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Thompson on Hollywood

Inside the Academy's Governors Awards, from Oprah and Darth Vader to J.J. Abrams and Scads of Oscar Contenders

Arriving at the Governors Awards is overwhelming at first because there's a new star around every shoulder. The Board of Governors invites a swath of Oscar voters to attend the swanky Wolfgang Puck-catered dinner at Hollywood and Highland, so studio publicists make sure as many of their award contenders are on hand to work the room as possible.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2011 4:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Awards

Weekend Box Office: Mighty Immortals VFX Trounce Sandler Comedy Jack and Jill, DiCaprio as J. Edgar

Of three high-profile pictures arriving this 11/11/11 weekend, Relativity’s “Immortals” easily captured the top spot with an estimated $32 million, landing ahead of expectations and marking a company best debut. The stylized VFX-packed R-rated sword-and-sandal actioner from the producers of “300” and director Tarsem Singh was expected to open in the $25 million-to-$30 million range.
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • November 13, 2011 1:59 PM
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Paul Mazursky is Vanity Fair's New Film Critic: Do Critics Matter?

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has made a smart move: he's giving veteran writer-director Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Harry and Tonto")  an online gig as VF's film critic. Mazursky's first reviews are Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar." (See snippets below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2011 6:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Hell Week: Play By Play

Exactly how did all the changes go down at the Oscars last week? Well, Academy president Tom Sherak gives us the play by play.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2011 6:27 PM
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Weekly Wrap: Oscar Changes, AFM News, AFI, Tintin, Hugo, Haywire, Breaking Dawn Reviews and More

BOX OFFICE, REVIEWS, TRAILERS Review: "Breaking Dawn - Part One" "Tintin": Review and New Trailer
  • By TOH!
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  • November 12, 2011 4:45 PM
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Early Reviews: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part One; Marriage, Sex, Pregnancy, Vampire, Bill Condon Talks

At Comic-Con, "Dreamgirls" director Bill Condon talked about how he approached "Twilight: Breaking Dawn (November 18), which I will see at Monday's premiere. Condon had been eager to direct a horror movie, and landed the finale to this mother of all horror epics, which he and Summit agreed to break into two parts, "Harry Potter"-style. "It's all third act, which does make it easy," he says, "and scary too, there are some pretty crazy things." The film wound up earning a PG-13 rating after trims of a scene where Bella and Edward have sex for the first time, which features some nudity, and when she gives birth to their baby, with blood flying around the room.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2011 4:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Beginners' Christopher Plummer Supporting Actor Frontrunner, Video Exclusive

While the supporting actor category is open to change and movement over the next few months, one name is sure to land a slot on Oscar nominations morning: Christopher Plummer. The stage-trained Canadian actor, 81, has been giving great performances for  decades, from Baron von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and Rudyard Kipling in "The Man Who Would Be King" to Mike Wallace in "The Insider" and, remarkably, his first Oscar nomination as Leo Tolstoy in 2009's "The Last Station." But arguably among Plummer's best is the role Mike Mills gave him as Ewan McGregor's ailing gay father in "Beginners." It's a juicy part: late in life, although he's fighting against the dying of the light, the man has come out of the closet and is madly in love with both his freedom and his partner (Goran Visnjic). Plummer is joyful, vigorous, sexy, funny, and heartbreaking. He talks about how he approached the role in the exclusive Plummer featurette below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2011 4:16 PM
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EXCLUSIVE: BAFTA's New Guru Site Posts Video Wisdom from Likes of Swinton, Tarantino

BAFTA has launched its "Guru" initiative, a website for aspiring TV and film producers, directors, actors and anyone else wanting inspiration and advice from some people who know a thing or two about the industry, from Quentin Tarantino to Tilda Swinton:  
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 11, 2011 3:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer For Almost-Edgy Snow White and the Huntsman Sells Theron's Sex Appeal

The teaser trailer for "Snow White and the Huntsman" looks a dozen times better than Relativity's saccharin "Mirror Mirror" stills. The new imagery does diminish "Huntsman"'s purported edginess, probably because the fairy tale adaptation seeks to lure a large PG-13 crowd, which means that it can only be so dark, but "Huntsman" certainly takes a ballsier approach than "Mirror Mirror." The almost-gothic VFX-packed trailer's main draw is the sexy-evil Charlize Theron, although we're not sure about her accent-- and this sure looks like her Dior ads. Check out the trailer and more images below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 11, 2011 2:51 PM
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Spielberg's Exhilarating E-Ride Adventures of Tintin Closes AFI FEST with North American Premiere: Review and New Trailer

As Jamie Bell, sporting a Tintin haircut, introduced the closing night attraction at AFI FEST 2011, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" (December 21), he felt the need to tell the audience exactly who Tintin is. Belgian Herge's comic book character was created back in 1929, serialized in newspapers around the world, and over the years translated into 80 languages, selling 200 million copies. "I started reading the comics when I was eight," said Bell. "I've been preparing for this role for a while." Herge had said before he died in 1983 that if anyone could direct "Tintin" it should be Steven Spielberg. The director sent a video from the Virginia set of "Lincoln," admitting that this is the first time he's directed an animated movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2011 1:58 PM
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