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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League

Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League
OSCARS & AWARDS: While Black Swan promotional endeavors impress, the Godard anti-Semitism issue clouds his Honorary Oscar. And as The Hollywood Reporter's new glossy weekly hits the stands with its Actress Roundtable (considered in this week's Oscar Talk), Variety shuffles its editorial deck. Awards are being given to Biutiful star Javier Bardem, The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening, Cinema Eye helps to anoint award-season documentary frontrunners and Peter Weir's The Way Back kicks off the Museum of Tolerance Film Festival. The King's Speech, with a Gala screening Friday night as part of AFI Fest 2010, leads the Gurus 'o Gold poll along with star Colin Firth and Bening.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 6, 2010 3:57 AM
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The Actor-Musician Breed: From Gosling, Deschanel and Johansson to Crowe, Reeves and Bridges

Some musicians try to crossover into film (some successfully, others not), and some actors try to crossover into music (ditto). To earn commercial success in both arenas you usually need--more than actual talent in either department--to be accessible pop-star material. On the one hand are mainstream stars, from Jennifer Lopez to Justin Timberlake; on the other, artists like Ryan Gosling or Zoe Deschanel with a passion for genuine expression who don't seem to care if their side careers are successful or not.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 9:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Distribution University: Indie Workshops in NY and LA

Paradigm Consulting's Peter Broderick and Cinematech's Scott Kirsner (Fans, Friends & Followers) are mounting some indie distribution workshops to help filmmakers and producers navigate the crazily shifting indie market in NYU, New York (November 13) and UCLA, Los Angeles (November 20). I'll be helping out on one of their expert-led lunch discussions for filmmakers and producers on such topics as working with media/bloggers, understanding the mechanics of VOD deals, working with foreign sales agents, etc.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2010 8:08 AM
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Three Critics Debate Future of 3-D

I invited indieWIRE critics Leonard Maltin and Eric Kohn to join me in a debate about the present and future of 3-D for Moviefone Movies. Here's a sample (read the full piece here):Maltin kicked off the conversation with his take on 'Jackass 3D' opening with $50 million a few weeks back. "I felt they ought to have a huge asterisk next to that saying, 'And we built most of that out of overages in the admission price,'" he argued.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2010 7:46 AM
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Oscar Talk: The Way Back, Hollywood Reporter Actress Round-Table

Oscar Talk: The Way Back, Hollywood Reporter Actress Round-Table
On this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I range over Peter Weir's The Way Back, which I finally screened, as well as the crazy season which is now heating up. We beg to differ on DreamWorks' Animation's Megamind.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2010 5:09 AM
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Oscar Watch: King's Speech, Firth, Bening Lead Gurus 'o Gold Poll

Oscar Watch: King's Speech, Firth, Bening Lead Gurus 'o Gold Poll
The Gurus 'O Gold will now be voting every week as the awards season picks up steam. The latest votes reflect where the Oscar race stands now, with consensus on the top six, led by The King's Speech, which played better for my Sneak Previews class than anything else has in five years of programming. We also voted on actor and actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2010 3:43 AM
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Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo
- What are the odds of a director winning an Oscar without their film? LAT's new Awards Tracker blog considers the importance of the best director and best picture unity. "Over the past 20 years, the awards for best picture and director split only four times. That's 80% overlap," notes Tom O'Neil, pointing out that being "overdue" is a big factor. Could this happen with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) or and Peter Weir (The Way Back)?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 3:06 AM
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Oscar Watch: Cinema Eye Honors Signal Documentary Frontrunners

Given that Oscar-winner The Cove grabbed seven nominations at last year's Cinema Eye documentary honors at the UK's Sheffield Doc/Fest, that bodes well for this year's nominations leader (with seven), Last Train Home, Lixin Fan's story of a migrant Chinese family.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2010 9:53 AM
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Academy Foundation Grants $45,000 for 2011 Film Festivals

Academy Foundation Grants $45,000 for 2011 Film Festivals
The Academy Foundation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is awarding $450,000 to thirty 2011 film festivals including a three-year grant totaling $150,000 for the Chicago International Film Festival's World Cinema Spotlight section. Both the Nashville and New Orleans Film Festivals are in their third year of similar grants, totaling $75,000 each. The grants go toward an array of festivals but recognize and encourage festivals which improve public accessibility and highlight emerging and less known filmmakers to submit proposals. The complete list of grantees is below:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 4, 2010 8:37 AM
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AFM News: Rabbit Hole's Aaron Eckhart Goes Mainstream with Actioner The Expatriate

Aaron Eckhart, who's getting Oscar buzz for the upcoming John Cameron Mitchell drama Rabbit Hole opposite Nicole Kidman (December 17) and played Harvey Dent/Two Face in The Dark Knight, is finalizing negotiations to star as an ex-CIA agent in The Expatriate, an action-thriller and father-daughter drama from A.E. Amel's original screenplay. Philipp Stölzl (North Face, Goethe!) will direct what Essential Entertainment executive producer John Fremes calls "a kinetic commercial thriller" with worldwide appeal. Essential is producing along with Informant Media and Smash Media. Shooting is intended for early 2011 in Belgium and Montreal.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 4, 2010 7:22 AM
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