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Thompson on Hollywood

Next Coen Brothers' Feature Goes Folk, Moverman Writes Brian Wilson Biopic

The Coen brothers will focus their next feature on the folk music scene in mid-20th century New York via the story of legendary musician Dave Van Ronk. Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Van Ronk was known for his musical prowess and captivating storytelling. He presided over Village coffeehouse culture and helped to discover and cultivate such talents as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Last month, at a talk at Lincoln Center, the Coens said their upcoming film would have a heavy music focus and lean toward naturalism.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • June 26, 2011 5:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekend Box Office: Cars 2 Beats Critic Brickbats and Cars with $68 Million; Diaz Opens Bad Teacher

Weekend Box Office: Cars 2 Beats Critic Brickbats and Cars with $68 Million; Diaz Opens Bad Teacher
While Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 suffered the worst reviews of any of Pixar's past 11 blockbusters, the John Lasseter-helmed sequel still scored with mainstream audiences, reports Anthony D'Alessandro.Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 popped the clutch into fifth and ran over its muddy estimates and critical reviews with an estimated weekend of $68 million at 4,115 theaters; 61% were equipped in 3-D. No doubt Disney executives are overjoyed, but no one can be happier than box office rebound girl Cameron Diaz, whose sex pot comedy Bad Teacher collected $31 million. Even more mouth-dropping than Diaz’s raunchy hijinks in the film was that it was made for the same price as her Charlie’s Angels 2 paycheck -- $20 million.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • June 26, 2011 5:11 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments
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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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments
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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  • 0 Comments

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