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“Hugo,” Woody Allen and Women Film Critics in today’s Oscar news – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell In addition to the London Critics’ Circle revealing their year-end nominees this morning (they went with “Drive” and “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” for the most part), there were a few other interesting Oscar news items that reached the wire over the past 24 hours. Let’s sprint through the top headlines as we start a busy Tuesday.

– The Academy deemed 265 films eligible for Best Picture honors. Up to 10 will make the Best Picture cut when nominations are announced on Jan. 24, 2012.

– Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” got an influential thumbs up from Vince Pace, co-chairman of CAMERON | PACE Group, who says, “At a time when there’s been a lot of discussion about the 3D medium and is it good enough and does it enhance the storytelling, ‘Hugo’ has paid off. People now realize what we’re doing and that the approach to what we’re doing is different. 3D is as good as it gets when it’s done this way. People are now coming to us asking how they can achieve what ‘Hugo’ has with 3D.”

– The Southeastern Film Critics Association (of which I am a member) revealed its year-end selections, going with “The Descendants” for Best Picture. Other winners in the top categories included Scorsese (Director); George Clooney (Actor); Meryl Streep (Actress); Christopher Plummer (Supporting Actor); Janet McTeer (Supporting Actress); and “The Help” (Ensemble).

– Woody Allen, currently in the Oscar discussion for his “Midnight In Paris,” lists the five iconic actresses he’d love to go back in time to direct.

– The Women Film Critics Circle Awards recognized “The Iron Lady,” “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “The Help” and Glenn Close – among others – in its year-end voting.

– And finally, David Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” hits theaters today, but Stieg Larsson’s partner isn’t happy with the film’s merchandise campaign.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
Harvey Weinstein
– The cast of “The Artist.”
Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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