At its annual awards show, the Writers Guild of America threw a couple of final curve balls, honoring a pair of indies that have generally gotten less attention in the Oscar horse race than their bigger, flashier competitors: the coming-of-age film "Eighth Grade" and the dramedy "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
"Eighth Grade" — which was entirely overlooked by academy voters but is up for four prizes at the upcoming Spirit Awards, including best feature — picked up the award for original screenplay, beating out best picture Oscar nominees "Green Book," "Roma" and "Vice," as well as the horror hit "A Quiet Place." Taking the stage on Sunday night to accept the award, "Eighth Grade" writer-director Bo Burnham — who picked up the prize for best first-time feature film director at the Directors Guild Awards earlier this month — seemed genuinely stunned that his small-scale debut feature had emerged victorious, saying he hadn't prepared a speech.
'Pretty Woman' to get Eastman award
Julia Roberts will be this year's recipient of the George Eastman Award, given to honor contributions to the art of cinema. The George Eastman Museum in Rochester, N.Y., says it will honor the "Pretty Woman" and "Steel Magnolias" actress on May 2. Past recipients include Lauren Bacall, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper and Meryl Streep. Museum director Bruce Barnes cites the breadth of Roberts' career and roles over the past 30 years. She has earned a best actress Oscar and three Golden Globes, along with more than a dozen other nominations.
toppled: Police say someone attacked a statue of Sean "Diddy" Combs at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York, shoving the rap impresario's likeness so forcefully it lost its head. Investigators continued Monday to look for a suspect in the strange episode Saturday night. Madame Tussauds New York says artists will fix the damage as quickly as possible to get the figure back to the museum's A-list Party Room. General Manager Tom Middleton notes that Madame Tussauds doesn't rope off its statues so "guests can interact respectfully."
no follow-up yet: Attorneys for "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett say there were no plans for him to meet with Chicago detectives Monday for a follow-up interview about his reported assault. A spokeswoman says that his lawyers "will keep an active dialogue with Chicago police on his behalf." Smollett reported last month that he was physically attacked by two men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs. Police said Saturday that the investigation had "shifted" after detectives questioned two brothers and released them without charges.