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It's been an incredible year in the world of showbiz, with the usual headline-grabbing antics, scandal, sleaze, celebrity births, star weddings, and bitter break-ups. Here, WENN takes a look back at the first six months of 2011...
The new year began with wedding bells for many couples including singer Shania Twain, who married her fiance Frederic Thiebaud in Puerto Rico on New Year's Day, while country star Kellie Pickler and actress Valerie Bertinelli also walked down the aisle on 1 January.
The new year brought baby news for a number of celebrity couples - Orlando Bloom and his wife Miranda Kerr became first-time parents with the birth of their son Flynn. Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem also welcomed a son, and Owen Wilson became a father just days after he announced his girlfriend's pregnancy. Nicole Kidman also hit headlines when she and her husband Keith Urban revealed they welcomed a daughter called Faith via a surrogate mother over the holidays.
There was also pregnancy news for actress Kate Hudson, who announced she was expecting a baby with Muse rocker Matt Bellamy, as well as Marion Cotillard, Jewel, Selma Blair and Victoria Beckham, who confirmed she was pregnant with her fourth child.
However, the first few weeks of 2011 also brought a slew of celebrity splits - Keira Knightley ended her longtime romance with actor Rupert Friend, Shakira parted ways with Antonio de la Rua, her boyfriend of more than 10 years, and Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin separated after eight years together.
Many stars saw in the new year by addressing their personal problems, and a number of famous faces went in and out of rehab in the first few weeks of 2011. Lindsay Lohan and Demi Lovato both ended long treatment stints in January, while David Arquette, Backstreet Boys star A.J. McLean and his bandmate Nick Carter's younger brother Aaron all enrolled in programs. Troubled actor Charlie Sheen also admitted himself to a clinic just weeks after he was hospitalised to treat a hernia, and he later admitted he turned to booze to blot out the pain of the medical condition. Sheen’s rehab stint forced TV bosses to shut down production on his show Two and a Half Men.
Another colourful character to hit the headlines in January was British funnyman Ricky Gervais, who managed to cause controversy during his stint as Golden Globes host. The comedian was condemned by organisers for poking fun at celebrity guests including Robert Downey, Jr., Johnny Depp and Tom Hanks during the glitzy prizegiving.
The month held good news for veteran actor Michael Douglas as he was given the all-clear after a gruelling battle with throat cancer. His wife Catherine Zeta-Jones subsequently admitted she cried tears of joy when doctors told the couple the actor had beaten the disease. Poison rocker Bret Michaels also overcame a health crisis after undergoing successful surgery to close a hole in his heart.
January also saw the loss of a number of great stars including Oscar-winning James Bond theme composer John Barry, and Scottish musician Gerry Rafferty, who passed away after suffering liver failure. The world of Hollywood was again plunged into mourning following the death of British actor Pete Postlethwaite, who died at the age of 64.
As awards season got into full swing, The King's Speech was the toast of Hollywood after scooping four Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for the movie's star, Colin Firth, and Best Director for Tom Hooper, while Natalie Portman fought back tears as she walked away with the Best Actress honour for her role as a tormented ballet dancer in Black Swan. It was a different story at the Independent Spirit Awards, where Black Swan trounced its rivals, picking up four honours including Best Director for Darren Aronofsky.
In the world of music, Lady Gaga's incredible rise continued as she picked up three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album, but her achievements were overshadowed by country trio Lady Antebellum, who scored five accolades, and the shock win for Canadian rockers Arcade Fire in the prestigious Album of the Year category for their disc The Suburbs. Across the pond at the Brit Awards in London, Arcade Fire were again bathed in glory when they were handed the International Group and International Album honours, while newcomer Tinie Tempah crowned a triumphant 12 months by taking home the British Breakthrough Act and British Single titles. Rihanna was named Best International Female solo star, and Justin Bieber was named the International Breakthrough Act of the year.
Away from the red carpet, it was a bleak month for My Name Is Earl actress Jaime Pressly, who was charged with driving under the influence after failing a field sobriety test, Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey, who was underwent an operation to remove a growth from her foot, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who was hospitalised with a flesh-eating bug, and Dame Judi Dench, who broke two of her toes on the set of her new movie J. Edgar.
There were also woes for Rihanna, whose raunchy promo film for single S&M provoked outrage around the world and was banned in 11 countries, actress Eliza Dushku, who broke a finger on holiday, and fashion king John Galliano, who was suspended and later sacked by Christian Dior after he was filmed launching an anti-Semitic rant at stunned drinkers in a bar in Paris, France.
Rock duo the White Stripes stunned the music world when they announced they were splitting up after 14 years, and Lady Gaga's much-hyped new single Born This Way was unveiled to a barrage of accusations she had ripped off Madonna's classic Express Yourself. But there was good news for older music fans, as '60s icons The Monkees announced they were reuniting for a U.K. tour.
Loved up celebrity couples Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, and Anna Friel and Rhys Ifans, both confirmed their engagements, and there were wedding bells for Kelsey Grammer - who married for the fourth time - and Mark Ronson and Katherine Jenkins, who both announced their respective engagements.
Among the stars hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet this month were Christina Applegate, who gave birth to a daughter, magician David Blaine, who became a first-time father to a baby girl, reggae star Zac Marley, rocker Rod Stewart, Sex and the City's Cynthia Nixon, and No Doubt star Tom Dumont.
Jude Law continued his unlucky-in-love streak when he split - yet again - from Sienna Miller, Iron Man star Terrence Howard was hit with divorce papers, Olivia Wilde split from her husband after eight years, and celebrity couple Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz announced their marriage was over.
The world of showbiz bid farewell to guitar legend Gary Moore, who died aged 58, blues legend Eddie Kirkland died in a car crash at the age of 88, Seinfeld star Len Lesser succumbed to pneumonia aged 88, and The Dukes of Hazzard actress Peggy Rea, who passed away at the age of 89.
Tinseltown lost one of its brightest lights in March after movie icon Dame Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79. Tributes from the world of showbiz poured in for the Cleopatra legend, with Sir Elton John, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli leading the heartfelt remembrances. The acting great was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where her dear friend Michael Jackson was also laid to rest in 2009.
March was also marked by controversy as a host of famous faces found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Pop star Christina Aguilera was arrested for drunkenness in West Hollywood, while Boardwalk Empire beauty Pas de la Huerta was also apprehended after a bar fight in New York City. Jackass daredevil Steve-o was taken into custody in Canada on an outstanding warrant, and rapper Rick Ross got caught smoking marijuana in a Louisiana hotel room.
But it was Charlie Sheen who really gave fans something to talk about after he was fired from Two and a Half Men following months of public feuding with writer/creator Chuck Lorre. Days later, cops raided Sheen's Los Angeles home to investigate a tip that the troubled star was in violation of a court order by keeping a gun in the house.
March also brought one of the year's most devastating tragedies as Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, which then created an enormous tidal wave. More than 15,000 people perished in the disaster and Slash, Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and the Foo Fighters were among the big-name acts who staged gigs to raise money for victims, while actresses Sandra Bullock and Demi Lovato also donated $1 million (£625,000) each to boost relief efforts.
Back in Hollywood, there was plenty of heartache as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel ended their romance, Renee Zellweger called it quits with Bradley Cooper and Twilight beauty Ashley Greene split from Joe Jonas.
But love was most definitely in the air for Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, who married showbiz agent Jim Toth in a romantic ceremony at her California home. Canadian crooner Michael Buble also wed stunning supermodel Luisana Lopilato in a civil ceremony in her native Argentina.
Celebrations were in order for former Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who announced she and husband Stephen Belafonte were expecting their first child together. Actors Robert De Niro and Mel Gibson became proud grandfathers in March, while Elizabeth Banks also became a first-time mother to a baby boy, born via surrogate.
Emily Deschanel confirmed she was expecting her first child with actor husband David Hornsby, while Cruel Intentions star Ryan Phillippe also had baby news after the tabloids reported that his ex-girlfriend, actress Alexis Knapp, was pregnant.
There was a health scare on the cards for tennis ace Serena Williams after she was hospitalised with a blood clot in her lungs, while fears for Zsa Zsa Gabor's wellbeing mounted when she began coughing up blood and suffered circulation problems in her left leg.
Even clean-cut teen pop sensation Justin Bieber found himself named in court papers after a songwriting duo sued over claims they hadn't received royalties for his hit song One Less Lonely Girl.
There were births, marriages and bust-ups galore as Spring sprung in April, but only one subject was on everyone's lips - the royal wedding. Celebs and commoners alike got carried away in the buzz of the big day on 29 April, when brunette beauty Kate Middleton walked down the aisle with her very own Prince Charming, William. Who would design the dress? Who would be invited? Would best man Harry fall for bridesmaid Pippa? But all questions fell by the wayside on the morning of the magical day, as Britain and two billion viewers across the world came to a standstill to watch the future Queen of England step out of her Rolls-Royce wearing a stunning Alexander McQueen lace gown to huge cheers from the crowd. The pair wed in front of 1,900 quests, including Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and even showbiz royalty Victoria and David Beckham, and left London's Westminster Abbey to great fanfare as the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But Kate didn't hog all the limelight - who can forget the backing support of her sister Pippa, hailed Her Royal Hotness thanks to that figure-hugging dress and her much-discussed derriere?
The wedding was of fairytale proportions, one even our favourite celebs couldn't compete with - but that didn’t stop them from trying! Canadian crooner Michael Buble was one of the biggest stars to walk down the aisle in April - his second set of nuptials to stunning fiancee Luisana Lopilato following their original wedding day in March. Controversial couple LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian also wed in a private ceremony in Malibu, which was a surprise for guests - they thought they were there for the pair's engagement party! Funnyman Rob Schneider also joined the marriage club, exchanging vows with fiancee Patricia Azarcoya Arce over the Easter Weekend. The marriage mood of the month gave many stars ideas; the likes of Kate Hudson and Matt Bellamy, and Tom Fletcher and his longtime girlfriend became engaged.
Despite love being in the air, some unions were destined to end - Elizabeth Hurley started divorce proceedings against her millionaire husband Arun Nayar, while Christina Aguilera's five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman was declared officially over. After marriage must come babies, and April was awash with stars welcoming newborns. Superstar Mariah Carey welcomed twins Moroccan and Monroe, and in true diva style, gave birth to them on her fourth wedding anniversary to Nick Cannon. The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers and Black Eyed Peas rapper Taboo both welcomed their third sons, while Jane Krakowski, Kevin James, Toni Collette and Drea De Matteo all also became parents to baby boys. Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal was an exception to the rule - he became the proud father of a baby girl.
But with ups, there must be downs - and nobody does scandal like the stars. Teen sensation Demi Lovato stunned her legions of loyal fans by opening up about the emotional issues which landed her in rehab earlier in the year, revealing she was battling an eating disorder and cut herself at her lowest moments. Charlie Sheen continued his madcap ways by embarking on a comedy tour following his sacking from Two and a Half Men - only to get booed offstage on his first night, with critics calling his stand-up debut an "epic failure". Bond fans mourned April as the month Sir Sean Connery announced he was retiring from public appearances after he failed to show up to a charity event in New York. Lindsay Lohan was back in trouble - and in court - when a judge decided she'd had enough of the actress' antics and sentenced her to 120 days behind bars for violating her probation. Nicolas Cage hit the headlines when he was arrested on domestic violence charges following a street bust-up with his wife in New Orleans, and Vince Neil was also in hot water for domestic violence - his ex-girlfriend accused him of jabbing a finger at her during an argument. However, the biggest shock came when Welsh beauty Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a mental health facility to overcome her bipolar disorder. The stint in the clinic came after a tough year for the Oscar-winner following husband Michael Douglas' cancer battle.
April was a sad month for actor Tim Robbins, who tragically lost his father, Gil, and his mother, Mary, within days of each other. The punk world was left in mourning when X-Ray Spex legend Poly Styrene lost her battle with cancer at the age of 53, while British actress Elisabeth Sladen, Dr Who's longest running sidekick, also passed away after a fight with the disease.
May was a shocking month as Hollywood tough guy Arnold Schwarzenegger split from his wife of 25 years Maria Shriver, only to reveal later on in the month he had fathered a lovechild with their housekeeper 13 years earlier. Although the scandal rocked Hollywood, he wasn't the only one heading for splitsville - Charlie Sheen and Brooke Mueller became officially divorced, as did actress Neve Campbell and James Bond star George Lazenby. Lady Gaga also split from boyfriend Luc Carl, while Hayden Panettiere ended her romance with her boxer boyfriend Wladimir Klitschko. Girls Aloud beauty Nadine Coyle also became single after calling off her engagement to American footballer Jason Bell.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom - Beatles legend Sir Paul Mccartney announced he was engaged to marry for the third time, to American Nancy Shevell, while director Sophia Coppolla and reality star Kim Kardashian also announced plans to walk down the aisle.
As for marriages, Marie Osmond remarried her first husband Stephen Craig, 29 years after they first exchanged vows and in the same wedding dress. Wedding bells also rang for Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill and Victoria's Secret supermodel Lily Aldridge, while country king and queen Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert also became man and wife in Texas.
It was a baby boom month, with many stars becoming parents for the first time. Rockers Bryan Adams and Matthew Followill, actors David Schwimmer and Mike Myers, and actresses Alicia Silverstone, Marion Cotillard and Lost's Evangeline Lilly all became first-time parents. Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton welcomed her second son. French first lady Carla Bruni and actress Bryce Dallas Howard were also celebrating pregnancies. But it was a sad month for British actress Kelly Brook, who suffered a miscarriage.
Other sad news in May came when Grease actor Jeff Conaway passed away at the age of 60, sending Hollywood into mourning. Boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper died two days before his 77th birthday and Superman star Jackie Cooper also died, aged 88. The month started with the shock news that al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead in Pakistan. Other stars facing struggles included Sean Kingston, who was involved in a horrific jet-ski crash, while veteran actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was also hospitalised with pneumonia-type symptoms and fell into a coma.
It was also a controversial month for Lindsay Lohan, who started a 120-day jail term in the comfort of her own home for parole violation. British rocker Pete Doherty was also jailed for six months for cocaine possession. Other stars facing woes included Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, Friends star Matthew Perry and boxer/singer Oscar De La Hoya, who were all submitted in to rehab programs. It was an embarrassing month for British singer Cheryl Cole, who was hired, then fired to sit on the judging panel of America's The X Factor. In music news for the month, Silverchair announced they were to split, Rod Stewart announced a Las Vegas residency, while it was a big movie month as the Cannes Film Festival in France also kicked off. While Brad Pitt was hailed at the glitzy event, with his film Tree Of Life winning the coveted Palme d'Or prize for Best Film, it was a bad experience for director Lars Von Trier, who was banned from the festival for controversial statements he made about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the festivities.
As summer blossomed, June marked a baby boom in Hollywood. Pop star Pink became a first-time mum at the beginning of the month when she welcomed little Willow, while drummer Adrian Young added to the No Doubt family with daughter Magnolia. Natalie Portman became a yummy mummy to son Aleph, actress Tia Mowry also welcomed a little boy, and model/actress Devon Aoki was another addition to the first-time mum club with the arrival of Hunter. Denise Richards made headlines when she announced she'd adopted a baby, Eloise, into her brood, while Meat Loaf became a grandfather when his daughter Pearl Aday gave birth to a baby boy. Lindsay Price and Nia Long also announced their pregnancies in June, as did Lily Allen - whose baby news went public on the same day she married partner Sam Cooper.
Lily's wedding wasn't the only one at the start of summer - Rachel Weisz married actor Daniel Craig following a whirlwind romance and Noel Gallagher put his wild ways behind him after exchanging vows with longterm partner Sara MacDonald.
However, the month was marred by a string of high-profile splits - David Duchovny and Tea Leoni separated just two years after reconciling following the actor's sex addiction admission, Jack White parted ways with model/singer wife Karen Elson after six years of marriage, and Hugh Hefner was dumped by fiancee Crystal Harris - just days before their planned wedding. Elizabeth Hurley's divorce from Arun Nayar was granted, and George Clooney split from Elisabetta Canalis.
There were health dramas aplenty - pop princesses Selena Gomez and Jennifer Hudson were hospitalised within days of each other. Both stars were forced to pull performances, and getwellselena even became a top trending topic on Twitter.com as fans rallied to support the Disney idol. Gomez later revealed she was malnourished and feeling exhausted, while Hudson was diagnosed with a severe bout of food poisoning.
The music world was left reeling when legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who had worked with Bruce Springsteen and Lady Gaga, died from complications stemming from a major stroke. The rocker led the tributes to his pal, declaring, "His loss is immeasurable and we are honoured and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years." TV fans were also left in mourning following the passing of Columbo star Peter Falk at the age of 83, while legendary TV cowboy James Arness also died.
In other June news, the vampires from Twilight overpowered the magical Harry Potter kids at the MTV Movie Awards, taking home five golden popcorn prizes to their film franchise rival cast's one. The Cmt Awards took place in Nashville, Tennessee just days later and newlyweds Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert dominated the ceremony - picking up three of the nine top honours between them. But it was a bad month for their country music rival Trace Adkins when his Tennessee home was destroyed by fire.
The month was special for U2 when they headlined Britain's iconic Glastonbury festival after a year-long wait - they were forced to pull out of the event in 2010 after frontman Bono underwent surgery on his back. In a spooky echo of U2's concert drama, pop star Jessie J was forced to axe several summer shows after undergoing emergency surgery on her broken foot – but still fulfilled her duties at Glastonbury, performing while perched on a red and gold throne. »
'Downton Abbey' has been slammed as "sexless" by 'Upstairs Downstairs' star Neil Jackson. The hunky actor - who portrays chauffer Harry Spargo in the BBC remake of the period drama - claims his co-stars Laura Haddock and Keeley Hawes are much better eye-candy than the likes of their ITV1 rivals Michelle Dockery and Amy Nuttall. He said: "The women in 'Downton Abbey' don't compare to the women in 'Upstairs Downstairs'. Ours are stunning. We've got Laura Haddock, Keeley Hawes, Claire Foy... beautiful women. Laura, who plays Harry's love interest Beryl Ballard, is particularly beautiful. "If Angelina Jolie and Keira Knightley had a love »
Peter Bradshaw picks his highlights of the year ahead
Artist and film-maker Steve McQueen follows up his award-winning Hunger with this study of Brandon, a compulsive sex addict in Manhattan, played by Michael Fassbender. Brandon is forced to consider his life choices, and their origins, when his equally troubled sister (Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him in his bachelor pad. Released on 13 January.
This has reportedly been a "passion project" for Ralph Fiennes for years: an adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, a play about a Roman military hero and autocratic leader who despises the people and the political arts of appeasing them. Rejected by Rome, he makes common cause with the city's enemy in order to wage a bitter war of revenge. Released on 20 January.
- Peter Bradshaw
Yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences mailed its nomination ballots to 5,783 voters. So where do things stand in the Oscar race? Not much has changed in the last week, but here are my current predictions in the six major races.
1. The Artist (last week: 1)
2. War Horse (last week: 2)
3. The Descendants (last week: 3)
4. The Help (last week: 4)
5. Hugo (last week: 5)
6. Midnight in Paris (last week: 6)
7. The Tree of Life (last week: 7)
8. Moneyball (last week: 8 )
9. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (last week: 9)
10. Bridesmaids (last week: 10)
11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (last week: 11)
12. The Ides of March »
- Dave Karger
March and April have quickly become more and more populated. It seems like all the rejected summer blockbusters flock to these two months, hoping the lack of competition will garner them box office glory. Well it doesn't always work, you can't deny that there is money to be made during these two months. And, evident from today's Prelude to 2012, studios want as much money as they can squeeze from these two months. Hit the jump for full details on over 25 films hoping to make an impact in the limbo between Summer and the beginning of the year. Who knows...you may just find something you'll like.
March has always been a busy time for film. In fact, I would say that the year doesn't truly kick off Until this month. Yeah, there's a couple notable releases in January and February (as shown here), but March is when the first blockbusters »
- TheCritic28@gmail.com (Matthew Legarreta)
Kate took first place in the list of top 20 beauty icons of 2011 with her sister, Pippa, falling just short of the win. Do you agree with this list? Vote! Kate Middleton and Pippa Middleton beat out other top beauties, including Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry and More! Check out the full list and decide if You think the two sisters deserve the top spots. Vote below! Here's the full list from the UK-based poll. Do you agree with who took the winning spots? 1. Kate Middleton 2. Pippa Middleton 3. Cheryl Cole 4. Rihanna 5. Holly Willoughby 6. Tulisa Contostavlos 7. Beyonce 8. Emma Watson 9. Katy Perry 10. Victoria Beckham 11. Kelly Rowland 12. Lady Gaga 13. Amy Childs 14. Katherine Jenkins 15. Nicole Scherzinger 16. Adele 17. Pixie Lott 18. Angelina Jolie 19. Keira Knightley 20. Scarlett Johannson [polldaddy poll=5792241] »
- Eden Univer
Downer: The UK On The Big Screen
Come to Leeds! If you're lucky, you'll escape with a kicking! Paddy Considine's ludicrously grim movie heaped abuse after abuse on its poor cast. No one got off lightly, not even the innocent little boy across the road. Or the dog that chewed his face off.
Sket/The Veteran/Junkhearts/Attack The Block/Anuvahood
When they're not busy rioting, Londoners are often to be found selling drugs, wearing hoodies, taking drugs, obtaining firearms and chasing each other through one of about three photogenically claustrophobic council estates – all to a blaring grime soundtrack.
Come to Glasgow, if you think you're hard enough. Everyone there is either a violent yob who'll end up in prison, or a good kid »
- Steve Rose
Given its fascinating subject matter -- the friendship, collaboration and often bitter rivalry between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung -- I had high hopes for A Dangerous Method.
After all, David Cronenberg's elegant period piece has the underpinnings of first-rate Oscar bait. Aside from its sexy true story of love, rivalry and fetishes (based on a well reviewed nonfiction book by clinical psychologist and historian John Kerr), A Dangerous Method also has a first-rate cast: Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Jung and Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, a young woman who was Jung's patient and lover as well as Freud's colleague and confidante.
But in spite of this pedigree, I'm ambivalent about the end result. Despite its sometimes startling sexuality, insights about the human mind, witty dialogue, strong performances (with one exception I'll get into later) and flawless attention to period detail, A Dangerous Method is surprisingly emotionally flat and languidly paced. »
- Don Clinchy
Girls are dancing in these mid-riff baring numbers and for a second I think best opening to Rizzoli & Isles ever and then I realize the girls are all way, way young and I have to go find some soap and a brush to scrub those split-second inappropriate thoughts from my brain tissue. It’s some sort of dance competition complete with stage moms with video cameras and a dance coach with a shiny, shiny jacket. But then their age inappropriate performance is interrupted by a woman staggering onto the stage with scissors sticking out of her chest. Yes, scissors. Death by scissoring? Oh, Rizzoli & Isles, you cheeky little monkeys.
Back at Casa de Det. Sexy McBadass, our gals are getting all sweaty while hitting it together. What? That is technically accurate. Jane is teaching Maura self defense moves on her boxing dummy. Jane is decked out in a black tank »
- Dorothy Snarker
The holidays are nearly upon us, and while many of you out there will undoubtedly be spending your time roasting chestnuts on an open fire (or some other cheery activity) with your family, there's going to be down time. And what better way to spend that time than by watching some classic holiday movies?
There are far too many feel-good Christmas movies (as well as some feel-bad holiday movies) out there to choose from, so if you find yourself stumped come December 25, never fear -- the MTV Movies team has compiled our all-time favorite holiday movie viewing experiences to make your season bright.
“Now I have a machine gun. Ho Ho Ho.” These words, written on a dead bad guy’s shirt by New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) and uttered by the Grinchiest of movie menaces Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), exemplify why Christmas at Nakatomi Plaza is so much fun. »
- MTV Movies Team
Joe Wright is a man responsible for titles like Pride & Prejudice and Atonement and a director who obviously has some kind of crush on Keira Knightley. Why? Well, because his upcoming Anna Karenina movie marks their third collaboration! At this moment Anna Karenina still has no USA release date but at least we have [...]
With last week’s Screen Actors Guild Award nominations we finally heard from a pre-Oscar voting body that has significant overlap with the Academy. So how did the SAG and Golden Globe announcements change the main races overall? Here are my updated rankings.
1. The Artist (last week: 1)
2. War Horse (last week: 3)
3. The Descendants (last week: 2)
4. The Help (last week: 5)
5. Hugo (last week: 4)
6. Midnight in Paris (last week: 7)
7. The Tree of Life (last week: 8 )
8. Moneyball (last week: 9)
9. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (last week: 6)
10. Bridesmaids (last week: — )
11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (last week: 11)
12. The Ides of March »
- Dave Karger
We’ve got a few synopses to share with you today. First up is the very first logline for director Alfonso Cuaron’s ambitious 3D sci-fi flick Gravity. While all we’ve previously known about the mysterious project is that Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts, and Bullock occupies much of the screentime alone, stranded in space. This synopsis sheds a bit more light on what to expect, and Gravity still stands as one of my most anticipated films from 2012. Additionally, Focus Features has released a batch of synopses for their 2012 slate including Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, the apocalyptic flick Seeking a Friend for the End of the World starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, the 3D stop-motion comedy ParaNorman, and more. Hit the jump to get a peek into what 2012 has in store. Here’s the synopsis for Gravity courtesy of MarketSaw: Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, »
- Adam Chitwood
Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. turned their backs on many old favorites with this year's Golden Globe film nominations. And they also snubbed performances that had been endorsed by other precursor prizes. View Gallery Globe voters denied Johnny Depp ("The Rum Diary") his tenth Best Comedy/Musical Actor bid. While that film didn't win over the critics, it was not reviled as was "The Tourist" last year. Yet Depp did contend at the Globes for that one. Four-time nominee Cameron Diaz couldn't entice Globe voters with her saucy, sexy role in "Bad Teacher." And two-time contender Keira Knightley was left out of the supporting race for her risky role in "A Dangerous Method." While none of those three figured at other awards, pity poor Melissa McCarthy ("Bridesmaids") and Armie Hammer ("J. Edgar"). They both reaped SAG bids but were snubbed by the Globes for thei »
A wide-ranging 2011 Top Ten list from a member of Tribeca's business team, including eco-terrorists, Muppets, Keira Knightley, and yes, the Biebs. Jessie Callahan Manager, Strategic Partnerships and Brand Licensing 1. If a Tree Falls (Marshall Curry) I love films that inspire discussion, and in this film, Marshall Curry does a great job leaving his audience second-guessing their feelings about a range of topics, including environmentalism and the justice system. 2. Drive (Nicolas Wending Refn) I totally did not see the twist in this film coming. It's a retro genre piece with a haunting soundtrack. 3. The Muppets (James Bobin) Who doesn't crack a smile for the Muppets?! If you haven't heard the interview with Jason Segel and Nick Stoller about this movie, I suggest you take a listen. 4. Last Night (Massy Tadjedin) In the theme again of films that inspire discussion... this is a drama that definitely pushes the audience to »
Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life tops Film Comment's list of the "Best Released Films of 2011," an annual year-end survey of film critics, editors, and past and present contributors — over 120 of them this year — so the magazine has put Kent Jones's beautiful essay from the July/August issue online (even if you don't admire the film as much as he does, you'll know that this is a must-read), and the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening The Tree of Life through Tuesday.
The "Released" list goes as far as 50; the "Best Unreleased Movies of 2011" list runs to 52. At #1 is Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film; #2: Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse. There's been some grumbling among the tweeting set, by the way, that this list is too crowded with films that have scored distribution deals and will indeed be seeing a theatrical run sooner or later. »
 Even as I'm rushing to catch up on the 2011 films I've missed before the end of the year, I'm already looking forward to the crop of films that are due to open next year. Focus Features has just announced release dates for three of its upcoming releases I'm most curious about: Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Paul Weitz's Being Flynn, and Lorene Scafaria's Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Details after the jump. Variety  reports that Being Flynn will get a limited release March 2, the same day that The Lorax, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, and Project X are set to open wide. Based on Nick Flynn's acclaimed memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Being Flynn features Paul Dano as a young writer who reconnects with his absentee dad (Robert De Niro) when the latter shows up at the homeless shelter where the former works. »
- Angie Han
Focus Features has firmed up release dates for new pictures from Wes Anderson ("Rushmore") and Paul Weitz ("About a Boy"), as well as a Steve Carell and Keira Knightley comedy. The biggest name of the bunch is Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," which reunites the auteur with previous collaborators Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. The film also stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Frances McDormand and is set in a small town off the coast of New England in the 1960s. It centers on a pair of young lovers who run away together. »
- Brent Lang
Chicago – There are glimpses of actual danger in David Cronenberg’s divisive “A Dangerous Method” with Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley, and the film has a lingering power as it’s easy to roll around your brain and contemplate its themes, but I wanted a bit more actual risk to the filmmaking. Easily the masterful director’s most straightforward work in some time (possibly ever), this is a worthwhile piece that nonetheless disappoints in the context of the rest of his filmography.
“A Dangerous Method” is a deeply cerebral film, something that deserves at least praise in today’s market, even if I wanted it to be more physical and less verbal every now and then. It is about some of the most important developments in the investigation of how we think about not only mental illness but everyday thought processes. But it’s a tale of »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Universal's art house label Focus Features have announced their release slate for the first half of 2012.
Paul Weitz's "Being Flynn", an adaptation of Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir "Another Bulls—t Night in Suck City", will open in select cities on Friday March 2nd. Paul Dano plays a young writer trying to define himself. Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore also star.
Lorene Scafaria's "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is set to hit on Friday April 20th. Steve Carell and Keira Knightley play two people whose lives converge when humanity's last days are at hand.
Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" has been scheduled to open in select cities on Friday May 25th. The story is set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s and follows a young boy and girl falling in love.
Already announced is Laika's 3D stop-motion comedy »
- Garth Franklin
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