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Thompson on Hollywood

Four Rising Stars of 2011: Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall, Tom Hardy

Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Rebecca Hall and Michael Fassbender are four hot-as-flapjacks actors who have given Hollywood reason to expect great things. They are, so far, actors known better for their roles than their celebrity, and while 2010 was a year packed with noteworthy performances--including theirs-- we expect that their best work is yet to come. Casting directors and filmmakers are throwing parts at these rising stars: here's a preview of their 2011 slates (from flailing indies to franchise prequels, we've got the available stats) and why we care:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 24, 2010 8:15 AM
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  • 3 Comments

How Ryan Kavanaugh Can Save the Movies

How Ryan Kavanaugh Can Save the Movies
Indie producer Cotty Chubb has a modest proposal for Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh that could save the movies. (Chubb wants the studios to be involved, which may be part of the problem.)The movie business is being strangled. For a professionally produced picture to succeed, it must be released theatrically. But not every movie is fit for 3,000 screens or appropriate only to educated adults, the twin poles of distribution today. And there is almost no middle ground.
  • By Cotty Chubb
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  • December 23, 2010 9:25 AM
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  • 27 Comments

WikiLeaks Reveal Bush Administration Attacks on Michael Moore

Michael Moore is nothing if not paranoid, but it looks like he has reason to be. When he reads through all the WikiLeaks cables, his own name crops up, more than once. It seems that the Bush administration was genuinely threatened by the damage that Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 could do. But the more the White House tried to hurt the movie, the more it fueled its success, Moore writes. Another WikiLeaks Cable from the Bush Administration About My Movies ...a note from Michael Moore
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 6:45 AM
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The Coens' History of Mustaches

Hailee Steinfeld holds her own against Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in almost every category of True Grit's manliness, but she just can't compete in the mustache competition. NYMag calls Damon's 'stache a "spectacular, instantly iconic, old-timey mustache, which builds on the Coens' proud tradition of decorating their characters with some of the finest nose curtains in all of cinema." But even if his mustache surpasses Bridges' and Brolin's in this Western, he has competition from many Coens characters who preceed him. Check out NYMag's "Stach-o-Meter (which grades on a scale of Zorro to Gene Shalit)".
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 23, 2010 6:40 AM
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Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Holiday Box Office Preview: True Grit vs. Little Fockers

Every year the studios dream of scooping up Christmas holiday sugar plums. Will they find them this season? Anthony D'Alessandro makes a fearless holiday box office forecast:What present do the majors want to open under the Christmas tree? A box office full of cash. "There’s no better time of year for adult moviegoing then the week between Christmas and New Year’s,” says Paramount distribution exec vp Don Harris. “Good movies play well to everybody. The play’s the thing.”
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • December 23, 2010 1:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments

E Film Critics' Top Ten Quote Whores

E Film Critic's Erik Childress continues to wage war against critics who he deems "whores." They consistently deliver the film quotes that the studios love to include in their ads. Finally, I don't know who most of these people are.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 1:44 AM
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Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees

Alliance of Women Film Journalists Nominees
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has posted its nominees for the 2010 AWFJ EDA Awards (full list is below). Nominated for Best Film are Black Swan, Inception, The King's Speech, The Social Network and Winter's Bone. Oddly, The Kids Are All Right received 16 nominations-- but not best picture. Helen Mirren (RED) got five.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2010 11:23 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Production Watch: Bale in Nanjing Heroes, Dark Knight Rises; Stone & Garfield In Spiderman(s)

- China's premiere director Zhang Yimou (Hero, the Beijing Olympic Games) has named Christian Bale to star in Nanjing Heroes. The $90 million period epic tells the story of the Nanjing Massacre, when Japanese troops killed thousands of Chinese in the capital city (1937). Bale will play an American priest who assists citizens in escaping impending death. Zhang also announced the hiring of special effects house Dark Side FX (The Dark Knight). The film will mix English and Mandarin (40/60), he said. No Chinese film or director has ever taken home an Academy Award in a major category. (Zhang himself had back-to-back Oscar nominations for Ju Dou in 1990 and Raise the Red Lantern in 1991.) "It's the overall strategy for Chinese cinema to approach the world and broaden its influence," Zhang told THR. The casting of Bale was not a box office ploy, but rather "a coincidence because the script happened to have an English-speaking part in the lead." Shooting Nanjing Heroes will begin shooting January 10. Bale will be due on The Dark Knight Rises set May 2011.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 22, 2010 6:45 AM
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Palm Springs Int'l Film Fest Opens with Deneuve and Depardieu's Potiche, Closes with First Grader

The new year's festival offerings kick off in Palm Springs on January 6. The international festival runs through January 16 and includes 193 films (59 premieres) from some 68 countries. The Premieres, Galas and Special Presentations, announced today, are listed below. This year's selection of films have "a notable emphasis on personal vision, rather than films that utilize genre conventions or stereotyped characters," says festival director Darryl Macdonald.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 22, 2010 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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