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Thompson on Hollywood

Starbucks Digital Network Adds SnagFilms Programming

Scheduled to launch later this fall, the Starbucks Digital Network has so far announced content providers The New York Times, USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment with iTunes, Nick Jr. Boost, Wellness with Rodale, Patch and Zagat. Now SnagFilms is the latest content contributor to the Starbucks Digital Network’s upcoming entertainment channel. SnagFilms, which offers over 1600 free non-fiction movies, will co-curate with Starbucks themed film festivals created specifically for the Network, launching with A MusicFest of a range of award-winning musical films.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2010 12:15 PM
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Bening vs. Moore for First Oscar Win, Weisz Gets Promiscuous, Guardian's Genre Questions

Bening vs. Moore for First Oscar Win, Weisz Gets Promiscuous, Guardian's Genre Questions
- Not surprisingly, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore will both be pushed toward a Best Actress Oscar by The Kids Are All Right distributor Focus Features. If they are indeed both nominated, notes Deadline EW, The Kids Are All Right would be the sixth movie to have double nominees in this category: Thelma and Louise, Terms of Endearment, The Turning Point, Suddenly, Last Summer and All About Eve). Moore has been nominated four times; twice as supporting actress (The Hours in 2003, Boogie Nights in 1998) and twice for leading roles (Far From Heaven in 2003, The End of The Affair in 2000). Bening has three prior nominations; one supporting (The Grifters in 1991), two leading (American Beauty in 2000, Being Julia in 2005). Should either actress take home a statue in 2011, it will be their first.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 21, 2010 8:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment

European Film Academy Nominates Three Animated Features

The European Film Academy nominates three for 2010 Animated Feature Film; Spain/UK's Planet 51 directed by Jorge Blanco, Belgium's Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage from Ben Stassen, and UK/France's The Illusionist by Sylvain Chomet. On December 4th, the winner will be announced at the EFA Awards Ceremony in Tallinn/Estonia, as determined by their 2,300 voting members.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2010 4:24 AM
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The Social Network Update and Review

The Social Network Update and Review
Given the way things pile on now, you've already read more than you want to know about a movie you are dying to see, David Fincher's The Social Network. Some of you will go to the New York Film Festival September 24; others will wait until it opens October 1.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2010 3:10 AM
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  • 6 Comments

TIFF: National Geographic's Battsek Acquires The First Grader

TIFF: National Geographic's Battsek Acquires The First Grader
With his first fall festival buy since he took over National Geographic Films, ex-Miramax president Daniel Battsek has acquired U.S. rights for Toronto and Telluride title The First Grader. Battsek had been looking for just the right movie that would fit into the National Geographic mandate to reveal something about our world. (Battsek chose not to release National Geographic's prisoner-of-war film The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir and starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Jim Sturgess, preferring to supervise Newmarket Films instead.) When I spoke to Battsek at TIFF, he said, "I'll know it when I see it."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 9:35 AM
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Salon The Town Review Attacks Affleck for Celebrity Malaise

While the rest of the world is restoring Ben Affleck to star status after his well-reviewed and well-attended The Town opening, Salon's Andrew O'Hehir is playing Armond White. He detects "troubling signs of celebrity malaise" in The Town, compared to Affleck's directorial debut Gone Baby Gone: "you can't even describe [it] as more of the same. It's less of the same." The movie is "mediocre," with plenty of "unnecessary expositional detail" in the dialogue written in part by Affleck.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Culture Vultures Unite: Separate from New York

While by all accounts New York Magazine's culture blog Vulture has been hugely successful at building traffic, nonetheless it's still not profitable. Under Adam Moss, New York has plowed millions into it. My jaw dropped when I first laid eyes on it three years ago; I have watched it grow and expand into the entertainment news space. Now New York seeks the Holy Grail: premium national luxury ads.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 4:21 AM
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Contraband Stars Beckinsale, Wasikowska vs. Phoenix, Panettiere as Amanda Knox

- Working Title is remaking 2008 thriller Reykjavik-Rotterdam (Iceland's 2009 Oscar submission) for American audiences. Kate Beckinsale will reportedly star opposite Mark Wahlberg in the retitled Contraband. He plays an alcohol smuggler-turned-security guard being lured back into below-ground business. Actor-director-producer Baltasar Kormákur, who produced the original and has directed six films (Inhale, starring Diane Kruger and Dermot Mulroney, comes out next month) will direct. Release is set for 2012.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 20, 2010 4:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Kate Winslet as Mildred Pierce

One of the great, satisfying page-turners is James M. Cain's 1941 Mildred Pierce, which was turned into an excellent 1945 movie starring Joan Crawford. (Several of Cain's hardboiled novels worked as films, including The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity). Well, the Killer team of Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes have adapted the novel into a five-part HBO mini-series. The trailer ran before HBO's debut of Boardwalk Empire Sunday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 3:25 AM
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TIFF: Focus Acquires Beginners, Starring McGregor and Plummer

TIFF: Focus Acquires Beginners, Starring McGregor and Plummer
After the Toronto press screening of Mike Mills' Beginners last week, Eugene Hernandez and I were debating which distrib should pick it up. And we agreed that Focus Features--which had not acquired anything out of this year's fest--was the best candidate. Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight were overbooked. And there's a real possibility of a supporting actor nod for Christopher Plummer, who nails the role of an older gay man clinging to life. I had admired Mills' Thumbsucker, so I was not surprised at the little joys to be found in this superbly directed movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 3:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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