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Thompson on Hollywood

Review Roundup: 'Killing Them Softly' Is Formally Stunning, Well-Acted, and Heavy-Handed

Down Under director Andrew Dominik's politically pessimistic crime drama "Killing Them Softly" hits theaters this weekend, starring Brad Pitt as a numbed hitman in an atrophied, Recession-roiled America. Critics are of two minds about the film: On the one hand, it shows masterful visual skill and boasts strong performances, while on the other, it becomes bogged down by its own message with a capital M. Reviews are mixed to positive; a roundup is below.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 2:23 PM
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Jessica Chastain on CIA Agents & Actresses, Sex Symbol Status & Redheads in British GQ

British GQ got Jessica Chastain to strip down for a bedroom-set photo shoot--often the standard for young actresses breaking into the mainstream with sex-symbol status, whether they want to do it or not (in the THR Actresses roundtable the women share stories). But Chastain seems genuinely happy to be playing the part.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2012 1:20 PM
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Reactions to Ex-NBC Universal Honcho Jeff Zucker as President of CNN

Yes, it's true: CNN Worldwide is finally going to shake things up by hiring former NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker as its new president, succeeding former head Jim Walton. Zucker's takeover will begin in January of 2013.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 1:15 PM
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Athena Film Festival Returns in 2013; Honors Hurd, DuVernay, Haskell, Kuo & Mitchell

The Third Annual Athena Film Festival: A Celebration of Women and Leadership will return to Barnard College in 2013...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments

In the Works: Clooney, Greengrass & Terrio Onboard for NY Crime Syndicate Drama

Producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov and screenwriter Chris Terrio are reteaming after their success with Ben Affleck's "Argo" on a currently untitled crime movie. Clooney is attached to star, and Paul Greengrass to direct and produce. Details of the film's plot are still a secret, but it reportedly is an original story centered in the New York crime syndicate world. The project is in development at Sony, where Clooney's Smoke House production banner has first look.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 12:45 PM
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Ben Affleck is EW's Entertainer of the Year; Plus Lawrence, Hathaway, Gordon-Levitt & 'Homeland' Stars

EW's top Entertainer of the Year is "Argo" director Ben Affleck. He is joined by the likes of "Girls"'s Lena Dunham, "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence, "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Les Miserables"'s Anne Hathaway, "TDR" and "Looper" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2012 12:35 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Watch: Tarantino, Russell, Van Sant, Lee, Affleck & Hooper Talk Directing at THR Roundtable

Check out the new Hollywood Reporter roundtable interview with Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant, Ang Lee, Ben Affleck and Tom Hooper, in which the directors discuss tough onset moments, "difficult" brothers, navigating temper tantrums, early retirement plans and more. Full video and highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 12:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: Don't Mess with Granny in Finnish Oscar Entry 'Purge'

Antti J. Jokinen’s  “Purge,” Finland’s official Oscar entry, is based on the widely translated novel and play of the same title by Estonian-Finnish author Sofi Oksanen. The film alternates between two different yet interconnected stories set in rural Estonia: a young prostitute on the run from the Russian mafia in the early 1990s, and a village woman battling personal and socio-political demons during the mid-century Soviet occupation.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 29, 2012 7:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Richard Burton & His Diaries, 'The Great Actor Who Hated Acting'

In The Great Actor Who Hated Acting, The New York Review of Books' Finton O'Toole looks at the late great Richard Burton. A new book, "The Richard Burton Diaries," delves in to the actor's mind and musings through his extensive personal diaries, published now for the first time. O'Toole recalls Burton's career, his life with Elizabeth Taylor, his impoverished youth and the traps of fame and alcohol as he ventures through the diaries and considers the insight they provide into Burton's psyche. Not only did Burton hate acting, he hated himself. O'Toole compares him to James Tyrone of Eugene O'Neill's "Long Days Journey Into Night," positing that both may be among the great twentieth century tragedies. Check out some highlights from O'Toole's review (which includes portions of Burton's diary entries) below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2012 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Five Sundance 2013 Titles Hail from San Francisco Film Society's Filmmaker360 Program

Sundance has chosen five films from the San Francisco Film Society's Filmmaker360 program for its 2013 edition. The five titles that will premiere at Sundance are...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 28, 2012 5:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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