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Thompson on Hollywood

Vincent Cassel Breaks Genre, Gender Rules in Boyle's 'Trance,' Plays CG Monster in 'Beauty and the Beast' (TRAILER)

I was fascinated by "Trance," Danny Boyle's smart, assaultive psychological thriller (Fox Searchlight, April 5), which resembles Darren Aronofsky's darkly violent ballet drama "Black Swan," also starring Cassel, or Steven Soderbergh's nastily twisty "Side Effects," which also pivots on a sexily manipulative femme fatale. Boyle's stylish thrill-ride breaks genre rules as it goes. At the center of the movie is an all-is-not-what-it-seems triangle between ruthless gangster Vincent Cassel, who at first tortures London fine-art auctioneer and amnesia victim James McAvoy to find out where he has stashed a stolen Goya painting, then hires a seductive hypno-therapist (Rosario Dawson) to ferret it out of him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 18, 2013 3:38 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Tina Fey Talks Her Post-'30 Rock' Career, 'Admission,' and Oscar Hosting

A few weeks ago I went to see Tina Fey's latest movie "Admission" (March 22) on the same night that I watched the last episode of her seven-year NBC sitcom "30 Rock." Fey is a fascinating example of a pioneering woman who has become hugely successful while playing inside the box of what men can handle without being threatened.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 13, 2013 4:28 PM
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  • 1 Comment

New Insight from David Fincher on 'House of Cards'

"House of Cards," David Fincher's diabolically watchable big-budget foray into Netflix programing, is ground-breaking in its presentation. But the show stands on its own apart from its much-hyped release plan. (CAA reveals the numbers behind the series here.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • March 10, 2013 5:32 PM
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Interview: How Noomi Rapace Became a Global Movie Star, from 'Dragon Tattoo' to Ridley Scott, Brian De Palma and 'Dead Man Down'

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace never wanted to go Hollywood. As far as she's concerned, she hasn't changed her preference for complicated, compelling roles. Look at the range of what she's done since "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series catapulted her into a bankable global marquee name. She played a happily married woman facing her estranged, once-abusive mother in Pernilla August's Swedish family drama "Beyond." Rapace brought strength and spirituality to her role as a space-trekking scientist in Ridley Scott's summer epic "Prometheus." And she didn't play another pretty sidekick in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," which led to her co-starring opposite Rachel McAdams again in Brian De Palma's kinky Eurothriller "Passion," which comes out in June.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 7, 2013 6:00 AM
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SXSW Interview: Olivia Wilde Finds Her Inner Slapstick Comedian in 'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone'

SXSW opener “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” -- which even Steve Carrell admits “won’t be changing any lives” -- did give Olivia Wilde a chance to get in touch with her “inner Lucy.” What? She pulls a football out from under Jim Carrey? No, she has to act awkward and ungainly and do “my tiny homage to Lucille Ball, who I grew up watching obsessively.”
  • By John Anderson
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  • March 6, 2013 12:46 PM
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Interview: Canadian Director Kim Nguyen Talks Foreign Oscar Nominee 'War Witch'

French-Canadian director Kim Nguyen's coming-of-age drama "War Witch" was one of the five nominees for the 2013 Foreign-Language Oscar. The film tells the harrowing yet poignant story of a young African girl abducted into a rebel army, and her brave journey to free herself from the army's clutches. (Here's the iTunes trailer.)
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 28, 2013 1:54 PM
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The Unsung Hero Behind 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' Has Two Chances to Win Oscar Night

When William Goldenberg came to talk to Sneak Previews about editing Ben Affleck's "Argo" back in October, he was still in the throes of finishing Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," on a tight deadline to deliver a final cut in November. Sunday night Goldenberg is up for not just one but two Oscars, for two very different Middle East movies, and is favored to win for best picture frontrunner "Argo."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2013 6:06 PM
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Rooney Mara Talks with Steven Soderbergh in Interview Magazine -- the "Finch," Loving the Oscar, Nudity and More

Rooney Mara submitted to an email chat with her "Side Effects" director Steven Soderbergh for this month's Interview Magazine. The two smartypants engage in sarcastic banter about David Fincher, the Oscars and, er, the "reverse cowgirl."
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 22, 2013 2:22 PM
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Film Independent Chiefs McManus and Welsh Preview Indie Spirits, Take Stock of LACMA and LAFF

Just a year ago, long-time Film Independent staffers Sean McManus and Josh Welsh took on new roles as co-presidents of Film Independent, which runs many vital programs for the West Coast independent film community, as well as the Independent Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. They replaced Dawn Hudson, who left FIND to become the CEO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I talked to the two men on the phone about where they are and where they're going--and the upcoming Indie Spirits, my favorite awards event.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 20, 2013 5:46 PM
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Why 'Life of Pi' Will Win Multiple Oscars Next Weekend

Going into the final Oscar stretch, Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" has turned out to be a stronger contender--and box office juggernaut, at close to $600 million worldwide--than many had expected. Nominated for eleven Oscars, among the categories the movie is favored to win are best director, cinematography, visual effects and editing. Some weeks back I moderated a lively DGA panel with cinematographer Claudio Miranda (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), producer David Womark, VFX animator and supervisor Erik Jan De Boer, visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer (of beleaguered Rhythm & Hues) and Lee's long-time editor Tim Squyres.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2013 1:32 PM
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  • 2 Comments

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