‘Up in the Air’ NBR’s best film of the year
New York — “Up in the Air” was named best picture from the National Board of Review and won a total of four awards.
Directed by Jason Reitman (“Juno,” “Thank You for Smoking”), the film stars George Clooney as a perpetually traveling contractor who fires people for a living. The National Board of Review, which announced its awards Thursday, also chose Clooney as best actor, an honor he shares with Morgan Freeman who plays Nelson Mandela in “Invictus.”
“Up in the Air” also won best supporting actress for Anna Kendrick and best adapted screenplay, penned by Reitman and Sheldon Turner working from Walter Kirn’s book of the same name.
Already an Oscar favorite, the win boosts the awards prospects of “Up in the Air.” The last two NBR winners — “No Country for Old Men” and “Slumdog Millionaire” — have gone on to win best picture at the Academy Awards.
Best director went to Clint Eastwood for “Invictus,” the story of Mandela’s embrace of the South African national rugby team.
Paul McCartney proposes Meat-Free Mondays
Brussels — Paul McCartney took his “Meat-Free Mondays” campaign to the European Parliament on Thursday, saying the power to halt global warming lies as much with individuals as with their governments.
McCartney met in Brussels with Rajendra K. Pachauri, head of the U.N.’s global climate change panel, and praised the virtue of skipping meat one day a week for the sake of the environment.
“I grew up as a kid not eating meat on Fridays,” McCartney told reporters. “It was part of the rules of the school I went to.”
At a time of concerns over global warming, McCartney added, there are “even more crucial reason” to skip meat.
The former Beatle and well-known vegetarian said the production of food — from farm to fork — accounts for 20 to 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock production is responsible for around half of these emissions.
Source: Stephanopoulos offered ‘GMA’ job
New York — An executive with knowledge of the negotiations says ABC News has offered George Stephanopoulos the job of “Good Morning America” co-anchor, although ABC’s political expert hasn’t said he will take it.
Stephanopoulos has been considered the top contender to fill Diane Sawyer’s job in the morning after she takes over later this month as “World News” anchor. The executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the executive was not authorized to speak publicly about hiring matters, confirmed a Washington Post report that the job is Stephanopoulos’ to accept or turn down.
ABC would not comment on the report and a spokeswoman said Stephanopoulos was unavailable. The current host of the Sunday political talk show “This Week” would likely have to move to New York for spot on the morning show, which is considered an important profit generator for the network.
Ronnie Wood arrested for possible assault
London — Aging rocker Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones was released on bail Thursday after being arrested for possible domestic assault.
Wood, known for his stinging guitar riffs and raucous private life, was picked up by police Wednesday evening near his home in Esher in southern England.
“I can confirm that there was an incident last night and that Ronnie Wood was arrested,” said David Rigg, Wood’s spokesman.
The arrest comes on the heels of Wood’s highly publicized divorce last month. His marriage collapsed after he started dating a young Russian woman.
Police in Surrey, England, released few details about the incident, which is still under investigation. Police would not say who made the assault complaint against Wood.
Candy Spelling: Happily back in touch with Tori
Los Angeles — Candy Spelling says she’s back in touch with daughter Tori and putting reports of their estrangement behind her.
Spelling said Wednesday that she and Tori have been communicating and have finally taken their relationship to a place she’s happy with and which is private. She has spent time with Tori’s two children, including a first-time visit with toddler Stella.
Candy Spelling, a panelist on the E! reality series “Bank of Hollywood” debuting Dec. 14, said she’s not trying to compete with Tori’s reality resume. The former “Beverly Hills 90210” star appeared in “So noTORIous” and a series with husband Dean McDermott.
Adam Lambert still frozen out by ABC
New York — A week after getting dumped from “Good Morning America,” glam-rocker Adam Lambert is still in hot water with ABC for his racy performance a couple of days earlier on its “American Music Awards” telecast.
Now Lambert says he’s been dropped from ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and its “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
The network “decided not to move forward” with booking Lambert on Kimmel’s Dec. 17 show, ABC said in a statement.
ABC spokeswoman Patrick Preblick said the talent lineup for the New Year’s Eve special has not been announced.
In the meantime, all is not lost. NBC says he’ll be a guest on “The Jay Leno Show” on Dec 21. And he’s interviewed by Barbara Walters on her “Most Fascinating People of 2009” special — airing next Wednesday on ABC.