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Thompson on Hollywood

Foreign Language Oscar Contenders

Magnolia Pictures has a film in this year's foreign Oscar race, as is often the case, from Scandinavia. Sweden's official entry is black comedy psychodrama "Force Majeure," the fourth feature for writer-director Ruben Östlund and the second of his films to be submitted (2009's "Happy Sweden" aka "Involuntary"). It won the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and will have its North American premiere as a Special Presentation at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Magnolia will release "Force Majeure" in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, October 24, followed by a national rollout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2014 1:40 PM
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Oscar Predictions 2015 UPDATE

Oscar Predicts Chart 2014
As the fall festivals loom, I'm listing some possibilities for Oscar consideration for 2015. Going into the season, only a handful of movies have Oscar potential; their handlers will rely on critics and guild groups to keep them in the conversation over the long haul. They are Wes Anderson's well-wrought hit "Grand Budapest Hotel," which gains points for period but loses some for comedy. Similarly, Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" has earned critics' kudos for its daring and unique 12-year time travel, but remains a small-scale indie that has to sustain itself over a year, from January's Sundance through the long awards slog.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2014 9:56 PM
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  • 490 Comments

Screen Talk: Telluride and the Oscars, from 'Birdman' to 'The Imitation Game'

On this week's Screen Talk, Indiewire critic Eric Kohn and I debate new movies "Wild," "Imitation Game" and "Birdman"--and which ones will have an impact on this year's Oscar race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2014 11:38 AM
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  • 7 Comments

First Gurus 'O Gold Pre-Festival Top Fifteen Oscar Contenders ('GONE GIRL' TRAILER)

MovieCityNews asked the Gurus 'O Gold to ranked in no order 15 contenders for the Oscar race, pre-Telluride and Toronto. Here they are--of the top seven that everybody but one picked, in past years that list yielded the eventual Oscar winner. (That doesn't mean they will all be nominated.) So why is everyone so high on "Gone Girl," which opens wide October 3 after launching the New York Film Festival? Check out the new trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2014 2:37 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Fury' Starring Brad Pitt Closes London Film Festival in Bid for Oscar Contention

David Ayer's "Fury" is a movie I want to see. That's because Ayer is a visceral, innovative director who pulls strong performances from his actors, from Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez in "Harsh Times" to Michael Pena and Jake Gyllenhaal in hand-held indie "End of Watch," which made my 2012 Ten Best List. But trying to figure out "Fury" as an Oscar contender is another matter. Clearly Sony is pushing the movie into the awards corridor, moving up its release date from November to October in order to accommodate a closing night berth at the London Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 14, 2014 1:17 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Why Brad Pitt-Starrer 'Fury' Is Moving from November to October (VIDEO)

Sony Pictures is pushing up the release of David Ayer's intense world War II film "Fury," marking "Inglourious Basterds" star Brad Pitt's return to World War II as the commander of a battle-weary five-man tank unit at the end of their tour of duty--from November 14, 2014 to October 17, 2014. "Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman ("Noah"), Jon Bernthal ("Walking Dead") and Ayer regular Michael Pena ("End of Watch") also star in this 35 mm portrait of men under pressure.
  • By Anne Thompson and Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 12, 2014 1:56 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Final 2014 Oscar Winners

Complete list of 2014 Oscar Winners.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2014 1:14 PM
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  • 0 Comments

How to Pick a Foreign Oscar Entry?

Certain countries over the decades have done better with foreign Oscar nominations. Italy and France lead the field with the most Oscar wins.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2014 12:41 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Can 'Get On Up' Star Chad Boseman Land a Best Actor Oscar Nomination?

After the packed "Get On Up" Producers Guild of America screening Thursday at the Pacific Design Center, star Chadwick Boseman, who channels mercurial funk star James Brown in the musical biopic, earned a rousing standing ovation. During the Q & A, Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer (Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind"), explained that it took decades to get the $30-million period drama made, even after such African-American hits as "Ray," which won an Oscar for Jamie Foxx, and "42," which launched Boseman's star. Universal eventually released the picture--insisting on a PG-13 rating and an August opening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2014 4:56 PM
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  • 4 Comments

'Calvary' Director McDonagh and Brendan Gleeson Talk the Betrayal of Trust (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

John Michael McDonagh's second film, "Calvary," was grabbed at Sundance by Fox Searchlight and opens in theaters August 1. "Calvary" marks perhaps Brendan Gleeson's best performance to date among many others--and a potential Oscar nomination. I talk to them both.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 1, 2014 6:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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