News Nuggets: Could Denzel Washington win Best Actor for ‘Flight’?

Brian Stokes Mitchell receives National Arts Award: “Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, who is among the recipients of the 2012 National Arts Awards, receives the Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award Oct. 15 in Manhattan … The annual awards recognize artists and arts leaders who ‘exhibit exemplary national leadership and whose work demonstrates extraordinary artistic achievement.'” PLAYBILL

Tony-winning musical “Memphis” will be adapted for the big screen: “Mark Gordon and Molly Smith are producing the film, which revolves around star-crossed lovers living in segregated Tennessee in the 1950s. Joe DiPietro, who wrote the book and co-wrote the lyrics with David Bryan, will pen the script. The film, which is being financed by Alcon, will likely land at Warner Bros., where Alcon is based. Alcon, the company behind such hits as ‘The Blind Side,’ delved into musical waters for the first time with this year’s ‘Joyful Noise,’ starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Foreign Film Oscar contenders “Lore” and “Children of Sarajevo” impress Guy Lodge: “This weekend’s viewing at the London Film Festival brought me to a pleasingly round, if short-lived, statistic: I’ve now seen 20 of the 71 films entered for consideration in this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race … From this single score of films, I feel, it’d be quite easy to draw up five-nominee slate for the ages, with several worthy alternatives left over as change – and Australia’s entry, the lyrical-yet-bloodied ‘Lore’ (A-) deserves to be near the top of the heap … Though a distinctly separate animal tonally, the Australian film makes a thematically elegant double-feature with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Oscar submission ‘Children of Sarajevo’ (B) …” IN CONTENTION

HBO’s “Girls” and “Enlightened” both return on January 13: “‘Girls,’ created by and starring wunderkind Lena Dunham, tapped its way into the zeitgeist earlier this year with its gritty look at twentysomething women living in New York. The series, which also touts Judd Apatow as one of its executive producers, saw its April premiere nab 872,000 viewers. It steadily grew from there, drawing 1 million viewers for its finale. Factor in DVR, on-demand and HBO Go views, and the gross audience got a boost … The ladies of ‘Girls’ will be paired with ‘Enlightened.’ The dramedy, which stars Laura Dern as a woman rebuilding her life after a public breakdown.” LOS ANGELES TIMES

Sasha Stone lauds Denzel Washington‘s performance in “Flight“: “This is easily one of the best performances of the year and will be a strong contender to win the Best Actor race … Denzel Washington is the kind of actor people know and love so much that he really can just go by the single name, Denzel. He commands the frame. [Robert Zemeckis] keeps most of the movie tight on his face. His actions and motivations are a mystery and his performance, and Zemeckis’ elevate what would otherwise be a by-the-numbers drunk-to-rehab movie. But Denzel digs in deeply to the role, disappearing into it.” AWARDS DAILY

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