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Thompson on Hollywood

Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards

Polanski's Ghost Writer Scores Six at European Film Awards
The European Film Awards are not predictive of Oscars. But six wins for The Ghost Writer moves the film to the top of the screener pile. Maybe some folks will watch it now. One of my favorite films of last year, it shares with Shutter Island and The Town a formal elegance and control. These films are well-made across the board. But they are also genre films, accessible and fun--as opposed to high art. That is the question. This is no The Pianist. Summit is pushing the movie for awards consideration.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 4, 2010 9:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review
This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Long Shots for Best Actress and Picture

Oscar Talk: Long Shots for Best Actress and Picture
In this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I cover the best actress race and the relative chances of long-shots The Town (we both spoke to Jeremy Renner), The Way Back (we both spoke to Peter Weir and Jim Sturgess), Secretariat and Diane Lane, and the Coens' True Grit, which should be screening soon:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2010 10:50 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: How Box Office Impacts Oscar Contenders

Oscar Watch: How Box Office Impacts Oscar Contenders
Does a film's box office performance have an impact on its Oscar hopes? TOH box office analyst Anthony D'Alessandro crunches the numbers and evaluates the current field of Oscar contenders.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • November 11, 2010 9:00 AM
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Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo

Oscar Watch: Director/Picture Splits, Black Swan Promo
- What are the odds of a director winning an Oscar without their film? LAT's new Awards Tracker blog considers the importance of the best director and best picture unity. "Over the past 20 years, the awards for best picture and director split only four times. That's 80% overlap," notes Tom O'Neil, pointing out that being "overdue" is a big factor. Could this happen with Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Christopher Nolan (Inception) or and Peter Weir (The Way Back)?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 5, 2010 3:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Awards and Festivals, News, Media, Celebs

In the past week, TOH looked at Names That Rule in Moviesphere, considered Recycling at the Cinema [pictured: DiCaprio and Hall, potentials for Great Gatsby remake] and pondered the five things that went wrong with Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 7:23 AM
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Director Watch: Nichols and Hoffman Do Salesman, Aronofsky for Wolverine 2, Affleck and Morel

Philip Seymour Hoffman will play Willy Loman on Broadway next fall in Tony and Oscar winning director Mike Nichols' take on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. It's a role Hoffman has been lusting after, Nichols told the NY Times. The pair, who worked together in 2001 for a Central Park production of The Seagull, have been planning the production for months and agreed upon Linda Emond to play across from Hoffman as Linda Loman. Nichols is not worried about Hoffman's 43 years vs. Loman's 60-something, "what matters is finding the right man to play the part." Brian Dennehy played the part in 1999 when he was 60 and Dustin Hoffman played the role at 47 in 1984.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2010 8:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Word-of-Mouth Sells Social Network Over Newbies Life as We Know It, Secretariat

Strong word-of-mouth propelled The Social Network to a strong hold over two openers with femme appeal, the Katharine Heigl rom-com Life as We Know It and the 70s true story sports drama Secretariat, starring Diane Lane. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.A soft Columbus Day weekend frame totaling an estimated $76 million, off 16% from a year ago, slowed moviegoing for new entries this weekend, but kept holdovers alive. Sony’s The Social Network remained online with the masses, hanging onto No. 1 with $15.5 million, off a sweet 31%.  The film saw a 32% spike between Friday and Saturday, clearly indicating that word-of-mouth continues to be strong for this potential awards contender. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 10, 2010 4:08 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In

Oscar Talk: Frontrunners King's Speech vs. The Social Network, Why The Fighter Isn't A Shoo-In
It's only September, which means that Kris Tapley and I are declaring The King's Speech and The Social Network frontrunners---for now. Which films could possibly supplant them? Toy Story 3 is an animated sequel. I argue that The Fighter is directed by the one and only David O. Russell, while Kris points out that All the President's Men was beaten by Rocky. The Beaver's Mel Gibson makes another problematic award-season figure. Ben Affleck's The Town needs to accumulate success and gravitas. And then there's the Coen brothers' True Grit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 24, 2010 12:30 PM
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  • 14 Comments

Salon The Town Review Attacks Affleck for Celebrity Malaise

While the rest of the world is restoring Ben Affleck to star status after his well-reviewed and well-attended The Town opening, Salon's Andrew O'Hehir is playing Armond White. He detects "troubling signs of celebrity malaise" in The Town, compared to Affleck's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone: "you can't even describe [it] as more of the same. It's less of the same." The movie is "mediocre," with plenty of "unnecessary expositional detail" in the dialogue written in part by Affleck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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