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As you already know, I have an unhealthy obsession with Jean Dujardin's eyebrows. So rather than rant and blather on about the 2012 Oscar nominations, I'll let The Artist's facial hair do the talking for me. Until I get home from work this evening when I'll probably start blathering on anyway - because that, apparently, is what the internet is for.


Mostly, the Oscar nominations this year are as we all expected. But not quite. To begin with, Hugo is leading the pack. Yes, Martin Scorsese's Hugo has 11 nominations compared to Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist, which has 10. Add to that Melissa McCarthy's Best Supporting Actress nod for Bridesmaids...


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"So, where was I?" And so Ricky Gervais returned to the 69th Golden Globes to joke about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Helen Mirren and Kim Kardashian. "You get Britain's biggest comedian hosting the world's second biggest awards show on America's third biggest network," he grinned, before going to give one of the gentler speeches of his career. He didn't mention Mel Gibson once (apart from when reading out the rules give to him by the HFPA) - and even had to turn to Jodie Foster's beaver for gags.

It was a pretty tame monologue for a fairly predictable awards ceremony, with the Golden Globes giving out gongs to George Clooney - and George Clooney - in their usual fashion. But The Artist emerged as the frontrunner, taking home three prizes: Best Actor for Jean Dujardin (and his amazing eyebrows), Best Score for Ludovic Bource and Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical. The Descendants dominated the dramatic awards, with Clooney nabbing Best Actor and Alexander Payne's film also awarded Best Motion Picture: Drama.

The rest of the evening was largely as expected, with Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for The Iron Lady and Michelle Williams crowned Best Comedy Actress for My Week with Marilyn (if ever there were a reason to have that drama/comedy divide, Williams' performance is it). 

Surprises came in the form of Best Animated Film, with Speilberg's Tintin topping Rango to take home the Globe, and Best Director, which went to Martin Scorsese for Hugo. A Separation was correctly hailed as Best Foreign Film and the delightful Midnight in Paris won Best Screenplay - two awards the Oscars will undoubtedly repeat - but will the Academy Awards follow suit and give Hugo's helmer the prize?

More importantly for Jessica Chastain fans (i.e. everyone), can Octavia Spencer beat her to Best Supporting Actress next time round? I hope not, although it'd be nice to see Christopher Plummer repeat his Supporting Actor victory - I still don't get this fuss over Albert Brooks in Drive. 

As always, the correlation between the two ceremonies is pretty haphazard. But one thing we know for sure? Johnny Depp hasn't seen The Tourist. Because Ricky Gervais asked him, right at the end of his speech.

Read on for the full list of winners - and to watch Ricky's opening.

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If you've seen David Fincher's Dragon Tattoo, the opening credits probably blew you away with their angry, sub-Bond style and loud cover of Led Zeppelin's The Immigrant Song by Trent Reznor and Karen O. At the very least, they should have made a strong impression, presuming you don't already think that it was the best title sequence of the whole year.

Now, you can watch those Dragon Tattoo opening credits online - thanks to Tim Miller and Blur Studio's superb design, it's 154 seconds of your life that you won't regret losing.



Yet to make your mind up about your favourite titles from the past 12 months? Read on for the top 5 opening credits of 2011. 


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This year has been a ridiculously good year for cinema - particularly British cinema. It started off with a raft of excellent January releases, with The King's Speech and 127 Hours leading the UK Oscars charge, but it's a mark of how much talent there has been throughout the year that three British directorial debuts have made their way into my top films of 2011. Documentaries, too, have been overwhelmingly strong - Senna has made a lot of "Best of 2011" lists, but Project Nim, Pina and TT3D hoovered up a decent amount of box office cash as well, some even proving that 3D might be more than just a passing Hollywood phase.

But enough of this. What you all REALLY want is yet another list of movies that some opinionated person thinks were better than all the other movies released this year. So, going by the only way to judge these things (theatrical release dates), here are the Top 11 Films of 2011.

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Everything's coming up golden for Michel Hazanavicius' black-and-white gem, with The Artist leading the Golden Globes 2012 nominations list with a solid six. That's not bad for a silent film. In fact, it's flipping fantastic, earning nods for Best Director, Actor, Screenplay, Music, Supporting Actress and Best Picture - expect all those Musical or Comedy appendices to fully convert to straight nods at the Oscars - after its wins from the Boston and New York Critics, The Artist is now definitely an awards front-runner. Even more so than War Horse, which galloped into the Best Picture, Drama category as expected.

The only thing more predictable for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was its undying love for George Clooney, with both The Ides of March and The Descendants getting their fair share of nominations. 

Surprises came in the form of Bridesmaids getting a Best Picture nod alongside My Week with Marilyn in the Musical or Comedy category - let's be honest, these subdivisions make even less sense now than they ever did before. Other nods, like Leonardo DiCaprio for J Edgar (reportedly a bit of a dud), are bizarre, especially when Ryan Gosling gets a nod for Crazy, Stupid, Love and not for Drive. (Apparently that bit with the hammer wasn't hilarious enough for Best Actor, Musical or Comedy.) 

More exciting than that is Kristen Wiig's Best Actress nomination. It's always nice to see my future wife doing well. Even better news is Brendan Gleeson's nod for The Guard - the kind of thing that I was relying on BAFTA to support, alongside Tyrannosaur. Could it be the start of some serious Gleeson awards momentum? Not that it matters, because Michael Fassbender is looking increasingly like the acting alpha male.

Otherwise, it's nice to see The Help get some attention and Rango easily deserves its animated nom (no Kung Fu Panda 2?), while The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's soundtrack nod is a promising sign that Fincher's superb adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel isn't completely out of the awards circuit.

But there are worse snubs. Take Shelter, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Tree of Life and Coriolanus all got left out, and you wonder why exactly th-- hey look, it's a tap dancing dog!

It's lovely to see that The Artist is top dog (sadly there's no Golden Globe award for Best Dog) in a competition that, along with Hugo's raft of HFPA adoration, is celebrating the old-school magic of cinema. But if period brilliance is the trendy thing right now, where are the nominations for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? 

And don't even get me started on why The Muppets haven't been nominated for Best Song.

Read on for the full list of 2012 Golden Globes nominations.

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Get your scorpion jackets on, boys.* This limited edition Drive Scalextric set has all the thrills and car chase excitement from Nicolas Winding Refn's action-packed blockbuster. For those looking for quieter, existential drama, simply unplug the remotes and watch as Ryan Gosling's patented painted in-car expression conveys a range of emotions without actually moving. Yes, the Drive Scalextric slot car racing box set has something for everyone. Providing they like driving. Or Ryan Gosling.*

And, if you order the Drive Scalextric for Christmas in the next two weeks, as well as the authentic Ryan Gosling driving gloves, you even get a free limited edition hammer to batter people's brains in.

* Note: Ryan Gosling and scorpion jacket not included.


Drive Scalextric 



For more Christmas gift ideas, keep opening the i-Flicks Advent Calendar.



Ryan Gosling. The Gosling. Old Gozzles. Whatever you call him, it's undeniable that at the moment, he's the sexiest guy on the big screen (and that doesn't depend on the big screen).

Yeah, that Ryan Gosling is so hot right now. But he's been hot for some time. Since The Notebook, he's been a heartthrob for girls (and boys) around the world, but with The Ides of March out this year and Drive and Crazy, Stupid, Love making a glorious Gosling sandwich this week, he's getting everyone's love juices flowing more than ever.

So what's his secret? Allow us to introduce the Ryan Gosling acting masterclass. After careful detailed analysis of Old Gozzle's performances, we have distilled his entire acting technique into a few easy-to-follow tips. Here are seven simple steps to make you as cool as Ryan Gosling.

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Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks, Christina Hendricks
Certificate: 18 

"What do you do?" asks Carey Mulligan, sitting nervously in the kitchen. Ryan Gosling stands still. He says nothing. Then, after a few seconds, he smiles slowly. "I drive," he says. That's pretty much all there is to Drive: Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller is made up of 10% car chases, 20% Carey Mulligan, and 70% Ryan Gosling standing still, saying nothing, pausing for a few seconds, and then smiling slowly. Needless to say, it adds up to one big load of awesome. 

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Doors are opening everywhere these days for Carey Mulligan - car doors, in this case. Yes, Mulligan is making a move to join Universal's upcoming action thriller, Drive.

The movie, which also stars Ryan Gosling and Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, will mark a slight departure from drama for the actress, who made her name in An Education. Directed by Pusher's Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive will follow a stunt driver (Gosling) working on the odd bank job, who ends up on the run from hit men - with a former prisoner's girlfriend in the passenger seat.

It's got a promising cast and an interesting director, so Drive might well be something more than your average brainless actioner. It's written by Hossein Amini (who wrote the naff Killshot, but the pretty decent Wings of the Dove) so it marks a rare time when Winding Refn works from someone else's screenplay. Is he selling out? Has he spotted something special? Either way, at least we won't end up with Valhalla Rising again.

Drive starts shooting in LA next month.

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