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Thompson on Hollywood

Cinematography: Best Shots of 2010, First Look at Malick's Untitled Film

Kris Tapley's Top Ten Shots of the year (parts one and two) is always something to look forward to. 2010's selection may not top the spectacular 2007 picks, but it's not always about the single image, Tapley explains: "...great cinematography isn’t (and shouldn’t be) dependent on singular frames or visual moments, but the overall canvas and mise-en-scene delivered from beginning to end. I have a lot of fun digging into the visual vocabulary of a year in film and, to say the least, discussing that vocabulary with the craftsmen and women involved, so who can complain? I hope you enjoy."
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 23, 2011 9:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

At the Critics' Choice Awards: Winners Are Social Network, Inception, Firth, Portman, Leo, Bale

Paramount had a good night at the Broadcast Film Critics Associations's Critic's Choice Awards Friday night, winning three prizes for The Fighter, including best ensemble, supporting actress (Melissa Leo) and supporting actor (Christian Bale), a young actress award for Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit and doc prize for Waiting for Superman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 15, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Directors Guild Reveals Five Male Front-Runners, Skips Women

Directors Guild Reveals Five Male Front-Runners, Skips Women
If there was any doubt as to which films were the front-runners in the Oscar race, they were quelled by the Directors Guild announcement of their nominees. The DGA tends to match Oscar nominations four for five. A movie almost never wins best picture without a DGA nomination, and the DGA winner has been the Oscar winner all but six times since 1948. As expected, first-time nominees Darren Aronofsky and Tom Hooper and vets David Fincher and Chris Nolan are in the running for the DGA's top prize. If the industry still harbors any grudges against David O. Russell for his past on-set behavior, the directors, at least, recognized him with his first DGA nomination for The Fighter.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 10, 2011 5:13 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Toy Story 3 Tops Quentin Tarantino's Best of 2010

Quentin Tarantino has posted his favorite movies of 2010, all twenty of them. Unlike many critics, Tarantino has no problem with citing movies that are popular hits. And he's seen his share of obscurities as well. Tarantino is an Academy member, though not a typical one. His taste is catholic, ranging from specialty and foreign films to raunchy comedies, animated family fare and big-budget actioners. His most surprising choices are two critical and box office studio failures that are as well-directed as they were commercially misguided: James Mangold's Knight and Day and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I weigh the impact of year-end releases on the Oscar race. Will Another Year's Lesley Manville squeak into best actress contention, is Nicole Kidman hurt by the weak performance of Rabbit Hole? And what about frontrunner Natalie Portman's new pregnancy? What would it take to push Biutiful's Javier Bardem or I Am Love's Tilda Swinton into the race?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG

Does Blue Valentine or Another Year or Biutiful still have a shot? Will Winter's Bone or The Town make it onto the Oscar Ten? In Contention's @KrisTapley and @GuyLodge and I read the Oscar tea leaves in the wake of the critics votes, Golden Globes, and SAG nominations. We explain why critics' fave The Social Network isn't necessarily a shoo-in for best picture. And why the SAG Awards count more than the Golden Globes in the Oscar race, and why the HFPA didn't nominate How Do You Know? as a comedy. The guys like Tron: Legacy and Daft Punk a lot more than I do, that's for sure.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 5:00 AM
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John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas

John Wells makes his directorial debut with Company Men, a smart, angry, sad movie about the state of things in recession-era America that is based on first-hand research. Wells, a veteran of such TV series as E.R. and The West Wing, developed this for years and wrote compelling characters we want to spend time with. He raised overseas financing with stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, all strong as three men laid off from their shipping company. Kevin Costner is terrific as the brother of Affleck's wife Rosemary DeWitt (left off the poster, boo), who is the best thing in this straight-on, no frills, naturalistic character drama.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 9:15 AM
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AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut
The American Film Institute voted their ten best AFI Movies and TV Programs of the Year Awards Sunday, proclaimed as the "only recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form." The AFI honors American films and series. Thus they chose British The King's Speech and Waiting for Superman as "Special Award" winners, having not met the AFI's standard criteria (posted below). Their Movies and TV Programs of the year, as chosen by film and television scholars, artists and critics, are as follows:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 13, 2010 4:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jeremy Renner Talks 'The Town,''Mission Impossible,' 'The Avengers'

The Hurt Locker not only gave Jeremy Renner the role of his career--which earned him an Oscar nomination--but it opened up a raft of career possibilities. Renner is young, gifted and masculine: he can play a charismatic hero or a dangerous villain, a leading man or a character role. He's versatile. This is what casting directors want. There aren't enough guys like him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2010 6:26 AM
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Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards

The European Film Awards are not predictive of Oscars. But six wins for The Ghost Writer moves the film to the top of the screener pile. Maybe some folks will watch it now. One of my favorite films of last year, it shares with Shutter Island and The Town a formal elegance and control. These films are well-made across the board. But they are also genre films, accessible and fun--as opposed to high art. That is the question. This is no The Pianist. Summit is pushing the movie for awards consideration.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2010 9:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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