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Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount Produces Jason Reitman's Labor Day with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin

Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush will co-produce Jason Reitman's next, Labor Day, co-starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Writer-director Reitman was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for Best Adapted Screenplay for 2010's Up in the Air.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 9:51 AM
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Toronto Fest: Flowers of War, Acquisitions Log Jam on Opening Weekend

Toronto Fest: Flowers of War, Acquisitions Log Jam on Opening Weekend
The opening weekend of Toronto is always a logjam of acquisition titles and this one is worse than usual, distribs complain. Saturday night is especially impossible, if key execs want to be positioned to make bids on Sarah Polley (pregnant!) title Take This Waltz, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm's Friends with Kids, Oren Moverman's follow-up to The Messenger, Rampart starring Woody Harrelson, Australian cancer drama Burning Man, ensemble comedy The Oranges or Salmon Fishing in Yemen, starring Ewan McGregor. These are among the most anticipated fest pick-ups.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 9:09 AM
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Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs

Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I hit a timing snag on Oscar Talk this week, with him three hours behind in Los Angeles and me traveling to the Toronto Fest. We grabbed a shortish Oscar Talk nonetheless, and a cantankerous one, as we disagree on everything, it seems, except the exciting prospect of Eddie Murphy as Oscar host. We can promise you a longer one next week, when we will have seen even more films. We are both bullish on Alexander Payne's The Descendants, argue over Glenn Close's Albert Nobbs, Steve McQueen's Shame and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 6:57 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Telluride Final Catch-up: The Story of Film, Diana Vreeland, Shame, Le Havre

Meredith Brody catches up on her last day in Telluride before heading to Toronto. I had a great last movie day in Telluride, seeing a documentary, two new features, and an hour of Mark Cousins’ 15-hour The Story of Film: An Odyssey, interspersed with two actual meals. But looking back at the jam-packed schedule, I could have assembled several equally exciting programs. I had arranged to meet my friend Hilton Als at 9:15 a.m. for the new documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, before he was to flee the mountain at noon, which meant missing competing screenings of the Israeli film Footnote, the Iranian A Separation, and a 1972 Russian favorite of Tom Luddy’s, Happy-Go-Lucky, by (and starring) Vasili Shuksin, a Russian actor-director whose work I’ve never seen.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 9, 2011 6:39 AM
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3-D Fit for The Lion King: Retrofitting a Classic, Filmmakers Look Back

3-D Fit for The Lion King: Retrofitting a Classic, Filmmakers Look Back
The Lion King has been converted to 3-D. Bill Desowitz talks to the folks who did it, and the original filmmakers, who look back on what it took to make the groundbreaking animated juggernaut in the first place. There's been plenty of revisionist outrage about George Lucas digitally tweaking Star Wars for the "Complete Saga" Blu-ray set, which streets Sept. 16. Let's at least wait and see how it looks before passing final judgment. But, in the meantime, there's also some anger about converting Disney's The Lion King to 3-D, which gets a two-week theatrical run beginning the same day. After all, this is the reigning hand-drawn box office champ at $328.5 million and fourth overall on the all-time list of animated features, so people are very protective of their childhood memories.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • September 9, 2011 6:02 AM
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Tech Watch: Is Twitter a Media Company or a Social Network? Google Buys Zagat

While the social network that prides itself on instant updates was always guarded about updating its numbers, Twitter now claims 100 million active users--tweeting, following, and reading content on the network. Tech Crunch (whose own AOL future post-Michael Arrington is in some turmoil) reported that Twitter is looking to increase the presence of "promoted tweets."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 5:32 AM
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Fake Trailers, Real Movies: Ben Stiller's Comedic Experiment

At a time when trailers might be giving away too much (the teaser for the The Artist doesn't leave much to the imagination) a new comedic experiment might invert the relationship between trailers and their features.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 2:44 AM
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Working Title Assembles Joe Wright's Anna Karenina and Tom Hooper's Les Miz

Joe Wright has firmed up his cast, led by Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson, for his epic film of Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina. This will be Joe Wright's third film for Working Title, Focus Features and UPI, following other successful Knightley-starrers, 2005's Pride & Prejudice and 2007's Oscar-nominated Atonement. Knightley has received mixed reviews for her performance in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. Wright also shot The Soloist for Working Title and Hanna for Focus.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 2:30 AM
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Cotillard in Rust & Bone, Paltrow to Join Ruffalo, Laika Develops Decemberist's Book, Exhibitionists

Marion Cotillard will star in Rust and Bone, director Jacques Audiard's follow-up to the 2009 Cannes favorite, A Prophet. With a budget of $22 million, this will be one of the biggest films to come from France this year.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 1:41 AM
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Honor Roll: SAG Honors Mary Tyler Moore, BAFTA Awards Beatty, SBIFF Tributes Michael Douglas

Honor Roll: SAG Honors Mary Tyler Moore, BAFTA Awards Beatty, SBIFF Tributes Michael Douglas
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA LA) will honor Warren Beatty with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film. The actor, producer, director and writer has starred in a bevy of classics including: Bonnie and Clyde, Shampoo, Dick Tracy, and Splendor in the Grass. Only Beatty and Orson Welles have been Oscar-nominated as an actor, director, writer, and producer for the same film; Beatty for Heaven Can Wait and again for Reds, and Welles for Citizen Kane. BAFTA will honor Beatty on November 30, 2011.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 8, 2011 4:07 AM
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