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December 16th, 2009
08:49 AM ET
December 15th, 2009
11:26 AM ET

'Up in the Air' leads Golden Globe nominations

CNN

Despite an industry dominated by young Hollywood, older actresses ruled the Golden Globe nominations on Tuesday morning. But "Up in the Air" was the critical darling with six nominations.

Meryl Streep earned two nominations in the best actress category, one for her portrayal of Julia Child in this summer's hit, "Julie and Julia," and another for her role in the romantic comedy "It's Complicated," in theaters December 25.

Sandra Bullock got two nominations, one for best actress in a comedic motion picture for "The Proposal," and the other for best actress in a dramatic motion picture for her role in the sneak box-office success "The Blind Side."

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Filed under: Film
December 4th, 2009
10:41 AM ET

Don't take life for granted


Quinton Aaron plays the role of Micheal Oher and Sandra Bullock is Leigh Anne Touhy in "The Blind Side"

Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Special to CNN

Sometimes, a film is so powerful that it haunts you long after you've left the theater. Usually, it's because of the weight of the message.

The film haunting me is "The Blind Side." And the message? I'll leave that to Leigh Anne Tuohy to explain.

Tuohy and her husband, Sean, are the subjects of the new movie, "The Blind Side." The film is an adaptation of the 2006 book, "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" by Michael Lewis.

It tells the incredible story of Michael Oher, who went from being a homeless inner-city high school student whose father was dead and whose mother was a crack addict to a star lineman at the University of Mississippi - eventually being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft. The Ravens recently signed the 6-5, 309-pound Oher to a 5-year, $13.8 million contract.

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Filed under: Film
November 3rd, 2009
12:27 PM ET

The Matrix and Prophet Muhammad

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/TECH/science/05/22/Doha.summary/art.doha.gi.jpg caption="Doha, Qatar: A city skyline awash with cranes and towers powered by abundant oil and gas supplies."]

Arsalan Iftikhar, creator of themuslimguy.com
CNN

From The Matrix to the Lord of the Rings to….a $150 million Hollywood biopic film about the Prophet Muhammad?

Yup, you read it correctly…

As reported recently by The Guardian newspaper in the United Kingdom, “[Academy Award-winning] producer Barrie Osborne cast Keanu Reeves as the messiah in The Matrix and helped defeat the dark lord Sauron in his record-breaking Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now the Oscar-winning American film-maker is set to embark on his most perilous quest to date: making a big-screen biopic of the prophet Muhammad.”

With a whopping estimated budget of around $150 million, the blockbuster film will chart Muhammad’s life and examine his teachings.

Mr. Osborne recently told Reuters that he envisions the movie as “an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam.”

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Film • Islam
September 29th, 2009
03:44 PM ET

Victim: Courts did more harm than Polanski

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/09/29/polanski.victim.profile/art.polanski.gi.jpg caption="Polanski admitted to a single count of having sexual intercourse with a minor, then fled the United States."]

Ann O'Neill
CNN

The events of a single afternoon when she was 13 years old have haunted Samantha Geimer her entire life. A famous movie director allegedly gave her champagne and had sex with her.

She is 45 now, and wishes the whole matter would just go away. The arrest of Roman Polanski in Switzerland over the weekend makes that highly unlikely. Geimer is back in the news in connection with the infamous 1977 California sex case, whether she likes it or not.

It should have ended three decades ago, when Polanski pleaded guilty to a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He would have been given credit for time served while undergoing an evaluation and placed on probation.

But Polanski fled the country before sentencing, fearing the judge would back out of the plea bargain and sentence him to prison.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Film
September 28th, 2009
03:27 PM ET

Tumultuous Polanski always in spotlight

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/09/27/roman.polanski.profile/art.polanski.tate.gi.jpg caption="Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate are pictured together in London in the 1960s."]
Peter Wilkinson
CNN

Roman Polanski is regarded as one of the finest directors of his generation, winning an Oscar for "The Pianist" and nominations for "Tess" and "Rosemary's Baby," but he is probably as equally well known for his own tumultuous life.

Polanski, who was arrested Saturday in Switzerland on a U.S. arrest warrant stemming from a decades-old sex charge, had lived in France for decades to avoid being arrested if he enters the United States.

The 76-year-old declined to collect his Academy Award for Best Director in person when he won it for "The Pianist" in 2003. He was en route to the Zurich Film Festival, which is holding a tribute to him, when he was arrested by Swiss authorities, the festival said.

Polanski was put in "provisional detention" and now faces the possibility of being extradited to the U.S., where a warrant for his arrest was issued in 1978.

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Film
November 29th, 2008
08:35 AM ET

The man who blew up America's closets

Andrew O’Hehir
Salon.com

For me and for anybody else who lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s, the assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone on Nov. 27, 1978, came as the second half of a traumatic double whammy - a regionally and culturally specific version of 9/11 or Pearl Harbor. As I remember it, I was standing in the hallway outside the journalism office at Berkeley High School, talking to a couple of friends on the paper. (I was the editor.) We may well have been talking about stories we were working on in the aftermath of the so-called Jonestown massacre, the mass murder-suicide of more than 900 people, including quite a few with connections to our city and our school, that had happened just nine days earlier in the Guyanese jungle.

Someone came into the hall and told us what had just happened a few miles away, on the other side of the bay. A black-and-white TV was dragged out of the closet, plugged in and kicked around for a while until we could find a station. One of my friends took out a pencil and wrote on the wall: "11/27/78: Milk and Moscone just GOT SHOT!!" I guess he was blogging without knowing it. That scribble stayed there unmolested until after we graduated.

Thirty years later, almost to the day, and after a bewildering number of fits and starts with various directors and actors, the story of pioneering gay politician Harvey Milk - a crucial strand, but not the only strand, in that chaotic autumn of 1978 - reaches us as a major feature film, with Sean Penn in the lead role and Gus Van Sant behind the camera. There are an awful lot of things to say about "Milk," and it's a film that, for anyone who knows the history of these events, will bump into a bunch of questions it isn't remotely equipped to answer.

"Milk" was never going to be just another movie, and in a season marked by the simultaneous election of our first black president and the enactment of a gay-marriage ban in California, it's in danger of becoming primarily a symbol or a statement, and not a movie at all. (For instance, there is an announced boycott of Cinemark theaters showing the film, because of the chain owner's purported anti-gay politics.) But let's say the simplest things first: This is an affectionately crafted, celebratory biopic about a sweet, shrewd, hard-assed, one-of-a-kind historical figure. And they can just FedEx the Oscar to Sean Penn's house right now, so that we don't have to listen to his acceptance speech.

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Filed under: Andrew O'Hehir • Film
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