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Thompson on Hollywood

Career Watch: Where Does Oscar-Winner Cate Blanchett Go from Here?

Former USA TODAY film maven Susan Wloszczyna, a contributor/critic for RogerEbert.com, kicks off a new feature that examines the career status of major Hollywood stars. This week: Oscar’s freshly crowned best actress winner Cate Blanchett.
  • By Susan Wloszczyna
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  • March 4, 2014 1:43 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Loves a Woman on the Edge: Eight Iconic Best Actress Snubs (CLIPS)

Why does cinema favor the mad woman? It's easy to see why Oscar does: roles like Jasmine French give an actress space to not only chew but swallow and spit up scene after scene. Cate Blanchett will almost certainly win Best Actress this year for her frittered, diabolical performance in "Blue Jasmine" as cinema's archetypical woman-on-the-verge: that pill-popping, martini-swilling mad Medea who men fear and women sometimes dream of (being? playing? escaping into?).
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • February 25, 2014 1:40 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Eight Great Quotes from Cate Blanchett at the Santa Barbara Film Festival (CLIPS)

"Blue Jasmine" hit theaters back in July 2013 which, by this awards-packed winter 2014, feels like ages ago. Writer-director Woody Allen ostensibly penned the title role of Jasmine French with Cate Blanchett in mind. "Well that's something I'd like to believe is true," the ever-bashful Blanchett told the audience last weekend at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, where she accepted the award for Outstanding Performer of the Year.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • February 6, 2014 1:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Open Up the Best Actress Oscar Race: Five Locks and Eight Must-See Performances

As usual, there are more viable men hustling after a Best Actor slot than women in contention for Best Actress. (My current predictions are here.) 'Twas ever thus, as the myopic film industry continues to chase the male demo and sequester "soft" relationship movies to the indie realm. Which means that many worthy films don't make it to the top of Academy voters' screener piles. How many film panels and Q & As have you seen with a row of men in suits and one woman in a frilly frock and impossibly high heels? Women in film are often a supporting afterthought.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2013 3:40 PM
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  • 9 Comments

Indian Audiences Want to See Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine,' Fed Up with Movie Theater Rules that Repel Filmmakers UPDATED

UPDATE: Indian audiences and theater owners are in an uproar over the recently canceled theatrical run of Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" in their country. The film will not be shown in India because Allen wouldn't tolerate anti-smoking messages playing during scenes from his film.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 14, 2013 1:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Quentin Tarantino Lists Top Films of 2013, Including 'The Lone Ranger' and 'This is the End'

Quentin Tarantino sat out the ten best lists last year because he was in fevered production on "Django Unchained." This year he has already posted his alphabetical ten best list of 2013 so far on his site. While the Oscar-winner is an Academy member, don't look for his taste to be replicated by the Academy at large.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 6, 2013 10:48 PM
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  • 6 Comments

NYFF Tributes Cate Blanchett on the Road to Oscar

NYFF programming director Kent Jones led Cate Blanchett through the parade of her first-rate directors, and she shared gems from each of her experiences. Discussing her role as Katharine Hepburn in "The Aviator," she slipped into an uncanny Martin Scorsese accent and recalled his advice to her: "Make it your own"--the "most liberating piece of direction" he gave her, she said.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • October 3, 2013 2:42 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Arthouse Audit: 'Mother of George' and 'Wadjda' Top Openings as Nigerian and Saudi Arabian Directors Score

International films are scoring at the specialty box office. The two best new films have roots in countries not normally seen at arthouses: "Mother of George" (from Nigerian-born director Andrew Dosunmu) and "Wadjda" (a milestone Saudi Arabian film from a female director) both show initial appeal. Also in the top 10 are French and Mexican comedies.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 15, 2013 3:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Salinger' Catches Solid Opening Numbers

This weekend is usually the calm before the storm as a range of upcoming significant films get attention at Toronto. Normally otherwise occupied distributors avoid this post-Labor Day date like the plague. Nonetheless a likely record 30 new specialized/indie releases found theaters in New York and Los Angeles, including six from this year's Sundance Film Festival and two from the currently running Toronto Fest. Of the films reported grosses, only one -- Weinstein's "Salinger" -- showed significant strength, unusual for this time of year.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 8, 2013 3:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Top Ten Highest Grossing Woody Allen Movies vs. 'Blue Jasmine'

"Blue Jasmine" moved into the top ten this weekend as Woody Allen's widest release ever. Taking in $4.3 million in 1,283 theaters and reaching the $14.8 million mark in only its fifth week, this Sony Pictures Classics release is now certain to be the biggest specialized film of the year thus far, and likely to become Allen's second-biggest success since "Crimes and Misdemeanors" in 1989.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 27, 2013 11:21 AM
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  • 6 Comments

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