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Thompson on Hollywood

Hollywood Mobilizes to Help Haiti

Besides George Clooney and Matt Damon's January 22 Haiti Aid Telethon, and Sean Penn arranging an emergency medical shipment to Haiti, many other members of the Hollywood community are stepping up to help the earthquake-ravaged island. On the eve of their annual Golden Globes Awards ceremony, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have donated $100,000 to Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti relief fund. Sandra Bullock, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's foundation, have committed $1 million in relief. And Artists for Peace and Justice is mounting a fundraising brunch this Sunday, reports writer-director Paul Haggis:Our board members have raised a significant amount of money in the past few days and we are hand delivering the funds to Port au Prince now. We have been told supplies are available in Haiti, they are just expensive; the banks are closed, so the hospitals that are still functioning, like the children's hospital we sponsor, St. Damien's -- the only free hospital serving the people of the slums of Port au Prince -- have run out of medicine and fuel for their generators. The emergency cash is a quick fix; we are also partnering with Operation USA and are flying in containers of medicine and supplies within the next few days. Anyone interested in donating can go to our website.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 16, 2010 1:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Holiday Winners and Losers: Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Streep, Bullock and Nine

Where are we, after the record-breaking holiday? There were many winners.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms
Time's Richard Corliss has figured out a clever way to write about year-end critics awards and tee up a clickable gallery of Oscar hopefuls, short and sweet. Trouble is, he gives way too much credit to the critics. They do help to clue the Academy voters into what films they should watch on their screener piles. But in the end, what the voters think when they watch the movies is what matters---as well as how passionate they feel as they vote for their top ten best picture candidates. The ones at the top of the list get more weight than the ones at the bottom. Thus, if most voters put The Last Station, Nine, The Messenger, Star Trek and District 9 at the bottom, they won't make it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 7:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops
Over the holiday weekend, the two most popular topics on my Twitter feed were Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. While there was debate on Sherlock Holmes's merits, most of my tweeters approved of Cameron's blockbuster (as did critics--it scored 83 on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic). Avatar looks to challenge, if not beat, Titanic's box office records, based on its extraordinary performance in North America so far: $75 million over the holiday and $212 million to date. (Here's the LAT's box office report, and David Poland's analysis.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2009 5:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten
Kris Tapley and I get serious about what's going to happen in the next month. Avatar will gain momentum, we think, while Nine and Invictus could lose it. Which films will make it to the final top ten? We agree on the obvious front-runners. But what could sneak in? Quentin Tarantino likes Star Trek. Kris likes Crazy Heart and The Messenger. I like District 9. Could raucous comedy It's Complicated score some noms? We also slice and dice the best director category, and discuss our fave holiday films, revealing a considerable generational divide: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation vs. Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations

Five Things I Learned from the SAG Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations are more revealing in many ways than the much-touted Golden Globes, because they reveal how the actors think. That's important because the actors branch of the Academy is by far the most dominant, some 1200 votes out of 6000. Thus you can glean from the nominations below several things:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2009 3:20 AM
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  • 6 Comments

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Millenium Trilogy Movie Rights Go to Sony, Rudin

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Millenium Trilogy Movie Rights Go to Sony, Rudin
On a recent trip to London, I picked up a copy of the U.K. hardcover edition of the third installment of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, and have been lending it to my friends ever since. (It won't be published stateside until May.) The three books are addictive, globally popular (they have sold more than 20 million copies), and have spawned a Swedish film trilogy that is also scoring at the worldwide box office. The subtitled The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo arrives stateside via Music Box on March 19. (A trailer is on the jump.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2009 8:05 AM
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  • 27 Comments

Broadcast Film Critics Give Ten Nominations to Inglourious Basterds and Nine

The Broadcast Film Critics Movie Awards nominations in a whopping 25 categories are dominated by Inglourious Basterds and Nine, with ten nominations each, followed by Avatar, with nine and The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air with eight and The Lovely Bones with six. While not every category will match up with the ultimate Oscar nominations (some have six slots), this list of ten best picture nominees could be close to the final Oscar list--no District 9, The Lovely Bones, Star Trek or The Last Station (which got savaged by At the Movies).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2009 10:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star

Must -Sees: The Last Station, Up in the Air, Bright Star
Must-Sees:Jason Reitman's Up in the Air has been deemed a too-dark marketing challenge. But the movie's strength is the way it skips past conventional genre cliches while deftly taking its characters through romantic escape and isolation--and the tough economy. Paramount Pictures is one of the few studios that can market both big and little movies. Up in the Air may be on its way to some Oscar nominations: it won four awards from the National Board of Review, including best picture of the year. It's tied with Precious for number one on the Gurus 'O Gold. Reviews are stellar: Tomatometer: 84%. Metascore: 81.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2009 1:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009
Again, the National Board of Review is not always a forecaster of things to come, but rather a bellwether of where the momentum is at this moment in time. (It tends to be a bit New York-centric.) Thursday, the NBR (made up of East Coast educators, mostly) named Jason Reitman's third film, the uncategorizable Up in the Air the best film of the year. The movie which is both funny and serious starts a limited run on Friday and has scored 86% on the Tomatometer so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2009 7:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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