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The Social Network Plays Well to Academy

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 3, 2010 at 7:40AM

Saturday's Academy screening of The Social Network played well to a full house--the movie also opened at number one this weekend, and scored rave reviews, which won't hurt with Oscar voters.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Saturday's Academy screening of The Social Network played well to a full house--the movie also opened at number one this weekend, and scored rave reviews, which won't hurt with Oscar voters.

How a movie plays at official Academy screenings(which take place every weekend) is crucial--although not entirely predictive. Even if members like a Bond movie, that doesn't mean they'll wind up voting for it. I love sitting in the plush red theater surrounded by voters of every stripe, who tend to be over 50. They watch each movie with a fierce intensity. They're checking out every aspect--production design, acting, writing, costumes, cinematography, editing, score, sound, etc. And they ALWAYS sit through all the credits.

One attendee reported:


Packed room. Packed. Perfect audience for it -- interested in the high-speed evolution of culture, probably more than a few veterans of similar battles for credit and acceptance, educated and appreciative of the word (of which the screenplay has so many so well made) and the fluid assured scope of the direction. Lots of spots of laughter (Doug Urbanski sold Larry Summers perfectly). The energy in the movie fed the crowd as it made its way across Wilshire to parking. It's enough to make you feel young again.

Here's another:

Full House. Played well, but I don't think it's emotionally satisfying enough for us old folks. Not the kind of ovation a Best Picture gets. How cute is Armand Hammer's grandson, the Winklevoss twins"?

This article is related to: Awards, Box Office, Directors, Studios, Oscars, Fall, David Fincher, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.