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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: True Grit vs. Social Network, Bening vs. Portman

Oscar Watch: True Grit vs. Social Network, Bening vs. Portman
How quickly momentum shifts in the Oscar race after nominations reveal the lay of the land. Every single one of the Gurus 'O Gold who was voting for The Social Network to win best picture switched to The King's Speech. Wow.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 28, 2011 5:50 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Gender Watch: Uphill Battle for Heroines in the Marketplace, From True Grit to Sucker Punch

It's an uphill battle for teenage movie heroines these days, writes LAT's Rebecca Keegan, who argues that female protagonists traditionally "alienate" male audiences. But things are looking up with True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld and Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone. They are:"…the product of a film industry in which young women are infiltrating traditionally male genres like action films; female directors and producers are wielding increasing creative influence, and the culture is moving from a sexed-up, dumbed-down model of female adolescence to one marked by smarts, strength and scrap."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 10, 2011 9:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

True Grit Surges Past $100 Million at Sleepy Box Office; Cage and Paltrow Pics Are Soft

On its third go-round, True Grit surged on momentum and strong word-of-mouth to finally beat comedy sequel Little Fockers. The Oscar-buzzed Coen brothers western starring Jeff Bridges faced little or no competition, as many studio holiday entries collapsed. (See TOH's year-end box office wrap.) Anthony D'Alessandro reports:It was a ghost town at the cinema this weekend. Paramount’s True Grit continued to hang its B.O. high as it crossed the $100-million mark Sunday and pushed Universal’s family laffer Little Fockers to second place  ($13.8 million). Also falling short were two new wide entries, Relativity Media’s Nicolas Cage crusades actioner Season of the Witch ($10.7 million), and  Sony/Screen Gems' women's drama Country Strong ($7.3 million), starring Gwenyth Paltrow. Overall box office receipts totaled an estimated $114 million, off 29% from the same frame year ago when Avatar continued to be a phenomenon, grossing $50 million for the weekend.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 9, 2011 5:13 AM
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  • 3 Comments

True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School

True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld Talks Coens, Learning from Bridges and Damon, Horses and School
grit (noun): firmness of character; indomitable spirit.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 8, 2011 1:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit
As western True Grit has taken off as the surprise hit of the Christmas season (topping a field of weak contenders), and has emerged a strong awards contender (with recent PGA and WGA nods), the usually taciturn Joel and Ethan Coen are on the promo trail. Here's a taste of their sound bites from various interviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 6:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lousy Christmas Weekend Box Office: Little Fockers Beats True Grit, Best Coens Opening Ever

At a horrendous Christmas weekend---which saw a 44% three-day drop in grosses over last year (flush with Avatar)---sequel comedy Little Fockers beat out adult western True Grit, the best--and widest--opening ever for a Coen brothers movie. It's likely that the well-reviewed oater will have longer legs, however, as it settles in for the long Oscar haul.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 7:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Coens' History of Mustaches

Hailee Steinfeld holds her own against Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in almost every category of True Grit's manliness, but she just can't compete in the mustache competition. NYMag calls Damon's 'stache a "spectacular, instantly iconic, old-timey mustache, which builds on the Coens' proud tradition of decorating their characters with some of the finest nose curtains in all of cinema." But even if his mustache surpasses Bridges' and Brolin's in this Western, he has competition from many Coens characters who preceed him. Check out NYMag's "Stach-o-Meter (which grades on a scale of Zorro to Gene Shalit)".
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 23, 2010 6:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Holiday Box Office Preview: True Grit vs. Little Fockers

Every year the studios dream of scooping up Christmas holiday sugar plums. Will they find them this season? Anthony D'Alessandro makes a fearless holiday box office forecast:What present do the majors want to open under the Christmas tree? A box office full of cash. "There’s no better time of year for adult moviegoing then the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” says Paramount distribution exec vp Don Harris. “Good movies play well to everybody. The play’s the thing.”
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 23, 2010 1:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"

Oscar Talk: 2010 Ten Best Lists, from "Another Year" to "Winter's Bone"
On Oscar Talk this week, as promised, Kris Tapley and I count down, defend and debate our rather diverse and distinctive top ten films of 2010. While we both include The Social Network and Toy Story 3, we agree to disagree on one of my faves, Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which Kris admires. Notable omissions from both lists: 127 Hours, Rabbit Hole, Blue Valentine, Get Low, The Town, Inception, The Fighter and The Ghost Writer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 8:14 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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