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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's War Horse, My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams, Scorsese's Hugo

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's War Horse, My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams, Scorsese's Hugo
In this week's Oscar Talk Kris Tapley and I debate Simon Curtis's My Week with Marilyn, which I saw at the New York Film Festival and the Weinsteins have moved to Thanksgiving. "You see a lot working behind those eyes," says Tapley. We agree Williams will make the top five for best actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2011 4:12 AM
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  • 6 Comments

First Look: Director Sarah Smith Talks Aardman's Arthur Christmas: Exclusive Photos

Brit animated powerhouse Aardman (Wallace & Gromit) takes another stab at CG with Sony-backed Arthur Christmas. Here's a first look: At a time when Christmas movies are box office poison and Santa's been done to death, leave it to Aardman to re-animate the holiday spirit and freshening up old Saint Nick with Arthur Christmas (November 23). It's a far cry from Flushed Away, their first frustrating attempt at CG, in which DreamWorks pushed too hard for a domestic blockbuster instead of letting Aardman be Aardman. Based on the first 30 minutes, the new partnership with Sony Pictures Animation seems a better fit, as the Bristol, England-based creators of Wallace & Gromit have figured out a better way of handling CG without compromising their famed British wit and fractured sensibility. In other words, Aardman was given the freedom to craft and design the movie in their inimitable way, while SPA and Sony Imageworks supplied the CG artistry and rendering power to bring the hyper real world to life and populate it with Aardman's wacky characters.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • October 14, 2011 3:33 AM
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Harper's Bazaar Celebrates Iconic Scorsese Movie Scenes, New Casts: Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Gangs

Harper's Bazaar celebrates Martin Scorsese by recasting and photographing some of his most memorable scenes, and talking with his collaborators. Here's a taste.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2011 12:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

London Fest Opening Night: 360 is “Love Actually… without the laughs," Saatchi Fete Ends Early

Matt Mueller reports from the opening night of the London Film Festival, which ended too early for his taste:
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • October 13, 2011 10:44 AM
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Academy Shortlists Eight Doc Shorts

The Academy documentary branch has selected eight documentary shorts from 35 eligible entries, of which three to five will earn Oscar nominations on January 24. At this year's Ashland Film Festival, the best of ten doc shorts went to The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, whose co-director Gail Dolgin died last October after a decade-long bout with cancer. In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution, a timely doc about the Arab Spring, was screened at the NYFF (pictured, here's indieWIRE review).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 10:40 AM
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Woody Allen Ditches Decameron Title for Nero Fiddled

With Woody Allen's summer hit Midnight in Paris his highest grosser ever and heading for Oscar contention, the filmmaker has seen the wisdom of changing the name of his next film, his first shot and financed in Rome, from The Bop Decameron, which got too many stares, says Allen, to the more accessible Nero Fiddled (2012). "I couldn't believe how few people had heard of The Decameron even in Rome," he says. "And the few that did assumed the movie was based on Boccaccio's tales which it's not." The change marks the second time Allen has altered a title; the first was replacing Anhedonia with Annie Hall, which went on to win the best picture Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 9:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sixty-three Films Eligible for Foreign Language Oscar, Leading Contenders

Of the final sixty-three countries that have submitted their official Oscar entries in the Foreign Language Film category, many have been seen on the festival circuit. Screenings will soon be scheduled for various foreign language committees, which will eventually narrow the list to the final five to be announced on January 24. The first committees see groups of films and must see a certain percentage to vote; branch chief Mark Johnson chooses an uber-committee to add three films to an initial list of six and then vote on the final five nominations. Thus high-brow movies that may not play to the bigger group can be added. The prime contenders based on previous nominations or and/or critical response so far are:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 8:48 AM
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Trailer Watch: Marriage, Sex & Pregnancy in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 TV Spots

The latest in the Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn: Part 1, hits theaters November 18. Check out two new TV spots below. In this film continuation of Stephenie Meyer's vampire/human romance, Bella and Edward get married, enjoy a romantic honeymoon in Rio, and give birth to a very strange child. We can hear the teenagers screaming already.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 8:18 AM
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Trailer Watch: This Means War Means Potential Career Low for Hardy, Pine, Witherspoon?

We should have known better than to get excited for McG's This Means War, despite an ensemble led by Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and the phenomenal Tom Hardy. McG (Charlies Angels, Terminator: Salvation) and the cast probably had a great time shooting but after watching the trailer, we're left wondering why these actors signed on (after a dramatic casting saga).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Film Independent's November LACMA Film Series Lineup Adds Clooney, Fassbender

Elvis Mitchell is booking movies with speakers for his weekly Film Independent at LACMA showings. He's basically doing the same thing any number of subscription film series are doing, he's just inviting the public to buy tickets to see many films that will be available at commercial cinemas or on Netflix followed by Q and As with the likes of George Clooney and Michael Fassbender. I have booked The Descendants for Sneak Previews, for example.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 7:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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