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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Panel: Martha Marcy May Marlene

One of the best-reviewed films at Sundance is Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring one of several Sundance "it girls," Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman who is drawn into an isolated cult led by John Hawkes. Check out the press conference moderated by exec producer Ted Hope.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 10:05 AM
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IMDb Founder Col Needham Talks Sundance

IMDb founder Col Needham is a big film buff, and he takes his Sundance picks seriously. I caught him with the Flip Cam at the Eccles Saturday night:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 9:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out
The Sundance Fest's biggest sale so far is Like Crazy, the follow-up film from Drake Doremus, who showed Douchebag here last year. That movie was a minor improv road comedy of the Mumblecore variety. (Speaking of which, SXSW grad Joe Swanberg's first Sundance entry, Uncle Kent, has earned dismissive reviews here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 8:31 AM
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Weekend Box Office: No Strings Attached Wins Top Spot; Proves Portman's Star Power

Proving that Natalie Portman is a movie star with marquee value, romantic comedy No Strings Attached opened to an estimated $20.3 million at the weekend box office, reports Anthony D'Alessandro:This weekend, Natalie Portman was America’s Sweetheart as Paramount’s R-rated No Strings Attached plucked $20.3 million while her best actress- buzzed Black Swan rose past the $80-million mark. When Paramount launched its viral trailer campaign for the film in November, cine-bloggers feared that Strings might tarnish Portman’s award season odds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 6:40 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Goes to Lionsgate/Roadside, Shuns VOD, Like Crazy Goes to Paramount

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Goes to Lionsgate/Roadside, Shuns VOD, Like Crazy Goes to Paramount
In the first major deal of the festival, one of the more commercial-looking prospects of the Sundance market, rookie director J.C. Chandor's Wall Street drama Margin Call, went to Lionsgate and its subsidiary Roadside after an all-night negotiation at Roadside's Deer Valley condo. The movie is a testament to what can be done on a shoestring--the $3.5 million film was shot in 17 days in New York City.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 4:54 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Directors Round Table

Oscar Watch: Directors Round Table
The LATimes' directors' roundtable dwells on what Oscar contenders (left to right in the LAT photo) Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), Ben Affleck (The Town), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), and Ethan Coen (True Grit) learn from failure, basically:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 3:53 AM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Sundance Watch: Hope and Vachon Do Hulu

Two of the cannier producers with taste who have been supplying films at Sundance for decades are Ted Hope (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Killer Films' Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce). This year Hope not only executive produced director Sean Durkin's impossibly-titled cult film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which played well here (amid buyer interest) and broke out the festival's "it-girl" Elizabeth Olsen--sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, who also stars in a solo one-shot tour-de-force Silent House--but is conducting with Vachon a series of interview shows produced by Digital Artists that are being streamed on Hulu.com. Check out their interview with Olsen:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 12:15 AM
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Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest

Sundance Watch: Margin Call Ignites Buyer Interest
So they're off! On a bright sunny Friday morning, the usual gang of buyers assembled at Park City' Utah's Holiday Cinema III for one of the more promising commercial titles, Margin Call, featuring an attractive ensemble of wily character actors led by Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany and Zachary Quinto--with ace support from Demi Moore, Simon Baker and Jeremy Irons. Buyers Harvey Weinstein, Focus's James Schamus, Sony Pictures Classics' Tom Bernard, Fox Searchlight's Tony Safford, IFC's Jonathan Seyring, and others packed the press and industry screening. UPDATE: Three companies are bidding on the film so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 22, 2011 2:29 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Sundance Kicks-Off, Awards Impact, More Remakes In The Works

Weekly Wrap: Sundance Kicks-Off, Awards Impact, More Remakes In The Works
SUNDANCE
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 21, 2011 7:17 AM
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Oscar Talk: Best Actress Fields; Doc, Foreign and Animated Feature Races; Surprise Contenders

During this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I kick-off with a discussion of last weekend's Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Movie Awards, then consider the Best Leading and Supporting Actress, Best Documentary Feature, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Feature categories, and single out some contenders who could easily surprise pundits with nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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