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Thompson on Hollywood

Ten Promising Projects to Watch for at the Cannes Market This Year

The Cannes Film Festival is open for business. Here are ten promising projects to look out for.
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 14, 2014 4:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Sean Penn Goes Liam Neeson in Open Road's Euro-Thriller 'The Gunman,' Will Direct 'Last Face'

Heading into the Cannes market, Open Road Films has scooped up all U.S. rights to the political actioner "The Gunman," starring Sean Penn and directed by Pierre Morel ("Taken," "Transporter"). Even philanthropists have to collect a payday once in a while, so Penn seems to be following the Liam Neeson playbook--but has attracted a stellar ensemble around him including Idris Elba, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone and Mark Rylance. Penn is prepping his next directorial effort "Last Face," for sale in the Cannes market.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 8, 2014 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

VANITY FAIR HOLLYWOOD ISSUE: Roberts, Ejiofor, Elba and Clooney on Front Cover, Who Was Brave Enough to Pose for a Chuck Close Polaroid? (VIDEO)

The annual Vanity Fair Hollywood cover has arrived in the mail. They've gone back to established movie stars for the front cover: those gorgeous faces include Oscar contenders Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") and Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County"), as well as global movie stars Idris Elba ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom") and George Clooney ("Gravity").
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 14, 2014 2:41 PM
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'Mandela' Opens Strong with Weak Reviews, Spike Lee's 'Old Boy' Collapses, '12 Years a Slave' Passes 'Blue Jasmine' as Year's Best Indie Performer

With so many adult-oriented films playing in wide release over the holiday weekend, it was more difficult for narrower releases to gain traction. One, the second Weinstein potential awards contender in a row to open in just two cities, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," exceeded expectations while the other, Spike Lee's remake of "Oldboy," performed weakly in several hundred theaters.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • December 1, 2013 4:16 PM
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  • 1 Comment

President Obama to Host White House Screening of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

President Obama has a special White House screening of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" planned, with an impressive guest list: stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, as well as Nelson Mandela's daughters Zindzi and Zenani.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • November 5, 2013 3:47 PM
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WATCH: New Trailer for 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,' Featuring New Original Song by U2

A new trailer has arrived for "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," featuring a brand new U2 song, "Ordinary Love." The film, which stars Idris Elba in the title role of South Africa's former president and anti-apartheid revolutionary, played to middling reviews upon its TIFF premiere, though praise for Elba continues to be high.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • October 18, 2013 11:27 AM
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NOFF Review: Naomie Harris' Breakout Performance Can't Save Staid, Reverent 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' (TRAILER)

"You alone are small," a Xhosa elder tells Nelson Mandela and his contemporaries during a rite of passage marking the transition from adolescence to manhood. "Together, your people are big." A wise sentiment, and perhaps a cautionary one: "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is a lesson in the cinematic pitfalls of portraying a figure who's larger than life.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • October 17, 2013 2:37 PM
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'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' Review Roundup: Idris Elba Gives Towering Performance, but Film Doesn't Rise to the Occasion

Critics thus far generally agree that Idris Elba turns in a fine performance as the eponymous lead of Justin Chadwick's biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," which recently premiered at TIFF. They also generally agree that the film itself isn't up to Idris' performance, that it's overly "reverential" tone and "sledgehammer" subtlety bedevil it from the get-go. As the Guardian notes, it's an "Encarta Encyclopedia article laid out on an epic scale." More below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 9, 2013 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Toronto Preview: Awards Hopefuls Bring Real Figures to Life, from Dickens and Assange to Ginsberg and Mandela

There's a reason Sony Pictures Classics is moving up the release date of "The Invisible Woman" to Christmas Day. They think they may have the goods to make a go at an awards season play. This Ralph Fiennes-directed movie is world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of many pictures with Oscar hopes that centers around bringing a real person to life.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2013 4:02 PM
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Peter "Who"? Meet Peter Capaldi, the 12th Doctor (UPDATE)

The producers of "Doctor Who" announced their choice of Peter Capaldi Sunday on a live TV special on BBC One and BBC America -- the 12th actor to portray the Time Lord with two hearts in the world's longest-running scripted television series. But London's bookies already knew.
  • By David Chute
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  • August 4, 2013 2:38 PM
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  • 7 Comments

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