This week's new movies and TV shows: Oscars, 'The Duff,' and 3 questions with 'Vikings' star Clive Standen

By: Clare Douglas

From new series to memorable guest stars and the new film releases that will have you racing to the theatre, Hello! Canada’s weekly report on new movies and TV shows is your all-access guide to the big and small screen. Check back on Mondays to stay up to date on must-see TV and noteworthy silver-screen news!

MOVIES:

OSCARS, OSCARS, OSCARS!

Here are five things we can’t wait to see at Sunday’s 87 th Annual Academy Awards (Feb. 22, CTV):

NPH, of course! With his boyish good looks, quick wit and triple-threat abilities, Neil Patrick Harris was practically born to host the Oscars. He's been tight-lipped about his opening monologue so far, but reports say Anna Kendrick and Jack Black will help him out on a special musical number.

Show stopping performances: Best Original Song contenders will be performed by Common, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Rita Ora, Tim McGraw, Maroon 5 and Canada’s own Tegan and Sara, who collaborated with Lonely Planet on the smash hit “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie.

Who wins Best Picture? Last year, poignant 12 Years a Slave took home top honours – keeping with the tradition that films which have premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival are worthy of Oscar’s gold! Of the eight films up for Best Picture, only one made its debut at the festival last year – The Theory of Everything. With Eddie Redmayne touted as the safest bet for the Best Actor crown, the Stephen Hawking biopic might just steal the prize from Boyhood, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Whiplash, Selma, American Sniper and The Imitation Game.

Click here for a complete list of this year’s nominees

Fashion darlings: Even though all eyes will be on the nominees, including Keira Knightley, Emma Stone and Ethan Hawke, a host of sartorial queens will share the red-carpet spotlight as presenters. We can’t wait to see Zoe Saldana make her return to Hollywood’s catwalk (her first appearance since welcoming twins in January), and given their track records, we expect wow moments from Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston.

Hot couples! Channing and Jenna, Justin and Jennifer, Keira and James: Nothing beats a glammed up A-lister than one that is on the arm of their one true love!

Loved-up couples at the Oscars through the ages

For more on nominees and fun Oscar facts, pick up issue 435/436 of Hello! Canada on newsstands, tablet and Next Issue!

IN THEATRES

The DUFF: In the decade since Mean Girls hit theatres, there has been a drought of well-written, funny and perfectly casted teen movies… until now. In The DUFF, Mae Whitman (Parenthood) plays an aspiring writer who is schooled in high school politics by her easy-on-the-eyes childhood best friend Wesley (played by Toronto-native Robbie Amell).

Leading the pack of bullies determined to keep their school in order is Disney princess Bella Thorne, who is as sweet offscreen as she is cruel onscreen. When Hello! caught up with the beauty, she shared her strong stance on anti-bullying. “Bullying should never be tolerated,” she said, adding, “You should connect with or parent if it becomes unbearable or physical. Remember, this is just a temporary stage in your life and wonderful experiences are coming!”

TV

THREE QUESTIONS WITH … CLIVE STANDEN:
British actor Clive Standen promises more action, heroic crusades and a healthy dose of family drama in the third season of Vikings (Feb. 19, History). Recently, Hello! caught up with the charming father-of-three to chat about his onscreen alter-ego, Rollo, filming in Ireland and family. “When I go home, that’s my wife’s time," he says. "It’s easy to leave it all at the door with a wife and kids.”

  1. Where is Rollo’s mind at going into season three?
    The last time you saw him, he was struggling to walk again. He’s kind of forgotten who he is. He’s second-guessing everything. A meeting with a seer takes Rollo on a completely different trajectory because it’s the first time someone makes it clear to him that he has to start grabbing the bull by the horns and that he’s in charge of his own fate. Maybe his anger at his brother has been misplaced and he’s been wrong all this time thinking that Ragnar is an obstacle to achieving his destiny.
  2. Ireland looks so beautiful on screen. What is it like filming there?
    Amazing. We really are left to our own devices in the middle of nowhere. And the thing about Ireland is, and similar to Canada, there’s a lot of it untouched by man-made structures. You can go into the Irish mountains and the countryside and there isn’t a single telephone pole or cable or anything. It’s really easy to just lose yourself and feel like you’re not just playing pretend. I go back to London and I’m a little bit shell shocked [ Laughs].
  3. Are your children allowed to watch the show?
    They’re not. My eldest child, he’s 12, is in secondary school and a lot of his friends have seen it. My daughter is eight and she’s a warrior princess, but my main problem is my little four-year-old because he’s like a little cave boy. He runs around and loves playing knights and castles. So when he sees pictures of me with an axe in my hand, I have to quickly put a stamp on that and say, “Right, Daddy isn’t actually a barbarian!”

TV BROMANCES: SAY GOODBYE, THEN SAY HELLO

After 12 seasons, Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and the ghost of Charlie Sheen prepare to say farewell to Two and a Half Men (Feb. 19, CTV/CBS). It’s been an award-winning, celebrity-packed and drama-filled run for the sitcom, with producers promising a very special and satisfying series conclusion.

As one comedic duo checks out of primetime, new residents Matthew Perry and Reno 911!’s Thomas Lennon are hoping to make their mark in the new series The Odd Couple (Feb. 19, CTV/CBS). Former Friends’ star Matthew plays a schlubby divorcee who moves in with his college buddy (Thomas) in hopes of getting his life back on track. The comedy is an adaptation of Neil Simon’s iconic theatre production of the same name.

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