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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Indie King Woody Allen PBS Doc Streams Online; Sister-Producer Letty Aronson Talks Overseas Shoots

Sony Pictures Classics has kept Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," not only his highest-grossing film ever, but also the year's most successful indie release, in theaters for almost nine months. And SPC is still campaigning to win a few Oscars (the likeliest is Best Original Screenplay) to add to Allen's three wins to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 15, 2012 3:23 PM
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Woody Allen's DGA Speech: Says Awards Fall Somewhere Between Nobel Prize & Republican Primary

Woody Allen wasn't present at the DGA awards, where "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius was the big winner, but that didn't stop him from stealing the show with a suitably neurotic speech via video. It went like this:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 31, 2012 2:36 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Entertainment Weekly's Annual Oscar Issue - Snubs, Shocks, Surprises

Entertainment Weekly's Annual Oscar Issue breaks down the nominees, throws down some surprising predictions, gives tribute to the shocking snubs, and adds insights on what you might have missed. (Another amusing way to catch up: LA Times' The Envelope's interactive cheat sheet.)
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • January 26, 2012 10:31 PM
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  • 1 Comment

DGA Nominees Include Surprise Fincher Nomination

The Directors Guild has announced the nominees for its 64th Annual DGA Awards, to be held on January 28. The DGA is a much larger and more populist voting group --14,000 strong--than the elite Oscar directors branch, which numbers around 400.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 9, 2012 1:08 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Now and Then: For Woody Allen, the Place is the Thing, from Manhattan to Midnight in Paris

When asked about Woody Allen's New York, critics often cite the glorious black-and-white Gershwin cinepoem that opens “Manhattan” (1979). I’ve always been partial, though, to the rough magic of Diane Keaton’s terrible driving in “Annie Hall” (1977). (See clips below.)
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 19, 2011 12:16 PM
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Oscar Talk: Impact of New York Critics, National Board of Review, Indie Spirits, We Bought a Zoo Review

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 2, 2011 11:53 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk: Spielberg's Tintin, Gothams, NY vs. LA Critics Votes, Animation and Foreign Debates

In Contention's British correspondent Guy Lodge reports on his viewing of The Adventures of Tintin during this week's Oscar Talk with Kris Tapley. "The action sequences are more fluid," Lodge says, than anything else in Steven Spielberg's work. A downhill chase through the streets of Morocco is "jaw dropping...it's such a ride." We debate how the Academy's animation branch will regard this motion capture adventure. Is Spielberg an interloper in their ranks? Will the mainstream Academy take the movie, which has been compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, seriously? (Here's TOH's London review.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 21, 2011 4:00 AM
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Woody Allen Ditches Decameron Title for Nero Fiddled

With Woody Allen's summer hit Midnight in Paris his highest grosser ever and heading for Oscar contention, the filmmaker has seen the wisdom of changing the name of his next film, his first shot and financed in Rome, from The Bop Decameron, which got too many stares, says Allen, to the more accessible Nero Fiddled (2012). "I couldn't believe how few people had heard of The Decameron even in Rome," he says. "And the few that did assumed the movie was based on Boccaccio's tales which it's not." The change marks the second time Allen has altered a title; the first was replacing Anhedonia with Annie Hall, which went on to win the best picture Oscar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 13, 2011 9:57 AM
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Cronenberg's Menage A Trois, Kendrick's Wet Dream, Woody Allen Talks Unsatisfying Situation of Life

- David Cronenberg talks about his inspiration for A Dangerous Method and his upcoming Cosmopolis (in post-production) and potential future projects with ThePlaylist. He admits that he has always wanted to make a film about the birth of psychoanalysis, but didn't see a way in until Christopher Hampton's play: "Suddenly there is a structure. And this was my first introduction to Sabina and she is part of what I call an ‘intellectual menage a trois,’ and that structure was terrific—the span of it, the relationship between Freud and Jung that went over six or seven years.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 3, 2011 8:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories
Now that we've both seen George Clooney's political thriller The Ides of March, Kris Tapley and I dig into not only Oscar prospects for that film, but the list of supporting players in contention for this year. We also debate the respective box office fates of Drive and Warrior as well as how success in theaters impacts a film's awards chances. (CORRECTION: Yes, Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana and not Good Night, and Good Luck.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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