By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Gritty slavery drama "12 Years a Slave" leads the race for the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as the film community gathers to honor smaller-budget and art house movies that are often strong contenders at the Academy Awards the next day. Directed by Steve McQueen, "12 Years a Slave" earned seven Spirit Awards nominations including best feature, director, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor and best supporting nods for Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o. It has become the frontrunner for Sunday's Oscars, where it will vie for the top races including best picture, actor and director. The Spirit Awards, held in a giant tent on California's Santa Monica beach and hosted this year by Patton Oswalt, is a more casual affair compared to the glamour and glitz of the Oscars.
PARIS (AP) — The actress whose secret tryst with French President Francois Hollande led to his separation from his long-time girlfriend on Friday made her first public appearance since the scandal broke, atttending France's presitigious movie awards in which she was a nominee — but left empty-handed.
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc, saying a federal appeals court order directing it to remove an anti-Islamic film from its YouTube video sharing website would have "devastating effects" if allowed to stand, asked the court to put it on hold. Earlier this week, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to reject Google's assertion that the removal of the film "Innocence of Muslims," which sparked protests across the Muslim world, amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution. In a court filing on Thursday, Google argued that the video should remain accessible to the public while it asks that a larger, 11-judge 9th Circuit panel review the issue. Google called this week's order "unprecedented" and "sweeping." The plaintiff, Cindy Lee Garcia, had objected to the film after learning that it incorporated a clip she had made for a different movie, which had been partially dubbed and in which she appeared to be asking: "Is your Mohammed a child molester?" Garcia's attorney, Cris Armenta, opposes Google's request to repost the video while the appeal proceeds.
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who was found dead in his New York apartment on February 2 with a needle in his arm, died of an accidental overdose of drugs, the New York City Chief Medical Examiner said on Friday. The cause of death was acute drug intoxication, including heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamine, according to Julie Bolcer, spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner's Office. A drug overdose had been suspected when Hoffman, 46, was discovered. "Glee" actor Cory Monteith, 31, died in Vancouver of an accidental overdose of heroin and alcohol in October.
Microsoft’s Xbox One video game console got its first big update earlier this month, and it brought with it various fixes and enhancements (most importantly for me personally, I can now say “Xbox on” a single time to turn the console on instead of having to shout the phrase 437 times before it finally booted). Updates for Microsoft’s new console are coming hot and heavy, however, and another major software release is due next month. Some users got early access to the March update and we provided preliminary details earlier this week. Now that gamers have had some time with the new software, however, additional details have come to light. A NeoGAF forum user who goes by the name “The Flash”