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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"
On Oscar Talk this week, as promised, Kris Tapley and I count down, defend and debate our rather diverse and distinctive top ten films of 2010. While we both include The Social Network and Toy Story 3, we agree to disagree on one of my faves, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which Kris admires. Notable omissions from both lists: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Get Low, The Town, Inception, The Fighter and The Ghost Writer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 8:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Awards Update: Awards Groups Boost "How to Train Your Dragon," "King's Speech," "Ghost Writer"

The status of DreamWork Animation's How to Train Your Dragon as an Oscar frontrunner was confirmed by the International Animation Society's Annie Awards nominations. The film led the pack with 14 nominations. Also nominated for best animated feature were Universal/Illumination's Despicable Me, Sony Pictures Classic/Django Films' The Illusionist, Disney's Tangled, and Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3. The withdrawal of Disney/Pixar from the organization seems to have had little impact on their nominations. The five best features would have looked like locks for the best animated Oscar category but unfortunately, this year only three will be named. (Full list of Annie nominees below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2010 4:54 AM
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Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review
This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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Actor Watch: Award Circuit Talk from Firth, Franco, Moore and Kunis; Eyre on Good Actors

Actor Watch: Award Circuit Talk from Firth, Franco, Moore and Kunis; Eyre on Good Actors
- One thing that makes Colin Firth blush: two thousand people singing him "Happy Birthday" (on his 50th birthday, September 10, when The King's Speech first wowed Toronto). The actor considered most likely to win an Oscar this year shares more embarrassing moments with The New Yorker's Lizzie Widdicombe, who describes him as: "the British actor best known for playing variations on the repressed-but-sexy English gentleman." On the other hand, Firth himself says the English are "very paradoxical people" for whom "It doesn’t take much to get them to let their hair down—soccer, alcohol, music, or general excitement.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2010 6:45 AM
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Oscar Watch Q &A: Tom Hooper Talks Long Road to King's Speech

Oscar Watch Q &A: Tom Hooper Talks Long Road to King's Speech
Fest fave The King's Speech, currently the front-runner at Gurus o' Gold, this Saturday blew the roof off its packed Academy screening. The crowd applauded director Tom Hooper, writer David Seidler, Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, cinematography and score. It also nabbed the most effusive reaction so far over five years of showing films at Sneak Previews--the WGA crowd clapped Hooper down the aisle as he settled in for a Q and A. The movie debuted at Telluride (here's TOH's review) followed by audience-award-winning turns at fests in Toronto and the Hamptons. Will anything slow this film's Oscar momentum? (Well, some say it gets its history wrong.) The Weinsteins open the movie November 26--and it could reboot the company.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 22, 2010 2:21 AM
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  • 2 Comments

AFI Fest Scores Again with Free Screenings and Awards Contenders King's Speech, Fighter, Black Swan

The AFI Fest closed November 11 with the jammed L.A. premiere of Darren Aronofsky's ballet-world thriller Black Swan attended by the director and his cast, Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel. Here's a fest wrap-up from Justin Lowe (the Fest posted videos from some of the galas): Playing to a capacity crowd at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with all the principal cast attending, Black Swan is a dramatic tour de force, underpinned by Natalie Portman’s staggering portrayal of a lead ballerina battling for her emotional and professional survival.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • November 15, 2010 4:23 AM
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Oscar Watch: The Way Back Reveals Tricky Indie Marketplace

Oscar Watch: The Way Back Reveals Tricky Indie Marketplace
Now that I have finally seen Peter Weir's The Way Back, I see why the film has been handled the way it has. It reveals how difficult it is to get a period drama financed and produced today. This labor of love took Exclusive Films (and foreign pre-sales), National Geographic Films and Imagenation Abu Dhabi to get made.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 8, 2010 11:05 AM
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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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Oscar Wrap: Blue Valentine's Gosling, Dive-Bombing 127 Hours, Best Actress Death Match

Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling not only talks to Crazy, Stupid, Love co-star Steve Carell, but self-mockingly poses in tight leather in the rain for Interview Magazine. On his past Oscar nomination for Half Nelson, he says: "it feels weird…not that long ago that I was on a TV show called Young Hercules in which I had a fake tan and wore tight leather pants and fought imaginary monsters." As for working on the smaller indie films he loves, the downside is that "when you’re making them, you’re pretty sure no one’s going to see them," he notes---unless they get a nomination: "[it] in some way affirms those choices by making it possible for people to hear about a film and maybe see a movie they wouldn’t have otherwise seen."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 28, 2010 7:55 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Round-Up: The Social Network Leads Buzz, Bullock vs. Lane, Renner's a Star

Oscar Round-Up: The Social Network Leads Buzz, Bullock vs. Lane, Renner's a Star
As awards season heats up and the growing surge of Oscar pundits weigh in more frequently, every Thursday the Daily Read will round up their worthiest efforts. And every Friday, as usual, we post the Oscar Talk podcast: this week we welcome London Fest attendees Guy Lodge (In Contention) and Peter Knegt (indieWIRE).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2010 7:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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