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Thompson on Hollywood

SAG Awards Nominations Ballots Mail Tomorrow

The Screen Actors Guild nominating committee is mailing their nomination ballots tomorrow for the 17th annual SAG Awards, taking place on January 30th (on TNT and TBS). Votes, which can be cast via these paper ballots or online, are due by December 13, and they will be announced at West Hollywood's Pacific Design Center on December 16. The film and television nominees will be selected by two separate panels made up of some 2,100 randomly selected SAG members. Submissions for consideration in categories of each actors' choosing (or those representing them), were due October 28. Final voting will be done via postcard and online, and must be completed by noon on January 28. Nomination categories are listed below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 23, 2010 4:45 AM
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Trailer Watch: De Laurentiis's Barbarella, Starring Jane Fonda

Here's a 1968 trailer featuring the fabulous Jane Fonda, Barbarella, in honor of the death of veteran Italian movie producer Dino de Laurentiis. I last saw him when he attended the inaugural Academy Governor's Ball a year ago as a past recipient of the Thalberg award, to pay tribute to ailing winner John Calley, who was unable to attend. UPDATE: Here's Richard Corliss on De Laurentiis.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2010 9:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Paltrow Goes Musical with Country Music Awards, Glee and Country Strong

Oscar Watch: Paltrow Goes Musical with Country Music Awards, Glee and Country Strong
As other stars take to the stage as musicians, Gwyneth Paltrow, 38, is reinventing herself as a singer. Will she follow Jeff Bridges into Oscar consideration?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2010 8:02 AM
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The Stars Who Want to Legalize Marijuana?

Which stars favor the legalization of marijuana? Here's a look, courtesy of The Daily Beast, at celebs who either vocally or inadvertently have been associated with (thanks, paparazzi) the mary jane. They range from venerable Morgan Freeman (who called it "God's own weed") and Prince Harry to Justin Timberlake and Zach Galifianakis, who pointedly smoked a joint on Bill Maher's talk show (see below).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 4, 2010 1:39 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weather Report: Girls in Minis

It seems inevitable. Taiwanese animators NMA have launched a new animated news video, a daily weather report, right out of Paddy Chayefsky's Network. Wave of the future? News weather men, watch your back.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2010 4:01 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Star Watch: McAdams Morning Glory Breakout, Heroic Plame in Fair Game, Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake

Some wonder why Rachel McAdams has taken so long to break out--it's more than six years since Mean Girls and The Notebook. Now the NYT wonders if she's on the brink of a blockbuster, as her latest, the romantic comedy Morning Glory, is set to open November 10. While there have been "few glaringly stupid" choices, notes the NYT, and she shows a wide range (from crowd-pleaser Wedding Crashers to sprawling ensemble State of Play to the pretty girl in Sherlock Holmes), she hasn't exactly broken out with a star-making role, has she? It's not so much her performances as the execution of these middle-of-the-road studio films. Morning Glory director Roger Michell gushes that McAdams "just radiates life. She has two sets of muscles. One is a kind of railway map of the script, which must be adhered to, and the other is emotional, meaning she can see what floats through the window on the day of shooting and go with that.” She makes the work-life balance sound easy: “Being an actor, you get to have so many lifetimes in one...I like the comfort of home, the stability and security, but I also want to travel and do new things. Being an actor expedites that.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2010 5:13 AM
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Three Features In Works from BBC Earth and Reliance Big Entertainment Partnership; Two in 3-D

BBC Earth (2007's Earth) and India's Reliance Big Entertainment are partnering on three films; Reliance's IM Global will distribute. The three films are: $65 million live-action/CGI Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, directed by Pierre De Lespinois and Neil Nightingale, which will use groundbreaking 3-D cameras and LIDAR (Light, Detection and Ranging) technology; $25-million documentary feature Africa 3D, and documentary feature Life, from co-directors Mike Gunton and Martha Holmes, which follows a series of animal kingdom life-cycle stories.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 1, 2010 4:51 AM
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Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO
The discovery of this year's SXSW (and best narrative feature winner) was 24-year-old New York writer-director Lena Dunham, who shot her semi-autobiographical micro-budget film Tiny Furniture at her family's Tribeca loft with herself, her sister Grace and her artist mom Laurie Simmons (The Music of Regret) in leading roles, along with indie professionals Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky and Merritt Wever, who she met at SXSW when she debuted her first film Creative Nonfiction there. Dunham's painter father Carroll didn't want to be in the film, she admits during our flip cam interview during LAFF at L.A.'s Four Seasons (below, with trailer). "I was exploring a more female-centric thing." Her family worked their butts off during fifteen days of filming (Jody Lee Lipes is her cinematographer) and are "quite proud of it. We all went through that artistic process together."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2010 2:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Sound of Music Reunion on Oprah

True confession: I sang along with The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl a few summers back, with a lot of other happy fans of the 1965 musical, which is still the third most successful movie of all time (after Gone with the Wind and Star Wars). Corrected for inflation in 2005 dollars, according to Blockbusting, the movie's domestic gross (including rereleases) would be $953.9 million (158.9), its cost $49.7 million ($8.0). It took 114 days to make, 25 days over-schedule. Nominated for ten Oscars, it won five, including best picture and actress (Julie Andrews, cast after the director saw advance footage of Mary Poppins) and director (Robert Wise).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 11:58 AM
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Production Watch: Dark Knight Rises (in 2-D), Aronofsky's Machine Man, Goodfellas TV Prequel

- The Dark Knight Rises for Chris Nolan, but his villain is still unclear: whoever it is (and it's NOT the Riddler), Heath Ledger's Joker will be impossible to top. By playing it safe with the title, Warner Bros. is betting that box office numbers will match those of Nolan's second Batman installment ($1 billion worldwide). Nolan confirmed the title and his successful resistance to 3-D to his usual journo source, LAT's The Hero Complex.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 5:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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