Tom Hooper, Mychael Danna to Receive Palm Springs International Film Festival Honors 

"Les Miserables" Director Tom Hooper and composer Mychael Danna will be honored at the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. Hooper is set to get the Sonny Bono Visionary Award while Danna will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Both will join previous announced honorees -- the cast of Argo, Richard Gere, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.

(Watch my fun interview with Tom Hooper for "Les Miserables" right here, "Les Miserables" movie review)

Here's the complete press release:

Palm Springs, CA (December 18, 2012) – The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Academy Award®-winning director Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award and Mychael Danna with the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, January 5, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. Hosted by Mary Hart, the Gala will also present awards to previously announced honorees the cast of Argo, Richard Gere, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts and Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.

Tom Hooper will receive the Sonny Bono Visionary Award. “In his follow-up to the Academy Award®-winning film The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper brilliantly transforms the classic stage musical Les Misérables into a cinema marvel,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “By asking his amazing cast of actors to sing live on film, Hooper allows them to connect even further with their characters, resulting in emotional powerhouse performances that are enthralling audiences worldwide. For his creative innovations in filmmaking The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present Tom Hooper with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award.” Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Michel Hazanavicius, Baz Luhrmann and Gus Van Sant.

Universal Pictures presents Les Misérables, the motion-picture adaptation of the global stage sensation seen by more than 60 million people in 42 countries and in 21 languages around the globe that is still breaking box-office records everywhere in its 28th year. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption—a timeless testament to the endurance of the human spirit. Helmed by Tom Hooper, the Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh production stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks, with Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Hooper received a Best Director nomination for the film from the Broadcast Film Critics. The film has received an AFI Award for one of the top 10 movies of the year and Best Ensemble and one of the top 10 movies from the National Board of Review. The film has also received four Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical and four SAG Award nominations including Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture.

Tom Hooper won an Academy Award® for directing The King’s Speech. The 2010 film was nominated for 12 Oscars®, more than any other film of that year, and also won Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Hooper also won a Directors Guild of America Award for his direction. The King’s Speech also won a People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Best British Film at the British Independent Film Awards, a Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film, a Producers Guild of America Award for Producer of the Year and a European Film People’s Choice Award for Best European Film. Hooper directed The Damned United, starring Michael Sheen and written by Peter Morgan. Hooper has had an unprecedented run of success at the Golden Globes with his work for HBO, which won a Golden Globe for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television three years in a row (2007, 2008 and 2009) for John Adams, Longford and Elizabeth I. His other work includes Red Dust, Prime Suspect 6, Daniel Deronda, Love in a Cold Climate, Cold Feet and EastEnders.

Mychael Danna will receive the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing. “Mychael Danna is a pioneer in creating original compositions that are as dramatic and innovative as the films in which they are featured,” continued Matzner. “His score for Life of Pi takes you on an emotional journey that plays off the 3-D visuals director Ang Lee created. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present him with the 2013 Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing.” PSIFF recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award for Film Composing include T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.

Based on the book that has sold more than seven million copies and spent years on the bestseller lists, Life of Pi is a groundbreaking movie event about a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an amazing and unexpected connection with another survivor…a fearsome Bengal tiger. The film from 20th Century Fox is directed by Academy Award winning director Ang Lee. In addition to writing the original score, Danna co-wrote the film’s original song “Pi’s Lullaby” with singer/songwriter Bombay Jayashri, who performs the song in her native Tamil language. Danna has received a Golden Globe nomination for his original score for Life as Pi, as well as a nomination for Best Score from the Broadcast Film Critics.

Life of Pi marks Danna’s third collaboration with Ang Lee, having previously written the original music for The Ice Storm and Ride with the Devil. He has won five Genie Awards for his composing work on the films Water, directed by Deepa Mehta, and on Atom Egoyan films’ Ararat, Felicia’s Journey, The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica. His other credits include Moneyball, Capote, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine, (500) Days of Summer, Family Viewing, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Girl, Interrupted, Lakeview Terrace, Surf’s Up, Being Julia, Antwone Fisher, Hearts in Atlantis and 8MM.

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 135,000 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, Danny Boyle, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.

The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival is presented by Title Sponsor, the City of Palm Springs, which is celebrating its 75 year anniversary in 2013. Presenting Sponsors are Spencer’s, The Desert Sun and Entertainment Tonight and Wells Fargo. Major sponsors are Regal Entertainment Group, Bank of America, Wintec, Wessman Development, Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, Panavision, Chihuly, Ocean Properties Development Corp., Integrated Wealth Management, Guthy-Renker, Raymond Lawrence, Windermere Real Estate, Innovative Skincare, Desert Regional Medical Center and Telefilm Canada. Official Airlines are Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines. The Festival’s Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

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Ben Affleck's "Argo" Wins Big at St. Louis Film Critics Awards 

More love for Ben Affleck's "Argo!" The fantastic movie won Best Film and Best Director at the recently announced St. Louis Film Critics Awards. My favorite category though is the Best Scene where there's a 4-way tie between "Django Unchained," "Hitchcock," "The Impossible," and "The Master."

Here's the complete list of winners (highlighted) and nominees of the 2012 St. Louis Film Critics Awards. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

*** Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

*** Ben Affleck (Argo)
Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
*** Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)

*** Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Alan Arkin (Argo)
John Goodman (Argo)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
William H. Macy (The Sessions)
*** Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom)

Amy Adams (The Master)
*** (tie) Ann Dowd (Compliance)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
*** (tie) Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Emma Watson (Perks of Being A Wallflower)

The Cabin in the Woods (Josh Whedon and Drew Goddard)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)
Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
*** Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal )

Argo (Chris Terrio)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin)
*** (tie) Life of Pi (David Magee)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
*** (tie) Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Ben Richardson)
Cloud Atlas (Frank Griebe and John Toll)
Django Unchained (Robert Richardson)
Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
The Master (Mihai Malaimare Jr.)
*** Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

The Avengers
Cloud Atlas
*** Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Cloud Atlas
The Dark Knight Rises
*** (tie) Django Unchained
*** (tie) Moonrise Kingdom

Not Fade Away

The Fairy
Holy Motors
*** The Intouchables
The Kid With A Bike

Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry
How To Survive A Plague
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
*** Searching for Sugar Man

Rise of the Guardians
*** Wreck-It Ralph

The Cabin in the Woods
*** (tie) Moonrise Kingdom
Seven Psychopaths
*** (tie) Ted
Wreck-It Ralph

*** (tie) Compliance
The Fairy
*** (tie) Safety Not Guaranteed
Sleepwalk with Me
Take This Waltz

Beasts of the Southern Wild – The hurricane (and Wink shooting at it)
*** (4-way tie) Django Unchained – The “bag head” bag/mask problems scene
Flight – The plane crash
*** (4-way tie) Hitchcock – Anthony Hopkins in lobby conducting to music/audience’s reaction during “Psycho” shower scene
*** (4-way tie) The Impossible – Opening tsunami scene
*** (4-way tie) The Master – The first “processing” questioning scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix

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African-American Film Critics Hail "Zero Dark Thirty," Ben Affleck, "Middle of Nowhere" 

Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" won the Best Picture award at the annual African-American Film Critics' Association awards. But the Best Director trophy went to Ben Affleck for "Argo." Ava DuVernay's "Middle of Nowhere" was the film which received the most awards, however, winning Best Actress (Emayatzy Corinealdi), Screenplay, Independent Film, and Music.

Here's the complete winners list of the 2012 African-American Film Critics' Association awards. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

Best Picture: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Best Director: Ben Affleck, "Argo"

Best Actress: Emayatzy Corinealdi, "Middle of Nowhere"

Best Actor: Denzel Washington, "Flight"

Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, "Lincoln"

Best Supporting Actor: Nate Parker, "Arbitrage"

Best Screenplay: Ava DuVernay, "Middle of Nowhere"

Best Foreign Language Film: "The Intouchables"

Best Documentary: (tie) "The House I Live In" and "Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution"

Best Animated Feature: "Rise of the Guardians"

Best Independent Film: "Middle of Nowhere"

Best Breakthrough Performer: Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Best Music: Kathryn Bostic and Morgan Rhodes, "Middle of Nowhere"

Special Achievement Awards: Cicely Tyson and Billy Dee Williams

Top 10:
1. "Zero Dark Thirty"
2. "Argo"
3. "Lincoln"
4. "Middle of Nowhere"
5. "Life of Pi"
6. "Les Misérables"
7. "Django Unchained"
8. "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
9. "Moonrise Kingdom"
10. "Think Like a Man"

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"Lincoln" Tops Houston Film Critics Nominations 

The Houston Film Critics Society has announced the nominees of their annual movie awards and Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" led the pack with eight nominations followed by "Les Miserables" and "The Master."

Here's the full list of nominees of the 2012 Houston Film Critics Society Awards. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

Best Picture
"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
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Zero Dark Thirty"

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

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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Ben Affleck's "Argo" Wins Big at Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards 

Ben Affleck's "Argo" was the big winner at the annual Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards. The movie also won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

In the acting categories, Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for "Lincoln" while Jennifer Lawrence took home the Best Actress Award for "Silver Linings Playbook." Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Supporting Actor for "The Master" while Anne Hathaway added more awards to her name by winning the Best Supporting Actress award for "Les Miserables."

Here's the complete list of winners and runners-up for the Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

"Zero Dark Thirty" (opens Jan. 11 in Memphis)
"Moonrise Kingdom"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"The Master"
"Les Misérables" (opens Christmas Day in Memphis)
"Life of Pi"
"The Dark Knight Rises"

Winner: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Runner-up: Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Runner-up: Jessica Chastain, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Winner: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "The Master"
Runner-up: Tommy Lee Jones, "Lincoln"

Winner: Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Runner-up: Sally Field, "Lincoln"

Winner: "Lincoln"
Runner-up: "Moonrise Kingdom"

Winner: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Winner: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, "Moonrise Kingdom"
Runner-up: Mark Boal, "Zero Dark Thirty"

Winner: Chris Terrio, "Argo"
Runner-up: Tony Kushner, "Lincoln"

Winner: "The Queen of Versailles"
Runner-up: "Bully"

Winner: "The Intouchables"
Runner-up: "Amour" (no Memphis opening set yet)

Winner: "ParaNorman"
Runner-up: "Frankenweenie"

Winner: Claudio Mirando, "Life of Pi"
Runner-up: Roger Deakins, "Skyfall"

Winner: "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Runner-up: "Bernie"

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