Nuggets: ‘Lion King’ tops ‘Moneyball’; Paul McCartney does ballet

Guardian writer Steve Busfield puts “Moneyball” in perspective by counting down the best baseball movies: “‘Moneyball’ the movie was released in the US this weekend and with an Aaron Sorkin script (‘West Wing,’ ‘The Social Network,’ and ‘Sports Night,’ possibly the best fictional TV show about sport, but that’s another debate) has mostly received rave reviews. The promotional material describes it as ‘one of the greatest baseball movies ever made,’ but is it one of the best five? Here’s my suggested top five all-time baseball films, but you may disagree. And I leave it to you to decide whether ‘Moneyball’ should be on the list.” THE GUARDIAN

Off-Broadway thriller “Perfect Crime” celebrates 10,000 performances today: “Jeffrey Hyatt directs the production, which celebrates its milestone performance with a celebration featuring dinner and an open bar following the 7 PM show. The entire audience is invited to attend. Original cast member Catherine Russell, who has been with the show for 24 years (securing herself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records), is part of a cast that also includes John Hillner, George McDaniel, Patrick Robustelli and Richard Shoberg. ‘Perfect Crime’ opened as an Equity Showcase in 1987. It the longest-running play in the history of New York theatre.” PLAYBILL

There is controversy surrounding some of this year’s Oscar canddiates for Best Foreign Language Film: “Already, [Mark Johnson, leader of the Academy’s Foreign Language Executive Committee] has indicated to me there is some controversy, particularly with Albania, which has entered ‘The Forgiveness of Blood,’ a hit at Telluride and Toronto but which was directed by LA-born and -bred Joshua Marston. Apparently, other Albanian filmmakers are balking at the nationality of the movie’s helmer. It will be up to the committee to determine whether the film has enough Albanian elements to qualify despite being in the unique situation of having an American director (and co-writer). The very international-inclined Marston had the official 2004 Colombian entry, ‘Maria Full of Grace,’ before it was disqualified for not being Colombian enough. It did eventually win a Best Actress nod for Catalina Sandino Moreno.” DEADLINE

“The Lion King 3D” surprises with second straight box office win against “Moneyball”: “When it comes to family fare, it’s not unusual for distribution executives to obsess over their placement on the calendar, especially when they seek to capitalize on school vacations. However, with ‘Lion King’ and ‘Dolphin Tale’ grossing $42.4 million together, it proves that there’s moolah to be made off kiddie pics in the post-summer season. Warner Bros. knew that there was demand for family product, especially 3-D, after stirring the crowd last year with Zack Snyder’s ‘The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole’ ($55.7 million total B.O.) which bowed to $16.1 million. The film would have been a hit if it hadn’t cost $80 million.” INDIEWIRE

Music legend Paul McCartney fails to impressed with the debut of his ballet: “The Beatles legend has ventured into the world of ballet by writing the score for ‘Ocean’s Kingdom’ for the New York City Ballet. But, after the curtain went up on Thursday night, early reviews for the 50-minute show have been less than favourable. A critic for the New York Times calls McCartney’s score ‘never less than agreeable,’ but ‘in no way an important addition to the corpus of ballet music,’ before adding: ”Ocean’s Kingdom’ isn’t offensive: it’s just harmless, forgettable, bland, thin and occasionally incompetent.'” TORONTO SUN

Winners announced for the New York TV festival: “The festival closed Saturday night with the organization celebrating a record 15 guaranteed deals offered to independent creators during its 2011 development season. The festival included a pilot screening by comedian Marc Maron, a diversity panel with J.B. Smoove, a panel on writing for late-night comedy with Jason Sudeikis, and a keynote by Damon Lindelof. ‘This was a watershed year for the NYTVF and one that showed the independent television movement to not only be alive and well, but thriving,’ said founder and executive director Terence Gray. ‘Thanks to the support of our many industry partners and the talents of our creative community, we had a very successful festival and we look forward to building upon it for years to come.'” REUTERS

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