- - Sunday, January 15, 2012

‘Artist’ wins critics’ awards for best picture, director

“The Artist,” the black-and-white ode to the silent-film era directed by Michel Hazanavicius, led winners with four honors at Thursday’s 17th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, presented by the 250 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

“The Artist” took the top prize, best picture, as well honors for best score, costume design and director.

“I made a silent movie,” French director Hazanavicius joked in English while accepting the award for best picture. “I don’t like to speak so much.”


“The Help,” the adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel about black maids speaking out about their white employers during the civil-rights movement, followed “The Artist” with three wins in the ceremony’s acting categories: Viola Davis as best actress, Octavia Spencer as best supporting actress and the film’s cast as best acting ensemble.

Keith Urban
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Others who accepted trophies at the lavish Hollywood Palladium ceremony included George Clooney as best actor for “The Descendants,” Christopher Plummer as best supporting actor for “Beginners” and Thomas Horn as best young actor for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

Other winners included “Bridesmaids” as best comedy movie, “Drive” as best action movie, “Rango” as best animated feature, “Midnight in Paris” as best original screenplay, “Moneyball” as best adapted screenplay, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” for best editing and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” for best makeup and best sound.

Keith Urban to return to stage after surgery

Keith Urban will return to the stage on Feb. 3 Grand Ole Opry for the first time since vocal surgery, the Associated Press reports.

The country superstar had a polyp removed from a vocal cord at Vanderbilt University Medical Center late last year and has been on vocal rest.

His appearance at the Ryman Auditorium next month will be his first public performance since he recorded a song for the “CMA Country Christmas” television special in mid-November.

He was forced to postpone his “All For The Hall” benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame that was originally scheduled for Jan. 18. He also rescheduled the tail end of his 2011 concert tour for later this year.

Deputy in Gibson arrest to have his day in court

A jury should decide whether the sheriff’s deputy who arrested Mel Gibson for drunken driving suffered workplace discrimination, a judge ruled Thursday, despite expressing serious concerns about whether the man can win his case.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Scheper said James Mee should be allowed to argue to jurors that he suffered discrimination and a hostile work environment after arresting Mr. Gibson in Malibu in 2006.

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