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Thompson on Hollywood

Toy Story 3 Tops Quentin Tarantino's Best of 2010

Quentin Tarantino has posted his favorite movies of 2010, all twenty of them. Unlike many critics, Tarantino has no problem with citing movies that are popular hits. And he's seen his share of obscurities as well. Tarantino is an Academy member, though not a typical one. His taste is catholic, ranging from specialty and foreign films to raunchy comedies, animated family fare and big-budget actioners. His most surprising choices are two critical and box office studio failures that are as well-directed as they were commercially misguided: James Mangold's Knight and Day and Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 11:44 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I weigh the impact of year-end releases on the Oscar race. Will Another Year's Lesley Manville squeak into best actress contention, is Nicole Kidman hurt by the weak performance of Rabbit Hole? And what about frontrunner Natalie Portman's new pregnancy? What would it take to push Biutiful's Javier Bardem or I Am Love's Tilda Swinton into the race?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG
Does Blue Valentine or Another Year or Biutiful still have a shot? Will Winter's Bone or The Town make it onto the Oscar Ten? In Contention's @KrisTapley and @GuyLodge and I read the Oscar tea leaves in the wake of the critics votes, Golden Globes, and SAG nominations. We explain why critics' fave The Social Network isn't necessarily a shoo-in for best picture. And why the SAG Awards count more than the Golden Globes in the Oscar race, and why the HFPA didn't nominate How Do You Know? as a comedy. The guys like Tron: Legacy and Daft Punk a lot more than I do, that's for sure.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas

John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas
John Wells makes his directorial debut with Company Men, a smart, angry, sad movie about the state of things in recession-era America that is based on first-hand research. Wells, a veteran of such TV series as E.R. and The West Wing, developed this for years and wrote compelling characters we want to spend time with. He raised overseas financing with stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, all strong as three men laid off from their shipping company. Kevin Costner is terrific as the brother of Affleck's wife Rosemary DeWitt (left off the poster, boo), who is the best thing in this straight-on, no frills, naturalistic character drama.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut
The American Film Institute voted their ten best AFI Movies and TV Programs of the Year Awards Sunday, proclaimed as the "only recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form." The AFI honors American films and series. Thus they chose British The King's Speech and Waiting for Superman as "Special Award" winners, having not met the AFI's standard criteria (posted below). Their Movies and TV Programs of the year, as chosen by film and television scholars, artists and critics, are as follows:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 13, 2010 4:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jeremy Renner Talks 'The Town,''Mission Impossible,' 'The Avengers'

The Hurt Locker not only gave Jeremy Renner the role of his career--which earned him an Oscar nomination--but it opened up a raft of career possibilities. Renner is young, gifted and masculine: he can play a charismatic hero or a dangerous villain, a leading man or a character role. He's versatile. This is what casting directors want. There aren't enough guys like him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2010 6:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards

Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards
The European Film Awards are not predictive of Oscars. But six wins for The Ghost Writer moves the film to the top of the screener pile. Maybe some folks will watch it now. One of my favorite films of last year, it shares with Shutter Island and The Town a formal elegance and control. These films are well-made across the board. But they are also genre films, accessible and fun--as opposed to high art. That is the question. This is no The Pianist. Summit is pushing the movie for awards consideration.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2010 9:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review
This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Long Shots for Best Actress and Picture

Oscar Talk: Long Shots for Best Actress and Picture
In this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I cover the best actress race and the relative chances of long-shots The Town (we both spoke to Jeremy Renner), The Way Back (we both spoke to Peter Weir and Jim Sturgess), Secretariat and Diane Lane, and the Coens' True Grit, which should be screening soon:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2010 10:50 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: How Box Office Impacts Oscar Contenders

Oscar Watch: How Box Office Impacts Oscar Contenders
Does a film's box office performance have an impact on its Oscar hopes? TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro crunches the numbers and evaluates the current field of Oscar contenders.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 11, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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