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Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten
Kris Tapley and I get serious about what's going to happen in the next month. Avatar will gain momentum, we think, while Nine and Invictus could lose it. Which films will make it to the final top ten? We agree on the obvious front-runners. But what could sneak in? Quentin Tarantino likes Star Trek. Kris likes Crazy Heart and The Messenger. I like District 9. Could raucous comedy It's Complicated score some noms? We also slice and dice the best director category, and discuss our fave holiday films, revealing a considerable generational divide: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation vs. Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations are more revealing in many ways than the much-touted Golden Globes, because they reveal how the actors think. That's important because the actors branch of the Academy is by far the most dominant, some 1200 votes out of 6000. Thus you can glean from the nominations below several things:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 3:20 AM
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  • 6 Comments

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Millenium Trilogy Movie Rights Go to Sony, Rudin

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Millenium Trilogy Movie Rights Go to Sony, Rudin
On a recent trip to London, I picked up a copy of the U.K. hardcover edition of the third installment of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and have been lending it to my friends ever since. (It won't be published stateside until May.) The three books are addictive, globally popular (they have sold more than 20 million copies), and have spawned a Swedish film trilogy that is also scoring at the worldwide box office. The subtitled The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo arrives stateside via Music Box on March 19. (A trailer is on the jump.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2009 8:05 AM
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  • 27 Comments

Broadcast Film Critics Give Ten Nominations to Inglourious Basterds and Nine

The Broadcast Film Critics Movie Awards nominations in a whopping 25 categories are dominated by Inglourious Basterds and Nine, with ten nominations each, followed by Avatar, with nine and The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air with eight and The Lovely Bones with six. While not every category will match up with the ultimate Oscar nominations (some have six slots), this list of ten best picture nominees could be close to the final Oscar list--no District 9, The Lovely Bones, Star Trek or The Last Station (which got savaged by At the Movies).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2009 10:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star
Must-Sees:Jason Reitman's Up in the Air has been deemed a too-dark marketing challenge. But the movie's strength is the way it skips past conventional genre cliches while deftly taking its characters through romantic escape and isolation--and the tough economy. Paramount Pictures is one of the few studios that can market both big and little movies. Up in the Air may be on its way to some Oscar nominations: it won four awards from the National Board of Review, including best picture of the year. It's tied with Precious for number one on the Gurus 'O Gold. Reviews are stellar: Tomatometer: 84%. Metascore: 81.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2009 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009
Again, the National Board of Review is not always a forecaster of things to come, but rather a bellwether of where the momentum is at this moment in time. (It tends to be a bit New York-centric.) Thursday, the NBR (made up of East Coast educators, mostly) named Jason Reitman's third film, the uncategorizable Up in the Air the best film of the year. The movie which is both funny and serious starts a limited run on Friday and has scored 86% on the Tomatometer so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2009 7:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments

20 Questions for Up in the Air's Jason Reitman

20 Questions for Up in the Air's Jason Reitman
It's hard to believe that a filmmaker as assured as Jason Reitman is 32 and has made just three feature films, including Up in the Air, which is about to open limited December 4 after earning raves from audiences and critics on the international film fest circuit. Here he talks about his airline obsession, pie chart, directing George Clooney as well as 60 non-actors who had been laid off, and why this was the right movie to make at the right time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 29, 2009 8:46 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Up in the Air TV Spot

Here's the TV spot of Jason Reitman's adaptation of Walter Kirn's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney as an air-mile-obsessed executive, that was shown on the season finale Mad Men.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2009 11:38 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk, Episode 8: This is It, Hosts, Best Actor, Precious, Prophet

Oscar Talk, Episode 8: This is It, Hosts, Best Actor, Precious, Prophet
During this week's Oscar Talk, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I debate the Best Actor category (we disagree on Matt Damon), discuss Precious and Mo'Nique, assess the music branch's spotty nominating track record, agree on the excellence of French Oscar submission A Prophet and mull the pool of potential Oscarcast hosts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 1, 2009 9:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Fall Fest Update, Clooney, Burton, Von Trier, Weinsteins

Festival News:The AFI Festival has selected as its opener Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl book. The fest takes place October 30 - November 7, 2009 in Hollywood. The movie is yet another George Clooney vehicle coming out this fall (along with Up in the Air and The Men Who Stare at Goats). The bad news: the star has to promote them all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2009 8:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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