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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: The King's Speech's Helena Bonham Carter Could Win Best Supporting Actress

Oscar Watch: The King's Speech's Helena Bonham Carter Could Win Best Supporting Actress
The King's Speech is an Oscar favorite, and depending on how strong it is, the Brit drama could carry some awards on its coattails. While Inception, The Social Network, True Grit and Alice in Wonderland could steal some wins from The King's Speech in the technical categories, recent BAFTA winner Helena Bonham Carter could score a supporting actress nod--in a wide open field including The Fighter's dueling Melissa Leo and Amy Adams, True Grit's young newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, and Animal Kingdom's 48-year Australian veteran Jacki Weaver--for her high-brow yet low-key performance as the future Queen Mum in The King's Speech.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • February 16, 2011 7:22 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Hereafter VFX Breakdown

Oscar Watch: Hereafter VFX Breakdown
Scanline VFX (300, 2012) and VFX supervisor Michael Owens lavished so much time and energy on the nine-minute tsunami at the start of Clint Eastwood's Hereafter that the movie won the Visual Effects Society (VES) award for outstanding supporting visual effects in a feature motion picture as well as a hotly contested spot in the final VFX Oscar five.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2011 12:58 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer, Poster Watch: Williams in Meek's Cutoff, Brand vs. Mirren in Arthur, Biopic Soul Surfer

No one harbors any illusions that Kelly Reichardt's minimalist western Meek's Cutoff will be the next True Grit. And while Michelle Williams is by far the biggest name in a strong ensemble-- Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Will Patton, Shirley Henderson and Zoe Kazan--she's hardly doing a showy star turn. But I admire this rigorous, dusty, austere road movie about pioneers who are lost and thirsty on their long trek west. If anything the movie reminds me of Gus Van Sant's under-appreciated desert epic Gerry. The new poster is designed by Marlene McCarty. Here's my Venice Fest review:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2011 12:44 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A

In a surprise win, American director of photography Wally Pfister, who has been working with Chris Nolan for twelve years, ever since Memento, collected his first American Society of Cinematographers' award for Inception Sunday. He beat out Oscar favorite Roger Deakins, who collected the BAFTA for True Grit on Sunday. Check out my flip cam interview with Pfister (below), who talks about working with Nolan; Pfister has received Oscar nominations for Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and now, Inception, one of eight noms for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 9:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

FilmDistrict's Berney Talks 2011 Slate, Del Toro Pick-Up Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Miramax has been shopping its Disney holdovers to outside distributors. Focus acquired John Madden's Israeli thriller The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, Ciaran Hinds and Sam Worthington. And FilmDistrict, capitalizing on distrib exec Bob Berney's long relationship with Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth), has acquired U.S. rights to his production, the horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Footage played well at July's Comic Con; Del Toro had been worried about how the movie would be handled by Disney and then, new owner Miramax. He is worried no longer. “Miramax has done an inspired job finding the right home for our film that took 15 years to get made," said Del Toro. "Partnering with Bob Berney is always an exciting privilege." (The filmmaker talked to me in Toronto about producing the film, below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 4:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Video: Santa Barbara Producers and Womens Panels

For those who missed coverage of last week's Santa Barbara International Film Festival producer's panel, Lynda.com has posted video clips (below). Producers on the panel moderated by the LAT's Patrick Goldstein include Darla K. Anderson of Toy Story 3, Iain Canning of The King’s Speech, Alix Madigan of Winter’s Bone,Todd Lieberman of The Fighter, Mike De Luca of The Social Network and Jamie Patricof of Blue Valentine.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2011 9:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cold Weather's Katz & McFadden Talk Characters, Genre, Free Collaboration

TOH's Sophia Savage flip-cammed Cold Weather writer-director Aaron Katz and writer-producer Brendan McFadden. Here's her report; video is below):Cold Weather opens in Los Angeles February 11 at Laemmle's Sunset 5. This genre-bender is a meditation on human relationships dressed as a mystery-thriller. The film plays by its own rules, refusing to be rushed by short attention spans or pressured by mainstream expectations. The 2010 SXSW hit reminds us that any budget when combined with the will to get a great film made is better than a big budget and the will to fit in. Plus, collaboration is not only free -- it's a recipe for indie success. Here is indieWIRE's review and a scene explained by Katz.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 10, 2011 6:31 AM
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Oscar Watch: Bening Could Beat Portman, Exclusive The Kids Are All Right Video, Tribute Q & A

Oscar Watch: Bening Could Beat Portman, Exclusive The Kids Are All Right Video, Tribute Q & A
Annette Bening is a classy theater actress who came late to movies--she was almost 30 when she took her first lead role in Milos Forman's Valmont. She went on to work for future husband Warren Beatty on Bugsy and Love Affair, and had three Oscar-nominated roles, in Stephen Frears' The Grifters, Sam Mendes' American Beauty and Istvan Szabo's Being Julia before landing a fourth for Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 10, 2011 3:55 AM
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  • 12 Comments

The Eagle Early Reviews: Tatum and Bell Are "Junior League Versions of Snyder's 300 Macho-Erotica"

Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is as gifted a documentarian as he is a feature filmmaker--he just premiered the brilliant YouTube/Ridley Scott doc Life in a Day at Sundance, and has been given the helm on the first authorized Bob Marley documentary. Macdonald also directed the great Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, for which Forrest Whitaker won the Oscar. State of Play is his weakest effort to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 9:28 AM
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Trailer Watch: Winslet, Leo, Pearce and Wood in HBO's Mildred Pierce

Check out Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce and Melissa Leo in the latest trailer for Todd Haynes' mini-series retelling of the 1945 Joan Crawford classic Mildred Pierce. The five-part HBO series premieres March 27. Here is Amy Dawes' interview with Winslet and Haynes.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 9, 2011 4:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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