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Thompson on Hollywood

Javier Bardem Talks Biutiful: "We Have to Reach People's Hearts, Not Their Pockets"

It's no surprise that the great Spanish actor Javier Bardem delivers yet another incendiary performance, under the director of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, in Biutiful, which won the best actor award in Cannes and finally opens stateside on December 29 for awards consideration. TOH's Sophia Savage interviewed Bardem on December 9.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2010 4:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: NY Times Actors Video Gallery

Let us distract you with The New York Times' Fourteen Actors Acting: A Video Gallery of Classic Screen Types. They look like B & W portraits (and we've included stills here) but are actually mini-videos rounding up faces from the past year: Javier Bardem, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Jesse Eisenberg, Chloe Moretz, Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Lawrence, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassell, Anthony Mackie, Robert Duvall, Lesley Manville and Tilda Swinton.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2010 8:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Iñárritu, del Toro, Prieto Talk Biutiful, Dying Art Films

Oscar Watch: Iñárritu, del Toro, Prieto Talk Biutiful, Dying Art Films
'Tis the season for Q & As, show-and-tells, and various craftspeople and talent giving Academy and Guild members a chance to see their stuff. TOH's Cameron Carlson attended a recent screening at the Academy's Linwood G. Dunn Theater of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s fest circuit hit Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem as a Spanish street peddler and petty criminal named Uxbal. Inarritu, producer Guillermo del Toro, cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, editor Stephen Mirrione, and composer Gustavo Santaolalla (who won back-to-back Oscars for Brokeback Mountain and Inarritu's Babel) talked afterward, not only about the difficulties making and releasing this foreign-language art film but the woeful state of global cinema. Concluded del Toro of today's discerning smart moviegoers: “You want to buy your free-range fucking organic chicken. Well guess what, you are about to run out of fucking organic free-range film."
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • November 11, 2010 6:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Will Studio Pics "Secretariat," "Love & Other Drugs," "Morning Glory" Earn Oscar Love?

Will Studio Pics "Secretariat," "Love & Other Drugs," "Morning Glory" Earn Oscar Love?
The movies that are ahead in the awards race---or have the most buzz at this stage--either have already opened or nabbed media coverage at film festivals, from Sundance (Blue Valentine, Waiting for Superman, The Kids Are All Right), Cannes (Biutiful, Another Year, Inside Job) and Venice (Black Swan, The Town, The Tempest) to Telluride (The King's Speech, The Way Back, 127 Hours), Toronto (Rabbit Hole, Hereafter), New York (The Social Network) and later reprise fests such as the Hamptons and AFI Fest. Now Paramount has slotted a surprise "secret" AFI Fest screening of David O. Russell's The Fighter, which I will see tonight at Grauman's, with an audience: a smart studio move.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 9, 2010 9:28 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Award Watch, Production News, Talking to Boyle and League

OSCARS & AWARDS: While Black Swan promotional endeavors impress, the Godard anti-Semitism issue clouds his Honorary Oscar. And as The Hollywood Reporter's new glossy weekly hits the stands with its Actress Roundtable (considered in this week's Oscar Talk), Variety shuffles its editorial deck. Awards are being given to Biutiful star Javier Bardem, The Kids Are All Right's Annette Bening, Cinema Eye helps to anoint award-season documentary frontrunners and Peter Weir's The Way Back kicks off the Museum of Tolerance Film Festival. The King's Speech, with a Gala screening Friday night as part of AFI Fest 2010, leads the Gurus 'o Gold poll along with star Colin Firth and Bening.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 6, 2010 3:57 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Javier Bardem Receiving International Star Award at Palm Springs Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honoring Oscar winner Javier Bardem with its International Star Award at the festival's Gala on January 8, recognizing his critical and commercial success as a domestic and international star. Festival chairman Harold Matzner calls Bardem a "mesmerizing" actor who "brings a stinging intensity to his performances. He riveted audiences with his portrayal in No Country for Old Men and continues to raise the bar in his latest film, Biutiful.  Javier Bardem now ranks among the cinematic elite." Jennifer Lawrence and Carey Mulligan will also be receiving awards at the PSIFF, as previously announced.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 3, 2010 5:20 AM
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  • 0 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

TIFF Interview: Inarritu Expected Biutiful, Starring Bardem, to "Provoke Extreme Reactions"

TIFF Interview: Inarritu Expected Biutiful, Starring Bardem, to "Provoke Extreme Reactions"
Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's long-awaited follow-up to Babel (which scored seven Oscar nominations in 2007 including best picture), came into Toronto with a stateside distrib (Lionsgate's Roadside Attractions), and played well here. Javier Bardem's performance as a down-and-out psychic in Barcelona, Spain, which shared the best actor prize in Cannes, is definitely on the Oscar radar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2010 3:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

TIFF Diary: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Biutiful, The Edge

TIFF Diary: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, Biutiful, The Edge
The indefatigable Meredith Brody shifts gears from Telluride to Toronto without missing a beat.Even though journalists now get inundated with cascading press releases from Toronto -- carefully calibrated and beautifully orchestrated to arouse excitement (in both us and our eventual readers) -- that let us know everything that’s going to be shown over the 11 days of the Toronto International Film Festival (aka TIFF), there’s still that ineffable moment when you sit down with the 448-page catalogue and read through each page as though it’s an especially engrossing, well-plotted novel.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 12, 2010 9:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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