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Thompson on Hollywood

First Look at The Raven: Cusack Frighteningly Passable as Edgar Allen Poe

Until this first-look photo, it was difficult to imagine John Cusack, likeable and attractive, as the mysterious and macabre Edgar Allen Poe. But in the upcoming The Raven (Relativity, March 12, 2012), loosely inspired by Poe's life, Cusack looks craggy-faced and alarming as the American gothic literary genius. The film is shooting in Serbia for Baltimore circa 1846; Luke Evans (Tamara Drewe), Alice Eve (She's Out of My League and Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) co-star.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 26, 2011 1:23 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Screenwriters Talk A Better Life: From Capracorn and Social Realism to Weitz and Bichir

Indie dramas are the toughest movies to make. 'Twas ever thus. And so it took 22 years for A Better Life to hit screens--and Twilight: New Moon. Off that hit, director Chris Weitz was able to parlay some good will at Summit into backing a modest low key $10 million L.A. drama about a laconic, hard-working single father (Demian Bichir), an illegal immigrant gardener who wants the best for his son (Jose Julian). Sounds like Capracorn? Well, that's how Manito screenwriter Eric Eason described Roger Simon's original screenplay at our Landmark Cinema Q & A Thursday Night. The writer of Enemies, a Love Story was given the germ of an idea--a gardener's truck is stolen--and inspired a bit by Italian classic The Bicycle Thief, the story was born.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 25, 2011 2:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

YouTube Commercial Kings Rhett and Link Talk New TV Show

Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings, a new television show premiering tonight on IFC, plots two best friends as they journey across the United States to understand the country--via advertising.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 24, 2011 10:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Academy Moves Around Governors List, Adds Hurd, Bening, Mazursky

The board of governors are the real bosses at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. They call the shots. They elect the president, who is now Tom Sherak, who oversees the actual Oscar show by hiring the producers and approving the hosts. They approved Sherak's choice of AMPAS's new co-chairmen, Dawn Hudson and Ric Robertson, to replace outgoing executive director Bruce Davis, as well as all new members and voting rules.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 7:13 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Emma Thompson to Adapt Annie for Will and Willow Smith and Jay-Z?

Will Smith is in talks with Emma Thompson to write a film adaptation of Annie as a starring vehicle for his daughter, Willow Smith. Vulture adds, "No word on whether Thompson will also write herself into a role as the orphanage director who loves booze almost as much as she hates children, but here's hoping." Here's more on the project and Jay-Z's involvement. He told THR: “We’re developing a true superstar in Willow."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2011 7:00 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Taylor/Burton Poll, Foxx is Tarantino's Django, Dennis Murren Talks Super 8 VFX, & More

BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 6:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Columbo Star Peter Falk is Dead: Wings of Desire, Husbands, Princess Bride Are Must-See Films

Tony-winning New Yorker Peter Falk, who has died at age 83 after suffering from Alzheimers, was beloved for his long-running Emmy-winning TV role as Columbo. But he also memorably starred in Wim Wenders' exquisite Wings of Desire, long-time collaborator John Cassavetes' 1970 drama Husbands and such comedies as The In-Laws, opposite Alan Arkin. He was Oscar-nominated for supporting roles in the 60s' Pocketful of Miracles and Murder, Inc.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 5:45 AM
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More: Obit

Weekend Preview: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Leap Year's Graphic Sex, Conan O'Brien, Better Life & More

While Cars 2 trends rotten and Cameron Diaz gets dirty for Bad Teacher, several worthwhile indies are also in theaters this weekend. ThePlaylist calls Conan O'Brien Can't Stop a "winning, charming, you’ll-miss-stuff-because-you’re-still-laughing-too-hard concert documentary and a peek behind Conan’s psychological curtain." It's also indieWIRE's Pick of the Week. NYT's Stephen Holden says If A Tree Falls's "sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece of reporting, although its emotional heat rarely rises to a boil," while Manohla Dargis says Chris Weitz's scaling down for A Better Life has "done him good."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 24, 2011 5:30 AM
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Winklevoss Twins Can't Stop

As THR film editor Gregg Kilday tweets: "Somebody should give them a copy of Bleak House." The Winklevoss twins, who earlier this week appeared to have given up their Quixotic quest to wrest justice from The Social Network subject Mark Zuckerberg, have not yet cut their losses. As they have failed to improve on their 2008 Facebook cash and stock settlement, now worth more than $100 million, they're just abandoning one approach to pursue another.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2011 5:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
More: News

Ten-Year-Old Cult Classic Wet Hot American Summer May See Sequel

On the endless list of sequels in the works you can add cult DVD fave Wet Hot American Summer, director and co-writer David Wain told Jeff Goldsmith. A decade after the film’s release, Wain says: “the prequel would be the same summer… so it would be 40 year olds playing 16 year olds. And yeah, we’re in the early stages of thinking about that.”
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 24, 2011 4:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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