Reuters - 2 hours 51 minutes ago
"Push" claims top prizes at Sundance
PARK CITY, Utah - "Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire" claimed three prizes on Saturday including best drama by the jury and audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, putting it on 2009's must-see list for independent film fans. The dark drama about an overweight teenage girl growing up in Harlem who is neglected and abused by her parents, also earned a special jury prize for acting for Mo'Nique, who shed her image as a comedienne to take the role as the girl's mother.
"Mall Cop" stays on top for second week
LOS ANGELES - The Kevin James comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" captured the top spot at the North American box office for a second week in a row by edging out "Underworld, Rise of the Lycans." "Mall Cop" -- which cost only $26 million to make -- sold an estimated $21.5 million worth of tickets over the weekend and has now taken in a surprisingly strong total of $64.8 million in two weeks, distributor Columbia Pictures said on Sunday.
"Slumdog" claims Hollywood producers' top prize
LOS ANGELES - The low-budget arthouse hit "Slumdog Millionaire," a rags-to-riches story set in India, won the top film prize from Hollywood's producers on Saturday, giving it another boost in the race for the Oscars next month. "Slumdog," directed by British filmmaker Danny Boyle, collected 10 Oscar nominations on Thursday, including a nod for best picture, more than any other movie except "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," which earned 13.
Hollywood actors could upset awards apple cart
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood stars toast their own on Sunday at a Screen Actors Guild ceremony that could produce surprises in an award season dominated by "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Angelina Jolie and her partner, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway and Robert Downey Jr. are among the nominees for top acting honors.
Bahamas police probe Travolta extortion allegation
NASSAU - Bahamas authorities are investigating a suspected extortion attempt against actor John Travolta, whose son died there this month, and a senator was under arrest, although no charges had been filed, police said on Friday. Police Commissioner Reginald Ferguson said his officers were investigating an extortion complaint by Travolta.
Cancer-struck Patrick Swayze to write memoir
LOS ANGELES - "Dirty Dancing" star Patrick Swayze, who has said he might have only two years to live because of pancreatic cancer, will write a memoir with his wife, his spokeswoman said on Friday. Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, have not named a publisher or set a release date but Swayze's representative, Annett Wolf, confirmed that the actor and Niemi are working on a book.
Sundance films shine spotlight on global struggles
PARK CITY, Utah - A charismatic U.N. diplomat and a determined international prosecutor were profiled at the Sundance Film Festival this week in films highlighting their struggles for justice and nation building. "Sergio" tells of U.N. official Sergio Vieira de Mello, who helped create an independent East Timor before he was killed in Iraq. "The Reckoning" follows International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo and his team as they fight to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
"Idol" David Cook to hit colleges on U.S. tour
LOS ANGELES - "American Idol" champ David Cook is going back to school, announcing a U.S. tour on Friday that will take him to colleges around the nation. Cook's 37-date tour will begin on February 13 at Florida State University in Tallahassee and end on April 25 at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, AOL music Web site www.PopEater.com said.
Mixed feelings for Ledger's family
PERTH - The family of actor Heath Ledger celebrated his posthumous nomination for an Oscar on Friday, but their joy was tempered by the timing, coming as it did on the anniversary of his death in New York last year. Ledger was nominated in Los Angeles on Thursday for his chilling portrayal of the Joker in the Batman movie "The Dark Knight," which went on to be the second highest-grossing movie in history behind "Titanic."
Brendan Fraser masters CGI again in "Inkheart"
LOS ANGELES - In a beachfront hotel room overlooking the Pacific Ocean, actor Brendan Fraser is sipping a cup of tea and having an argument with a nearby lamp. "Leave me alone!" he says. "I told you, you couldn't come here today," he pauses. "Well, go! Jerk."
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