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Thompson on Hollywood

Palm Springs Weekend: Dogtooth, City of Life and Death

Palm Springs Weekend: Dogtooth, City of Life and Death
Nora and I drove out to the Palm Springs International Film Festival Saturday, already well under way (it winds up on the 18th). Fest director Darryl Macdonald and lead programmers Helen du Toit and Carl Spence not only play the pre-Oscar awards-tributes-red-carpet game with such films as Precious, An Education and The Last Station, but also assemble a large selection of foreign Oscar submissions (not all are deemed worthy). A Fipresci jury will choose the best film and performances of the 41. Altogether the fest brings in about 1000 assorted folk to the robust--and growing-local fest, with help from distribs as well as various foreign consulates. We registered along with the filmmakers from Ajami, a tough Palestinian/Israeli drama that is Israel's entry.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 10, 2010 8:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: Winnowing Down the Art Directors Guild Nominees

Oscar Watch: Winnowing Down the Art Directors Guild Nominees
The Art Directors Guild production design award nominees are all over the place: contemporary, period, and fantasy, 15 in the feature film category. So the trick is to figure out which movies get an Oscar boost from being nominated here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 9, 2010 6:01 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Talk Episode Seventeen: PGA, DGA, Scripters and Top Ten

Kris Tapley and I track the Oscar impact of the recent PGA, DGA and USC Scripter noms. Of the top four, what's ahead? Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air or Inglourious Basterds? Is Christoph Waltz a lock to win best supporting actor? We also weigh the chances of Up, The Messenger, District 9, A Serious Man and Star Trek to make it into the best picture top ten. And we get into recent eligibility issues on Bright Star, District 9 and An Education with the Scripters, the Academy and the WGA.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 8, 2010 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: DGA Noms Analysis

Oscar Watch: DGA Noms Analysis
The big news in today's Directors Guild nominations was the selection of Precious director Lee Daniels, the DGA's first African-American nominee, over Invictus' Clint Eastwood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2010 9:00 AM
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Oscar Watch: BAFTA Voters Prune Long List

Oscar Watch: BAFTA Voters Prune Long List
The Orange British Academy Film Awards can be influential on Academy voters. Thursday, BAFTA released their long list of 15 in each category (on the jump).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 7, 2010 4:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: WGA Eligibility Issues Dog An Education, Weinstein Films

Oscar Watch: WGA Eligibility Issues Dog An Education, Weinstein Films
It's good to get an Oscar boost from the various guilds, but eligibility requirements often make that attention and credibility lift impossible.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 9:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Visual Effects List of Seven Led by Avatar

Seven movies have made the short list of the Academy Visual Effects branch. They will vote for the final three nominated films on January 21 at the annual bake-off, where 15-minute reels of each film are screened for the VFX voters. I'm always at Sundance for this; I'd love to go one day.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 7:17 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Avatar's Script: Derivative?

Avatar's Script: Derivative?
Just to prevent James Cameron's head from swelling too much from the astonishing global Avatar phenomenon, folks keep reminding him of how derivative and clunky his script is. It's been compared to everything from Pocahontas, The New World, The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves to Ferngully. Truth to tell, most screenplays are derivative, and this one's more "original" than all the knock-offs, remakes and sequels everyone makes now.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 4:54 AM
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  • 46 Comments

USC Scripter Award Nominees: An Education, Crazy Heart, District 9, Precious, Up in the Air

USC Scripter Award Nominees: An Education, Crazy Heart, District 9, Precious, Up in the Air
For the first time, I participated in the annual USC Libraries Scripter Awards. Voted on by a jury of screenwriters, critics and scholars, these awards honor the authors and screenwriters of the year's best English-language feature (animated or live action) adapted from a printed work. Scripter winners No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire also won adapted screenplay Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2010 2:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten

Producers Go Sci-Fi: Avatar, District 9 and Star Trek Make Top Ten
District 9 and Star Trek join awards front-runner Avatar in the Producers Guild of America's top ten for the Darryl F. Zanuck award in theatrical motion pictures.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2010 3:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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