The Golden Globe Awards, or the Sexiest Man Alive Contest? "George Clooney ('The Descendants') and Brad Pitt ('Moneyball') — previous holders of People magazine’s Sexiest title — will compete against Leonardo DiCaprio ('J. Edgar'), Michael Fassbender ('Shame') and Ryan Gosling ('The Ides of March') for Best Actor in a Drama when the 69th annual Golden Globes are presented Jan. 15 on NBC ... There’s even a double-dip of Gosling, also nominated as Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for 'Crazy Stupid Love.' There, he faces fellow female faves Joseph Gordon Levitt ('50 50') and Owen Wilson ('Midnight in Paris')." NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Madonna signs a deal with Interscope: "Now that she's completed her directorial debut and established her hatred of hydrangeas, Madonna's got the time to make records again. Today, after much speculation and a Twitter feud with then-unofficial labelmate 50 Cent, it was finally confirmed that Interscope will work with Madonna and the Live Nation borg to make her music happen. In the meantime, Madonna has a Super Bowl halftime show to prepare for (and a directorial debut and hatred of hydrangeas to defend)." VULTURE
Can mute performances win Oscars this year: "A lot of oddsmakers are talking up Jean Dujardin for his silent turn in the mostly speechless 'The Artist.' And Max von Sydow is getting a supporting push for playing a traumatized man who communicates via facial expressions and note writing in 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.' But a friend of mine commented, 'You can't win an Oscar for not saying anything.' Oh, really? In the 1920s, actors like Janet Gaynor and Emil Jannings won Oscars for silent films. And that's not all. How about ... John Mills, who won Best Supporting Actor as the town idiot in 1970's 'Ryan's Daughter'?" VILLAGE VOICE
Tony-winner Duncan Sheik will bring "Because of Winn-Dixie" to Broadway: "'A Christmas Story, the Musical!' producers Gerald Goehring and Michael F. Mitri, along with Dorothy Berloni, announced plans for a spring 2012 staged reading of 'Because of Winn-Dixie,' which will precede an out-of-town tryout and a Broadway run. Music will be by Sheik, with book and lyrics by [Nell] Benjamin. Tony Award-nominated 'Avenue Q' star and 'Johnny and the Sprites' star and creator John Tartaglia is attached as the director of the musical that will feature animal direction by Tony-honored veteran animal trainer Bill Berloni ('Annie,' 'Legally Blonde,' 'The Wizard of Oz')." PLAYBILL
The Academy will soon narrow down its Best Makeup contenders: "From this short list, Oscar 2012 nominations will be chosen two weeks later at what's called the 'bake-off." At this event, contenders will present 10-minute clips of their work, show-and-tell prosthetics, photos and answer questions about their work ... Historically, the nods go to major transformations (Salma Hayek's 'Frida,' Robin Williams as 'Mrs. Doubtfire'), period looks ('La Vie en Rose,' 'Young Victoria'), fantasy/sci-fi/horror ('Star Trek,' 'Lord of the Rings') and impressive aging ('Barney's Version,' 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button')." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Who is "American Horror Story" creator Ryan Murphy bringing to the Golden Globes? "I’m taking Rubber Man as my date. My boyfriend is very upset. I should just have my boyfriend, David, dress up as Rubber Man ... With me cuddling our child Infantata. Or maybe Brad [Falchuk] and I should go dressed as Constance and Vivien, like the way Trey [Parker] and Matt [Stone] went as J. Lo and Gwyneth [laughs]." EW.COM
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.