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Thompson on Hollywood

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles
Three period biopics with awards hopes face some tough going over the holidays.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2009 3:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Voting for Ten Instead of Five

Oscar Watch: Voting for Ten Instead of Five
I'm having a devil of a time figuring out what this year's Oscar nominations for best picture are going to be. As the ballots are going out, I usually have a fair idea of the final five. But this year there are ten best picture slots instead of five. If voters had trouble coming up with their top five in the past, won't they have even more trouble filling out a ballot with ten?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2009 11:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

AFI Moments of Significance for 2009

AFI Moments of Significance for 2009
I've served on several past American Film Institute film juries. We meet one day in December and not only pick the year's ten best American films but also engage in a spirited discussion about the most significant industry trends-- in TV, film and the web-- of that year. The 13-member TV and film juries are unusual, in mixing academics, journalists and filmmakers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 9:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Mails 5777 Oscar Ballots, Due January 23

Academy Mails 5777 Oscar Ballots, Due January 23
On Monday December 28, the Academy mailed out Oscar nomination ballots to 5,777 voting members. They ask that completed ballots be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2010. According to the Academy, PricewaterhouseCoopers makes sure "that all aspects of the balloting process are conducted with fairness and accuracy":
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 8:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms
Time's Richard Corliss has figured out a clever way to write about year-end critics awards and tee up a clickable gallery of Oscar hopefuls, short and sweet. Trouble is, he gives way too much credit to the critics. They do help to clue the Academy voters into what films they should watch on their screener piles. But in the end, what the voters think when they watch the movies is what matters---as well as how passionate they feel as they vote for their top ten best picture candidates. The ones at the top of the list get more weight than the ones at the bottom. Thus, if most voters put The Last Station, Nine, The Messenger, Star Trek and District 9 at the bottom, they won't make it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 7:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops
Over the holiday weekend, the two most popular topics on my Twitter feed were Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. While there was debate on Sherlock Holmes's merits, most of my tweeters approved of Cameron's blockbuster (as did critics--it scored 83 on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic). Avatar looks to challenge, if not beat, Titanic's box office records, based on its extraordinary performance in North America so far: $75 million over the holiday and $212 million to date. (Here's the LAT's box office report, and David Poland's analysis.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2009 5:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Avatar's VFX Master: Weta Digital's Joe Letteri

Avatar's VFX Master: Weta Digital's Joe Letteri
People in Hollywood tend to put film directors up on pedestals, and as far as Avatar is concerned, Jim Cameron deserves to be up there. I'm calling nine Oscar nominations for Avatar. But its one sure-shot win will be Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri's Weta Digital team for Avatar's visual effects. What they accomplished in the The Lords of the Rings trilogy and King Kong changed the way movies are made. And so does Avatar, which will have a huge impact on movie FX to come, from Tintin to Gemini Man. Nothing, it seems, will be impossible to put on film anymore.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2009 11:16 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Long Road to Invictus

The Long Road to Invictus
Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2009 1:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?
In this ongoing blog duel, Moviefone's resident Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I discuss the impact of the Golden Globes on the Oscar race. On Golden Globes nominations morning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Downey, Jr., Julia Roberts and Tobey Maguire were dancing on the ceiling. And Harvey Weinstein thought he had three sure-fire Oscar contenders with Nine, Inglourious Basterds and A Single Man. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 9:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Fourteen Questions for It's Complicated's Nancy Meyers

Fourteen Questions for It's Complicated's Nancy Meyers
During a few scenes in It's Complicated, the latest comedy from writer-director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give), I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 1:14 AM
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  • 7 Comments

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