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Thompson on Hollywood

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles
Three period biopics with awards hopes face some tough going over the holidays.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2009 3:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Voting for Ten Instead of Five

Oscar Watch: Voting for Ten Instead of Five
I'm having a devil of a time figuring out what this year's Oscar nominations for best picture are going to be. As the ballots are going out, I usually have a fair idea of the final five. But this year there are ten best picture slots instead of five. If voters had trouble coming up with their top five in the past, won't they have even more trouble filling out a ballot with ten?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2009 11:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Academy Mails 5777 Oscar Ballots, Due January 23

Academy Mails 5777 Oscar Ballots, Due January 23
On Monday December 28, the Academy mailed out Oscar nomination ballots to 5,777 voting members. They ask that completed ballots be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2010. According to the Academy, PricewaterhouseCoopers makes sure "that all aspects of the balloting process are conducted with fairness and accuracy":
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 8:31 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms

If Critics Ruled the Oscars (They Don't): Avatar Heads for Nine Noms
Time's Richard Corliss has figured out a clever way to write about year-end critics awards and tee up a clickable gallery of Oscar hopefuls, short and sweet. Trouble is, he gives way too much credit to the critics. They do help to clue the Academy voters into what films they should watch on their screener piles. But in the end, what the voters think when they watch the movies is what matters---as well as how passionate they feel as they vote for their top ten best picture candidates. The ones at the top of the list get more weight than the ones at the bottom. Thus, if most voters put The Last Station, Nine, The Messenger, Star Trek and District 9 at the bottom, they won't make it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2009 7:29 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops

Holiday Movie Wrap: Avatar Beats Sherlock Holmes, Nine Flops
Over the holiday weekend, the two most popular topics on my Twitter feed were Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. While there was debate on Sherlock Holmes's merits, most of my tweeters approved of Cameron's blockbuster (as did critics--it scored 83 on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic). Avatar looks to challenge, if not beat, Titanic's box office records, based on its extraordinary performance in North America so far: $75 million over the holiday and $212 million to date. (Here's the LAT's box office report, and David Poland's analysis.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2009 5:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Avatar's VFX Master: Weta Digital's Joe Letteri

Avatar's VFX Master: Weta Digital's Joe Letteri
People in Hollywood tend to put film directors up on pedestals, and as far as Avatar is concerned, Jim Cameron deserves to be up there. I'm calling nine Oscar nominations for Avatar. But its one sure-shot win will be Peter Jackson and Joe Letteri's Weta Digital team for Avatar's visual effects. What they accomplished in the The Lords of the Rings trilogy and King Kong changed the way movies are made. And so does Avatar, which will have a huge impact on movie FX to come, from Tintin to Gemini Man. Nothing, it seems, will be impossible to put on film anymore.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2009 11:16 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Long Road to Invictus

The Long Road to Invictus
Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2009 1:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?

Oscar Duel: Yes, They're Fun, But Do Golden Globes Influence Oscar?
In this ongoing blog duel, Moviefone's resident Oscarologist Jack Mathews and I discuss the impact of the Golden Globes on the Oscar race. On Golden Globes nominations morning, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Downey, Jr., Julia Roberts and Tobey Maguire were dancing on the ceiling. And Harvey Weinstein thought he had three sure-fire Oscar contenders with Nine, Inglourious Basterds and A Single Man. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 9:45 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Fourteen Questions for It's Complicated's Nancy Meyers

Fourteen Questions for It's Complicated's Nancy Meyers
During a few scenes in It's Complicated, the latest comedy from writer-director Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give), I laughed so hard that tears came out of my eyes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2009 1:14 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten

Oscar Talk Episode Fifteen: Avatar, Nine, It's Complicated, Crazy Heart, Top Ten
Kris Tapley and I get serious about what's going to happen in the next month. Avatar will gain momentum, we think, while Nine and Invictus could lose it. Which films will make it to the final top ten? We agree on the obvious front-runners. But what could sneak in? Quentin Tarantino likes Star Trek. Kris likes Crazy Heart and The Messenger. I like District 9. Could raucous comedy It's Complicated score some noms? We also slice and dice the best director category, and discuss our fave holiday films, revealing a considerable generational divide: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation vs. Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2009 8:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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