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Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010

Underrated, Underdog and Misunderstood Films of 2010
Who doesn't like an underdog? They're not asking to win the Oscar for Best Picture, but these under-appreciated films deserve to be seen by wider audiences than their box office numbers, critics or lack of awards talk would suggest. After the jump is a sampling of the worthy films singled out by The New York Times, The Atlantic, Moviefone, The Playlist and Associated Content. Our adds to your bucket list of films to watch when awards season is over (or now, if you're caught up) are:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Starry Night at Governors Awards Fete: Coppola, Wallach, Brownlow and Controversial Godard

Starry Night at Governors Awards Fete: Coppola, Wallach, Brownlow and Controversial Godard
Walking into the second annual Academy Governors Awards reception, I was gobsmacked by who was milling in front of the photographers at the entrance. 12-year-old Elle Fanning posed with her Somewhere co-star Stephen Dorff and The Ghost Writer's Olivia Williams; George Lucas was chatting up Godfather stars Robert Duvall and James Caan, as Sofia, Francis Ford Coppola and his wife of 48 years, Eleanor, greeted Peter Fonda.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2010 11:18 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Scorsese and DiCaprio Talk Shutter Island, Aviator, Gangs of New York, Sinatra, Hugo Cabret

Scorsese and DiCaprio Talk Shutter Island, Aviator, Gangs of New York, Sinatra, Hugo Cabret
While Shutter Island is likely to earn several technical Oscar nominations, the fact that Paramount wrangled Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio for a satellite interview at L.A.'s Egyptian Theatre for award season promo purposes is news. Academy voters always take Oscar-winner Scorsese (The Departed) seriously, and the movie is a gorgeous exercise in period style. DiCaprio, who has three noms under his belt and no wins, probably has a better shot at a best actor nom for contender Inception, although that too is a stretch, partly because the actor makes these roles look too easy.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2010 9:47 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weir's The Way Back Kicks Off Museum of Tolerance Film Fest

Peter Weir's The Way Back will kick off Los Angeles' Museum of Tolerance International Film Festival (MOTIFF) on November 13, which runs six days and screens twenty-two films seeking to highlight human rights issues past and present. Clint Eastwood will be honored with the festival's first "Tolerance Award" at the festival Gala on November 14. Clinton's Gran Torino (2008) will have a special presentation during the festival. Among the other films are Nigel Cole's Made in Dagenham (2010), Matthew Asner and Danny Gold's documentary 100 Voices: A Journey Home (2010), Reconciliation: Mandela's Miracle (2010) from Michael Henry Wilson, When We Leave (2010, Germany) from Feo Aladag, plus special presentations of Kimberly Peirce's Boy's Don't Cry (1999), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) and more.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2010 3:28 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk
AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2010 6:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Roles That Could Have Been, Women vs. Horror, Hereafter's Cecile de France

- A look back at the roles that got away might soothe Mel Gibson's nerves now that his Hangover 2 role has gone to Liam Neeson. (The LAT's Patrick Goldstein looks at how loose lips lose jobs.) Here's a sampling, courtesy of TheDailyBeast: Demi Moore lost the lead in 1983's Flashdance to Jennifer Beals; Matthew McConaughey lost Jack Dawson in 1997's Titanic to Leonardo DiCaprio; Sandra Bullock lost Runaway Bride to Julia Roberts in 1999, the same year Michael Cera competed with Haley Joel Osment for The Sixth Sense; Meryl Streep was at one point lined up to play Evita before Madonna took over in 1996; Charlize Theron was in the running for Elizabeth Berkley's stripper in Showgirls in 1995; Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for Ewan McGregor's role in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical Moulin Rouge!; and Robert Redford chased Dustin Hoffman's part in 1967's The Graduate.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2010 4:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair
Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Paranormal Activity 2 Scares Up $41.5 million, Hereafter Delivers Decent Bow

Paranormal Activity 2 outperformed expectations with a jaw-dropping $41.5 million estimated opening weekend, thanks to Paramount's innovative interactive marketing campaign (see spot below). The studio held the top two spots with the horror sequel and Jackass 3D, Anthony D'Alessandro reports. In fact, with less product clogging multiplexes, films with strong WOM are holding better than ever, from Secretariat to The Social Network. (Here's IW's indie b.o. report.)Paranormal Activity 2 conjured up masses of moviegoers this weekend: the Paramount horror-thriller howled a hearty $41.5 million at 3,216 sites, a marvelous opening that outstrips the $30-million bows of several Saw chapters and marks a record for a horror film, outstripping the $40.6 million minted by 2009’sFriday the 13th reboot. Overseas, the sequel also pulled in $22 million in 21 territories. As anticipated heading into the weekend, Paramount delivered a double whammy, as it grabbed the No. 2 spot with holdover Jackass 3D, firing up a solid $21.6 million, off 57% -- a typical drop for guy fare.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 24, 2010 4:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office Goes to Record-Breaking Jackass 3D; Red Ensemble Scores in Second

Two escapist comedies launched at Comic-Con surged to unexpected box office heights for October as Jackass 3D and ensemble action comedy Red grossed an estimated $50 million and $22.5 million, respectively, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 17, 2010 3:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Director Watch: Eastwood's Hoover without Phoenix, Julianne Moore Likes Her Helmers Silent

Hoover producer Rob Lorenz has already denied that Joaquin Phoenix would co-star with Leonardo DiCaprio in the biopic; now Clint Eastwood says it too. In fact, Eastwood didn't even realize he was an option. "Didn't he become a rapper?" was his response when addressing the rumor. (Not a good sign as WME's Patrick Whitesell tries to rehabilitate Phoenix's career.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2010 2:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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