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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Reviews of Nominated Shorts

[Posted by Peter Debruge]2008 Oscar Animated ShortsThe trouble with watching the Academy's animated short nominees (which you can do in theaters or online now, thanks to the efforts of Magnolia Pictures, Shorts International and iTunes) is that it practically forces you to think about these five exquisite entries in competitive terms-- which is best? which will win? -- when in fact, this is the strongest and most diverse crop I've ever seen in the category. From stop motion to CG to paint on glass, the techniques reflect the full range of possibility open to animators today, and I strongly encourage anyone to seize the opportunity to see them not as Oscar-season rivals but as a diverse medium's collective best efforts.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2008 7:07 AM
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Oscar Watch: Red Carpet and Backstage

Imagine a room full of people not watching the Oscars. They're listening to them on headsets. They're laughing when Jon Stewart cracks wise. They're also watching and listening to the people coming through, depending on who it is. Some they ignore.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2008 7:05 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Winners Analysis

Well, you win some, you lose some. I did pretty well on my various Oscar pools, but I missed a lot. I failed to change to the Marion Cotillard horse when it was seemingly catching up to Julie Christie. Tilda Swinton put it very well backstage when the news broke. "Why are you glad she won?" one reporter asked. Swinton replied, "She's great, she's new, she's new blood in the gene pool." Here are the winners. And Variety's story. And my Coens sidebar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2008 7:02 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Weekend

It started on Thursday night, with the first round of parties. Due to the driving rain, New York-based IHOP PR chief Jeff Hill hosted his annual indie-confab inside the Avalon Hotel bar, rather than poolside. Sony Pictures Classics co-prexies Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, SKE marketing guru Bingham Ray, MPRM's Mark Pogachefsky, Michael Clayton Oscar-campaigner Michele Robertson and a good crowd relaxed in advance of their Oscar weekend labors.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2008 7:14 AM
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Oscar Watch: Predicts

At long last, the Oscar ballots are in and it is the week before the Oscar kudocast! It's time to make your fearless forecasts and plunk your money down in your office pool. (I can tell you one thing--it's not easy to come out on top here at Variety, where everyone is an Oscar expert.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2008 7:20 AM
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Oscar Watch: BAFTAs Go to Atonement, Cotillard, Day-Lewis

I went to BAFTA/LA's champagne brunch at UCLA with the intention of watching a live satellite feed of the awards--which only came through at the moment when Sir Anthony Hopkins was accepting his lifetime achievement award from Sir Dickie Attenborough. Then the show was over!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2008 7:33 AM
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WGA Awards: Cody vs. Gilroy, Coens vs. Harwood

You may recall that because of the Writers strike, the WGA Awards show was cancelled. How odd that the same day that on the WGA members are deciding the fate of the strike, they are also announcing the awards (at 7 PM Pacific).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2008 7:36 AM
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Oscar Watch: The Nominees Luncheon

[Posted by Tim M. Gray] If there were any lingering doubts about the Oscarcast, AMPAS president Sid Ganis put them to rest on Feb. 4 by announcing, in a calm voice, "There's no doubt about it, we are going to do it."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 4, 2008 7:49 AM
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Oscar Watch: Nominations Analysis

There were some welcome surprises this nominations morning. (Here's Variety's story.) Atonement made it to best picture. While Keira Knightley, James McAvoy and Joe Wright did not win noms, Saorise Ronin did. Christopher Hampton earned a screenplay nod. The Guilds don't always reflect the Academy, clearly; this means the battle for the fifth slot was fierce. But Atonement got seven noms altogether; Michael Clayton seven, Juno four, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, four, and Sweeney Todd got only three (Johnny Depp, art direction and costume); Juno's Jason Reitman, not Tim Burton, landed a director's slot. A surprise, but well-deserved. (I was talking to him here in Park City last night at the WMA party; he was nervous because he didn't get a writing nom last time for Thank You for Smoking.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 22, 2008 4:57 AM
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Oscar Watch: National Society Picks There Will Be Blood

We knew the various critics groups would go for No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood, as the National Society of Film Critics did Saturday. This means each film gets a boost during this all important ballot-filling season. What fascinates me is whether the Academy goes the same way as the critics. (Tom O'Neill goes underground with the NSFC voting.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2008 7:31 AM
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