"Argo" Wins Best Picture at Houston Film Critics' Society Awards 

When the Houston Film Critics' Society announced their nominees for their annual awards last December, "Lincoln" led the pack with eight nominations.

But when the winners were announced this weekend, Ben Affleck's "Argo" emerged as the big winner! "Lincoln" took home the Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), and Best Screenplay prizes (Tony Kushner).

Here's the full list of winners of the Houston Film Critics Society Awards. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies this season, click here:

Best Picture
*** "Argo"
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Cloud Atlas"
"Django Unchained"
"The Master"
"Les Miserables"
"Moonrise Kingdom"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Director
*** Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Quentin Tarantino, "Django Unchained"
Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln"
Tom Hooper, "Les Miserables"
Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Actor
*** Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
John Hawkes, "The Sessions"
Hugh Jackman, "Les Miserables"
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"
*** Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Naomi Watts, "The Impossible"

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, "Argo"
Javier Bardem, "Skyfall"
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
*** Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"
Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike"

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, "The Master"
Judi Dench, "Skyfall"
Sally Field, "Lincoln"
*** Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
Helen Hunt, "The Sessions"

Best Screenplay
*** "Lincoln"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Cinematography
"Life of Pi"
"The Master"
"Les Miserables"
*** "Skyfall"

Best Original Score
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
*** "Cloud Atlas"
"Life of Pi"
"The Master"

Best Original Song
*** “Skyfall,” "Skyfall"
“Suddenly,” "Les Miserables"
“Song of the Lonely Mountain,” "The Hobbit"
“Learn Me Right,” "Brave"
“Touch the Sky,” "Brave"

Best Foreign Language Film
"The Intouchables"
*** "Holy Motors"
"A Royal Affair"
"Rust and Bone"

Best Animated Film
"Rise of the Guardians"
*** "Wreck-It Ralph"

Worst Film of 2012
"Anna Karenina"
*** "That’s My Boy"
"The Three Stooges"

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National Society of Film Critics Pick "Amour" for Best Picture 

Yay, my favorite foreign language film of 2012 led the National Society of Film Critics. Michael Haneke's "Amour" took the picture of the year honors with the director taking home the directing trophy. "Amour" beat "The Master" and "Zero Dark Thirty," while Haneke edged out Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Paul Thomas Anderson ("The Master).

Here's the list of winners; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies this season, click here:

Picture: "Amour"
Actor: Daniel Day Lewis ("Lincoln")
Actress: Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour")
Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey ("Bernie," "Magic Mike")
Supporting Actress: Amy Adams ("The Master")
Director: Michael Haneke ("Amour")
Non-Fiction: ("The Gatekeepers")
Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare, Jr. ("The Master")
Screenplay: Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"

Here's how the National Society of Film Critics voted for Best Picture and Director:

*1. Amour (Sony Classics) – 28
2. The Master – 25
3. Zero Dark Thirty – 18

*1. Michael Haneke (Amour) – 27
2. Kathryn Bigelow – 24
2. Paul Thomas Anderson – 24

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We're All Going to Hell! "Texas Chainsaw 3D" Tops Box-Office! 

Move over Bilbo Baggins, here comes Leatherface! Lionsgate's "Texas Chainsaw 3D" slashed away competition and surprised everyone by debuting at No. 1 with $23 million.

Holding steady at No. 2 was Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" with $20.1 million adding to its domestic total of $106.4 million.

And after reigning supreme at the box-office, it's finally time for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" to step down. The first part of the planned three-quel slipped to No. 3 with $17.5 million. But don't fret for our lovely hobbits, the blockbuster has made $263.8 million in the U.S. and $500 million overseas for a total of $800 million. Precious indeed!

"Les Miserables" became the fastest musical to crossover the $100 million mark. The Universal adaptation of the Broadway show finished at No. 4 with $16.1 million for a domestic total of $103.6 million.

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office films for weekend of Jan. 4th:

1. "Texas Chainsaw 3-D," $23 million.

2. "Django Unchained," $20.1 million.

3. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," $17.5 million.

4. "Les Miserables," $16.1 million ($14.5 million international).

5. "Parental Guidance," $10.1 million.

6. "Jack Reacher," $9.3 million ($22.3 million international).

7. "This Is 40," $8.6 million.

8. "Lincoln," $5.3 million.

9. "The Guilt Trip," $4.5 million.

10. "Promised Land," $4.3 million.

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It Sure Is Nice to Know Me (HA!) Special Newspaper Article Written About Yours Truly! 

Nicole C. Brambila from The Desert Sun, the Gannet-owned newspaper in the Palm Springs market, wrote an article about moi! Yay! And it's a well-written article about my life as a film critic, marketing director, and just about my life in general. Here's an excerpt:

INDIO — Manny Dela Rosa gives kisses, not stars for the movies he loves.

It fits his over-the-top, bubbly persona. This is Manny The Movie Guy. And yes, he is.

“Why do you think I’m a marketing director?” says the 44-year-old Dela Rosa. “It feeds me. But being a film critic is my passion.”

With the Oscar nominations announcement just days away, we sat down with Dela Rosa to chat about golden statues, his crazy obsession with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and his favorite celebrity interviews.

But to get inside the head of the desert’s favorite movie critic, we have to go to the Philippines, where Dela Rosa was born and spent his formative years. He moved to Indiana as a bright-eyed 20-year-old to go to college in the late 1980s, but not before he performed on Filipino TV as a dancer in his “skinny” days.

His first job in the U.S.?

(To read more, click here)

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24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Highlights 

The 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is currently underway. And it’s in my hood! I live in the lovely Coachella Valley, and the Film Festival is surely one of our biggest highlights of the year! This is important, not only in the valley, but also in Hollywood. The Film Festival is one of the major stops on the road to Oscar glory. And this awards season, there are many sure-fire Oscar contenders that are visiting our lovely Palm Springs for the red carpet gala happening on Saturday, January 5th. I will be live on the red carpet to interview stars such as Ben Affleck, Bradley Cooper, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, and much, much more! Take a look at the star-studded roll call in this special segment on the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).

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