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Thompson on Hollywood

Monaghan Drives Trucker

Former Slamdance Film fest producer James Mottern wrote and directed Trucker, an unpretentious, tough little movie that debuted at Tribeca in 2008 and is finally getting a modest release this week, starting in New York. The movie is about an independent young truck-driver (Michelle Monaghan) who is happiest when she's in the cab of her semi. She married at 18, had a baby, and then left her family behind. Sure enough, a decade later she has to face that kid when his father gets sick.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2009 10:40 AM
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An Education Clips

An Education Clips
An Education is even better the second time, when you know the motivations of everyone involved. Writer Nick Hornby (wittily adapting The Observer columnist Lynn Barber's short memoir) and director Lone Scherfig (a protege of Lars von Trier) allow the movie to seduce you as they drop hints of what's really going on. The information is all there. But the initial exhilaration of a schoolgirl's first love affair is a giddy experience indeed. Sony Pictures Classics opens the movie October 9.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2009 3:08 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk Episode 4: A Single Man, A Serious Man, Bright Star, Get Low, The Last Station

In Oscar Talk, Episode 4, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I continue our discussion of all things Oscar. We cover the foreign language submissions (62 so far), the PGA and Oscar ten best films, the long-term forecast on Bright Star, Sony Pictures Classics’ Oscar hopefuls The Last Station and Get Low, and The Weinstein Co's Toronto buy A Single Man. We also veer off topic with discussions of New York Film Festival opener Wild Grass, Zombieland and Paranormal Activity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 9:29 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station
Sony Pictures Classics has added Telluride Film Festival hit The Last Station to its burgeoning 2009 slate of possible Oscar contenders. (Here's my Telluride feature on the movie.) The studio specialty subsidiary, which acquired North And Latin American rights, will push for Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy for Oscar nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 2:51 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Italy Enters Tornatore's Big-Budget Baaria for Oscars

The Italian government's decision to submit Giuseppe Tornatore's $35.5 million period epic Baaria for the foreign film Oscar is already kicking up a fuss. 53-year-old Tornatore's tribute to his Sicilian hometown spans three generations, from the 1930s to the present, from the rise of Fascism through World War II and its aftermath. Among the most expensive Italian films ever made, utilizing 35,000 Tunisian extras, the picture was the first Italian film to open the Venice Film Festival in two decades. Tornatore already won the Oscar in 1998, for Cinema Paradiso. The deadline for countries to submit their films is October 1. IndieWIRE is tracking submissions to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 29, 2009 6:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Israel Picks Ajami for Ophir and Oscar

In an upset at Israel's Ophir Awards, Ajami beat out Venice Golden Lion winner Lebanon today, tweets @Cinemascopian's Yair Raveh:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2009 8:32 AM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

Denmark Submits Terribly Happy; Remake in Works

It's that time of year when one after the other, countries around the world submit their best choice for Oscar contention in the foreign film category. Only five will be nominated. (Last year 67 films were entered.) The latest submission comes from Denmark, which has chosen Henrik Rubin Genz's droll cop film noir Terribly Happy (Frytgtelig lykkelig). The international hit won six Bodil Awards out of seven nominations. Oscilloscope will release the film in North America.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2009 6:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Toronto Update, Awards, Auteurs, Moore, Coens, Beatles

Toronto WatchHot off their fab launch of A Serious Man at Toronto, the Coens swear they have no interest in returning to The Big Lebowski, even if audiences do. A Serious Man won the updated IndieWIRE critics poll for 34 new Toronto films that did not play Sundance or Cannes. Magnolia has picked up North American rights to Tilda Swinton-starrer I Am Love.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 23, 2009 5:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment

New York Film Critics Circle Sets Award Dates

The New York Film Critics Circle will hold their annual vote on 2009's best films on Monday, December 14th. Historically, the best films often forecast Oscar nominations, but the NYFCC prides itself on picking winners that the Oscars overlook. Recent best picture winners include Milk, No Country for Old Men, United 93, and Brokeback Mountain. The group is comprised of 31 New York area critics. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association usually announce their votes before New York, so they will probably convene on December 13. Gold Derby has posted a helpful Awards Calendar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 22, 2009 11:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Producers Guild Expands Nominations to Ten

Following the Academy's lead, the Producers Guild of America is expanding its Darryl F. Zanuck producer of the year nominations from five to ten for 2010. PGA President Marshall Herskovitz explained that the change was made because "we feel it better represents the unprecedented diversity of films being produced today."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2009 9:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Awards, Oscars

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