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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance: Take Shelter Goes to SPC Before Competing at Fest

Jeff Nichols' latest, Sundance dramatic competition entry Take Shelter, has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics ahead of the fest for North American, Latin American, Australian and New Zealand distribution. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire) and Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) star as two parents living in Ohio with a six-year-old deaf daughter. When Shannon starts to have nightmares, he keeps his fears and anxieties to himself and obsessively erects a storm shelter in the backyard. His concerned family and community come second to his unspoken fears of what his dreams signify. SPC calls Nichols' script "emotional, deep and timely," and producer Tyler Davidson states that SPC "[doesn't] shy away from original and provocative material, and their name is trusted by audiences who appreciate the difference."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2011 4:50 AM
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Sundance: Jury Members Are Susanne Bier, Matt Groening, Jason Reitman, America Ferrara, Kim Peirce

The Sundance Film Festival has filled out its jury roster for 2011:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 3:41 AM
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Sony Pictures Classics Milks Globes Attention, Bier Heads to Sundance

Sony Pictures Classics Milks Globes Attention, Bier Heads to Sundance
Because the wily operators at Sony Pictures Classics, co-presidents Tom Bernard and Michael Barker, have thrown countless movies into the awards season market over the decades, they have mapped out what works best for lower-profile films. They are well-positioned now, for example, to take full advantage of the boost that Paul Giamatti's Golden Globe best actor comedy win gives Canadian dramedy Barney's Version. After a qualifying late December week's run, SPC opened the film this holiday weekend and did decent business. "I hope people will go to see it now," said Giamatti at the HBO Globes party.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 12:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SnagFilms Raises $10 Million from Comcast, NEA

SnagFilms, founded two years ago by filmanthropist Ted Leonsis, has raised $10 million from New Enterprise Associates and Comcast Interactive Capital. SnagFilms has a library of more than 2000 documentaries that it releases on the internet; it shares revenues from short ads with filmmakers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2011 10:09 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series May See a Fourth Book

Eva Gabrielsson, partner of Stieg Larsson, the late author of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Millennium series, tells The Guardian that 200 pages of a fourth book were written before he died of a heart attack at age 50, walking up a flight of stairs. Gabrielsson's upcoming memoir, Millennium, Stieg and Me, reveals the existence of these unseen pages (she refuses to provide plot details and is hanging on to Larsson's computer) and the fact that they "often wrote together."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2011 8:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Casting Watch: Duplass Joins Pine, Banks, Wilde in Welcome To The People; Odd Life of Timothy Green

- Alex Kurtzman is veering away from his writing roots (M:I 3, Transformers, Star Trek, Cowboys & Aliens) in his directorial debut, Welcome To The People (which he co-wrote with Jody Lambert and long-time writing partner Roberto Orci). In the DreamWorks drama, a young businessman (Chris Pine) loses his father and must deliver an inheritance to his long-lost alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks, who nabbed the role Hilary Swank wanted; Amy Adams passed). He discovers that his sister now has a volatile 12-year old son. Rather than deliver the money, Pine reaches out to his sister and nephew without revealing who he truly is. Olivia Wilde joins the cast as Pine's girlfriend, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays his mother. Actor-writer-director Mark Duplass (Cyrus) just signed on to play a neighbor and love interest for Banks' character. The film is set to roll this month.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 17, 2011 8:14 AM
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Green Hornet Creams The Dilemma at Martin Luther King Holiday Box Office

Big-budget effects trumped raunchy buddy comedy as Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen's Green Hornet beat out Ron Howard and Vince Vaughn's The Dilemma at the Martin Luther King holiday box office. Anthony D'Alessandro reports.Monday morning Sony executives had every reason to keep Sunday night’s champagne flowing into their mimosas. Not only did the Culver City studio score big at the Golden Globes with The Social Network, but it continued to flex its B.O. muscle for No. 1 openers as superhero adaptation Green Hornet took $40 million over the four-day Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. Meanwhile, Universal/Spyglass’ Vince Vaughn-Kevin James’ vehicle The Dilemma could have used a laugh track as the dramedy registered a low opening for both thesps at $21.1 million. Already, the media is proclaiming a recession for Hollywood after a three-day weekend haul of $127 million-plus (per Box Office Mojo estimates), which is 25% off last year’s $170 million. Their complaint: studios are delivering a crappy films. Relax. This is par for the course for January.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • January 17, 2011 5:59 AM
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The Social Network Scores Top Awards at Golden Globes, Gervais Ignites Uproar

The Social Network Scores Top Awards at Golden Globes, Gervais Ignites Uproar
The Social Network is sweeping all the awards shows. The film won best drama, director, screenplay and score at the Golden Globes Sunday night. The King's Speech won the expected award for best actor drama Colin Firth, but could have used a best drama win going into the real Oscar race for best picture.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2011 3:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Golden Globes: Best Actor Drama Goes to Firth

Colin Firth is the expected winner as he continues to chalk up wins for his role as a stuttering King George VI in The King's Speech. Firth's momentum going forward toward the Oscars is probably too strong to beat.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2011 3:46 AM
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Golden Globes: Portman Wins Actress Drama for Black Swan, Kids Are All Right Gets Comedy

You can feel the warmth in the house for True Grit star Jeff Bridges, who presents the Golden Globe to Natalie Portman, winner of best actress drama for Black Swan. The Fox party goes wild.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 17, 2011 3:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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