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Thompson on Hollywood

Christmas Greetings from the Francos: Grandma Franco Fires Back at 127 Hours Avoiders

Obviously, Fox Searchlight is trying to confront head-on the issue of squeamish moviegoers not wanting to see 127 Hours, which features James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston hacking off his arm. They've deployed the "I Kept My Eyes Open for 127 Hours" campaign, and now Franco (showing his usual canny promo instincts) posts a video interview with his grandmother on Funny or Die:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 5:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG
Does Blue Valentine or Another Year or Biutiful still have a shot? Will Winter's Bone or The Town make it onto the Oscar Ten? In Contention's @KrisTapley and @GuyLodge and I read the Oscar tea leaves in the wake of the critics votes, Golden Globes, and SAG nominations. We explain why critics' fave The Social Network isn't necessarily a shoo-in for best picture. And why the SAG Awards count more than the Golden Globes in the Oscar race, and why the HFPA didn't nominate How Do You Know? as a comedy. The guys like Tron: Legacy and Daft Punk a lot more than I do, that's for sure.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Golden Globes Nominations Led by King's Speech, with Seven

While The Golden Globes nominations have an impact on momentum going into the Oscar race, they are not predictive. That's partly because the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (some 80 foreign correspondents) break their categories into Drama and Comedy or Musical. Thus it becomes easy to dismiss certain titles that the Oscars are likely to ignore, including Frankie & Alice, Burlesque, Barney's Version, Easy A, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Red, Casino Jack, The Tourist, and Love & Other Drugs. (Full list of nominees below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut
The American Film Institute voted their ten best AFI Movies and TV Programs of the Year Awards Sunday, proclaimed as the "only recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form." The AFI honors American films and series. Thus they chose British The King's Speech and Waiting for Superman as "Special Award" winners, having not met the AFI's standard criteria (posted below). Their Movies and TV Programs of the year, as chosen by film and television scholars, artists and critics, are as follows:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 13, 2010 4:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review
This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Will Studio Pics "Secretariat," "Love & Other Drugs," "Morning Glory" Earn Oscar Love?

Will Studio Pics "Secretariat," "Love & Other Drugs," "Morning Glory" Earn Oscar Love?
The movies that are ahead in the awards race---or have the most buzz at this stage--either have already opened or nabbed media coverage at film festivals, from Sundance (Blue Valentine, Waiting for Superman, The Kids Are All Right), Cannes (Biutiful, Another Year, Inside Job) and Venice (Black Swan, The Town, The Tempest) to Telluride (The King's Speech, The Way Back, 127 Hours), Toronto (Rabbit Hole, Hereafter), New York (The Social Network) and later reprise fests such as the Hamptons and AFI Fest. Now Paramount has slotted a surprise "secret" AFI Fest screening of David O. Russell's The Fighter, which I will see tonight at Grauman's, with an audience: a smart studio move.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2010 9:28 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo
- What are the odds of a director winning an Oscar without their film? LAT's new Awards Tracker blog considers the importance of the best director and best picture unity. "Over the past 20 years, the awards for best picture and director split only four times. That's 80% overlap," notes Tom O'Neil, pointing out that being "overdue" is a big factor. Could this happen with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) or and Peter Weir (The Way Back)?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 3:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Danny Boyle Talks 127 Hours: Intense Reality, Franco, Crowds, Rahman

In this video interview, Danny Boyle talks about his decisions on 127 Hours, including: how intense should the climactic scene with hiker Aron Ralston (James Franco) be for audiences? He has to hack through his arm's muscle and bone to extricate himself from an unmovable Utah boulder pinning him in a remote canyon, where no one knows his location. Obviously, as there have been repeated instances of audience members fainting during the scene, it is too realistic for some people. And Boyle worries about this: to him it is not a fun marketing ploy. It could in fact keep moviegoers away. But truth is, the movie pushes us to root for the stranded hiker's survival. It is a true story about isolation, endurance, and connection. (Here's the piece I wrote in Toronto, including a flip cam interview with Boyle and Franco.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 2, 2010 8:17 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game
Kris Tapley of In Contention and I talk about some low-profile films that may not make it into the race--including Solitary Man, Welcome to the Rileys--and whether Michael Douglas has a chance. We rate the three strong Andrew Garfield performances of the year: Red Riding Trilogy, Never Let Me Go, The Social Network.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 3:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco
It isn't news that Oscar campaigners take advantage of fall film fests in L.A. and NY that are designed to draw awards attention. MCN's David Poland rants about con-man Carlos Abreu's bogus Hollywood Film Festival (which I refuse to take seriously) and IFP's Gotham Awards, which are far more legitimate in that they are designed to put the spotlight on indie films. Any fest that boosts Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture or Let Me In is fine by me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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