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Thompson on Hollywood

Behind the Visual Effects on Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is one of those movies that is creepy, scary, believable and psychologically taut partly because he deploys 250 visual effects shots to such good effect. They aren't obvious, or on a big-budget scale. While we probably figured out that Nina morphing into a Black Swan at the film's finale is a visual effect (the most complex in the film), most of the film's effects are far more subtle.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 9:05 AM
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Anne Hathaway Rises as Catwoman in Nolan's Next Dark Knight: Right Pick?

Versatile actress on-the-rise Anne Hathaway just nabbed one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood. She'll play Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, previously played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry) in The Dark Knight Rises across from Christian Bale and bad-guy Tom Hardy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:51 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Golden Globe-Winning Actors: What's Next for Portman, Firth, Leo, Bale, Bening, Giamatti

Heat rises when an actor enters the awards fray. Look at how Helen Mirren (The Queen), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River), particularly, parlayed Oscar attention into serious careers. Take a look at the slates (including soon-to-be-released, rumored, in-production and in-development projects) lined up for this year's Golden Globe-winning actors Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Melissa Leo, Christian Bale, Annette Bening and Paul Giamatti. We start off with Portman, who has so much lined up that she risks overexposure:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 19, 2011 6:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"

No Strings Attached Reviews: "Shockingly Good," "Zero Charisma," "Reversal of Gender Roles"
Who can blame moviegoers for being wary of any studio romantic comedy? While Fox Searchlight successfully subverted the genre with 500 Days of Summer and Disney's The Proposal proved that it is still possible to deliver the goods with smart filmmakers and stars, they are the exception that prove the rule: rom-coms usually suck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Foreign Branch Narrows Contenders to Nine, Cuts France's Of Gods and Men

Oscar Watch: Foreign Branch Narrows Contenders to Nine, Cuts France's Of Gods and Men
Sony Pictures Classics is happy that three of their four films vying for a foreign Oscar slot have landed in the Academy foreign branch's short list of nine: Susanne Bier's In a Better World (Denmark), Denis Villeneuve's Incendies (Canada) and Oliver Schmitz's Life Above All (South Africa), fest favorites all. The film that shockingly did not make the cut has received raves around the world, France's spiritual faith drama Of Gods and Men. SPC does well with its foreign picks, but they also offer filmmakers a Sony release in multiple territories, and over the years have demonstrated that, as one Oscar publicist says, "they're good at this."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 5:39 AM
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  • 9 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary

Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary
With so many movies going into Sundance without distribution, many of them docs, getting them seen by the right people is tough. Cindy Meehl's Buck has the advantage of being the behind-the-scenes true story of the man behind Nick Evan's novel and the film made from it by Sundance's own Robert Redford, the producer-director-star of The Horse Whisperer (1998). Our exclusive first look at the poster and trailer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 12:46 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Golden Globe Wins Impact Box Office and DVDs

While the Golden Globes don't have an impact on Academy Award nominations--ballots were due last Friday--they can give winners a serious box office boost, reports Anthony D'Alessandro. See the chart of this year's Golden Globes box office bumps below. In contrast to last year, which saw a number of contenders on DVD by Golden Globes night, distributors took the old-fashioned route this year and unspooled their kudo crop during the late fall/early winter frame known in the trade as Oscar Alley. They also returned to the tried-and-true platform release. That's due to the Academy’s expansion of the best picture category, which makes it easier for off-season fare to get recognized. Distributors don’t have to stress out about opening a high-brow title in the fall; they can comfortably choose the best release date which will maximize B.O. and still gain exposure on DVD at awards time.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 18, 2011 9:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jim Sturgess Talks The Way Back, Heartless, Singing the Beatles

Jim Sturgess was deep in the throes of working on a thriller when he auditioned for Peter Weir's The Way Back. The young Brit felt "a combination of intimidation and awe and desperation" going up for a part in a Weir film. "I had quite a strange entrance into the movie," he recalls, "because when I found out that Peter was casting for the film and wanted to see me, I was in the middle of shooting a film back in London called Heartless, where I was playing a kind of psychotic, delusional, manic-depressive, suicidal character in a comedy, a British rom-com." When he met with Weir, he had been doing two weeks of night shoots and looked terrible, and left feeling disappointed. The actor ended up putting himself on tape and sent Weir a letter. "Thank god I did that," he says now, as Weir offered him the key role of a Polish Gulag survivor who leads a gang of escapees across 4000 miles to freedom.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 8:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4
Australian star Jacki Weaver's role as a wicked mom in Animal Kingdom has generated awards buzz since its premiere at Sundance last year. She's got several nominations to prove it, and a win at the National Board of Review Awards. Sophia Savage sat down for a flip cam interview with the veteran actress:"That's gonna take years," Jacki Weaver replies to a request for a rundown of her Australian acting career, which spans 48 years. "How long have you got?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2011 7:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments

BAFTA Nominations Analysis: The King's Speech Reigns

The BAFTA Awards, the British equivalent of the Oscars, have announced their nominations, dominated, natch, by Tom Hooper's The King's Speech with fourteen. The film presumably has already made a strong showing on Oscar ballots which were due last Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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