Considering that every award show leading up to the Academy Awards helps predict who will take home the Oscar in each category, it's quite a good sign for both American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave that each film received 13 nominations for the 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
American Hustle grabbed nods for Best Picture, Best Actor (Christian Bale), Best Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (David O. Russell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Comedy (Christian Bale), and Best Actress in a Comedy (Amy Adams). And 12 years a Slave nabbed nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Steve McQueen), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, and Best Score.
Not far behind in the nominations race is Gravity with 10 nods and Captain Phillips, Her, Nebraska, and The Wolf of Wall Street with six each.
The Critics Choice Awards ceremony will be hosted by Aisha Tyler on The CW Jan. 16 at 8 PM.
Best PictureAmerican HustleCaptain PhillipsDallas Buyers ClubGravityHerInside Llewyn DavisNebraskaSaving Mr. Banks12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall Street
Best ActorChristian Bale – American HustleBruce Dern – NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a SlaveTom Hanks – Captain PhillipsMatthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers ClubRobert Redford – All Is Lost
Best ActressCate Blanchett – Blue JasmineSandra Bullock – GravityJudi Dench – PhilomenaBrie Larson – Short Term 12Meryl Streep – August: Osage CountyEmma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Best Supporting ActorBarkhad Abdi – Captain PhillipsDaniel Bruhl – RushBradley Cooper – American HustleMichael Fassbender – 12 Years a SlaveJames Gandolfini – Enough SaidJared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting ActressScarlett Johansson – HerJennifer Lawrence – American HustleLupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a SlaveJulia Roberts – August: Osage CountyJune Squibb – NebraskaOprah Winfrey – Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Best Young Actor/ActressAsa Butterfield – Ender’s GameAdele Exarchopoulos – Blue Is the Warmest ColorLiam James – The Way Way BackSophie Nelisse – The Book ThiefTye Sheridan – Mud
Best Acting EnsembleAmerican HustleAugust: Osage CountyLee Daniels’ The ButlerNebraska12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall Street
Best DirectorAlfonso Cuaron – GravityPaul Greengrass – Captain PhillipsSpike Jonze – HerSteve McQueen – 12 Years a SlaveDavid O. Russell – American HustleMartin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Original ScreenplayEric Singer and David O. Russell – American HustleWoody Allen – Blue JasmineSpike Jonze – HerJoel Coen & Ethan Coen – Inside Llewyn DavisBob Nelson – Nebraska
Best Adapted ScreenplayTracy Letts – August: Osage CountyRichard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke – Before MidnightBilly Ray – Captain PhillipsSteve Coogan and Jeff Pope – PhilomenaJohn Ridley – 12 Years a SlaveTerence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best CinematographyEmmanuel Lubezki – GravityBruno Delbonnel – Inside Llewyn DavisPhedon Papamichael – NebraskaRoger Deakins – PrisonersSean Bobbitt – 12 Years a Slave
Best Art DirectionAndy Nicholson (Production Designer), Rosie Goodwin (Set Decorator) – GravityCatherine Martin (Production Designer), Beverley Dunn (Set Decorator) – The Great GatsbyK.K. Barrett (Production Designer), Gene Serdena (Set Decorator) – HerDan Hennah (Production Designer), Ra Vincent (Set Decorator) – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugAdam Stockhausen (Production Designer), Alice Baker (Set Decorator) – 12 Years a Slave
Best EditingAlan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers – American HustleChristopher Rouse – Captain PhillipsAlfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger – GravityDaniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill – RushJoe Walker – 12 Years a SlaveThelma Schoonmaker – The Wolf of Wall Street
Best Costume DesignMichael Wilkinson – American HustleCatherine Martin – The Great GatsbyBob Buck, Lesley Burkes-Harding, Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugDaniel Orlandi – Saving Mr. BanksPatricia Norris – 12 Years a Slave
Best MakeupAmerican HustleThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugLee Daniels’ The ButlerRush12 Years a Slave
Best Visual EffectsGravityThe Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugIron Man 3Pacific RimStar Trek into Darkness
Best Animated FeatureThe CroodsDespicable Me 2FrozenMonsters UniversityThe Wind Rises
Best Action MovieThe Hunger Games: Catching FireIron Man 3Lone SurvivorRushStar Trek into Darkness
Best Actor in an Action MovieHenry Cavill – Man of SteelRobert Downey Jr. – Iron Man 3Brad Pitt – World War ZMark Wahlberg – Lone Survivor
Best Actress in an Action MovieSandra Bullock – GravityJennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching FireEvangeline Lilly – The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugGwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 3
Best ComedyAmerican HustleEnough SaidThe HeatThis Is the EndThe Way Way BackThe World’s End
Best Actor in a ComedyChristian Bale – American HustleLeonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall StreetJames Gandolfini – Enough SaidSimon Pegg – The World’s EndSam Rockwell – The Way Way Back
Best Actress in a ComedyAmy Adams – American HustleSandra Bullock – The HeatGreta Gerwig – Frances HaJulia Louis-Dreyfus – Enough SaidMelissa McCarthy – The Heat
Best Sci-fi/Horror MovieThe ConjuringGravityStar Trek into DarknessWorld War Z
Best Foreign Language FilmBlue Is the Warmest ColorThe Great BeautyThe HuntThe PastWadjda
Best Documentary FeatureThe Act of KillingBlackfishStories We TellTim’s Vermeer20 Feet from Stardom
Best Song"Atlas" – Coldplay – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"Happy" – Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me 2"Let It Go" – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez – Frozen"Ordinary Love" – U2 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"Please Mr. Kennedy" – Justin Timberlake/Oscar Isaac/Adam Driver – Inside Llewyn Davis"Young and Beautiful" – Lana Del Rey – The Great Gatsby
Best ScoreSteven Price – GravityArcade Fire – HerThomas Newman – Saving Mr. BanksHans Zimmer – 12 Years a Slave
Man Of Steel star Henry Cavill has been named U.K. Glamour magazine's Sexiest Man of 2013. Superman has ended fellow Brit Robert Pattinson's four-year run at number one.
The Twilight star falls to number two, while Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus' ex, comes in at number three.
Thor villain Tom Hiddleston places fourth and another fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch rounds out the top five.
Other stars on the poll of 100 attractive celebrities include teen pop idols Justin Bieber and Harry Styles, actors Idris Elba, Ryan Gosling and Channing Tatum, and sports stars David Beckham and Rafael Nadal.
Blink 182 frontman Tom Delonge is set to release a Christmas-themed children's book. The guitarist and father-of-two, who also fronts Angels and Airwaves, collaborated with illustrator Mike Henry to create The Lonely Astronaut On Christmas Eve.
Described as a "wistful story for the young and young at heart alike", the book tells of a spaceman spending a solitary Christmas Eve on the moon who is visited by extraterrestrial characters bearing gifts.
Pre-orders for a limited edition package containing a hardback first edition of the book with a certificate of authenticity signed by DeLonge, a digital version of the story, an etched acrylic ornament and a limited edition T-shirt are priced at $50 (£31).
DeLonge and Henry are also planning an auction of the book's original artwork on website CharityBuzz.com later this month (Nov13), with proceeds going to the Rady Children's Hospital Foundation in San Diego, California.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Music Box Films/Everett Collection
In a recent interview with the London Evening Standard, Tom Hiddleston said, "I’m soooo aware of the borderline pretentiousness of my conversation." As his rabid fans (myself included? Not admitting anything here) know, Hiddleston has quite the penchant for esoteric references and waxing poetic when it comes to Shakespeare. Let’s take a look at his most-pretentious-ever quotes:
On Tilda Swinton: "And we read each other Rumi and talked about Einstein’s theory of entanglement and Hamlet and the White Stripes and Fibonacci. It was just an amazing time of sharing all the things that we loved, filling ourselves up with so many references that we were then happy to drop, because we knew what we were talking about." (From NowToronto)
Standard Hiddleston fare: a couple of vaguely academic references, along with a sly mention of that infamous brooding Dane ("There are some other princes I haven’t played yet, too." Hint, hint).
On Loki: "When I was constructing him with ['Thor' director] Ken Branagh — because Shakespeare is a shared passion and shared inheritance — we talked about the reference...he's kind of like Edmund in King Lear, Iago in Othello or Cassius in Julius Caesar. So I was borrowing archetypes from my knowledge of Shakespeare." (From the LA Times)
I suppose Shakespeare isn’t too big of a leap when your director is “Ken” Branagh — especially when Branagh himself states that Henry V was one of his sources of inspiration.
On his work in Midnight in Paris: "I met David O. Russell for dinner when he was in London for Silver Linings Playbook. I just wanted to tell him how much I loved the film. And he basically spent an hour telling me why he thinks Midnight in Paris is the greatest film that’s been made in the last 20 years, and he insisted on taking a picture because he was such a fan of Fitzgerald." (From Entertainment Weekly)
Oh, smooth backdoor brag, Tom. So what we can gather here is that Hiddleston’s hoping to star as Hamlet in David O. Russell’s ground-breaking adaptation – ooh! Jennifer Lawrence can play Ophelia, Melissa Leo can play Gertrude, and – who are we kidding, Russell would pass right over Hiddleston in favor of Christian Bale when it came down to the title role.
When all is said and done? We (the Hiddlestoners? Whatever, at least it’s more politically correct than “Cumberbitches”) love him all the more for his (over) enthusiastic name-dropping and über-academic manner of speaking. Who wouldn’t? He’s so damn irresistible! And if you’re ever feeling down on him, you can always temper this mass of pretentious-ness with the fact that he recently danced to K-Pop and sang Michael Jackson on a recent promotional tour of Seoul. Yeah, that actually happened.
Getty/David M. Benett
If you're a theater nerd, a Star Wars fanatic, or both, we've got some good news and some bad news for you. Ewan McGregor is set to make his Broadway debut in a revival of Tom Stoppard's play, The Real Thing... but it doesn't open until next year. McGregor will take on the leading role of Henry, a playwright who finds his life beginning to imitate his art when an affair causes turmoil in his marriage as he's attempting to mount his own production about a marriage on the verge of collapse. So far, McGregor is the only actor confirmed for the production, but the team behind The Real Thing will have plenty of time to find the right people to round out the cast.
Although The Real Thing is his Broadway debut, McGregor has starred in numerous productions in London, most notably as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls and as Iago in Othello, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor. He also plays Bill Fordham, the son-in-law of Meryl Streep's abrasive matriarch in the upcoming film adaptation of Tracy Letts' play August: Osage County. His past theater credits are a good sign that McGregor will not only be adept at tackling Stoppard's monologues and philosophical discussions, but also that he won't be intimidated by the shadows cast by Roger Rees and Jeremy Irons, who have played Henry in the past.
The Real Thing was originally scheduled to be part of the Roundabout Theater's spring season, but has been pushed back for an October 2014 opening. It will have a limited run at the American Airlines Theater, where it will close in 2015. McGregor has plenty of film projects to satisfy fans in the meantime — he's currently filming Mortdecai with Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow, and August: Osage County opens in theaters on Christmas Day.
Scottish star Ewan Mcgregor is heading to the Broadway stage to make his debut in a revival of Tom Stoppard drama The Real Thing. The Star Wars actor will lead the cast as unhappily married Henry, a playwright who has an affair with another man's wife, although McGregor's co-stars have yet to be announced.
Previews will begin at the American Airlines Theatre in October, 2014, with Sam Gold as director.
McGregor is no stranger to the stage - he last performed at London's Donmar Warehouse in 2008 as Iago in a production of Shakespeare's Othello, opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor as the lead character.
Gold's version of The Real Thing will be the play's third run on Broadway - Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons portrayed the leads in a 1984 production, while Jennifer Ehle and Stephen Dillane took over the roles for a revival in 2000. All four stars won Tony Awards for their performances.
Roger Rees and British star Felicity Kendal, who once romanced Stoppard, originated the roles in London in 1982.
Actor Alec Baldwin is convinced the days of veteran Hollywood stars landing top movie roles are over, insisting most actors will have a short career. The 30 Rock star appears in new documentary Seduced and Abandoned, which centres around the efforts of Baldwin, Neve Campbell and director James Toback to find financing for a new film.
Their attempts are hindered by suspicions their careers are over, and Baldwin is adamant most modern movie stars are destined to suffer the same fate.
He tells Britian's Radar magazine, "The day in which you can be James Stewart or Henry Fonda (has passed), having careers like that is very tough. The only one I see having that now is Tom Hanks. His relationship with his audience is so durable, he will be making films for 50 years, for everyone else, you realise you have a shelf life."
Tom Cruise is set to reunite with director Joseph Kosinski to revive Fox's racing drama Go Like Hell. Cruise and Kosinski worked together on action film Oblivion and the Mission: Impossible star is reportedly keen to renew their professional relationship.
The film centres on the fierce rivalry between Ford and Ferrari surrounding the 1966 Le Mans race, the first time the American company won the competition thanks to driver-turned-engineer Carroll Shelby's work with Henry Ford II to reinvent the firm.
Cruise will play Shelby if plans go ahead, though the project is still in its early stages, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Michael Mann was originally attached to the project when it began development in 2011 but decided not to pursue it.
British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Emma Watson have been voted the world's sexiest movie stars. The Star Trek Into Darkness actor gained top spot in the 50 hottest males of the moment poll conducted by Empire Online, coming ahead of The Avengers star Tom Hiddleston, who took second place, and Man of Steel heart-throb Henry Cavill in third.
Harry Potter actress Watson earned the sexiest female movie star title, beating Scarlett Johansson in second and The Hunger Games favourite Jennifer Lawrence in third.
Other stars who featured high in the charts include Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling, Mila Kunis and Angelina Jolie.
James Dyer, editor of Empire Online, says, "It's a great result for British stars, but what's clear is that it's less important to have lots of casual fans and better to have a dedicated hard-core. The Cumberbabes, Hiddlestoners, Twi-hards and Cavilliers all made their opinions heard!"