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EW's PrizeFighter analyzes the Best Actress race, brought to you by Reese Witherspoon

Thank goodness for Reese ­Witherspoon.

Despite a recent surge in strong roles for women (e.g., Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Jennifer ­Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook), Hollywood really dropped the ball when it came to showcasing interesting roles for actresses in 2014. If it weren’t for Witherspoon’s newfound strength as a producer, two of this year’s likely ­nominees wouldn’t exist—and the Best Actress race would look even more dire than it currently does.

Witherspoon herself is one of the primary contenders, of course, for her portrayal of a novice hiker looking for redemption in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild (which the actress produced). But she also optioned and developed the box office hit Gone Girl, which should land a nomination for Rosamund Pike, playing the iciest (and scariest) wife in modern ­cinema. Neither of them is the front­runner, however. READ FULL STORY

Queen Latifah on what to expect from tonight's Hollywood Film Awards

Founded in 1997 by Carlos de Abreu to recognize excellence in filmmaking, the Hollywood Film Awards ceremony is arguably the beginning of awards season. And the event has remained one of the industry’s best-kept secrets—until Friday. Now in its 18th year, the Hollywood Film Awards is finally making its broadcast debut.

Queen Latifah is hosting the ceremony, which will hand out 18 awards on air, tonight at the Hollywood Palladium. She will be joined by stars such as Reese Witherspoon, Michael Keaton, and Julianne Moore, who have received early buzz for Wild, Birdman, and Still Alice, respectively.

In advance of tonight’s show, Latifah tells Entertainment Weekly her thoughts on awards season and what to expect from the Hollywood Film Awards’ inaugural broadcast. READ FULL STORY

Reese Witherspoon, Michael Keaton among stars to appear at Hollywood Film Awards

Here comes awards season…

Reese Witherspoon, Michael Keaton, Gerard Butler, Robert Duvall, Julianne Moore, Jack O’Connell, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Jean-Marc Vallée, and Shailene Woodley are scheduled to appear at the inaugural broadcast of the Hollywood Film Awards.

Queen Latifah will host the awards at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday, November 14.

Carlos de Abreu founded the Hollywood Film Awards in 1997, and also executive produces the show with Allen Shapiro, Mike Mahan, Mark Bracco, and R.A. Clark. Dick clark productions produces.

More stars attending will be announced soon.

See Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in 'Inherent Vice'

We’ve already seen a glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as Larry “Doc” Sportello, the stoner private investigator at the center of the much-anticipated adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.

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Reese Witherspoon's Peggy Lee biopic gets a director

Reese Witherspoon is on a roll this year thanks to three upcoming films, one of which is already garnering serious Best Actress chatter, and it looks like her hot streak is going to continue. Witherspoon has long been attached to a biopic of singer Peggy Lee—she even obtained the rights from Lee’s estate—but now the project is getting underway with Todd Haynes on board. Haynes, who directed the ’50s period piece Far From Heaven and unconventional Bob Dylan movie I’m Not There, is now attached to direct the film, EW has confirmed. Originally the project was supposed to be written and directed by Nora Ephron, who died in 2012. The film is based on Ephron’s screenplay, but Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Doug Wright came on to work on the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter. READ FULL STORY

Reese Witherspoon talks THOSE viral videos: 'I am a lot of fun to hang out with!'

Is Reese Witherspoon the most fun actress in Hollywood right now? It sorta seems like it if you pay any attention to the Internet. The actress has always been likable in films like Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, but recently she’s become a viral-video sensation due to leaked videos of herself in an elevator at May’s Metropolitan Costume Gala and weeks later singing onstage at a charity event with Kenny Chesney. Earlier this week, Witherspoon was filmed and photographed having a good ol’ time at a wedding event in Capri, Italy. Basically, the takeaway is that Reese is not only a great actress but the A-lister you most want at your event.

EW talked to the actress for this week’s Fall Movie Preview—Witherspoon appears in three movies this fall including the Oscar-buzzy Wild and produced the highly anticipated Gone Girl—about being caught on camera having a good time. “I have to say I am a lot of fun to hang out with,” says the Academy Award-winner, who admitted she had no idea these videos had become so popular. “People go, ‘You’re really fun!’ And I’m like, ‘Was I not fun before?’ I like to have fun and I enjoy it, man. I would wanna sit next to me at an awards show!”

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon partner for 'Big Little Lies'

Big-Little-Lies

Will Reese Witherspoon have an Australian accent, or will Nicole Kidman put on an American one?

EW has confirmed that Witherspoon and Kidman’s production companies (Pacific Standard and Blossom Films, respectively) have teamed up to option the screen rights to Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Deadline first reported the story.

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Video: Reese Witherspoon wanders in 'Wild' trailer

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Reese Witherspoon’s looking to find herself—and maybe a little awards recognition along the way.

The just-released trailer for Wild finds Witherspoon playing real-life author Cheryl Strayed, who decided to take a 1,000-mile-plus hike along the Pacific Crest Trail alone to atone for years of addictive and destructive behavior. The film is based on the book Strayed wrote about the experience.

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Reese Witherspoon is ready to save the day in 'The Good Lie' trailer

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Reese Witherspoon would like another Oscar—so she dyed her hair Serious Brown and channeled Erin Brockovich by way of The Blind Side for her latest movie, The Good Lie. (As the trailer quickly tells you, The Good Lie is brought to us by the same producers as Sandra Bullock’s football drama.)

Based on the true story of an out-of-her-element American woman who takes in four Sudanese “Lost Boys” refugees, the film costars House of Cards‘ Corey Stoll in what looks to be the Aaron Eckhart role and boasts this tagline: “Miracles are made by people who refuse to stop believing.”

The Good Lie is just one of a few Serious Projects Witherspoon has lined up for the fall. She’ll also star in the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir Wild, and is producing the highly-anticipated adaptation of Gone Girl.

Watch the trailer for The Good Lie below: READ FULL STORY

Reese Witherspoon-starrer 'Wild' gets a release date

Cheryl Strayed spent a summer hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail — from Southern California to the southern border of Washington State. Now we will get to see Reese Witherspoon re-create Strayed’s journey this December when Wild, adapted from the hiker’s memoir of the same name, hits select theaters on Dec. 5.

Currently the Fox Searchlight release from director Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) has the weekend all to itself, but that’s destined to change as the Oscar season calendar starts filling up. READ FULL STORY

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