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<p>Suraj Sharma in &quot;Life of Pi&quot;</p>

Suraj Sharma in "Life of Pi"

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Tell us what you thought of 'Life of Pi'

Ang Lee's visionary adaptation hits theaters just in time for the holiday

Ang Lee's addition to the season is finally here as "Life of Pi" -- hotly anticipated for years -- hits the multiplex. I was favorable when I saw the film at the 50th annual New York Film Festival, though I took some mechanics issues with it. I still feel that way, though the creamy center has really felt richer and richer the further I've spun away from it. HitFix's own Drew McWeeny, meanwhile, has a completely different take, a disagreement with fundamental elements. But let's see what you have to say. Drop your comments below when you get around to seeing the film, and as always, feel free to rate it above.

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<p>James Gandolfini, Chris Rock and Larry David in three classic shows from 40 years of HBO.</p>

James Gandolfini, Chris Rock and Larry David in three classic shows from 40 years of HBO.

Credit: HBO

It's not TV. It's 40 years of HBO.

'The Sopranos' and 'The Wire' are gimmes, but don't forget 'Larry Sanders' or the comedy specials

When I targeted Thanksgiving 2012 as the time to release my book, I didn't realize that it would be coming out in the same month as the 40th anniversary of HBO. (The pay cable channel launched on November 8, 1972.) But if the timing was accidental, it also feels perfect, because of course HBO was the place where the whole drama revolution began, and I could have easily written an entire book about what was happening at HBO from "Oz" through, say, "Deadwood."

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<p>Alfred Hitchcock and his &quot;Rebecca&quot; leading lady, Joan Fontaine.&nbsp;</p>

Alfred Hitchcock and his "Rebecca" leading lady, Joan Fontaine. 

Credit: AMPAS

On 'Rebecca' and 'Foreign Correspondent,' Hitchcock's 1940 double-shot at Oscar glory

Hitch probably never came closer to victory than his first time at bat

You needn't have been following the Oscars for long to know that -- the usual inseparability of the Best Picture and Best Director awards notwithstanding -- Academy voters aren't particularly auteurist-minded.

That's not a comment on the films and filmmakers they've chosen to reward over the years, though the winners list would look somewhat different if they were. Rather, it alludes simply to the practical consideration that their top prize is still awarded to a film's producer, not the director -- a tradition inherited from the days when producers often wielded more creative control in Hollywood than the helmers they hired to shepherd their projects to fruition. (Not coincidentally, the Academy was happier to split the Picture and Director awards back then.) If the Academy worked more along the lines of film festival juries, the director would claim, or at least share, credit for the year's best film -- and Alfred Hitchcock would have one competitive Oscar to his name. 

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<p>Chevy Chase won't be on &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;for all of season 4.</p>

Chevy Chase won't be on "Community" for all of season 4.

Credit: NBC

Chevy Chase leaving 'Community'

NBC sitcom will film last 1 or 2 episodes of season 4 without Pierce

Almost from the moment Chevy Chase joined the cast of "Community," he has talked about wanting off of the NBC sitcom. Well, today, his wish was granted, as the veteran actor was allowed to leave the series before filming of the fourth season ends.

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<p>Don't worry Anne. Early buzz says you won't have to pray for good reviews of &quot;Les Miserables.&quot; </p>

Don't worry Anne. Early buzz says you won't have to pray for good reviews of "Les Miserables."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Contender Countdown: 'Les Miserables' gets ready for its close up

Plus: 'Silver Linings Playbook' takes a slip

Seemingly as always, Hollywood has a lot to be thankful for. The box office has been on an upswing the past six weeks and with "The Hobbit," "Django Unchained" and "Les Miserables" arriving next month ticket sales should remain strong.  But for many consultants and movie marketers this holiday weekend won't be a relaxing vacation.  

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<p>Denis Lavant in &quot;Holy Motors.&quot;</p>

Denis Lavant in "Holy Motors."

Credit: Indomina Releasing

Cahiers du Cinéma names 'Holy Motors' the best film of 2012

The venerable French magazine's Top 10 ranges from 'Twixt' to 'Tabu'

Yep, folks, we're in Top 10 season already, and the first major list to land is both one of the longest-running and the most reliably eccentric: that of leading French cinephile magazine Cahiers du Cinéma.

As the journal on which the likes of Godard, Truffaut and Chabrol cut their teeth as writers after its establishment in 1951, Cahiers retains a staunch auteurist sensibility, and that's evident every year in their Top 10 -- though they don't always favor the same auteurs most other critics do.

Last year, they surprised everyone with an atypically softball choice -- Nanni Moretti's amiable ecclesiastical comedy "We Have a Pope" -- as the year's best. This year, paradoxical as this sounds, they're back on more familiarly adventurous ground, as Léos Carax's wild, weird, thrillingly bewildering shapeshifter study "Holy Motors" topped the list.

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"Dirty Jobs"

 "Dirty Jobs"

Credit: Discovery

Mike Rowe tells fans that 'Dirty Jobs' has been scrubbed

Star proud to say he 'never shared the sewer with Paris Hilton'

It's going to be an unhappy Thanksgiving for fans of "Dirty Jobs." After eight years, star Mike Rowe took to the Interwebs to let the public know that he's navigated his last sewer for the show. "A few weeks ago, I was officially informed that 'Dirty Jobs' had entered into a new phase," he wrote in a post for the Huffington Post. "One I like to call, "permanent hiatus." Or in the more popular industry vernacular, canceled."

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<p>A scene from &quot;Rise of the Guardians.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Rise of the Guardians."

Credit: DreamWork Animation

Roundup: Fall of the 'Guardians?'

Also: Frank Ocean's 'Django' tune, and 2012's narrative rule-breakers

DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians" was once viewed by many pundits as the studio's best shot at an Oscar since winning the inaugural award 11 years ago for "Shrek," but things don't quite seem to be going to plan. Critics so far aren't wildly excited, and now box office projections for the holiday weekend suggest audiences aren't either. Variety is projecting a $25 million gross: nothing to be ashamed of, but it'd put it well below last year's "Puss in Boots," and among DreamWorks Animation's lowest openings ever. "Wreck-It Ralph" has evidently stolen its winter cartoon thunder, but can it also zoom ahead in the Oscar race? Or will voters retreat to the familiar comforts of "Pixar," or disregard commerce and side with the auteurism of "Frankenweenie?" For once, the race really is on. [Variety

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<p>Julia and Joel on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Julia and Joel on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parenthood' - 'One More Weekend With You'

Is the cancer storyline overwhelming the rest of the show?

A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I have piggy bank money for a taxi...

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<p>Jamie Lee Curtis stopped by &quot;New Girl&quot;&nbsp;last night.</p>

Jamie Lee Curtis stopped by "New Girl" last night.

Credit: FOX

Tuesday night comedy open thread

What did everybody think of last night's Thanksgiving and non-Thanksgiving episodes?

For a variety of weird reasons, I didn't get to see any of last night's sitcoms in full, and due to the demands of a three-day work week, I'm not going to have time to get back to them today. So time to trot out something I used to do quite a bit in the early days of the old blog: an open thread. If you have specific thoughts on last night's comedies on FOX, ABC or NBC — whether it's something I regularly cover like "New Girl" or "Happy Endings," or something I've long since moved past like "The New Normal" — have at it. (I'm actually kind of curious about whether "New Normal" has gotten any better or fallen deeper into its own bad habits.) Did you like seeing Jamie Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner back in the sitcom world? Do you wish that "The Real World Sacramento" had actually happened? Did you find it amusing that, on the day it was announced that Anna Camp was stepping back from "The Mindy Project" regular to a recurring guest star, the show (from what I saw of it) finally remembered to give her something to do? 

Additional housekeeping on Thanksgiving getaway day: I'll have a review of "Parenthood" (which I did see in full) coming later this morning, another post tonight around 9 Eastern (and maybe something sooner if there's breaking news, like another cancellation on a classic Take Out the Trash kind of day), another post on Friday morning, and then back Sunday with posts on my usual four Sunday dramas. Because only two of the four (the HBO shows) were available to me through yesterday, they may not all be full-length reviews, but it'll at least be an opportunity to discuss them.

Back on something resembling a full schedule next week. If you're about to head to the airport, happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the turkey coma.


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2013 Best Screenplay Contenders: From 'Anna Karenina' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'
Credit: Lionsgate, The Weinstein Company, Paramount

2013 Best Screenplay Contenders: From 'Anna Karenina' to 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Surveying the varied contenders across both the original and adapted races

Continuing our survey of this season's major-category contenders, we arrive at the screenplay races -- and in a super-sized gallery, we've combined both the original and adapted categories, with hopefuls ranging from summer blockbusters to upcoming prestige items to scrappy foreign and/or indie fighters.

The writers' branch is often said to be the most discerning branch of voters in the Academy, and frequently choose to go their own way. They're the ones who ignored "Titanic" when all the other voters lost their hearts to it; on the flip side, they've been to only branch to stand up for such outsiders as "Another Year," "Before Sunset" and "Y tu Mama Tambien." They can generally be counted on for a surprise or two come nomination morning.

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Jimmy Smits on 'Sons of Anarchy'

Jimmy Smits in full-on badass mode on "Sons of Anarchy"

Credit: FX

'Sons of Anarchy' recap: 'To Thine Own Self'

So much revenge, so little time

I'm never really sure if the neverending cycle of revenge and retaliation on "Sons of Anarchy" is a legitimate thematic concern the show wants to explore, or just another example of its repetitive storytelling.

Assuming the goal is the former, "To Thine Own Self" is a strong -- at times even rich -- piece of work. Here's an episode that tackles the darkside of retaliation in two interesting ways only marginally related to the core cast, and one that gets to the very heart of the show's long term arc.

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