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Academy Voters React To ‘Social Network; Blake Edwards Reacts To Academy Tribute

Pete Hammond

Sony Pictures’ Oscar hopeful The Social Network not only had a good weekend at the box office with an estimated $23 million, but an even better weekend at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The film’s “official” West Coast member screening Saturday night at the Samuel Goldwyn theatre in Beverly Hills drew what was described by my spies there as “packed”, “three quarters full”, “about 800” crowd, depending on whom I spoke to. There was a lot of advance interest in this particular screening due to the fact that the blogosphere is early touting Social Network as an Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture – and, in some cases, even the frontrunner. But there’s also been speculation about whether the advanced age of some Academy members might preclude their enjoyment of this Facebook origins movie. Based on what I have been told today by voters who attended, Sony needn’t be too worried. But they are. A rep for the film took the time to send me an unsolicited email that read in part,  “FYI, the Academy screening of The Social Network went really well last night. Very full, mix of young and older. Great response to the film throughout. Good applause at the end. Lots of conversation and chatting afterwards! It’s very exciting.”

Let me contrast that spin with my own reports from some of the members NOT associated with the film: “Good turnout tonight, possibly the best of the year to date. Reaction very good as well. Big applause Read More »

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R.I.P. Tony Curtis

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 3:21am PDT

UPDATE: The actor who grew up poor in the Bronx, arrived in Hollywood in 1948 as unknown Bernie Schwartz, and became a legendary film and television star, passed away from cardiac arrest Wednesday evening in his Las Vegas area home, according to the coronor’s statement. He was 85. Many will forever remember Tony Curtis for his comedic work in 1959′s Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, or his dramatic work in 1958′s The Defiant Ones, which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination opposite Sidney Poitier. But I will always admire his nuanced performance as press agent Sidney Falco in 1957′s Sweet Smell Of Success opposite Burt Lancaster. And his very moving portrayal of Iwo Jima’s Ira Hayes in 1961′s The Outsider. But he also shocked with his memorably menacing performance in the title role of 1968′s The Boston Strangler.

Curtis was that rare actor who could play with or against type, who could swing from light comedy to serious drama, and yet who remained a greatly undervalued thesp for most of his long career. Maybe if he hadn’t been so good-looking and become a teen idol in Hollywood’s Dream Factory days, he would have been taken more seriously as an actor sooner. (Who can ever forget Curtis hilariously playing a slave in 1960′s Spartacus with his heavy Bronx accent? When it was restored in the 1990s and audio had been lost, he redubbed the lines…) But Curtis also loved his stardom: he was married … Read More »

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