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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Winners Analysis

Well, you win some, you lose some. I did pretty well on my various Oscar pools, but I missed a lot. I failed to change to the Marion Cotillard horse when it was seemingly catching up to Julie Christie. Tilda Swinton put it very well backstage when the news broke. "Why are you glad she won?" one reporter asked. Swinton replied, "She's great, she's new, she's new blood in the gene pool." Here are the winners. And Variety's story. And my Coens sidebar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2008 7:02 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Weekend

It started on Thursday night, with the first round of parties. Due to the driving rain, New York-based IHOP PR chief Jeff Hill hosted his annual indie-confab inside the Avalon Hotel bar, rather than poolside. Sony Pictures Classics co-prexies Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, SKE marketing guru Bingham Ray, MPRM's Mark Pogachefsky, Michael Clayton Oscar-campaigner Michele Robertson and a good crowd relaxed in advance of their Oscar weekend labors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2008 7:14 AM
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Oscar Watch: Predicts

At long last, the Oscar ballots are in and it is the week before the Oscar kudocast! It's time to make your fearless forecasts and plunk your money down in your office pool. (I can tell you one thing--it's not easy to come out on top here at Variety, where everyone is an Oscar expert.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2008 7:20 AM
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Oscar Watch: BAFTAs Go to Atonement, Cotillard, Day-Lewis

I went to BAFTA/LA's champagne brunch at UCLA with the intention of watching a live satellite feed of the awards--which only came through at the moment when Sir Anthony Hopkins was accepting his lifetime achievement award from Sir Dickie Attenborough. Then the show was over!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2008 7:33 AM
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WGA Awards: Cody vs. Gilroy, Coens vs. Harwood

You may recall that because of the Writers strike, the WGA Awards show was cancelled. How odd that the same day that on the WGA members are deciding the fate of the strike, they are also announcing the awards (at 7 PM Pacific).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2008 7:36 AM
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Oscar Watch: Bay Hosts Transformers Tech Show

Transformers director Michael Bay returned to the scene of the crime Thursday night at the Cary Grant mixing stage at the Sony lot to revisit the Oscar-nominated achievements in VFX and sound. The place was packed with filmmaking geeks eager to hear and see the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into a formidable FX epic like Transformers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2008 7:42 AM
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Strike Watch: It's Not Over 'Til It's Over

While much of the entertainment industry is holding its breath that on Saturday thousands of members of the Writers Guild in NY and LA will signal thumbs up on the tentative deal that could end the strike, there are rumblings that it could go either way. UPDATE: Here's Dave McNary's latest report on the details of the deal, posted at 3:38 AM Pacific Time (!).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2008 7:39 AM
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Oscar Watch: The Nominees Luncheon

[Posted by Tim M. Gray] If there were any lingering doubts about the Oscarcast, AMPAS president Sid Ganis put them to rest on Feb. 4 by announcing, in a calm voice, "There's no doubt about it, we are going to do it."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2008 7:49 AM
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Santa Barbara Fest: Producers Panel

I went to Santa Barbara--rainy again, like last year--to recover from Sundance. At Patrick Goldstein's thoughtful producers' panel, Jim Brooks admitted that The Simpsons Movie was his first time being part of "an event movie where the studio is supporting you," he said. "On my other films I was always going against the wind. It made me depressed about all my past experiences. All the producers were also working on the script, the way we do the TV show as well. The big deal is to believe that in order to do the picture, if you're directing and writing it, you have to have some true temporary insanity that makes you believe that it's the most important thing in the world, you'll die if it isn't going to work. As close as a producer gets to that mindset is how valuable you can be to the person making the film."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2008 8:07 AM
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More: Festivals

Sundance's Trouble the Water Reveals New Orleans Heroine

Ten days after Hurricane Katrina, documentary filmmakers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal were all set to shoot a film about National Guard troops being redeployed more than 7000 miles from Iraq to New Orleans to cope with the storm’s aftermath. Then the duo got shut down—thanks to their credits on Fahrenheit 9/11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2008 8:10 AM
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