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Thompson on Hollywood

Ebert Tries New Computer Voice First on Wife Chaz, Then Oprah

Ebert Tries New Computer Voice First on Wife Chaz, Then Oprah
Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert seems to be everywhere these days, from the cover of Esquire (a must-read) to a Tuesday appearance on Oprah Winfrey. Ebert shares his Oscar predicts with Oprah, using his new computer voice, which uses audio from his old shows to recreate a voice that sounds a lot like him. Other times he sounds like Stephen Hawking.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 2, 2010 7:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Coens' A Serious Man: The 36 Righteous Men Theory

The Coens' A Serious Man: The 36 Righteous Men Theory
Joel and Ethan Coen are not ones to throw the wrath of God around lightly, especially in A Serious Man, a movie that digs deep into Judaism, often for laughs. After all, the movie (which is nominated for best picture and best original screenplay Oscars), starts out in Yiddish with a story about the Dybbuk and winds up (SPOILER ALERT) with its hero facing death, either by cancer or tornado.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2010 10:11 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Costumes, Cinematographers, Sound and Visual Effects Awards

Oscar Watch: Costumes, Cinematographers, Sound and Visual Effects Awards
After a final week of prize-giving, the season's pre-Oscar awards rituals came to a close Sunday night. There's nothing left but the big show itself March 7. Oscar ballots are due on March 2. Voters who did not mail them in Saturday can deliver them via overnight mail or directly to Price Waterhouse.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2010 6:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Costume Designer Powell Talks Young Victoria, Shutter Island and The Tempest

Costume designer Sandy Powell has won two Oscars out of eight nominations, for Martin Scorsese's The Aviator and John Madden's Shakespeare in Love. She's known for designing "modern" period costumes for such films as Gangs of New York and has worked repeatedly with Scorsese, Neil Jordan and Todd Haynes. After Shutter Island comes Julie Taymor's Shakespearean The Tempest. In this four-part flip-cam interview, Powell not only talks about her BAFTA and Costume Guild-winning costumes on The Young Victoria (which will likely win her a third Oscar), but ranges over other films in her long career as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 27, 2010 2:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues

Oscar Talk Episode 23: Last Phase Tricky Campaign and Voting Issues
On Oscar Talk 23, Kris Tapley and I chew over the last phase of this year's Oscar campaigns and issues surrounding the email misstep by rookie The Hurt Locker producer Nicholas Chartier and any impact it could have on the race. We both have problems with the preferential ballot process, as Academy members try to figure it out.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2010 9:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Update: Gurus 'O Gold Final Vote, Last-Ditch Campaign Craziness

As the final phase of Oscar campaigning winds down--many of the Academy's 5700 voters have already mailed in their ballots, which are due on March 2--it's striking that while most categories have settled into clear-cut front-runners (except for foreign and some tech categories like editing) the best picture race is still on. (Check the Gurus 'O Gold final vote.) That's because the preferential balloting on the top ten makes that race tough to call with certainty. I've talked to a number of perfectly intelligent Academy voters who have no clue what's going on. They are planning to vote for their number one choice, like they always do, which is tantamount to throwing their vote away. (For what it's worth, I'm hearing a lot of love for Up.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2010 1:21 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Sherlock Holmes Music Video: Discombobulate Features Zimmer, Downey

Sherlock Holmes Music Video: Discombobulate Features Zimmer, Downey
As the Oscar voting heads toward the final days (ballots are due March 2), Oscar campaigners are still throwing new things into the mix: here's a music video for Hans Zimmer's score for Sherlock Holmes, with Robert Downey Jr. on piano. It's fun--they basically got the musicians to send in video from all over the world. One guy's riding an elephant.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2010 12:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Duel: Renner vs. Bridges, Bullock vs. Streep

Oscar Duel: Renner vs. Bridges, Bullock vs. Streep
At this stage of the Oscar race, Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) has taken the momentum away former front-runner George Clooney (Up in the Air) for Best Actor, but some in Hollywood sense growing support for newcomer Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker). Meanwhile, rookie Oscar nominee Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) and 16-time nominee, two-time winner Meryl Streep are in a tight race for Best Actress. In this dueling blog, Moviefone Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I consider the odds of a Renner upset and another Streep defeat. Best Actor first.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Weekend Wrap: Hurt Locker Gains Ground at WGA, BAFTAs

Weekend Wrap: Hurt Locker Gains Ground at WGA, BAFTAs
This weekend's key awards events--the Writers Guild (WGA) and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) awards--did much to advance the inevitable march toward multiple Oscar wins for The Hurt Locker, which won original screenplay at both shows, and a total of six BAFTAs, including cinematography (Barry Ackroyd is a Brit), editing, sound, director and best picture. When the DGA, WGA and Editors Guild all give awards to the same film, reports Awards Daily, it wins best picture 100% of time. This time in her acceptance speech, Bigelow, the first woman to win a BAFTA for directing, made a call for "finding a resolution for peace."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 21, 2010 11:41 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk 22: Dueling Oscar Producers, Weinstein's Inglourious Basterds Push, Bullock Talks

Kris Tapley and I dig into the meat of the matter this week as the Oscar season goes into overdrive. Are voters trying to rig the top ten? What has a better shot of winning, The Hurt Locker, Avatar or Inglourious Basterds, which Harvey Weinstein has been relentlessly flogging? Are Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic (who aren't getting along) going to be able to put together a strong show with ten best picture nominees and no Oscar-nominated songs?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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