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Tuesday Mega Roundup: Critics' Choice honors Kevin Bacon, Louis C.K. takes 'Hilarious' new film to Sundance and more

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Kevin Bacon will receive the Joel Siegel Award at the 15th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards. The Siegel Award, named for the late "Good Morning America" film critic, is given to performers who use their celeb status for socially redeeming works; Bacon's Sixdegrees.org is a social networking site that allows members to support various charities. Richard Gere and Don Cheadle were the award's previous recipients; Bacon will receive his honor from Meryl Streep at this year's ceremony, which takes place on Jan. 15. This is not the first time the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., which organizes the Critics Choice Awards, has paid tribute to Bacon; he received the Best Actor trophy for "Murder in the First" at their first event in 1995.

Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock -- who's currently enjoying her new-found status as the star of the first female-led film ("The Blind Side") to break the $200-million mark at the box office -- will present her "Proposal" co-star Betty White with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th annual event on Jan. 23. Bullock will pull double duty that night -- she's also up for a SAG trophy for Best Actress for "The Blind Side." 

And the list of glitzy celebs presenting at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards just got exponentially glitzier; Oscar winner Mel Gibson, he-man Gerard Butler and screen legend Sophia Loren will be among the presenters at the ceremony, which takes place on Jan. 17. They add to the luster already set in place by Loren's "Nine" co-star Nicole Kidman, Steven Spielberg and "Avatar" lead Sam Worthington, as well as Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew Fox.

Meanwhile, over at Variety, there's a fascinating collection of comments by award-winning stage directors on many of the leading contenders for best director awards this season. Here's Tony (and Oscar and Grammy and Emmy) winner Mike Nichols on "Messenger" director Oren Moverman; elsewhere, the legendary Hal Prince ("Evita," "The Phantom of the Opera") waxes on Kathryn Bigelow and "The Hurt Locker," while Bill T. Jones ("Fela!") discusses the personal impact of  Lee Daniels' "Precious." Wes Anderson, Nancy Meyers and Pete Docter are also feted; the quotes are insightful from both the technical standpoint of fellow directors who also happen to be unabashed fans of these filmmakers' work.

Not Very Cool Department: Some of the most critically lauded film scores from 2009 are not eligible for the Oscar because of the academy's rules regarding multiple composers and preexisting works. The Wrap reports that among the disqualified are "Where the Wild Things Are" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O and Carter Burwell; "The Lovely Bones" by Brian Eno; "Crazy Heart" by T Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton (which was honored by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.); and Jason Schwartzman and Michael Andrews' music for "Funny People." In the case of Eno and "Lovely Bones," the reasons were two-fold: the score used preexisting work, which is strictly verboten by the academy in regard to Best Original Score, and the iconic performer-producer failed to submit the paperwork for consideration. All others were declined due to the ruling that scores "assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible." Karen O, however, can take some consolation that her song "All Is Love" from "Wild Things" is still under consideration for Best Original Song.

And speaking of academy rules, are you a new academy voter puzzled by the ins and outs of the voting process in your particular category? Fear not -- BAFTA nominee and new-minted member John August ("Big Fish," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") feels your pain. So he's provided a handy guide to casting your ballot (in his case, for original screenplay, adapted screenplay and best picture) on his website, which illustrates the changes in this year's vote (you're not picking one film, but placing all 10 nominees in a preferential order) and underscores the complexity of the rules. August's explanation is written in plain and simple terms, and he gives considerable thought to the value of the new changes and their impact on the final decision; one wishes he might extend his insight to equally challenging paperwork like, say, taxes.

Finally, Entertainment Weekly casts some light on comedian and writer Louis C.K.'s upcoming concert film "Hilarious," which debuts at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The article rightly notes that in previous years, Sundance has not been a regular source of stand-up projects; "Hilarious," which was also directed by C.K., is in fact, its first. C.K. plans to use the fest's maiden voyage into stand-up films a jaw-dropping experience: "The goal with this one was to just knock the hell out of the audience," he told EW. More concert films are certainly not a bad thing, especially when they feature work as unbridled as Louis'; here's hoping he starts a trend at other fests. The Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 21-31.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Kevin Bacon. Credit: Getty Images. 

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