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Screen Actors Guild Surprises: Close, Bichir, and McCarthy Are In, Theron, Redgrave, Woodley and Fassbender, Out

"Albert Nobbs" star Glenn Close can heave a sigh of relief, as she landed a Screen Actors Guild nomination as Best Actress, along with frontrunners Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady") and Viola Davis, whose film "The Help" gets a surge in the Oscar race as it dominated the field with four nominations, including best ensemble and two supporting nods for Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2011 11:21 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Talk: Verdict on War Horse, Streep as Iron Lady, Theron as Young Adult, Animated Frontrunners

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 8:45 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Media and Industry Get a Gander at Spielberg's War Horse and Streep as The Iron Lady

Sight unseen, many predicted that with Steven Speilberg at the helm, World War I drama "War Horse" was the film to beat for best picture and Meryl Streep the front runner for Best Actress in Phyllida Lloyd's Margaret Thatcher biopic "The Iron Lady." At last, in advance of the November 29 New York Film Critics voting, both films are being screened for media and industry alike. The verdict? Yes, they are in contention for awards. "War Horse" will win multiple nominations including best picture and director; it could win the big prize because it boasts the epic scale and scope missing in the race so far. And Streep will vie with Viola Davis for best actress, for channeling Thatcher in a weak biopic that is eerily similar to "J. Edgar," as an older public figure looks back on their rise to power.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 6:05 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Interview Watch: Brutal Honesty from Jeremy Renner, Streep & Coen Talk Film in China, Knightley on Dangerous Method & Anna Karenina

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 1:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Streep vs. Davis, Prosthetic vs. Digital Makeup, Performance Capture vs. Animation, Close vs. McTeer

In this week's Oscar Talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I debate Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," performance capture vs. animation. Will animators support it? We think visual effects is a stronger, well-deserved shot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2011 1:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Which Indie Outsiders Have a Shot at Best Actress?

Last night I watched Ellen Barkin act her heart out in Sam Levinson's Sundance screenplay-winner "Another Happy Day" (Phase 4, November 18), which is saddled with an unfortunate generic title. At 57, Barkin has been around the block a few times, and while the movie opens with her two younger sons debating whether or not she is hot, the actress shows wear and tear, which never hurts with the Academy. In the movie, Barkin and her sons return to her family home for her older son's wedding, where her parents (Ellen Burstyn and George Kennedy) seem to favor her ex-husband (Thomas Hayden Church) and his new wife (Demi Moore) over their own daughter. Her troubled teen is played by creepy Ezra Miller, who also tortures his mother Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Passed-down generational neurosis and dysfunction is the story here, and Barkin wallows in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2011 4:24 PM
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  • 32 Comments

The Iron Lady Review: No Thatcher Hatchet Job, Streep Splendid

  • By David Gritten
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  • November 15, 2011 11:39 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk: Shame's NC-17 and Fassbender, Whither Clooney, Chastain, Doc Race, Year-End Critics

In this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I debate the Shame NC-17 issue. Will Fox Searchlight be able to push Michael Fassbender for an Oscar nomination? (I weigh in on this here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories
Now that we've both seen George Clooney's political thriller The Ides of March, Kris Tapley and I dig into not only Oscar prospects for that film, but the list of supporting players in contention for this year. We also debate the respective box office fates of Drive and Warrior as well as how success in theaters impacts a film's awards chances. (CORRECTION: Yes, Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana and not Good Night, and Good Luck.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings
The Gurus have spoken. Post-festivals, Alexander Payne's The Descendants (1) has taken over the frontrunner spot from Steven Spielberg's unscreened period war adventure War Horse (2). Interestingly, Spielberg was considering submitting the film to Venice but decided not to do so. He usually likes to wait until the last possible minute to show his films. It's better NOT to be at the head of the pack, anyway. The Descendants' George Clooney (1) is also at the front of the Best Actor race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2011 5:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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