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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role

Oscar Watch: Rockwell Nails Conviction Role
Sometimes, there comes a moment in a working actor's life where just the right role suddenly galvanizes awards attention. I've been tracking Sam Rockwell since he broke out at Sundance in 1996 with Tim DiCillo's Box of Moon Light. Rockwell has been knocking out great juicy performances ever since--often in smaller indie films such as George Clooney's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, or David Gordon Green's Snow Angels. He's also a stalwart supporting player in Frost/Nixon, The Green Mile and The Assassination of Jesse James, and hilarious in Galaxy Quest and Iron Man 2. He held his own opposite Mickey Rourke--not an easy thing to do. Jon Favreau rewarded Rockwell with a role in the upcoming sci-fi western Cowboys and Aliens. And Rockwell also held the screen against himself in the complex and moving BAFTA-winning sci-fi indie Moon, which generated serious Oscar talk last year--but didn't have a proper Oscar campaign behind it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 6:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter

Oscar Talk Wrap-Up: Never Let Me Go Wanes, Foreign Contenders, Blue Valentine, Harry Potter
During this week's Oscar Talk podcast, Kris Tapley (InContention) and I were joined by indieWIRE's awards expert Peter Knegt and InContention's Guy Lodge, both in London covering the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2010 1:42 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco

Oscar Watch: Palm Springs, Santa Barbara Fests Push Oscar Hopefuls Like Mulligan, Franco
It isn't news that Oscar campaigners take advantage of fall film fests in L.A. and NY that are designed to draw awards attention. MCN's David Poland rants about con-man Carlos Abreu's bogus Hollywood Film Festival (which I refuse to take seriously) and IFP's Gotham Awards, which are far more legitimate in that they are designed to put the spotlight on indie films. Any fest that boosts Lena Dunham's Tiny Furniture or Let Me In is fine by me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2010 7:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Gotham Nominees Signal Awards Season Indie Players, Led by Winter's Bone

Gotham Nominees Signal Awards Season Indie Players, Led by Winter's Bone
This year's Gotham Award nominees from Independent Feature Project signal the key indie players in this year's awards season. Fox Searchlight's Black Swan, Weinstein Co.'s Blue Valentine, Focus Features' The Kids Are All Right and Roadside Attractions' Winter's Bone were expected to lead the best feature field: surprise entry is Overture's vampire remake, Let Me In, which could get a DVD boost from year-end critics groups.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2010 5:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Between a Rock and Hard Place: Boyle and Franco Talk 127 Hours

TIFF Between a Rock and Hard Place: Boyle and Franco Talk 127 Hours
I interviewed 127 Hours producer Christian Colson and writer Simon Beaufoy, the same team who worked with Danny Boyle on Slumdog Millionaire, just before my flipcam chat with Boyle and James Franco (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2010 3:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Aronofsky Talks the "Nightmare" of Getting 'Black Swan' Made

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan opened the Venice Film Festival and took the Lido by storm. I talked with the director about the long "nightmare" of getting the script right and financing the film, casting Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel, shooting in a gritty up-close verite style, and how he set about "creeping out" the audience.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 1:19 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Waiting for Malick: Which Film Fest Will Debut Tree of Life?

After not showing at Cannes or Venice, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life did screen at Telluride: but only six people saw the cut-down movie (two hours, 15 minutes) at two separate screenings for Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight, which landed the picture. The Tree of Life is inspiring raves from the few who've seen it (they use words like "cinema-changing"). Even though the film boasts stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, that does not mean that it will be anything but an art house success d'estime. But Searchlight is willing to give it their best shot, which is usually pretty damned good.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2010 12:48 PM
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  • 5 Comments

TIFF: Tony Goldwyn Talks Conviction, Betty Anne Waters, Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell

TIFF: Tony Goldwyn Talks Conviction, Betty Anne Waters, Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell
At this year's Toronto Film Fest, indieWIRE interviewed filmmakers and stars at Live at the Lounge every day. In my talk with Conviction director Tony Goldwyn (video below), he admitted, as David Schwimmer had several days earlier with rape drama Trust, that serious dramas are the hardest films to finance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2010 11:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Telluride: 127 Hours So Intense, Medics Attend to Overcome Moviegoers at Two Screenings

Telluride: 127 Hours So Intense, Medics Attend to Overcome Moviegoers at Two Screenings
TOH Telluride correspondent Meredith Brody reports seeing on Saturday night "somebody being taken out on a gurney from the Galaxy" showing of 127 Hours and later that night at a second screening of the Danny Boyle film, "ambulances with multicolored flashing lights pulling into the Palm."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2010 4:11 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere
While the Venice Fest is on its fourth day, Telluride got under way Friday night with screenings of Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Errol Morris's latest doc Tabloid and Peter Weir's prisoner-of-war drama The Way Back, which fewer people instantly reviewed. @EugeneNovikov tweeted: "THE WAY BACK (B) I was rapt for the first half- Weir at his hypnotic best - then becomes a bit repetitive and mechanical (if still powerful)." UPDATE: Here's the NYT's A.O. Scott.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 8:30 AM
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  • 11 Comments

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