Which Motion Pictures Will Win Top Honors at the Golden Globes? (PHOTOS)

In the ramp-up to the Golden Globes, the Oscar nominations have come and gone, leaving a bread-crumb trail of obvious nods and an ocean of dissatisfied grumbles at some of the less-subtle snubs.

In fact, one could argue that between its two two-category system of Drama and Musical/Comedy, the Globes made a much wiser set of selections. And if you haven’t seen several, most or all of these noteworthy nominees, Celebuzz is here to break them down and help you out in the office pool come Monday.

Lincoln, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are frontrunner for Best Drama at the Globes, while Les Miserables and Oscar-favorite The Silver Linings Playbook duke it out for Best Musical/Comedy.

The Globes air Sunday, January 13 on NBC. Here’s our guide to all of the nominees, including our predictions of who should – and will – win.

Not that we’re playing favorites, but check out Celebuzz’ interview with Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain. And then tell us in the comments below: Which movies are you rooting for?

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Weekend Movie Preview — Five Flicks in Five Clicks (PHOTOS)

If you’re anything like us, the first few weeks of the year are a tangle of renewed responsibilities, halfhearted resolutions and mostly, desperate need for more days off.

As such, it’s not just a welcome, but necessary distraction to find a movie (or two, or three) to occupy those hours not already claimed by work or a new gym membership – which is why Five Flicks in Five Clicks exists.

Celebuzz takes a look at the week’s top five films – some already successful, others eagerly anticipated – to help moviegoers make their choice when they trek out to theaters over the weekend.

Click here to launch the gallery and see Celebuzz’ breakdown of the week’s films.

Check out the trailers for the films below.

Django Unchained

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Gangster Squad

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A Haunted House

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Jack Reacher

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Texas Chainsaw 3D

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Let us know in the comments below – which of these cinematic masterpieces makes you most excited to go to the movies?

Weekend Movie Preview — Five Flicks in Five Clicks (PHOTOS)

As the holiday season – and the year as a whole — reaches its final hurrah with New Year’s, theaters are bustling with new, highly-anticipated movie releases. From late-breaking blockbusters to Oscar bait to sleeper hits, there’s plenty to choose from.

And Five Flicks in Five Clicks is Celebuzz’ way of whittling down those choices to a comfortable number.

As The Hobbit continues to perform well at the box office, Christmas openers Les Miserables and Django Unchained have stolen some of that film’s thunder, both critically and commercially. Meanwhile, crowd-pleasers Jack Reacher and This Is 40 hope to capture a share of the market for themselves.

Launch the gallery above to see Celebuzz’ breakdown of the week’s top films.

Be sure to watch the trailers for each film below.

Django Unchained

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Les Miserables

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Jack Reacher

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This Is 40

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Let Celebuzz know in the comments section which of the films you chose – and why!

‘Django Unchained’: The Controversy Surrounding Quentin Tarantino’s New Film Explained in Five Clicks

It wouldn’t be a new Quentin Tarantino release without someone calling out the controversial director. And many objections have already been made against the filmmaker’s latest movie, Django Unchained, which opened Christmas Day.

As usual with Tarantino, reviewers and audiences seem to love the film, yet plenty of prominent critics and activists are up in arms about his fondness for extreme violence, his brazen historical revisionism, and his frequent, matter-of-fact use of the n-word.

Django Unchained, an epic Western about the quest of a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from an evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in the pre-Civil War South, raises all those issues and more. Fortunately, Celebuzz can help you navigate Django’s briar patch of thorny concerns via the gallery at the top of this article — in just five simple steps.

Click and save the talking points above, and you’ll be able to join in the discussion about Django’s controversies — even if you haven’t seen the movie. (Like that ever stops people.)

Have you seen Django Unchained? If so, do you think the criticisms leveled against it have merit? If you haven’t seen it, do these controversies make you eager to see it or eager to avoid it? Weigh in below in the comments.

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‘Les Miserables’ vs. ‘Django Unchained’: Box Office Battle (POLL)

It’s Oscar slummin’ time at the movies as Hollywood rolls out its primo slate of films, but despite a handful of new titles across the marquee, it’s all about the French Revolution and the Civil War South this weekend. The big-budget adaptation of Broadway’s favorite child, Les Miserables, is pitting its cannons and bayonets against Quentin Tarantino’s spaghetti-western six-shooter, Django Unchained.

Which film will sing a victorious ballad and which will lay buried in a shallow desert grave?

Directed by Tom Hooper, the filmmaker behind The King’s Speech, the latest theatrical rendition of Les Mis combines a star-studded cast with high-cost Hollywood production value. The end result is a wonderfully performed rendition of the classic story with critically acclaimed turns by Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman.

Watch Celebuzz’ interview with Jackman about the challenges of bringing the musical to the screen:

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Hooper’s direction, however, makes the film feel a bit like a well-funded stageplay with the camera filming from the point-of-view of the audience. With a series of close-ups and wide, sweeping shots, the production never truly figures out a way to present these songs in a uniquely cinematic fashion. The film looks and sounds spectacular without necessarily taking full advantage of its medium.

Quentin Tarantino, on the other hand, makes full use of his cinematic toolbox to bring the story of a former slave and a German bounty-hunter to life in Django Unchained. Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, Django tells a tale of pre-Civil War revenge in purely Tarantino fashion. It’s likely one of his finest – and certainly funniest – films that strikes a smart balance between the near-comic absurdity and inhuman brutality of American slavery.

Check out Celebuzz’ interview with Django actor Sammi Rotibi:

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Showcasing action, comedy and drama with a smart soundtrack and a striking series of cinematic visuals, Django Unchained is the absolute pick-of-the-week for lovers of old-school Westerns or Tarantino in general.

Let Celebuzz know what you’re planning on seeing this weekend with your vote above, and talk about why you want to see these box office brawlers in the comments below!

Leonardo DiCaprio Calls ‘Django Unchained’ Character ‘The Most Deplorable Human Being I’ve Ever Read In a Screenplay In My Life’ (VIDEO)

What does Leonardo DiCaprio‘s character in Django Unchained have in common with King Louis XIV?

According to the actor, a lot.  Although DiCaprio’s portrayal of Calvin Candie, a vicious slave and plantation owner in Quentin Tarantino‘s violent Western drama, earned him a Golden Globe nomination, the role proved to be quite a departure from any character he’s portrayed on the big screen.

“He’s the most deplorable human being I’ve ever read in a screenplay in my life,” he said during a sit-down interview on Thursday’s Today show. “He’s rotting from the inside. He was a young Louis XIV that was born into a world of entitlement and lived his life essentially owning other people and having his life dependent on other people’s lives.”

Getting into character became quite a difficult task for DiCaprio, who was often encouraged by costars Jamie Foxx and Samuel F. Jackson ”to go all the way with this.”

“You have to play somebody that doesn’t even deem others as human,” he added. “And you’re working with other actors you respect, and you have to go in there and essentially cut them off and treat them as a subspecies to you. It was a very hard switch to make.

Django Unchained served as the actor’s first collaboration with Tarantino, nearly 15 years after DiCaprio rose to superstardom  in 1997′s Titanic. His role as Jack Dawson catapulted a pop culture mania that he still can’t comprehend.

“I didn’t even understand what a hit was, you know?” he remarked about the blockbuster classic. “That movie came out and people were like, ‘This movie is doing amazingly well!’ and I’m like, ‘Good, that’s great!’”

But, at the end of the day, the actor remains grateful for all the doors Titanic has opened for him.

Said DiCaprio: “It gave me an opportunity from that point on to choose roles that I wanted to do.”

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2012 Year in Review: The 10 Best Movies (PHOTOS)

2012 was a remarkable year for movies – not just financially, but artistically.

Even as The Hunger Games and The Avengers and Skyfall and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 broke records and brought in historic revenues, some of the industry’s most talented actors and filmmakers further solidified their place in the Hollywood firmament, even as newcomers introduced the world to artistic voices that deserve to be heard.

All of which made a Top Ten list that much more difficult to whittle down. Nevertheless, Celebuzz assembled an in-no-particular-order collection of films that deserve recognition at the end of year, and which we believe may stand the test of time long after their competition had disappeared from our collective memories.

As arbitrary as choosing Number Four from Number Five might be, we did elect a few titles for the top of our list, starting with The Master. Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film was a revelation – a challenging, unique work of art that came to the screen without compromise, and which reminded us what the word auteur truly means.

Meanwhile, Leos CaraxHoly Motors and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained also ranked high as favorites, for their equally singular charms, and similar artistic integrity. On the other hand, films like 21 Jump Street and The Hunger Gamesalso unexpectedly joined their ranks as crowd-pleasers that don’t skimp on intelligence or emotional resonance as they engage our most primal instincts to be entertained.

Make sure you read through the gallery above for a full list of Celebuzz’ favorite films of 2012, where we mount a defense for each of them and challenge readers to check them out. In the meantime, check out our video recap of the year’s best and most memorable, and then let us know: what was your favorite film of 2012? Let the debate begin in the comments section!

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‘Les Miserables’ Takes Top Spot At Christmas Box Office

Les Miserables brought in the big bucks on Christmas Day.

The much-anticipated musical — starring Hugh JackmanAnne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried and Russell Crowe — took the box office’s No. 1 spot with an estimated $17.5 million.

Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino‘s gritty period drama, Django Unchained, which stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, came in second, earning a projected $14 million — and also taking the title as the highest-grossing R-rated film on Dec. 25, per The Hollywood Reporter.

With two of the season’s biggest releases drawing major buzz, the movie industry had plenty to celebrate yesterday, thanks to audiences hitting up their local theaters for some holiday film fun. Tallying out the rest of the box office: The Hobbit, which placed third with a projected $10.8 million, and Parental Guidance, which came in fourth with an anticipated $6 million to $7 million.

Did you see a movie on Christmas Day? Which was your favorite? Sound off in the comments!

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‘Django Unchained’ Star Leonardo DiCaprio Struggled to Identify With His ‘Racist, Horrible Character’

For the first time in his career, Leonardo DiCaprio takes a turn to the dark side next week playing a brutal plantation owner in Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino’s new revenge saga in which the oppressed finally turn the tables on their oppressors.

As if owning slaves isn’t bad enough, DiCaprio’s character, Calvin Candie’s favorite pastime is forcing his biggest and strongest to face off in bloody death matches.

“There was absolutely nothing about this man that I could identify with,” DiCaprio told reporters. “I hated him. And it was one of the most narcissistic, self indulgent, racist, horrible characters I had ever read in my entire life. And I had to do it.”

DiCaprio found the situation on set awkward, with his charater’s casual use of the N-word around c0-stars Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington. At one point he felt himself pulling away from the role, rationalizing with Tarantino about his character’s excessive show of racism.

“I’d dealt with and seen racism in my surroundings growing up, but to the degree that I had to treat other people in this film was incredibly disturbing,” recalled DiCaprio.

In the movie, Django (Foxx), a liberated slave, and King Schultz, (Christoph Waltz) a bounty hunter, go in search of Django’s wife, Broomhilda, (Washington) a slave who works on Candie’s plantation. Along the way they witness outrageous acts of violence, including a particularly brutal scene in which a slave is ripped to pieces by dogs.

In order to get a better understanding of Candie, DiCaprio researched sugar plantations, slave narratives and watched numerous documentaries on the subject. What he discovered were abuses that made the atrocities in the movie seem tame by comparison.

When production began, he struggled to embody such cruelty but was willed on by his African-American cast mates.

“What was great was to have a group of actors that were all mutually there for one another to support and drive each other further,” recalled DiCaprio. “Sam and Jamie told me, ‘Look man, if you sugarcoat this, people are going to resent the hell out of you. By holding the character back you’re going to do an injustice to the film and people are going to feel like you’re not telling the truth.”

DiCaprio compares Django Unchained with Tarantino’s previous movie, Inglourious Basterds, in that both take a candid look at brutal passages in modern history, but imagine a reality where the good guys win.

While Basterds portrays a world whereby Jews exercise bloody revenge on Nazi persecutors, Django, for the first time in movies, puts a gun in the hand of a slave and offers scenes of rough retribution.

“As soon as I read it I was incredibly excited,” said DiCaprio. “This was a character that represented everything that was wrong with the south at the time. It’s a subject matter that should be looked at more often and not shied away from.”

Click through the gallery above to see the cast of Django Unchained at the NYC press conference.

What do you think of Django Unchained‘s depiction of slavery, DiCaprio’s performance, and its portrayal of slaves? Watch co-star Sammi Rotibi’s exclusive interview with Celebuzz about his supporting role in the film, and then let us know what you think of the film as a whole in the comments section below!

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‘Django Unchained’s’ Jamie Foxx Talks About Racism, Horse Training and Working With Leonardo DiCaprio

In Quentin Tarantino’s new western Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays an ex-slave determined to free his wife from the the plantation of ruthless slave owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).

For Foxx, the movie presented a number of firsts, including a wild ride on horseback, a vengeful slave and an onset accident that left DiCaprio with a blood-drenched hand.

Calvin Candie manages a 60-square-mile spread called Candie Land, a sugar plantation populated by hundreds of slaves, including Django’s wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).

When King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and Django ride in with their hidden agenda, Candie, a man who is not used to being contradicted, loses patience with the pair, smashing a shot glass on the table before him.

Word on set was that during rehearsals, DiCaprio delivered a tour de force performance. Subsequently, staffers were stopping by the set to watch the scene as it was being filmed.

“What happened was the shot glass somehow slid over underneath where he was slamming his hand,” Foxx told reporters. “In one take, he slams his hand there and the shot glass goes through his hand. Now blood is shooting out of his hand and I’m thinking, ‘does everybody else see this, cause this is crazy!’ And he keeps going and I almost turned into a girl.”

DiCaprio had a lot of trouble embodying his character, a vile racist given to casual violence and liberal use of the N-word.

“We were in rehearsals and Leo’s saying his line, ‘n***er this, n***er that,” said Foxx, who remembers his co-star straining at the use of the word in the presence of his African-American castmates including Samuel L. Jackson. “Then Samuel pulls him aside and says, ‘Hey motherf***er, this is just another Tuesday for us, let’s go.”

Growing up in Texas, Foxx is no stranger to casual racism. “There are racial components in the south, me being called n***er growing up as a kid,” he revealed. “So when I read the script, I didn’t knee jerk to the word ‘n***er’ like somebody from New York or L.A. would knee jerk because that was something I experienced.”

If the movie’s casual racism wasn’t a challenge for Foxx, riding bareback was, even though he’s a rider in his free time and actually rode his own horse, Cheetah, in the film.

“What’s interesting about my horse and Django is that they sort of learn together,” said Foxx. “While my horse is learning tricks, Django is sort of evolving as a person, as a superhero, all the way to the end of the movie, where you see my horse do the same thing at the end.”

In the movie, Foxx, atop Cheetah, spins out at 28 miles per hour. “There were people ready to catch me just in case something happens,” recalled Foxx. “On the outside I looked like Django, but on the inside I was Little Richard. I was there, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, please stop this horse! Lord Jesus stop this horse!”

On the next take, a stunt man told him, “If you feel like you’re about to come off the horse just let go of the son of a bitch,” said Foxx. “And I’m thinking, ‘He’s a damn fool if he thinks I can get off this horse!”

But after several takes, Cheetah became winded, slowing down enough for Foxx to complete the take to Tarantino’s satisfaction.

Foxx, who won the role of Django after Will Smith dropped out due to a scheduling conflict, relished portraying a badass in a time where most African-Americans were subservient.

“We never get a chance to see the slave fight back,” he observed, noting that usually when a slave has a chance to exact revenge, he shows mercy instead. But not here.

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“In this movie there’s a lot of firsts and we knew that coming into it there’s gonna be all the other things said and everything about it, but it’s been a fantastic ride.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joaquin Phoenix and Matthew McConaughey: Favorite Male Movie Performances (PHOTOS)

Transformation is always a common quality that great actors seem to share, but in 2012, the one that seemed to dominate the year’s best performances was reinvention.

While Matthew McConaughey revived his career with a series of terrific – and different — turns in movies big and small, his Magic Mike co-star Channing Tatum proved that he could hold his own not just as a heartthrob, but as a bona fide actor.

Meanwhile, even the famously gifted Leonardo DiCaprio showed a different side of himself, having a bit of fun as a gloriously cruel plantation owner in Django Unchained, even as The Master‘s Joaquin Phoenix reminded viewers that he doesn’t simply play his characters, he becomes them.

Celebuzz has assembled a shortlist of the year’s best male performances, taking into account not just great acting, but the context of their work – what they’ve done in the past – and where they’re doing it.

Which is why Michael Sheen’s over-the-top turn as Aro in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 stands side by side with Phoenix and DiCaprio’s work: the gifted English actor gave such a flourish to his role that it stood out even more.

Then of course there’s the dark horses, those off-the-radar turns that earned accolades in critical circles but skirted mainstream attention because of subject matter that was simply too sophisticated for most.

Who made the list? Check out Celebuzz’ gallery of Favorite Male Performances above, and then below the trailer for Django Unchained, let us know whose acting impressed you the most. Or even better, who you think should have made this list that didn’t!

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