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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: Oscar Nominated 'Omar' a Taut Thriller about Paranoia's Occupation of the Soul

Hany Abu-Assad’s smart thriller “Omar,” which has been nominated for the Best Foreign-Language Oscar, is like a modern-day “Romeo & Juliet” tale, if Romeo were a double agent in the middle of the West Bank.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 18, 2014 11:35 AM
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Berlin Review: Silver Bear Best Script Winner 'Stations of the Cross'

“Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross),” which won the Best Script Silver Bear at this year's now wrapped Berlinale, is a well-designed and constructed portrait of a young, devout Catholic girl trying to make her way through a maze of satanically influenced culture (i.e., normality) and sin (e.g., attraction to a boy) while meeting the absurdly high personal standards demanded by her overbearing mother, her priest and her God.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • February 17, 2014 11:32 AM
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Livestream the Golden Globes Foreign Directors Panel

On Saturday at 1 PM Pacific, check out the livestream at the Egyptian Theater of the annual foreign directors panel the day before the winner is announced live at the Golden Globes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2014 1:55 PM
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'Grandmaster' Wong Kar-Wai Mourns 35 MM, Honors Fading Martial Arts (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Hong Kong filmmaker Wong kar-wai ("In the Mood for Love") is an engaging and articulate man. He's happy that after two years of research travel around Asia meeting the grandmasters of martial arts, his film "The Grandmaster" is not only his second to be submitted by Hong Kong for the best foreign Oscar, but made the shortlist of nine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2014 12:59 PM
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Academy Narrows Foreign Language List to Nine

Six foreign films films picked by several hundred Los Angeles Academy voters --members from various branches who see the requisite number of movies submitted for Oscar consideration--as well as three added by an executive committee hand-picked by producer Mark Johnson--make up the shortlist of nine foreign films that will be narrowed down to five nominees.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2013 1:20 PM
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European Film Awards Winners: Italian Oscar Entry 'The Great Beauty' Takes Home Four (Livestream Video)

The 26th European Film Awards have completed in Berlin (livestream here). Two foreign Oscar submissions took home awards: Italy's "The Great Beauty" led the field, collecting four prizes, for Best Film, Director (Paolo Sorrentino), Actor (Toni Servillo) and Editor (Cristiano Travaglioli). Veerle Baetens took home Best Actress for "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Belgium's Oscar entry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2013 2:58 PM
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Thomas Vinterberg Directs Mads Mikkelsen in Danish Oscar Entry 'The Hunt' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

"Suddenly this kind, lovely civilized man becomes this uncivilized creature," says "The Hunt" director Thomas Vinterberg.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2013 4:38 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Singapore Oscar Entry 'Ilo Ilo' Nabs Four Golden Horse Awards

"Ilo Ilo," the Singapore submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, just added new awards kudos to its collection of wins. The film took home the Caméra D’Or for best first feature (writer-director Anthony Chen) at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival (it played in Directors Fortnight), Best First Feature at the London Film Festival, Best Feature Film and the FIPRESCI Prize at Molodist in Kiev, Best Director at Mumbai Film Festival, among others.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2013 2:58 PM
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'Broken Circle Breakdown' Leads European Film Award Nominations

One of the frontrunners for the foreign film Oscar is Belgian entry "Broken Circle Breakdown," which was a breakout hit in Belgium before it won the audience award at Berlin last February. The improbable bluegrass musical romance went on to delight global festival audiences, winning best screenplay at Tribeca. Now the Felix van Groeningen film leads the field with five nominations for the 26th European Film Awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2013 12:19 PM
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'Applause' Comes to DVD, Knockout Star Paprika Steen Talks Backstage Alcoholism Drama, Denmark vs. America (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Denmark's 2010 festival hit and Oscar submission "Applause" is finally coming out on DVD via Kino Lorber on November 26. Directed by rookie Martin Pieter Zandvliet, "Applause" features a must-see incendiary performance by Paprika Steen as Thea, a recovering alcoholic stage actress playing Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" just as she's trying to repair her damaged relationship with her family. TOH sat down with the Danish star for a flip cam interview, below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 28, 2013 3:44 PM
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