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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk 22: Dueling Oscar Producers, Weinstein's Inglourious Basterds Push, Bullock Talks

Kris Tapley and I dig into the meat of the matter this week as the Oscar season goes into overdrive. Are voters trying to rig the top ten? What has a better shot of winning, The Hurt Locker, Avatar or Inglourious Basterds, which Harvey Weinstein has been relentlessly flogging? Are Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic (who aren't getting along) going to be able to put together a strong show with ten best picture nominees and no Oscar-nominated songs?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 10:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education
Brit author Nick Hornby discovered the Lynn Barber memoir An Education and showed it to his producer wife, Amanda Posey, as a possible movie. He liked it so much he adapted it for the screen himself, something he has avoided doing with his own novels, three of which--High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, About a Boy--have been turned by other writers into damned good Hollywood movies. He did adapt his first novel Fever Pitch into a British movie starring Colin Firth. But otherwise he has kept some distance from Hollywood adaptations of his novels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts

Review: Oscar Animated and Live-Action Shorts
Seattle critic Tim Appelo reviews the Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010; Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures will release the five animated and five live-action shorts in selected theaters Friday and more on March 5. (I'll lay out my Oscar-short picks later on.)
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • February 19, 2010 3:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart
After the Academy Nominees luncheon Monday at the Beverly Hilton, I repaired downstairs to do a couple of interviews pool side--along with a few other media. I flip-cammed Crazy Heart's T Bone Burnett, the tall and famous music supervisor who was instrumental in making the movie as good as it is. First, the movie wouldn't have been made without him. Burnett told old pal and jam-mate Jeff Bridges that if he would make Scott Cooper's movie, so would he. Second, Burnett insisted that the movie's backers raise enough money to do the music properly. The hand-crafted songs that fit Bridges' Bad Blake persona like a glove are what make Crazy Heart work so well. Burnett brought along songwriter Ryan Bingham, who wrote Oscar best original song front-runner "The Weary Kind."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 9:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sandra Bullock Talks Blind Side, Oscars, Career Choices

After the Oscar nominees' lunch at the Beverly Hilton, I went down by the pool to interview The Blind Side best actress nominee Sandra Bullock with my flip cam. She didn't know at the start of her career, she said, that "being funny was going to be my greatest joy." She learned as she went along that comedy parts for men were better written than the ones for women, so she'd transcribe Jerry Lewis and Carol Burnett skits and perform them in front of her own home video camera. If you want women to come to box office, she warns, you have to make the movies good. "We're not going to the movie on the first weekend if they're crap," she says. "That's the difference between men and women."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 5:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Things I Learned at the Oscar Nominee Mixer

Things I Learned at the Oscar Nominee Mixer
I pulled into the Beverly Hilton for the annual Academy Nominees lunch alongside Quentin Tarantino (pictured with Academy president Tom Sherak). At the press table, an Academy staffer asked me turn the handle to spit out a ball telling me where I'd be sitting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 3:13 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Editors Guild Awards Up, The Hangover, The Hurt Locker, The Cove

Up, The Hurt Locker and The Cove just keep on winning. Sunday night they won Eddies from the Editors Guild for best animated feature (Kevin Nolting), best feature film drama (Bob Murawski & Chris Innis) and best documentary (Geoffrey Richman), respectively. The Hangover won best feature comedy or musical (Debra Neil-Fisher). The Hurt Locker beat Avatar again, as it did with the Producers and Directors, but lost the Screen Actors Guild ensemble to Inglourious Basterds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 15, 2010 5:41 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Art Directors Go with Avatar, Hurt Locker, Sherlock Holmes, Beatty

One thing I love about this year's Oscar race is the way lower-budget movies like The Hurt Locker hold their own against the big-budget behemoths. At the crystal-themed Art Director's Guild awards on Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton, The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow, taller than ever in high high heels, presented the period film award to Sherlock Holmes, which beat out best-picture Oscar nominee Inglourious Basterds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2010 10:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Screenwriters Talk Up, The Hurt Locker, Precious, Up in the Air, Star Trek

Screenwriters Talk Up, The Hurt Locker, Precious, Up in the Air, Star Trek
Every writer on this year's annual Santa Barbara Film Festival "It Starts with a Script" panel wrote a screenplay that was personal, on some level--even Up writer-director Pete Docter and Star Trek's Alex Kurtzman. And they all mixed up their genres, too.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2010 6:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode 21: On the Campaign Trail

Oscar Talk Episode 21:  On the Campaign Trail
This week Kris Tapley and I cover Oscar activity at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and in town, and keep debating the best actress, actor, picture and director race. Does Up in the Air or Inglourious Basterds have a fighting chance?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 12, 2010 10:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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