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Thompson on Hollywood

Video: Spielberg Talks War Horse at New York Screening

Steven Spielberg and Mark Harris
DreamWorks put Steven Spielberg onstage in New York with moderator Mark Harris at an advance screening of "War Horse" on Sunday, which was simulcast live via satellite at preview screenings in nine other cities--Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Washington, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta-- and streamed at MSN.com. Adapted by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis from Michael Morpurgo's bestselling children's novel and the hit London and New York stage play, "War Horse" opens in theatres on Christmas Day. Spielberg read the book first, which was told from the POV of the horse Joey and gave him the "spine of the narrative," he said, while the play had "spectacular puppetry" and made him see the material's "emotional potential." A script is a "living organism," he said, which  under his watch undergoes constant revisions before and during shooting.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2011 9:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Talk: Verdict on War Horse, Streep as Iron Lady, Theron as Young Adult, Animated Frontrunners

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 8:45 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Media and Industry Get a Gander at Spielberg's War Horse and Streep as The Iron Lady

Sight unseen, many predicted that with Steven Speilberg at the helm, World War I drama "War Horse" was the film to beat for best picture and Meryl Streep the front runner for Best Actress in Phyllida Lloyd's Margaret Thatcher biopic "The Iron Lady." At last, in advance of the November 29 New York Film Critics voting, both films are being screened for media and industry alike. The verdict? Yes, they are in contention for awards. "War Horse" will win multiple nominations including best picture and director; it could win the big prize because it boasts the epic scale and scope missing in the race so far. And Streep will vie with Viola Davis for best actress, for channeling Thatcher in a weak biopic that is eerily similar to "J. Edgar," as an older public figure looks back on their rise to power.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2011 6:05 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Hugo: The 3-D Game-Changer

  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 25, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Dustin Lance Black Talks Controversial J. Edgar Script: "We Didn't Put Hoover in a Ball Gown"

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2011 1:44 PM
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  • 3 Comments
More: Awards

New York Film Critics Circle Move to Vote Early Backfires

When I reported--accurately, it turns out--that the members of the New York FIlm Critics Circle were having a tough time seeing all the films they needed to see in time for their pushed-up voting date of November 28, the NYFCC head John Anderson bit my head off: "We're going to see everything we need to see," he insisted. Monday he gave as a reason for postponing the vote the need to give the group time to see all the eligible films, but that is impossible. Why not admit that this was not a good idea?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2011 9:13 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Fassbender Talks Six Films in 20 Months: Exposing Shame, Healing Jung and Rochester, Ridley Scott's Android, Giving 110%

Michael Fassbender has been so busy that it's tough for him to keep up with all the talking that goes with movie openings. He's up for awards consideration for all the performances he gave in the 2011--from "X-Men: First Class" and "Jane Eyre" to "A Dangerous Method" and "Shame." But it's the latter, a Fox Searchlight acquisition from Telluride, that is most likely to yield awards attention during Oscar season. The Academy steakeaters may not catch up with a romantic women's picture like "Jane Eyre"; voters tend to look down their noses at a big-budget genre prequel like "X-Men"; and Fassbender's performance as the uptight analyst Carl Jung--who winds up spanking one of his patients because he loves her--is not as literally exposed and vulnerable as his conflicted sex-addict in the NC-17-rated "Shame." 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 21, 2011 8:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Soderbergh Hits Promo Circuit for Contagion, Talks Man From U.N.C.L.E. and New Film

Steven Soderbergh has been around the industry long enough to know the signs of a project that isn't firing on all cylinders. And he knows that once you go down the road of making too many compromises, the chances of turning out a movie you can be proud of are pretty slim. Better, he told me Friday night at an Academy-invited screening and cocktail promo party for "Contagion," his best-received movie in a while, to let "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." go before it really was too late. He doesn't regret losing out on "Moneyball" either, he says. If he hadn't been fired from the baseball picture, he says he wouldn't have gotten to make "Haywire" (January) with Channing Tatum, which led to stripper movie "Magic Mike." But not to "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 20, 2011 3:27 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Clooney, Payne and Cast Talk The Descendants: Real is Funny, Stealing Clooney's Wife

Last week Film Independent screened "The Descendants" at LACMA with George Clooney, director Alexander Payne, Shailene Woodley, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, Beau Bridges and Nick Krause on hand for a Q & A afterward. Highlights from the conversation with Elvis MItchell are below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • November 19, 2011 4:26 PM
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Talking the Silence of The Artist: Hazanavicius, Dujardin, Bejo

Cannes The Artist Reviews: "A Triumph of Artistic Teleportation, A Big Blast of Pure Delight"
"The Artist" gang is in high spirits--their $14 million silent movie has steadily built awards buzz since Harvey Weinstein liked what he saw pre-Cannes and nabbed it before anyone else could. He knew that older Academy voters would eat up this nostalgic movie. Best picture, director, writer, actor, cinematography and possibly supporting actress nominations are in the cards. (A best picture nomination would mark the first silent film since 1928's "The Patriot.") And the dog Uggy almost steals the picture.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2011 1:06 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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