10 Live Action Shorts Advance in Oscar Race! 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 10 live action short films are advancing in the voting process for the 84th Academy Awards. This is list has been cut down from the original 107 films that qualified in this category. Three to five nominees will be chosen out of these 10 films. The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at 5:30am.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:

"Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère (I Could Be Your Grandmother)," Bernard Tanguy, director-producer (Rézina Productions)

"Love at First Sight," Michael Davies, director and Sandra Gorel, producer (Spellbound Films)

"Pentecost," Peter McDonald, director (EMU Productions)

"Raju," Max Zähle, director and Stefan Gieren, producer (Hamburg Media School/Filmwerkstatt)

"The Road Home," Rahul Gandotra, director-producer and Ameenah Ayub, producer (London Film School)

"The Roar of the Sea," Ana Rocha Fernandes and Torsten Truscheit, directors (Niama Filmproduktion GmbH)

"Sailcloth," Elfar Adalsteins, director-producer (Berserk Films)

"The Shore," Terry George, director-producer (All Ashore Productions Limited)

"Time Freak," Andrew Bowler, director and Gigi Causey, producer (Team Toad)

"Tuba Atlantic," Hallvar Witzø, director (The Norwegian Film School/Den Norske Filmskolen)

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Brad Pitt to Be Honored at the Palm Springs International Film Festival 

Brad Pitt, who received a SAG Award nomination for Best Actor today, will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. This is for his performance in "Moneyball" and "The Tree of Life."

Here's the complete press release from the PSIFF:

PALM SPRINGS, CA (December 14, 2011) – The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present two-time Academy Award® nominee Brad Pitt with the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award for his lead role in Moneyball and his supporting role in The Tree of Life. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 7, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michel Hazanavicius, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams.

“Brad Pitt consistently mesmerizes audiences with the depth and versatility of his performances. He has the rare ability to interpret and capture the most complicated facets of human nature, infusing his roles with strength and emotion,” said Harold Matzner, Chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. “ In The Tree of Life, he portrays a father whose sensitive son tries to make sense of their relationship and understand the wrongs of a difficult childhood. In Moneyball, he faces failure head on and draws upon his dormant, though fierce competitive nature to become a standout in the world of major league baseball management. To Brad Pitt, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is once again privileged to present you with an award to honor your extraordinary talent, this time the 2012 Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting.”

Pitt received Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle for his roles in Moneyball and Tree of Life and Best Actor for Moneyball from the Boston Society of Film Critics. He’s also received a Best Actor nomination from the Broadcast Film Critics Association for Moneyball. Time’s Richard Corliss selected Pitt as the Number One Movie Performance of the Year for his roles in Moneyball, Tree of Life and Happy Feet Two. In 2007, Pitt along with the cast of Babel, received the Festival’s Ensemble Performance Award. Past honorees of the Desert Palm Achievement Actor Award include Jeff Bridges, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Penn, John Travolta and James Stewart.
Pitt stars in Columbia Pictures’ Moneyball, which is based on the true story of Billy Beane - once a would-be baseball superstar who, stung by the failure to live up to expectations on the field, turned his fiercely competitive nature to management. Heading into the 2002 season, Billy faces a dismal situation: his small-market Oakland A’s have lost their star players (again) to big market clubs (and their enormous salaries) and he is left to rebuild his team and compete with a third of their payroll. Driven to win, Billy takes on the system by challenging the fundamental tenets of the game. He looks outside of baseball, to the dismissed theories of Bill James, and hires Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a brainy, number-crunching, Yale-educated economist. Together they take on conventional wisdom with a willingness to reexamine everything and armed with computer driven statistical analysis long ignored by the baseball establishment. They reach imagination-defying conclusions and go after players overlooked and dismissed by the rest of baseball for being too odd, too old, too injured or too much trouble, but who all have key skills that are universally undervalued. As Billy and Peter forge forward, their new methods and roster of misfits rile the old guard, the media, the fans, and their own field manager (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who refuses to cooperate. Ultimately this experiment will lead not only to a change in the way the game is played, but to an outcome that would leave Billy with a new understanding that transcends the game and delivers him to a new place. Directed by Bennett Miller, the screenplay is by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, with a story by Stan Chervin and based on the book by Michael Lewis. The film is produced by Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, and Brad Pitt.

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, and recently awarded the Best Feature prize from the Gotham Independent Film Awards, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s. The film follows the complex path of nature versus nurture and a father’s role (Pitt) in shaping the lives of his three boys. The Fox Searchlight film is written and directed by Terrence Malick. Produced by Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill, the film also stars Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain with Pitt.

Brad Pitt was an Academy Award nominee for his performance in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, for which he won a Golden Globe Award. He was also a Golden Globe nominee for his performances in Edward Zwick’s Legends of the Fall and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel. His other credits include Burn After Reading, Fight Club, Inglourious Basterds, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen, A River Runs Through It, Se7en and Thelma and Louise. Pitt’s next projects include starring in and producing Andrew Dominik’s Cogan’s Trade and starring in and producing Marc Forster’s World War Z.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Bridges, Danny Boyle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Colin Firth, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet.

The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Title Sponsor, the City of Palm Springs. Renewing and new sponsors, to date, of this year’s Festival include The Desert Sun, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Wells Fargo, Regal Entertainment, Panavision, Chihuly Art Glass, Integrated Wealth Management, Ocean Properties Development, ASI and White-Spark Creative. The Festival’s Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Official Vehicle, Mercedes- Benz.

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Surprises Galore at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award Nominations  

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominations were announced this morning and "The Help" received the most noms, 4 total for Best Cast, Viola Davis for Best Actress, and Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress.

Missing nominations were Michael Fassbender for "Shame," Albert Brooks for "Drive" (what happened?), Vanessa Redgrave for "Coriolanus," and Shailene Woodley for "The Descendants."

Instead, the SAG Award honored Armie Hammer for "J. Edgar" and Jonah Hill for "Moneyball." I was hoping they would give love to Seth Rogen for "50/50" too, but I'm happy that they embraced Nick Nolte for his memorable performance as a wayward father in "Warrior."

And let's stop discounting Melissa McCarthy for "Bridesmaids" now, she will be nominated at the Oscars!

We'll find out the SAG Award winners at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony on Jan. 29, 2012.

Here's the complete list of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award (Check out other award-giving bodies in our Awards Season coverage right here):

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
Midnight in Paris

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo diCaprio, J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Armie Hammer, J.Edgar
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The Adjustment Bureau
Cowboys and Aliens
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Transfromers: Dark of the Moon
X-Men: First Class

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Las Vegas Film Critics Love "The Artist," Melissa McCarthy! 

More love for "The Artist!" This time, it's from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society's Sierra Awards which gave the excellent Michel Hazanavicius film Best Picture, Actor, Score, Art Direction, and Costume Design trophies.

But Hazanavicius lost out to "Drive's" Nicholas Winding Refn for the Best Picture category. "Drive" also took home the Best Supporting Actor award for Albert Brooks. And don't underestimate the power of Melissa McCarthy! Her memorable performance in "Bridesmaids" was given the Best Supporting Actress award! Oh, and I'm also glad that the Las Vegas Film Critics Society gave Michelle Williams the Best Actress award for her brilliant portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."

Here's the complete list of winners of the Las Vegas Film Critics Society's Sierra Awards (Check out other award-giving bodies in our Awards Season coverage right here):

Best Picture
“The Artist”

Best Director
Nicholas Winding Refn, “Drive”

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Best Actress
Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Tree of Life”

Best Film Editing
Thelma Schoonmaker, “Hugo”

Best Score
Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”

Best Song
“Man or Muppet” – Written by Bret McKenzie

Best Family Film

Best Documentary
“Project NIM”

Best Animated Film

Best Foreign Film
“13 Assassins”

Best Costume Design
Mark Bridges, “The Artist”

Best Art Direction
Gregory S. Hooper, “The Artist”

Best Visual Effects
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Youth in Film
Asa Butterfield, “Hugo”

Best DVD (Packaging, Design and Content)
Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy (Blu-ray)

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award
Albert Brooks

LVFCS 2011 Top 10 List

The Artist
The Descendents
The Help
Midnight in Paris

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"The Artist" Tops St. Louis Film Critics Nominations 

"The Artist," the critics darling, continue to wow various award-giving bodies. This time, the Michel Hazanavicus film triumphed at the St. Louis Film Critics awards with 8 nominations including Best Film!

Here's the complete list of St. Louis Film Critics Awards nominees(Check out other award-giving bodies in our Awards Season coverage right here):

Best Film
The Artist
The Descendants
My Week With Marilyn
Tree of Life

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Terrence Malick for Tree of Life
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
David Fincher for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Best Actor
Ryan Gosling for Drive
George Clooney for The Descendants
Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Michael Fassbender for Shame
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Best Actress

Viola Davis for The Help
Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Saoirse Ronan for Hanna
Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady

Best Supporting Actor
John Hawkes for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Albert Brooks for Drive
John Goodman for The Artist
Alan Rickman for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett for Hanna
Octavia Spencer for The Help
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Jessica Chastain for Tree Of Life

Best Original Screenplay
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Terrence Malick for Tree Of Life
Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris
Seth Lochhead and David Farr for Hanna
Will Reiser for 50/50
Thomas McCarthy and Joe Tiboni for Win Win

Best Adapted Screenplay
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin and Michael Lewis (book) for Moneyball
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and Kaui Hart Hemmings (novel) for The Descendants
Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett (novel) for The Help
Hossein Amini and James Sallis (book) for Drive
Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller and Jim Henson (characters) for The Muppets

Best Cinematography
Newton Thomas Sigel for Drive
Emmanuel Lubezki for Tree Of Life
Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist
Janusz Kaminski for War Horse
Jeff Cronenweth for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Best Visual Effects
Tree Of Life
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Super 8
Captain America

Best Music
The Artist
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Muppets
Tree of Life

Best Foreign-Language Film
13 Assassins
Point Blank
I Saw The Devil
Winter in Wartime

Best Documentary
Being Elmo
The Interrupters
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop

Best Comedy
The Muppets
Midnight In Paris
Crazy, Stupid, Love

Best Animated Film
Kung Fu Panda 2
The Adventures of Tin Tin
Puss In Boots

Best Art-House or Festival Film
- for excellence in art-house cinema, limited to films that played at film festivals or film series here or those that had a limited-release here, playing one or two cinemas.

We Need To Talk About Kevin
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Win Win
Tucker and Dale vs Evil

Best Scene
- favorite movie scene or sequence

Drive: the elevator beating scene
Drive: opening get-away scene
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: opening credits
The Artist: dance scene finale
Melancholia: the last scene
Hanna: Hanna’s escape from captivity sequence

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