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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk: Foreign Race, Harry Potter, London Fest, Blue Valentine, All Good Things, Black Swan

Oscar Talk: Foreign Race, Harry Potter, London Fest, Blue Valentine, All Good Things, Black Swan
This week, Kris Tapley and I engaged in Oscar Talk via Skype across the Pond with London Film Festival attendees Guy Lodge (In Contention) and Peter Knegt (indieWIRE). We dug into the foreign Oscar race, the NC-17 Blue Valentine controversy, Oscar chances for Black Swan, All Good Things and Never Let Me Go, why documentaries, sequels and animation face tough going getting into the top ten, and what the award season could hold for must-see five-hour marathon Carlos.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2010 4:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

What Went Wrong With Tamara Drewe?

What Went Wrong With Tamara Drewe?
Something went terribly wrong with Tamara Drewe, an entertaining romantic comedy that played well at Cannes from one of the great Brit directors, Stephen Frears, starring hottie-on-the-rise Gemma Arterton. Sony Pictures Classics opened it last weekend to disastrous business: $19,300 on four screens, a $4,825 per-screen average. Here's why.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2010 11:08 AM
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  • 10 Comments

Oscar Watch: Foreign Language Race Frontrunners

Oscar Watch: Foreign Language Race Frontrunners
The final list of 65 submissions for the foreign language Oscar is posted below. One of the reasons that the Academy will not be moving up the Oscar date for 2012 is this category, which requires that the members of the foreign language branch see 80% of the films on the big screen in their selection (among four groups: red, white, blue, green) to qualify to vote. The members sign in to each screening. If they don't see enough of the films, their vote doesn't count. Once they meet their quota, they can weigh in on films in the other groups as well. No screeners--they have to read subtitles. Which is why the notion of having this group look at streaming movies was absurd. (One critics' fave that did not qualify for submission for the Oscars was the five-hour Olivier Assayas film Carlos, which was made for television. IFC is seeking critics' groups and Golden Globes (TV or mini-series) consideration. Multi-lingual Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez deserves some year-end kudos for his sexy, dangerous, layered performance as Carlos the Jackal.) UPDATE: This week's Oscar Talk gang of four discuss the foreign race in depth, posted Friday at 9 AM PST.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 14, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Watch: Vitagraph to Release Spanish Oscar Entry Even The Rain, Starring Garcia Bernal

Oscar Watch: Vitagraph to Release Spanish Oscar Entry Even The Rain, Starring Garcia Bernal
Vitagrah Films has acquired North American rights to Spain's Oscar submission for best foreign language film, Tambien La Lluvia (Even The Rain), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 12, 2010 5:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The European Film Academy's Five Discovery Nominees

The European Film Academy announces five nominees for its European Discovery Award, which recognizes emerging directors' first feature-length films. The nominees are selected by members of FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. The 2,300 members of the EFA will watch and vote for the winner, which will be announced December 4th at the 23rd European Film Awards.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 11, 2010 4:56 AM
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Production News: The Secret in Their Eyes Remake, Downey/McQueen's Yucatan, Gravity, The Hobbit

- When a foreign film earns both critical and audience support (think Let the Right One In and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) --not to mention a Best Foreign Language film Oscar --the remake question comes up. Juan Jose Campanella's Argentine The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto De Sus Ojos) may flicker again as an English language remake at Warner Bros. The studio is in final talks for remake rights and have lined up Billy Ray (director of Shattered Glass and Breach, writer of Flightplan) to write and direct, and producer-writer-director-editor Campanella to produce. The thriller traces an ex-federal justice agent's relationship to an old murder case that haunts him and his romantic feelings for his former boss, with many flashbacks to 1974. Where and when the remake will be set is pending, but the fundamental reasons to remake this film will hopefully stay true: a gripping story with characters we care about.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 7, 2010 4:25 AM
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2010 Oscar Short and Foreign Film Deadline is October 1

2010 Oscar Short and Foreign Film Deadline is October 1
The deadline is looming to submit all foreign language and short film (animated and live action) entries for the 2010 Oscars: October 1. According to the Academy, complete entries must arrive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by 5 p.m. PT that day. The rules are here. 55 foreign language films have been submitted by their country so far. (More on the foreign race anon.)  In the short film categories, filmmakers must submit an entry form, one film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline.  In the Foreign Language Film category, filmmakers must submit entry forms, one English-subtitled film print or copy in an approved digital format, and all other required materials by the deadline. Only one motion picture will be accepted from each country. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2010 8:36 AM
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Gotham Screen International Film Festival Kicks Off October 7th

Gotham Screen International Film Festival Kicks Off October 7th
The 4th annual Gotham Screen International Film Festival opens October 7 and runs eleven days, centralized at New York's Tribeca Cinemas.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 28, 2010 3:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

European Film Academy Nominates Three Animated Features

The European Film Academy nominates three for 2010 Animated Feature Film; Spain/UK's Planet 51 directed by Jorge Blanco, Belgium's Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage from Ben Stassen, and UK/France's The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet. On December 4th, the winner will be announced at the EFA Awards Ceremony in Tallinn/Estonia, as determined by their 2,300 voting members.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2010 4:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Garner/Renner Get Addicted, Boardwalk Empire's Williams, Jacki Weaver, The Fighter Trailer

- Jennifer Garner will play the trophy wife addicted to prescription drugs and Jeremy Renner will play the lifeless pharmacist catering to (and falling for) the woman and the addiction via their disastrous extra-marital affair in Better Living Through Chemistry. (This seems to be a trend: another upcoming title is Love and Other Drugs.) THR is calling it a dramatic thriller, not a romantic comedy. Garner was at her post-Alias best in 2007's action/drama The Kingdom. This picture seems the most promising of her handful of projects in development (mostly comedies). And Renner's role sounds like a treat for The Town star to crack and crumble with. Writers Geoff Moore and David Posamentier will make their directorial debuts with this project.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 17, 2010 12:10 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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