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Avatar Tests Academy Live Action Bias: Exclusive Video

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 19, 2010 at 2:43AM

Over the past decade, movie technology has become so sophisticated that it's tough for critics and even industry insiders to discern where an actor's performance stops and the work of hundreds of artists and digital technicians begins. The groundbreaking Avatar and Lord of the Ringssaga are two examples.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Over the past decade, movie technology has become so sophisticated that it's tough for critics and even industry insiders to discern where an actor's performance stops and the work of hundreds of artists and digital technicians begins. The groundbreaking Avatar and Lord of the Ringssaga are two examples.

NPR critic Bob Mondello and Golden Globe winner Meryl Streep are two smart folks who aren't sure what's animation and what's performance capture. That's one reason why James Cameron used Streep as an example backstage at the Golden Globes, saying that actors should recognize an entire living, breathing performance (rather than just a voice) when they see it.

Last year Paramount waged an effective consciousness-raising campaign for Brad Pitt's performance in The Curious Life of Benjamin Button. This year, Fox, Cameron and producer Jon Landau aren't sitting back either. They mounted an Avatar show-and-tell for 500 actors at the Fox lot and assembled this behind-the-scenes feature. Nominations are at stake.


This article is related to: Awards, Franchises, Genres, Studios, Video, Avatar, Sci-fi, Twentieth Century Fox


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.