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Oscar Watch: No Costume Nom Possible for Fantastic Mr. Fox

Oscar Watch: No Costume Nom Possible for Fantastic Mr. Fox
For those who harbored hopes that Wes Anderson's animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox might be eligible for a costume prize, it isn't. My pal Jane in the Academy would happily vote for it--even if it was shot in stop-motion. But when we looked up the credits, we saw no designer. I checked with Fox Searchlight, and they confirm that there's no official costume designer for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 10:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere

Things I Learned at the Avatar Premiere
James Cameron basked in the glow as Avatar, his latest industry-changing event-film, earned a standing ovation at the Mann Chinese Wednesday night. At the after party Cameron beamed as he stood between two tall women, wife Suzy Amis and ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow. "You're on a roll!" he said to the Hurt Locker director. "You raised the bar," she said to Cameron.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 4:49 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations are more revealing in many ways than the much-touted Golden Globes, because they reveal how the actors think. That's important because the actors branch of the Academy is by far the most dominant, some 1200 votes out of 6000. Thus you can glean from the nominations below several things:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 3:20 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Picking the Best Original Songs

Picking the Best Original Songs
Sixty-three songs from eligible feature-length motion pictures will vie for nominations in the original song category for the Oscars (listed on the jump). On January 12, the music branch of the Academy will randomly screen film clips of each song and then vote for each song with points. No more than two songs can be nominated from any one film. Historically, musicals (“Cinema Italiano” from Nine), Disney animated films (Randy Newman's “Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog) and songs by major stars (like Golden Globe nominees “(I Want to) Come Home” from Everybody’s Fine by Paul McCartney, or “Winter” from Brothers by U2) tend to dominate this category. Music branch fave Marvin Hamlisch could get a nom for “Trust Me,” from The Informant!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 12:20 AM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Avatar's Cameron: Feminist

When Rebecca Keegan interviewed me for her terrific Cameron book The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron, I made a point of what a feminist he is. From Sigourney Weaver in Aliens to Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2, Cameron paved the way for such gun-toting action stars as Angelina Jolie. Cameron respects strong women: after all, he's been married to Hamilton, Gale Anne Hurd and Kathryn Bigelow--who will likely be competing with him for the best director Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2009 11:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Golden Globe Nominations Announced, Bullock, Streep, Damon Get Two

Golden Globe Nominations Announced, Bullock, Streep, Damon Get Two
The Golden Globes nominations have influence on Oscar voters, mainly in terms of steering them toward certain movies on their growing screener piles. The Globes nominations do not forecast the Oscars, and the musical/comedy category can be misleading. The Weinstein Co., which led the field with 12 nominations, is very happy this morning, as Inglourious Basterds, A Single Man and Nine scored multiple nominations. (The Road was shut out, however.) Paramount's Up in the Air boasted the most, six, including best drama, actor, director, two supporting actresses and screenplay. Avatar earned four noms including best picture and director; ex-spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) will compete in that category. Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep and Matt Damon all scored two nominations apiece.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2009 1:32 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Broadcast Film Critics Give Ten Nominations to Inglourious Basterds and Nine

The Broadcast Film Critics Movie Awards nominations in a whopping 25 categories are dominated by Inglourious Basterds and Nine, with ten nominations each, followed by Avatar, with nine and The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air with eight and The Lovely Bones with six. While not every category will match up with the ultimate Oscar nominations (some have six slots), this list of ten best picture nominees could be close to the final Oscar list--no District 9, The Lovely Bones, Star Trek or The Last Station (which got savaged by At the Movies).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2009 10:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

New York Film Critics Circle Vote Hurt Locker, Bigelow, Streep, Clooney, Mo'Nique and Waltz

The New York Film Critics Circle is the most respected and influential of the various critics groups. While the NYFCC often like to go their way, this year they are duplicating the LAFCA with votes for best picture and director for The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow. Notably missing: the Coens' A Serious Man and Jane Campions' Bright Star, two critically acclaimed films that could have used a push. Screenplay went to Brit comedy In the Loop. Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia) and George Clooney (Up in the Air) continue to rack up awards, as well as Precious star Mo'Nique and Inglorious Basterds' Christoph Waltz.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2009 5:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: The Hurt Locker's Bigelow Heads for Best Director

Oscar Watch: The Hurt Locker's Bigelow Heads for Best Director
It's not surprising that the Alliance of Women Film Journalists went with The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow as best picture and director (they threw a mess of other achievement prizes at her as well--she'd better show up). And gave Jane Campion some props for her Bright Star direction and screenplay. Nor is Manohla Dargis off-base when she complains about the lack of women film directors today. The AWFJ may want to cut back on duplicative awards. They also gave two apiece to Agnes Varda and Mo'Nique.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2009 12:33 AM
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  • 6 Comments

AFI Top Ten List

Remember, the AFI Top Ten list is only American films. Here's the final top ten list, which does not include Avatar--it nabs a special mention for technical achievement. I have to say, going with The Hangover over Avatar is hard to fathom. And I found Dominican baseball film Sugar admirable but flat. Love it that they picked two animated films. Full release and jury on jump.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 13, 2009 11:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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