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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: Sex & Power Dominate The Box Office: Shame, Sleeping Beauty, Coriolanus, Outrage, The Lady

Forget feel-good holiday movies: themes of sex and power dominate this weekend's newcomers. Feast on the dark side before more heartwarming Christmas fare hits multiplexes--"War Horse" will loosen your tear ducts and we can assume 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" will do the same. (Then there's that "feel bad movie" of Christmas, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.")
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 2, 2011 12:40 PM
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Watch: Three Clips with Charlize Theron from Reitman and Cody's Young Adult

Jason Reitman's new movie "Young Adult," written by his "Juno" collaborator Diablo Cody, opens in limited release December 9. Charlize Theron goes wicked as a teen lit writer who returns to her home town to reclaim her high school boyfriend (Patrick Wilson). The catch? He's happily married, so her scheme doesn't go according to plan. Check out a sneak peek below of three clips from the film, which Reitman describes as a love story between Theron and Patton Oswalt--both are building Oscar buzz. (Our Reitman Q & A will go up shortly.)
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 2, 2011 12:30 PM
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Academy Begins Accepting Entries for 39th Student Academy Awards

Academy Mails 5777 Oscar Ballots, Due January 23
The Academy is accepting entries for the 39th annual Student Academy Awards, which will be held in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on June 9, 2012. The U.S. competition is open to all full-time college students at an accredited school whose films are made within the context of a program or class. Entries are due on April 2, 2012. International students must also be full-time and attending a school that is a member of the international film school organization CILECT. The deadline for foreign student films is March 23, 2012. The Academy began the Student Academy Awards competition in 1972 to reward excellent filmmaking at the college level. The awards' past winners have received a cumulative 43 Oscar nominations and eight wins and include some impressive alumni, such as John Lasseter, a 1979 and 1980 winner and the director of "Toy Story" and "Cars."
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 2, 2011 12:14 PM
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Producers Guild Announces Documentary Nominations

Sundance Video: James Marsh Talks HBO's Project Nim, Roadside Lands U.S. Theatrical Rights
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has chosen its five documentary features to be voted on for best documentary. Last year, "The Kings Speech" won the PGA's Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures--the fourth year running that the Producers Guild presaged the best picture Oscar winner. Of the list below,  the films that are also on the Oscar shortlist of 15 are "Project Nim" and "Bill Cunningham New York." The International Documentary Association awards will be announced Friday night. Stay tuned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2011 12:06 PM
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Oscar Talk: Impact of New York Critics, National Board of Review, Indie Spirits, We Bought a Zoo Review

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2011 11:53 AM
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Roman Polanski Interview by Le Figaro: Misses Hollywood and Nicholson, Wants to Do Film About Aging

The French newspaper "Le Figaro" sat down for an interview with director Roman Polanski, whose new film, "Carnage," based on Yasmina Reza's French play "God of Carnage," was released in France yesterday.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 1, 2011 5:42 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Ten Animated Short Films Advance Toward Oscar Nominations

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2011 4:29 PM
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Sundance Film Festival: Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT and New Frontier Slates

Thursday the Sundance Film Festival announced the out-of-competition line-up for 2012, in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT <=> and New Frontier sections. The Fest runs from January 19 through 29 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. See the complete line-up so far here. Much of these more innovative selections reflect the taste of director of programming Trevor Groth: “In many ways, the extremes of the Festival’s program are most readily apparent in our out-of-competition sections, which showcase the wildest comedies, the most terrifying horror films and uncompromised visions from singular voices springing up from around the country and the world. We hope audiences experiment with their film selections to an equal degree as these filmmakers have experimented with their storytelling.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2011 4:03 PM
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Martin Scorsese's Hugo Wins Best Film of 2011 from National Board of Review

The National Board of Review winners are led by Martin Scorsese's 3-D homage to silent cinema, "Hugo," which won best film and director. While George Clooney was left out of the New York Film Critics awards and Indie Spirit nominations, he won best actor from NBR, which is a group of film enthusiasts, academics, young filmmakers and students. He had a good day, as "The Ides of March," which he wrote and directed, also earned a spot on the top ten list. Tilda Swinton was named best actress for "We Need to Talk About Kevin," which helps to elevate the British actress in the awards race. With his NBR win, "Beginners" star Christopher Plummer continues his march to a best supporting actor Oscar nomination, as does "The Descendants" Shailene Woodley. "The Desendants," one of the top ten films (below), earned three additional awards, for actor, supporting actress and adapted screenplay for Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2011 3:28 PM
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EW's Secrets of Spielberg: War Horse, Tin Tin, Color Purple, Harrison Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow

Steven Spielberg talks at length about his extremely long and incredibly successful career in Friday's Entertainment Weekly cover story.  This holiday season is a busy one for Spielberg: his performance-capture film "The Adventures of Tintin" opens December 21--it has already grossed $207 million mark overseas--and World War I epic "War Horse" premieres on Christmas Day. The filmmaker is already shooting in Virginia on his next project, "Lincoln," starring shaggy-bearded Daniel Day-Lewis as the eponymous president.  Here are highlights from EW's interview:
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • December 1, 2011 2:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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