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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar's Cameron, Shutter Island's Lehane and Transformers' Murphy Talk, Mirren Wins Rome

Avatar's Cameron, Shutter Island's Lehane and Transformers' Murphy Talk, Mirren Wins Rome
All the hours James Cameron spent with The New Yorker's Dana Goodyear did not yield the results the director must have hoped for. The 11,000-word profile takes the easy angle on the director--he's an asshole control freak who eats his crew for breakfast. I am so tired of this cliche. The piece digs into many delicious details of the director's career and hard work on Avatar. (And Fox is still trying to hold the media to a fake mid-200-million figure--it's far more.) But while Cameron is certainly demanding and is putting Fox through the ringer yet again, he puts his ass on the line each time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2009 12:52 PM
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  • 1 Comment

#LFF: Precious Scores in London, Chicago

#LFF: Precious Scores in London, Chicago
Anyone wondering about a Precious backlash need only sit through the movie with an audience. The movie plays, people. It won the audience prize at the Chicago Film Fest, and scored at its London Film Fest gala as well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2009 10:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk, Episode 7: Amelia, Precious, Awards Circuit

Oscar Talk, Episode 7: Amelia, Precious, Awards Circuit
Fresh off the plane from LA to London, in advance of my London Film Fest activities, I got on Skype with In Contention's Kris Tapley for our weekly kudocast. We went deep on what went wrong with Amelia, what's going right with Precious, the plethora of awards-worthy but small-scale projects from Sony Pictures Classics (from Coco Before Chanel and An Education to Moon, The Damned United and The Last Station), films that will struggle to get plucked for viewing from Academy voters' DVD piles, and the start of awards season with the Gotham nominations and the Hollywood Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2009 10:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad
What went wrong with Amelia?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2009 4:11 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Oscar Watch: Academy Hires Producers, NYT Recasts Carpetbagger

Oscar Watch: Academy Hires Producers, NYT Recasts Carpetbagger
Now that the Academy has announced a team of Oscarcast producers, director Adam Shankman and ex-Fox studio chief-turned-producer Bill Mechanic, the business of choosing a host can begin.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 20, 2009 10:38 AM
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  • 4 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Industry Gives Hollywood Film Festival Free Pass

Industry Gives Hollywood Film Festival Free Pass
I am surprised by the film industry and the media's continued willingness to give a free pass to entrepreneur Carlos de Abreu's Hollywood Film Festival, a cannily constructed facade which honors stars, filmmakers and craftspeople and lines the pockets of de Abreu.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2009 12:31 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Indie Spirits Move Their Awards Show

Indie Spirits Move Their Awards Show
The biggest story out of the recent New York Film Festival had nothing to do with the movies shown at that 17-day fest. No, the subject of heated discussion wasn't the opening night selection Wild Grass or Lars von Trier's Antichrist: it was the change of venue of the opening night party. The indie world did not convene on Tavern on the Green as it had for more than thirty years. In a budget-cutting move, new Film Society of Lincoln Center chief Mara Manus saved $150,000 by cutting back the list and throwing a more intimate party at the new Alice Tully Hall.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2009 5:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Awards Season Kicks Off with Gotham Noms: Hurt Locker Gets Boost

Awards Season Kicks Off with Gotham Noms: Hurt Locker Gets Boost
Each successive round of awards announcements is about whether a movie gets a boost or not. It's not terrible to be left out of the Gotham Independent Film Award nominations. It's more about getting a slight boost as you build toward the inevitable momentum that accrues to the eventual real contenders for the Golden Globes, Indie Spirits or the Oscars. It gets harder, as time goes on, to grab attention in order to coax critics and Academy voters to watch your film. Otherwise you wind up on the bottom of a growing DVD pile.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 19, 2009 5:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Academy's Davis Talks Producers and Hosts

Oscar Watch: Academy's Davis Talks Producers and Hosts
Picking a producer for the Oscar telecast is the first big project facing any incoming Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president like Tom Sherak. But the process can't start before he's elected. And the new president is still learning the ropes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2009 8:28 AM
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  • 14 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

The Messenger: Oscar Contender?

The Messenger: Oscar Contender?
Rookie director Oren Moverman's The Messenger faces the same obstacle in the fall awards season as the Michelle Monaghan star vehicle Trucker. It's one of many marginal outsider films that has to get seen before it has a chance. The movie is a stark portrait of two soldiers (Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster) who have to deliver news to families that their loved ones have died in Iraq. Not only do they have to handle their assignment delicately, but they must also absorb the shock, pain and grief of the bereaved.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2009 8:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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