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Thompson on Hollywood

Best of Awards Season: Best Actress Debate, Banksy at The Oscars, Trivial Revelations

Best of Awards Season: Best Actress Debate, Banksy at The Oscars, Trivial Revelations
- Salon sets two of its critics, Andrew O'Hehir and Matt Zoller Seitz, ablaze talking about the best actress, actor and film Oscar categories. Their best actress race revelations include:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 24, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Ubiquitous James Franco Lines Up More Projects Than He Can Possibly Deliver

Ubiquitous James Franco Lines Up More Projects Than He Can Possibly Deliver
Riding the award season whirlwind is Oscar nominee and co-host James Franco. The perpetual student is all over the Oscars, Facebook, Twitter and Funny or Die, but going forward he can't be everywhere he'd like to be. We assemble a list below of an impossible number of projects to keep him busy for a lifetime.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 24, 2011 2:42 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Cinematography: Best Shots of 2010, First Look at Malick's Untitled Film

Cinematography: Best Shots of 2010, First Look at Malick's Untitled Film
Kris Tapley's Top Ten Shots of the year (parts one and two) is always something to look forward to. 2010's selection may not top the spectacular 2007 picks, but it's not always about the single image, Tapley explains: "...great cinematography isn’t (and shouldn’t be) dependent on singular frames or visual moments, but the overall canvas and mise-en-scene delivered from beginning to end. I have a lot of fun digging into the visual vocabulary of a year in film and, to say the least, discussing that vocabulary with the craftsmen and women involved, so who can complain? I hope you enjoy."
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 23, 2011 9:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

And the 2011 Oscar Presenters Are...(UPDATED)

  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 23, 2011 8:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

25 Best & Worst Oscar Dresses: Bonham Carter and Hathaway Make Time List

25 Best & Worst Oscar Dresses: Bonham Carter and Hathaway Make Time List
Oscar contender Helena Bonham Carter and host Anne Hathaway score on Times' Worst and Best Oscar dresses list, respectively.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 23, 2011 7:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Production Watch: Carell Goes Dramatic; Thurman, Biel & Butler Mix Their Genres

Steve Carell announced that he was leaving The Office last June. Since then, his two films, Dinner for Schmucks and Date Night--neither of which broke $100 million at the domestic box office -- took a back seat to animated Despicable Me ($251.5 million domestic, $528 million worldwide). His transition into movie-stardom is less of a sure thing than his The Office character Michael Scott. Anne Thompson examined his career last August and concluded that, like many great comedians, "the trick has been making the near-impossible transition from dundering guffaw-getter to leading man…Carell knows how to make moviegoers split their sides laughing; it's much more difficult to widen his appeal as a dramatic actor or romantic lead." Now Carell will star in Mandate Pictures' quirky drama Dogs of Babel.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 23, 2011 6:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Video: Maltin vs. Tyson on Oscar Picks

Oscar Video: Maltin vs. Tyson on Oscar Picks
IndieWIRE critic Leonard Maltin learns not to argue with heavyweight champion Mike Tyson on his Oscar picks. Best Picture: Avatar, starring Halle Berry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2011 5:01 AM
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Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Review: Flamboyant and Uninspired

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark Review: Flamboyant and Uninspired
Film and comics critic Simon Abrams (Village Voice, Comics Journal) ventured onto Broadway to see what all the fuss was about on Julie Taymor's endlessly previewed (performances started on November 28; the opening was postponed to March 15) and troubled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. He finds flamboyance in the service of uninspired storytelling:Nobody needs an introduction to Spider-Man after decades of comics and three blockbuster films (a reboot is under way). But Julie Taymor is determined to rework this eighth-told tale tale into mythic stature. The epic musical Turn Off the Dark’s spectacular failure comes down to its creators’ inability to realize what they could do with a beloved property with built-in mainstream appeal.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • February 22, 2011 9:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Old School Action Stars: Few Replacements, Not Expendable

Action heroes come in two categories: New School and Old School. Just last weekend, Liam Neeson, 58, led the box office pack with Unknown, showing 16-year old Justin Bieber and I Am Number Four's 20-year old Alex Pettyfer who's Daddy. Neeson isn't the first, nor will he be the last, older man showing the world how a Hollywood action star should perform, both on screen and in the charts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 22, 2011 8:39 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Oscar Docs: Lucy Walker Talks Waste Land, Rival to Front Runners

Oscar Docs: Lucy Walker Talks Waste Land, Rival to Front Runners
The field of five Oscar-nominated docs is strong this year, not a weakling in the bunch. As street artist Bansky wages a campaign for Exit Through the Gift Shop against front-runner Inside Job, another film about art, Waste Land, could pose some competition. Justin Lowe reports from a recent screening at the Landmark Theatre in West LA, where director Lucy Walker presented her film for an invitation-only audience:Facing a formidable field of competitors for the best documentary Academy Award, Walker and the film itself made a convincing case for consideration among the top three contenders. Waste Land focuses on Rio de Janeiro’s community of catadores, waste recyclers who live and work in the slum adjacent to the Jardim Gramacho landfill, following Brazilian artist Vik Muniz from his studio in Brooklyn to the garbage dump for an ambitious project. An internationally recognized photographer who frequently employs non-traditional materials, Munoz’s goal at Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest trash disposal facility, was to work with catadores from the waste pickers’ association known as ACAMJG to create large-scale portraits composed primarily of re-purposed solid waste.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 22, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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