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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award

Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will bestow the American Riviera Award to The Kids Are All Right star Annette Bening, who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and is considered a top contender for the best actress Oscar this year. She also earned strong reviews for Mother and Child.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 1, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO
The discovery of this year's SXSW (and best narrative feature winner) was 24-year-old New York writer-director Lena Dunham, who shot her semi-autobiographical micro-budget film Tiny Furniture at her family's Tribeca loft with herself, her sister Grace and her artist mom Laurie Simmons (The Music of Regret) in leading roles, along with indie professionals Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky and Merritt Wever, who she met at SXSW when she debuted her first film Creative Nonfiction there. Dunham's painter father Carroll didn't want to be in the film, she admits during our flip cam interview during LAFF at L.A.'s Four Seasons (below, with trailer). "I was exploring a more female-centric thing." Her family worked their butts off during fifteen days of filming (Jody Lee Lipes is her cinematographer) and are "quite proud of it. We all went through that artistic process together."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2010 2:02 AM
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  • 5 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

Oscar Contender Lawrence Talks Winter's Bone, X-Men's Mystique, Foster's The Beaver

As the Winter's Bone DVD and Blu-ray went out this week, rising star Jennifer Lawrence hit Los Angeles to accept a New Hollywood award at the Hollywood Film Fest, on a brief break from her role as Mystique (originated by Rebecca Romijn) in X-Men: First Class.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 12:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Andrew Sullivan's Best Practices for Bloggers: Honesty, Integrity, Corrections, the F-Word

Atlantic Monthly political blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the issue of journalism rules for bloggers in this video. He says you can't regulate or enforce, but that readers will discover who is honest and who isn't. He believes that bloggers should not lie, should correct things when they are wrong, should not misrepresent, and will earn their reputation for honesty and integrity as inevitably as did the New York Times. He also embraces his own blogger's rebellious streak, shared with the creators of South Park: "I can say the word 'fuck' and they can't stop me," he gloats.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love
Thanks to Jeff Wells for asking me to address where Tilda Swinton stands in relation to the Best Actress Oscar race for the Italian import I Am Love. The only way for Swinton--who is admired by critics and art house audiences alike-- to make the best actress Oscar grade this year for I Am Love (which played the fest circuit before opening in June), is for critics to make a fuss over her in their year-end wraps and ten-best lists, and for critics groups and the Golden Globes to reward her with prizes and nominations and thus turn the screener into a must-see for SAG and Academy actors. Swinton has been nominated once (and won, for Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red

Di Bonaventura Sees Old People; Scores with Red
The beauty of success in the movie industry is that it often comes to people who zig when others zag, who have the balls to call something and fight for it. Recession times don't encourage risk-taking, so I am happy to report that producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has not given up the maverick streak encouraged by his bosses during his glory days running production at Warner Bros. (Training Day, Three Kings, The Matrix). Now a heavyweight producer at Paramount, Di Bonaventura (Transformers, Salt) saw the potential in the dark DC graphic novel Red--about a CIA agent who fights against the dying of the light the only way he knows how--and kept pushing to get it made. That involved trying and failing to get Warners (which has a deal with DC) to back it, extricating the title from DC and finding another financeer, which turned out to be Summit, whose production chief Eric Feig, another smart cookie, saw the gold in Twilight early on, and saw it in Red too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 3:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

The Hobbit's Cast, And A Good Day for New Zealand Cinema

While Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. deal with the issue of whether or not to shoot The Hobbit in New Zealand, the director has confirmed the casting of the film. (UPDATE: Video of Jackson and co-producer and co-writer Philippa Boyens' NZ TV interview below.)
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 8:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role
Sometimes, there comes a moment in a working actor's life where just the right role suddenly galvanizes awards attention. I've been tracking Sam Rockwell since he broke out at Sundance in 1996 with Tim DiCillo's Box of Moon Light. Rockwell has been knocking out great juicy performances ever since--often in smaller indie films such as George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, or David Gordon Green's Snow Angels. He's also a stalwart supporting player in Frost/Nixon, The Green Mile and The Assassination of Jesse James, and hilarious in Galaxy Quest and Iron Man 2. He held his own opposite Mickey Rourke--not an easy thing to do. Jon Favreau rewarded Rockwell with a role in the upcoming sci-fi western Cowboys and Aliens. And Rockwell also held the screen against himself in the complex and moving BAFTA-winning sci-fi indie Moon, which generated serious Oscar talk last year--but didn't have a proper Oscar campaign behind it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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