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Avatar's Cameron, Shutter Island's Lehane and Transformers' Murphy Talk, Mirren Wins Rome

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 26, 2009 at 12:52PM

All the hours James Cameron spent with The New Yorker's Dana Goodyear did not yield the results the director must have hoped for. The 11,000-word profile takes the easy angle on the director--he's an asshole control freak who eats his crew for breakfast. I am so tired of this cliche. The piece digs into many delicious details of the director's career and hard work on Avatar. (And Fox is still trying to hold the media to a fake mid-200-million figure--it's far more.) But while Cameron is certainly demanding and is putting Fox through the ringer yet again, he puts his ass on the line each time.
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Thompson on Hollywood

All the hours James Cameron spent with The New Yorker's Dana Goodyear did not yield the results the director must have hoped for. The 11,000-word profile takes the easy angle on the director--he's an asshole control freak who eats his crew for breakfast. I am so tired of this cliche. The piece digs into many delicious details of the director's career and hard work on Avatar. (And Fox is still trying to hold the media to a fake mid-200-million figure--it's far more.) But while Cameron is certainly demanding and is putting Fox through the ringer yet again, he puts his ass on the line each time.

The way to see the new Avatar trailer is in theaters; the stuff online is shot off the screen. I think Fox showed too much of the blue aliens and avatars too soon. The movie introduces them gradually, pulling you into a strange exotic faraway world. There are fewer blue folks in this trailer. I agree with marketer Terry Press, who says that no matter what, curiosity will drag people in to check out Avatar on December 18. Whether there will be enough of them over the long haul worldwide to pay back this movie's cost is another matter.


[Photo of James Cameron on the Avatar set courtesy of The New Yorker]

Thompson on Hollywood

Helen Mirren added a notch to her belt with a best actress win for The Last Station at the Rome Film Festival. She's on her way to joining Julie & Julia star Meryl Streep in this year's best actress Oscar nomination circle; Streep accepted a lifetime achievement award at Rome.

Boston Phoenix critic Peter Keough interviews Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane.

Producer Don Murphy retraces his route to Transformers.

Mike Kaplan recalls Robert Altman's Short Cuts.

[Helen Mirren photo courtesy AFP]

This article is related to: Daily Read, Awards, Festivals, Franchises, Oscars, Avatar


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.