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Countdown to Oscars

Friday, September 17, 2010
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YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 9/17/10

  • Deadline New York: Mike Fleming confirms Lionsgate’s second big purchase out of the Toronto International Film Festival following their earlier deal for Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator“: John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole,” for which the studio intends to mount best picture and best actress (Nicole Kidman) campaigns.
  • New York Times: Michael Cieply hears Casey Affleck‘s confession that his new doc “I’m Still Here,” which chronicles the shocking mental and physical devolution of his brother-in-law/Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix (and was panned at both Venice and Toronto), was nothing more than performance art.
  • In Contention: Kris Tapley returns from a screening of the controversial doc “Catfish,” which Universal picked up out of Sundance earlier this year and is releasing in theaters today, and argues that it is “just as defining of where we are as a society” as “The Social Network.”
  • 24 Frames: Steven Zeitchik thinks that Clint Eastwood‘s “Hereafter” may finally put a stop to his recent cold-streak at the Oscars (“Changeling,” “Gran Torino,” and “Invictus” all failed to live up to expectations), ignoring the fact that the film has already been widely pummeled by critics.
  • Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson learns that the North American rights for Pedro Almodovar‘s “The Skin That I Inhabit,” which will star star Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya and be released in November 2011, have been acquired by Sony Pictures classics, marking the 10th collaboration between the director and the studio.
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells posts the recently-released one-sheet for Edward Zwick’s “Love and Other Drugs” and says it “conveys comfort, ease, self-satisfaction [but] certainly doesn’t indicate heavy-osity. It seems to be saying, “All that ‘this movie is really exceptional’ and ‘[Anne] Hathaway kills as a Parkinson’s sufferer’ stuff you were reading about earlier this year? Maybe or maybe not.”
  • The Hollywood Reporter: Etan Viessing describes the Toronto International Film Festival’s “traditional role as a festival launching pad for foreign-language films,” and explains why it is particularly appreciated by foreign filmmakers this year.
  • The Wrap: Daniel Frankel shares the specifics of the rather unique pricing model that Magnolia and the Green Film Company announced will be in effect for their upcoming documentary “Freakonomics.”
  • The Playlist: Kevin Jagernauth says that IFC Films has made a decision to “play with fire” (read: Harvey Weinstein) by picking up the worldwide rights to Barry Avrich’s documentary “Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project.”
  • PopWatch: Annie Barrett questions all the fuss surrounding Gabby Sidibe’s Elle cover photo, which some suspect was touched up to lighten her skin color.
  • The Bay Citizen: Scott James reports on Oscar winner/feminist icon (thanks to “Thelma & Louise”) Geena Davis’s crusade against gender bias in entertainment and the media, noting that a study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has found that “there were three male characters for every one female” in G-rated movies from the past 15 years.
  • Twitter: Perez Hilton, “The Queen of Mean,” gives a Twitter-shoutout to Melena Ryzik, “The Carpetbagger.” There’s got to be a story — literally and figuratively — behind that.

Photo: A scene from the controversial new doc “Catfish.” Credit: Universal.

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