News Nuggets: Sweden, Australia pick foreign-language Oscar entries

Australia enters the German-language “Lore” for Best Foreign Language Film consideration: “The most notable title from the new entries is Australia’s submission ‘Lore’ — which I suggested back in June would be one to watch in the race. Like Austria’s pick of Michael Haneke‘s ‘Amour,’ it’s a selection that couldn’t have been made a few years ago, when countries had to submit films in a native language. Indeed, there’s nothing obviously Australian about ‘Lore’ — a German-set, German-language World War II survival story about five children’s 500-mile trek to safety in the dying days of the Third Reich — bar the fact that it’s a largely Australian production from a noted Down Under director, Cate Shortland.” IN CONTENTION

Sweden picks Lasse Hallstrom‘s “The Hypnotist” for its Oscar entry: “‘The Hypnotist,’ a crime thriller by three-time Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom, is Sweden’s official entry for the 2013 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film, an adaptation of the best-seller by Lars Kepler, is the first Swedish-language film from Hallstrom – the director of ‘The Cider House Rules,’ ‘Chocolat’ and ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?’ – in 25 years. It is also Hallstrom’s first-ever thriller. Hallstrom, however, is no stranger to the Oscars. His Swedish-language feature ‘My Life As A Dog’ (1988) received Oscar nominations in the Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay categories and Hallstrom picked up a second Best Director nomination in 1999 for ‘The Cider House Rules.'” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Cast and crew of “Cloud Atlas” discuss making the mind-bending film: “According to [Tom Hanks], making the dizzying film was not as challenging as it sounds, at least for the actors, ‘This was a fully realized vision that was presented to us at the get go. [The writers/directors] had gone off and were sort of aiming for this piece of cinematic literature. All I really had to do was read the blueprint to see what was going to be expected of me’ … Even working with multiple directors, [Halle Berry] said, was not as difficult as one might expect. “What was so beautiful about it is that Lana and Andy speak as one person,” the Oscar winner said. ‘[The Wachowskis] finish each others’ sentences. Their thoughts are the same. They’ve talked about this so long that their vision is clear and there is a safety that comes with it.'” VANITY FAIR

Ratings for the MTV Video Music Awards down this year: “The ratings for Thursday night’s Video Music Awards went the One Direction MTV definitely wasn’t hoping for: way down. The telecast averaged 6.1 million viewers, a fall from the record 12.45 million that tuned into the 2011 show. It marked the smallest VMA audience in six years. Two key factors likely contributed to the erosion: The unusual Thursday airdate and the early, 8 pm start time (to avoid competing with coverage of the Democratic National Convention).” TV LINE

Downton Abbey” star Dan Stevens is coming to America: “The actor, who plays hunky heir Matthew Crawley in the period drama, is off to Broadway next month to star in the play ‘The Heiress‘ for at least six months. Excited Dan will star alongside Hollywood star Jessica Chastain in the Tony Award-winning play … He said: ‘I am off to New York in about a month’s time and it is going to be one big adventure … I don’t know if I will be coming back to “Downton” as I don’t know if they are doing another series yet.’ Dan says he was offered the part on the back of ‘Downton’s’ roaring success at the Emmy Awards in America last year.” THE SUN

Jeff Probst on making the move to daytime television: “During a Thursday morning visit to ‘Today,’ Probst revealed why he’s making the move and just what he has to offer to the already crowded talk TV market. ‘When I got married and then became part of this family with these two kids that were calling me Dad, it all shifted, and I started realizing, “Ah, I think I have something to connect with now,”‘ he said of his motivation. Of course, just having a talk show isn’t enough to guarantee viewers — even for a hosting pro like Probst. With new daytime talkers around the corner from Katie Couric, Steve Harvey, Ricki Lake and Marie Osmond, he needs a hook to draw eyes to his effort. For ‘The Jeff Probst Show,’ that hook is short stories for short attention spans.” TODAY

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