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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Rule Change: Ten Best Lists

A film historian of the 60s and 70s sent me his best guesses at what ten best Oscar lists would have been between 1967 and 1979. What's fascinating, assuming he's making reasonably inside-ballpark calls here, is that adding five sometimes improves the choices, and often does not. But while my write-in academic knows a lot about the period he's writing about, we can't help but see these movies now as their standing has changed over time. As examples, Cool Hand Luke, The Battle of Algiers, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Close Encounters of the Third Kind all boast more stature now than they did when they came out. Bottom line though, the Academy had more quality films to choose from then than they do now. We will find out soon enough whether this change is for the best.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2009 1:57 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Academy Invites New Members, Oscar Host Jackman

The Academy has invited 134 new members, many of them long overdue, from actor Hugh Jackman--who wasn't a member when he hosted the Oscars on February 22--and producer Paula Wagner to directors Danny Boyle and Henry Selick, execs Daniel Battsek and Joe Drake, and writers John August and Howard A. Rodman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 30, 2009 5:38 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Rule Change Follow-ups

The changing Oscar rules are still a hot topic these days. At an Academy screening of Cheri last weekend (more on that anon), some members wanted to be consulted, while others feel that the Board of Governors did its job. One member who sees everything and votes with the foreign branch doesn't care at all. Just who are the folks who vote for these crucial decisions? The Academy's official governors list is on the jump.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2009 5:47 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Hurt Locker, Other Award Pics Directed by Women

The reviews Kathryn Bigelow has nabbed for The Hurt Locker (91 on Metacritic) are noteworthy. That doesn't mean that the movie will score at the boxoffice for Summit, but it's off to the second-strongest start for an indie this year. The movie has a shot at one of ten slots in the wide open Oscar best picture race. Even the NYT's tough-minded Manohla Dargis, who has long shared with me a sense of dismay at the thin ranks of gifted women directors, was moved to step out of the reviewer's box to praise Bigelow here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2009 2:36 AM
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Tarantino Tweaking Basterds, Says Weinstein

My initial story was correct: Quentin Tarantino is not cutting the shit out of Inglourious Basterds. GQ grills Harvey Weinstein about the final cut:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2009 6:29 AM
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Oscar Changes: Winners and Losers

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis has another surprise up his sleeve: I hear he's going to promise that the Oscar show to be broadcast on ABC will not be longer this year, even with ten best picture nominations instead of five. This could mean that tech categories will get short shrift.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2009 6:25 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Academy Adds Five Slots to Best Picture Category

I am stunned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decision to nominate ten films for the best picture Oscar. The reason is obvious. Given that the annual show is designed to showcase and promote the movie industry, boosting the number of films will broaden the show's appeal. The broadcast has suffered drops in viewers when the best picture winner isn't Titanic or Lord of the Rings.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2009 2:25 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Media Update: Jolie, Carpetbagger, THR, Hayes

Angelina Jolie tops Forbes 100 Celebrities list, replacing Oprah Winfrey as number one. I suspect they just got tired of the richer and more all-powerful, if less glam/sexy and tabloid-friendly Winfrey. Besides, Jolie is Hollywood's one and only femme action star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 3, 2009 7:38 AM
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Cannes: Winners and Losers

Who came out ahead and behind on their Cannes jaunt this year?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 31, 2009 3:02 AM
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Trailer Watch: The Hurt Locker

Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, and has posted the latest trailer here. Jeremy Renner, who stars in the new TV series The Unusuals, could break out with this movie, which is set for June 26 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2009 8:35 AM
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