February, 2012

'American Idol' Ladies Own The Night

‘American Idol’ Ladies Own The Night

Posted on 29 Feb 2012 at 4:15pm

No female has won since 2007, but the ladies proved on Wednesday that it may be their year to take back the crown.
By Adam Graham

Jessica Sanchez on “American Idol”

Photo: Fox

It was ladies’ night on “American Idol” Wednesday (February 29), and if the performances of the Top 12 females are any indication, it could be the ladies’ season as well.

Indeed, Tuesday’s shaky performances from the guys may have had fans worried about this year’s installment of “Idol.” But several ladies turned in big, show-stealing songs on Wednesday that restored faith to the season at hand. And while no female has won “Idol” since Jordin Sparks took the crown back in 2007, this could be the year a woman puts an end to that dry spell.

Fittingly, this potential female domination comes at a time when the biggest force in pop music is Adele, and the chart-topping diva’s presence loomed large over Wednesday’s show. Not only was Adele’s name was invoked several times, but two performers — Jen Hirsh and Elise Testone — took on the very same Adele song, “One and Only.” (What, one of them couldn’t switch to “Rolling in the Deep”?)

With her take on “One and Only,” Hirsh hit some of the evening’s biggest notes, and Jennifer Lopez said she “felt the feeling of the song.” Steven Tyler, meanwhile, told Hirsh, “You’ve got what it takes.”

Testone’s equally powerful “One and Only,” which closed the show, caused Randy Jackson to call her “a force to be reckoned with,” though both he and the other judges seemed concerned Testone could get lost in the mix with the other singers. “I hope America got it,” Lopez told her, somewhat worriedly.

If America doesn’t “get it,” the judges have a chance to step in: On Thursday’s show, the five top males and the five top females will be passed on to the next round, and the judges will get a chance to choose wild card contestants. Whether that will result in a Top 13 or a Top 12 was not explained on the show.

Other standouts included Skylar Laine, who threw down on the stage with a energetic, rockin’ take on Faces’ “Stay With Me.” “It’s like Tina Turner went country!” J. Lo gushed, while Jackson compared her to “Reba (McEntire) mixed with Kelly Clarkson.” Laine even took her own breath away; the Mississippi native complained at the end of her performance her dress was so tight she could hardly breathe.

Jessica Sanchez said she suffered from swollen vocal chords earlier in the week and was worried she wouldn’t be able to perform up to her usual level, but she blew the judges away with her version of Dreamgirls’ “Love You I Do.” “That girl can sing!” said an enthusiastic Jackson, saying she turned in one of the best performances of the first two nights. Lopez praised her and said she’s beyond her years, while Sanchez herself seemed taken aback from the judges’ overwhelmingly positive reactions.

Hollie Cavanagh “slayed the biggest dragon” of the evening by taking on Christina Aguilera’s “Reflection,” Jackson said, and she fared well, even if her combination of inspirational ballad and tight minidress read awkwardly on camera. “It wasn’t all perfect,” Jackson said, “but the parts that were brilliant were genius.” Lopez called her one of the competition’s frontrunners.

Shannon MaGrane — whose baseball-player father seems to still have a bone to pick with Tyler over his comments toward his daughter during the auditions — sang “Go Light Your World,” a contemporary Christian song that was “in my soul and in my gut,” she explained, although it’s not well known. But the risk seemed to have paid off: Not only did Jackson and Tyler praise her powerful vocals, MaGrane gave Lopez her first “goosies” — that’s Lopez-speak for goosebumps — of the season.

Hallie Day’s “Feeling Good” had her looking “like a star,” Lopez said, but Jackson said he wasn’t sure what direction she was headed in, awkwardly mentioning Adele and Lana Del Rey as would-be contemporaries. Day said she loves soul music and sees herself singing torch songs in the vein of — you guessed it — Adele.

Brielle Von Hugel started out her version of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” by sitting on the stage, surrounded by her male co-stars (including Phillip Phillips and Heejun Han). She stood up, marched across the stage and showed off what Jackson called a bit of Janis Joplin in her voice. Lopez called her “a true performer” and said people underestimate her as a contestant.

Erika Von Pelt showed off her rock side (her words) with Heart’s “What About Love,” and Tyler called her confidence “magical.” Still, the judges knew she had more to give, and Lopez urged her, “next time, let loose on us.” Jackson said her mix of confidence and restraint recalled — wouldn’t you know it? — Adele.

Baylie Brown had the misfortune of following Laine’s showstopper of a performance, and her static take on the Lonestar ballad “Amazed” felt safe and a bit boring. “I’ve heard you sing better,” Tyler told her, and Lopez called it “shaky all the way through.” Jackson said Brown “never seized control of the song.”

With her take on Carrie Underwood’s “Cowboy Casanova,” which opened the show, Chelsea Sorrell didn’t do much but recall Underwood’s more memorable version of the song. And the most stinging critique of the evening came when Jackson said Haley Johnsen’s version of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” “was a bit of a nightmare, for me, instead of a dream.”

What did you think of Wednesday’s “Idol”? Do you think a female will win this year? Let us know in the comments!

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Adele's 21 Scores 22nd Week At #1

Adele’s 21 Scores 22nd Week At #1

Posted on 29 Feb 2012 at 9:50am

Fun. debut at #3, while Tyga lands at #4 with Careless World.
By Gil Kaufman

Adele’s 21

Photo: Columbia Records

Surely someone is going to come along to knock Adele off her perch. But in the meantime, the Grammy-winning singer simply cannot be beat, as her 21 will notch its 22nd non-consecutive week at #1 next week thanks to sales of nearly 297,000, according to figures provided by Nielsen SoundScan.

And that’s with sales dropping almost 60 percent from her post-Grammy high. More than a year into her incredible run, Adele has sold almost 7.7 million copies of her second album in the U.S. Also holding strong was the Whitney Houston greatest-hits collection, which lost just 1 percent of its sales from the previous week, staying in the #2 position on sales of 174,000 in the second full chart week since the singer’s death. It was joined in the top 10 by the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” (#6, 47,000, up 176 percent) and her self-titled debut (#9, 30,000, up 72 percent).

Among the debuts in the top 10 are: Fun., Some Nights (#3, 70,000); Tyga, Careless World: Rise of the Last King (#4, 61,000); and Chiddy Bang, Breakfast (#8, 31,000).

The rest of the top 10: Now That’s What I Call Music! 41 (#5, 54,000); Adele’s debut, 19 (#7, 39,000); and the 2012 Grammy Nominees compilation (#10, 29,000).

Just outside the top tier, buzz duo Sleigh Bells rolled into a #12 debut with their second album, Reign of Terror and Grimes hit #98 with Visions (5,000).

Over on the iTunes singles chart, Fun.’s hookup with Janelle Monae, “We Are Young,” was at #1, followed by Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” The Wanted with “Glad You Came,” Katy Perry‘s “Part of Me” and B.o.B‘s “So Good.” The list was rounded out by Adele at #6 with “Set Fire to the Rain,” Nicki Minaj just behind with “Starships,” then Gotye with “Somebody That I Used to Know,” Chris Brown with “Turn Up the Music” and Carrie Underwood‘s “Good Girl.”

Adele easily kept the #1 spot on the iTunes album chart, followed by Tyga, Fun., Chiddy Bang, Houston, Sleigh Bells, Gotye’s Making Mirrors, Adele’s 19, Drake‘s Take Care and the Beatles1.

Adele should be safe for another week as she pursues the magic 24-weeks-at-#1 mark, though the new album from Bruce Springsteen could provide a challenge. Otherwise, the fresh faces include Sean Paul, Estelle and Kid Cudi‘s troubled WZRD project.

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Taylor Kitsch Takes Aim During 'MTV First: John Carter'

Taylor Kitsch Takes Aim During ‘MTV First: John Carter’

Posted on 29 Feb 2012 at 9:45am

Kitsch will bring a brand-new clip to MTV at 7:56 p.m. ET Thursday, followed by a 30-minute chat on MTV.com.
By Kevin P. Sullivan, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

Taylor Kitsch

Photo: MTV News

Interviewing one of this summer’s biggest stars, like, for instance, Taylor Kitsch, can be difficult. Asking the important questions while he’s shooting hockey pucks at you is an entirely different story.

The star of “John Carter” and “Battleship” took aim at MTV News’ Josh Horowitz while also taking your questions as a part of “MTV First: John Carter.” Though he’s known for his work on the football field in “Friday Night Lights,” Kitsch originally hails from the Great White North, so hockey is in his blood.

That isn’t a problem until you’re the one playing goalie. During their interview, Horowitz strapped himself in and faced down Kitsch for a no-holds-barred round of movie questions and hockey.

But before all that, Kitsch will premiere a never-before-seen clip from “John Carter” on MTV. You’ll have to tune in Thursday, March 1, at 7:56 p.m. ET to see the brand-new footage. Immediately afterward, on MTV.com, Kitsch will answer fan-submitted questions while shooting hockey pucks at his interviewer. It should be a good time.

It’s going to be an epic showdown on the ice, and it’s all going to take place on MTV and MTV.com.

In “John Carter,” Kitsch plays a Confederate officer transported to Barsoom, or Mars, as it’s more commonly referred to by humans. There, Carter finds himself embroiled in an epic war between two races for the fate of the planet.

The film will be released March 9 in digital 3-D and IMAX 3-D.

Catch Taylor Kitsch Thursday, March 1, on MTV at 7:56 p.m. ET, when he’ll debut an exclusive, never-before-seen clip from “John Carter.” Then head over to MTV.com for our 30-minute chat with Rudd and Aniston.

Catch Taylor Kitsch on MTV at 7:56 p.m. ET Thursday, when he’ll debut an exclusive, never-before-seen clip from “John Carter.” Then head over to MTV.com for our 30-minute chat with Kitsch.

U2's Edge And MTV Spotlight Homeless Youth In Documentary 'The Break'

U2′s Edge And MTV Spotlight Homeless Youth In Documentary ‘The Break’

Posted on 29 Feb 2012 at 7:16am

Program executive produced by U2 guitarist airs on MTV March 2 at 8 p.m.
By MTV News Staff

U2′s The Edge

Photo: Mark Sullivan/ Getty Images

U2 guitarist the Edge has addressed many social issues through music. He tackles a new epidemic — the growing number of homeless youth — in the MTV documentary “The Break,” for which he serves as executive producer. “The Break” premieres Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Today, over 1.5 million youth in America have found themselves living in various states of homelessness stemming from all sorts of circumstances. “The Break” introduces viewers to three young people who refuse to give in to the despair and overwhelming weight that landing on the outskirts of society has placed upon them. The documentary delves deep into the journeys of these three young individuals as they take steps to rebuild their lives once they are provided with the tools and guidance necessary to emerge out of homelessness and rejoin society.

First, viewers will meet Nancy, a 20-year-old woman who was involved in abusive relationships and has been homeless for two years. Nancy will need to regain her independence and change the behavior that has held her back throughout her life.

Then viewers will be introduced to Rob, a talented drummer who came to New York with dreams of becoming a star. After a downward spiral, Rob will have to clean up his act in order to get a fresh start and rebuild his life.

Lastly, Ava ran away from her conservative home after clashing with her family over her lesbian lifestyle. With the opportunity to receive training and experience, the academically gifted young woman will be inspired to pursue her dream of becoming a police detective.

Providing the trio with support is Anne Mahlum, the founder and CEO of the nonprofit Back on My Feet. The organization uses running as a vehicle to promote the self-sufficiency of the homeless population, providing them with support and resources to help them get closer to their goals. Back on My Feet helps Ava, Nancy and Rob finally have access to the opportunities to create functional, healthy lifestyles.

In addition to producing the program, the Edge also wrote the original song “No Home Like Place” for the documentary.

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Taylor Swift Calls Work On 'Lorax' 'Completely Different'

Taylor Swift Calls Work On ‘Lorax’ ‘Completely Different’

Posted on 28 Feb 2012 at 11:53am

Doing voice-over ‘very different from when you’re singing songs that you wrote,’ Swift tells MTV News.
By Matt Goodhue, with reporting by Kara Warner

Taylor Swift

Photo: MTV News

From the recording studio to the stage, it’s certainly clear that Taylor Swift has a knack for expressing her emotions and skills. While the singer/songwriter has graced the silver screen only once, she’s taken her talents to the sound booth for her portrayal of Audrey, a tree-loving daydreamer in the upcoming film “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.”

MTV News sat down with Swift recently as she prepared for Friday’s release of the famous Dr. Seuss tale, which follows the journey of a young boy who must save endangered trees in hopes of winning a girl’s heart. While making music and characterizing an animated girl are two quite-different tasks, if anyone can do it, and do it well, there’s no doubt it is Taylor Swift.

“It’s a completely different space that you go to in your head,” Swift explained about voice-over work. “It’s very different from when you’re singing songs that you wrote. …With this, you’re sitting there in a booth by yourself having conversations with no one.”

Having scripted conversations by yourself and answering questions to a voice you can’t even see might seem like a lonely gig, but, as with any of her work, the Grammy-winner found meaning and excitement in her role. Even though Audrey and Swift might not exactly resemble one another physically (Audrey has red hair), the blonde singer/songwriter connected with the character on a deeper level.

“She’s heavenly. She’s such a day dreamer, and she cares so much about the past,” Taylor said. “To some degree, you have to have a priority based on the past and the future as well as the present.”

As seen in the trailer, the character of Audrey is fun, bubbly, curious and a big fan of trees. Swift certainly fits all of these traits, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she does with the character when “The Lorax” is released Friday.

Oh, and does Taylor dig trees as much as her animated counterpart? “I grew up on a Christmas tree farm, and she’s obsessed with trees,” she shared.

Do you think Taylor’s voice will work well onscreen? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Check out everything we’ve got on “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

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Oscars 2012: Just Like Grammys, But With More Leg

Oscars 2012: Just Like Grammys, But With More Leg

Posted on 28 Feb 2012 at 11:53am

Why the contest between the year’s two biggest awards shows wasn’t really much of a contest at all, in Bigger Than the Sound.
By James Montgomery

Angelina Jolie presents at the 84th annual Academy Awards

Photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

There was a wardrobe malfunction, some racy fashion, a bit of onstage inebriation, a little pre-show punking and even a Justin Bieber sighting … and none of it was enough to spare Sunday’s 84th Academy Awards from being called “as bland as oatmeal” and a “badly paced bore-fest.”

Those criticisms may or may not have been deserved; after all, the three-hour-and-something telecast certainly lagged in spots, most of Billy Crystal’s shtick seemed to have been vacuum-sealed during the latter days of the Carter administration and the most memorable moments centered on supposed nipple sips and Angelina Jolie’s right leg. And, shoot, it’s not like there was a whole lot of suspense involved with the show itself; everyone knew “The Artist” was a lock to win Best Picture, and, lo and behold, it did just that.

Still, there were highlights— Emma Stone’s charming (and well-written) presentation bit opposite Ben Stiller, Octavia Spencer’s gob-smacked Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech (and frequent near spills beforehand), Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis’ cymbal-smashing stunt — but overall, consensus seems to hold that this year’s Oscar telecast was too bloated, too straight-laced and too self-reverent. In other words, it was just like every other Oscar telecast, only with accidental nudity and some Cirque du Soleil thrown in at the last minute.

Which is why, after sifting through the aftermath of the show itself, I can’t help but notice the similarities between the Oscars and the 54th Grammy Awards, which unspooled earlier this month and were greeted with the same basic criticisms immediately afterward: feckless host, lifeless pacing, predictable results. And while comparing Billy Crystal to LL Cool J is basically a futile endeavor (Crystal was funnier, but LL bested him when it came to prayer-leading and headwear), it’s not exactly a stretch to call both telecasts long-winded, or make the connection between “The Artist” and Adele.

Of course, some (like, uh, me) have already floated the notion that the Oscars and the Grammys are basically the same show anyway — both are slightly silly, thoroughly incomprehensible exercises in self congratulation — though, for what it’s worth, I actually enjoyed Sunday’s Oscars way more than this year’s Grammys. I thought the former was a better show, more creatively staged, and certainly more adept playing the hand it was dealt.

To wit: Producers went into Sunday’s Oscarcast having already weathered the Brett Ratner/Eddie Murphy bad-press fiesta, and knowing that a) this year’s crop of nominated-films weren’t exactly compelling, b) a (largely) silent, black-and-white film was the odds-on favorite, c) their host was born in 1948, and d) they were opposite the NBA All-Star Game. Forget about “cool” … about the best thing the Oscars could hope for was “classy,” and in that regard, they definitely delivered.

On the other hand, heading into the Grammys, the presumptive favorite had also sold nearly 7 million albums (about as close as a consensus as you can get these days), one of the most-popular hip-hop artists on the planet was the night’s most-nominated act (that would be Kanye West), and three of the world’s biggest pop stars (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna) were all in attendance. Oh, and then, on the night before the show itself, Whitney Houston — one of the greatest singers of all time, and a talent whose entire career was basically interwoven with the history of the award — unexpectedly died. If anything, the show was set up to be one for the ages.

And yet, it largely wasn’t. Sure, Adele soared and scored, but everyone else in the previous paragraph was basically an afterthought. And the tribute to Houston, featuring a very game Jennifer Hudson, was buried in the telecast and largely forgotten by the following morning. Combine all that with an odd Nicki Minaj performance, that whole “EDM” tribute and a thorough bungling of the annual “In Memoriam” piece, and the Grammys were a debacle in just about every conceivable way (except for Dave Grohl, of course, who was awesome as always).

So if these two awards shows really are so similar, well, for one year at least, they weren’t. The Oscars definitely out-gunned, out-shone, and even managed to out-Grammy the Grammys themselves. There was a slight spirit of irreverence (Angelina’s leg show, Sacha Baron Cohen’s ash-spilling stunt, the boozy “Bridesmaids” salute to Marty Scorsese) that permeated throughout the buttoned-up proceedings. They even got Justin Bieber involved, and the last time I checked, he was a musician (or at least that’s what people tell me). Both certainly warranted criticisms, though perhaps that’s just the case with all awards shows these days: They are largely antithetical to the way we operate, after all: throwback, three-hour telecasts where brevity is encouraged but never really enforced. They are practically constructed to be deconstructed by bloggers the following morning, painfully un-hip, unapologetically huge and forced to appeal to the broadest of demographics. And yet (or probably because of all that), they routinely deliver viewership — this year’s Grammys were watched by 39 million folks, the largest audience since 1984 — which means they’re not going anywhere anytime soon … if ever.

So if we’re stuck with them, we might as well come to appreciate them. Neither the Oscars nor the Grammys are ever going to be perfect … and this year, neither were. But when comparison is necessary (and given the scope of both, basically unavoidable), the Oscars came out on top, by a large margin. They did more with less, and did so with style to spare. And less Nicki Minaj. Then again, perhaps all of this just begs a larger question: Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some alternatives out there? I wouldn’t hold my breath for an answer, so in the mean time, I’m left to compare one bloviated, bloated awards show to another, even if they don’t even merit comparison.

What awards show did you enjoy more this year: the Grammys or the Oscars? Leave your comment below!

The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Keep it locked at MTV.com for updates on the night’s big winners and the best red-carpet fashion.

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Oscars 2012 Belong To 'The Artist,' 'Hugo,' Meryl Streep

Oscars 2012 Belong To ‘The Artist,’ ‘Hugo,’ Meryl Streep

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 at 5:38pm

French silent film takes home three major prizes, for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.
By Gil Kaufman

Meryl Streep wins Best Actress at the 2012 Oscars

Photo: Getty Images

The early word on the 84th annual Academy Awards was that silent movie “The Artist” was going to run the board. Then there were five early wins by Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” in technical awards, and it seemed as if it would be a night of upsets.

But, like an old movie serial that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end, the throwback to another era in film came on strong and swept three of the four biggies: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

The wins capped a night of celebrating the history of cinema, with the final act providing a perfect topper, as “The Artist” became only the second silent movie in Oscar history to snag the night’s top prize and the first black-and-white one to win Best Picture since “Schindler’s List” in 1994. Joining it in the winner’s circle with five wins was another loving tribute to the wonder of film, Scorsese’s “Hugo.”

After the crash-and-burn that was last year’s younger-demo-seeking combo of James Franco and Anne Hathaway, nine-time emcee Billy Crystal provided some of that same kind of warm-and-fuzzy feeling to his hosting duties as well. After the tumult that resulted in Eddie Murphy dropping out of the gig in November, the veteran comedian did exactly what everyone wanted him to: he sang, he danced, he made bar mitzvah and Hitler jokes, he spoofed the year’s biggest movies and took a lifetime’s worth of shots at Kodak.

Michel Hazanavicius bested Scorsese for Best Director for his work on “The Artist.” Though he claimed to have forgotten his speech, Hazanavicius proclaimed himself the “happiest director in the world” for taking home such a prestigious honor for his anachronistic feature about the culture clash between the old and new when talkies supplanted silent films in the late 1920s.

In addition to shouting out the film’s famous pooch, Uggie, Hazanavicius gave props to the movie itself, saying, “Since this movie has been made, its life is full of grace and it brings to us joy and happiness. Sometimes life is wonderful, and today is one of these days.”

He was joined a short time later by his leading man, Jean Dujardin, who beat out the likes of three-time Best Actor nominee George Clooney, his bromantic pal Brad Pitt and fellow first-time nominees Gary Oldman and Demian Bichir for Best Actor. For a guy who spent an entire movie not talking, Dujardin had a simple message for his legion of new American fans: “I love your country!”

The most nominated actor in Oscar history waited an interminable 30 years between awards, but the 17th time was the charm for Meryl Streep, who snagged her third golden man for disappearing into the role of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” The always entertaining actress moaned, “Oh my God, oh come on!” at the standing ovation, saying she feared that when her name was read, half of America groaned, “Oh no! Her! Again!”

The night’s first Oscar, for Cinematography, suggested that perhaps “The Artist” would not run the board, as it went to Scorsese’s “Hugo.” As did the second, for Art Direction, which went to the husband-and-wife team that made “Hugo” such a rich visual feast for the eyes. Along the way, the movie also picked up the Oscars for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

Best Supporting Actress went to first-time nominee Octavia Spencer for her role in “The Help,” which garnered a standing ovation from the crowd as she struggled to overcome tears in accepting the award for her work as headstrong maid Minny Jackson.

The big night for “The Artist” began with a win for Original Score for untrained composer Ludovic Bource, but it was the cymbal-crashing entrance by Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis that helped make the two-song race in the Best Original Song category a memorable one. “Flight of the Concords” star Bret McKenzie won the marathon for “Man or Muppet,” noting that it was his lifelong dream to meet Kermit the Frog and, like many leading men in Hollywood, he noted that the fuzzy Muppet is “a lot shorter in real life.”

After seven decades in the business, a lithe Christopher Plummer became the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar when he accepted the Supporting Actor statue for his work as a father who comes out to his son after the death of his wife in “Beginners.” Holding up the golden statue, Plummer said, “You’re only two years older than me — where have you been all my life?” joking that he emerged from the womb practicing his thank-you speech.

Though it wasn’t in the running for the biggies, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” didn’t go home empty-handed, as it snagged the Best Editing prize for the same duo who took it home last year for “The Social Network.” The award for Animated Feature went to director Gore Verbinski, who took home his first Oscar for “Rango.”

Director Alexander Payne took home his second Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his collaboration on the script to “The Descendants,” while a typically absent Woody Allen will get his Original Screenplay statue in the mail for “Midnight in Paris.”

The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Keep it locked at MTV.com all night and beyond for updates on the night’s big winners and the best red-carpet fashion. Join the live conversation by tweeting @MTVNews with the hashtag #Oscars.

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'Star Trek 2' Cast 'Welcoming' To Benedict Cumberbatch

‘Star Trek 2′ Cast ‘Welcoming’ To Benedict Cumberbatch

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 at 2:13pm

‘It’s a great thing to come into something that everybody’s familiar with and knows each other very well,’ new addition tells MTV News.
By Kara Warner

Benedict Cumberbatch

Photo: MTV News

With all the hullabaloo caused by the recently leaked photos from the “Star Trek 2″ set, people are getting a wee bit distracted from the bigger picture surrounding the film: They’re actually making the sequel, people! Let’s be content with that happy news and the fact that all our favorite castmembers from the first film have returned, as well as a few very welcome additions, chief among them current actor-in-everything Benedict Cumberbatch.

MTV News recently caught up with the “Sherlock,” “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “War Horse” actor to find out how things are going on set and his thoughts about his castmates’ very high praise for how the British actor has elevated their collective game.

“Well, it’s very sweet to say,” Cumberbatch told us at Elton John’s Oscar viewing party in regards to Chris Pine’s compliments. “I actually did a year at drama school, so I’m not that trained; I’m not that classical, but I’m flattered. I think they are brilliant on that show, and it’s a real privilege to be on that set. There’s a patter and a kind of knowledge of who they’re playing and the other main characters, which I’m learning a lot from. It’s just good fun. It’s great to work with Chris. He’s very professional. So is Zach , who I’ve been working a lot with; I adore him, he’s a brilliant, brilliant guy.

“I’m kinda getting busy with the film now,” Cumberbatch teased of his villainous character’s actions in and around deep space. “I’ve been away doing other things — ‘The Hobbit,’ which was fantastic. And so my part of the film is really sorta kicking in now. It’s great fun, great, great fun. But what I’m trying to say is it’s a great thing to come into something that everybody’s familiar with and knows each other very well. So it’s a weird way a very easy thing to get up to speed with, because everybody is so welcoming and gets along with one another.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Star Trek 2.”

For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.

Rihanna Set To Play Whitney Houston In Biopic?

Rihanna Set To Play Whitney Houston In Biopic?

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 at 1:00pm

Photo: Getty Images

Uma Thurman Pregnant With Third Child

Uma Thurman Pregnant With Third Child

Posted on 27 Feb 2012 at 12:08pm

Mom-to-be will star as Robert Pattinson’s love interest in ‘Bel Ami.’
By Kara Warner

Uma Thurman

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images

Uma Thurman is a mama-to-be once again. According to E! Online, the “Kill Bill” and “Bel Ami” actress and her financier beau Arpad Busson will welcome a new bundle of joy into the world later this year.

The new addition to Thurman’s family will join her children Maya, 13, and Levon, 10, with whom she shares custody with ex-husband Ethan Hawke. Hawke has expanded his family in recent years as well. After marrying his and Thurman’s onetime nanny Ryan Shawhughes in 2008, the happy couple has welcomed two children of their own: Clementine, 3, and Indiana, 6 months.

Although Thurman will likely begin preparations for her new arrival, fans will get to see more of the 41-year-old beauty in Robert Pattinson’s next film, “Bel Ami,” which opens in March. Thurman has been fortunate to have co-starred with a slew of handsome younger men in her films over the years, which she said she has not taken for granted: “I have been cast opposite a lot of really handsome, charming young men,” she told MTV News, laughing, last April. “It’s nice work when you can get it.

“I’ve also worked with some of the world’s most wonderful esteemed older men throughout my career, who were wonderful people to learn from and be with. I think the exploration of people relating in different generations is something that is really current,” she continued. “And it’s fun. It’s wonderful to have. I can’t just speak about it romantically, but it’s wonderful to know people at all different stages of life.”

Speaking of her work with her very popular “Bel Ami” co-star and international heartthrob, Thurman has had nothing but high praise for Pattinson: “Robert Pattinson is, I think, going to be a really serious actor,” she shared. “I think he’s incredibly concrete in his presence on the set and obviously is very handsome. is a very nice person, and he’s sensitive. He’s present. … He’s a really good actor.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “Bel Ami.”

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