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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five
Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Video: Susanne Bier Talks In a Better World

Oscar Video: Susanne Bier Talks In a Better World
After her foray into Hollywood filmmaking with DreamWorks' Things We Lost in the Fire, which boasted impeccable performances from Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro but was too dark to yield much box office, Denmark's star director Susanne Bier returned home to build yet another organic, thoughtful movie with her long-time collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. Bier, who had the first of her two children a year after she graduated from film school, feels supported in Denmark. She and Jensen go off to a retreat where she paces and acts out scenes, and he writes them up. "We are both obsessed with moral issues," she says. "We usually have one or two characters we are passionate about. How would we react in each case? Are we morally sound?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 2:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: Unknown, I Am Number Four, Big Mommas, Last Lions, Putty Hill

Weekend Preview: Unknown, I Am Number Four, Big Mommas, Last Lions, Putty Hill
It's no surprise that indie offerings Putty Hill and the doc The Last Lions score the best reviews of the motley crew of movies that opened for the holiday weekend. Unknown, Liam Neeson's follow-up to sleeper hit Taken is next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 1:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

NYT Critics Want to Interact--from a Safe Distance

NYT Critics Want to Interact--from a Safe Distance
It's all very well for newspapers to try and interact with their readers online. What strikes me about the NYTimes' effort to engage movie fans with film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis is how they are choosing to respond to their readers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 9:22 AM
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  • 14 Comments

Weekly Wrap: EFM, Festivals, Awards, Counting Down to Oscar, Superheroes, Director Families

Weekly Wrap: EFM, Festivals, Awards, Counting Down to Oscar, Superheroes, Director Families
AWARDS
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 18, 2011 9:01 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Real James Franco Goes on Facebook and Twitter, Asks Apatow for Oscarcast Advice

The Real James Franco Goes on Facebook and Twitter, Asks Apatow for Oscarcast Advice
As we've said before, James Franco is everywhere. Well, now he's on Twitter and Facebook, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 8:07 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Development Watch: Kunis/Franco in Oz, DiCaprio/Scorsese's Wolf, Firth's Fair Lady (UPDATED)

- UPDATE 5/18: Michelle Williams will play Glinda, The Good Witch in Oz, The Great and Powerful.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 18, 2011 7:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

SBIFF: Writers' Panel, It Starts With a Script, The Writer's Journey

SBIFF: Writers' Panel, It Starts With a Script, The Writer's Journey
My favorite assignment every year is moderating the Santa Barbara Film Festival screenwriters panel It Starts With the Script. This year it featured (right to left in photo) Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), Scott Silver (The Fighter), David Seidler (The King's Speech), Charlie Mitchell (Get Low), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). Check out the videos below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 7:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Noms Boost Soundtrack Sales of Inception and The Social Network

Oscar Noms Boost Soundtrack Sales of Inception and The Social Network
The heyday of the movie soundtrack--once a powerful marketing tool for the studios--has waned. But Oscar nominations can boost a soundtrack into big sales, reports Anthony D'Alessandro: When it comes to recent soundtracks and film scores, consumers have been powering down their stereos.  Over the last four years, SoundScan sales for the genre fell from 27.2 million in 2006 to 16.4 million last year -- a 40% drop.   What was once a dependable ancillary for a film’s theatrical launch is now seen as a business gamble; record companies can no longer depend on the wallets of single males.  Aside from burgeoning digital downloads and piracy, the major studio music executives also gripe that there’s a disconnect between radio listeners and movie crowds.  Rap dominates the Top 40, leaving no room for a pic’s adult-contempo "love theme." MTV limits soundtrack music vids to a small percentage of film footage-- so that it doesn't play like a second trailer.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 18, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: King's Speech Sweep vs. Inception, Social Network, and Alice, Foreign and Shorts Picks

On this week's Oscar Talk (podcast is below), Kris Tapley and I get a tad testy as Oscar season takes its toll. Kris insists that The King's Speech will dominate the categories (unlike the BAFTAs) and therefore does not throw out my Helena Bonham Carter theory. He sees Tom Hooper, I see David Fincher for best director. I believe that the actors love The King's Speech much as they did Shakespeare in Love, while bigger-scale pictures such as The Social Network, Inception and Alice in Wonderland could pick up some tech Oscars. (We'll see what wins this Saturday's ACE editing award.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 18, 2011 4:34 AM
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  • 5 Comments
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