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Thompson on Hollywood

IFC Films Lands Baumbach's Black-and-White Gerwig Vehicle 'Frances Ha'

IFC Films is acquiring all North and Latin American rights to Noah Baumbach’s "Frances Ha," which the filmmaker co-wrote with his star and muse, Mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig. She has received glowing reviews for the film, which debuted at Telluride followed by Toronto and now, New York. Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver and Michael Zegen co-star.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2012 4:25 PM
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Review: Seven Shorts Showcase Rare Performances from Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Jason Alexander, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh

This fall, ShortsHD will present a collection of several brief films unambiguously titled "Stars in Shorts." Each of these otherwise unconnected seven films features big name talent including Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Tom Hiddleston, Keira Knightly, Kenneth Branagh, Lily Tomlin, Jason Alexander, and others. The seven films, reviewed below, will premiere in theaters on September 28th, followed by an iTunes/Pay Per View release on October 9.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 19, 2012 7:24 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Critic vs. Critic: A Tale of Two Paul Anderson Films

It didn't escape the notice of critics this past weekend that two wildly disparate films were released by directors both named Paul Anderson -- Paul Thomas Anderson's festival favorite and rave-reviewed "The Master," and Paul W.S. Anderson's "Resident Evil: Retribution," the fifth installment in the video-game-based franchise and the director's third helming contribution to the series. Notably, Armond White is Team Resident Evil, calling "The Master" a "dull, nihilistic and mean-spirited presumption of cultural history." Below, a round-up of critics weighing in on PTA and PWSA.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • September 19, 2012 1:25 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Now and Then: In 'Chico & Rita' and 'Nobody Walks,' The Sound of Heartache

Early in "Chico & Rita," under the shimmer of the Tropicana's spotlight, Rita rummages through the lower octaves of attraction. Smitten, Chico gapes from the bar, dragging on a cigarette. Humid with sound, the scene has the texture of live action, its every wrinkle and wink. A movie song hasn't conveyed desire quite like this in nearly forty years.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 18, 2012 1:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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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  • 1 Comment

Early Reviews for 'Trouble with the Curve,' Eastwood's 'Gran Torino' Meets 'Moneyball' Antithesis

For someone who has enjoyed such a golden career to date, Oscar-winner Clint Eastwood, 82, seems to be tempting fate, finally. He earned tough reviews for his performance at the Republican National Convention (SNL's inevitable Eastwood-with-chair spoof is below) and deflects questions about his wife's reality show "Eastwood and Company" in Tom Junod's Esquire current cover profile.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 17, 2012 1:26 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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Weekend Preview: 'The Master' Arrives in NY & LA, 'Arbitrage' in Theaters & VOD

If you reside in New York or Los Angeles, "The Master" is the must-see film of the week, if not the year so far. The Paul Thomas Anderson film, starring an exceptional Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, will expand September 21. The film, which has gained momentum from the Weinstein Co.'s series of sneak screenings in 70mm...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 13, 2012 7:32 PM
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  • 1 Comment

TIFF Brody Diary 5: 'The Master,' 'The Iceman' 'The Impossible'

A perfectly delightful rich full relentless festival day, except when I look back and realize that everything I saw was in English, which I find mildly embarrassing and slightly unadventurous on my part, especially when attending a festival screening over 300 films from 60 countries.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 12, 2012 9:23 AM
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TIFF Brody Diary Day Four: The Delightful 'Silver Linings Playbook,' Sexual and Stylized 'Passion' & 'Secret Disco'

Today I choose David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” to be released in November, over Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which does not yet have a distributor. (And over a number of other screenings which either don’t grab me, or don’t grab me enough, or which I’ve already seen elsewhere.) I must really want to see it...
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 11, 2012 3:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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