Today's News: Our Take


Lost in Translation was the big winner at Saturday's Independent Spirit Awards, nabbing honors for best film, best director and screenplay for Sofia Coppola and best actor for Bill Murray. Oscar's indie equivalent also singled out Charlize Theron for Monster, Djimon Hounsou for In America and Shohreh Aghdashloo for House of Sand and Fog. read more


The third time was indeed the charm for The Lord of the Rings. The fantasy trilogy's final installment, The Return of the King, was named best picture at Sunday's 76th annual Academy Awards — one of 11 Oscars the film picked up (tying Titanic and Ben-Hur for most wins in a single year). Rings was also honored for best director (Peter Jackson), adapted screenplay, makeup, costumes, sound, editing, original score, visual effects, art direction and original song. There were no surprises in the lead acting races as frontrunners Sean Penn and Charlize Theron struck gold for their respective roles in Mystic River and Monster. Oscar also stuck to the script in the supporting categories, with Renee Zellweger winning for Cold Mountain and Tim Robbins singled out for Mystic River. Elsewhere, Finding Nemo reeled in the best animsted feature prize and Sofia Coppola won best original read more


Michael Jackson was briefly pulled over by police Friday in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and asked to identify himself after shopping at a local Wal-Mart wearing a ski mask. Jacko was reportedly vacationing in the area with his kids when he decided to stock up on discounted Jesus Juice and dangle-proof baby blankets. read more


The Practice has beamed up William Shatner for a four-episode guest stint. The Star Trek icon will play an "eccentric, well-connected, power-drunk legal legend who is chief partner of a law firm that goes head-to-head" with James Spader and Co. He'll first air in late April. Meanwhile, it looks like fired Practice star Dylan McDermott is headed back to the ABC drama later this season after all. For more on that, pick up the new issue of TV Guide magazine — on sale today! read more


Fresh from her serial-killing spree in Monster, Charlize Theron is in talks to play a futuristic (and, thankfully, good-looking) assassin in a film based on MTV's animated series Aeon Flux. read more

Brini Maxwell's Oscar Checklist

Move over, Martha Stewart! A new domestic goddess has descended from the heavens, and, with the Oscars approaching faster than paparazzi at a J.Lo sighting, she is eager to impart her wisdom to starlets who might confuse the value of a frock with its likelihood to shock. "You know what I always say?" Brini Maxwell tells TV Guide Online. "Take one last look at yourself before you step out of your hotel room, and make sure when you take that look that it's a critical look."

Perhaps picturing the gawdy get-ups that have made certain spotlight lovers laughingstocks rather than trendsetters, the hostess of Style Network's delightful new Brini Maxwell Show can't refrain from tittering. "Grab attention, yes," she encourages Hollywood's A-list lovelies. "But grab attention by looking beautiful."

Unlike well-loathed media vultures who have carved read more


With the Oscars just two days away, oddsmakers are pegging The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as the clear front-runner to walk off with best-picture honors. Charlize Theron is seen as a shoo-in for best actress, but the lead-actor derby is too close to call, with Bill Murray, Sean Penn and Johnny Depp racing neck-and-neck-and-neck. read more


Martha Stewart may want to make up a fresh batch of plum pudding for the judge presiding over her trial. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum threw out the most serious charge — securities fraud — against Stewart. The charge carried a 10-year prison sentence. The domestic diva still faces four counts, including conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The jury is expected to begin deliberations next week. read more


NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Last Call with Carson Daly hit new ratings highs last week among adults 18-49, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno posted its best numbers in that demo in three years. read more


Despite talk that they might extend their run, Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick will wrap up their return engagement to Broadway's The Producers on April 4. A search for their replacements is under way. As we reported here last month, Frasier's Kelsey Grammer was in talks to take over Lane's role, but he ultimately decided to do a TV-movie for NBC instead. read more

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