Troy (Donald Glover) to an Inspector Spacetime convention.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'Conventions in Space and Time'

The gang goes to an Inspector Spacetime convention, where Abed's new friend doesn't like his old one

I'm on vacation this week, but I saw tonight's "Community" in advance, and have one or two thoughts on it coming up just as soon as we touch tentacles and download...

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<p>This is Chris Watson. His picture was dynamic, so I chose it for the recap. We'll see if he's any good.</p>

This is Chris Watson. His picture was dynamic, so I chose it for the recap. We'll see if he's any good.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 12 - Sudden Death, Part 1 - 10 Guys Perform

The Girls did well on Wednesday. Can the Guys rise to that challenge?

"American Idol" had its most encouraging night of the season on Wednesday. The judges were entertaining and almost uniformly substantive. Of the 10 girls who performed, three or four of them were very good and an additional two or three were reasonably strong. And when the judges made their five selections to advance, at least four of the picks were absolutely on-the-mark. 

My full recap of Wednesday's show.

That doesn't mean, though, that I'm not approaching Thursday's show with some trepidation. Regardless of how consistently the men have dominated "American Idol" for the past five seasons, I certainly haven't seen a guy capable of winning through auditions and Hollywood. So... Prove me wrong!

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2013 Academy Awards preperations

 2013 Academy Awards preperations

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 2 - The Oscars, Mariah Carey, Downton Abbey

Hear Melinda and Liane weigh in on reality TV and more

Okay, before you listen, know that we had the technical difficulty of sounding like we were recording in a subway bathroom. We didn't put echo on our voices, I swear. But if you turn down the volume, we sound fine, I think. Just a little… dramatic, I maybe. Yes, we're still finding the right mix of software, Skype and level adjusting! Next week will be better! 

 
Here's the rundown: 
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<p>&quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

"Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Life of Pi' and 'Lincoln' among International Film Music Critics Association award winners

Danny Elfman crowned Film Composer of the Year

Mychael Danna was awarded Film Score of the Year by the International Film Music Critics Association for his work on Ang Lee's "Life of Pi." Danny Elfman was recognized as Film Composer of the Year while "Lincoln," "Ted," "Skyfall," "John Carter" and "Rise of the Guardians" won throughout the genre categories. Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the 2012-2013 film awards season at The Circuit.

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<p>Adele</p>

Adele

Credit: AP Photo

Will the 2013 Oscars be the only time Adele performs 'Skyfall?'

Sources tell HitFix that's the case...for now

Rumor has it Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony may be the only time that Adele performs her Oscar-nominated James Bond theme live.

Sources tell Hitfix that her Feb. 24 performance of "Skyfall" will be a one-time thing and that she never plans to sing the song live again. It appears the show’s  producers are doing nothing to dissuade viewers from thinking otherwise.  Craig Zadan, who is producing with Neil Meron, told The Hollywood Reporter,“What’s really exciting for us is that Adele is singing ‘Skyfall’ for the first time, and maybe the only time, she will have performed it live. It’s a special one-off event.”

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