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Thompson on Hollywood

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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Awards Watch: Slumdog Leads National Board of Review

Slumdog Millionaire's awards momentum continues to build with Thursday's National Board of Review announcement. Remember, this not particularly illustrious group is helpful for just that--building a list of winners who keep on winning. Being left off is no badge of shame, but it can be a telltale sign of weakness. Also, this group tends to reflect movies that were screened early, and carries a certain New York bias.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2008 8:55 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Holiday Boxoffice: Four Christmases, Twilight, Australia

For once, women are dominating movie theaters. That's because there's more than enough for them to see. (OK, they're not going to see Transporter 3.) Usually, though, they're starved and I hope Hollywood takes the lessons of 2008 to heart, from Sex and the City and Mamma Mia! to Twilight and Australia, all movies designed to appeal to women. Lots of women.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2008 8:30 AM
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Oscar Watch: Return of the Carpetbagger

To know that David Carr is in touch with the online zeitgeist, just read this week's New York Times media column about Google. Carr gets it. And once a year, when he morphs into The Carpetbagger, he gets to shows his stuff to a media world that is struggling to make the transition from print to pixels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2008 8:13 AM
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Review

I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Saturday (following the aborted Thursday screening), and have been trying to sort it out ever since.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2008 8:08 AM
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