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Thompson on Hollywood

Crafts Roundup: Editors Talk About the Journeys of Survival and Reinvention

With such an emphasis this year on survival and reinvention, the journeys required special editorial attention to shifts in tone and unconventional arcs while conveying internal struggles that we cared about. Here's a sampling from "12 Years a Slave," "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "American Hustle," "Before Midnight," and "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 26, 2013 2:10 PM
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Jennifer Lawrence Is AP's Entertainer of the Year (CLIPS)

Hot off rave reviews and Oscar buzz for her scenery-chewing performance in David O. Russell's "American Hustle," and the $370-million-plus box office take of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Jennifer Lawrence has just been crowned Entertainer of the Year by the Associated Press.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • December 23, 2013 12:53 PM
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Box Office Top Ten: Pre-Holiday Weekend Brings Two Joyful Sequels

The Top Ten surged this pre-holiday weekend, led by two films topping $25 million during a time period that is usually hurt by pre-Christmas shopping. "The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug" led the way, vaulting easily ahead of #1 Friday grosser "Anchorman 2." But both are very solid.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 22, 2013 1:27 PM
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Friday Box Office: 'Anchorman 2' Dethrones 'Hobbit' While 'Her' Is Top New Limited Opening

New opener "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" (Paramount) narrowly edged out the second Friday of "The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug" (Warner Bros.) for the top spot yesterday, while "American Hustle" is staying strong and "Her" took the spot for Friday's highest grossing limited release.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 21, 2013 2:32 PM
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10th Dubai International Film Festival Closes With 'American Hustle'

During the 10th Dubai International Film Festival, which closed last weekend with a gala screening of 'American Hustle' and a typically lavish bash near the city centre, Martin Sheen turned up to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award, '12 Years A Slave' and 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' played alongside a panoply of Arab, Asian and African programming (174 films in total including festival opener 'Omar', Palestine's entry for the 2014 foreign-language Oscar race); and DIFF organizers celebrated their first decade on the global festival map.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • December 16, 2013 2:00 PM
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Critics Choice Movie Awards: '12 Years a Slave' and 'American Hustle' Tally 13 Nominations, Bullock Grabs Three, Lawrence Two, Johansson and Larson, One

Last year "Argo" began its drumbeat of wins from the Critics Choice Movie Awards, which are often a bellwether for the Oscars. "I want to thank the Academy," quipped Ben Affleck as he accepted his prize on the evening he was snubbed by the Academy director's branch. This year's Critics' Choice nominees are led by critics' faves “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle,” with thirteen nominations each.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2013 11:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

'American Hustle' Scores Year's Best NY/LA Launch, Softer 'Saving Mr. Banks' Hits More Cities

"American Hustle" (Sony) had a year's-best limited opening, while "Saving Mr. Banks" (Buena Vista) had a decent take in a slightly wider start, both in advance of 2,000-plus breaks next Friday. Nothing else of note opened this weekend, a sign of the times as the studios increasingly, particularly during awards season, dominate the market and make it difficult for smaller films to gain traction in the major cities.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 15, 2013 4:20 PM
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Weekend Top Ten: Number One 'Hobbit' Underperforms as 'American Hustle,' 'Frozen' and 'Catching Fire' Sizzle

The second Peter Jackson "Hobbit" film "Desolation of Smaug" is launching well below expectations--and last year's "Hobbit" opening. But despite that and harsh winter weather in much of the country, the weekend top ten total was up by $10 million over last year. Coming to the rescue: strong holds for blockbusters "Frozen" and "Catching Fire" as well as a $15-million opening for Tyler Perry's latest "Madea" entry.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 15, 2013 1:10 PM
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Review: In David O. Russell's 'American Hustle,' It's All About the Women

In David O. Russell's "American Hustle," the really important things are happening right before our eyes: Jennifer Lawrence becoming the most potent synthesis of comedy and feline sexuality to hit the screen for half a century. Amy Adams coming in a close second. And Russell managing to make a movie steeped in cultural nostalgia that also sneers at the notion that the past is past.
  • By John Anderson
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  • December 13, 2013 1:03 PM
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Open Up the Best Actress Oscar Race: Five Locks and Eight Must-See Performances

As usual, there are more viable men hustling after a Best Actor slot than women in contention for Best Actress. (My current predictions are here.) 'Twas ever thus, as the myopic film industry continues to chase the male demo and sequester "soft" relationship movies to the indie realm. Which means that many worthy films don't make it to the top of Academy voters' screener piles. How many film panels and Q & As have you seen with a row of men in suits and one woman in a frilly frock and impossibly high heels? Women in film are often a supporting afterthought.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2013 3:40 PM
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  • 9 Comments

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