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Thompson on Hollywood

The Eagle Early Reviews: Tatum and Bell Are "Junior League Versions of Snyder's 300 Macho-Erotica"

Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald is as gifted a documentarian as he is a feature filmmaker--he just premiered the brilliant YouTube/Ridley Scott doc Life in a Day at Sundance, and has been given the helm on the first authorized Bob Marley documentary. Macdonald also directed the great Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, for which Forrest Whitaker won the Oscar. State of Play is his weakest effort to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 9:28 AM
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Berlin: Hallstrom Returns to Sweden to Direct Crime Thriller The Hypnotist

Many foreign directors dream of making it in Hollywood, and after breaking out with My Life as a Dog Sweden's Lasse Hallstrom certainly did, directing What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? Something to Talk About, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, An Unfinished Life, Casanova, The Hoax and Dear John. But his last, Hachi, went straight to video in the U.S. and did middling business overseas; the market is unforgiving now for his stock-in-trade, heart-warming dramas. Thus Hallström is returning to make his first feature in Sweden in 24 years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 9:06 AM
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Paul Haggis Talks Scientology to The New Yorker, ABC Videos Cruise

We've been waiting for Lawrence Wright's New Yorker Scientology expose ever since Canadian writer-director Paul Haggis (Crash) denied involvement in writing a tell-all book. That may not be necessary now that The New Yorker has published the 26-page story about the director and his many years spent in league with the religion. Lawrence has said: “I will expand on that material for the book. Both the article and the eventual book will explore the Haggis family’s experience inside the church and their decision to leave it. Haggis has been extremely helpful and candid, but he is certainly not a collaborator."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 9, 2011 8:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Little Miss Sunshine Team Tackles He Loves Me, Palahniuk's Gang-Bang, Keaton & Harris Look of Love

- It's the "yardstick by which so many indie films are measured: a small movie made with first-time directors that blew up at Sundance, became a box-office sensation and an Oscar best picture nominee," writes the LAT of Litte Miss Sunshine. A full five years after its indie-to-Oscar success, its filmmakers are reteaming. Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris and producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa will tackle He Loves Me, written by Zoe Kazan (Dayton and Faris are developing her first draft).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 9, 2011 5:20 AM
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Trailer Watch: Winslet, Leo, Pearce and Wood in HBO's Mildred Pierce

Check out Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce and Melissa Leo in the latest trailer for Todd Haynes' mini-series retelling of the 1945 Joan Crawford classic Mildred Pierce. The five-part HBO series premieres March 27. Here is Amy Dawes' interview with Winslet and Haynes.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 9, 2011 4:36 AM
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SBIFF Oscar Directors Panel: Aronofsky, Ferguson, Granik, Hooper, Russell, Unkrich

During the final panel of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 5, Variety’s Peter Bart led a discussion among directors of Oscar-nominated films, including Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), documentarian Charles Ferguson (Inside Job), writer-director Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), David O. Russell (The Fighter) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) before a capacity crowd at the city’s historic downtown Lobero Theater. Justin Lowe reports (video is below).
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 9, 2011 3:14 AM
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Sony Negotiating MGM Distrib and Financing Deal, Including Bonds

Sony and MGM have been in bed together for some time. One of many investors in the company, Sony has released the last two Bond films, and wants to release the next two as well, reports the the LATimes. Streamlined MGM has been strapped for cash for some time, come through bankruptcy, and now has two new CEOs, industry vets Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber, who are seeking to avoid the risk and expense of marketing and releasing their own movies. They are talking to several studios about a worldwide distribution deal for MGM's films and home video, as well as financing on some films such as Sam Mendes' Bond 23, starring Daniel Craig.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 3:07 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Dueling Snow Whites: Kavanaugh Lands Roberts as Evil Queen

Relativity has landed Julia Roberts to star as the evil Queen in Tarsem Singh's untitled contemporary comedy adventure based on the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. The neophyte distrib starts principal photography in April with a planned June 29, 2012 release date, which puts it ahead in the race to start two rival Snow White projects. Charlize Theron is in talks to play the wicked Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman for Universal, which is negotiating to sign Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart. Meanwhile, The Playlist reports that Famke Jannsen is joining the Paramount fairy tale remake, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, starring Gemma Arterton and Jeremy Renner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 9, 2011 2:22 AM
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Take That Zuckerberg! Winklevi Fight For More Money, Publicity with Spandex

Take That Zuckerberg! Winklevi Fight For More Money, Publicity with Spandex
The Winklevoss Twins (or the Winklevi, as brought to you by The Social Network's Armie Hammer), who lost their most recent fight against Mark Zuckerberg, strike back in an interview with The Daily [UPDATED: Part 2 & 3 after the jump; Piers Morgan interview with the twins here]:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 8, 2011 8:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: Tom Hanks Works for the Academy

Oscar Watch: Tom Hanks Works for the Academy
Academy governor Tom Hanks has been working overtime. At Monday's Academy Nominees lunch he turned up in a well-produced how-to video shot at the empty Hollywood and Highland Kodak Theatre that will be the site of the Oscar Show February 27. His goal: teaching this year's crop of 190 nominees how to give an entertaining acceptance speech: no lists, keep it to 45 seconds, save it for the Thank You Cam, etc. (A more detailed DVD will be sent to all the nominees.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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