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Thompson on Hollywood

Affleck Talks The Town with Co-Star Blake Lively

- Ben Affleck interviews his The Town co-star Blake Lively for Interview Magazine. Lively, who plays Affleck's ex-girlfriend, a 29-year old drug-dealing single mother, jokes her way through the interview. They are clearly comfortable with each other--they shot a sex scene together on her first day of shooting.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 3, 2010 4:55 AM
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Director Clooney Casts Political Drama, Affleck "All In" with The Town, TV vs. Cinema

- Occasional director George Clooney announced his intentions to adapt the play Farragut North some time ago. And now this February his movie is set to shoot with a powerful cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and possibly Chris Pine, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei (should they accept Clooney's offers). At some point, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were each attached to play leading roles in the film but schedules didn't work out. Former Democratic politico Beau Willimon, after working on Howard Dean's '04 campaign, wrote the original story and first script draft about behind-the-scenes dirty campaign tricks for a Democratic candidate who will barely be seen on screen. The main characters include a young campaign whiz kid (Pine already won praise for playing the role onstage at the Geffen [pictured]), a veteran boss (Hoffman), a rival campaign manager (Giamatti), a teen staffer (Wood?) and journalist (Tomei?). Though the specifics of funding and distribution are as yet unconfirmed, Vulture says, "finding funding with this cast shouldn't require kissing a lot of babies."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 2, 2010 3:23 AM
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Clip Watch: The Town Stars Affleck, Renner as Boston Robbers

Clip Watch: The Town Stars Affleck, Renner as Boston Robbers
Three things we know Ben Affleck can do: write (Good Will Hunting), direct (Gone Baby Gone) and deliver a strong Boston accent, on display in this clip from his sophomore directing effort, The Town. Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) is in there with him. The cops-and-robbers flick debuts in Venice, followed by Toronto. I will report back soonest.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2010 11:00 AM
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Waiting for Malick: The Tree of Life Should Open by Year's End

Waiting for Malick: The Tree of Life Should Open by Year's End
A new favorite sport among movie lovers is forecasting exactly when Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life will come out.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 20, 2010 1:06 AM
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  • 16 Comments

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art
Here is some early art for several of the movies coming up at the Venice Film Fest. (I arrive there August 31 by train after spending two days in Rome; I leave September 8 for the Toronto Film Festival.) I'll write up early coverage of opener Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel as a tough ballet master (modeled after Georges Balanchine), who I interviewed Monday. That film will likely show in Telluride as well as Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2010 12:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Venice Line-up Heavy on Americans: Coppola, Schnabel, brothers Affleck

Venice Line-up Heavy on Americans: Coppola, Schnabel, brothers Affleck
Venice has announced the rest of its line-up. Besides Darren Aronofsky's opener Black Swan (in competition) and the closer from Julie Taymor, The Tempest (out of competition), the fest is world premiering a number of North American titles. As expected the competition entries include Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, Julian Schnabel's Miral, and Richard Lewis's Barney's Version, a rare debut for a Canadian film in Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 29, 2010 3:55 AM
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Toronto vs. Venice: Who Got What?

Toronto vs. Venice: Who Got What?
The Toronto International Film Festival announced fifteen galas and 35 special presentations Tuesday morning, including 25 world premieres. Among the auteurs debuting their films at TIFF are Robert Redford (The Conspirator), Michael Winterbottom (The Trip), Guillaume Canet (Little White Lies), John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole), Mike Mills (Beginners), Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), Mark Romanek (Never Le Me Go), George Hickenlooper (Casino Jack) and Andrucha Waddington (Lope).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 27, 2010 6:01 AM
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Trailer Watch: The Town

Ben Affleck wrote and directed this new Bean Town crime drama, adapted from Chuck Hogan's Prince of Thieves. The Town depicts the struggles of ruthless robber Doug MacRay (Affleck) and the unexpected complications of falling for his former hostage, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). The robber scenes recall the professionalized intensity of Heat and the masks in Point Break.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • July 16, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Hollywood is Running Out of Movie Stars Like Matt Damon

Hollywood is Running Out of Movie Stars Like Matt Damon
One of the running gags at Saturday night's 24th annual American Cinematheque Ball was how strange it was to be honoring a movie star who hasn't yet cracked 40. "What can you say about Matt Damon that hasn't been said about Brendan Fraser?" roasted Jimmy Kimmel. "You're here tonight because were running out of stars."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 29, 2010 6:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Clooney Wants to Play Clancy's Jack Ryan

Buried in this Kim Masters story about Sony bringing over George Clooney's production deal is a juicy nugget: Clooney wants to take over playing Jack Ryan in the Tom Clancy franchise. That is, if Paramount ever gets its act together and puts the next movie back on the front burner. It's been years since Ben Affleck took over from Harrison Ford as a younger Ryan, and acquitted himself well in The Sum of All Fears, which grossed $193 million worldwide in 2002.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2009 4:16 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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