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Thompson on Hollywood

Review Roundup: Dustin Hoffman's 'Quartet' is Genial Escapist Fun

Dustin Hoffman's genteel directorial debut "Quartet," starring Maggie Smith and a legion of other notable Brit actors as members of a musicans' retirement community, will play best for music-loving Anglophiles who enjoy the company of wily and entertaining British seniors. Yet again, Dame Smith steals the show as a proud aging diva who arrives with no idea how much she wounded the husband she once jilted during her more playful days at the top of the opera world. Tom Courtenay is her courtly swain, while Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins chew up the scenery as the remaining members of a once-famous quartet.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • December 5, 2012 3:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

National Board of Review Picks Top Ten, Led by 'Zero Dark Thirty,' Shuts Out 'Life of Pi,' 'Hobbit,' 'Master'

Following its big wins Monday from the New York Film Critics Circle, "Zero Dark Thirty" also leads the National Board of Review winners with Best Film, Director (Kathryn Bigelow, who also won the NYFCC) and Actress (Jessica Chastain).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2012 3:04 PM
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  • 19 Comments

Oscar Watch: Check Out Online Screenplays for 'Amour,' 'Moonrise Kingdom,' 'This is 40'

"It starts with the script" is an old chestnut which just happens to be true. I get a kick out of talking to actors, directors and studio heads, but by far my favorite conversations are with such writers as Michael Arndt or Tony Kushner. These people are smart! Years ago after interviewing the Coens for "Raising Arizona," I abandoned my fledgling efforts at screenwriting. I could never be that good.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2012 1:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival Honors 'Argo' with Ensemble Performance Award

The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 3-14) will honor Ben Affleck's "Argo" with the Ensemble Performance Award. Affleck, Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston will be on hand to accept the award at a ceremony held on January 5.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 5, 2012 12:57 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Parsing the NYFCC Vote: 'Lincoln' vs. 'Zero Dark Thirty' and 'Life of Pi'

The New York FIlm Critics Circle has always insisted on using the ballot method to reach consensus. And this year's vote was as lengthy and debated as any in recent years, because so many horses were in the race. What the winners reveal is which films boasted the most strength across the entire group, which films represent consensus.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2012 1:31 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit': Review and Reaction Roundup UPDATED

Finally, the last films of the year are being screened, just in time for early critics voting. While early reactions to this weekend's "Django Unchained" were upbeat, reviews so far are mixed on Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." Reactions came in from both the New Zealand premiere, held on Wednesday, and a slew of Los Angeles screenings. Complaints from the premiere took the form of dizziness and even motion sickness from watching the controversial 48 fps, while L.A. critics found the film padded, overlong and shockingly lacking in women.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2012 8:58 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Oscar Watch: Long Shots 'End of Watch,' 'Middle of Nowhere,' 'The Grey' Return to Theaters UPDATED

Open Road is reopening David Ayer's powerful must-see LA cop drama "End of Watch" for awards consideration nationally on December 7. The IFC Center is also bringing back November 30 Ava DuVernay's smart, elegantly shot and well-acted "Middle of Nowhere."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2012 5:05 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Academy Reveals Best Documentary Shortlist -- 'Invisible War,' 'House I Live In,' 'Sugar Man,' 'The Imposter' & More

The Academy has named 15 films advancing to the voting process for Best Documentary Feature. They were chosen from 126 films that qualified for the award, under new rules that required branch members to screen and vote on all the films. This method would seem to favor the most high-profile films, and most of the shortlist films are well-known at this point, but I am happy to see "The Waiting Room" among the nominees.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2012 4:16 PM
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  • 6 Comments

New York Film Critics Circle Awards: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Dominates - Best Picture, Director, Cinematography UPDATE

Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" dominates the New York Film Critics Circle 2012 awards with Best Director, Best Picture and Best Cinematographer.
  • By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage
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  • December 3, 2012 3:12 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Disney Leads Annie Award Best Picture Nominees with 'Brave,' 'Frankenweenie' & 'Wreck-It Ralph'

Nominees for the 40th Annie Awards, recognizing the best in animation, have been announced. Between Pixar and the Walt Disney Studio branches, Disney secured three Best Picture nods for "Brave," "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It Ralph." Full list below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 3, 2012 2:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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