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Thompson on Hollywood

Wickedly Talented Jeff Nichols' MUD: Witherspoon, McConaughey, Shannon, Shepard, Sheridan & More

In our interview with Michael Shannon he mentioned a possible cameo in Jeff Nichols' MUD, the third feature from the writer-director, whose first two films, Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, star Shannon. "Wickedly talented," is how Shannon describes Nichols; "A throwback to the seventies [directors]…one of those guys who just kicks ass."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 27, 2011 6:00 AM
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Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings

Descendants, Clooney, Streep Top Gurus 'O Gold Oscar Rankings
The Gurus have spoken. Post-festivals, Alexander Payne's The Descendants (1) has taken over the frontrunner spot from Steven Spielberg's unscreened period war adventure War Horse (2). Interestingly, Spielberg was considering submitting the film to Venice but decided not to do so. He usually likes to wait until the last possible minute to show his films. It's better NOT to be at the head of the pack, anyway. The Descendants' George Clooney (1) is also at the front of the Best Actor race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 27, 2011 5:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Brad Pitt's Movie Eating: Moneyball the Latest Evidence in Vulture's Theory

Vulture put together a list of food that Brad Pitt has eaten in movies to prove their "Brad Pitt Eating in Movies Theory." Yes, really. Moneyball is the latest piece of evidence, and if you've seen the film you know that in between throwing inanimate objects, the man does like to eat. He sucks blood in Interview with a Vampire, devours peanut butter in Meet Joe Black, and in Moneyball savors a Twinkie. Oh, and here's the "Brad Pitt eating in every scene of all his movies" Facebook page.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 27, 2011 3:59 AM
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Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Review - Nucky Nosferatu

Boardwalk Empire Season 2 Review - Nucky Nosferatu
As its second season begins, David Chute finds that he admires Boardwalk Empire but does not love it.We took it as a sign during Boardwalk Empire’s first season that the show’s fabulously expensive exterior and interior sets never felt lived in. Compare Boardwalk’s boardwalk, a beautiful sweep of CG-enhanced Hollywood carpentry, with Deadwood’s Deadwood, an assortment of tents and swaybacked outhouses, awash in mud and dust and struggling humanity. Even the Harlan County, Kentucky, of Justified, cobbled together from various locations in Southern California, conveys a more organic sense of place. The characters are convinced that they were born and raised and rooted there, and so do we.
  • By David Chute
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  • September 27, 2011 3:50 AM
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  • 5 Comments

More Than Just Funny: How Women Took Comedy by the Balls

On a weekend in which the multiplex was mainly a man’s world, Matt Brennan's "Now and Then" column this week focuses on news from the small screen. With Bridesmaids now available on DVD and a flurry of funny women hitting network TV, he got to wondering: are we in a golden age of women in comedy? Trailers below:I know. You already have seven problems with this column and all you’ve read is the teaser. So let’s slow down and lay out some of the assumptions I’m working with here: first, that women are funny, and not only to other women, despite what Christopher Hitchens might have to say on the subject; and second, that I recognize there are problems with using the term “golden age,” and will get to these near the end.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 26, 2011 12:31 PM
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First Look: HBO's Luck a Good Bet with Mann, Milch, Hoffman, Allen, Gambon & Nolte on Their Team

HBO may have found gold again, this time with Luck. Director Michael Mann, scripter David Milch (of NYPD Blue, Deadwood) and stars Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Michael Gambon and Joan Allen (there's more) make this an attractive horse to bet on. ThePlaylist breaks down who's who in the horse racing drama. Check out the teaser below:Season 1 Tease
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 26, 2011 11:29 AM
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Michael Moore Talks Here Comes Trouble, Mel Gibson, Oscars, Politics, Georgia, and Bobby Kennedy

Michael Moore Talks Here Comes Trouble, Mel Gibson, Oscars, Politics, Georgia, and Bobby Kennedy
I first met Michael Moore back in the heady days when he made his name as a documentary filmmaker with 1989's Roger and Me by putting himself into the story of the downsizing of the GM plant in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2011 10:03 AM
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  • 7 Comments

How Did Moneyball Director Bennett Miller Make a Smart Studio Movie? Brad Pitt.

How Did Moneyball Director Bennett Miller Make a Smart Studio Movie? Brad Pitt.
Bennett Miller is not the first name that would come to mind as the director of Moneyball, which two years ago was a problem-plagued project stalled at Sony with $10 million in costs stacked against it from past writers Stan Chervin, Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin and departed directors David Frankel and Steven Soderbergh. And yet, for many reasons, Miller was just the right fit for this Sony adaptation of the 2003 Michael Lewis bestseller about Oakland As general manager Billy Beane. The movie launched to raves at Toronto and beyond and opened well this weekend. Now Oscars are in its sights.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2011 8:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments

First Poster Art for Zhang Yimou's Oscar Hopeful Flowers of War with Christian Bale Not Inspired

First Poster Art for Zhang Yimou's Oscar Hopeful Flowers of War with Christian Bale Not Inspired
Picking the right poster art is an art in itself, and China's treatment for its official Oscar submission, Zhang Yimou's $90 million The Flowers Of War, leaves much to be desired.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 26, 2011 7:41 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Video Interview: Michael Shannon Talks Festival Favorite Take Shelter, General Zod in Man of Steel

With Michael Shannon and director Jeff Nichols' second collaboration, Take Shelter (the first was Shotgun Stories), the pair have hit the zeitgeist of personal and national identity crises. The film kicked off its healthy festival life at Sundance (SPC grabbed it before its premiere, and is releasing the film in NY and LA September 30), where the stellar reviews began (currently 100% on Tomatometer). Despite its track record (including the Critic's Week Grand Prix and Fipresci prizes at Cannes), the film has yet to receive the attention it deserves.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 26, 2011 5:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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