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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: In Political Films, Reality Trumps Fiction

"The Ides of March," George Clooney's latest directorial effort, promises by its very title a mixture of danger, betrayal, and warped power. What we get, though, is more disquisition than thrill ride, a technically sound but ultimately unfeeling film about the cynicism of modern politics.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 23, 2012 4:39 PM
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SAG and Critics' Choice Movie Awards Name Presenters and Performers

Wednesday, both the Screen Actors Guild and the Critics' Choice Movie Awards announced their lineups of presenters. First up is the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, to be broadcast live by VH1 from the Hollywood Palladium at 8:00 p.m. on January 12.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 11, 2012 3:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Supporting Actor Race; 'The Descendants' Robert Forster Talks Film Acting, Career Slumps, Academy Membership

Anything can happen in the supporting actor race. Every year some surprise nominee turns up who has not been mentioned in leadup critics and guild awards. Often it's someone attached to a popular movie like Alexander Payne's "The Descendants," which could have coattails as other contenders lose momentum. (Notably, "The Descendants" is the only film with perfect guild showings to date, nommed by SAG, PGA, DGA, WGA and ADG.) That could help veteran Robert Forster, for example, who returned to working actor status with Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown" and has been busy ever since.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 9, 2012 2:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Palm Springs Adds Cousins' 'Story of Film,' Archive Game-Changers; Clooney & Oldman for Talking Pictures

The Palm Springs International Film Festival announces additional premieres, Talking Pictures and Archival Treasures. In total, the fest has 188 films (63 premieres) playing between January 5-16, representing 73 countries. Newly announced premieres include...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 5, 2012 4:11 PM
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Now and Then: Why The Descendants Should Win Best Picture

"The Descendants" starts slow, muddied by voiceover and unclear intentions. But it soon sneaks up on you, deepening — ripening, really — until it achieves something approaching wisdom.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 30, 2011 2:55 PM
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  • 2 Comments

The Challenger to The Artist is The Descendants

As Academy members get their ballots this week, if one movie can challenge "The Artist" in the race for the Best Picture Oscar, it's "The Descendants." For one thing, with $33 million in the till after the Christmas holidays, where it landed in the top ten, it's a box office hit in a way that "The Artist" is not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2011 12:05 PM
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Oscar Watch: The Artist is the One to Beat

Yes, "The Artist" is running away with the Oscar ball. It's has love from critics, dominated the SAG and Golden Globes nominations, and is strong with actors and craftspeople alike. As a nostalgic love letter to the movies--and a comic/tragic/romance--it has everything a Academy member could love, and will grab more Oscar nominations than any other film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 15, 2011 4:29 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Screen Actors Guild Surprises: Close, Bichir, and McCarthy Are In, Theron, Redgrave, Woodley and Fassbender, Out

"Albert Nobbs" star Glenn Close can heave a sigh of relief, as she landed a Screen Actors Guild nomination as Best Actress, along with frontrunners Meryl Streep ("The Iron Lady") and Viola Davis, whose film "The Help" gets a surge in the Oscar race as it dominated the field with four nominations, including best ensemble and two supporting nods for Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2011 11:21 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Clooney, Payne and Cast Talk The Descendants: Real is Funny, Stealing Clooney's Wife

Last week Film Independent screened "The Descendants" at LACMA with George Clooney, director Alexander Payne, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, Beau Bridges and Nick Krause on hand for a Q & A afterward. Highlights from the conversation with Elvis MItchell are below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 19, 2011 4:26 PM
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Oscar Talk: Streep vs. Davis, Prosthetic vs. Digital Makeup, Performance Capture vs. Animation, Close vs. McTeer

In this week's Oscar Talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I debate Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin," performance capture vs. animation. Will animators support it? We think visual effects is a stronger, well-deserved shot.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2011 1:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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