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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Nominations Led by King's Speech with 12; Winter's Bone Makes Top Ten, Bardem Lands Actor Nod

Oscar Nominations Led by King's Speech with 12; Winter's Bone Makes Top Ten, Bardem Lands Actor Nod
With the announcement of the Oscar nominations, momentum shifts toward The King's Speech, which led the fray with twelve nominations, including best picture, actor, supporting actor and actress, director and original screenplay. The Coen brothers western True Grit followed with ten nominations, including picture, actor, supporting actress, director and adapted screenplay. Producer Scott Rudin is grinning as he produced both True Grit and The Social Network, which earned eight nominations, including picture, actor, director, and original screenplay. Chris Nolan's Inception also earned eight, but while the writer-director landed a nomination for original screenplay (his second), he didn't get director, which is a sign that the film was not in the top five of the ten slots, and is unlikely to land best picture. Ben Affleck's The Town was shut out of contention except for Jeremy Renner, last year's discovery for The Hurt Locker, who nabbed his second nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2011 2:04 AM
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  • 9 Comments

True Grit iPad App: Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges, The Dude Abides

True Grit iPad App: Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges, The Dude Abides
True Grit has an iPad app, Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges. Not only does this cowboy love to sing and play guitar, but he's a shutter-bug who has been taking on-set photos for years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 1:11 AM
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True Grit Surges Past $100 Million at Sleepy Box Office; Cage and Paltrow Pics Are Soft

On its third go-round, True Grit surged on momentum and strong word-of-mouth to finally beat comedy sequel Little Fockers. The Oscar-buzzed Coen brothers western starring Jeff Bridges faced little or no competition, as many studio holiday entries collapsed. (See TOH's year-end box office wrap.) Anthony D'Alessandro reports:It was a ghost town at the cinema this weekend. Paramount’s True Grit continued to hang its B.O. high as it crossed the $100-million mark Sunday and pushed Universal’s family laffer Little Fockers to second place  ($13.8 million). Also falling short were two new wide entries, Relativity Media’s Nicolas Cage crusades actioner Season of the Witch ($10.7 million), and  Sony/Screen Gems' women's drama Country Strong ($7.3 million), starring Gwenyth Paltrow. Overall box office receipts totaled an estimated $114 million, off 29% from the same frame year ago when Avatar continued to be a phenomenon, grossing $50 million for the weekend.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 9, 2011 5:13 AM
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True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School

True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School
grit (noun): firmness of character; indomitable spirit.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 8, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Race Questions: Nomination Ballots Due January 14

Oscar Race Questions: Nomination Ballots Due January 14
There are several unknowns as we hurtle toward the end of balloting for Oscar nominations January 14. (Here's the schedule.) What we do know: the race for best picture is still between The King's Speech and The Social Network, the popular heart-tugger vs. the more cerebral critics' fave (see the votes at Gurus 'o Gold). Both sides are campaigning hard: both Weinstein Co. and Paramount are throwing Oscar parties this week. (My full Oscar Predicts Chart is here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 5:00 AM
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  • 9 Comments

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit
As western True Grit has taken off as the surprise hit of the Christmas season (topping a field of weak contenders), and has emerged a strong awards contender (with recent PGA and WGA nods), the usually taciturn Joel and Ethan Coen are on the promo trail. Here's a taste of their sound bites from various interviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 6:56 AM
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Holiday Wrap: Weak Box Office, True Grit Takes on Little Fockers, Black Swan, King's Speech Score

The box office continued tepid during what should have been a robust holiday period with North American families on vacation; it was down 26 percent from last year. For the year, the 2010 3-D-pumped domestic box office totaled $10.5 billion, down 0.3 percent from 2009's Avatar-inflated record of $10.6 billion. But the attendance stat provides a sobering reality check: attendance was down a whopping 5 percent: 1.34 billion against 1.41 billion in 2009. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts

Oscar Talk: Late December Openings, Frontrunners, WGA and Oscar Music, DGA Predicts
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I weigh the impact of year-end releases on the Oscar race. Will Another Year's Lesley Manville squeak into best actress contention, is Nicole Kidman hurt by the weak performance of Rabbit Hole? And what about frontrunner Natalie Portman's new pregnancy? What would it take to push Biutiful's Javier Bardem or I Am Love's Tilda Swinton into the race?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 5:11 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Lousy Christmas Weekend Box Office: Little Fockers Beats True Grit, Best Coens Opening Ever

At a horrendous Christmas weekend---which saw a 44% three-day drop in grosses over last year (flush with Avatar)---sequel comedy Little Fockers beat out adult western True Grit, the best--and widest--opening ever for a Coen brothers movie. It's likely that the well-reviewed oater will have longer legs, however, as it settles in for the long Oscar haul.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 7:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Coens' History of Mustaches

Hailee Steinfeld holds her own against Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in almost every category of True Grit's manliness, but she just can't compete in the mustache competition. NYMag calls Damon's 'stache a "spectacular, instantly iconic, old-timey mustache, which builds on the Coens' proud tradition of decorating their characters with some of the finest nose curtains in all of cinema." But even if his mustache surpasses Bridges' and Brolin's in this Western, he has competition from many Coens characters who preceed him. Check out NYMag's "Stach-o-Meter (which grades on a scale of Zorro to Gene Shalit)".
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 23, 2010 6:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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