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Thompson on Hollywood

The King's Speech Wins TIFF Audience Award

News that will make Harvey Weinstein's day is that not only did Tom Hooper's The King's Speech leapfrog to Oscar-casters' front-runner lists after its warm media reception at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it won the coveted People's Choice award as well. That's a remarkable feat.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 6:14 AM
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Oscar Talk: Post-Toronto, 127 Hours, King's Speech, Social Network, I'm Still Here

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talked in the same city for this week's Oscar Talk. He's seen Catfish and The Social Network; I saw a bunch of new movies in Venice and Toronto including I'm Still Here, Rabbit Hole, Beginners, and I Saw the Devil.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2010 2:41 AM
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TIFF Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Review, and Alex Gibney Talks

Alex Gibney's hugely entertaining Eliot Spitzer doc, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer, is a leading contender for this year's doc Oscar. The movie is full of surprises. In my flip cam interview with Gibney (below) he explains how the story he tells turned out far different from what he thought it would be, and why Wall Street Masters of the Universe were so eager to go on camera to chortle over Spitzer's dramatic comedown: "They wanted to stamp on Spitzer's grave," Gibney admits. 'It's not stretching the truth to say they hated this man."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Lionsgate Goes for Oscar Gold on Rabbit Hole, Starring Kidman

Lionsgate is diving back into the Oscar race--this is the studio that delivered the Oscar-winning Precious--by acquiring North American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, which debuted in Toronto September 13. The movie, adapted by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, went over well with critics here. Kidman’s Blossom Films developed and produced the film, which tells the story of two parents grieving the loss of their four-year-old boy in an accident. It's a tour-de-force role for Kidman, who won the best actress Oscar for The Hours. An Oscar campaign was part of the deal negotiation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 10:23 AM
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Toronto Faves Client 9 and Inside Job, Waiting for Superman Lead Oscar Docs

Some of the best films I saw in Toronto were docs, and there's no question that the doc Oscar race will be one of the most competitive in years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 3:45 AM
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The Social Network Early Reviews: Suspenseful, Absorbing, Compelling, Oscar Frontrunner

The Social Network Early Reviews: Suspenseful, Absorbing, Compelling, Oscar Frontrunner
Film Comment's Scott Foundas got the ball rolling a month before David Fincher's The Social Network was set to open the NYFF ("big and brash and brilliant") on September 24. And Rolling Stone's Peter Travers swiftly offered up a juicy Tweet quote: “David Fincher’s Social Network is the 1st film I’ve given **** in 2010. It’s the movie of the year that also brilliantly defines the decade.” And this week Sony screened the movie for several online folks--they invited me, but I was in Toronto and figured I'd see it Monday when I got back to L.A. Jeffrey Wells couldn't wait that long: he flew from Toronto to New York to see the film, and reported thusly:David Fincher's The Social Network (Columbia, 10.1) is Zodiac's younger, geekier, greedier brother. That means it's good, as in really good -- a movie for guys like myself and critics like Eric Kohn, Karina Longworth and Robert Koehler to savor and consider and bounce up against, and basically for smart, sophisticated audiences to savor in every cultural corner, and....can I just blurt it out? It's the strongest Best Picture contender I've seen so far this year, and in saying this I'm obviously alluding to Inception.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 5:57 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Toronto Update: Weinsteins and Sony on Buying Spree, Acquire Submarine, Insidious

On the Toronto acquisitions front, both The Weinstein Co. and Sony have been buying movies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 3:44 AM
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TIFF: Weinstein's Dirty Girl Pick-Up Talk of CAA Party

The Weinsteins' acquisition of Abe Sylvia's 80s period Dirty Girl for $3 million was the talk of the jammed CAA party Sunday night. $3 million (for rights in the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa) is a big number in today's contracted indie marketplace. A high school bad girl comedy, Dirty Girl stars Juno Temple, Dwight Yoakam, Milla Jovovich, and Willam H. Macy. And Harvey Weinstein is in good spirits because Tom Hooper's The King's Speech --which Weinstein hastens to remind he bought into at the script stage--is the hit of the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2010 1:01 AM
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Venice Wrap: Best of Fest, Winners and Losers, Golden Lion Goes to Somewhere

Venice Wrap: Best of Fest, Winners and Losers, Golden Lion Goes to Somewhere
The Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world, is winding up its 67th edition, my first. (UPDATE: The Golden Lion award went to Sofia Coppola's Somewhere on Saturday amid charges of favoritism on the part of jury president Quentin Tarantino; they once dated.) Venice is more intimate than Cannes, with less of a junket/market/party/circus feel, and very European. And yet for seven years fest director Marco Muller has lured more than a few star-studded Hollywood event films to the Lido (the small island is a vaporetto-ride from the most elegant tourist attraction in Europe). (Check out my flip cam interview with Muller below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2010 12:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, from Black Swan to Never Let Me Go

Now that Kris Tapley and I have actually seen some films, we dig into the nitty-gritty of how they will fare in the Oscar race. We discuss among other things Another Year, Black Swan, Never Let Me Go, Meek's Cutoff, The Way Back, The King's Speech and Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2010 10:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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