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Terrifying First Look Set Pic Of 'Grudge Match' Is A Chilling Reminder Of Where De Niro's Career Can Go

24 February 2013 3:36 PM, PST

Will all of Robert De Niro's great "Silver Linings Playbook" work be undone in a blink of an eye? The actor has a solid shot at winning Best Supporting Actor tonight despite the fact that Tommy Lee Jones won the SAG award for "Lincoln" earlier this year (the best Oscar augur there is). But his work in David O. Russell's film will go down as one of his finest whether or not he wins. It was an incredibly authentic and charged performance imbued with the anger, frustration and heartache of being a parent struggling with a problem child, on top of the the realization he may have failed said offspring.  De Niro's career in the aughts has gone dangerously close to Marlon Brando's late-career arc, which was hard to watch ("The Island of Dr. Moreau," "Don Juan DeMarco," "The Brave" which never even came out). There have »

- Edward Davis

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First Official Images Of Nicole Kidman As Grace Kelly In ‘Grace Of Monaco’; Weinstein Company Pick Up Film

24 February 2013 1:50 PM, PST

Are we already looking at one of next year's Best Actress nominees? With three Oscar nominations and one win under her belt, Nicole Kidman is no stranger to the awards season, and while The Weinstein Company is hoping to see some love for "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Django Unchained" at the Dolby Theater tonight, they've already got their eyes on next year. In recent days they snapped up the rights to the Idris Elba-starring biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," and now they've got another true-life tale added to their slate. Harvey's company is picking up the rights to "Grace of Monaco," the film directed by "La Vie En Rose" helmer Olivier Dahan, featuring Kidman playing none other than screen icon and royal, Grace Kelly. Set in 1962, when the city-state/tax haven of Monaco got into a heated dispute with France, Charles De Gaulle gave Kelly's husband Prince »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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5 Of The Worst Campaign Controversies In Oscar History

24 February 2013 11:35 AM, PST

In some respects, this Oscar season has been a classic one, with a strong line-up of films and a narrative full of twists and turns. But it's also marked the return of a less-than-happy Oscar tradition in a fairly major way – the smear campaign and dirty tricks. Almost every serious contender has had some kind of attack leveled against it. "Lincoln" played fast and loose with historical facts and demeaned the good name of the state of Connecticut. "Argo" was even faster and looser and downplayed the part of an entire nation, Canada, in the real-life story. "Zero Dark Thirty" is pro-torture, "Django Unchained" is racist, and "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence was ungracious towards Meryl Streep and her fellow nominees in acceptance speeches and 'SNL' monologues. This sort of ridiculous thing has cropped up a few times in the last few years – "The King's Speech" was criticized. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Watch: Andy Samberg's Opening Sketch & Monologue From Independent Spirit Awards 2013

24 February 2013 11:33 AM, PST

If somehow you still watched The Independent Spirit Awards late last night, despite the winners being announced hours earlier, then this is old news. But if you're like most of us and didn't, well here's a little bit of catch-up before the Oscars roll out in just a few hours. The opening sketch and monologue by host Andy Samberg has made its way online, and while it's not his greatest hour, there are some good laughs to be had. Things start off with a sketch, a trailer for the indie "Bottle Cap" with appearances from Marisa Tomei and Jk Simmons among others. As for Samberg's intro to the show, it's a hit and miss affair, and his biggest laugh is for a joke about one of last year's nominees, "Shame." But hey, it's still worth a spin if you're impatiently waiting for tonight's festivities, so give it a spin below. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Kristen Stewart Wins Best Handjob At The Oscars

24 February 2013 11:20 AM, PST

There will be a lot of awards handed out tonight at the Oscars, but one you won't see is for Best Handjob. But luckily, the folks at Funny Or Die have managed to give out the honor themselves, and believe it or not, happy endings featured in more than a few movies this year. Cult leaders, presidents, women made of sand, the disabled or just two lucky dudes in the front seat of a classic car -- it seems handjobs were dealt with equal opportunity across cinema screens in 2012. "The Master," "The Sessions," "Hyde Park On Hudson" and "On The Road" placed their firm grip and lengthy fingers down the pants of its stars, and now it's time to see how did it best. Check out Sandra Bullock introducing the nominees and announcing the winner below. Oscar's Best Handjob Award - watch more funny videos »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ Star & Oscar Nominee Quvenzhané Wallis Confirmed To Play ‘Annie’

24 February 2013 11:11 AM, PST

If you don't know how to pronounce her name yet, you might want to start learning as big things are on the horizon for Quvenzhané Wallis. The breakout star and Oscar nominee for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is making the leap from indie darling to blockbuster lead. After reports a few weeks back that she was being eyed, Deadline reports that Wallis has been signed up to play the lead in the remake of "Annie." The new version of the musical that was previously turned into a hit 1982 movie, will be directed by "Easy A" helmer Will Gluck and will trade the Great Depression setting for a contemporary story. That's all the details there are for now, but both Will Smith and Jay-z are producing, which will put the actress in some extrememly powerful company. We can't really argue with this casting, but let's hope a big studio production »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: Emma Stone Talks Comedy, 'The Croods' And Cameron Crowe; Scores Off The Charts On Likability

24 February 2013 10:30 AM, PST

Having enjoyed pretty much the definition of a meteoric rise to fame, you could maybe forgive Emma Stone for having lost the run of herself. But just as her big-screen persona is usually based on being the approachable, down-to-earth, girl-next-door type, in person she demonstrates many of those qualities too, along with an absolute refusal to take herself too seriously. It made for an entertaining interview at the Berlin Film Festival following the premiere of her animated film “The Croods” (our review here). And if some members of our small press group were not just eating out of her hand, but apparently longing to curl up in her lap and go to sleep there by the end of our time with her, in between the various "Why are you so awesome?"-style questions, Stone did fill us in quite a bit on her philosophy towards her career to date, her »

- Jessica Kiang

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Weekend Box Office: 'Identity Thief' Returns To First; Stitches For 'Snitch'

24 February 2013 9:54 AM, PST

So far, 2013 is trailing 2012 in box office receipts, allowing “Identity Thief” to celebrate the spoils of war. The comedy is slated to become the highest grossing film of 2013 within days (beating out “Django Unchained,” which is actually a 2012 release), and this weekend it romped over a couple of weak newcomers to reclaim the top spot at the box office. While audiences certainly have responded to the pratfall-heavy comedy, it’s also faced a number of un-appetizing competitors at the marketplace, and has benefited greatly from being the only big comedy in wide release. This is not hit-making as much as it's filling a need: people love to laugh, and comedies are a “genre” that ain’t going out of style. As major studios release less and less product each year, there’s going to be a vacuum for stuff like “Identity Thief” to make a mint. Finishing in a respectable »

- Gabe Toro

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Watch: Trailer For Jane Campion's Crime Miniseries 'Top Of The Lake' Starring Elisabeth Moss

24 February 2013 7:56 AM, PST

So, are you finished with "House of Cards"? Are you eager for another auteur driven, accomplished drama featuring a first rate cast? Well, in just a few weeks you'll be able sink your teeth into Jane Campion's six-part "Top of the Lake" led by "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss, and the first trailer is here to give you a great look at the unique setting for this miniseries. Co-starring David Wenham, Lucy Lawless, Robyn Malcolm and Jay Ryan, the story follows detective Robin Griffin who investigates the disappearance of the 12-year-old, five-months-pregnant daughter of a local drug lord in remote, mountainous New Zealand. During the investigation, she collides with Matt Mitcham (Mullan), the missing girl’s father and local drug lord, and Gj (Hunter), a guru at a local women’s camp. But that's just the tip of the multiple storylines woven throughout the show. Earlier this month at the Berlin International Film Festival, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2' Dominates Razzie Awards, Takes Worst Picture & 7 More

24 February 2013 7:42 AM, PST

2012 wasn't lacking in terrible films, but it seems for the folks at the annual Razzie Awards – celebrating the very best of the worst – it was time to honor one franchise for delivering consistently schlocky films to massive box office success. Last night, the organization "honored" "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2" with eight awards, including Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Screen Ensemble, Worst Director, Worst Remake, Rip-Off Or Sequel and Worst Screen Couple. Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner in particular were singled out for terribleness, though Robert Pattinson got off the hook, and it wasn't the only movie to get a stamp of disapproval. Adam Sandler, who dominated last year's awards with "Jack & Jill," earned Worst Actor for "That's My Boy" and the movie itself nabbed Worst Screenplay. Meanwhile, Rihanna's screen debut in "Battleship" »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Check Out Jack Kirby's Real Artwork For The Fake 'Argo'

24 February 2013 7:19 AM, PST

You know that great scene in “Argo," the one towards the end in the airport? Oh, spoilers for "Argo" coming up here, by the way. The scene we’re talking about is probably the most tense in a movie positively brimming with tension, where Scoot McNairy’s character comes through at the last minute and shows the airport security guards the artwork from their fake movie, saving the group’s collective bacon in the process. Well here’s a treat for the movie’s fans ahead of a weekend where "Argo" will probably be treated to a Best Picture Oscar itself, because the original artwork for the real fake movie (this is getting confusing, isn’t it) have surfaced. Apparently before the real Tony Mendez used it as a CIA cover story, the real "Argo" was originally titled "Lord of Light," and it was only after it was put into »

- Joe Cunningham

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'Silver Linings Playbook' Dominates The Spirit Awards With Best Picture, Best Director & 4 Awards Total

23 February 2013 2:09 PM, PST

Film Independent handed out their Independent Spirit Awards this afternoon, with the Oscars' cooler and more casual younger sibling handing out their statues in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and host Andy Samberg overseeing the proceedings. We followed along on Twitter, thanks to those intrepid correspondents tweeting along, and have the list of winners for you below. "Silver Linings Playbook" dominated the major awards, picking up statues for David O. Russell (Best Screenplay and Best Director), Jennifer Lawrence (Best Female Lead) and Best Feature. "The Sessions" got some love for John Hawkes (Best Male Lead) and Helen Hunt (Best Supporting Female), and another well-loved and Oscar-overlooked film, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," picked up the Best First Feature Award. Sundance darling "Beasts of the Southern Wild" picked up the award for Best Cinematography for Ben Richardson. According to the Twitter correspondents in the room, »

- Katie Walsh

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Interview: Mélanie Laurent On Advice From Luc Besson, Gerard Depardieu, 'Night Train To Lisbon' & Her Singing Career

23 February 2013 1:37 PM, PST

It can be hard to remember that Mélanie Laurent had actually been acting for a decade, albeit largely in French-language productions, before breaking out internationally by killing Hitler in “Inglourious Basterds.” Of course the one-two punch of the Quentin Tarantino movie and Mike Mills’ well-received “Beginners” is a relatively recent phenomenon for the actress, but in person, too, Laurent has an engaging freshness about her and a genuine excitement about where she is and what she’s is doing that makes her seem more like an ingenue than a seasoned pro. Or so we found when we got to meet her at the Berlin Film Festival where her latest film, Bille August’s “Night Train to Lisbon” (our review here and our interview with co-star Jeremy Irons here) premiered. In it, Laurent takes on another role within a large ensemble as a political revolutionary in mid-20th century Europe, though in tone and execution it. »

- Jessica Kiang

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Interview: César Winner Matthias Schoenaerts Talks Oscar Nominated Short 'Death Of A Shadow'

23 February 2013 1:03 PM, PST

When we reached Matthias Schoenaerts by phone Friday afternoon, it was nearing 7 p.m. in Paris, and ceremonies for the César Awards were not too far from getting underway. But Schoenaerts remained unhurried. "I'm not at all dressed and ready and go. I just got out of the shower, and I like to take it easy and not rush anything," he said. But don't let his laid back attitude fool you. For anyone paying attention, the hard working actor's career has taken off like a rocket thanks to Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee "Bullhead" and this year's arthouse sensation "Rust And Bone" -- for which he would pick up a Best Newcomer award at the Césars later in the evening. But on this call, we've caught up with the actor to talk about another performance, one that should surprise audiences who've only seen his more physically imposing turns in those aforementioned films. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Michael Haneke's 'Amour' Dominates César Awards; 'Argo' Wins Best Foreign Film

23 February 2013 12:18 PM, PST

If you had told us a year ago that a Michael Haneke-directed film about the death of an elderly woman would become a contender for Best Picture, Best Foreign Lanuage Film, Best Actress and Best Director at the Oscars, we would've said you were crazy. But the provocateur's difficult, but touching and human film has managed to resonate far and wide, and while France's César Awards have pretty much zero bearing on the Oscars, it's interesting to see that Haneke's work has been just as recognized. "Amour" won big last night, taking prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Damn. It's a remarkable showing for the movie, and another feather in its cap after it won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival last spring. But it wasn't the only multiple award winner last night, as Jacques Audiard's "Rust And Bone »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Kodi Smit-McPhee Reunites With Matt Reeves For 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes'

23 February 2013 12:00 PM, PST

In a season that saw big, expected hits like "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Green Lantern" fumble hard, 20th Century Fox's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" was the surprise summer hit of 2011. Released in early August, many weren't expecting a lot from the film (especially critics) given its motley crew cast and its lead, James Franco, who seemed like he was performing in the wrong movie. It didn't matter. The MVPs of the film were the extraordinarily realistic (and suprisingly emotional) CGI apes, the motion capture work of Andy Serkis as lead ape Caesar,  and director Rupert Wyatt, who quickly saw his name shoot up to the most-wanted list. The film took in close to $500 million worldwide and so obviously, a sequel was green lit. But franchise cynicism aside, the sequel, "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" sounds better and better with each passing day. Sure, there were bumps »

- Edward Davis

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Exclusive: Matthias Schoenaerts Joins 'Animal Rescue' With Tom Hardy & Noomi Rapace

23 February 2013 11:56 AM, PST

While he stars in the Oscar-nominated short film "Death Of A Shadow," Matthias Schoenaerts got to celebrate early last night, as he took home the César Award for Best Newcomer for his fantastic performance in Jacques Audiard's "Rust And Bone." No doubt, the actor will have his fingers crossed for up-and-coming filmmaker Tom Van Avermaet on Sunday night where 'Death' will be hoping to take home a statue. But once the festivities are over, it will be back to work, and first up will be a reunion with his "Bullhead" director who first helped him break out on the international scene. We chatted with Schoenaerts yesterday afternoon, just before the Césars, and he shared with us what his plans for the New Year will be. "I'll be shooting in New York with Michael Roskam, we're shooting his first American feature film," Schoenaerts said. "I have a supporting role in that, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: New Trailer For 'Games Of Thrones' Finally Delivers Footage From Season 3

23 February 2013 5:37 AM, PST

Are you ready to return to Westeros? In just over a month, Sunday nights will be delivering one of the most beloved shows in recent memory with the return of "Game Of Thrones." And now a new look at the season has finally arrived. HBO has spent the last little while offering up teasers that didn't show any footage and behind-the-scenes looks that only offered fleeting glimpses of what fans can expect. But finally, a brief but no less substanial trailer has dropped, running one full minute and spending that time reintroducing the principal players all over a pretty terrible pop song. Not sure what that was about. Anyway, give it all a spin below and let us know if you think the show will keep the already high standards it has delivered. "Game Of Thrones" returns on March 31st. [Dark Horizons] »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Joe Carnahan Exits 'Death Wish,' Studio Wants Bruce Willis To Star

22 February 2013 3:19 PM, PST

The remake of "Death Wish" is an interesting prospect, particularly with Joe Carnahan at the helm, who signed up just over a year ago. The original, a distinct B-movie, but one a bit more accomplished than most, still resonates today with its vigilante theme and big guns dispensing justice. And Carnahan, whose movies are pumped through with testosterone, was an interesting choice to take it on, but he has now moved on over the standard tune of "creative differences." Deadline reports that the director and Paramount/MGM came at loggerheads over casting, with the studios wanting Bruce Willis and Carnahan eager to go in a different direction. And we gotta side with Carnahan here. Willis is the guy you choose if you want to make the most obvious version of this movie possible, and it's also wrongheaded. The entire point of "Death Wish" is that it centers on an ordinary man pushed to the brink. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Snitch' & 'Dark Skies' To Have A 'Stand Off'

22 February 2013 2:32 PM, PST

Oh thank heavens. Finally, it's Academy Awards weekend. On Sunday evening, we'll all tune in to watch a parade of the anointed in sparkly haute couture gowns and even sparklier diamonds hand out golden statues of little nude men. And groan and nod sagely and screech out, "I told you so!" as the winners are announced. And be utterly thankful that at long, long last the awards season is over. Minus the sad fact that Jennifer Lawrence probably won't be dispensing bon mots with the same frequency; the "Catching Fire" press tours can't come soon enough! So, if you're all caught up with the Oscar contenders, and have watched enough GIFs of J-Law to make your eyes bleed but are itching for something to do before Sunday's gala, there's always the awards un-hopefuls debuting in theaters this weekend. Kids are creepy; The Rock is a government snitch; Brendan Fraser is back for seconds, »

- Emma Bernstein

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