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Thompson on Hollywood

Live From The Indie Spirit Awards: Black Swan Dominates, Winners Talk (UPDATE)

We are live on the beaches of Santa Monica for the 2011 Indie Spirit Awards. It's a sunny but blistering February afternoon. The clouds will likely roll in as the show starts at 2 pm. Winners will be ushered into the press tent to give their last comments before tomorrow's season-finale Oscar showdown. Check back for live updates. Here is the complete list of nominees.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 26, 2011 9:43 AM
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Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks

Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks
It's back to the beach in Santa Monica (amid threats of rain) for the 26th edition of the Independent Spirit Awards, which are voted on by some 5000 members of Film Independent, and take place the Saturday before the Oscars. It won't be hard for first-time host Joel McHale (The Soup, Spy Kids 4, see video below) to improve on last year's Eddie Izzard, who phoned in his duties without seeming to have much sense of the smart indies in the room during 2010's one-off move downtown to LA Live. Former R-rated hosts John Waters, Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson honed in on the right vibe for this crowd. Here's the list of presenters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2011 2:42 AM
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Oscar Predicts Chart 2010

Here's my list of predictions for Oscar wins (in italics) in all categories including shorts. (My nominations predictions are here.) Until February 27th!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2011 12:51 AM
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France's Cesars Go To Of Gods and Men and Ghost Writer; No Impact on Oscar Index Video

France's Cesars Go To Of Gods and Men and Ghost Writer; No Impact on Oscar Index Video
France's Cesar awards, much like the European Film Awards, gave a lot more credit to Paris-based filmmaker-in-exile Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer than it has received stateside, where the Academy shut out the film. But the Cesars awarded best director, editing, score and adapted screenplay to the Polanski film. Best animation went to Oscar nominee The Illusionist, directed by Sylvain Chomet. France's Oscar submission Of Gods and Men, which the Academy failed to nominate, won Best Film. Sony Pictures Classics opened the film in the U.S. today.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 11:57 AM
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Weinsteins Get PG-13 for King's Speech, Appeal R-Rating for Schnabel's Miral

The Weinsteins are known for grabbing publicity with their ratings battles for such films as Blue Valentine, which earned an R PG-13 on appeal, and likely Oscar-winner The King's Speech, which just landed a PG-13 rating after the Weinsteins amended its volley of the F-word. Now Biutiful producer Jon Kilik and director Julian Schnabel (whose The Diving Bell and the Butterfly was briefly rated R for brief frontal nudity before Kilik protested) are appealing the MPAA’s R-rating for Weinstein indie pick-up Miral, their Pathe-financed film about the violent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which played the festival circuit last year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 10:58 AM
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The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry

The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry
Hollywood has a good track record when it comes to adapting California sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who was praised by Adam Gopnik for his "mixture of mordant comedy and wild metaphysics."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 9:00 AM
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Mark Your Ballots: Anne Thompson Predicts Oscar Winners

Mark Your Ballots: Anne Thompson Predicts Oscar Winners
The Oscar polls closed on Tuesday at 5 PM. No more campaigning, lobbying or pitches for attention will make a difference now. It's all in the hands of the PriceWaterhousecooper counters, and will be revealed Sunday. Meanwhile the rest of us want to win our respective Oscar pools. This year, I must warn you, is tough to call. As Kris Tapley and I discuss in our latest Oscar Talk, there are plenty of sure-calls, but also several impossible-to-predict categories: documentary and foreign film, which are voted on by small groups who must prove that they've seen all the films, and supporting actress. The shorts are always a bit of a crap shoot too. Warning: I'm going out on a limb in a few categories, so when in doubt, choose the perceived frontrunner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:17 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats
Of this weekend's new entries, the one I want to see most is French Oscar entry Of Gods and Men, which earned raves around the world but was unaccountably shut out by the foreign language committee. UPDATE: It also won the Cesar award for Best Film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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The Oscar-Winning Boston Movie: Trailer of Cliches

Just what you've all been waiting for: All of the Boston Oscar movie cliches in one super Bostony trailer:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 7:56 AM
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Google Changes Algorithm to Block Low-Quality Content Farms

Applaud Google for doing the right thing in the fight against low-quality content farms. Google has announced that it has altered its search algorithms (stateside for starters) to favor high quality content. They explain here:Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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