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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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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

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening
I've seen Rob Marshall's Nine and Clint Eastwood's Invictus, but I am not allowed to write about them just yet. And I got my screening invite today for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. They start at the end of the week. I've been reading the Alice Sebold novel, which is as cool as I had heard. So I didn't read Harry Knowles' early review too carefully. I want to make up my own mind. But clearly, he loves the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 12:06 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar News: Marc Shaiman Named Music Director

It's no surprise, given that composer Marc Shaiman worked with co-producer Adam Shankman on the musical Hairspray, that he will do the music director honors for the 82nd Academy Awards. Shankman cited Will Ferrell and Jack Black’s comedy numbers as examples of the hilarity that he hopes Shaiman will bring to the occasion: “He’s a genius! And he’d be the first to tell you!”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2009 5:32 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Watch: Fest Awards Push Contenders

Along with fall award season pump-primers The Hollywood, London and AFI Fests, another key fest on the award season calendar is the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which takes place at the height of Oscar voting this February, from the 4th through the 14th. (Oscar nominations are announced on February 2.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2009 5:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Brothers vs. Brothers

Brothers vs. Brothers
Beware the cross-cultural remake.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2009 3:45 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Eleven: Governors Awards, Tarantino, Holbrook, Docs

Oscar Talk Episode Eleven: Governors Awards, Tarantino, Holbrook, Docs
In the eleventh installment of Oscar Talk, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I have a go at last weekend's Governors Awards, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, the documentary short list and Hal Holbrook's performance in That Evening Sun. Over at Awards Daily, Sasha Stone assembles a bigger group to grapple with some of these and other questions.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2009 9:31 AM
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Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story

Oscar Watch: Documentary Branch Snubs Capitalism: A Love Story
The Academy documentary branch has named their short list of fifteen films (full list on jump), which will be narrowed down to five on Oscar nominations morning February 2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 12:14 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?

Oscar Watch: Where Are The Hurt Locker Screeners?
At the start of the awards season, I had The Hurt Locker at the top of my top ten picks list. But right now quite a few other movies are getting more noise. That doesn't matter in the end. Finally, the Academy voters will dig back to all the films they saw this year, especially when they don't have time to see all the marginal indies in their DVD stack. It's more likely that they will remember the movies that the critics pick for their top ten lists at the end of the year, or that other awards groups like the Gothams, Critics Choice or Golden Globes anoint as must-sees.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 17, 2009 11:34 AM
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  • 11 Comments

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