The Bridesmaids ladies aren’t the only female ensemble cast enjoying a well-deserved career boost this awards season. Hours after we reported that Octavia Spencer had signed on for Bong Joon-ho’s post-apocalyptic thriller Snow Piercer, Spencer’s The Help co-star Viola Davis has booked supporting roles in Gavin Hood‘s sci-fi flick Ender’s Game and Richard LaGravenese‘s fantasy adaptation Beautiful Creatures. Read more after the jump.

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As we head toward the end of the year, it’s clear that 2011 has yielded some damn great performances from both established stars (Gary Oldman, Glenn Close) and rising talents (Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska). So naturally, the best way to celebrate their accomplishments is by inviting each of them to play characters wholly unlike the ones they’ve recently received acclaim for.

In a video gallery from The New York Times Magazine titled “Touch of Evil,” thirteen of this year’s most notable stars tackle thirteen villainous types, from “The Menacing Dummy” (Oldman) to “The Sociopath” (Rooney Mara channeling A Clockwork Orange‘s Alex DeLarge) and everything in between. Hit the jump for a photo gallery from the feature.

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Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter somehow organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Actress’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Glenn Close of Albert Nobbs, Charlize Theron of Young Adult, Carey Mulligan of Shame, Michelle Williams of My Week With Marilyn and Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer of The Help to discuss their own, and each others’, performances, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »

The first trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close tried to live in the area between quirky, endearing and sentimental. The balance didn’t work for me, especially thanks to the reliance on U2 as the score for the trailer. As a result I think that first look at the movie pegged it as little more than cloying Oscar bait.

Now there is a new trailer that goes straight for the sentiment by opening with the character played by Tom Hanks calling his wife, played by Sandra Bullock, from one of the high floors of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11. From there, the trailer swirls into minor portraits of some of the film’s characters and situations as it follows that couple’s son (newcomer Thomas Horn) through the turbulent days that follow 9/11, but there still isn’t much explanation of the story. See for yourself below. Read More »

‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ Trailer

Here’s the trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer‘s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, based on a script by Eric Roth. The movie has been a curiosity for me for months in part because the book is a piece of post-modernism that doesn’t lend itself easily to adaptation, and in part because Daldry chose a non-actor, Thomas Horn, to play the central role of 11-year old Oskar Schell. Sure, he’s got established stars like Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock as buffers, but that’s still a ballsy move. Get the first taste of what came of that big risk-taking, after the break. Read More »

Seeing as she’s currently enjoying Oscar buzz for her powerful performance in The Help, the announcement of a potential new project for Viola Davis couldn’t come at a better time. The actress is reportedly eyeing the lead role in an untitled half-hour HBO drama which will focus on a city’s corruption as seen from the perspective of a prep school headmaster with big ambitions.

Dee Rees, writer/director of Sundance favorite Pariah, is set to write the script and possibly direct the pilot; Margaret Nagle, who recently wrote episodes of Boardwalk Empire, will co-write the story with Rees. [The Hollywood Reporter]

After the jump, read about a possible Sex and the City prequel, Comedy Central’s fall schedule, and the renewal of Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital.

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Warner Bros. evidently has high hopes for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, as the studio recently set the film for a December 25 debut. Indeed, the novel, which is a quirky but heartfelt account of a young boy’s attempt to uncover some family history in the wake of 9/11, could easily be the basis for a moving holiday film.

I’m anxious to see a trailer, in part because the key role in the film — the boy Oskar — went to a non-actor: young Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn. The potential that this film will reveal a new young talent seems high, much as True Grit did last year with Hailee Steinfeld. While we wait for that trailer, check out the first official image from the film, which shows Horn with Tom Hanks, as Oskar’s father. Read More »

‘The Help’ International Trailer

The Help isn’t the platonic ideal of a summer movie — actually, it’s kind of the opposite. But thanks in a large part to the cast, it’s one of the upcoming films I’m most curious about. Tate Taylor‘s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett‘s novel follows a young writer named Skeeter (Emma Stone) who causes an uproar in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi when she publishes a book from the point of view of “the help.” Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison JanneyJessica Chastain and Sissy Spacek also star. Watch the new international trailer after the jump.

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