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Thompson on Hollywood

Fox Picks Up Scorsese's Letter To Elia, HBO Grabs Lebowitz Doc

Fox Picks Up Scorsese's Letter To Elia, HBO Grabs Lebowitz Doc
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is acquiring Martin Scorsese's A Letter To Elia, which played well in Venice and Telluride. The documentary chronicles the life and work of legendary (and controversial) director Elia Kazan. The film is included in Fox's November 9 DVD release: The Elia Kazan Film Collection. Scorsese shares director credit with Kent Jones.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • September 8, 2010 3:42 AM
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Portman Offered Gravity, Defining Adult Films, Toronto's Most Anticipated

- In the ongoing saga of who will replace Angelina Jolie in the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity--she twice rejected the starring role--Natalie Portman has been offered the role, thanks to rave reviews on her Black Swan performance. With or without Black Swan's vote of confidence, Portman is a strong (but young) choice. The age range of the character in Gravity is apparently flexible. Should Portman accept the role, this will be a chance for her to stand out (although Robert Downey Jr. carries some of the load), a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away or James Franco in 127 Hours. Risky Business lists Portman's growing collection of possible projects, including a Terrence Malick film with Brad Pitt, a Tom Stoppard piece written specifically for her, not to mention Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Tom Tykwer's star-packed (Hanks, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Ian McKellan) Cloud Atlas (both slated for 2011). All along, the actress has made diverse choices, ranging from Heat (1995), which RottenTomatoes rates highest of all her films, when she was 14 (the unheard of Free Zone [2005] is the lowest) to Star Wars (1999, 2002, 2005) and Garden State (2004).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 8, 2010 3:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride Review: Weir's Triumphant The Way Back Is Slowed Down by History

Telluride correspondent Tim Appelo is not taking any guff on Peter Weir's The Way Back. He likes it.At the Floradora on Telluride’s main street, Peter Weir was like the dauntless pilgrims of his great escape movie The Way Back, who incredibly fled Stalin’s Siberian gulag and trekked through Mongolia and the Himalayas to India in quest of freedom and eventual homecoming. OK, he was just racing to make his Elks Park panel on “Human/Nature,” but he had to pack a lunch and confront ambiguously dangerous strangers on the way – not Mongol horsemen, but journalists trying to stamp their views on his new movie.
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 7, 2010 12:34 PM
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Video: Noomi Rapace Moves Beyond Salander and the Millennium Trilogy

One of the trickiest moves to make as a young star is coping with sudden fame--especially when it is attached to a beloved character. Swedish actress Noomi Rapace created the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish films based on Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy"; the films made her a star all over the world (the trilogy has grossed $220 million so far worldwide – and $110 million for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." But like the "Twilight" stars, whether she can make a career outside Sweden in other roles, in other languages, is another question. As you can see from the interview below shot in Venice 2010, Rapace speaks fluent English. UPDATE: She has been getting offers from Hollywood, from the "Sherlock Holmes" series to "Prometheus." The question was what she would do with them. Now we know. She's a global star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 7, 2010 12:20 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Godard Contacts Academy, Says He'll Try to Make It

Oscar Watch: Godard Contacts Academy, Says He'll Try to Make It
The Academy reports that Jean-Luc Godard has responded in writing to their invitation to accept an honorary Oscar at the Governor's Awards on November 13 after all, reports Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger: "in response to Academy President Tom Sherak’s letter informing him that the Board of Governors had voted him an Honorary Oscar, Jean-Luc Godard has sent a cordial, hand-written note back to Sherak. In it, Godard graciously thanked the organization for the honor and referred to himself as “the fourth musketeer,” in acknowledgement of the fact that three others (Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach) are among the year’s honorees. His note, relayed to the Academy late last week via an assistant to Godard, indicated that, schedule permitting, he would come to Los Angeles for the November 13 Governors Awards event.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 7, 2010 12:05 PM
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More: Awards, Oscars

Oscar Watch: Gurus 'O Gold Top Contenders, Godard No-Show

Oscar Watch: Gurus 'O Gold Top Contenders, Godard No-Show
Movie City News webmaster David Poland has lined up the usual suspects for this year's round of Gurus 'O Gold of Oscar-watching. The top seven ranking is shared by most of this group of 11 voters: 1. Inception2. The Kids Are All Right3. The King's Speech4. Toy Story 35. The Social Network6. True Grit7. Black Swan
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 7, 2010 8:31 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Venice Press Conference: Coppola, Dorff and Fanning Talk Somewhere

Venice Press Conference: Coppola, Dorff and Fanning Talk Somewhere
Video of the Venice Somewhere press conference with (a soft-spoken) Sofia Coppola, Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning is in two parts, below. Coppola was a good deal more forthcoming in her later one-on-one interview with me, which I will eventually transcribe and post.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 12:55 PM
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Telluride Review: Errol Morris Goes for Laughs with Tabloid

Telluride Review: Errol Morris Goes for Laughs with Tabloid
Telluride critic Tim Appelo was surprised that documentarian (blogger/tweeter) Errol Morris's latest, Tabloid, is well, funny. Having spent some time with the man, he can be quite witty, as are his famous Oscar shorts. Dark humor informs all his films, even his dead-serious docs Fog of War and Standard Operating Procedure. I can't wait to see Tabloid in Toronto, where I'm scheduled to talk to Morris, and he is scheduled to dialogue with another seriously funny filmmaker, Werner Herzog.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 11:48 AM
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Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here

Venice: Joaquin Phoenix is Not Here
Rookie director Casey Affleck is playing out his hand on the bizarre Joaquin Phoenix documentary I'm Still Here, which debuted in Venice Monday to rousing applause, and is still inspiring huge debate. What the hell is Phoenix doing? Committing career suicide? Creating an indelibly accurate portrait of a miserable depressed self-medicating and deluded actor? Doing an Andy Kaufman-type performance piece, egged on by Affleck?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 6:53 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Modern Crime Families, Networks TV's New Challenges, Mad Men's Peggy Olson

- The LA Times thinks the family that slays together stays together. Pop culture's healthy appetite for criminals (nothing new) has been fed with low-key gems Animal Kingdom and Winter's Bone, and while they are no Godfather trilogies in scale, they deliver the same family-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-law drama that we love. And those of use who have had a void in our lives since The Sopranos ended will find hope in HBO's upcoming Boardwalk Empire. We are easily charmed by anyone that breaks the law, it's fun to be vicariously bad through our favorite TV characters (Dexter, anyone?), and there's something about the blood-bound clans that really get our attention - always has been. But our affection for (or identification with) contemporary crime families signals an evolution, suggests the LAT:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 6, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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