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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Golden Globes Weekend Party Hopping

Golden Globes weekend brings parties and more parties, both Saturday and Sunday. Predicting the Globes is a frustrating exercise; it's only 80 people. Who knows what they're thinking? The good money appears to be on Slumdog Millionaire for drama. I'll go with The Curious Life of Benjamin Button.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2009 3:26 AM
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Oscar Watch: The Pitt Debate

Some see Pitt's performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as a transformative role of a lifetime, while others see it as a mix of Pitt and genius visual effects. The question is, how did the Academy actors who will nominate the top five actors of the year see it? At various Golden Globes parties over the weekend, I heard both sides of the argument. Did Paramount, which has done a yeoman job of getting the movie open and turning it into a hit, reveal too much of the process? And how do Academy voters feel about the animation involved in Pitt's performance?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2009 3:57 AM
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Awards Shows: Tone-Deaf Excess or Conspicuous Consumption?

[Posted by David S. Cohen]The gang at the NYT's take on the awards season and the red carpet is pretty downbeat. Laura Holson reports that updated old-Hollywood hairstyles will replace gaudy baubles on the red carpet, and that understated is in. Meanwhile Brooks Barnes says the glitter and self-congratulation of Award Season is "treacherous ground" and suggests Hollywood is in danger of looking like a bunch of Marie-Antoinettes. He notes that Hollywood has turned down the glamour before, after 9/11, and suggests it should do so again.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2009 3:52 AM
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No Doubt About Viola Davis

Powerhouse theater dynamo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0205626/">Viola Davis, 43, keeps showing up in tiny movie roles--the crackhead in Antwone Fisher, the mother in the hospital in World Trade Center, the anxious Mrs. Miller in Doubt--and each time blows them out of the park. While filming Doubt, Davis was so worried about holding her own in her one 11-minute confrontation with Meryl Streep that she completely failed to recognize that her nose was running. Although writer-director John Patrick Shanley convinced the studio to let him reshoot the scene in order to slow down the pacing, the snot remained. The pivotal confrontation comes as Sister Aloysious tries to find out what Mrs. Miller knows about her son's relationship with Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2008 9:51 AM
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My Top Ten List, Film Comment's Top 20 Poll

Wendy and Lucy tops Film Comment's annual critics poll of 20 best films of 2008:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 19, 2008 9:47 AM
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Wrestling Tips

Posted by Steven Gaydos
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 11, 2008 9:32 AM
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Eastwood Scores With Gran Torino

The last time I cried on the way home from a movie was Million Dollar Baby. As I drove, I thought about the movie's battered girl in the hospital bed, surrounded by heartless relatives, and the coach who who loved her like a father. Down came the tears.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 11, 2008 9:28 AM
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Yates' Revolutionary Road: Novel to Film

The guy could write. The story of Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, told in excruciating detail in Blake Bailey's 2003 A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, moves me, partly because he got so little encouragement, yet went back to writing every morning, hung over or not. And he insisted on drinking and smoking himself to death. But he knew he was a good writer, and that sustained him. Here's my Variety column.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2008 9:11 AM
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