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Thompson on Hollywood

20 Questions for District 9's Sharlto Copley

20 Questions for District 9's Sharlto Copley
One Oscar long-shot is South African actor Sharlto Copley, who made an astonishingly assured acting debut in District 9, written and directed by his old friend Neill Blomkamp. Historically, the Academy has been biased against science-fiction. (I assess the Peter Jackson-backed film's Oscar chances.) But the film played well at a recent Screen Actors Guild screening, where I conducted a Q & A with Copley:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2009 3:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk Episode Thirteen: Avatar, Lovely Bones, Crazy Heart, Parties

Oscar  Talk Episode Thirteen: Avatar, Lovely Bones, Crazy Heart, Parties
Kris Tapley and I discuss the week's frenetic doings: National Board of Review, parties for The Hurt Locker, Crazy Heart and The Lovely Bones, and the upcoming sci-fi monster Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2009 12:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Friday Night Cocktails and Docs

Friday Night Cocktails and Docs
Friday I interviewed It's Complicated writer-director Nancy Meyers by phone, Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner by Flip Cam, and went to a Paramount Lovely Bones cocktail party at the Four Seasons. There I talked to Stanley Tucci and photographed him with Peter Jackson, who I will talk to later this weekend. Then I ran off to the International Documentary Awards, which were taking place at the same time as the first screening of Avatar (Arrggh) for the Hollywood Foreign Press. Word on the street at the IDA party: Avatar's a 161-minute movie with fab visual effects and adolescent story. I won't see it until the 10th, alas.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 5, 2009 8:36 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Twelve: Nine, Invictus, The Lovely Bones

Oscar Talk Episode Twelve: Nine, Invictus, The Lovely Bones
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I have actually seen most of the Oscar movies now, and even though we're not supposed to write about all of them yet, we do talk about the sexy musical Nine, Clint Eastwood's Invictus and the mixed reaction to Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. We also get into the rising fortunes of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and the marketing behind the last movie to be unveiled in coming weeks, James Cameron's Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2009 4:25 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Watch: Precious, Up in the Air Lead Pre-Holiday Guru Vote

Oscar Watch: Precious, Up in the Air Lead Pre-Holiday Guru Vote
You can assume that most of the voters on Gurus 'O Gold have seen all the movies at this point except The Lovely Bones, Avatar and It's Complicated. So, these press people believe that Invictus (Newsweek's David Ansen reviews it) and Nine are in the race. Here's the new top ten. Keep in mind that in some ways what this list represents is 1) best marketing to date and 2) voting pre-critics groups, National Board of Review, Gothams, Indie Spirits, BAFTA, Golden Globes and Guild nominations and awards. Also, many Oscar campaigns this year are breaking late, for whatever reason. Screeners are just arriving this week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 26, 2009 2:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Paramount Unveils The Lovely Bones

Paramount Unveils The Lovely Bones
First, AICN's Harry Knowles ran his review of The Lovely Bones. And now that the Royal Premiere has taken place in London, there's no holding back the floodgates.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 10:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Avatar May Debut at Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 9:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening

Oscar Watch: The Big Four Are Screening
I've seen Rob Marshall's Nine and Clint Eastwood's Invictus, but I am not allowed to write about them just yet. And I got my screening invite today for Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones. They start at the end of the week. I've been reading the Alice Sebold novel, which is as cool as I had heard. So I didn't read Harry Knowles' early review too carefully. I want to make up my own mind. But clearly, he loves the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 12:06 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Talk Episode Ten: Avatar, Tyson, Animation

Oscar Talk Episode Ten: Avatar, Tyson, Animation
In this week's podcast, In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talk animation (20 submissions), supporting actor and actress, 2012, Mike Tyson's LAX brawl and the four Oscar heavyweights yet to be screened, including likely last contender out of the gate, James Cameron's big-budget Avatar.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2009 2:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Waiting for The Big Four, Invictus, Lovely Bones, Avatar, Nine

Oscar Watch: Waiting for The Big Four, Invictus, Lovely Bones, Avatar, Nine
As the deadlines for the Hollywood Foreign Press and film critics voting loom, the studios are finally starting to screen the last four big guns. The HFPA is heading to New York this weekend for the Nine junket. And they're seeing The Lovely Bones and Invictus. Avatar will likely be the last to show--not before December 10, says Fox.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 11, 2009 9:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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