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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Janet McTeer Talks Gender-Bending Albert Nobbs and Glenn Close

Janet McTeer didn't mean to steal the gender-bender drama "Albert Nobbs" from its writer-producer-star, Glenn Close, who developed and willed the $8-million period film into being. But McTeer does, partly because the tall powerful stage actress (Oscar-nominated for "Tumbleweeds") has the showier part as free-wheeling house painter Hubert. Actors will recognize the degree of difficulty for the diminutive Close, whose character is locked in a 30-year prison, passing as a man in 19th century Dublin. While Nobbs is closed in, lonely and isolated, hiding behind a mask, frightened of any disturbance in her world, Hubert owns the physicality and freedom of a man--and lives with a woman. My video interview with McTeer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 4:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

TRAILER WATCH: Hunger Games Arrives with Stoic Jennifer Lawrence, Photo Gallery

The trailer for the first installment of "The Hunger Games" looks like solid commercial mainstream fun--with a reality TV vibe. Will it please fans of the Suzanne Collins novels? Tell us what you think. Here's more of our coverage. The trailer is below, along with a trailer photo gallery.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 14, 2011 3:24 PM
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  • 1 Comment

BBC Hires Harry Potter Director David Yates to Develop Doctor Who Film Franchise

Well, it took them long enough. But at long last the successor to the mighty "Harry Potter" franchise might just be venerable sci-fi BBC series "Doctor Who," which is finally getting its big-screen launch with four-time "Potter" director David Yates at the helm. Yates told Variety that he is developing the first film--which will introduce the space-traveling Time Lord and his iconic red telephone booth blue police box time machine to those not already familiar with the global hit TV series--with the BBC's Jane Tranter, who worked with Yates on "State of Play." The question is, which of the many doctors will play the role? My favorite is not current doctor Matt Smith but the last one, the sexy and resourceful David Tennant. But will they go for a major movie star? This is a serious franchise opportunity for the right actor with a working British accent. Doctor Who is ageless, light-on-his-feet, athletic, witty, wise, admirable while not perfect, and always replaceable. Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor, Hugh Grant and Hugh Jackman could all fit the profile. Any suggestions? UPDATE: I like one idea a lot: Benedict Cumberbatch ("Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"). Casting is a ways off. Yates told Variety he is starting from scratch on the movie adaptation with new writers who could come from anywhere: "We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena…The notion of the time-traveling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 2:27 PM
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  • 69 Comments

Now and Then: Growing Up is Hard to Do: How Harry Potter Won a Generation of Fans

  • By Matthew Brennan
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  • November 14, 2011 1:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Media Watch: CNN Cuts Dozens of Jobs, Kindle Fire vs. Nook, Romensko Saga Continues

  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 14, 2011 1:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

IN THE WORKS: Mr. Morgan's Last Love, Starring Michael Caine, Starts Filming in Paris

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 12:02 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch UK: The Iron Lady Shows a Fierce Meryl Streep, May Screen Too Late for New York Critics

The latest UK Trailer for Phyllida Lloyd's "The Iron Lady" showcases a pearl-bedecked Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, the first and only woman to serve as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. As one of the most powerful and influential women of the 20th century, Thatcher battled plenty of prejudice against her gender in order to lead her country, as the trailer reveals. "The Iron Lady" will be one of the last films to open in limited release this year, on December 30th.  The question is whether all the members of the New York Film Critics Circle will be able to see the film as well as Stephen Daldry's late-breaking "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" in time for their November 28 vote date. UPDATE: NYFCC spokesman John Anderson assures me that while some disrributors may be purposely jostling to be the last to screen their films before the critics' vote, "we're going to see everything we need to see." Several critics have admitted to me that seeing everything by their deadline is proving to be difficult indeed.  
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • November 14, 2011 11:35 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Inside the Academy's Governors Awards, from Oprah and Darth Vader to J.J. Abrams and Scads of Oscar Contenders

Arriving at the Governors Awards is overwhelming at first because there's a new star around every shoulder. The Board of Governors invites a swath of Oscar voters to attend the swanky Wolfgang Puck-catered dinner at Hollywood and Highland, so studio publicists make sure as many of their award contenders are on hand to work the room as possible.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2011 4:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Awards

Weekend Box Office: Mighty Immortals VFX Trounce Sandler Comedy Jack and Jill, DiCaprio as J. Edgar

Of three high-profile pictures arriving this 11/11/11 weekend, Relativity’s “Immortals” easily captured the top spot with an estimated $32 million, landing ahead of expectations and marking a company best debut. The stylized VFX-packed R-rated sword-and-sandal actioner from the producers of “300” and director Tarsem Singh was expected to open in the $25 million-to-$30 million range.
  • By Brian Fuson
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  • November 13, 2011 1:59 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Paul Mazursky is Vanity Fair's New Film Critic: Do Critics Matter?

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has made a smart move: he's giving veteran writer-director Paul Mazursky ("Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "Harry and Tonto")  an online gig as VF's film critic. Mazursky's first reviews are Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar." (See snippets below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2011 6:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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