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Thompson on Hollywood

Trailer Watch: The Fighter Builds Buzz for Bale

Trailer Watch: The Fighter Builds Buzz for Bale
Unable to press-screen David O. Russell's much-anticipated The Fighter until the week of November 10, Paramount has been valiantly building buzz until then. The gritty $24-million Relativity Media-funded biopic stars Mark Wahlberg (who earned a supporting actor Oscar nomination for The Departed) in the title role as welterweight Micky Ward. Amy Adams plays his girlfriend (she was nominated for supporting actress for Doubt and Junebug). The movie also stars Oscar nominee Melissa Leo (Frozen River) and super-skinny Christian Bale, who steals the film--I hear--in the kind of showy role that Oscar voters love, as Wahlberg's crack addict brother and trainer. (Bale has never been nominated). The long-in-the-works drama is Russell's first since the flop I Heart Huckabees in 2004; he took over The Fighter from Darren Aronofsky, who made The Wrestler instead.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2010 6:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Celeb Watch: Saoirse Ronan's Killer Slate, Hamm on Cusp of Movie Stardom, Gibson in Hangover 2

- Vulture chats with Saoirse Ronan, who at sixteen has had more meaty dramatic roles than most actresses twice her age. True, she has played children: she led us into the heart of Joe Wright's Atonement and almost made Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones worth watching. After a turn in Peter Weir's ensemble The Way Back (which rolls out in December and January), she boasts two more adult roles, in Joe Wright's Hanna (Focus) and Geoffrey Fletcher's indie Violet & Daisy. She plays a teen raised by her father (Eric Bana) as a killer in the former (April 2011) and an assassin in the latter (with Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini and Danny Trejo). Despite the similarities of these two roles (which also call to mind Femme Nikita and Kick-Ass), Ronan insists they are very different: "Hanna is more serious, and funnily enough, it's more realistic. Violet & Daisy is quite surreal." On her relationships with these two directors, she agrees that Fletcher is a "really sweet guy" (directing his first film) and that her working relationship with Wright is now "quite in sync."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 18, 2010 5:46 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Gotham Nominees Signal Awards Season Indie Players, Led by Winter's Bone

This year's Gotham Award nominees from Independent Feature Project signal the key indie players in this year's awards season. Fox Searchlight's Black Swan, Weinstein Co.'s Blue Valentine, Focus Features' The Kids Are All Right and Roadside Attractions' Winter's Bone were expected to lead the best feature field: surprise entry is Overture's vampire remake, Let Me In, which could get a DVD boost from year-end critics groups.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 18, 2010 5:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Eleven Docs that Shook the World

Inspired by the surprisingly successful education expose Waiting for Superman (which is backed by massive marketing dollars for a doc), USA Today lists 11 documentaries that shook the world, that made a big difference in their time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2010 10:59 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office Goes to Record-Breaking Jackass 3D; Red Ensemble Scores in Second

Two escapist comedies launched at Comic-Con surged to unexpected box office heights for October as Jackass 3D and ensemble action comedy Red grossed an estimated $50 million and $22.5 million, respectively, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • October 17, 2010 3:49 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Beaver's Billingsley Gone at 94

The Cleavers were the suburban family I grew up with on black-and-white TV, and Leave it to Beaver's Barbara Billingsley, who played June to Hugh Beaumont's Ward, was my idea of the perfect Mom. Well, she's gone, at 94. I can still hear her soft, high plaintive voice: "Ward, I'm worried about the Beaver."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 16, 2010 10:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Obit, TV

Video: Obama Talks to Waiting for Superman Kids in Oval Office

Paramount isn't marketing the education expose Waiting for Superman all by itself. The studio is orchestrating the marketing efforts on behalf of the film of some powerful partners--Participant Media, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Walden Media--that are building support and getting out the word across multiple platforms. They even arranged a meeting Monday October 11 with the White House in which President Obama met with the five kids in the film:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2010 11:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Zimmer and Reeves Talk, Oscar Buzz Builds, Casting Franchises, Shifting Media

INTERVIEWS- We analyze Let Me In's box office and awards potential and talk to Let Me In writer-director Matt Reeves.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 15, 2010 11:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sony Wants Jolie as Cleopatra, but Can They Land Cameron?

Sony envisions a mouth-watering Cleopatra franchise with Hollywood's only female action star, Angelina Jolie, as the mighty Egyptian Queen. James Cameron, post-Avatar, is being conjured to take on this project, reports Deadline's Mike Fleming, because he's one of the few directors Sony chairman Amy Pascal would trust with such a risky mammoth-budget 3-D period spectacle. But can she and producer Scott Rudin land him? (The answer I hear is yes).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2010 7:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Sperling, Keegan Join LA Times Entertainment Team

The LA Times is continuing to beef up its movie coverage as online traffic follows celebs and breaking news. Entertainment Weekly writer/blogger Nicole Sperling (a real loss for EW) and ex-Time writer Rebecca Keegan (@thatrebecca, Vanity Fair's Little Gold Men), who penned the excellent James Cameron bio The Futurist, are joining the movie beat at the LAT as staff writers. Both will contribute to various entertainment sections and blogs, including the new Awards Tracker blog (which allows the LAT to slot awards coverage all year round, not just during prime Oscar season). They're filling in gaps left by Envelope contributors Tom O'Neil (Gold Derby) and Pete Hammond (now at Deadline).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 15, 2010 7:05 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Media

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