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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: 'Press Down and Strip Bare'

Things get skeevy when Phaedra, Apollo, Cynthia and Peter head to a strip club

Last week, we saw Kenya and Walter end their tortured (and possibly fictitious) relationship in dramatic fashion, a tragic (or, depending on your perspective, richly deserved) car wreck to wrap up the gals' trip to Anguilla. Or maybe we just thought we saw that, because apparently, it ain't over 'til it's over, and the fat lady has yet to sing. Oh, she's gotten naked and flapped her flabby nether regions at a strip bar with many of her toothless friends, but we'll get to that later. Anyway, no singing. 

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Awards Campaign's Best of 2012: TV, Music and Movies

Awards Campaign's Best of 2012: TV, Music and Movies

Key & Peele,' 'Game of Thrones,' Florence + The Machine, Channing Tatum and more'

Last December I took inspiration from Mr. Tapley and listed some of the notable achievements in music and television for 2011.  And, of course, some year-end movie "awards." Let's try this one more time for 2012, shall we?

You can review my top 10 films of 2012 here.  And, for year-end picks from the rest of HitFix's editorial team, click on the related tabs within this post.

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<p>Amanda Seyfriend talks about her role as Cosette in Tom Hooper's &quot;Les Miserables.&quot;</p>

Amanda Seyfriend talks about her role as Cosette in Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables."

Amanda Seyfried knew 'Les Miserables' fans would be tough after 'Mamma Mia'

Is a Broadway musical in her future?

NEW YORK - No matter what your opinion of Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" there is one thing everyone can agree on: it's great to hear Amanda Seyfried singing again.

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<p>Bart Layton, director &quot;The Imposter.&quot;</p>

Bart Layton, director "The Imposter."

Credit: AP Photo/Victoria Will

Bart Layton on reflecting the subjective nature of truth in 'The Imposter'

The British film is one of 15 shortlisted by the Academy for Best Documentary

Even the most banal phrases have their uses, and when it came to Bart Layton's documentary “The Imposter” earlier this year, it's easy to understand why so many critics reached for that fusty standby: “The truth is stranger than fiction.” Then again, “The Imposter” – one of 15 shortlisted films vying for an Oscar nod in the Best Documentary Feature category – tells a story that is stranger even than most truths.

Centered on the charismatic, frightening figure of Frédéric Bourdin a shapeshifting con artist and serial identity thief who claim to have masqueraded as over 500 people in his lifetime, the film peels back the covers on the Frenchman's most infamous and improbable stunt. In 1997, aged 23, he seemingly duped a Texan family into accepting him as their teenaged son who had gone missing three years previously – despite not sharing his accent, appearance or even eye color. Turning up in Spain and claiming to have been kidnapped by a military-run child prostitution ring, Bourdin sold his outlandish tale not only to the Barclay family but to the US authorities, and maintained the charade for five months before the FBI caught wise.

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<p>Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell at the New York premiere of &quot;Silver Linings&nbsp;Playbook.&quot;</p>

Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell at the New York premiere of "Silver Linings Playbook."

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

David O. Russell says Jennifer Lawrence's Skype audition won her 'Silver Linings' role

Plus: Robert De Niro's reverential professionalism

David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" isn't the frontrunner for best picture many of us thought it would be, but don't tell that to the one time best director nominee.  The passion project has given Russell much to be thankful for including audience awards at Toronto, Austin and the Hamptons film festivals, five Independent Spirit Awards nods, four Golden Globe Awards nominations and an impressive four SAG Awards nominations including best ensemble. "Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence won best actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Russell snagged best adapted screenplay honors from the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association.  Now, after coming close to winning best director with his semi-comeback "The Fighter" almost two years ago you'd assume Russell was intent on sealing the deal with "Playbook." That doesn't appear to be the case.

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<p>Second 10 of 2012</p>

Second 10 of 2012

The Second 10 Best TV Shows of 2012 from The Fien Print

Zombies, vampires and handicappers all make the second cut
Last week, after already podcasting on it, I posted my Top 10 TV Shows of 2012 in friendly video format.
 
In case you've forgotten:
 
1) "Mad Men"
2) "Louie"
3) "On Freddie Roach"
4) "Treme"
5) "Parks and Recreation"
6) "Breaking Bad"
7) "Game of Thrones"
8) "Girls"
9) "ESPN's 30 for 30"
10) "The Hour"
 
At the time, I mentioned that I had a Second 10 coming at some point, because I always endeavor to be as much like Sepinwall as possible, structurally speaking. 
 
And at the time, I also mentioned that while my Top 8 was set in stone, the last two positions had a lot of competition. When you look at my Second 10, No. 11-15 all were part of an amorphous blob for those last two Top 10 positions and while I like the Top 10 I chose, I wouldn't have been much less happy with it if it had included two of those other shows. 
 
In fact, this Second 10? I like it a ton. These are some of my very, very favorites. As I look down the list, six of them have made previous Top 10s, including four that were in my Top 10 for 2011. But as much as I love this group of 10, it wasn't especially easy to cut *this* group down. I don't think there was as much ambiguity in my mind, but there were still at least five shows that I thought were every bit as deserving. Or maybe not "every bit as deserving," but a lot deserving.
 
So I made a list of 10 "Honorable Mentions." But that list became 20 Honorable Mentions. Then there were another five or six shows that I wanted to salute for improvement this past year. That means this story, while only containing blurbs for 10 shows, mentions at least 36. And the funny thing is that I can still think of more shows that I enjoy in a variety of different ways, shows that even with the parameters expanded this wide, I still couldn't include.
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Anybody who says there's nothing good on TV is an idiot. Because I probably left out two or three of your favorite shows.
 
Click through for the list... I'm using HitFix's new pagination system because this is looooong and unlike when I write a 2000-word review of something like "Beauty and the Beast," this lends itself easily to splitting.
 
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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

Taylor Swift set to lead Billboard 200 for last week of 2012

'Les Miserables' soundtrack may surge into Top 10

While sales figures are sketchy because of the holidays, look for Taylor Swift’s “Red” to top the Billboard 200 next week.

Early estimates have the superstar’s fourth studio album spending a seventh non-consecutive week at No. 1 with sales of up to 225,000, according to Billboard. The tally will include Amazon’s Christmas Eve sales price of $1.99 (Nielsen SoundScan counts the discounted sales because the album has been out more than four weeks).

“Red” stands atop the leader board this week as well, with sales of 276,000. If “Red” does remain in the top spot, Swift will have registered 24 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, tying Adele as the female artist with the most weeks at No. 1 since the launch of SoundScan in 1991. Swift’s feat spans three albums: 2008’s “Fearless,” 2010’s “Speak Now” and “Red,” while all of Adele’s 24 weeks come from “21.”

In other chart news, look for the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” to possibly vault into the top 10. The title, which is No. 1 on iTunes following the movie’s Dec. 25 opening, debuted at No. 33 this week.

Billboard also expects Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” and One Direction’s “Take Me Home” to remain in the top 10.

The New Year’s Day holiday will delay the chart results until Thursday, Jan. 3 instead of Wednesday, Jan. 2.
 

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<p>Diane Kruger in &quot;Farewell My Queen.&quot;</p>

Diane Kruger in "Farewell My Queen."

Credit: Cohen Media Group

Kudos for 'Farewell My Queen,' 'Holy Motors,' 'Amour' on French awards circuit

'Queen' a surprise winner of the country's most prestigious film award

I know I'm way behind the curve in reporting on these, but the weeks before Christmas kept us so busy with wall-to-wall US critics' awards that certain things passed me by -- particularly awards away from the Oscar trail. This afternoon, I suddenly remembered the Prix Louis-Delluc, arguably the most prestigious award in French cinema, and wondered if I'd missed their nominations. As it turned out, I'd missed the entire thing.

The Louis-Delluc, a single award handed to the year's best French film -- as determined by a jury headed by Cannes president Gilles Jacob -- was first presented in 1937, and the list of previous winners is a veritable who's who of classic French cinema: Renoir, Cocteau, Truffaut, Bresson, Malle, Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard, and so on.

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<p>Walton Goggins had a great experience with Quentin Tarantino on his new film 'Django Unchained'</p>

Walton Goggins had a great experience with Quentin Tarantino on his new film 'Django Unchained'

Credit: HitFix

Walton Goggins explains how his role kept growing in 'Django Unchained'

We spend a few minutes with one of the most striking character actors working today

Walton Goggins would be beloved if the only thing he'd ever done was his work on "The Shield." That was such a remarkable character, developed so carefully over the course of the series, that it set the bar very high for other roles for Goggins for the future.

Thankfully, the filmmakers who have worked with him since the end of that show seem to understand what a gift he can be to a production.  He found another great role in a series in the form of "Justified," and this holiday season, he's in the new films from both Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino.  Considering how long he's been working as an actor (his first credit was in 1990), it feels like things have finally come up roses for a guy whose work more than justifies the attention.

In our interview, we talked about the way his role in "Django Unchained" evolved over the course of the shoot, and I can't say I'm remotely surprised to hear that Tarantino flipped for him.  Part of what makes Goggins so striking is the way he looks so dangerous, but when he speaks, there is a sly intelligence that you might not imagine at first.  When he plays a character who is supposed to be a threat, it doesn't feel like acting. It feels like he's a genuine threat, someone you wouldn't want to cross.

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<p>Miguel</p>

Miguel

Immaculate Noise's Top 40 Best Songs of 2012: Miguel, Icona Pop, Grimes

Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding and... High On Fire

It's a list of songs from 2012, kids. Let's just have fun.

The crossover between my best songs and best albums list includes Miguel, Japandroids, Emeli Sande, Frank Ocean, Killer Mike and... that's it.

To check out my 30 best albums of 2012 list, head here: it includes top distinctions to Fiona Apple, Swans, Matthew Dear, Kendrick Lamar, Swans and more.

Here is a list of 40 of my favorite songs from this year. Listen to the Spotify list of them here.

  1. Miguel, "Adorn"
  2. Icona Pop, "I Love It"
  3. Frank Ocean, "Sweet Life"
  4. Cold Specks, "Blank Maps"
  5. Shovels & Rope, "Birmingham"
  6. Nicki Minaj, "The Boys
  7. Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
  8. Le1f, "Wut"
  9. Burial, "Kindred"
  10. David Byrne + St. Vincent, "Who"
  11. Grimes, "Oblivion"
  12. R. Kelly, "Share My Love"
  13. Holy Other, "Held"
  14. OneRepublic, "Feel Again"
  15. Nas - "Daughters"
  16. High on Fire, "Bloody Knuckles"
  17. Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"
  18. Emeli Sande, "Where I Sleep"
  19. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"
  20. Justin Townes Earle, "Am I That Lonely"
  21. Ke$ha - "Die Young"
  22. Maps & Atlases, "Old & Gray"
  23. Pallbearer, "Devoid of Redemption"
  24. Dope Body, "Road Dog"
  25. Miranda Lambert, "Fastest Girl In Town"
  26. Killer Mike, "Reagan"
  27. Dr. John, "Locked Down"
  28. Ellie Goulding, "Anything Can Happen"
  29. Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
  30. Walk the Moon, "Anna Sun"
  31. First Aid Kit, "Emmylou"
  32. Japandroids, "The House That Heaven Built"
  33. Father John Misty, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"
  34. Hospitality, "Eighth Avenue"
  35. Mynabirds, "Generals"
  36. Alabama Shakes, "Hold On"
  37. Santigold, "The Keepers"
  38. Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
  39. A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
  40. Charli XCX, "You're the One"

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<p>Whitney Houston</p>

Whitney Houston

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: 'The Music They Made' song montage from musicians who died in 2012

Four-minute clip encompasses Whitney Houston to Adam Yauch to Dave Brubeck

If you want to not only see the names, but hear the music from the top musicians who left us this year, this four-minute montage, "The Music They Made," posted by the New York Times last night is well worth your time.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Bieber expands 'Believe: Acoustic' to include new material

Is he working with Ed Sheeran?

It turns out that eight isn’t enough. Justin Bieber’s  “Believe:Acoustic” continues to expand. Originally slated as an 8-song EP, Bieber keeps adding new songs to the Jan. 29 release.

On Thursday night, he tweeted that he “had to write some new ones. Now I’m putting out 10 SONGS on #Believeacoustive. I’m telling u. PREORDER it now : ).”

In addition to the sales plug, the Biebs also gave more details: “Every song has a new guitar arrangement...1 w/ piano. Everything feels new.” 

Idolator has speculated that Bieber may have been writing new material with “The A-Team” singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.

As Hitfix previously reported, Bieber announced the EP earlier this month. Bieber released “My Worlds Acoustic” in 2010, which featured stripped-down versions of songs from “My World 2.0.”

 

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