"The Social Network" Named Best Picture by Chicago Film Critics Association 


David Fincher's "The Social Network" was the big winner at the 22nd Annual Chicago Film Critics Association Awards. The film won the top prize for Best Picture, David Fincher was awarded Best Director and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was cited for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Christopher Nolan's "Inception" also received multiple awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography. Natalie Portman scored her first critics award this year for Best Actress for "Black Swan." The Darren Aronofsky film also won Best Original Score.

I also liked that the Chicago Film Critics chose Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress for her splendid performance in "True Grit."

Full list of nominees and winners (bolded):

BEST PICTURE
Black Swan
Inception
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Winter's Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky--Black Swan
David Fincher--The Social Network
Debra Granik--Winter’s Bone
Tom Hooper--The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan--Inception

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges--True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg--The Social Network
Colin Firth--The King’s Speech
James Franco--127 Hours
Ryan Gosling--Blue Valentine

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening--The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence--Winter’s Bone
Lesley Manville--Another Year
Natalie Portman--Black Swan
Michelle Williams--Blue Valentine

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale--The Fighter
Andrew Garfield--The Social Network
John Hawkes--Winter’s Bone
Mark Ruffalo--The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush--The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams--The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter--The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo--The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld--True Grit
Jacki Weaver--Animal Kingdom

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Black Swan--Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin
Four Lions--Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain & Chris Morris
Inception--Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right--Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech--David Seidler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Rabbit Hole--David Lindsay Abaire
The Social Network--Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3--Michael Arndt
True Grit--Joel & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone--Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan--Matthew Libatique
Inception--Wally Pfister
Shutter Island--Robert Richardson
The Social Network--Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit--Roger Deakins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Swan--Clint Mansell
I Am Love--John Adams
Inception--Hans Zimmer
The Social Network--Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
True Grit--Carter Burwell

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Restrepo
The Tillman Story
Waiting for Superman

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I Am Love
Mother
A Prophet

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Tangled
Toy Story 3

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Armie Hammer--The Social Network
Katie Jarvis--Fish Tank
Jennifer Lawrence--Winter’s Bone
Tahar Rahim--A Prophet
Hailee Steinfeld--True Grit

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Bansky--Exit Through the Gift Shop
Derek Cianfrance--Blue Valentine
David Michod--Animal Kingdom
Aaron Schneider--Get Low
John Wells--The Company Men

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"Tron: Legacy" Tops Box-Office Grid with $43.6M 


"Tron: Legacy" battled for box-office supremacy and emerged as the weekend champion beating contenders such as "Yogi Bear" and How Do You Know."

"Tron: Legacy," the Disney update starring Jeff Bridges, reached the No. 1 spot with $43.6 million. But with a budget of $300 million, it is a long way for Disney to recoup its expenses. ("Tron: Legacy" movie review)

In a lackluster box-office weekend, "Yogi Bear" debuted at No. 2 with $16.7 million. Featuring the voices of Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear and Justin Timerblake as his friend Boo Boo, Warner Bros. is hoping that the film will steal box-office moolah in the week leading to the Holidays. ("Yogi Bear" movie review, "Yogi Bear" Cast Interviews)

Meanwhile, previous weekend's box-office champ, "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," fell to No. 3 with $12.4 million. ("The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" movie review)

This awards season, contenders such as "The Fighter," "Black Swan," and "The King's Speech" were making waves at the box-office. "The Fighter," recently expanded nationwide, came in at No. 4 with $12.2 million.

Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" starring Natalie Portman also enjoyed nationwide expansion and entered at No. 7 with $8.3 million. Meanwhile, Colin Firth's "The King's Speech" sold $1.1 million worth of tickets in just 43 theaters!

But the sad story of the box-office weekend belonged to Reese Witherspoon and "How Do You Know." Despite its attractive cast (Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Jack Nicholson), the film was a resounding flop with just a No. 8 opening worth $7.6 million.

Here's the estimated list of the Top 10 Box-Office Films for weekend of Dec. 17:

1. "Tron: Legacy," $43.6 million.

2. "Yogi Bear," $16.7 million.

3. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," $12.4 million.

4. "The Fighter," $12.2 million.

5. "The Tourist," $8.7 million.

6. "Tangled," $8.68 million.

7. "Black Swan," $8.3 million.

8. "How Do You Know," $7.6 million.

9. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," $4.8 million.

10. "Unstoppable," $1.8 million.

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Eric Bana Vampire Hunter? 


Will Eric Bana join the cast of "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?" The actor is supposed to be circling the title role of the big screen adaptation based on Seth Grahame-Smith's novel.

According to The Wrap, the actor is scheduled to meet with director Timur Bekmambetov very soon. Tim Burton is set to produce the film which has a June 22, 2012 release date.

Bana may be a perfect fit, at least physically, for the role of Abraham Lincoln. For starters, he's tall just like Honest Abe.

RELATED READINGS:

Tim Burton, Timur Bekmambetov to Hunt Vampires with Abraham Lincoln
Director Timur Bekmambetov Talks about "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and Much More!

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Get Ready to Conjure Up Spirits with "Ouija" the Movie! 


Universal Pictures is planning a film adaptation of "Ouija," the classic Hasbro board game about calling the spirits of the dead.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, McG presented his vision for the project which is written by "Tron: Legacy" scribes Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. The movie version is being produced by Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes.

But McG has a strong competition in Breck Eisner, the guy who gave us "The Crazies." And honestly? I'd pick Eisner over McG. Have you seen "The Crazies?" Creepy, fun, silly -- same elements that a film version of "Ouija" needs in order for it to work.

Plot is being kept under wraps but it's going to center around a family that's ala "The Mummy" and "Indiana Jones."

Universal has been very picky on their choice of directors. Sylvain White ("The Losers"), Scot Stewart ("Legion"), John Moore ("Max Payne") and Pierre Morel ("Taken") failed to impress with their visions for the project.

The studio has set November 9, 2012 as the film's release date. Again, of all the directors vying for the project, Eisner seems to be the strongest!

Take a look at a 1980s Ouija commercial:



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Will Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin Play "Rock of Ages?" 


"Rock of Ages" is a fun rock musical featuring classic rock hits from the 80s with a feel-good vibe it's no wonder a movie version is set to rock at a theater near you.

New Line is adapting the hit musical with "Hairspray's" Adam Shankman set to direct. And now, rumors are swirling around that Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Cruise, and Alec Baldwin may be joining the cast.

Shankman even tweeted that, “RUMORS: t cruise as stacee, Alec Baldwin as Dennis, Mary j as justice, Gwyneth paltrow as Constance from rolling stone... Sounds crazy :)”

So far, Mary J. Blige is the only one confirmed to join production and according to the Hollywood Reporter, New Line, Shankman's Offspring Entertainment, and Tobey Maguire's Maguire Entertainment and Corner Store Entertainment all want Cruise to play Stacee Jaxx, a rock star for the band Arsenal.

And apparently, Cruise is very close to saying yes. The actor has been quietly sharing his ideas for the script, and will sign on very shortly.

Meanwhile, Baldwin is being offered the role of Dennis Dupree, the ex-rocker who runs the Rock of Ages club. Will Ferrell was first offered the role, then Steve Carell, and now Baldwin.

Paltrow was offered the role of Constance, a Rolling Stone reporter trying to interview Staxx.

The original "Rock of Ages" musical was nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Constantine Maroulis, Best Direction of a Musical for Kristin Hanggi, Best Costume Design for Gregory Gale and Best Sound Design for Peter Hylenski.

Here's the original "Rock of Ages" cast performing "Nothin' But A Good Time"



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