Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Sony Stakes Awards Season on Real Stories, Books David O. Russell's Abscam Movie Starring Cooper and Lawrence for December

Next year's Oscar titles are lining up like planes at La Guardia. At Sony alone are a batch of movies inspired by true stories: Paul Greengrass’ Somali pirates adventure "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks (October 11); producer-director-star George Clooney’s fact-based World War II art retrieval thriller "The Monuments Men," starring Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin (December 18); and Bennett Miller’s still undated John DuPont murder mystery "Foxcatcher," starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Sienna Miller. Sure to be in the awards conversation, David O. Russell’s untitled Abscam movie, his follow-up to "Silver Linings Playbook," which reunites his "Silver Linings" stars Bradley Cooper and Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence as well as Christian Bale, who won a supporting actor Oscar for "The Fighter," is set to open limited on awards-friendly December 13 2013 in advance of a wide Christmas Day release.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 3:14 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Liam Neeson Is Go-To Global Star, Takes on Matt Scudder in 'A Walk Among the Tombstones'

In a world where you can't count on many movie stars--Tom Cruise? Will Smith?--and foreign sales financing dictates non-studio indie production, most of it formula genre fare aimed at a global market, Liam Neeson is king. The "Schindler's List" and "Taken" star has taken the place of aging tentpole anchors Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks, Tommy Lee Jones, Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino as the older guy with authority, gravitas and menace who can handle some action and romance as well as carry a movie in multiple markets around the world. He can believably play presidents and kings, fathers, lovers and action heroes. His presence even for a short bit in a movie is worth millions and can get it made.
  • By Anne Thompson
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 2:26 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Louisiana Film Prize Announces iTunes and Festival Distribution Deal for Top Five Winners

The Louisiana Film Prize has announced that it will provide a distribution deal through Shorts International for the award winners. This means filmmakers will not only be competing for $50,000 -- one of the largest cash prizes for a shorts festival -- but also for a chance to further screen at the Dallas VideoFest, Sync Up Fest and the Hollywood Shorts Fest.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 12:07 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Watch: Tribeca Programmers Talk Their Selections for the 2013 Film Festival

Check out this video chat, live-streamed on March 12, between Slate film critic Dana Stevens and Tribeca Film Festival chief creative officer Geoffrey Gilmore, and head fest programmers Genna Terranova, Sharon Badal and Frederic Boyer as they discuss their programming process and selections for the 2013 fest, which runs April 17-28 in New York City.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 12:00 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Trailers from Hell: Larry Karaszewski on 'Captains Courageous,' Starring Spencer Tracy and Freddie Bartholomew

Spencer Tracy Week! continues at Trailers from Hell with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski introducing Victor Fleming's 1937 tearjerker "Captains Courageous," starring Tracy as fisherman Manuel and young Freddie Bartholomew as the spoiled ward aboard a New England cod boat.
  • By Trailers From Hell
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 9:32 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

First Look: Two Julianne Moore Flicks, 'The English Teacher' and 'What Maisie Knew' Hit Screens in May

Julianne Moore is on a roll, winning a Primetime Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a miniseries or television movie for her ringer portrayal of Sarah Palin in "Game Change." And the actress has two movies coming out in May—a loosely adapted Henry James novel called "What Maisie Knew" and "The English Teacher."
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 6:38 AM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

2013 SXSW Film Awards: 'Short Term 12' Takes Top Narrative Honors, 'William and the Windmill' Wins Documentary Feature

The Grand Jury and Special Award winners of the 2013 SXSW Film Festival were revealed Tuesday in Austin. Destin Cretton's "Short Term 12," starring Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as foster care workers dealing with their own troubled pasts, has taken the Narrative Feature prize, while Ben Nabors' "William and the Windmill," focusing on the author and subject of "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind," has been awarded the Documentary prize.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 1:35 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

SXSW Review UPDATE: Christopher Abbott of 'Girls' and Gaby Hoffmann Lead Jury Award-Winning Ensemble Cast in 'Burma'

“Burma,” made by first-time feature filmmaker Carlos Puga and winner of the Grand Jury Award for Ensemble Cast at SXSW, looks at a family in crisis. They aren't falling apart, but instead put together, suddenly, awkwardly, and the building blocks hurt. What starts as a generic and even patience-testing drama ultimately grows into a film boasting strong performances and a few unexpectedly open wounds.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • March 13, 2013 12:54 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

SXSW Review: In Lovely and Devastating Narrative Spotlight Entry 'Good Night,' No One Goes Gently

One of the best films I’ve seen at SXSW is “Good Night" by Sean H.A. Gallagher, a striking ensemble piece that looks at one night in the lives of a group of thirtysomethings as they unwittingly assemble for an announcement from their friend Leigh (Adriene Mischler): Her leukemia, which has been in remission for the past three years, has returned. It’s not going away.
  • By Beth Hanna
  • |
  • March 12, 2013 7:35 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: What Can We Demand of the Documentary--Subjects, Aesthetics, Goals and Business Models?

This year, if you held your ear to the Oscar keyhole and listened hard enough, you might have discerned a slight disquiet. "Very strong category," people were saying about the nominees for Best Documentary Feature. "I loved all of them," they usually added. "But..." The "but" concerned the eventual winner, director Malik Bendjelloul's "Searching for Sugar Man." A soulful mystery about the American musician Rodriguez, who rose to prominence in South Africa and Australia a generation ago before being relegated to obscurity, "Sugar Man" was never discussed as anything less than deserving. In certain quarters, though, "Sugar Man" could be seen as insubstantial when placed against the other nominees, all weighing heavy political subjects: the Israeli/Palestinian conflict ("The Gatekeepers," "5 Broken Cameras"), military sexual assault ("The Invisible War"), and the AIDS crisis ("How to Survive a Plague").
  • By Matt Brennan
  • |
  • March 12, 2013 3:22 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Email Updates