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Thompson on Hollywood

Michelle Yeoh and Luc Besson Talk Timely Burma Biopic The Lady; Besson Trims 16 Minutes

Michelle Yeoh and Luc Besson Talk Biopic The Lady, TIFF Reviews
Luc Besson wasn't planning to direct the biopic The Lady, which Hong Kong action star Michelle Yeoh initially brought to the Europa movie mogul to produce. Both Yeoh and Besson are better known for their commercial action ventures than period dramas, although Yeoh gave a stellar dramatic performance in Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon opposite Chow Yun-Fat. The true story on which the movie is based--Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese daughter of a slain president, known as “the steel orchid,” who fights for her people against a repressive regime, which places her under house arrest for 15 years after she is elected president--offered Yeoh a character she not only closely resembled, but was aching to play. "You can feel the vibration: 'this is my time, I want this part,'" says Besson. "For an Asian actress, there aren't so many parts."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2011 9:24 AM
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Michelle Williams Talks Becoming Marilyn Monroe, Pleasure of Sex Appeal, What's on Her Bedside Table

Michelle Williams will debut as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn at the New York Film Festival on October 9, followed by a November 4 Weinstein Co. release. Vogue features the Oscar nominee in full Marilyn-mode, and discusses the actress's transition from Williams to Monroe. "I'd fall asleep to movies of her. It was like when you were a kid and you'd put a book under your pillow hoping you'd get it by osmosis," she tells Vogue. We admire the way Williams always speaks from a place of self-trust. On not defining herself by the lack of having a man in her life, she says: “I’m not lonely, and I think that has a lot to do with what’s on my bedside table rather than what’s in my bed.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2011 7:21 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Count Down to Pulp Fiction Blu-ray Release; Miramax Remembers Favorite Moments of Cult Classic

Quentin Tarantino's 1994 Pulp Fiction will have its first Blu-ray release on Oct 4. Until then, Miramax staff are counting down the days by highlighting favorite moments from the cult film. To start it off, Miramax's Mike Lang picked this clip, and shared the comments below. You can also watch it here:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2011 7:18 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Wonderful Winklevoss Pistachios; Summers Calls Twins Assholes, Armie Hammer Escapes Their Fate

Mark Zuckerberg may be No. 1 on Vanity Fair's New Establishment list, but The Winklevoss Twins are in bed with big money Pistachios. Wonderful Pistachios that is, and what a wonderful Winklevoss way to wake up to Tuesday. HuffPo shares this video and also relates the exchange between the made-famous-by-the-Facebook-movie twins and Harvard president Larry Summers. He says, "One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an asshole, this was the latter case. Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind." They then responded with this letter.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2011 3:36 AM
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TIFF 36 Day Five: 9/11, Deep Blue Sea, Cardboard Village, Beloved, 11 Flowers, Demme & Young

TIFF 36 Day Five: 9/11, Deep Blue Sea, Cardboard Village, Beloved, 11 Flowers, Demme & Young
Meredith Brody remembers 9/11, scarfs up more screenings, and enjoys a dulcet Toronto evening with Neil Young.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 13, 2011 2:39 AM
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TIFF 36 Four: Friends with Kids, The Oranges, Americano, Damsels in Distress, Palin, Paradise Lost

TIFF 36 Four:  Friends with Kids, The Oranges, Americano, Damsels in Distress, Palin, Paradise Lost
Meredith Brody runs the Scotiabank gamut from relationship dramedy Friends with Kids to the latest installment of doc Paradise Lost.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 12, 2011 11:51 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Tilda Swinton and Lynne Ramsay Need to Talk About Kevin: Demon Seed or Bad Mothering?

Tilda Swinton and Lynne Ramsay Need to Talk About Kevin: Demon Seed or Bad Mothering?
One of my favorite Cannes’ competition films, Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of Lionel Shriver's 2003 Brit bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, debuted to mixed reaction there, failing to land any awards. The film played well at Telluride alongside a Tilda Swinton Tribute and continued to cut a critical swathe through Toronto and beyond.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2011 11:40 AM
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Film in the Decade Since 9/11: From Superheroes to Westerns, What Came After

This week's “Now and Then” column started out comparing and contrasting two movies about assassins — Hanna (Joe Wright, 2011) and Léon: the Professional (Luc Besson, 1994)—and ended up ruminating on 9/11. Trailers below:Life and culture are too messy to be divided into easy categories like “Before” and “After,” but for all the continuities in the way films are made and viewed, a long view of the last decade reveals some important, if subtle, shifts. Watching the network news coverage of September 11 to prepare for this column, I was reminded of how much we didn’t know that day, how much our fear stemmed from no longer being able to control the course of events.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 12, 2011 11:36 AM
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Remembering Cliff Robertson: from Kennedy and Charly to David Begelman

Cliff Robertson passed of natural causes on September 10. The actor, whose credits span over fifty years, is known most recently for his role as Ben Parker in the Spider-Man franchise, and will be remembered most for his Oscar-winning role in 1968's Charly and 1963's PT 109, in which he played John F. Kennedy. (My favorites are his angry safecracker in Sam Fuller's Underworld USA and unhappy husband in Brian De Palma's Obsession.)
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • September 12, 2011 10:33 AM
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In the Works: Kelly Reilly On Board Washington's Flight; Farmiga, Arkin & MacLaine; Nolte & Waits

Denzel Washington has a leading lady for Robert Zemeckis' Flight. It's Kelly Reilly, who we suggested to play Daisy Buchanan before Carey Mulligan snagged the role in Baz Luhrmann's 3-D The Great Gatsby. You'll recognize the British Reilly from Sherlock Holmes (the first and upcoming sequel, as Jude Law's lady love) and Pride & Prejudice (Caroline Bingley). She deserves to be showcased, and this should be a meaty role. Here are Flight plot details.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 12, 2011 6:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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