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Thompson on Hollywood

'Downton Abbey' Second Season Premieres January 8; Early Reviews and Trailer

"Downton Abbey," the gorgeous, turn-of-the-last-century, period Brit TV soap opera is back to please audiences and critics alike. Premiering this Sunday January 8th on PBS' Masterpiece Theatre, the second season will show how World War I dramatically upturns the lives of the aristocratic set and those who serve them. The characters created by executive producer Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") face dramatic changes. Early reviews suggest that the effects of the war on style and character are both distressing and stirring.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • January 4, 2012 8:20 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Village Voice Lays Off Film Critic Jim Hoberman

As inured as we are to the ongoing crisis in newspaper publishing that leads to the seemingly inevitable layoffs of our best veteran film critics, I am upset that Village Voice Media, which has been shedding employees steadily for the past few years, has finally let go of Jim Hoberman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 6:52 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Trailer Mashup: 'The Lion King Rises'

I finally caught up with this trailer mashup of "The Lion King" (video) and "The Dark Knight Rises" (audio). It works.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 6:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Academy VFX Bakeoff Will Cull Final Five Oscar Nominees from Shortlist of Ten

Ten films are now in the running for a Visual Effects Oscar nomination. Members of the Academy Visual Effects Branch will vote for the final five VFX nominees after viewing ten-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films at the Thursday, January 19 "Bakeoff." "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" beating out "Thor" and "Super 8" are the biggest upsets in the list of ten.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 4:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

CASTING WATCH: Hooper's 'Les Miserables' May Add Seyfried & Swift; Trending Mainstream?

While we have high hopes for Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables," we've also noted our concern. Earlier, we noted that the films eclectic mix of talent could be volatile. Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anna Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne may now be joined by Amanda Seyfried and Taylor Swift...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 4, 2012 4:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Farewell My Queen,' Starring Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette, To Open Berlinale

French-Spanish period costumer "Farewell My Queen," directed by Benoit Jacquot, will open this year's Berlinale, which runs from February 9 to 19.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 3:10 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Gigliotti Leaves Weinstein Co., Sellers Takes Over Combined TWC Production and Acquisitions

As former Weinstein Co. production chief Donna Gigliotti ("I Don't Know How She Does It") moves into an indie producing deal, The Weinstein Company is bringing in veteran studio exec Dylan Sellers as President of a combined production and acquisitions department based in Los Angeles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 2:17 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: 'Walking Dead' and 'Homeland' Finales

Before we launch into what is now the winter TV season, it’s worth taking a look at two truly exemplary season-ending episodes – the finales of "Walking Dead" and "Homeland."
  • By Terry Curtis Fox
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  • January 4, 2012 1:44 PM
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More: Television

Martin Scorsese Gets BAFTA Fellowship

As the Oscar campaign for "Hugo" gains steam, every bit of attention and support makes a difference. Thus it's good news that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is giving Martin Scorsese its annual BAFTA fellowship at the Orange British Academy Film Awards ceremony, at London’s Royal Opera House, on Sunday February 12.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 11:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Art Directors Guild Sheds Little Light on Oscars, with Three Film Categories; Nominate 'Anonymous,' Omit 'War Horse,' 'Tree of Life'

The Art Directors Guild (ADG) nominations in three categories for films (period, contemporary, fantasy) help to reveal the direction the technical branches of the Academy are heading. Of course there are so many categories that more films will be recognized by the ADG at the Beverly Hilton on February 4 than the Oscars ever could.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2012 11:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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