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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut

Weekly Oscar-Talk Podcast Debut
I am happy to announce the debut of a weekly Friday kudo-podcast with In Contention's Kris Tapley. Here's the first Oscar Talk. We discuss the awards hopefuls so far and likely contenders coming out of upcoming fests; Meryl Streep’s remarkable emergence as a 60-year-old movie star; how the ten best picture slots could effect the Oscar race; new indie distribs Overture, Summit and Apparition; changing trends in Oscar campaigns; Paramount pushing Shutter Island to 2010; how Avatar Day went; and a Toronto preview.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 6:22 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats
Grant Heslov's comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats looks pretty funny, I must say. I love George Clooney in full-on dimwit mode (see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The film is based on non-fiction writer Jon Ronson's book of the same name about a special paranormal military unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 4:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies
It's hard to narrow down the must-see Toronto Film Fest list to 30. After all there are 335 films at TIFF09. (I'm including movies that I've already screened in L.A., Sundance or Cannes.) Some fall openers are launching at TIFF, 100 pictures are available for acquisition, and a select few will emerge with their Oscar hopes intact. Reaction from media and audiences will determine which films earn a full-on Oscar push. And I'm listing the pictures in alphabetical order.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2009 8:12 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Toronto Watch: Docs Alert

Toronto Watch: Docs Alert
There's a plethora of strong docs in the Toronto line-up this year. I am most looking forward to:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2009 8:49 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Twitter Effect, Toronto Preview, Hardwicke, Singer Choose Branded Projects, Moore Trailer

Twitter Effect, Toronto Preview, Hardwicke, Singer Choose Branded Projects, Moore Trailer
Hollywood execs are coming to the uncomfortable realization that the Twitter Effect will inexorably change their business. No more tricking audiences into buying one weekend on a bad movie, they're realizing. Now movies may actually have to be good. The horror! Michael Sragow lays out the ways that Twittering on a Friday has changed the movie landscape.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 21, 2009 2:39 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Young Victoria Goes to Apparition

Young Victoria Goes to Apparition
Over the weekend, Apparition closed a U.S. distribution deal for Toronto Film Festival closer The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt in what could be her breakout role carrying a movie as the youngest British monarch. As is typical these days, the new distrib run by Bob Berney and backer Bill Pohlad did not put up a minimum guarantee, but rather beat out several competitors (including Miramax, Overture and Roadside Attractions) by committing to $4.5 million in P & A and a 250-screen release. Appariiton will open the movie November 13. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group will handle all domestic ancillary rights. Alliance will release in Canada.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 10, 2009 7:45 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Berney and Pohlad Announce Apparition, Malick's Tree of Life

Finally, ex-Picturehouse chief Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad of River Road Entertainment have announced their new company, Apparition, on the eve of taking Jane Campion's Cannes entry Bright Star to Telluride (my spies predict) and Toronto for a September 18 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 6, 2009 6:38 AM
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  • 0 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

Post-Fest Lament: Directors Missing in Action

There's something missing from our American movies. After watching a mess of films in Telluride, Toronto and New York, I realized I was seeing great foreign films and mediocre American ones. What's the missing ingredient? Many of our great directors. Where's Lawrence Kasdan, Jim McBride, Bob Rafelson, Robert Towne, Joe Dante, Walter Hill, William Friedkin, Phil Kaufman? These directors should all be working at the top of their game.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2008 12:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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