"There's been a very depressing and distressing thing that's happened in the news... Mayim Bialik from Blossom and The Big Bang Theory has come out against the movie Frozen... I feel that Frozen is the best Disney movie ever made. I've seen it 250 times. I can say it, I have every word memorised, (and) I love it like the rest of America." Outspoken comedienne and mother-of-five Rosie O'Donnell strongly disagrees with actress Mayim Bialik's heavy criticism of the Oscar-winning children's movie. Bialik took aim at the Disney film on her blog earlier this week (begs15Sep14), accusing filmmakers of setting a bad example to young girls by featuring female characters with "Barbie doll proportions".
Italian actress Sophia Loren is spending the days leading up to her 80th birthday promoting an art gallery in Mexico celebrating her career. The Oscar winner's most prized possessions including a wardrobe, awards, and books, are on display in an exhibit called Sophia Loren: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow at the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City.
Loren was on hand to open the gallery on Thursday (18Sep14), and was humbled by the extensive collection, which celebrates her entire career in show business.
She told the crowd at the news conference, "This is not a celebration of the past but the prologue of a beautiful life that has given me a lot... I'm very moved by this, it's a beautiful exhibit."
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, owner of the Soumaya, approached Loren with the idea for the exhibit two years ago, and now fans can view treasures from her personal and professional life, including original screenplays from her films, portraits of the actress, as well as her Best Actress Academy Award for Italian war drama Two Women.
As she unveiled the golden statue, Loren recalled the moment she received the coveted trophy, and said, "One feels out of this world, it's like falling in love."
A red carpet gala will be held at the museum on Saturday (20Sep14) on Loren's 80th birthday, and the exhibit will officially open to the public on 22 September (14).
Venezuela, Estonia and Croatia are hoping to win first-time Oscar nominations after submitting official films for the Academy's consideration. Film bosses in the countries joined peers in Sweden, Finland, Mexico and Serbia by offering up their best movies for the Best Foreign Film category at the 2015 Oscars this week (beg08Sep14).
Venezuela officials chose historical drama El Libertador - the most expensive film made in the nation - while the Croatians surprised Oscars bosses by overlooking award-winning films Number 55 and The Bridge at the End of the World in favour of comedy Cowboys, which won the Audience Award at the country's recent Pula Film Festival. The Estonians have offered up another festival favourite, war movie Tangerines.
Croatia and Estonia have never been nominated in the 22 years the two nations have been submitting films for the Oscars.
So far, 14 countries have submitted official movies for Academy Awards consideration, with critics picking Turkey's Winter Sleep as the early frontrunner over films from Germany, Ukraine, Austria, Japan and Taiwan.
Meanwhile, Mauritania has made history by submitting its first film, Timbuktu, which premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival and picked up the event's Ecumenial Jury award and Francois Chalais Prize. The movie went on to win the In Spirit for Freedom Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
The latest film submitted for consideration is Mexico's Cantinflas biopic, which was released in America late last month (Aug14), ahead of its debut in Mexico on 16 September (14).
The Sebastian del Amo movie features Oscar Jaenada as iconic comedian and actor Mario Moreno, aka Cantinflas.
The Academy Awards nominations will be announced on 15 January (15).
Michael Keaton, Timothy Spall and Eddie Redmayne have emerged as early favourites for the coveted Best Actor prize at next year's (15) Oscars. As movie critics sharpen their pencils to vote for the year's top film performances, it seems the 2015 Best Actor race will be one of the most fiercely fought.
Spall has been the top man since he won gold at Cannes for his lead role in biopic Mr. Turner, but now the Los Angeles Times has earmarked Keaton for the trophy, thanks to his role in Birdman, and The Hollywood Reporter is confident Redmayne's turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything will make him an Oscars season favourite.
The Hollywood Reporter recently honoured Redmayne and his co-stars Felicity Jones and James Marsh with a Breakthrough in Film award at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and editors called the My Week With Marilyn star's performance "landmark".
Meanwhile, America's top critics have given Keaton the edge in the first serious odds list on awards season go-to website GoldDerby.com.
The former Batman is a 13/5 favourite, ahead of Steve Carell in Foxcatcher and Redmayne, while Spall and fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) also make the early top five.
GoldDerby's critics have given Amy Adams (Big Eyes) the Best Actress edge over fellow former Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby), while the Best Picture race is wide open.
The early top picks are Boyhood, Birdman, Angelina Jolie's upcoming biopic Unbroken, Foxcatcher, Gone Girl, Interstellar and Brad Pitt's Fury.
Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kelly Osbourne were among the stars who mourned the death of legendary comedienne Joan Rivers at her funeral in New York on Sunday (07Sep14). Record mogul Clive Davis, actors Matthew Broderick, Rosie O'Donnell, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth and Bernadette Peters, funnywoman Kathy Griffin, fashion designers Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors, property mogul Donald Trump and newswomen Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer also turned out to pay their final respects to Rivers, who was remembered in a private ceremony at the Temple Emanu-El synagogue, where she was a member.
Hundreds of fans lined the streets outside the temple as inside, U.S. shockjock Howard Stern delivered a touching eulogy to the comedic icon, crediting her with fighting "the stereotype that women couldn't be funny".
He even managed to raise a few laughs from guests by quipping, "(Rivers was) the best friend in the world... a big sister... a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah."
Broadway star Audra McDonald performed Nat King Cole classic Smile, before additional tributes from news anchor Deborah Norville, New York Post columnist Cindy Adams and Rivers' only child, daughter Melissa, who thanked everyone for their condolences, saying, "We are humbled."
X-Men star Hugh Jackman helped to bring the ceremony to a close, honouring Rivers' memory with a rendition of Peter Allen song, Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage, which features the repeated lyrics, "Put your hands together", while a band of bagpipe players performed as mourners filed out of the temple.
Rivers died on Thursday (04Sep14), a week after suffering a cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine throat operation.
The exact cause of death is still under investigation after an initial autopsy proved inconclusive.
The 81 year old's body had been cremated on Saturday (06Sep14), ahead of Sunday's funeral service.
Reports suggest she will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, where fellow late icons Michael Jackson, Clark Gable and Walt Disney are also interred.
Rivers' publicist has asked for donations to be made to her favourite charities, meal delivery service God's Love, We Deliver, Guide Dogs for the Blind and California grief support centre Our House, in lieu of flowers.
Swedish film A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence has won the coveted Golden Lion award at Italy's Venice Film Festival.
Director Roy Andersson picked up the prestigious trophy for his offbeat comedy-drama at a ceremony on Saturday (06Sep14) ahead of the other 19 titles in the official competition, including Birdman starring Michael Keaton and Ethan Hawke's Good Kill.
Girls star Adam Driver was named Best Actor for his role in Hungry Hearts and his co-star Alba Rohrwacher won Best Actress.
The Silver Lion prize for Best Director went to Andrei Konchalovsky for Russian film The Postman's White Nights and the Grand Jury Prize was handed to Joshua Oppenheimer for his documentary The Look of Silence, a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated factual film The Act of Killing.
Mel Brooks, Molly Ringwald and Richard Dreyfuss were among the stars who turned out to pay tribute to director Paul Mazursky at a memorial service in California on Friday (05Sep14). The Oscar-nominated moviemaker passed away on 30 June (14), aged 84, after suffering a cardiac arrest, and his friends, family and former colleagues gathered at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills, California on Friday to pay their last respects.
The memorial service was attended by famous faces including Nick Nolte, Ed Begley, Jr. and Elliott Gould, while a number of celebrity guests also gave tributes to the late director.
Speakers included actors George Segal, Michael Greene and Molly Ringwald, who called Mazursky the "best director I ever worked with," before singing I'll Be Seeing You, accompanied by her father Bob on piano.
Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss, who starred in three Mazursky films, explained how he idolised the filmmaker, saying, "When I was around Paul, I wanted to be Paul. And I like being Richard. But I wanted to be Paul."
Mel Brooks took to the stage last and used his tribute to compare Mazursky to legendary directors including Federico Fellini and Vittorio De Sica, telling the audience, "In my assessment, he was our Fellini, our De Sica. The best capturer of human behaviour on film was Paul."
The service ended with a montage of film clips and a performance by singer/actress Ellen Greene, who gave a rendition of Goodbye, My Friend.
Julia Roberts is in talks to join Gwyneth Paltrow in the English-language remake of Oscar-winning Argentinian thriller Secret in Their Eyes. If the Pretty Woman star signs on it will mark her first film with Paltrow since the two appeared in 1991's Hook.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has also been cast in director Billy Ray's revamp of the Juan Jose Campanella movie, which was crowned Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards in 2010.
George Clooney is set to tackle the phone-hacking scandal surrounding media mogul Rupert Murdoch's empire in his next big movie project. Clooney will direct an adaptation of Nick Davies' book Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How the Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch, which explores the drama that forced the tycoon to close his British Sunday newspaper the News of the World in 2011 and led to a lengthy legal ethics investigation in the U.K.
The Oscar winner, who is planning to wed his fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Italy later this month (Sep14), will co-produce the film with his longtime business partner Grant Heslov.
Announcing the news in a statement, Clooney writes, "This has all the elements - lying, corruption, blackmail - at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London. And the fact that it’s true is the best part. Nick (Davies) is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honor to put his book to film.”
The actor/director has a personal attachment to good journalism - his father is revered newsman Nick Clooney.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The characters from smash-hit Disney movie Frozen are heading back to the big screen for an animated short that will hit cinemas in the spring (15).
The big news was announced at the end of a 'making of' special that aired in America on Tuesday night (02Sep14).
Frozen Fever will be directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, the pair behind last year's (13) hit movie, and it will feature a new song written by Oscar-winning songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The married couple created instant classic songs like Do You Want to Build a Snowman? and Let It Go for Frozen.
Confirming the news, a Disney spokesman says, "In Frozen Fever, it’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk."
Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad will reprise their original Frozen roles in the new film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.