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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten
Kris Tapley and I get serious about what's going to happen in the next month. Avatar will gain momentum, we think, while Nine and Invictus could lose it. Which films will make it to the final top ten? We agree on the obvious front-runners. But what could sneak in? Quentin Tarantino likes Star Trek. Kris likes Crazy Heart and The Messenger. I like District 9. Could raucous comedy It's Complicated score some noms? We also slice and dice the best director category, and discuss our fave holiday films, revealing a considerable generational divide: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation vs. Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Year-End Tribute to 2009

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 7:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Video

Film Quiz: Six Drawings, No Stars

Artist Paul Rogers sketched images from his favorite movies and designed several sets of six pictures as tough "get this movie" quizzes. No stars. I got most of them, but was stumped by a few. One quiz is on the jump; or you can test your mettle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 12:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Hollywood, Quiz

Oscar Watch: No Costume Nom Possible for Fantastic Mr. Fox

Oscar Watch: No Costume Nom Possible for Fantastic Mr. Fox
For those who harbored hopes that Wes Anderson's animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox might be eligible for a costume prize, it isn't. My pal Jane in the Academy would happily vote for it--even if it was shot in stop-motion. But when we looked up the credits, we saw no designer. I checked with Fox Searchlight, and they confirm that there's no official costume designer for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 10:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Trailer Watch: Sundance-Bound The Runaways Stars Stewart and Fanning

Trailer Watch: Sundance-Bound The Runaways Stars Stewart and Fanning
The trailer is up for Sundance-bound rocker The Runaways starring New Moon co-stars Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie. The advance interest in this edgy indie at Sundance is huge.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 9:03 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere
James Cameron basked in the glow as Avatar, his latest industry-changing event-film, earned a standing ovation at the Mann Chinese Wednesday night. At the after party Cameron beamed as he stood between two tall women, wife Suzy Amis and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. "You're on a roll!" he said to the Hurt Locker director. "You raised the bar," she said to Cameron.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 4:49 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations are more revealing in many ways than the much-touted Golden Globes, because they reveal how the actors think. That's important because the actors branch of the Academy is by far the most dominant, some 1200 votes out of 6000. Thus you can glean from the nominations below several things:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 3:20 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Picking the Best Original Songs

Picking the Best Original Songs
Sixty-three songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures will vie for nominations in the original song category for the Oscars (listed on the jump). On January 12, the music branch of the Academy will randomly screen film clips of each song and then vote for each song with points. No more than two songs can be nominated from any one film. Historically, musicals (“Cinema Italiano” from Nine), Disney animated films (Randy Newman's “Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog) and songs by major stars (like Golden Globe nominees “(I Want to) Come Home” from Everybody’s Fine by Paul McCartney, or “Winter” from Brothers by U2) tend to dominate this category. Music branch fave Marvin Hamlisch could get a nom for “Trust Me,” from The Informant!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 12:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Avatar's Cameron: Feminist

When Rebecca Keegan interviewed me for her terrific Cameron book The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron, I made a point of what a feminist he is. From Sigourney Weaver in Aliens to Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, Cameron paved the way for such gun-toting action stars as Angelina Jolie. Cameron respects strong women: after all, he's been married to Hamilton, Gale Anne Hurd and Kathryn Bigelow--who will likely be competing with him for the best director Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2009 11:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dreamworks Acquires WW I novel War Horse to Produce with Kennedy/Marshall

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to the World War I adventure novel War Horse for Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest to produce. Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) is writing the script. Written by children's author Michael Morpurgo and first published in 1982, War Horse tells the story from a boy's POV of being separated from his horse. The sentimental play, staged with puppet horses, has been a huge sellout family hit in London for the past two years. Spielberg believes the story has universal appeal.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2009 8:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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