Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Smile or grimace? Royal Kate portrait splits opinion
LONDON (Reuters) - The first official portrait of Britain's Duchess of Cambridge, popularly known by her former name Kate Middleton, was unveiled in London on Friday, and opinion was sharply divided over an image many deemed unflattering. The 31-year-old, who as a glamorous future queen is one of the world's most photographed women, is portrayed in the large canvas with a faint smile, long, copper-tinted hair and shadow under her eyes.
In spite of violent national tragedies, horror films endure
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The unexpected turnout this month to see horror movie "Texas Chainsaw 3D" just weeks after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut underscores the enduring appeal of the genre to both filmgoers and studios. The lucrative return on such low-budget films, combined with studio success releasing them in January, means U.S. audiences will get their fill of horror in the weeks to come.
"Lincoln" crowned Oscar frontrunner as big directors snubbed
BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) - Steven Spielberg's tale of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's battle to end slavery emerged as the front-runner for Oscar glory on Thursday, after Academy Awards voters snubbed four major filmmakers for the coveted best director trophy. In an eclectic shortlist that included thrillers, a comedy, an independent film and a harrowing French-language drama, "Lincoln" won a leading 12 nominations, including the top prize - best picture - and nods for actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones.
Jazz world mourns Montreux founder "Funky Claude"
GENEVA (Reuters) - Claude Nobs, who founded the Montreux Jazz Festival nearly 50 years ago, has died after several weeks in a coma following a skiing accident, the festival said on Friday. The Swiss impresario immortalized by rock group Deep Purple as "Funky Claude" in the song "Smoke on the Water" and who lured the biggest stars of the music world to his festival on the shores of Lake Geneva died on Thursday at the age of 76.
''Beasts,'' ''Amour'' actresses make history with Oscar nods
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar presenters, pundits and fans may struggle to pronounce Quvenzhane Wallis' name, but they are going to be hearing it a lot in the next six weeks. The 9-year-old breakout star of independent film "Beasts of the Southern Wild" on Thursday was among the handful of new faces who will compete against veterans for an Oscar statuette next month.
Relatives of singer Jenni Rivera's co-passengers sue over plane crash
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Family members of four passengers who died with singer Jenni Rivera when her plane crashed in northern Mexico last year sued her corporation and the current and former owners of the aging Learjet they called a "bucket of bolts" on Thursday. The plaintiffs alleged in their Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that the 43-year-old aircraft was unsafe and being flown by two unqualified pilots when it nosedived from 28,000 feet into mountainous terrain.
Hollywood watchers blame Washington for "Zero Dark Thirty" Oscar snub
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Kathryn Bigelow's snub by Academy Awards voters stunned her cast and awards pundits on Thursday, with some pointing the finger at Washington politicians for the "Zero Dark Thirty" director's omission from the best director Oscar shortlist. Bigelow was seen as the biggest casualty on Oscar nominations day after her controversial Osama bin Laden thriller won five nods, including best picture, but the director herself was cut out of the running for the industry's biggest honors.
Oscar nominees get kisses, hugs and whoops
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Screenwriter Tony Kushner got a kiss and a hug, actor Hugh Jackman found his first Oscar nomination "a bit surreal," and singer Adele felt a bit like screen legend Meryl Streep. This year's Oscar nominees reacted with joy, amazement and sometimes just politeness on Thursday after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its shortlists for the movie industry's highest honors.