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Thompson on Hollywood

District 9: Oscar Contender?

District 9: Oscar Contender?
District 9 is a great movie that deserves every kudo and by all accounts played great for the Academy the other night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2009 3:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sherak Elected Academy President

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has a new public face: the Board of Governors elected six-year board and executive branch member Tom Sherak president on Tuesday night. He takes over for genial Sid Ganis, a victim of term limits: he served the maximum four consecutive one-year terms. Ganis remains on executive committee as immediate past president. Sherak was treasurer; producer Howard Koch will take on that role. The president is closely involved with all Academy functions, from various rule changes to prepping the annual Oscarcast and helping to select its producer and host.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 12:53 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Inglourious Basterds: Recut, Nine Clips

Inglourious Basterds: Recut, Nine Clips
Quentin Tarantino's recut of Inglourious Basterds is one minute longer than the Cannes version, and much improved. It's a gorgeous movie with a great eclectic soundtrack crammed with everything from Ennio Morricone to a brilliant use of David Bowie's "Putting Out the Fire." (Trivia question: what movie debuted that song?)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 9, 2009 1:52 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Julie & Julia Targets Women, G.I. Joe Goes for Guys

Julie & Julia Targets Women, G.I. Joe Goes for Guys
Am I the only one who feels bombarded by too much PR on Julie & Julia? It’s worth seeing for the incandescent performance of Meryl Streep as the big, bubbly, adorable chef Julia Child, who was very much a product of her time. Stanley Tucci is equally charming as her mousy, adoring husband. Both should earn awards attention at year's end. I wish that the filmmakers had bucked the conventional wisdom that holds that a period story must be framed by a contemporary one to lure younger viewers. The sections with Amy Adams as blogger Julie Powell cooking for her namby-pamby husband were boring.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2009 7:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer
A while back, DreamWorks showed me some footage from Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones ; I was knocked out by what I saw. The film looked strong, different, unusual. The images popped. Saoirse Ronin (Atonement) plays the 14-year-old girl who is murdered in 1973 and watches her family from "the inbetween."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 4:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker
Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, where I interviewed the director at the start of her long road to the Oscars (below). Jeremy Renner breaks out with this movie, which drew raves when it opened June 26 in limited release. Finally, The Hurt Locker didn't need ten best picture slots this year: the movie overcame considerable obstacles en route to landing on many critics' ten-best lists and winning one award after another.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 8:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

An Education Poised for Awards Contention

Lone Scherfig and Nick Hornby's An Education emerged from Sundance as a serious awards contender. Anyone who saw the film there witnessed a remarkable debut: Carey Mulligan boasts Audrey Hepburn-style class, charisma and smarts. In the film, she's well-cast as a sharp and sexy 60s high schooler bursting to break out into the bigger world. Peter Sarsgaard (with an impeccable British accent) is the older rake who gives her what she wants and steals her innocence in the bargain. Sony Pictures Classics should steer this picture to critical praise and major awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 1:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Fox Searchlight's Crazy Heart Acquisition Marks Changing Market

In one of the first acquisitions since Peter Rice left Fox Searchlight to run Fox TV, Searchlight co-presidents Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula acquired worldwide rights to rookie director Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart, which stars Jeff Bridges as an aging country star and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a young reporter. T-Bone Burnett supervised a country music soundtrack. The distrib paid low seven figures. "We just liked it," says one Searchlight executive.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 21, 2009 6:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Summer Crop Could Go All the Way

With the field for the best picture Oscar broadened to ten, a batch of summer movies are now positioned for possible inclusion. Yes, year-end movies still have the advantage. It used to be that a summer movie had to be strong and the late-season weak for it to make the top five (think Sea Biscuit, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator). But this year, five summer movies could score a top ten slot, from crowd-pleasers Up, Star Trek and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to higher-end fare such as Public Enemies and Hurt Locker.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2009 5:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Summer Crop Could Go All the Way

With the field for the best picture Oscar broadened to ten, a batch of summer movies are now positioned for possible inclusion. Yes, year-end movies still have the advantage. It used to be that a summer movie had to be strong and the late-season weak for it to make the top five (think Sea Biscuit, Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator). But this year, five summer movies could score a top ten slot, from crowd-pleasers Up, Star Trek and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to higher-end fare such as Public Enemies and Hurt Locker.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 13, 2009 2:44 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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