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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Trailer Watch: Will Amelia Biopic Play?

Trailer Watch: Will Amelia Biopic Play?
I'll be showing Mira Nair's Amelia at Sneak Previews this week. I've seen the biopic of the vanished aviatrix Amelia Earhart, which stars Oscar magnet Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, and look forward to grilling the screenwriters, Ron Bass (Rain Man) and Anna Hamilton Phelan (Gorillas in the Mist). The question at hand: how do you tackle a movie biography these days, when authenticity is at such a premium?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2009 6:33 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode 6

Oscar Talk Episode 6
In our sixth Oscar Talk podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I debate the foreign and animation races, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Messenger, Where the Wild Things Are and The Last Station.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 16, 2009 10:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Picks of 65 Films Submitted for Foreign Film Contention

Oscar Picks of 65 Films Submitted for Foreign Film Contention
65 countries are competing for the 2009 foreign language film Oscar. The Academy has released the official list, which is on the jump.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2009 5:08 AM
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  • 4 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Sees Double

Oscar Sees Double
There are two Oscar universes: fantasy and reality.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2009 9:31 AM
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  • 14 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Changes at Comcast/NBC/Universal, LAT and LA Weekly, John Woo, Serious Man Ending

Changes at Comcast/NBC/Universal, LAT and LA Weekly, John Woo, Serious Man Ending
John Woo is on the promo circuit with the shortened version of his Asian two-part epic Red Cliff--I'll file on my upcoming Q & A with him. Here's Movieline's interview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2009 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

First Award Screeners: Anvil, Trucker

First Award Screeners: Anvil, Trucker
The first screener to the Academy membership Anvil! The Story of Anvil went out Thursday, right before an industry screening at the WGA attended by the likes of Steve Zaillian, Robert Culp, Edward James Olmos and Cameron Crowe. Oscar campaigning is a good thing. But the documentary branch of the Academy nominates its "short" list of fifteen, then the final five. Anvil, while well-reviewed and arguably far from just a music doc, has a lot to overcome. Here's my current assessment of the doc Oscar race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2009 12:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk, Episode 5: An Education, Hosts, Best Actress

Oscar Talk, Episode 5: An Education, Hosts, Best Actress
In Episode 5 of Oscar Talk, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I discuss possible hosts and producers for the Oscarcast, the strength and weakness of the Best Actress category, and whether Peter Sarsgaard should be considered lead or supporting actor for An Education, which opens Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2009 8:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments

India Picks Surprise Oscar Submission: Harishchandrachi Factory

India Picks Surprise Oscar Submission: Harishchandrachi Factory
Only three Indian films have been nominated for the best foreign film Oscar: 1957's Mother India, Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay in 1988, and Lagaan, in 2001. This year's choice was a surprise, from 40-year-old rookie director Paresh Mokashi: Harishchandrachi Factory, the story of India's first feature film. Made in 1913, Raja Harishchandra was directed by Dadasaheb Phalke, the D.W. Griffith of Indian cinema.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2009 12:30 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

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