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Thompson on Hollywood

Writers Guild Nomination Surprises: Please Give, I Love You Phillip Morris

The Writers Guild of America nominations --which do not consider non-Guild signatories and animation, so Toy Story 3, Winter's Bone, Another Year, The King's Speech and Blue Valentine were not eligible--boost the Oscar fortunes of original screenplays The Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right and Please Give. Among the adapted screenplays, 127 Hours, The Social Network and the Coens' True Grit were expected, while I Love You Phillip Morris and The Town show unexpected strength. Ben Affleck's Boston caper movie also made the Producers Guild top ten this morning, as did all the other narrative feature nominees except Please Give and Morris, which are unlikely to be announced by Academy president Tom Sherak and Mo'Nique on Oscar nominations morning January 25.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 6:37 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Producers Guild Top Ten Heralds Oscar Contenders The Town, True Grit

Producers Guild Top Ten Heralds Oscar Contenders The Town, True Grit
The Producers Guild top ten could very well be the Oscar list. They include 127 Hours, Black Swan, Inception, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, The King's Speech, The Social Network, The Town, Toy Story 3 and True Grit. The Town is the biggest surprise; left out are indie hopefuls The Ghost Writer, Winter's Bone, Another Year, The Way Back and Blue Valentine as well as Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 3:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Holiday Wrap: Weak Box Office, True Grit Takes on Little Fockers, Black Swan, King's Speech Score

The box office continued tepid during what should have been a robust holiday period with North American families on vacation; it was down 26 percent from last year. For the year, the 2010 3-D-pumped domestic box office totaled $10.5 billion, down 0.3 percent from 2009's Avatar-inflated record of $10.6 billion. But the attendance stat provides a sobering reality check: attendance was down a whopping 5 percent: 1.34 billion against 1.41 billion in 2009. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Lousy Christmas Weekend Box Office: Little Fockers Beats True Grit, Best Coens Opening Ever

At a horrendous Christmas weekend---which saw a 44% three-day drop in grosses over last year (flush with Avatar)---sequel comedy Little Fockers beat out adult western True Grit, the best--and widest--opening ever for a Coen brothers movie. It's likely that the well-reviewed oater will have longer legs, however, as it settles in for the long Oscar haul.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 7:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Coens' History of Mustaches

Hailee Steinfeld holds her own against Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in almost every category of True Grit's manliness, but she just can't compete in the mustache competition. NYMag calls Damon's 'stache a "spectacular, instantly iconic, old-timey mustache, which builds on the Coens' proud tradition of decorating their characters with some of the finest nose curtains in all of cinema." But even if his mustache surpasses Bridges' and Brolin's in this Western, he has competition from many Coens characters who preceed him. Check out NYMag's "Stach-o-Meter (which grades on a scale of Zorro to Gene Shalit)".
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 23, 2010 6:40 AM
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Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Holiday Box Office Preview: True Grit vs. Little Fockers

Every year the studios dream of scooping up Christmas holiday sugar plums. Will they find them this season? Anthony D'Alessandro makes a fearless holiday box office forecast:What present do the majors want to open under the Christmas tree? A box office full of cash. "There’s no better time of year for adult moviegoing then the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” says Paramount distribution exec vp Don Harris. “Good movies play well to everybody. The play’s the thing.”
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 23, 2010 1:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Brits Weigh In: King's Speech, Another Year Lead London Critics

Don't underestimate the Brit factor when it comes to Oscar influence. There are many Brit voters in the Academy. The London Critics Circle just gave boosts to two Brit films, The King's Speech (seven nominations, including Film of the Year, Brit film of Year and Actor of the Year, Colin Firth) and Another Year (six, including British Director, Mike Leigh, British Actress, Lesley Manville and British Actor, Jim Broadbent). The Social Network nabbed five noms, while Brit debut featureThe Arbor got four, along with Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit. Full list below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2010 5:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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