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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Preview: 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is Essential Viewing; Don't Judge 'Magic Mike' by its Package

If you only see one movie this weekend, make sure it's Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which we'll all be talking about until Oscar night 2013 and beyond. This is the kind of film that makes you believe in magic; heartbreaking, one-of-a-kind and debuting force-of-nature Quvenzhané Wallis, it's a jolt to heart of independent cinema...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 28, 2012 4:26 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Sneaking Sony's 'Hotel Transylvania'

It turns out that "Brave" isn't the only animated feature this year devoted to a parent-child relationship. Beneath the monster mash antics of "Hotel Transylvania," lies a father-daughter dynamic about letting go between control freak Dracula (Adam Sandler) and free-spirited teenager Mavis (Selena Gomez)...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 28, 2012 2:54 PM
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Career Watch: Keira Knightley Skids Without Joe Wright, Luckily "Anna Karenina" Is Next

With a face like hers, stardom was probably inevitable for Keira Knightley. At 27 and with over a decade on the A-list, she's already had hits and misses, a handful of Oscar and Golden Globes nominations and a beauty endorsement with Chanel. She is adored by many of both sexes, but has suffered a string of disappointments since 2007's "Atonement."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 25, 2012 8:08 PM
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Best of the Week: LA Film Fest Reviews, 'Girls' & 'Newsroom,' Plus Remembering Andrew Sarris

This week on TOH, we covered the heck out of the ongoing LA Film Festival, looked at the excellent Season 1 run of "Girls" while rounding up mixed reviews for the soon-to-start Season 1 of Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," and culled early critics' reactions to "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." All this and more below!
  • By TOH!
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  • June 22, 2012 5:27 PM
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LAFF: 'Middle of Nowhere' Gets Two Standing Ovations; DuVernay & Cast Talk Black Films Reaching Audiences In A Meaningful Way [New Teaser]

Ava DuVernay's "Middle of Nowhere" played to a full house and two standing ovations at its Gala screening at the LA Film Fest on June 20. The drama is honest and immersive, moving and sexy, funny and unexpected.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 22, 2012 3:39 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel Talks 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'

Caleb Deschanel is no stranger to heightened reality, but nothing could prepare the five-time Oscar nominee for "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 22, 2012 12:59 PM
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The Art of the Mystery Doc: Must-Sees 'Searching for Sugar Man' and 'The Imposter'

Festival faves "The Imposter" (Indomina, July 13) and "Searching for Sugar Man" (Sony Pictures Classics, July 27) are two hit Sundance docs that play like features. In other words, their directors manipulate their stories so that we are left in the dark, eagerly following clues, seeking the answer to mysteries that unfold in surprising ways.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 21, 2012 5:50 PM
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Weekend Preview: Must-See 'Invisible War'; 'Brave' for Gay Marriage Rights; 'Seeking a Friend' & 'Rome' Disappoint

It's Summertime and the theaters are filling up. There's a varied selection of new releases, from studio pics "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "Brave" to excellent documentaries "The Invisible War" and "Kumaré"...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • June 21, 2012 4:07 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Turbulent Behind-the-Scenes Yields Pixar's 'Brave' New Scottish World

"Brave" is far from the disappointment expressed in some early reviews. It's not only the much ballyhooed breakthrough as Pixar's first female-centric movie but also the most lush-looking work yet from the animation powerhouse. It's a powerful mother-daughter crucible set in medieval Scotland but with a modern sensibility...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • June 19, 2012 4:27 PM
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LAFF: Jonathan Demme Talks 'Passion for Filming Real Life,' Neil Young as 'Wandering Troubador' in 'Journeys' (VIDEO)

New York flmmaker Jonathan Demme is showing at LAFF the latest film in his Neil Young concert trilogy, "Neil Young Journeys" (June 29), which debuted at Toronto. Demme likes alternating the long gestation and production periods necessary for fiction films with micro-budget documentaries. But good features are hard to find. "I can't dream up tentpole movies," he says. "I see these movies, many of them wonderful, like 'Iron Man.' I could never do that! It's a question of the necessity and passion for filming real life."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 19, 2012 2:18 PM
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