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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education
Brit author Nick Hornby discovered the Lynn Barber memoir An Education and showed it to his producer wife, Amanda Posey, as a possible movie. He liked it so much he adapted it for the screen himself, something he has avoided doing with his own novels, three of which--High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, About a Boy--have been turned by other writers into damned good Hollywood movies. He did adapt his first novel Fever Pitch into a British movie starring Colin Firth. But otherwise he has kept some distance from Hollywood adaptations of his novels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts
Seattle critic Tim Appelo reviews the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010; Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will release the five animated and five live-action shorts in selected theaters Friday and more on March 5. (I'll lay out my Oscar-short picks later on.)
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • February 19, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart
After the Academy Nominees luncheon Monday at the Beverly Hilton, I repaired downstairs to do a couple of interviews pool side--along with a few other media. I flip-cammed Crazy Heart's T Bone Burnett, the tall and famous music supervisor who was instrumental in making the movie as good as it is. First, the movie wouldn't have been made without him. Burnett told old pal and jam-mate Jeff Bridges that if he would make Scott Cooper's movie, so would he. Second, Burnett insisted that the movie's backers raise enough money to do the music properly. The hand-crafted songs that fit Bridges' Bad Blake persona like a glove are what make Crazy Heart work so well. Burnett brought along songwriter Ryan Bingham, who wrote Oscar best original song front-runner "The Weary Kind."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 9:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sandra Bullock Talks Blind Side, Oscars, Career Choices

After the Oscar nominees' lunch at the Beverly Hilton, I went down by the pool to interview The Blind Side best actress nominee Sandra Bullock with my flip cam. She didn't know at the start of her career, she said, that "being funny was going to be my greatest joy." She learned as she went along that comedy parts for men were better written than the ones for women, so she'd transcribe Jerry Lewis and Carol Burnett skits and perform them in front of her own home video camera. If you want women to come to box office, she warns, you have to make the movies good. "We're not going to the movie on the first weekend if they're crap," she says. "That's the difference between men and women."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 5:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Things I Learned at the Oscar Nominee Mixer

Things I Learned at the Oscar Nominee Mixer
I pulled into the Beverly Hilton for the annual Academy Nominees lunch alongside Quentin Tarantino (pictured with Academy president Tom Sherak). At the press table, an Academy staffer asked me turn the handle to spit out a ball telling me where I'd be sitting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 3:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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