Cumberbatch gets special award

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Benedict Cumberbatch will receive the Variety Award at this year’s British Independent Film Awards.

Cumberbatch is already nominated in the Best Actor category at the annual awards which honour the best independent films of the year.

The Variety Award is presented to a director, actor, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the UK. Previous winners include Jude Law, Kenneth Branagh, Sir Michael Caine, Daniel Craig, Dame Helen Mirren and Richard Curtis.

Speaking about the honour, Cumberbatch said: : “I am delighted to receive this prestigious award and would like to thank Variety and The Moët British Independent Film Awards for this incredible honour.

“It is made even more special by the recognition of The Imitation Game in this year’s nominations, a film I am very proud to be a part of.”

The awards are presented at Old Billingsgate on December 7.

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Best Actor race – some thoughts

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Already this year I’ve been lucky enough to see what I think should be four of the five Best Actor nominees at the Oscars.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carell, Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne all give superb performances and should therefore be recognised.

Of those four I’m finding it hard to pick a winner – I know the smart money is currently on Keaton and it would be a typical Oscars-comeback story. Cumberbatch and Redmayne are both excellent as British mathematical geniuses and both brought me to tears. I didn’t like Foxcatcher – I found it too dark – but I did appreciate Carell’s work – I’ve never seen him so unlikeable and menacing on screen. It’s a complete about turn for his regular persona.

Who could be the fifth nominee? Well overnight in LA David Oyelowo has emerged as a serious contender following the debut of Selma at the AFI Fest. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have Brits among the contenders?

There are still some other actors who could crash the party – I think Timothy Spall is still in contention for Mr Turner, as I’m writing this I’m waiting on reaction to Bradley Cooper’s performance in American Sniper and what about Johnny Depp in Into The Woods which no-one has seen yet?

It’s all speculation of course but it’s shaping up to be an incredibly strong category this year. I just wish we could say the same for Beat Actress.

Matthew Morrison heads to Neverland

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Glee’s Matthew Morrison is to lead the cast of the Broadway production of Finding Neverland.

The musical is based on the film starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet and the theatrical production is being produced by Harvey Weinstein.

The show’s music has been written by Take That star Gary Barlow alongside Eliot Kennedy.

The show begins previews on March 15 and officially opens on April 15.

More stars at Hollywood Film Awards

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More celebs have been confirmed to attend Friday’s Hollywood Film Awards in LA.

The awards show is being hosted by Queen Latifah and helps to kick off the annual publicity drive towards awards season.

This year the event is being broadcast on CBS for first time and that’s helping bring out some major Hollywood names including Angelina Jolie, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Reese Witherspoon, Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Adams, Gerard Butler, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

Should be a good one!

Mockingjay premiere – live stream

Want to watch tonight’s world premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 but can’t get there?

Well hope is at hand – there’s going to be a livestream!

From 5.30pm you can watch Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone and director Francis Lawrence on the red carpet.

Here’s the link: https://uk.yahoo.com/movies/film/the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-one?autoplay=1 

 

A modern Little Women?

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The classic story of Little Women is to be brought into the modern age in a new drama for US TV.

The miniseries, which will be made by ABC and is being produced by British actress Natascha McElhone.

She’s expected to also star in the series which will see the March girls coming of age against the backdrop of a military scandal leading their family to lose their its fortune and position.

I have to say I have serious reservations about this. I read Louisa May Alcott’s stories as a teenager and have loved them ever since. I hope they don’t change them too much.

Julie Walters – A Life in Pictures

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National treasure Julie Walters will be the debut subject of the TV strand of BAFTA’s A Life In Pictures.

She’ll be discussing her career at BAFTA’s HQ in Piccadilly on December 3.

Back in 2000 when she won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Billy Elliot I got to interview her backstage at the awards.

Earlier that weekend she’d also won an Olivier Award so I asked her what she was going to do on the Monday morning. “I’ve got a pile of washing to do” she told me. Still one of my favourite stories.

Allison Janney is busy, busy, busy

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Susan Sarandon and Allison Janney are in talks to star in the comedy Whatever Makes You Happy.

The film will be directed by Cindy Chupack who’s previously worked on Sex And The City and Modern Family.

The plot follows three friends who travel to New York to visit their sons and discover that everything may not be as rosy as they all thought.

Filming is expected to begin in June.

Before she starts work on the film, Allison Janney will be co-hosting the People’s Choice Awards alongside her Mom co-star Anna Faris.

The show takes place on January 7.

Shailene Woodley leads the list of film nominees with four nods; Kaley Cuoco also has four in the TV categories and Brit singer Sam Smith also has four in the music categories.

McConaughey heads to war – and Hollywood

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Matthew McConaughey is heading to the Civil War.

Free State of Jones is about the true story of Newton Knight who defected from the Confederate Army with a group of other soldiers and they attempted to establish their own State.

Gary Ross is expected to direct. It’s expected to start filming early next year.

Meanwhile McConaughey is getting his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He’ll receive the award on November 17.

The Big Lego Theory

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The Big Bang Theory is being turned into Lego!

The new set is expected to include figures of the new characters including Sheldon and Leonard as well as their living room – which of course is where most of the sitcom is set.

The idea was submitted to Lego by some fans who then put it to an online vote and the idea received over 10,000 votes.

No word yet on when we can but it.