News Nuggets: ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ wins at Sundance

Sundance Film Festival winners announced: “‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ director Benh Zeitlin’s surreal tale of a six-year old girl living with her father in the flooded basins near the southern delta, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film. ‘The House I Live In,’ Eugene Jarecki’s documentary about the impact of America’s War on Drugs on poor communities, won for best documentary. ‘The Surrogate,’ a movie about a man in an iron lung (John Hawkes) who decides to lose his virginity with the assistance of professional sex surrogate (Helen Hunt), was honored with an Audience Award and a prize for Best Ensemble.” EW.COM

SAG is set to merge with AFTRA: “The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today voted overwhelmingly to approve and recommend a plan to merge with AFTRA. The board met in a regularly scheduled plenary meeting in the James Cagney Board Room at the Guild’s Los Angeles headquarters and voted after reviewing a merger package put forward by the SAG and AFTRA Group for One Union (G1) that includes a Merger Agreement and Constitution.” DEADLINE

Experiencing “The Artist” fatigue: “And so we’re in this awkward position of having to watch ‘The Artist’ win again and again … It’s no longer our fresh faced sweetie we love — it’s our used up old shoe.  The awards race is broken and no one seems ready or able to fix it because it is an industry in and of itself and that industry isn’t going anywhere any time soon.  But now, you can feel the air all but completely sucked out of the room.  We’re hoping for a last minute rally for ‘Hugo‘ or ‘The Descendants‘ to shake this thing up and call itself the best film of 2011.   But ‘The Artist’ is so good, whether it’s used up or not, that it’s hard to imagine anything topping it.  Some of us have to endure.” AWARDS DAILY

Gavin Polone calls the Oscars a farce: “I can’t see the value in saying one artistic endeavor is better than another. This is also true of the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Tonys, as well as the various arts-related Pulitzers, of course, but the incredible attention lavished upon the Academy Awards demands it be singled out as a meaningless and misleading worst offender.” VULTURE

Ed Lover criticizes the Oscar nominations: “What, ya didn’t know rapper/personality Ed Lover was a closet cinephile-slash-Oscar pundit? To borrow from the man himself: ‘C’mon, son!’ In a searing video rant over at NextMovie, he reacts to this year’s batch of Oscar nominees and glaring snubs (what, no ‘Drive,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ or ‘Dame Julie Dench?’) and pretty much takes the words out of my mouth. ‘They had the Academy Award nominations the other day at like 7 o’clock in the damn morning… C’mon, son!'” MOVIELINE

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