While dramatizing the against-the-odds rescue of a noble, harmonious alien society called the Na'vi, James Cameron's "Avatar" may also effectuate the rescue of a nasty, contentious alien society known as Hollywood -- or at least save Tinseltown's annual Oscar extravaganza from its long-term ratings slump.
A mere film festival cannot compete with the Academy Awards' grip on the public imagination, but the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival (which begins Thursday) comes pretty close -- in part because it has become the first important bellwether for the onslaught of Oscar hopefuls.
George Clooney is already practicing his "it's an honor just to be nominated" speech, telling Time magazine in a new interview that he doesn't have a shot at beating out Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor at Sunday's Academy Awards.
For the first several years of its existence, the Golden Globes -- like many other Hollywood awards -- were an insular affair. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which began presenting the awards in 1944, was content to rent a ballroom at a local hotel, hand out trophies to stars or their representatives and generally sponsor a good time.
George Clooney breezes through the "Ocean" movies with such unflappable insouciance, he must have figured we'd like to see him suffer. So here he is as "Michael Clayton," a prized asset in one of the best law firms in the country.
David Benioff was sitting on a plane, having a perfectly pleasant conversation with an elderly passenger about his job as a screenwriter, when he mentioned that he was working on an adaptation of "The Kite Runner."
Tim Burton's macabre musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street won big at the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards, announced during a live press conference from Hollywood on Sunday, while the film's star, Johnny Depp, picked up best actor in movie comedy or musical.
As the Golden Globes became the first awards-show casualty in the Hollywood writers strike, the Critics' Choice Awards fared better Monday – and with no picket lines in sight, that meant an all-star showing, from Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to George Clooney and Katie Holmes.
Cate Blanchett was recognized for leading- and supporting-actress performances, and Into the Wild earned four top nods as the nominations for the 14th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced Thursday.
George Clooney and Casey Affleck took top male honors from the National Board of Review, which prides itself on being the oldest movie organization in the country (it's 98 years old) and the first to announce its prizes each year.
Liberal message movies tend to follow the Mary Poppins principle: Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. The sugar is suspense, mystery, romance -- the sweeteners Hollywood sprinkles over Important Issues like corporate duplicity or blood diamonds to render them palatable.