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Oscar Talk: Where Are We Now?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 25, 2013 at 12:00PM

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I look at where the Oscar race is now. We check out the strengths and weaknesses of the New York Film Festival entries "Captain Phillips," Spike Jonze's "Her," and Ben Stiller's "Secret Life of Walter Mitty." We agree that Tom Hanks reminds us of what a real performance looks like.
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"Captain Phillips"
"Captain Phillips"

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I look at where the Oscar race is now. We check out the strengths and weaknesses of the New York Film Festival entries "Captain Phillips," Spike Jonze's tech-romance "Her," and Ben Stiller's ambitious fantasy "Secret Life of Walter Mitty." We agree that Tom Hanks reminds us of what a real performance is.

Who's the Academy now, as they add diversity to the ranks? "Her" plays younger, as a hip and edgy beautifully made movie. Critics will be high on it and it's accessible, and should do well, especially with technophiles. It may be Joaquin Phoenix's best performance. Kris is less high on its Academy chances.

We address the landscape without such 2013 dropouts such as George Clooney's "The Monuments Men." Does this benefit the other late-entry contenders "American Hustle," "Lone Survivor" and "Saving Mr. Banks?"

We look at the Gothams and the indie entries, from "Blue Jasmine" and "Short Term 12" to "Fruitvale Station." We address the actor races. Best Actor is crammed, Best Actress less so.

This article is related to: Her, Captain Phillips, Spike Jonze, Tom Hanks, Joaquin Phoenix, Awards, Awards, The Wolf of Wall Street , Martin Scorsese, Martin Scorsese, Awards Season Roundup


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.