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Thompson on Hollywood

Best British Films Poll

The London Observer has published its best British films poll 1984-2009, from "more than 60 experts - directors, screenwriters, actors, critics - and a few smart outsiders." They asked me and include my list, too, on the jump. I picked 30 films from the list for our own poll. Write in any others you like, please. (UPDATE: Here's their top 25 list.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2009 9:33 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Top 25 Active Directors: Did EW Get it Right?

EW loves lists like this one, the top 25 active directors, designed to inspire healthy debate. Did they get it right? And what do they mean by active, exactly? "Most talented, in-demand directors behind the camera today?" They're trying to have it both ways--it's a power list measuring fame, heat, influence and at the same time, a qualitative measure of talent.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2009 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Hollywood Issues

Each February, as the Oscars approach, special Hollywood issues roll out, and party planning kicks into gear. (The Vanity Fair party is back after last year's Writers Strike hiatus; and Madonna and Demi Moore are throwing their Oscar party again.) And for some of us, Oscar fatigue sets in: how many more pieces can we read about these people? I did my first interviews with Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh, Darren Aronofsky and Mickey Rourke back in September.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2009 2:02 AM
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BAFTA Cues: Slumdog, Rourke, Winslet, Cruz, Ledger

The London broadcast of the BAFTA Awards on Sunday does not cue what will happen on Oscar night. Suddenly, everyone says, as they did after the Golden Globes, Mickey Rourke will win. The folks voting for the BAFTAs are from the UK film industry, they aren't the same as the 5800 Academy voters. Of course the ceremony does take place smack in the middle of Oscar voting. (Still, many Academy members have already filled out their ballots, due February 17.) But they aren't widely viewed. More people see reports of the winners than the actual show. So rather than being predictive, the BAFTAs may have some slight influence on momentum. Winners look like winners, and so on.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2009 2:07 AM
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Oscar Watch: Boyle Wins DGA

I took this photograph of Danny Boyle at the start of the whole long process: The Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend. The movie was the hit of the fest. Everyone knew it was a winner. Slumdog went on to score at the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, best director at the LA Film Critics, and Saturday night, the Directors Guild. Multiple Oscars are in Slumdog's sights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2009 3:00 AM
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Golden Globes Weekend Party Hopping

Golden Globes weekend brings parties and more parties, both Saturday and Sunday. Predicting the Globes is a frustrating exercise; it's only 80 people. Who knows what they're thinking? The good money appears to be on Slumdog Millionaire for drama. I'll go with The Curious Life of Benjamin Button.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2009 3:26 AM
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Toronto Winners and Losers

So far, the big winner on the fall fest circuit, based on critical, audience and exhib reaction, is Slumdog Millionaire, the pic that Warners let get away.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2008 8:11 AM
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Telluride Watch 3: Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, and Awards Buzz

One of the tricks of the fall film fest trade is to launch a few movies that will gain awards season traction. Telluride has often done well picking some of these pics in advance, such as Brokeback Mountain, Walk the Line and last year's Juno. So given this year's short supply of completed specialty division fare, as many distribs have opted to take the late-year approach to chasing Oscar, Telluride dug up its own indie and foreign gems to help them get some attention.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2008 6:25 AM
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Best Brit Directors

Danny Boyle's Sunshine is a hit in the U.K. I can't wait. Until then, we can revel in the Brits' celebration of their superior directing talent pool. The London Telegraph film critics have picked a top 21 list, for some reason, of the best British directors of all time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2007 4:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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