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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Hollywood Issues

Each February, as the Oscars approach, special Hollywood issues roll out, and party planning kicks into gear. (The Vanity Fair party is back after last year's Writers Strike hiatus; and Madonna and Demi Moore are throwing their Oscar party again.) And for some of us, Oscar fatigue sets in: how many more pieces can we read about these people? I did my first interviews with Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh, Darren Aronofsky and Mickey Rourke back in September.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2009 2:02 AM
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BAFTA Cues: Slumdog, Rourke, Winslet, Cruz, Ledger

The London broadcast of the BAFTA Awards on Sunday does not cue what will happen on Oscar night. Suddenly, everyone says, as they did after the Golden Globes, Mickey Rourke will win. The folks voting for the BAFTAs are from the UK film industry, they aren't the same as the 5800 Academy voters. Of course the ceremony does take place smack in the middle of Oscar voting. (Still, many Academy members have already filled out their ballots, due February 17.) But they aren't widely viewed. More people see reports of the winners than the actual show. So rather than being predictive, the BAFTAs may have some slight influence on momentum. Winners look like winners, and so on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2009 2:07 AM
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WGA Awards Go to Slumdog, Milk

Milk scripter Dustin Lance Black, 34, tearfully accepted the Writers Guild Award for best original screenplay for Milk Saturday night by calling up the ghost of slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, the man who inspired Black when he moved to the Bay Area from San Antonio, Texas as a closeted gay 13-year-old. "I want to thank God for making my dreams come true," said Black, who was raised a Mormon, "and for giving us Harvey Milk."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2009 2:12 AM
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Oscar Watch: Red Carpet, Boxoffice, BAFTAs

How could Hugh Jackman host the Oscars and not be part of a musical number? And if Slumdog Millionaire's A.R. Rahman is nominated for two songs, we'll certainly get an exuberant Bollywood dance, even if Bruce Springsteen was shut out. The NYT ferrets out as much info as possible about the February 22 Oscarcast, which faces the challenge of fanboy boycotts over Dark Knight and low-boxoffice performances from its top nominees.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 3, 2009 2:37 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Watch: Boyle Wins DGA

I took this photograph of Danny Boyle at the start of the whole long process: The Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend. The movie was the hit of the fest. Everyone knew it was a winner. Slumdog went on to score at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, best director at the LA Film Critics, and Saturday night, the Directors Guild. Multiple Oscars are in Slumdog's sights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2009 3:00 AM
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Santa Barbara Scripters: McCarthy, Stanton, Knott, Black

I knew we'd have a lively screenwriters panel at the Santa Barbara Film Festival this year because we had two actor-writers--Tom McCarthy (who also directed The Visitor) and Robert Knott (Appaloosa) as well as writer-director Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, nominated for 6 Oscars, including original screenplay), who is one of the most entertaining guys around, and young Dustin Lance Black (nommed for Milk).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2009 2:22 AM
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Screen Actors Guild Awards: Slumdog, Streep, Penn, Winslet, Ledger

The inexorable Slumdog Millionaire march to the Oscars continues with a best ensemble prize at Sunday night's SAG awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2009 2:19 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Surprises: Dark Knight Out, Reader In

The Oscar nominations are in and The Dark Knight did not make it to best picture. The Reader landed the slot instead, also scoring noms for Stephen Daldry for best director (over The Dark Knight's Chris Nolan), David Hare for adapted screenplay and Kate Winslet (instead of Revolutionary Road). The Dark Knight was in the running though, with eight noms, including a posthumous nom for Heath Ledger, who is the frontrunner for best supporting actor.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2009 2:25 AM
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Sundance Hot Titles

My flight from LAX to Salt Lake City was delayed. Every seat was taken, many of them by industry folks heading to Park City for the Fest which launched Thursday night. I enjoyed a pleasant sunset drive up the mountain with Robin Schorr, who recently left River Road to put together a new development company with funding from a private investor. She told me to see Big Fan, from writer-turned-director Robert Siegel (The Wrestler). The voice behind Ratatouille, Patton Oswalt, breaks out in this one, I hear.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2009 3:04 AM
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Golden Globes: Slumdog Wins All

Fox Searchlight's party at Craft was the place to watch the Golden Globes Sunday night if you weren't at the Beverly Hilton awards dinner. I was sitting with the folks who marketed the hell out of Slumdog Millionaire, the big winner of the night, four for four, including best score, director, screenplay and drama, as well as the night's other big winner, The Wrestler, which won two out of three awards, including best actor Mickey Rourke and best song Bruce Springsteen. Here's the full list of winners.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2009 3:23 AM
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