Critics’ Choice Movie Awards: ‘Argo,’ ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Top Honors

After getting snubbed by the Oscars on Thursday morning, Ben Affleck came roaring back just a few hours later by winning top honors at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards for his film Argo.

The critically acclaimed smash took home two awards that evening, including Best Picture of the Year.

A visibly shocked Affleck was also named Best Director.

“I’d like to thank the Academy,” he quipped during his acceptance speech.

But it was Silver Linings Playbook that topped the night, taking home four awards, for Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Comedy (Bradley Cooper) Best Actress in a Comedy (Jennifer Lawrence) and Best Ensemble.

Star Lawrence also won for Best Actress in an Action Movie, for The Hunger Games.

Other big winners included Daniel Day-Lewis, for Lincoln; Jessica Chastain, for Zero Dark Thirty; and Anne Hathaway, for her haunting performance in Les Miserables.

Affleck was arguably the biggest snub from yesterday’s 2013 Oscar nominations; along with Zero Dark Thirty‘s Kathryn Bigelow, Affleck failed to be nominated in the Best Director category, despite being considered a lock by many pundits.

Argo nevertheless earned five Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

To see the full list of nominations, click here.

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DGA Noms Announced — What Does That Mean for Oscar?

With less than a week to go before the Oscar nominations are announced, one of the biggest foreshadows for Oscar gold – the Directors Guild – has revealed their nominees for Best Director.

As expected, Argo‘s director and star Ben Affleck and Lincoln‘s Steven Spielberg lead the pack, followed by a few surprise picks.

Read on for the full list of directors…

Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi) round out the list of 5 directors. This year marks Affleck’s first DGA nomination, while Best Director Oscar winners Hooper and Bigelow received their second. Spielberg scored is eleventh DGA nomination.

David O. Russell, a favorite for The Silver Linings Playbook, is notably absent. Also missing from the list are Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained and The Master‘s Paul Thomas Anderson.

The DGA is one of the strongest indicators of who will take home Oscar gold. No director has ever won an Academy Award without previously receiving a nod from the DGA.

So based on the DGAs, who are Oscar’s frontrunners? With Golden Globe and DGA nods, Hooper is a safe bet for a Best Director nomination. Ditto Spielberg and Bigelow.

The outlook is still a bit fuzzy on Lee; the Academy could go either way and give it to Russell. And don’t count out Tarantino just yet; the filmmaker is very popular with the Academy and his Golden Globe nomination may be enough to secure a nod. Oscar nominations are announced Thursday, January 10.

Which director do you think will win? Who do you want to go home with the Oscar? Sound off in the comments below.

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Ben Affleck for Senator? The Actor Addresses Possible Run: Plus Other Celebs Who Entered Politics

Ben Affleck has always been an outspoken supporter of Democratic Party politics. This week, he even was in Washington to testify before the House Armed Services Committee on the security situation in the violence-afflicted African nation of Congo. But would the Hollywood honcho ever consider leaving behind his Academy Award-winning career as an screenwriter, actor and director to throw his hat in the ring?

“Well, one never knows,” Affleck said when asked if he would ever run for Massachusetts Senate seat in a pre-taped an interview that will air Sunday on CBS News’s Face the Nation. “I’m not one to get into conjecture.”

“I do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country,” continued the Boston native. “It’s a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that I’ve watched so much. But I’m not going to get into speculation about my political future.”

Affleck certainly wouldn’t be the first actor to step into the world of government. Before being elected to the White House, Ronald Reagan was a successful Hollywood star and even served as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Austrian-born bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger starred on the big screen before becoming Governor of California. And America has seen political ambition from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Warren Beatty and Clint Eastwood.

But “right now,” Affleck added, “I’m really happy being involved from the outside in government, advocating for the Congolese, taking this movie that I made, Argo, that’s really become a springboard for dialogue about our relationship with Iran, which, as Hillary Clinton said, is the most pressing foreign policy issue today, so…I got a lot on my plate.”

 

And that includes impending awards season. Affleck’s acclaimed Argo is nominated for five Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and is expected to see Academy Award nods, which will be announced on January 15.

Affleck’s interview will air on Face the Nation on Sunday, Dec. 23.

To see a list of other celebs who made the plunge and entered politics, click on the gallery above.

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Ben Affleck Gets Out of ‘Focus’ With Kristen Stewart, Blames Hectic Schedule

Out of focus, indeed.

Less than a week after confirming his involvement, Kristen Stewart has lost her leading man, Ben Affleck, in their upcoming film, Focus. The actor reportedly dropped out due to his busy schedule.

Affleck “very much wanted to do the film, the timing just couldn’t be worked out,” per Variety.

Per Deadline, the Argo actor, 40, was originally cast to play Stewart’s love interest in the sexy comedy, about a veteran con artist who enlists the help of an inexperienced ingenue (Stewart). Other reports stated that the pair would film “passionate” love scenes.

Before signing off, Affleck expressed his excitement over the project, even calling 22-year-old Stewart “terrific.”

With the award-season buzz surrounding Argo, Affleck still has reason to celebrate. The political drama garnered five nominations at the 2013 Golden Globes (Jan. 13), including Best Picture and Best Director nods, and is already speculated to lead the way at next year’s Academy Awards.

As for Stewart? She’s currently promoting On the Road (also starring Garrett Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst), and is rumored to be starring in the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman.

Who should star as Kristen’s next leading man? Sound off in the comments!

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Ben Affleck Drops Out of ‘Focus’ With Kristen Stewart

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It looks like Kristen Stewart will have to find herself another leading man. Variety reports that Ben Affleck is no longer involved with Focus, a film that he was supposed to star in with the Twilight actress. According to the trade, “the actor very much wanted to do the film, the timing just couldn’t be worked out.”

The screenplay for Focus was written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who also penned Crazy, Stupid Love. The two are also set to direct Kristen in the semi-rom-com about a “veteran grifter who partners with a girl who’s new to the life.” However, things get complicated as the two begin to fall for each other. There’s plenty of time to find a replacement for Ben, as the movie doesn’t start production until April.

Ben’s involvement with the project has been known for quite some time, and it was Kristen who wasn’t confirmed as starring in the film. However, she recently told The Huffington Post that she was indeed taking part in the film. ““I can confirm that rumor. It’s a comedy. I’m really excited about it. We start shooting in April.”

Also, when Ben was initially approached about Kristen’s involvement, he didn’t give away too much, saying, “I’m hesitant to get into casting stuff because I don’t know what’s finished or isn’t because people come in and out of things all the time. But she’s terrific and hopefully it will work out.”

What do you think about this casting news? Any ideas on who should replace him? Sound off in the comments.

Kristen Donates ‘BDP2′ Premiere Gown For Charity

‘Good Will Hunting’ Turns 15: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and the Cast Then and Now (PHOTOS)

It’s hard to believe that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were in their mid-20s when Good Will Hunting opened in theaters on Dec. 5, 1997.

The aspiring writers and actors would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (along with a Golden Globe Award for the same category) the following year, forever changing their professional and personal lives.

15 years later, Will and Chuckie — Damon and Affleck — have multi-million dollar careers, families and box office hits under their belts.

Affleck, now 42, took a stab at directing for a third time in the thriller Argo. Damon, now 40, returned to the movies as a screenwriter in the new film Promised Land, reuniting him with Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant.

But the lifelong friends aren’t the only ones who’ve enjoyed strong careers since the release of the little movie that could.

Minnie Driver, who played the lovely Skylar in the 1997 film, has continued to receive critical acclaim for such works as The Phantom of the Opera, Barney’s Version and the FX series The Riches.

Perhaps the youngest of the original Good Will Hunting crew, Affleck’s brother Casey has since starred in a long list of big screen releases, including the Oceans Eleven franchise, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone.

Like his brother, Affleck stepped behind the camera in 2010 with the Joaquin Phoenix mockumentary I’m Still Here.

Check out the gallery above for a closer look at the stars of ‘Good Will Hunting,’ then and now. Do you have a favorite line or scene from the 1997 film? Share your thoughts below.

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Prince William, Leonardo DiCaprio, Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand: Hottest Star Sightings of the Day (PHOTOS)

The last 24 hours have been jam-packed with suits galore.

In London, England, father-to-be Prince William put on a double-breasted suit and bow tie for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The 30-year-old royal attended the event without pregnant wife Kate Middleton, who is currently expecting the couple’s first child.

Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman and the film’s stars also glammed up for the big premiere, which was held at the legendary Odeon Leicester Square.

Stateside, Leonardo DiCaprio and Seth Rogen also put on their best suits for their respective movie premieres on opposite coasts.

 

DiCaprio celebrated the release of his new film Django Unchained in New York City, while Rogen promoted his new road trip comedy The Guilt Trip in Westwood, Calif.

Rogen’s co-star Barbra Streisand also joined in on the suit trend, donning a pantsuit for the red carpet affair. In the film, the 70-year-old superstar plays Rogen’s mother as the two embark on a cross-country road trip.

In non-red carpet sightings, First Lady Michelle Obama was spotted at a Toys for Tots event in Washington, D.C.

Over in Brentwood, Calif., Ben Affleck kept warm with a stylish long grey coat while out on a coffee run with his daughter Seraphina.

For the day’s hottest celebrity sightings, check out the latest edition of Celeb Snaps, above.

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Kristen Stewart Picks Ben Affleck’s ‘Focus’ as Her ‘Twilight’ Follow-Up (REPORT)

Kristen Stewart has finally settled on her next project.

The Twilight star will join Ben Affleck in the comedy caper Focus, for Warner Bros.

“I can confirm that [casting] rumor,” Stewart recently told The Huffington Post. “It’s a comedy. I’m really excited about it. We start shooting in April.”

In the film, Stewart will play a rising con artist who finds herself romantically entangled with a more experienced con man, played by Affleck. Word ‘round the campfire is, according to Hollywood Life, that Stewart and Affleck also share some steamy love scenes as well.

 Focus has yet to lock down a release date, but audiences can expect it in theaters sometime in 2014.

Will you see Kristen Stewart’s latest? Sound off in the comments below! And to tide you over, check out Celebuzz’ trailer for Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2.

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: Strong Celebrity Couples (PHOTOS)

Occasionally, the revolving door of Hollywood relationships stops long enough to pair up two people who were genuinely meant to be together.

Whether it’s the global good works of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or the musical chemistry of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, the strongest celebrity couples always seem like a natural fit.

As the year’s coming to an end, Celebuzz is taking a look at Hollywood couples like Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck who have stayed together for another year, continuing to grow their relationship and their family.

“I have a very, very different life than I used to have and I much prefer the life that I have now,” Affleck told us about his marriage in October. “I have a much more rewarding home life than I’ve ever had. And my wife is just a spectacular woman.”

Long-lasting celebrity couples may not grab the headlines like shocking break-ups, but they remain an inspiration to those who do not believe Hollywood is capable of producing such unions.

What favorite Hollywood pairings have gone the distance?

Launch the gallery above to see the strongest celebrity relationships.

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John Krasinski Wants To Have ‘Bromance’ With Matt Damon: 12 Famous Male Friendships (PHOTOS)

Ben Affleck better watch his back: John Krasinski is on a mission to become Matt Damon’s BFF.

“I would love to have a bromance with him,” Krasinski told PEOPLE magazine on Tuesday.

“But I don’t even know if I could even use the word ‘bromance’ because he and Ben are so tight and like a married couple that I’ll never get in there.”

The 33-year-old actor stars in the new Gus Van Sant film Promised Land opposite Damon, 42, who also shares producing and screenwriting duties with The Office alum.

While Krasinski can continue to dream big about his new buddy, he’s got some big Hollywood bromance shows to follow.

There’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, whose tight-knit circle also includes Entourage star Kevin Connolly. Next May, DiCaprio and Maguire will reunite on screen in Baz Luhrman’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

“I’m at the stage in my life and I’m married and have children, so I don’t get to see my buddies as much as I’d like and just the fact I was forced to see one of my best friends everyday was fantastic,” Maguire told Celebuzz in October about working with his pal.

“Then, I got to go to work with one of our greatest actors and be inspired by him. So, I felt very grateful for that time. It was great.”

George Clooney and Brad Pitt have also sustained one of the industry’s longest friendships. But as Pitt gets ready to marry his longtime love Angelina Jolie, it looks like the Ocean’s Eleven actor will look elsewhere for life advice.

“What can [Clooney] tell me? Other than how to protect my liver!” Pitt told PEOPLE in November.

Over the years, the small screen has also seen bromances blossom between the likes of Zach Braff and his Scrubs pal Donald Faison, and Jon Stewart and his former Daily Show correspondent Stephen Colbert, who of course now has his own program.

Promised Land, starring John Krasinski and Matt Damon, will open in limited release Dec. 28.

For more Hollywood bromances, check out the gallery, above. Did we miss any? Comment below.

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‘Twilight’ Reigns Again, ‘Killing Them Softly’ is DOA

Brad Pitt proved to be no match for Kristen Stewart, James Bond and President Lincoln.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2, Skyfall and Lincoln held onto their box office perches for the third week in a row. Read on for how the rest of the weekend movies fared.

The fifth and final Twilight film stayed atop the box office for the third week in a row, earning $17.4 million. That brings its total domestic tally to $254.6 million, just one million shy of the biggest Twilight film: New Moon.

Skyfall came in at a close second, with $17 million. The 23rd entry in the Bond franchise is not only the series’ highest-grossing film, its also the highest grossing spy movie ever in the U.S. Skyfall’s worldwide total currently stands at $869 million.

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln continued to show great legs at the box office. The film, which came in at No. 3 for the weekend with $13.5 million, has grossed nearly $84 million domestic. The bio-pic could easily hit the $100 million mark during the upcoming holiday frame.

3D holdovers Rise of the Guardians and Life of Pi came in fourth and fifth place, respectively. Guardians found $13.5 million in its second week in release, while director Ang Lee’s Pi grossed $12 million.

Killing Them Softly was the sole wide release this past weekend, bombing at No. 7 with a dismal $7 million. The film, which garnered a rare “F” CinemaScore rating from moviegoers, marks one of Brad Pitt’s worst opening weekends ever.

On a positive note, Ben Affleck’s Oscar-hopeful Argo reached the $100 million milestone at the box office this past weekend. This marks Affleck’s highest-grossing film as a director.

Which movie did you see this weekend? Discuss in the comments below. And did Killing Them Softly deserve its box office fate? Watch the trailer on Celebuzz and decide for yourself!

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