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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Will Academy Voters Take Sci-Fi Seriously?

Oscar Watch: Will Academy Voters Take Sci-Fi Seriously?
One of the big questions this Oscar season surrounds the chances of such sci-fi genre fare as Avatar, Star Trek and District 9 to land on Oscar's best-picture Top Ten List. I dig into that question here and come up with some surprising answers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 7:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Jeremy Renner Talks The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner Talks The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner has been breaking out for a long time. The 38-year-old Californian has starred in more than 20 movies, from S.W.A.T. to Dahmer and now, delivers the performance of his career as a fearless, focused dismantler of bombs in Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker. There's a good chance that he could land in the fifth slot for the best actor Oscar. My flip cam interview is divided in three parts:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 6:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"
Bright Star was brilliantly reviewed on the film fest circuit from Cannes to Toronto. But some critics praise its undeniable visual style and directorial panache (the film won a special cinematography prize from the National Board of Review) but find the 19th-century period drama lacking in deep emotion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Big Changes at Trades; Nielsen Sells Hollywood Reporter, Variety Erects Pay Wall

Big changes at the trades today. Nielsen Business Media is selling The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, the Clio Awards, Backstage, Film Journal and its Film Expo business to e5 Global Media. It will fold its declining pubs Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews. The deal should close on December 31.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 5:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Media

Critics Watch: Paying for Opinions

Critics Watch: Paying for Opinions
It's not news that film critics are under assault as print publishing struggles to survive. (Here's Sean Means' updated list of 60 "departed" critics since January 2006.) When faced with the harsh reality of future prospects, heavy workload or the low wages of freelance journalism, some are getting out of the profession altogether.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 9, 2009 5:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Variety Adds Editor, Installs Pay Wall

After Peter Bart stepped down as editor-in-chief of daily and weekly Variety, his second-in-command, Tim Gray, took over. Among the layoffs that followed were long-time daily editors Michael Speier (now at Disney) and Kathy Lyford. While ex-THR editor Cynthia Littleton has been filling in, the paper has been looking for someone to run the daily. (Littleton, who enjoys writing books as well as features, insists on continuing in a non-administrative role.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2009 10:40 AM
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  • 10 Comments
More: Media

Washington D.C. Film Critics Go For Up in the Air, Clooney, and Mulligan

Washington D.C. Film Critics Go For Up in the Air, Clooney, and Mulligan
Yes, we are starting to see a pattern. George Clooney and Carey Mulligan notched more wins today as the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics announced their annual awards. So did Mo'Nique and Christoph Waltz, while Kathryn Bigelow won best director.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2009 7:18 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Huffington Tweets Andy and Lana Wachowski

It isn't news inside Hollywood that Andy is the butch Wachowski, while his brother Larry has become Lana, and has been getting more and more girly over the past few years. The Wachowskis don't do much publicity and rarely have their photos taken, so it's delightful that one of the most outgoing sharers of information on the planet, Arianna Huffington, tweeted--with tweetpics---her recent experience shooting a screen test for the sibling Wachowskis' upcoming dystopian documentary set 90 years in the future. “On plane to Chicago to take part in the Wachowskis’ movie on Iraq from the perspective of the future," tweets Huffington.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2009 6:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Precious Has a Long Way to Go

Precious Has a Long Way to Go
Lionsgate is girding itself for a long haul to the Oscars. They have accomplished a great deal: a movie with tough subject matter about familial abuse, starring an all African-American cast, has become a must-see. And I will argue that although I have encountered folks who are resistant to watching the movie, most Academy members (who mostly lean Liberal) will check it out. (The Carpetbagger rolls out some of the film's problems.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2009 5:27 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Tarantino Hawks Japanese Dog Speakers

Dōmo arigatō, Quentin Tarantino, for my biggest laugh of the morning. He hawks Japanese doggie cell-phone speakers in this Soft Bank Mobile commercial:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2009 5:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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