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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 1 Comment

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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Moviegoers Follow Females of a Certain Age: Dench and Smith Make Unlikely Marquee Stars

In “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” Judi Dench and Maggie Smith take second place to no male actors and can certainly claim much of the credit for that quirky independent comedy’s $115, 745,000 worldwide box office gross (as of June 15). In the movie and television world that thrives far beneath the tent poles of “Avengers” and “Transformers,” these two English actresses have become marquee names.
  • By Aljean Harmetz
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  • June 17, 2012 4:29 PM
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Cannes 2012: Peggy Siegal Earns Her Press Badge, Hangs with Stars and David Geffen, Chases Yachts and Clients

New York press agent/party thrower/Oscar publicist Peggy Siegal flew into Cannes this May on "Mud" producer Lisa Marie Falcone's private jet; they barely squeezed in all their luggage and designer frocks.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2012 7:22 PM
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Best of the Week: LA Film Fest Premieres, Reviews, Interviews, In-the-Works and More

This week on TOH, we offer 10 important takeaways (some courtesy of Chris Nolan) from the Produced By Conference 2012, both Woody Allen's underwhelming "To Rome with Love" and Pixar's "Paperman" had premieres at LA Film Fest, modern Gothic screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith talks "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and more!
  • By TOH!
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  • June 15, 2012 4:24 PM
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