Still King: "The Hobbit' Beats Streisand, Cruise at Box-Office 


Both Barbra Streisand and Tom Cruise have no powers over little Bilbo Baggins.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" remains on top as the No. 1 movie in America with $36.7 million. Sure, the Peter Jackson movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel dropped a steep 57 percent, but still held the crown.

Meanwhile, low expectations for Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher" yielded a modest $15.6 million opening. Based on Lee Child's "One Shot," the Paramount film needed a strong word of mouth to keep it rolling past the Holidays.

At No. 3 was Judd Apatow's "This is 40," a quasi-sequel to "Knocked Up." Starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, "This is 40" opened with $12 million.

The certifiable flop of the week is Paramount's "The Guilt Trip" starring Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand. The mother-son road trip film debuted at No. 6 with $5.4 million, yikes!

In limited release was Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar bait "Zero Dark Thirty" about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In just five theaters, the movie opened with $410,000 averaging $82,000 per cinema.

We'll see if Bilbo can still claim the box-office crown when "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained" open Christmas Day.

Here's the estimated Top 10 box-office films for weekend of Dec. 21:

1. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," $36.7 million ($91 million international).

2. "Jack Reacher," $15.6 million ($2.5 million international).

3. "This Is 40," $12 million.

4. "Rise of the Guardians," $5.9 million ($13.7 million international).

5. "Lincoln," $5.6 million.

6. "The Guilt Trip," $5.4 million.

7. "Monsters, Inc." in 3-D, $5 million.

8. "Skyfall," $4.7 million ($9 million international).

9. "Life of Pi," $3.8 million ($23.2 million international).

10. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," $2.6 million ($6.6 million international).

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"Amour" Among Best Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist 


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nine movies that will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards. From seventy-one contenders to nine. But honestly? I'm rooting for Austria's "Amour" from director Michael Haneke. I love, love, love this movie!

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Austria, "Amour," Michael Haneke, director;
Canada, "War Witch," Kim Nguyen, director;
Chile, "No," Pablo Larraín, director;
Denmark, "A Royal Affair," Nikolaj Arcel, director;
France, "The Intouchables," Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, directors;
Iceland, "The Deep," Baltasar Kormákur, director;
Norway, "Kon-Tiki," Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, directors;
Romania, "Beyond the Hills," Cristian Mungiu, director;
Switzerland, "Sister," Ursula Meier, director.

So what's next? Here's part of the Academy's press release:

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2012 are again being determined in two phases.

The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 71 eligible films between mid-October and December 17. The group's top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy's Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 4, through Sunday, January 6, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.


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Why I Love "Les Miserables!" Watch My Review! 


"LES MISERABLES" Interviews (click on the names to see full interviews):

ANNE HATHAWAY
HUGH JACKMAN
AMANDA SEYFRIED
TOM HOOPER
SAMANTHA BARKS
EDDIE REDMAYNE

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"The Master," "Zero Dark Thirty" Top Austin Film Critics Awards 


Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" was named the Best Film of the Year by the Austin Film Critics Association, but Paul Thomas Anderson took the Best Director award for "The Master." Anderson's film also won Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix and Best Cinematography.

Here's the full list of winners. For all winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

Top 10:
1. "Zero Dark Thirty"
2. "Argo"
3. "Moonrise Kingdom"
4. "Django Unchained"
5. "Cloud Atlas"
6. "Holy Motors"
7. "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
8. "The Master"
9. "Silver Linings Playbook"
10. "Looper"

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, "The Master"

Best Actor
Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"

Best Actress
Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook"

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"

Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Argo"

Best Original Screenplay
"Looper"

Best Cinematography
"The Master"

Best Score
"Cloud Atlas"

Best Animated Film
"Wreck-It Ralph"

Best Foreign Language Film
"Holy Motors"

Best Documentary
"The Imposter"

Best First Film
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Best Austin Film
"Bernie"

Breakthrough Artist Award
Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"

Special Honorary Award
Matthew McConaughey, "Bernie," "Killer Joe," "Magic Mike" and "The Paperboy"

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"The Master," "Amour" Lead London Critics' Circle Awards Nominations 


Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" and Michael Haneke's "Amour" led the pack of nominees for the 2012 London Critics' Circle Awards. Each film received seven nominations apiece.

The winners will be announced on January 20th for the 33rd London Critics' Circle Awards.

Here's the full list of nominees. For winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

FILM OF THE YEAR

Amour (Artificial Eye)

Argo (Warners)

Beasts of the Southern Wild (StudioCanal)

Life of Pi (Fox)

The Master (Entertainment)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

Amour (Artificial Eye)

Holy Motors (Artificial Eye)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (New Wave)

Rust and Bone (StudioCanal)

Tabu (New Wave)

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR

The Imposter (Picturehouse/Revolver)

London: The Modern Babylon (BFI)

Nostalgia for the Light (New Wave)

The Queen of Versailles (Dogwoof)

Searching for Sugar Man (StudioCanal)

BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR

Berberian Sound Studio (Artificial Eye)

The Imposter (Picturehouse/Revolver)

Les Miserables (Universal)

Sightseers (StudioCanal)

Skyfall (Sony)

ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln (Fox)

Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables (Universal)

Mads Mikkelsen – The Hunt (Arrow)

Joaquin Phoenix – The Master (Entertainment)

Jean-Louis Trintignant – Amour (Artificial Eye)

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty (Universal)

Marion Cotillard - Rust and Bone (StudioCanal)

Helen Hunt - The Sessions (Fox)

Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook (Entertainment)

Emmanuelle Riva – Amour (Artificial Eye)

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Alan Arkin – Argo (Warners)

Javier Bardem – Skyfall (Sony)

Michael Fassbender – Prometheus (Fox)

Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master (Entertainment)

Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln (Fox)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Amy Adams – The Master (Entertainment)

Judi Dench – Skyfall (Sony)

Sally Field – Lincoln (Fox)

Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables (Universal)

Isabelle Huppert – Amour (Artificial Eye)

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Daniel Craig – Skyfall (Sony)

Charlie Creed-Miles - Wild Bill (The Works/Universal)

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln (Fox)

Toby Jones – Berberian Sound Studio (Artificial Eye)

Steve Oram – Sightseers (StudioCanal)

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Emily Blunt – Looper (eOne) and Your Sister's Sister (StudioCanal)

Judi Dench – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Fox) and Skyfall (Sony)

Alice Lowe – Sightseers (StudioCanal)

Helen Mirren – Hitchcock (Fox)

Andrea Riseborough – Shadow Dancer (Paramount)

YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Samantha Barks – Les Miserables (Universal)

Fady Elsayed – My Brother the Devil (Verve)

Tom Holland – The Impossible (eOne)

Will Poulter – Wild Bill (The Works/Universal)

Jack Reynor – What Richard Did (Artificial Eye)

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master (Entertainment)

Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty (Universal)

Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (New Wave)

Michael Haneke – Amour (Artificial Eye)

Ang Lee – Life of Pi (Fox)

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR

Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master (Entertainment)

Mark Boal – Zero Dark Thirty (Universal)

Michael Haneke – Amour (Artificial Eye)

Quentin Tarantino - Django Unchained (Sony)

Chris Terrio – Argo (Warners)

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILM-MAKER

Ben Drew, writer/director – Ill Manors (Revolver)

Sally El Hosaini, writer/director – My Brother the Devil (Verve)

Dexter Fletcher, co-writer/director – Wild Bill (The Works/Universal)

Bart Layton, writer/director – The Imposter (Picturehouse/Revolver)

Alice Lowe & Steve Oram, writers – Sightseers (StudioCanal)

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Anna Karenina – Jacqueline Durran, costumes (Universal)

Argo – William Goldenberg, film editing (Warners)

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Ben Richardson, cinematography (StudioCanal)

Berberian Sound Studio – Joakim Sundstrom & Stevie Haywood, sound design (Artificial Eye)

Holy Motors – Bernard Floch, makeup (Artificial Eye)

Life of Pi – Claudio Miranda, cinematography (Fox)

Life of Pi – Bill Westenhofer, visual effects (Fox)

The Master – Jack Fisk & David Crank, production design (Entertainment)

My Brother the Devil – David Raedeker, cinematography (Verve)

Rust and Bone – Alexandre Desplat, music (StudioCanal)

DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM

Helena Bonham Carter

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