February 2nd, 2010
05:53 PM ET

'Crazy Heart' songwriter on what's next

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Ryan Bingham isn’t done with his collaboration with T Bone Burnett, which has already proved fruitful.

The up-and-coming country-rock star and the legendary singer-songwriter were recognized for their work with the Academy Award nomination of "The Weary Kind (Theme from 'Crazy Heart')," from "Crazy Heart," for best original song.

Bingham said he is working on his album now with Burnett, who supervised the music in “Crazy Heart” and co-wrote “The Weary Kind” with Bingham. (Burnett, of course, is a legendary music producer who has a shelf full of Grammys for such albums as the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' "Raising Sand." He also has a previous Oscar nomination, for the "Cold Mountain" song "Scarlet Tide.")

“I’ve got most of the songs already written and I’m sure T Bone will come up with some more tunes and we will go from there,” Bingham said.

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Filed under: movies • Music • Oscars 2010
February 2nd, 2010
04:33 PM ET

'Boston Legal' actor Justin Mentell killed in car accident

CNN has confirmed that "Boston Legal" and "G-Force" actor Justin Mentell was killed in a car accident in rural Wisconsin on Monday. Mentell was 27 years old.

According to a news release from the Iowa County Sheriff's department, Mentell was driving his 2005 Jeep when it veered off the right shoulder and into a steep embankment, crashing into two trees.

Mentell wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the car. He was discovered around 8:30 a.m. on Monday and was pronounced dead on the scene.

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Filed under: Celebrities • television
February 2nd, 2010
03:45 PM ET

'Precious' screenplay writer living the dream

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Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher didn’t have an easy time of it adapting the novel “Push” by Sapphire into a script for the film “Precious.”

“It’s told through the voice of a semi-literate character and the content at times is very graphic,” Fletcher said. “For those reasons it was largely considered unadaptable.”

Fletcher persevered, however, and his hard work paid off Tuesday with an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay.

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February 2nd, 2010
02:13 PM ET

Ellen debuts on 'Idol' next week

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It’s almost Ellen time.

Ellen DeGeneres takes her seat as the newest “American Idol” judge on February 9.

The comic/talk show host will make her debut on the show during the Hollywood round where contestants will vie for a spot among the Top 24 semifinalists.

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February 2nd, 2010
12:20 PM ET

More reactions from Oscar nominees

The reactions to Tuesday morning's Academy Awards nominations keep pouring in. Here are more statements from nominees, as told to CNN:

Best actress nominee Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side":

"Who would have thought after all these years that I would be experiencing this moment now . . . I certainly didn't. But I am honored beyond words to experience this journey with John Lee Hancock and Gil Netter, and to continue this astounding ride with the extraordinary women I share this category with. My time with them these past few months has meant more than anything to me."

Best supporting actor nominee Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station": "I am very pleased and honored to be up there with those other four terrific actors. I liked the little movie."

Best animated feature, best original screenplay and best picture nominee director/writer Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, "Up":

"We are humbled and grateful to the Academy. Being nominated among these remarkable animated films is such an amazing privilege. On top of that, to be honored as one of the best pictures of the year is just mind-blowing. It’s truly been a long, wonderful ride getting here, and with all sincerity it really does feel like we’re floating on air."

Best original screenplay nominee Mark Boal, "The Hurt Locker":

"I'm extremely grateful to Kathryn Bigelow for believing in this script when it was safer to believe in unicorns, and thankful to the actors for elevating it and making it sing, and last but not least Nicolas Chartier for putting his money up."

Best picture nominee producers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, "The Blind Side":

"We are so grateful to the Academy for this staggering honor. We want to thank John Lee Hancock for writing and directing a wonderful film that has been the pleasure of our careers to produce; to Sandra Bullock, who brought the character so fully to life, and to our producing partners Gil Netter and Molly Smith."


Filed under: movies • Oscars 2010
February 2nd, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Anna Kendrick was out running when she heard about her nomination

Anna Kendrick didn't know she was nominated for her best supporting actress for her role in "Up in the Air" until her roommate sent her text message on her phone.

"I didn't want to watch the live feed and just be sitting around and feeling awkward, so I got up at 5 a.m. and went running so I could be by myself. I was alone in the dark, listening to music," Kendrick told CNN in a phone interview.

"It [was] really perfect and it allowed me to have a moment, so it was just for me."

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Filed under: movies • Oscars 2010
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