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Thompson on Hollywood

Academy VFX Bakeoff Will Cull Final Five Oscar Nominees from Shortlist of Ten

Ten films are now in the running for a Visual Effects Oscar nomination. Members of the Academy Visual Effects Branch will vote for the final five VFX nominees after viewing ten-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films at the Thursday, January 19 "Bakeoff." "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" beating out "Thor" and "Super 8" are the biggest upsets in the list of ten.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 4:29 PM
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Martin Scorsese Gets BAFTA Fellowship

As the Oscar campaign for "Hugo" gains steam, every bit of attention and support makes a difference. Thus it's good news that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is giving Martin Scorsese its annual BAFTA fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony, at London’s Royal Opera House, on Sunday February 12.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Art Directors Guild Sheds Little Light on Oscars, with Three Film Categories; Nominate 'Anonymous,' Omit 'War Horse,' 'Tree of Life'

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) nominations in three categories for films (period, contemporary, fantasy) help to reveal the direction the technical branches of the Academy are heading. Of course there are so many categories that more films will be recognized by the ADG at the Beverly Hilton on February 4 than the Oscars ever could.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 11:42 AM
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Best Performances of 2011: Standouts, Duos, Ensemble & Most Underrated

Standouts are just that -- performances with so much depth and subtlety that they could have college research papers written on their characters alone. Duos are two exceptional performances that are best considered together. Ensembles are those rare films whose entire primary casts are woven so finely that it's hard to tell where one performance begins and the other starts. There's also the Best Peformance Despite a Terrible Film and The Most Underrated Performance. Check them out below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 3, 2012 6:02 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Producers Guild Picks Top Ten Including Surprise Entries 'Bridesmaids,' 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' 'Ides of March'

Remember that the Producers Guild of America (PGA) has picked ten film nominations for 2011--the Academy may only pick seven or eight under their new rules favoring number one votes. Thus "Bridesmaids," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Ides of March" may not make it into the Oscar Best Picture race. But it is a bad day indeed for the films that did not make the list at all, including "The Tree of Life," "J. Edgar," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." While passionate fans could still push "The Tree of Life" into Oscar contention, its climb just got steeper.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 3, 2012 12:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Front-Runner Streep to Accept Berlinale's Golden Bear Lifetime Achievement Award

The Berlinale's honorary lifetime achievement award, the Golden Bear, will be given to "The Iron Lady"'s Meryl Streep on February 14. The Berlin fest's Dieter Kosslick calls Streep "a brilliant, versatile performer who moves with ease between dramatic and comedic roles."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 2, 2012 1:35 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Talk: What Can Topple The Artist? New Ballots Change Race; Top Five Actresses; Lagging Christmas Contenders

In this week's Oscar Talk, after a holiday hiatus Kris Tapley and I come back to assess the Oscar race just as Academy voters get their ballots in the mail. This time, there will be five slots for an undetermined number of Best Picture candidates.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2011 12:04 PM
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  • 19 Comments

Farhadi Talks Oscar Front-Runner A Separation; Divorce Drama Questions Iran's Future

Iranian Oscar submission "A Separation" was the final film shown at Sneak Previews this year; we went out on a high note. The film has been winning prizes since it was first shown in Berlin and won the Golden Bear. It has landed on many ten best lists and is a likely foreign film Oscar nominee.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 30, 2011 7:42 PM
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  • 3 Comments

What Happened to Contagion?

It’s completely disappeared from any awards conversation, including, incredibly, best screenplay and direction. When I saw it, I thought it was the second great movie of the decade. At least "The Social Network" was a real contender up to the wire. I was certain that "Contagion" would be the same.
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • December 30, 2011 3:07 PM
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  • 33 Comments

Will The Iron Lady's Nasty Reviews Hurt Meryl Streep at the Oscars?

Well, these are not the reviews Harvey Weinstein had in mind when he backed "The Iron Lady." So far the movie is scoring 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Stateside critics are praising Meryl Streep's impeccable portrait of a much-revered and reviled British leader, while many question Phyllida Lloyd's direction as one-sided and overly revisionist.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • December 29, 2011 2:47 PM
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  • 29 Comments

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