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Thompson on Hollywood

Writing 'Life of Pi': David Magee Talks the Mother of Adaptations

After ten long years of painstaking development, "Life of Pi" finally made it to the screen. And there were many times that Fox 2000 chief Elizabeth Gabler, who optioned it right after it was published, did not think that it would happen. Only when Ang Lee came along four years ago did it become possible. The device of using the older Pi (Irfann Khan) as the window into the story came from screenwriter David Magee, who was hired on the basis of his moving Oscar-nominated screenplay for the J. M. Barry biopic "Finding Neverland."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 2, 2013 2:49 PM
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Soderbergh Talks Non-Actors, Actors and Accuracy -- 'It's Dangerous To Get Them Thinking Too Much"

As we eagerly await Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects" (February 8) and his HBO Liberace movie "Behind the Candelabra," check out his interview with Indiewire from early 2012. In it, Soderbergh discusses his two 2012 releases, "Haywire" and "Magic Mike," and reveals why he likes non-actors and has a problem with accuracy...
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 31, 2012 2:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Veteran Ann Dowd Makes Her Own Awards Bid for Controversial 'Compliance' Role

Ann Dowd has been acting for over 30 years. She landed the juiciest movie role of her life this year, in Craig Zobel's Sundance hit "Compliance," and she's running with the ball. She has little extra cash, but a pal in New York, Stephen Holt, connected her with a publicist willing to help her out. And she landed a supporting actress win from the National Board of Review and nominations from the Critics Choice and Independent Spirit Awards. That put her on the awards radar, at least.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2012 8:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments

'Les Miserables' Director Hooper Digs Into His Musical Audacity, It's Like 'Avatar' or Shakespeare

Tom Hooper sounds sniffly. He calls it "flying related." He's calling me from Japan, where he's about to attend yet another premiere of "Les Miserables." "I have not managed to show the movie to our own Royal family," he says. "Now I'm showing it to the Crown Prince of Japan."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2012 6:25 AM
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  • 4 Comments

'Not Fade Away' Creator David Chase Wants to Stick with Film, But Return to Genre

I expected "Sopranos" creator David Chase to be scary and intimidating. He's a sweetheart. I first met him at an industry screening of "Not Fade Away," a look back at his days as a young musician in New Jersey. The movie opened December 21 after a New York Film Festival launch. Is this movie commercial? No. But it's good. And it hits the Boomer demo head on. Did you listen to John Mayall and James Brown in high school? Remember when vinyl records were wrapped in plastic and people wore pea coats and grey suede Vegas boots? Then this movie is for you.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2012 6:22 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Hackford Grills Tarantino on 'Django Unchained': Style, Score, Script Adds, KKK Scene; "it was my 'fuck you' to D.W. Griffith"

"Django Unchained" was among the last of the award season films out of the starting gate. When new Directors Guild member Quentin Tarantino unveiled the film at the DGA on Sunset, it played to raucous applause. Taylor Hackford, who directed Jamie Foxx in his Oscar-winning turn in the musical biopic "Ray," conducted the Q & A.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 27, 2012 6:19 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Don Burgess Talks 'Flight'

Being reunited with director Robert Zemeckis on "Flight" was just like old times for cinematographer Don Burgess. The last time they worked together was on "The Polar Express" in 2004, Bob Z's first foray into performance capture. But in terms of live action, you have to go back to "Cast Away" in 2000...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2012 3:08 PM
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Director Kormakur Literally Jumped Into Iceland's 'Deep' with Oscar Entry, Plans Viking Adventure

Iceland's shortlisted Oscar entry "The Deep" (spring 2013) is based on the true story of the sole survivor of a downed fishing boat. Baltasar Kormakur is a member of a growing band of truly international filmmakers who make films at home as well as Hollywood. Producer-star Mark Wahlberg starred in "Contraband," Kormakur's remake of his own "Reykjavik-Rotterdam," took a shine to the rugged Iceland actor-director, and went on to make another film with him, the upcoming $80-million actioner "Two Guns," co-starring Denzel Washington. Wahlberg is also producing an HBO pilot with him, "The Missionary."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2012 4:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Nicole Kidman Talks Surprise 'The Paperboy' Nominations from Set of 'Grace of Monaco,' EXCLUSIVE SKYPE VIDEO

Nicole Kidman was shocked when she learned that her boldly brazen performance in Lee Daniels' outrageous southern gothic "The Paperboy" had earned both SAG and Golden Globe supporting actress nominations. While the indie film debuted in Cannes to mixed reaction and hardly set critics or audiences on fire, Kidman earned rave reviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 19, 2012 3:13 PM
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  • 20 Comments

Eddie Redmayne Talks Live-Singing 'Les Miserables,' What's Next?

Redmayne, who is 30, landed the role of Marius despite not having sung since school. And he delivers a breakout performance. He borrowed something he learned from De Niro in order to better match the intensity of one take of the song to the other--he'd shoot three times in a row. He sang his "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" song 21 times.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 18, 2012 7:51 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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