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Thompson on Hollywood

Things I Heard on the Oscar Party Circuit

'Tis the season for Oscar parties. They come in different shapes and sizes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2009 11:31 AM
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  • 3 Comments

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009

National Board of Review Picks Up in the Air as Best Film of 2009
Again, the National Board of Review is not always a forecaster of things to come, but rather a bellwether of where the momentum is at this moment in time. (It tends to be a bit New York-centric.) Thursday, the NBR (made up of East Coast educators, mostly) named Jason Reitman's third film, the uncategorizable Up in the Air the best film of the year. The movie which is both funny and serious starts a limited run on Friday and has scored 86% on the Tomatometer so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2009 7:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Coraline, Up Lead Annie Noms

Oscar Watch: Coraline, Up Lead Annie Noms
Is CG animation on the decline?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 6:57 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms

Precious, Last Station Score Five Indie Spirit Noms
It was amusing watching announcers Matt Dillon and Taraji Henson maul the global Independent Spirit Awards nominees live on UStream Tuesday morning: they couldn't wrap their tongues around many of the names. Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire and The Last Station dominated with five nominations apiece. Best feature and best actor nominee 500 Days of Summer and best director James Gray (Two Lovers) were other big surprises. The announcement of Paramount's breakout thriller Paranormal Activity for best first feature (made for $15,000), brought gasps in the room. Excellent move: that film defines an indie breakout.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 4:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Contenders Like Gotham Winner Hurt Locker Mix Edge with Style

It was predictable that The Hurt Locker would dominate the Gothams, winning best feature and ensemble as well as a tribute to director to Kathryn Bigelow, but the indie film, which came out last June, needed a boost in the more competitive Oscar race. Working with writer Mark Boal, who was embedded in Iraq, Bigelow fashioned a tough rigorous war thriller that is both formally beautiful and superbly acted. The Hurt Locker will also need critics groups to remind people why it's so good.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 3:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: New Carpetbagger Hits Award Circuit

Melena Ryzik is the NYT's new "guide on the red carpet to the news and the nonsense of awards season, covering the Golden Globes, the Oscars and more," reads the new "about" section of The Carpetbagger. She's the NYT staffer who replaces the alter-ego of NYT media columnist David Carr, who burned out on Oscar-watching.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2009 3:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Twelve: Nine, Invictus, The Lovely Bones

Oscar Talk Episode Twelve: Nine, Invictus, The Lovely Bones
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I have actually seen most of the Oscar movies now, and even though we're not supposed to write about all of them yet, we do talk about the sexy musical Nine, Clint Eastwood's Invictus and the mixed reaction to Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. We also get into the rising fortunes of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and the marketing behind the last movie to be unveiled in coming weeks, James Cameron's Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2009 4:25 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Watch: Precious, Up in the Air Lead Pre-Holiday Guru Vote

You can assume that most of the voters on Gurus 'O Gold have seen all the movies at this point except The Lovely Bones, Avatar and It's Complicated. So, these press people believe that Invictus (Newsweek's David Ansen reviews it) and Nine are in the race. Here's the new top ten. Keep in mind that in some ways what this list represents is 1) best marketing to date and 2) voting pre-critics groups, National Board of Review, Gothams, Indie Spirits, BAFTA, Golden Globes and Guild nominations and awards. Also, many Oscar campaigns this year are breaking late, for whatever reason. Screeners are just arriving this week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2009 2:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: The Last Station Stars Mirren, Plummer, McAvoy

I discovered Michael Hoffman's excellent literary adaptation The Last Station at Telluride; here's my feature. Sony Pictures Classics picked it up and is mounting an Oscar campaign for James McAvoy for best actor, Helen Mirren for best actress and Christopher Plummer for supporting (that's because they're putting him up for best actor for The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus). I figure Mirren has the best shot. The movie opens December 4.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2009 6:47 AM
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  • 0 Comments

John Woo Talks Red Cliff

John Woo Talks Red Cliff
John Woo's historic epic Red Cliff is one of the best films of the year. Already a huge hit in Asia, which financed the original two-part $80-million five-hour war film (the most expensive movie ever produced in China), the two-and-a half-hour western cut of Red Cliff launched stateside last week in New York without much fanfare, and opens on 30 screens in 15 markets including L.A. this holiday weekend. The reviews are strong (Tomatometer 86%, Metascore 73.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2009 1:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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