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Thompson on Hollywood

AFI FEST Lands Spielberg's 'Lincoln' as Closing Night Film

One of the fall Oscar contenders that is still sight unseen--and was not booked into any major film festivals--is Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln." Well, the DreamWorks/Fox/Participant movie starring Daniel Day Lewis as the 16th president has finally landed a festival berth at the height of awards season fervor in L.A.: The AFI Fest will show the film as its fest gala closer on November 8. The movie, adapted by Tony Kushner from Doris Kearns Goodwin's bestseller "Team of Rivals," co-stars Sally Field...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2012 1:33 PM
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Sally Potter Talks 'Ginger and Rosa,' Elle Fanning's Face, Narcissistic Parents, Women Directors UPDATED

Brit director Sally Potter hit the film world with a major splash at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival with "Orlando," starring the incomparable Tilda Swinton. Since then, Potter's films have been impeccably crafted gems with limited appeal, from "The Tango Lesson," starring Potter herself, to "Yes," which she wrote in iambic pentameter. With "Ginger and Rosa," written after her mother's death in 2010, Potter consciously tried to craft her most emotionally accessible film to date.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 19, 2012 4:29 PM
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My French Film Festival

Francophiles rejoice! Unifrance is so pleased with the success of its French Film Festival from the comfort of anywhere that it will mount a third edition of the completely online myfrenchfilmfestival.com from January 17 to February 17, 2013.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 19, 2012 3:46 PM
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Toronto Wrap: Winners, Oscar Contenders and Also-Rans

I started out Toronto 2012 with my first Jason Reitman screenplay read-through--his first in Toronto--Alan Ball's Oscar-winning "American Beauty." I'd missed his series of live reads at LACMA, from "The Breakfast Club" to "The Apartment." In a way "American Beauty" was apt preparation for the festival's crowning glory, David O. Russell's ultimate audience award winner, "Silver Linings Playbook." They are in the same vein--a flinty-edged picture of who we are now, laced with dark comedy and self-recognition, with romance and hope still a possibility. That's why "American Beauty" won best picture.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 18, 2012 4:29 PM
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Oscar Watch: Why Affleck's 'Argo' Hits the Zeitgeist, Early Reviews

Ben Affleck has another hit due to arrive in theaters October 12. But "Argo," his third feature as director, will be even more commercially successful than 2007's "Gone Baby Gone" and 2012's "The Town," which earned Jeremy Renner a supporting actor nomination. That's because while Affleck understood that the film is timely--unrest in the Middle East has not dissipated since the true 1980 events depicted here--he could not have known that a mob assault on a U.S. consulate would make news headlines just as his film made its Toronto debut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2012 3:56 PM
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Fest Buyer Sony Pictures Classics Heads to the Middle East (VIDEO)

Sony Pictures Classics has always leaned heavily on foreign acquisitions in advance of the awards season. Michael Barker and Tom Bernard are often betting on the likely submissions for the best foreign film entry, and can be counted upon to wind up with more than one in the final five. At the same time they can't handle too many movies at once, so they must pick well.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2012 5:02 PM
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'Cloud Atlas' Review and Roundup: And Now for Something Completely Different

One Toronto movie met mixed response but was a delirious joyride for me: "Cloud Atlas." Truth is, except for the flat "V for Vendetta" and the final pixel-fucked "Matrix" movie, I've admired all of the Wachowskis' output, even "Speed Racer." These filmmakers have it all: strong writing chops, an instinct for entertaining audiences, and compelling visual style.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2012 1:29 PM
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TIFF 11 Acquisitions Recap: Best Gross 'Salmon' at $9 million

As acquisitions execs tally up their buys for Toronto Film Fest 2012, they would do well to note how the movies that were acquired here last year fared in release.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 14, 2012 12:43 PM
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TIFF: Magnolia Acquires 'The Brass Teapot,' in which Temple and Angarano Strike Deal with Dishware

Magnolia Pictures has picked up distribution rights for "The Brass Teapot," starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, following the film's debut at TIFF. The black comedy follows a broke newlywed couple who discover a magical teapot that rewards physical pain with cash.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 14, 2012 12:08 PM
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Film Society of Lincoln Center's Rose Kuo Restructures, Adds Jones and Koehler as Programmers

The Film Society of Lincoln Center executive director Rose Kuo has finally announced a new programming structure, as the opening of the New York Film Festival looms, as well as the year-end departure of 25-year program director and NYFF selection committee head Richard Pena.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 13, 2012 6:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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