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Jan 10, 2014

At 80, the real Philomena works for British film’s success

LOS ANGELES, Jan 10 (Reuters) – She is not an actress, but
rather an 80-year-old Irish mother and former nurse,
crisscrossing Los Angeles in the film awards season for
screenings, interviews and even an afternoon tea party.

Philomena Lee takes the hullabaloo with good humor, knowing
that the film she inspired – “Philomena” – not only has chances
of winning awards but also helping women who, like her, had
babies as teens and were forced to give them up.

Jan 9, 2014

Kooky thoughts and tweets keep Bill Cosby comically busy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In this new year, Bill Cosby offers an encouraging tale to late bloomers operating several notches below their potential.

There he was in 1960 in a remedial English class in college, where he had entered in his twenties with a total 500 SAT exam score (out of a possible 1,600), wrestling with two composition assignments. He resolved to write about yanking his tooth out as a boy and procrastinating on a paper by sharpening his pencil over and over, down to the eraser.

Jan 8, 2014

Protesters, filmmaker traverse Egypt’s transition in ‘The Square’

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Three years after Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim waded into Cairo’s Tahrir Square to document the early rumblings of revolution, the army governs Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is back underground and protesters are on trial.

But as her award-winning film “The Square” makes its debut to a wide audience next week via streaming company Netflix’s 40 million subscribers, Noujaim believes Egypt is definitely not back at square one, although it is a dark time in the country.

Jan 2, 2014

’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Gravity’ up for Producers Guild Awards

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Hollywood producers nominated slavery drama ’12 Years a Slave,’ 1970s con-men caper ‘American Hustle’ and space thriller ‘Gravity’ along with seven other films on Thursday for the top Producers Guild Award, a key indicator of sentiment in the race for the best picture Oscar.

The other films nominated for outstanding producer in a motion picture were Woody Allen’s tragic comedy ‘Blue Jasmine,’ Somali pirate thriller ‘Captain Phillips,’ AIDS activist drama ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ quirky computer-age romance ‘Her,’ heartland comedy ‘Nebraska,’ Disney’s making of ‘Mary Poppins’ in ‘Saving Mr Banks,’ and Martin Scorsese’s tale of American greed ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’

Dec 17, 2013

Nirvana, KISS among 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Dec 17 (Reuters) – Nirvana, the influential Seattle grunge
band founded by the late Kurt Cobain, and the flamboyant 1970s
rockers from KISS were among six new inductees to the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame, the organization said on Tuesday.

British singers and songwriters Peter Gabriel and Cat
Stevens, folk-pop singer Linda Ronstadt and rock and soul duo
Hall and Oates completed the list of performer inductees to the
prestigious Hall of Fame, chosen from 16 nominees.

Dec 13, 2013

Trip Tips: Soaking up wine in California’s Napa Valley

, Dec 13 (Reuters) – When a pair of wines
- a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay – from California’s Napa
Valley won the 1976 Paris Tasting over some of France’s most
famous wines, the area was home to just a few dozen wineries.

Today, there are some 500, owned by multigenerational
families, big corporations, Silicon Valley millionaires,
celebrities and everyday people, drawn by the allure of
winemaking and the beauty of a valley located just 45 miles (70
km) north of San Francisco.

Dec 12, 2013

’12 Years a Slave’, ‘American Hustle’ take lead for Golden Globes

BEVERLY HILLS, California (Reuters) – Slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” and 1970s con-artist caper “American Hustle” led the Golden Globe Awards nominations announced on Thursday with seven nods each, fortifying their frontrunner positions in a crowded field ahead of the Oscars.

In the coveted best drama category, “12 Years a Slave” will compete against piracy tale “Captain Phillips,” space thriller “Gravity,” adoption drama “Philomena,” and race-car rivalry “Rush.”

Dec 11, 2013

Films on race ’12 Years a Slave,’ ‘The Butler’ lead SAG nominees

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The actors who portrayed the brutality of American slavery in the film “12 Years a Slave” won the most nominations for Screen Actors Guild awards on Wednesday, giving the movie momentum in the run-up to the industry’s top awards, the Oscars.

“12 Years a Slave,” based on the real-life story of Solomon Northup, garnered nominations in four of SAG’s five film categories, including the organization’s top award, best ensemble cast. British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays the free black man sold into slavery on Louisiana plantations, was nominated for best actor.

Dec 11, 2013

’12 Years a Slave’ leads Screen Actors Guild nominees

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The actors of director Steve McQueen’s slavery drama “12 Years a Slave” led nominees for the Screen Actors Guild film awards on Wednesday with nods in four categories including best ensemble cast, a key indicator for the industry’s best picture prizes.

Joining them in the nominees for best film ensemble cast, in four categories including best ensemble cast, a the organization’s top prize, were the actors of family dysfunction drama “August: Osage County,” AIDS treatment tale “Dallas Buyers Club,” and the examination of civil rights in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” Each of those films garnered three nominations.

Dec 11, 2013

‘Saving Mr. Banks’ rescues the complex mind behind ‘Mary Poppins’

BURBANK, California (Reuters) – In the leafy, idyllic setting that is the Disney Studios lot, author P.L. Travers made life hell for writers and composers and Walt Disney himself in a movie that portrays her as a withering, brick wall, toxic nightmare of a woman.

It is not quite the demeanor one would expect from the creator of one of the most beloved of children’s books, “Mary Poppins.” But Travers was so worried that Disney and his dream factory would ruin her story of the magical, flying British nanny that she subverted their work at every turn during two weeks at the Burbank studios in 1961.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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