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Lousy Christmas Weekend Box Office: Little Fockers Beats True Grit, Best Coens Opening Ever

At a horrendous Christmas weekend---which saw a 44% three-day drop in grosses over last year (flush with Avatar)---sequel comedy Little Fockers beat out adult western True Grit, the best--and widest--opening ever for a Coen brothers movie. It's likely that the well-reviewed oater will have longer legs, however, as it settles in for the long Oscar haul.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 7:03 AM
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  • 5 Comments

The Coens' History of Mustaches

Hailee Steinfeld holds her own against Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin in almost every category of True Grit's manliness, but she just can't compete in the mustache competition. NYMag calls Damon's 'stache a "spectacular, instantly iconic, old-timey mustache, which builds on the Coens' proud tradition of decorating their characters with some of the finest nose curtains in all of cinema." But even if his mustache surpasses Bridges' and Brolin's in this Western, he has competition from many Coens characters who preceed him. Check out NYMag's "Stach-o-Meter (which grades on a scale of Zorro to Gene Shalit)".
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 23, 2010 6:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: NY Times Actors Video Gallery

Let us distract you with The New York Times' Fourteen Actors Acting: A Video Gallery of Classic Screen Types. They look like B & W portraits (and we've included stills here) but are actually mini-videos rounding up faces from the past year: Javier Bardem, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Jesse Eisenberg, Chloe Moretz, Matt Damon, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Lawrence, Noomi Rapace, Vincent Cassell, Anthony Mackie, Robert Duvall, Lesley Manville and Tilda Swinton.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2010 8:08 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: What's Up, Down After Gothams, Indie Spirits, National Board of Review

This week Kris Tapley, indieWIRE's Peter Knegt and I analyze the impact of the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirit noms, the National Board of Review and the Coens' finally viewed and reviewed True Grit on the awards race. Kris went to the Inception DVD/Oscar party (so did Amy Dawes). It's a contender--but 127 Hours could be a little shaky.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 3, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 0 Comments

True Grit Early Reviews: "Accessible, Simple, Mythic and Beautiful," "Thirsting For More" [Updated]

True Grit Early Reviews: "Accessible, Simple, Mythic and Beautiful," "Thirsting For More" [Updated]
Anne Thompson's True Grit review headline is: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn. Here's a round-up of other early reviews [Updated with more]:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 2, 2010 12:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

True Grit Early Review: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn

True Grit Early Review: Coens Deliver PG-13 Classic Western, Bridges Owns Cogburn
Finally, the last anticipated Oscar contender has been screened and Wednesday, reviewed. The question is whether expectations of the Coens' True Grit have been overblown. Reaction at one New York screening was mixed. It's not surprising; pure westerns do not play in some quarters. Younger moviegoers don't get the genre; westerns are set in a past that is too distant and foreign. But the Academy, which trends older and male, will be far more receptive, so this well-mounted movie may well hit their soft spot. (The Gurus 'O Gold weigh in). Here is our round-up of True Grit's other early reviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 1, 2010 5:58 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Star Watch: Burlesque vs. Showgirls, True Grit's Steinfeld, X-Files' Duchovny and Anderson Reunite

- We made the comparison back on November 5 ("Burlesque...the bastard child of Moulin Rouge and Showgirls"), and now The Daily Beast has taken the Burlesque vs. Showgirls concept to new heights. They say that while Burlesque is not a notorious train-wreck like Showgirls (Cher and Christina Aguilera also hold more clout than Elizabeth Berkley did in 1995), it "is not without issues, the script being a big one, but it embraces campiness in a more jovial way, striving to be an updated Chicago or Cabaret, sans the heavy undertone issues, like abortion and anti-Semitism."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 24, 2010 5:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

True Grit Posters Starring Damon, Bridges, Brolin, Steinfeld: No Country for Old Men Redux

In a reprise of a strategy Miramax employed for producer Scott Rudin and the Coen brothers on No Country for Old Men (which eventually took home the Oscar), Paramount has designed a series of posters for the Coens' True Grit (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2010 10:27 AM
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  • 0 Comments

In Development: Knightley and Wright for Anna Karenina, Moses to Rise Again And Again

News to inspire remake support: Keira Knightley could follow in Greta Garbo's footsteps and play the lead in Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. The screenwriter is Tom Stoppard and the director is Joe Wright, who arguably gets the best from Knightley (see Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). It's Working Title's project; they expect the script by Christmas. They will then consider, according to London's Daily Mail: "several scripts destined for Wright, including one by Abi Morgan based on The Little Mermaid fairy tale, ‘and we’ll decide what looks like the most sensible thing to do.’" Let's see both!
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 19, 2010 5:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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