The director Anurag Basu's Barfi! failed to qualify for the Best Foreign Language Film category for the 85th Academy Awards, according to the latest Oscars shortlist. The film, featuring Ranbir Kapoor as a deaf and mute boy and Priyanka Chopra as an autistic girl, earned rave reviews and enjoyed box office success. Of the 71 films that qualified for the Oscars from across the world, nine have been shortlisted, which will be winnowed to a final list of five, to be announced on January 10. The nine selected films are Amour (Austria), War Witch (Canada), No (Chile), A Royal Affair (Denmark), The Intouchables (France), The Deep (Iceland), Kon-Tiki (Norway), Beyond the Hills (Romania) and Sister (Switzerland). * IANS
Anil Kapoor enjoys a quiet birthday with family
The Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor is known for extravagant birthday bashes, but he celebrated his 53rd birthday quietly on Christmas Eve with his family in Goa. The actor also toned down the celebrations last year after the death of his father. "Yes, there's no party happening because I will be with my family," he said. "Actually, 2013 is going to be a very busy year for me thanks to the shooting of my TV series, 24. I will have no time to even breathe. So, the idea is to spend as much time as possible with my family." * IANS
Kareena Kapoor just loves to dance
Kareena Kapoor is excited about her latest toe-tapper Fevicol Se. The singer describes her latest song as an ode to the boogie. "I love dancing, although I am not as good as my sister Karisma," she told Bollyspice. "But there is something so energetic about dancing and the kind of positivity it oozes out is one of the reasons I love to dance." Asked which of her songs is her favourite, Kapoor shrugged. "Chammak Challo is one classy number, while Fevicol is rustic and Halkat Jawani is totally different. I cannot choose between songs that are so different from each other."
Salman Khan looks forward to a big birthday
Salman Khan is set for big birthday celebrations after a stellar year at the box office. The actor, who celebrates his 47th birthday tomorrow, cemented his household name status earlier this year with his blockbuster Ek Tha Tiger and the recently released Dabbang 2. Industry sources say the crime thriller could be the biggest hit of Khan's career. A source close to Khan's family told The Times of India a big party is planned, "on a scale never seen before in Salman's family". Released last week, Dabbang 2 finds Khan returning as the cop Chulbul Pandey with his own unethical methods of solving crime.
Shah Rukh Khan may quit smoking
Shah Rukh Khan is considering giving up smoking. His Bollywood superstar status often made him lightning rod for anti-smoking activists who accuse him of setting a poor example. Khan tweeted his new distaste for smoking. "Smoking is similar to hitting urself over the head with a hammer becos, when u stop … u feel better … (sic)." Khan's habit landed him in trouble in May after he was charged for smoking publicly at Jaipur's Sawai Man Singh Stadium during an Indian Premiere League match. At last year's Indian Film Academy Award ceremony in Toronto he admitted to picking up the habit during his theatre days. "That's how I also started smoking and it is not my fault. It has got all to do with theatre," he said. * The National staff