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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 0 Comments

Now and Then: The Evacuee's Guide to Movies

Living in New Orleans sometimes means leaving it. That's why, with Hurricane Isaac bearing down on the city, I hit the highway last Monday for an extended Florida sojourn. And since a film buff's road trip is nothing without a screening schedule, here's a handy guide to movies for your next evacuation...
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 4, 2012 2:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'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

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 REVIEW: Anderson's 'The Master' Impresses and Befuddles; Phoenix & Hoffman Both Outstanding

What has Paul Thomas Anderson wrought with “The Master”? A film that’s majestic and masterly if not a masterpiece, which draws sustenance from masters of the past, filmic, literary and artistic, and is pinioned by two colossal characters as it recounts the early, stuttering formation of a Scientology-style self-help belief system.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 1, 2012 11:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Review: Ben Affleck's 'Argo' Is True Tehran Rescue Thriller, Hollywood Parody, and Oscar Contender

Ben Affleck directs this taut and commercial thriller, his third behind the camera, with screw-tightening efficiency that would make Michael Mann proud. Multiple Oscar nominations are in order as this movie surges to the top of the current Oscar contenders list.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 31, 2012 7:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Venice Film Festival: Spike Lee Rocks the Biennale with 'BAD25'

Venice is buzzing this year with superb documentaries from high-profile film figures. Jonathan Demme’s “Enzo Avitabile Music Life” was a spirited portrait of the Neopolitan singer-songwriter who may not be widely known but whose zeal, talent and exhilarating performances with other figures in his field had me reappraising my assumptions about that woollily defined genre called world music; and more on Sarah Polley’s revelatory “Stories We Tell” later. But it was Spike Lee who rocked the Lido today with his rousing, passionate, breathlessly paced and frequently moving paean to Michael Jackson, which focuses intently on the creative process that went into generating the songs and videos for his third album, BAD – an album which spawned some of the greatest pop hits of all time, including its title track, ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 31, 2012 1:44 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: 'Lawless,' 'Chicken with Plums,' 'For a Good Time' & More

Check out the smorgasbord of offerings arrriving in theaters this weekend, from John Hillcoat's prohibition drama "Lawless" to Jamie Travis's sex-romp "For a Good Time, Call...". Found-footage horror "V/H/S" arrives on VOD this weekend with strong reviews, while Jessica Biel and Orlando Bloom...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 30, 2012 12:24 PM
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Venice Review: ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ - Muscularly Charismatic, But Exasperating

Before its unveiling, some found “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” a peculiar choice as Venice opener by new artistic director Alberto Barbera, even taking into account Mira Nair’s history here (the Indian-born, New York-based filmmaker won the Golden Lion with “Monsoon Wedding” in 2001)...
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 30, 2012 10:53 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Remembering Tony Scott, Zadan & Meron Land Oscars, Weekend Preview, In The Works & More

This week on TOH, we interviewed Craig Zadan and Neil Meron on being the 2013 Oscar producers, we looked ahead to the weekend's offering of new films, we compared Joe Wright's upcoming "Anna Karenina" to the long string of previous film adaptations, paid tribute to director Tony Scott (1944-2012) and much more!
  • By TOH!
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  • August 24, 2012 4:09 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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