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John Hawkes Finds Pain and Growth in 'The Sessions'; Helen Hunt Also Strong Oscar Contender (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 18, 2012 at 4:17PM

Fox Searchlight is no slouch at backing Oscar contenders (see "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Descendants," "The Wrestler"). Back in January at Sundance they scooped up "The Sessions," a small film from Australian writer-director Ben Lewin, who had not directed a feature film in 18 years. Why? Because it had the ring of authenticity.

This article is related to: The Sessions, John Hawkes, Interviews, Academy Awards, Awards, Awards, Helen Hunt, Interviews

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.