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Thompson on Hollywood

SAG Awards Go to The King's Speech and Firth, Black Swan's Portman, The Fighter's Bale and Leo

SAG Awards Go to The King's Speech and Firth, Black Swan's Portman, The Fighter's Bale and Leo
The Screen Actors Guild's best ensemble award is the equivalent of the Oscar best picture. The King's Speech wins it, along with Colin Firth for best actor. The Fighter's Melissa Leo and Christian Bale win the supporting category. And best actress goes to Black Swan's Natalie Portman. It will probably be thus on Oscar night. But the races can shift over time. Firth and Bale can't lose. And The King's Speech is backed by the wily Harvey Weinstein.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 31, 2011 3:11 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Watch: Which Pictures Get Box Office Boosts From Nominations?

Oscar Watch: Which Pictures Get Box Office Boosts From Nominations?
Post-Oscar nominations, many distribs are pushing their Academy Award contenders into wider release. Anthony D'Alessandro looks at the numbers behind the Oscar Factor: Despite the onslaught of wide-audience rom-coms and horror-thrillers over the next month, winter is prime season for Oscar contenders to make hay at the box office.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 30, 2011 7:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Awards Update: King's Speech's Hooper Wins DGA , Sundance Prizes, Santa Barbara Fest Tributes

Awards Update: King's Speech's Hooper Wins DGA , Sundance Prizes, Santa Barbara Fest Tributes
There's a lot going on this weekend on the awards front.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2011 7:34 AM
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Weekend Box Office: Hopkins' The Rite Beats Statham's The Mechanic; Oscar Pix Go Wide

Weekend Box Office: Hopkins' The Rite Beats Statham's The Mechanic; Oscar Pix Go Wide
Thriller The Rite, starring Anthony Hopkins in chew-the-scenery mode, topped yet another depressed weekend box office, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:Winter continued to freeze turnstiles as total domestic receipts amounted to an estimated $106 million, off 15% from the same frame last year when 2009 carry-over Avatar was still scorching the chilly season.   Warner Bros./New Line’s Anthony Hopkins exorcist thriller The Rite evoked $15 million at No. 1, a number that’s in line with studio projections, but a far cry from the boffo bows of the Oscar-winner’s prior horror-thrillers.  Elsewhere, Jason Statham’s remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film The Mechanic passed $11.5 million, besting CBS Films’ $7-$9 million estimate, but it went toe-to-toe with Sony holdover The Green Hornet for third place. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2011 5:36 AM
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Sundance Video: Doc Resurrect Dead Explores Toynbee Tiles, Wins Prize, Kickstarter Raises $13,000

Sundance Video: Doc Resurrect Dead Explores Toynbee Tiles, Wins Prize, Kickstarter Raises $13,000
One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2011 1:39 AM
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Sundance Video: Robert Redford at Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey

Sundance Video: Robert Redford at  Sundance 2011, Buck, Owning Chaz, Oprah Winfrey
Sundance Festival and Channel founder Robert Redford opened up the Fest with his customary press conference, where he talked about new Sundance initiatives and Slamdance. As a big supporter of the doc Buck, about the original inspiration for his film The Horse Whisperer, it was no surprise when the film sold to Sundance Selects. Redford opened the fest with the debut screening of Sing Your Song, a doc about his old friend, Harry Belafonte, 82.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 8:32 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Sundance DealBook & Interviews, Oscar Nomination Reactions, Projects in Production

Weekly Wrap: Sundance DealBook & Interviews, Oscar Nomination Reactions, Projects in Production
SUNDANCE DEALBOOK
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:57 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Kenner, Weiss Talk HBO Doc "When Strangers Click"

HBO doc When Strangers Click premieres Valentine's Day. Below, director Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and producer Marc Weiss answer some questions about why they made this film about finding love and human connection online, as well as their process: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the making of When Stranger Click?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future

Sundance Video: Miranda July Talks Roadside Acquisition The Future
The best film that I saw at Sundance was triple threat Miranda July's The Future, an accessibly entertaining wild ride of a sci-fi relationship movie, in which she casts herself as the bad guy and you know that she is likely to leave her lunky boyfriend, played by Hamish Linklater--one of the talent discoveries of the festival (who is not, thankfully, an it-girl). A New Yorker writer, video artist and performer, July's voice comes through loud and clear. After winning kudos for 2005 Sundance entry Me You and Everyone We Know (which first broke out John Hawkes, this year's Winter's Bone Oscar-nominee), she went on to complete a book of short stories and a performance piece which she then used as the starting point for The Future. Breaking up with boyfriend Miguel Arteta also contributed to this narrative.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 7:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Doc/Fiction Hybrid The Arbor Wins Guardian First Film Award

Clio Barnard's film The Arbor has won The Guardian's First Film Award. The film is a about English playwright Andrea Dunbar, best known for Rita, Sue and Bob Too, an autobiographical sexual-adventures drama about teenage girls living in the slums of Bradford, England. The play was turned into a film by Alan Clarke in 1986 and caused un uproar with residents of the Buttershaw council housing estate, where Dunbar lived.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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