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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Box Office Bump? Nope. Except for Crazy Heart and An Education

TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro lays out which films--if any--got a bump from this year's expanded Oscar derby.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • March 8, 2010 7:46 AM
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Oscar Backstage: Bigelow, Boal Talk The Hurt Locker's Six Wins

The Hurt Locker finally ended the long, difficult Oscar campaign trail winning six awards, while Avatar won only three technical categories, for visual effects, art direction and cinematography. "I hope I'm the first of many," Kathryn Bigelow said backstage, of being the first woman to win the best director Oscar for The Hurt Locker, which is also the first best picture winner to be directed by a woman. "I long for day when that modifier is a moot point. I am grateful if I can inspire some young intrepid tenacious male or female filmmaker, make them feel the impossible is possible."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 5:31 AM
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Oscar Backstage: Bullock Talks The Blind Side Win

Oscar Backstage: Bullock Talks The Blind Side Win
Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock gave the speech of the night. She was a class act, thanking her fellow nominees Helen Mirren and the "exquisite" Gabby Sidibe. Cary Mulligan's "grace, elegance, beauty and talent make me sick," she said. As for Meryl Streep, "she's such a good kisser." She had the audience laughing and crying.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 5:25 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Backstage: Bridges Talks Crazy Heart Win

Bill Condon and Larry Mark's innovation of having five peers honor the best actress and best actor nominees paid off this year. My favorite was Michelle Pfeiffer's for Jeff Bridges, which moved him and us. It makes the nominees human. You see their reactions. Jeremy Renner and Gabourey Sidibe both heaved deep sighs, as they tried to cope with the pressure. Oprah Winfrey made her cry, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 4:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Backstage: Avatar's VFX Master Letteri Inspired by Real World

Avatar VFX supervisor Joe Letteri said in his acceptance speech that Avatar was "about seeing the world in new ways," he said. "And just remember the world we live in is just as amazing as the world we created for you." Backstage, Letteri said he was responding to the idea of the post-Avatar depression phenomenon. "We took things out in the world and made them bigger and shinier," he said. "All our inspiration comes from the real world."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 4:18 AM
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Oscar Watch: Giacchino Talks Up

Michael Giacchino, who won for his score of Up, was standing outside taking a break on another movie when someone told him the story of Up. "It's about life and death and moving on," Giacchino said. "I knew immediately that I had to do it, so badly." He says that he treats cartoon characters as real people. "It was about being quiet and simple and letting it grow from there."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 4:12 AM
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Oscar Backstage: Avatar Winner Stromberg Talks Survival

The co-winner of best art direction for Avatar, Robert Stromberg, said in his acceptance speech that he came back from a near-death experience. Backstage he elaborated. "Something was ready to kill me," he said. "Out of that I told myself that I would spend whatever time I had here trying to do something profound and worthwhile. This award to me is actually me understanding that I'm alive. It's very special."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 3:49 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Backstage: Short Subjects

The three short films, animated, live action and doc, did not go the way I expected. I thought Logorama--a must-see clever short made up entirely of commercial logos-- would be too hip for the Academy, which would go for Nick Park for the second time, but they must have gotten tired of Wallace & Gromit being nominated five times before. The live action short The New Tenants was my favorite and I shouldn't have listened to the people telling me why it couldn't win! So much for winning any Oscar pools. The five films vying for doc short were all strong, but I admit that HBO's Music by Prudence, about a disabled South African singer, haunted me for days.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 2:28 AM
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Oscar Reaction: Boal Starts Hurt Locker Wins, Waltz, Docter, Burnett/Bingham Expected Wins

So far the Oscars are going as predicted. Mark Boal's win for The Hurt Locker is a sign of strength for the movie--which many best picture Oscar watchers have been abandoning for Avatar in the last week. And it means that Harvey Weinstein's long, hard campaign for Inglourious Basterds did not bear fruit. Unless Inglourious wins cinematography, the Christoph Waltz supporting actor prize will be it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 1:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Red Carpet: Clooney, Tarantino, Cameron as Showtime Nears

Quentin Tarantino has lost his voice. Bill Mechanic the co-producer of the Oscars says he and Adam Shankman never fought and are new best friends. He's going in a populist direction with the show, he says, and they were tweaking things that didn't work last night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 1:10 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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