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Thompson on Hollywood

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

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

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

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"
On Oscar Talk this week, as promised, Kris Tapley and I count down, defend and debate our rather diverse and distinctive top ten films of 2010. While we both include The Social Network and Toy Story 3, we agree to disagree on one of my faves, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which Kris admires. Notable omissions from both lists: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Get Low, The Town, Inception, The Fighter and The Ghost Writer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 8:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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

True Grit Early Reviews: "Accessible, Simple, Mythic and Beautiful," "Thirsting For More" [Updated]

True Grit Early Reviews: "Accessible, Simple, Mythic and Beautiful," "Thirsting For More" [Updated]
Anne Thompson's True Grit review headline is: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn. Here's a round-up of other early reviews [Updated with more]:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 2, 2010 12:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

True Grit Early Review: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn

True Grit Early Review: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn
Finally, the last anticipated Oscar contender has been screened and Wednesday, reviewed. The question is whether expectations of the Coens' True Grit have been overblown. Reaction at one New York screening was mixed. It's not surprising; pure westerns do not play in some quarters. Younger moviegoers don't get the genre; westerns are set in a past that is too distant and foreign. But the Academy, which trends older and male, will be far more receptive, so this well-mounted movie may well hit their soft spot. (The Gurus 'O Gold weigh in). Here is our round-up of True Grit's other early reviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2010 5:58 AM
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  • 6 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

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