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Thompson on Hollywood

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Holiday Box Office Preview: True Grit vs. Little Fockers

Every year the studios dream of scooping up Christmas holiday sugar plums. Will they find them this season? Anthony D'Alessandro makes a fearless holiday box office forecast:What present do the majors want to open under the Christmas tree? A box office full of cash. "There’s no better time of year for adult moviegoing then the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” says Paramount distribution exec vp Don Harris. “Good movies play well to everybody. The play’s the thing.”
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 23, 2010 1:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has posted its nominees for the 2010 AWFJ EDA Awards (full list is below). Nominated for Best Film are Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network and Winter's Bone. Oddly, The Kids Are All Right received 16 nominations-- but not best picture. Helen Mirren (RED) got five.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2010 11:23 AM
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Brits Weigh In: King's Speech, Another Year Lead London Critics

Don't underestimate the Brit factor when it comes to Oscar influence. There are many Brit voters in the Academy. The London Critics Circle just gave boosts to two Brit films, The King's Speech (seven nominations, including Film of the Year, Brit film of Year and Actor of the Year, Colin Firth) and Another Year (six, including British Director, Mike Leigh, British Actress, Lesley Manville and British Actor, Jim Broadbent). The Social Network nabbed five noms, while Brit debut featureThe Arbor got four, along with Joel and Ethan Coen's True Grit. Full list below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2010 5:08 AM
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Jeff Bridges Duets with Cookie Monster on SNL, Raises Star Profile

Jeff Bridges hosted Saturday Night Live (video below), yet another example that his public profile, post-Crazy Heart Oscar and with new releases TRON: Legacy and True Grit, is higher than it's ever been. (He's also been ardently pursuing a music career.) Remember, Bridges is infamous, Star Man and The Big Lebowski excepted, for being a beloved character actor who has never been a movie star. He never put butts in seats. But maybe that has changed. The box office performance of the Coens' True Grit (trailer below) will be a test of that--as will nabbing another Oscar nomination.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2010 9:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: TRON: Legacy Scores Big, How Do You Know is Non-Starter

Disney scored a big, not boffo, opening with 3-D sequel TRON: Legacy, which delivers a level of 3-D VFX not seen since James Cameron's Avatar. Clearly, the wow factor still puts butts in seats, but the movie cost more than $150 million. Who knew Jeff Bridges would win an Oscar and become a star in his 60s? He plays two roles in TRON, including his digital younger self. Stumbling out of the starting gate is James L. Brooks' $110 million not-so-romantic comedy How Do You Know, which was savaged by critics. Anthony D'Alessandro does the numbers:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 19, 2010 4:43 AM
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  • 12 Comments

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG

Oscar Talk: Predicts Post-Critics Groups, Globes, SAG
Does Blue Valentine or Another Year or Biutiful still have a shot? Will Winter's Bone or The Town make it onto the Oscar Ten? In Contention's @KrisTapley and @GuyLodge and I read the Oscar tea leaves in the wake of the critics votes, Golden Globes, and SAG nominations. We explain why critics' fave The Social Network isn't necessarily a shoo-in for best picture. And why the SAG Awards count more than the Golden Globes in the Oscar race, and why the HFPA didn't nominate How Do You Know? as a comedy. The guys like Tron: Legacy and Daft Punk a lot more than I do, that's for sure.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 5:00 AM
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Oscar Presenters Include Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei, Oprah

Oscar Presenters Include Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei, Oprah
Oscar producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced Monday that on February 27, Oscar presenters for the 83rd Academy Awards will include past nominees and winners Halle Berry (won Best Actress for Monster's Ball), Jeff Bridges (won Best Actor for Crazy Heart), Sandra Bullock (won Best Actress, The Blind Side), Marisa Tomei (won Best Supporting Actress, My Cousin Vinny) and Oprah Winfrey (nominated for Best Supporting Actress, The Color Purple).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 13, 2010 6:20 AM
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Critics Choice Awards Nominations; Black Swan Leads With 12; Women Directors Snubbed

Critics Choice Awards Nominations; Black Swan Leads With 12; Women Directors Snubbed
The largest film critic group (of which I am a member), the Broadcast Film Critics Association, provides a handy window into where the award season is heading. (The New York Film Critics vote Monday.) The full list of nominations, led by Black Swan (12), The King's Speech (11), True Grit (11), Inception (10) and The Social Network (9) is below. The awards will air live at 9 PM ET/PT on January 14.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 13, 2010 6:20 AM
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AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut

AFI Movies of the Year: The Town, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, True Grit Make the Cut
The American Film Institute voted their ten best AFI Movies and TV Programs of the Year Awards Sunday, proclaimed as the "only recognition that honors the community’s creative ensembles as a whole, acknowledging the collaborative nature of the art form." The AFI honors American films and series. Thus they chose British The King's Speech and Waiting for Superman as "Special Award" winners, having not met the AFI's standard criteria (posted below). Their Movies and TV Programs of the year, as chosen by film and television scholars, artists and critics, are as follows:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 13, 2010 4:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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