Zero Dark Thirty

by (@JordanRuntagh)

Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway and More! We Handicap The 2013 Oscar Nominated Ladies

Handicapping actresses for the 2013 Oscars

We’re back again, folks! Earlier today we brought you the breakdown for the actors nominated for the 2013 Academy Awards, and now we’ve returned to do the same thing for the actresses! There are so many incredibly talented ladies up for the award this year, it’s hard to know who to place your bets on for your inevitable Oscar Betting Pool. So we’ve tried to make it a little easier for you and “handicapped” each of the actresses to help you make your picks!

Best Actresses

Jessica Chastain: Maya in Zero Dark Thirty

Why She Has A Good Shot: Chastain provided a strong emotional anchor amid the violence, terrorism and controversy in a film that chronicles the search for Osama Bin Laden.

What Might Get In Her Way: Geez, we heard that the Academy tends to respect dramas over comedies, but this sounds a little intense.

Jennifer Lawrence: Tiffany Maxwell in Silver Linings Playbook

Why She Has A Good Shot: Sure it’s a great movie and an awesome performance, but in our minds this is a nomination for blowing box offices sky-high with Hunger Games.

What Might Get In Her Way: President Snow.

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by (@shalapitcher)

Oscar’s Biggest Surprises: Snubs For Ben Affleck, Kudos For Beasts

Ben Affleck and Katherine Bigelow weren't nominated for Directing Oscars, but Beasts of the Southern Wild's helmer was.

First, the good news: 2012 was a really good year for movies. Now the bad: That means no matter who got an Oscar nomination this morning, there were bound to be a bunch of disappointed, but really deserving and talented, folks in Hollywood. Maybe they’ll take the relieved attitude this year’s host Seth MacFarlane suggested before making the announcements: “You can stop doing interviews where you pretend you had such a great time making the movie.”

The biggest snubs we saw were in the director category, where dark horse candidates Michael Haneke (Amour) and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) edged out favorites Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) and Tom Hooper (Les Miserables) — all of which were also nominated for Best Picture.

“No Best Director or Best Actor for Argo. Really? Even though it got a Best Picture nomination?” Deadline’s Dominic Patten wrote. Read more…

by (@hallekiefer)

Jacked In Zero Dark Thirty Or Overweight On Conan, Chris Pratt Will Always Be Our Fantasy Husband

It should be no surprise to you that we’ve been moderately-to-severely obsessed with Chris Pratt for a long time now. (Damn you, Anna Faris, for marrying him first!) (Also congratulations! You two seem like a really top-notch couple.) So we felt qualified to weigh in on the Parks and Rec‘s actor’s amazing before/after/even bigger than before photos on Conan last night. Let’s be honest, because this is a safe space here: Chris Pratt looks incredibly good whether he’s crazy jacked for Zero Dark Thirty, or 60 lbs heavier for a future project. Some people can just pull that off. Let’s all acknowledge it and let the truth to wash over us.

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by (@shalapitcher)

Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln Top The Early Awards Season Tally – Will They Stay There?

Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Argo and Les Miz are among the top nominees of awards season so far

There’s a reason we’re bloggers and not rocket scientists or statisticians here — numbers ain’t our strong suit — but for the greater good, we decided to do a little counting, just to see where this year’s great movies stand so far in the Awards Season 2013 race. From the Gotham Awards to the National Review Board, the Spirit Awards to the Critics’ Choice — which was just announced today — we are keeping score now. And this is all leading up to Thursday’s Golden Globes nominations announcement.

This early in the game, with no different weight given to the different types of boards awarding nominations and kudos (or the different awards, be they for costume design or best feature), this is where the movies stand:

Silver Linings Playbook: 29
Lincoln: 26
Les Miserables: 23
The Master: 21
Zero Dark Thirty: 19
Argo: 18
Beasts of the Southern Wild: 17
Moonrise Kingdom: 16
Life of Pi: 14
The Sessions: 10
Django Unchained: 6

If nothing else, this should give you a good idea of which movies you need to add to your list before January!

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[Photos: Universal Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, The Weinstein Company, Warner Bros.]

by (@SharaMorris)

From Homeland To The Petraeus Affair: 5 Reasons 2012 Was The CIA’s Best Year Ever

Claire Danes in Homeland

Some call 2012 the year the world will end (we’re looking at all of you Mayans out there). Others will remember it as the year they spent in a fog of Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe.” But who does 2012 really belong to? The CIA. Yes, you heard me. The agency that President Truman created has been taking 2012 by storm. We break down why your favorite intelligence agency dominated the news and pop culture.

1.Homeland – Never mind any real-life accomplishments the agency made this year. By sweeping the Emmy Awards with six wins and much critical acclaim, Homeland certainly helped make the CIA relevant again. As we left the Bush era’s torture wielding Jack Bauer and entered an Obama White House, we needed a new kick-ass hero to dominate our sets. Our protagonist came in the form of the ever complex Carrie Mathinson (Claire Danes) whose keen intelligence and questionable judgment calls make her one of the most compelling characters on television right now. And despite the occasional face-off with most wanted terrorist Abu Nazir, working with top notch intelligence officials seems even enjoyable for Carrie. I mean, where else can you have Mandy Patinkin as your mentor while simultaneously having an affair with a turned P.O.W.-turned U.S. Congressman? Only at the CIA.

2. Argo – In addition to the small screen, the CIA dominated the silver screen this year too. Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, the film is based on the declassified documents of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis that kept the country on the edge during the Carter administration. The movie’s receiving much Oscar buzz for its script and hilarious supporting performances by the epic Alan Arkin and John Goodman. (We’re still telling everyone, “Argo f— yourself.”) But what made this movie so great was the extraordinary true story that the CIA saved six U.S. hostages by pretending to be a Canadian film crew scouting movie sets in Tehran. This is the kind of story you wished happened in the CIA, but never expected would actually exist. Argo fulfilled our dreams of what it would be like to be real spies. Let the role-playing begin.
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