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Thompson on Hollywood

First Look: Coen Brothers' True Grit

Here's a first look at the Coen Brother's True Grit, which was filmed (along with another western, Cowboys & Aliens) around the Southwest. Paramount has released this still of grizzled Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld as Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross, respectively.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 19, 2010 6:15 AM
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  • 4 Comments

The Coens' A Serious Man: The 36 Righteous Men Theory

The Coens' A Serious Man: The 36 Righteous Men Theory
Joel and Ethan Coen are not ones to throw the wrath of God around lightly, especially in A Serious Man, a movie that digs deep into Judaism, often for laughs. After all, the movie (which is nominated for best picture and best original screenplay Oscars), starts out in Yiddish with a story about the Dybbuk and winds up (SPOILER ALERT) with its hero facing death, either by cancer or tornado.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2010 10:11 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: DGA Noms Analysis

Oscar Watch: DGA Noms Analysis
The big news in today's Directors Guild nominations was the selection of Precious director Lee Daniels, the DGA's first African-American nominee, over Invictus' Clint Eastwood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten
District 9 and Star Trek join awards front-runner Avatar in the Producers Guild of America's top ten for the Darryl F. Zanuck award in theatrical motion pictures.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 3:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk Episode Sixteen: Top Ten, Nine, Avatar, Up, Picks for 2010

At the new year, Kris Tapley and I ponder the fate of the Oscar Top Ten. We agree that Avatar is now the best picture front-runner, over EW's Oscar Issue Pick, Up in the Air, and that Crazy Heart star Jeff Bridges is overtaking critics-group fave George Clooney.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 1, 2010 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?
In this ongoing blog duel, Moviefone's resident Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I discuss the impact of the Golden Globes on the Oscar race. On Golden Globes nominations morning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Downey, Jr., Julia Roberts and Tobey Maguire were dancing on the ceiling. And Harvey Weinstein thought he had three sure-fire Oscar contenders with Nine, Inglourious Basterds and A Single Man. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 9:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms
It was amusing watching announcers Matt Dillon and Taraji Henson maul the global Independent Spirit Awards nominees live on UStream Tuesday morning: they couldn't wrap their tongues around many of the names. Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire and The Last Station dominated with five nominations apiece. Best feature and best actor nominee 500 Days of Summer and best director James Gray (Two Lovers) were other big surprises. The announcement of Paramount's breakout thriller Paranormal Activity for best first feature (made for $15,000), brought gasps in the room. Excellent move: that film defines an indie breakout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 4:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Contenders Like Gotham Winner Hurt Locker Mix Edge with Style

It was predictable that The Hurt Locker would dominate the Gothams, winning best feature and ensemble as well as a tribute to director to Kathryn Bigelow, but the indie film, which came out last June, needed a boost in the more competitive Oscar race. Working with writer Mark Boal, who was embedded in Iraq, Bigelow fashioned a tough rigorous war thriller that is both formally beautiful and superbly acted. The Hurt Locker will also need critics groups to remind people why it's so good.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 3:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens
In this three-part flipcam interview on the pool terrace of the Sunset Plaza Hotel, A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg talks about how he came to be cast in the period dramedy, working with the Coen brothers, and how he is handling his serious good fortune. The fall release is likely to earn kudos with critics' groups at year's end and could be a factor with the Oscars as well. Will the Academy actors recognize this theater star, or is he too unknown? Well, he has now arrived. Next up: a major HBO series, Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2009 4:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which was a sleeper summer hit. UPDATE: The NYT's A.O. Scott addresses Jewish history as interpreted by Tarantino and the Coens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2009 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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