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Thompson on Hollywood

TIFF: Jason Reitman to Lead Live Reading of 'American Beauty,' with Adam Driver, Sarah Gadon, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Woody Harrelson UPDATED

Jason Reitman brings his "Live Read" series to the Toronto International Film Festival with a table read of Alan Ball's screenplay for "American Beauty," the Oscar-winner that premiered at TIFF in 1999. The director of "Thank You for Smoking" and "Up in the Air" will announce the cast of the table read via his Twitter account over the next few days leading to the September 6 event. So far, Reitman has cast Adam Driver from "Girls" as Ricky Fitts (played by Wes Bentley in the film) and Sarah Gadon, from "Cosmopolis," as Angela (Mena Suvari's character). He announced that Mae Whitman will play Thora Birch's character and actor Nick Kroll from "Community," will read Peter Gallagher's part. For Lester Burnham, the lead role played by Kevin Spacey, Reitman just added Bryan Cranston. Christina Hendricks is set to play his wife (originally played by Annette Bening), and Woody Harrelson will read the part of his neighbor, Col. Frank Fitts.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 5, 2012 2:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments

BFI London Film Fest: Full Program Launches First Competition Plus Rolling Stones Doc "Crossfire Hurricane'

The 56th BFI London Film Festival will screen a total of 225 fiction and documentary features, 111 live action and animated shorts, including 14 World Premieres, 15 International Premieres, and 34 European Premieres. Tim Burton's 3-D animated "Frankenweenie" will open the festival and Mike Newell's dramatic adaptation of "Great Expectations" with Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes will close the 11 day event, which runs from October 10 to the 21st.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 5, 2012 1:43 PM
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Venice: Polley's 'Stories We Tell' Is Revealing & Affecting

With Toronto beckoning, I've had to bid a reluctant farewell to Venice where, as much as I liked "BAD 25", "The Iceman", "Disconnect", "Enzo Avitabile Music Life" and "The Master", my pick of the festival was undoubtedly "Stories We Tell". Sarah Polley's third feature as a writer-director – and first non-fiction film – is revelatory in multiple ways, not least as a deeply exposing journey into the heart of the actress' family and own identity.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 4, 2012 7:58 PM
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Telluride Wrap: Strong Lineup Led by 'Argo,' 'Gatekeepers,' 'Amour,' and 'Stories We Tell'

Heading into Toronto and New York, what have we learned from Telluride and Venice? Quite a good deal. The Telluride awards season movies now in play include Sony Pictures Classics' Palme d'Or-winning "Amour," starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, which wowed audiences and journos alike and should wind up in the best picture as well as foreign film race
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 4, 2012 7:08 PM
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Telluride Brody Diary 3: Polley's Stunning 'Stories We Tell,' 'Joan of Arc,' 'Frances Ha' & More

Almost too rich a Telluride day – it’s after 2 a.m., I’m back in my room, slightly tipsy from a couple of iced glasses of one of Alice Waters’ favorite wines, the Bandol Tempier rosé, mind vibrating like a temple gong from the five programs I managed to fit in today...
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 3, 2012 12:43 PM
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'Anna Karenina' Early Review: Visually Splendid, Audacious, Swoony Epic Romance Heads for Oscars

The startling new adaptation of Tolstoy’s great novel "Anna Karenina," with Keira Knightley in the title role, is . as visually splendid as any studio epic, even if it plays with audience expectations of what lavish looks like. It’s a respectable adaptation of a huge story, encompassing a wealth of ideas; yet it also has the direct, heartfelt appeal of what Hollywood once called ‘a women’s picture.’
  • By David Gritten
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  • September 2, 2012 7:00 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Venice: 'To The Wonder' Press Conference - Kurylenko Feels Telepathic Connection to Malick

In the absence of Terrence Malick (naturally…), Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, it was left to Olga Kurylenko to fly the flag for "To The Wonder" at the film's Venice press conference, alongside producers Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda and Italian co-star Romina Mondello.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 2, 2012 6:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride Forges Bonds, Affleck's 'Argo' Hits, Burns and Loyola Marymount Launch Doc Grad Program

Telluride is a place where people get to know each other. Without Telluride, I would not have dug into the Sight & Sound Top 50 with Alexander Payne (at the annual opening day Patron's Brunch), who agrees with me that "Citizen Kane" should be number one, not "Vertigo," and that Akira Kurosawa is the greatest filmmaker who ever lived.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2012 5:00 PM
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Telluride Brody Diary 2: A Rocky Mountain Brunch, A Wedding and Affleck's 'Argo'

In retrospect, my first full film festival day at Telluride, though utterly delightful, sounds more like I’m attending a food festival than a film one.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 2, 2012 4:28 PM
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VENICE: 'The Master' Press Conference; Cruise & Anderson Still Friends

Despite an enthusiastic reception as he entered the room, Paul Thomas Anderson held up his reputation as elusive prey at "The Master" press conference in Venice, and his two stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix were happy to fall in step behind him. In fact, Phoenix barely said a word, dragging on a cigarette, offering a couple of mumbling replies and even leaving the room for a spell. But there were still nuggets to be gleaned.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 2, 2012 10:56 AM
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