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Thompson on Hollywood

Interview: Ralph Fiennes Talks Directing and Playing Coriolanus with Oscar-Contender Redgrave; Lands Skyfall

Rookie feature director Ralph Fiennes and veteran screenwriter John Logan ("The Aviator") have crafted a strong modern adaptation of Shakespeare's bloody war tragedy "Coriolanus." Fiennes shines in the central role, which he played on the London stage in 2000 to raves. It plays to his strengths as an actor who doesn't seek to be liked. He plumbs the depths of a brilliant, ambitious, stubborn, ruthless, deadly, ramrod straight Roman general--with no talent for politics. "This man has no mercy in him," says Coriolanus's ally Menenius, well-played by Brian Cox. Fiennes is also getting some Oscar talk for his all-stops-out performance as Voldemort in the "Harry Potter" finale; at the Toronto Festival, he also played a corrupt British prime minister opposite Bill Nighy in David Hare's spy thriller "Page Eight." During Toronto (our flipcam interview is below) he took a brief hiatus from playing Shakespeare's Prospero in Trevor Nunn's London production of "The Tempest," and started Mike Newell's "Great Expectations" as Magwitch opposite Jeremy Irvine as Pip ("War Horse") in November. Since Toronto, Fiennes finally closed his long rumored deal to play a Bond villain opposite Daniel Craig in Sam Mendes' upcoming "Skyfall," written by his pal Logan.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 30, 2011 11:36 AM
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Oscar Watch: Weinsteins Boast One Great Pick-Up, Two Great Performances in Weak Movies

It's Oscar season, and Harvey Weinstein is back. He's blogging at HuffPo about how his daughters consider him to be cool, and crowing about "The Artist" in the NYT. Lo and behold, Weinstein's canny pre-Cannes acquisition "The Artist" came out ahead at the New York Film Critics Circle with best picture and director and lead the Indie Spirit field with five nominations, while Meryl Streep won best actress for "The Iron Lady" from the NYFCC and Michelle Williams earned an Indie Spirit actress nod for "My Week with Marilyn."
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2011 3:53 PM
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Gotham Awards + 9

  • By Charles Lyons
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  • November 29, 2011 2:51 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Tuesday Awards Wrap-Up: Who Comes Out Ahead?

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 29, 2011 1:43 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Gotham Award Winners: What Impact Will They Have?

So who came out ahead at the Gothams? Tributes offer a boost to potential award contenders by reminding folks of all the films these people have done over the years. "Young Adult"'s Charlize Theron charmed in her acceptance speech, saying, "all I ever wanted was to be able to do this and not have a second job to pay the rent." She graciously thanked Jason Reitman "for giving me the opportunity to play such a bitch." (See the live stream here.) Presenter Patton Oswalt helped his own cause as a supporting actor candidate for "Young Adult" by killing his intro.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 11:06 PM
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Gotham Awards and New York Film Critics Winners, Indie Spirit Nominations

The awards race is in full swing this week. In New York Monday night The Gothams Awards will name winners, and Tuesday the Indie Spirits will make public their nominations and the New York Film Critics Circle will vote their winners. They're announcing them via Twitter, having pushed back by one day their scheduled November 28 voting in order to see David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" on Monday. (Indiewire assesses these awards here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 3:44 PM
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Moneyball is Oscar Dark Horse; Pitt and Hill Are Contenders, Hill Talks How He Made His Dramatic Career Turn

Yes, my fellow Oscar pundits are talking about the rising fortunes of the top trio in the awards race, "The Artist," "War Horse," and "The Descendants." All along, I have been puzzled by why they aren't taking another Oscar contender more seriously: "Moneyball."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 3:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

China Resolves Flowers of War Producers vs. Theaters Impasse

Tensions between theaters and studios are not only riding high in Hollywood. The Chinese government has intervened to resolve a conflict between the producers of "Flowers of War," the most expensive movie ever made in China, and exhibitors, who fought against a steep ticket price hike, reports Variety. 
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 28, 2011 12:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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