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Thompson on Hollywood

Reitman Talks Up in the Air, Clooney

Reitman Talks Up in the Air, Clooney
Six years ago, Jason Reitman picked up the Walter Kirn novel Up in the Air and showed it to his father Ivan (Ghostbusters), who acquired film rights. Jason took a short stab at a film treatment of the book about a businessman who is obsessed with collecting frequent flier miles.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2009 11:54 AM
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  • 4 Comments

TIFF#: Toronto Day Five: Get Low Builds Buzz

With distributor ranks cut to the quick and a dicey domestic market for indie films, sales are slow at this year's TIFF. There are plenty of excellent and not so good films on view, but buyers are hanging back. "It's a buyer's market," says ex WMA agent Cassian Elwes. "They'll figure out which ones they want and wait until the sellers are desperate and then buy them."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2009 9:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk 2: Bright Star, An Education, The Road, Up in the Air

Oscar Talk 2: Bright Star, An Education, The Road,  Up in the Air
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talk 0scars again post-Telluride (Up in the Air, An Education, Bright Star and The Road) and pre-Toronto. And we disagree this time!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2009 10:13 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Toronto Buzz

There are three Torontos. The launch/press/interview side of the festival is in full swing (yes, George Clooney is here). Oscar prospects are being weighed. And buzz is building--or waning--on the hunt for acquisitions titles. Besides button-holing folks around town, Twitter is one way to gauge reaction. Among the titles for sale so far: cool response to opener Creation, Dorian Gray and Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. Early good word on Lu Chuan's City of Life and Death and UK film Cracks.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2009 4:57 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly

Telluride Watch: Up in the Air Will Fly
Folks lined up for two hours on a rainy Telluride Saturday to get into Up in the Air. Hundreds were turned away. Writer-director Jason Reitman (and obsessive airline mile collector) played the crowd like a pro, hoping that the movie would live up to their expectations. He didn't need to worry. The director, who debuted Juno here two years ago at the same theater, delivers a winner. Loosely based on Walter Kirn's novel, Reitman's updated movie, which he started working on six years ago, has become, with the economic downturn, far more timely. It's a witty, charming and moving exploration of a world we all recognize.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2009 4:25 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Vanity Fair New Establishment Favors Editor Cronies

The one year that I covered the Hollywood side of the Vanity Fair New Establishment List, I found that the final list reflected less accurate reporting than who was a possible cover subject or socialized with editor Graydon Carter. This year the nasty economy allowed VF to trim some familiar names while the Hall of Fame protects some Carter cronies.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2009 8:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats

Trailer Watch: Men Who Stare at Goats
Grant Heslov's comedy The Men Who Stare at Goats looks pretty funny, I must say. I love George Clooney in full-on dimwit mode (see: O Brother, Where Art Thou?). The film is based on non-fiction writer Jon Ronson's book of the same name about a special paranormal military unit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 4:28 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies

#TIFF: 30 Must-See Movies
It's hard to narrow down the must-see Toronto Film Fest list to 30. After all there are 335 films at TIFF09. (I'm including movies that I've already screened in L.A., Sundance or Cannes.) Some fall openers are launching at TIFF, 100 pictures are available for acquisition, and a select few will emerge with their Oscar hopes intact. Reaction from media and audiences will determine which films earn a full-on Oscar push. And I'm listing the pictures in alphabetical order.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 27, 2009 8:12 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto

Up in the Air Heads to Toronto
Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, starring George Clooney, will launch at the Toronto Film Fest (where loyal Canadian Reitman debuted Thank You for Smoking and Juno). This is classic pre-Oscar positioning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 19, 2009 5:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Who Should Star in Harvey?

Now that Tom Hanks is no longer in the running for Steven Spielberg's remake of the Universal classic Harvey--because he was understandably leery, I hear, of the inevitable comparisons with James Stewart in the original role--who could pull this off? Hanks is probably too close to Stewart on some level--people have been comparing them his entire career. The role should be played by a warm and likable man who can convince us that he is talking to a six-foot rabbit. That means a top-notch actor who can hold the screen and pull in audiences. Here's my list: vote! And write in anyone you think I've overlooked.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 17, 2009 11:28 AM
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  • 28 Comments

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