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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.
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. »
Directed and Written by: Alex de la Iglesia
Clown enthusiasts seem to hold American clowns in far lower regard than their European counterparts, and The Last Circus has helped me to crystallize just why this is the case.
Take your typical American clown, with a typically stupid name like, say, Bongo the Putz. The guy playing Bongo probably hates kids and hates his job and hates his wife and thinks his dog is a freeloader, but you wouldn’t necessarily know it watching Bongo in action. He seems to convey only empty cheer and bludgeoning neon, as if that is enough to distract children from the horrors of existence. Now, I know what you’re thinking folks: That’s probably the pessimistic view, and I should just congratulate Bongo for entertaining children and move on with my jaded, hopeless life. However, »
- Thomas Duke
Box office junkies, unite! It’s time to break down the year that was at the movies using the thing that we love most — the numbers!
Blockbuster franchise films reigned supreme at the North American box office in 2011. Of the ten highest grossing movies, the top seven — led by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 with $381 million — are sequels, Rise of the Planet of the Apes (No. 9, $176.7 million) is a prequel, and Thor (No. 8, $181 million) and Captain America: The First Avenger (No. 10, $176.7 million), while not sequels, are part of the larger Avengers franchise which Marvel will roll out next year. »
- Grady Smith
Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" was the overwhelming winner at the specialty box office this year, topping this chart of 2011's top grossers with $56.3 million. That's over $20 million more than the next film on the chart - the still-climbing "Descendants" (it could surpass that total when Oscar season has come and gone) - and the highest gross ever for a Woody Allen film. While "Paris" is just one of many success stories for Indiewood this year, overall things have taken a slight dive from 2010's big year. While both years saw six films gross over $10 million, 2011 had only 15 $5 million grossers and 24 $3 million grossers. In 2010, those milestones were reached 19 and 31 times, respectively. Also notable was that four of the top five films in 2011 came from the year's first half, whereas last year's list was dominated by year-end releases like "Black Swan" and "The King's Speech." While »
D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die...
Black Swan, 2010.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky.
Black Swan is another dark tale from director Darren Aronofsky and again deals with obsession and self-destruction. This time out Aronofsky has made the obsessive world of ballet his setting and the efforts made by Nina (Portman) as she tries to be the best dancer she can be soon turn her world upside down.
Nina is selected to play the lead role in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake for a prestigious New York ballet company, but being a mild mannered and quiet girl she struggles to play both the white and black swan convincingly. The former being gentle and timid and the latter aggressive. Pushed by her ballet director, Thomas (Cassell), she edges herself closer and closer to her physical limits. »
This week at Indiewire we're offering a series of charts reflecting the big winners at the box office this year. Today's chart takes on the best per theater averages of limited debuts in 2011. While most years see the final month or two offering the biggest per-theater-averages of the year (a la "Black Swan," "The King's Speech," "Up In The Air" and "Precious" in recent years), 2011 was something of an anomaly. Far and away the two biggest limited debuts of the year - and among the biggest of all-time - came from two consecutive weekends in May. That would be when Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" would gross downright stunning $90,000+ averages coming off their Cannes debuts. The biggest debut of the final months of the year was "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" - which averaged $77,641 in early December. While "The Descendants" notably »
Welcome to the latest in our series of posts introducing the women vying for the title of Miss America 2012. The Miss America Organization is giving us an early peek at the contestants via their "Vote for Your Favorite" contest and, based on the first five entrants, color us impressed.
This time, we get peeks at Miss Georgia, Miss Hawaii, Miss Idaho, Miss Illinois and Miss Indiana.
Miss Georgia Michaela Lackey has a "passion for creative expression and the arts." And, really, who's to say she isn't the next Warhol?
Miss Hawaii Lauren Cheape is a giver. In this video she's giving us the gift of learning how to jump rope:
Miss Idaho Genevieve Nutting isn't just a couch potato because she's from, you know, Idaho. But she does wear a potato sack dress and a really bad Marilyn Monroe wig:
Miss Illinois Hannah Smith is really into ballet. We're not kidding. »
Of all the various critics groups around the country, the one you should care most about is the Austin Film Critics Association. Why? Well, there’s two very solid and in no way biased reasons that I have: One is that Austin is the home base of Film School Rejects, the site you’re currently reading. And reason two is that yours truly is a member of said association, as is fellow Reject columnist Brian Salisbury. You may also recognize various friends of the site and past Reject Radio guests on the membership roster, including GordonandtheWhale.com founder Chase Whale, FearNet’s Scott Weinberg, Ain’t It Cool’s Eric Vespe, Movies.com’s Peter Hall and more. It’s a pretty impressive group, even if you take my membership into consideration. The other, perhaps less spoken reason, is that the Afca is a group that won’t hesitate to buck the trends set by their big »
- Neil Miller
We start with the source material. We start with the book and [Lisbeth's bisexuality] is what the book described. I didn’t feel there was any need to put a frame around it. One of the things we were very particular about was when she meets Miriam Wu in the bar. We wanted that to be a moment of happiness. There are two times that you see her smile in the entire movie and one of them is when is she gets the attention of Elodie [Yung] and Elodie comes over to kind of say, “Why are you here alone?” I thought that was important. I also think that Salander’s sexuality is less of a ambidextrous thing than it is something that she has to act on. »
- Trish Bendix
"Go forwahds with ya life, not backwahds."
These are the words of wisdom dispensed by Barbara Evans -- a.k.a Jenelle's Mom -- on last night's episode of "Teen Mom 2." After which, she gives Jenelle jumper cables and a can of Fix-a-Flat for her 19th birthday. Seriously. But while we (along with the rest of the Twitterverse) laughed at the scene, we understand Barbara's message to her daughter. As we've been saying for weeks: It's time for the teen moms to forge ahead. In "No Looking Back," there are finally signs that it's beginning to happen.
Just in case her birthday presents aren't enough of a reality check, Jenelle then obliges to drive her ex-boyfriend to turn himself into jail (for domestic abuse charges that she filed against him herself).
Up north in Pennsylvania, Kailyn wants to avoid another pregnancy now that she is getting serious with Jordan. Baby »
By no means intended as an exhaustive list, Clothes on Film ponder an overview of 2011 in costume. Concentrating on mainstream fare that those outside of big cities are likely to have seen, we consider which costumes delighted, surprised and best of all, enlightened us. Expect to spot Drive, Melancholia and Hugo on this list somewhere.
Costume encompasses every item of clothing worn on film. By strict definition costume is not ‘wardrobe’; wardrobe is what Oprah Winfrey wore on her talk show. While at Clothes on Film we embrace all forms of costume, we do have a slight bias for contemporary, although only because it is often underrepresented in the face of (admittedly dazzling) period or fantasy wear. This roundup will comprise both period and contemporary, but »
- Chris Laverty
If there’s a theme to 2011’s crop of films featuring lesbian/bi women, it’s that this was a very good year for emerging voices. First time and younger filmmakers made a mark in huge ways this year, providing everything from spellbinding documentaries (No Look Pass), heart-wrenching drama (Pariah, Break My Fall, Circumstance), and fresh comedy (Jamie and Jessie are Not Together, Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same). Pair that with the quality coming from established filmmakers like Celine Sciamma (Tomboy), and you have a year marked by the presence of strong, unique voices.
Nowhere is that strength of vision more prominent than in the year’s dramas. Well-meaning (but tired) melodramas were drowned out by clear-eyed, nuanced filmmaking, most evident in Pariah, the story of a young African-American woman struggling with her identity, and Circumstance, which features the romance between two teenaged girls in Iran.
As AfterEllen. »
- Danielle Riendeau
There were a lot of top-notch films this year; choosing a shortlist was tricky, picking the ten best of those was difficult and deciding the final order was challenging to say the least. Except for number one, this was an immediate gut instinct. As for the rest, let’s not worry about rank too much – they are all outstanding.
7. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar)
The Skin »
- Jack Kirby
When you want to ogle an actor, the Internet Movie Database is a reasonable destination. So which 10 celebs racked up the most IMDb profile page views in 2011? The top spot now belongs to Natalie Portman , who snagged the crown from Johnny Depp (now No. 3, he's been No. 1 for six out of the last seven years). IMDb's managing editor certainly isn't shocked at the new queen bee: Natalie "won a Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan , was in the news welcoming a son into the world in June, and appeared in three films." Mashable reports on the »
- Dustin Lushing
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (2011) Film Review, a movie directed by David Fincher and starring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Joely Richardson, David Dencik, Joel Kinnaman, Embeth Davidtz, Goran Visnjic, Julian Sands, Steven Berkoff, Geraldine James, Yorick van Wageningen, and Sahlima.
David Fincher’s The Girl with the Tattoo Dragon is Matt Reeves’ Let Me In to Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In. It is that scenario, this time between Niels Arden Oplev and David Fincher, all over again: there is a book, its first adapted into a Swedish film (directed by Niels Arden Oplev) then its adapted into a Us film (David Fincher). And like the Let the Right One In / Let Me In scenario, the first film adaptation is far superior to the second film adaptation. In the current scenario, its even worse for the second director, »
Older men may fare well in Oscars' acting categories, but voters treat the female acting races like a beauty pageant, frequently crowning such glamazons as Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman. View Gallery There is a clear divide in how male and female actors are perceived by the Academy. In the last two decades, only Helen Mirren ("The Queen," 2006) was over 50 when she won for her lead performance. Meanwhile, three of the last four Best Actor champs -- Colin Firth ("The King's Speech," 2010), Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart," 2009), and Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood," 2007) -- had all reached the half century mark while Sean Penn ("Milk," 2008) was 48. Compare that to recent Best Actress winners Portman ("Black Swan," 2010), Witherspoon ("Walk the Line," 2005), Charlize Theron ("Monster," 2003), Hilary Swank ( »
Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Sleeping Beauty Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, and Albert Brooks, was the Sydney Film Critics' choice for Best Film of 2011. In the United States, Drive was the top pick of the Utah Film Critics; elsewhere, most Us critics groups have gone for either Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist or Alexander Payne's The Descendants. A 2010 release (in the Us), Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan was the Sydney Critics' no. 2 movie. Natalie Portman stars as a disturbed ballerina who slowly loses her grip on reality. That was followed by two arthouse movies: Lars von Trier's Melancholia, which earned Kirsten Dunst the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, a transcendental family drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain. The Tree of Life won this year's Palme d'Or in Cannes. »
- Steve Montgomery
Welcome to the second part of The Truffles – the HeyUGuys Movie Awards in which our team dole out an alternative set of awards to the great and good of this year’s cascade of movies.
You can read Part 1 by clicking here and read on to see which cinematic heroes are hoisted high above the crowd and which are dragged into a nearby corner and pummelled.
Here are more unique awards as we take on the year that was…
A show stopping moment from one of my highlights of the cinematic year. Elizabeth Olsen was rightly lauded for her magnetic central performance in Sean Durkin’s film, but it was Sarah Paulson and John Hawkes who stood out for me. What stuck with me most was the moment when Hawkes’ latent anger is given an outlet »
Natalie Portman has been voted the best actress of 2011 in Digital Spy's end of year reader poll. More than 100,000 voted in the survey, which asked Digital Spy users to pick their favourite movies, music, gaming, tech and showbiz highlights from the past 12 months. The Black Swan star topped the reader voting ahead of Harry Potter's Emma Watson and The King's Speech's Helena Bonham Carter. Bridesmaids star and co-writer Kristen Wiig is at number four, while Emma Stone ranks at number five ahead of Twilight's Kristen Stewart. 2011 also saw Portman (more) »
- By Simon Reynolds
Los Angeles, California (X17online) - Natalie Portman was the most viewed actor on IMDb in 2011. The Oscar-winning actress has appeared in Black Swan, No Strings Attached, Thor, and Your Highness this year alone. Black Swan co-star Mila Kunis came in at No. 2, and Johnny Depp – who has topped the list in six of the last seven years – placed at No. 3. »
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