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Thompson on Hollywood

IFC to Release The Other Woman, Starring Pregnant Natalie Portman

Just as we are all trying to get used to the idea of wraith-like Natalie Portman as a pregnant soon-to-be new mom, she turns up pregnant in a movie filmed two years ago that was recently picked up by IFC, The Other Woman. Written and directed by Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) and produced by Marc Platt (Wanted), The Other Woman stars Portman as a woman trying not to be a wicked stepmom. See the trailer below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 10:26 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Watch: Kids Are All Right Faces Academy Males

Oscar Watch: Kids Are All Right Faces Academy Males
Oscar campaigners call them the Steak Eaters. The Academy is full of them--they're red-blooded males (not just American--Europeans and Aussies too), often directors, writers and craftspeople. They're the guys who voted for The Silence of the Lambs, Braveheart, Gladiator, Avatar and yes, Crash over Brokeback Mountain. "They vote for big movies that make big money, good solid moviemaking with great actors and good storytelling," says one veteran Oscar campaigner. "True Grit is for them."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 9:15 AM
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  • 14 Comments

The National Film Registry Names 25 New Films

The National Film Registry added 25 films this year deemed to be "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 8:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Lists

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati
Which animated film will land the third Oscar slot behind Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon? The critics have given a serious boost Sylvain Chomet's elegiac 2-D The Illusionist, which won best animated film at the European Film Awards and New York Film Critics Circle and a spotlight award from the National Board of Review. It's also nominated for five Annie Awards and best animated feature by the Golden Globes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 5:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes

Carlos: IFC's Long-Form Experiment, Embraced by Critics, Globes
As movies become tougher and tougher to finance and release, more and more filmmakers are turning to long-form TV. One of the titles that has been a surprisingly strong winner in year-end voting is critic-turned-filmmaker Olivier Assayas's Carlos, a five-hour French/English viewing marathon which was financed and shown by Canal Plus in Europe and Sundance Channel in the U.S. and released in theaters stateside by IFC Films, which also distributed Assayas's Summer Hours and learned some lessons from another long-form experiment, Steven Soderbergh's Che, which sold out the Ziegfeld in New York for a week. "There's an audience out there for event films," says IFC chief Jonathan Sehring. Until Michael Winterbottom's thriller The Killer Inside Me, Che was IFC's most successful theatrical/VOD release, totaling between $3 and 4 million.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2010 7:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Ballots Mailed December 27, SAG Prefers Digital Votes

Oscar ballots go out Monday to 2755 Academy members. Among the recipients will be 135 new voters. Every year the Academy invites new members such as Avatar producer Jon Landau. Ballots are due back January 14 for tabulation by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nominations will be announced January 25, and the winners on the Oscarcast February 27.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2010 6:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Awards, Oscars

Elvis Sings Blue Christmas

The young and beautiful--and sweaty in leather--Elvis sings "Blue Christmas," one of the huge hits originally recorded on his 1957 Christmas Album. He released it as a single in 1964 (the B-side was "Wooden Heart" from the soundtrack to G.I. Blues) and first performed it in public during a 1968 television special.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Video

Lousy Christmas Weekend Box Office: Little Fockers Beats True Grit, Best Coens Opening Ever

At a horrendous Christmas weekend---which saw a 44% three-day drop in grosses over last year (flush with Avatar)---sequel comedy Little Fockers beat out adult western True Grit, the best--and widest--opening ever for a Coen brothers movie. It's likely that the well-reviewed oater will have longer legs, however, as it settles in for the long Oscar haul.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 7:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Christmas Greetings from the Francos: Grandma Franco Fires Back at 127 Hours Avoiders

Obviously, Fox Searchlight is trying to confront head-on the issue of squeamish moviegoers not wanting to see 127 Hours, which features James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston hacking off his arm. They've deployed the "I Kept My Eyes Open for 127 Hours" campaign, and now Franco (showing his usual canny promo instincts) posts a video interview with his grandmother on Funny or Die:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 5:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

Flash mob or staged choir stunt? Either way it's fun to see the reaction of unsuspecting folks in a mall food court to a surprise performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 25, 2010 7:50 AM
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  • 4 Comments
More: Video

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