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Thompson on Hollywood

Production Watch: Dark Knight Rises (in 2-D), Aronofsky's Machine Man, Goodfellas TV Prequel

- The Dark Knight Rises for Chris Nolan, but his villain is still unclear: whoever it is (and it's NOT the Riddler), Heath Ledger's Joker will be impossible to top. By playing it safe with the title, Warner Bros. is betting that box office numbers will match those of Nolan's second Batman installment ($1 billion worldwide). Nolan confirmed the title and his successful resistance to 3-D to his usual journo source, LAT's The Hero Complex.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 5:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Awards Watch: IDA Documentary Award Nominees

The International Documentary Association nominees for distinguished feature and short are below. The winners will be named at the IDA Documentary Awards on December 3.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 5:24 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Cameron To Direct Avatar 2 & 3; Who Will Direct Cleopatra?

James Cameron has made up his mind. He can't get Avatar out of his head. And he's doing the right thing, shooting two sequels to Avatar (possibly back to back), because he's going to give audiences more of what they want. (Reminder: Avatar grossed $ $2.8 billion worldwide, bolstered by premium 3-D prices, and tops Blu-ray sales records.) And he'll plow some of the huge R & D that went into the cost of Avatar back into the sequels (presumably making them less expensive--although you know he'll want to up the VFX ante). And he will remind us of what top-of-the-line 3-D can be. Immersive. Engrossing. Welcoming us into another world, in this case, Pandora. Don't you want to go back there? Holiday 2014 and 2015 seem very far away. But now Cameron knows what he is going to do next.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 4:49 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Animal Kingdom Dominates Australian Film Awards

Animal Kingdom Dominates Australian Film Awards
The Australian Film Institute Awards put David Michod's Animal Kingdom at the top of its list with eighteen nominations, including Best Film. In that category the film will compete with Jeremy Sims' Beneath Hill 60, Jane Campion's Bright Star (eleven nominations), Rachel Perkins' Bran Nue Dae, Julie Bertuccelli's The Tree and Stuart Beattie's Tomorrow, When the War Began.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 4:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

European Film Academy Nominates Three Documentaries for Prix Arte Award

The European Film Academy nominates three documentary films for its Prix Arte award. The selection was made by EFA Board Members Despina Mouzaki (Greece), Pierre-Henri Deleau (France) and Francine Brücher (Switzerland), along with experts Claas Danielsen (International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film), Ally Derks (director IDFA, the Netherlands), and Jacques Laurent (producer, Belgium). The 2,300 members of the EFA will now watch and vote on the winner, to be awarded on December 4.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 27, 2010 3:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love
Thanks to Jeff Wells for asking me to address where Tilda Swinton stands in relation to the Best Actress Oscar race for the Italian import I Am Love. The only way for Swinton--who is admired by critics and art house audiences alike-- to make the best actress Oscar grade this year for I Am Love (which played the fest circuit before opening in June), is for critics to make a fuss over her in their year-end wraps and ten-best lists, and for critics groups and the Golden Globes to reward her with prizes and nominations and thus turn the screener into a must-see for SAG and Academy actors. Swinton has been nominated once (and won, for Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Love & Other Drugs Early Reviews: "Shockingly Conventional," "Addictive," "Verbal Tartness"

Love & Other Drugs Early Reviews: "Shockingly Conventional," "Addictive," "Verbal Tartness"
Last night I sat in a Fox screening room packed with critics to see Edward Zwick's Love & Other Drugs. Writer-director Zwick has done what I have long wanted him to do--get into the James L. Brooks/Nancy Meyers smart comedy mode--as he did with partner Marshall Herskovitz (who adapted Jamie Reidy's book Hard Sell with Zwick and Charles Randolph) for so many great TV series, from 30 Something to Relativity. While previous Zwick efforts such as Defiance, Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai have tended toward high-minded commercial dramas packed with action, Love & Other Drugs is a Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway romantic comedy with dramatic overtones--and plenty of artfully constructed sex and nudity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 5:45 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Roles That Could Have Been, Women vs. Horror, Hereafter's Cecile de France

- A look back at the roles that got away might soothe Mel Gibson's nerves now that his Hangover 2 role has gone to Liam Neeson. (The LAT's Patrick Goldstein looks at how loose lips lose jobs.) Here's a sampling, courtesy of TheDailyBeast: Demi Moore lost the lead in 1983's Flashdance to Jennifer Beals; Matthew McConaughey lost Jack Dawson in 1997's Titanic to Leonardo DiCaprio; Sandra Bullock lost Runaway Bride to Julia Roberts in 1999, the same year Michael Cera competed with Haley Joel Osment for The Sixth Sense; Meryl Streep was at one point lined up to play Evita before Madonna took over in 1996; Charlize Theron was in the running for Elizabeth Berkley's stripper in Showgirls in 1995; Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for Ewan McGregor's role in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical Moulin Rouge!; and Robert Redford chased Dustin Hoffman's part in 1967's The Graduate.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2010 4:05 AM
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Composer Awards: Yared Gets Achievement in World Cinema, Desplat Named Composer of The Year

Composer Awards: Yared Gets Achievement in World Cinema, Desplat Named Composer of The Year
The European Film Awards are giving their Achievement in World Cinema award to Gabriel Yared, a self-taught musician and composer. He first composed for Jean-Luc Godard's Every Man for Himself (Sauve Qui Peut La Vie), won a Cesar for his work on Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Lover (L'Amant), and went on to collaborate with Anthony Minghella for multi-award winning The English Patient, followed by The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, and 2006's German Oscar-winner The Lives of Others, for which he was nominated for an EFA. Yared will receive his award at the 23rd annual European Film Awards ceremony on December 4.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2010 1:35 AM
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More: Awards

Keith Richards' Memoir Life Wins Raves

Keith Richards' Memoir Life Wins Raves
I bought my first issue of Rolling Stone in a long time to get a slice of the Keith Richards memoir Life (on sale October 26) and I will try to convince my book group (which tends to read fiction) to assign it. Friends and I talked about Life at dinner Saturday night (after which I had the pleasure of singing "Gimme Shelter" during a rousing session of Rock Band). And the NYT's Michiko Kakutani writes her most enjoyable book review in a while--a rave. UPDATE: Here's The NYorker's David Remnick.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2010 10:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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