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Women in Hollywood: Salander vs. Gilbert, Bullock Is Forbes #1, Rom-Com Actresses, Lady Gaga

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 4, 2010 at 5:02AM

- Two literary characters--Lisbeth Salander and Elizabeth Gilbert--built huge fan bases of women book lovers well before the characters hit the big screen. Fans eagerly await the news of who David Fincher will cast as Salander in the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and subsequent sequels); the Swedish originals starred Noomi Rapace. And author Elizabeth Gilbert is days away from watching herself portrayed by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love.
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Thompson on Hollywood


- Two literary characters--Lisbeth Salander and Elizabeth Gilbert--built huge fan bases of women book lovers well before the characters hit the big screen. Fans eagerly await the news of who David Fincher will cast as Salander in the English-language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (and subsequent sequels); the Swedish originals starred Noomi Rapace. And author Elizabeth Gilbert is days away from watching herself portrayed by Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love.

While the two characters have spiked more interest than most, they couldn't be further apart, argues Jezebel's Lizzie Skurnick as she considers why they have ignited such intense female interest.

Thompson on Hollywood


On Gilbert: "I felt mildly assaulted by Gilbert's rhapsodic flights of self-examination, but not particularly worse for the wear." Fans of the book "were consumed with Gilbert's hyper-self-consumed search for emotional fulfillment," in which she "importunes the citizens of the world to provide her with life's meaning."

On Salander; "Sullen and socially allergic, [she] has been told through various social agencies exactly who she is through her entire adolescent life," and it's the character's "hyper-vigilant, emotionally unfulfilling life we're consumed with." Skurnick rhetorically concludes wondering whether the two extremes signify our avoidance of "some golden mean of literary womanhood."

- Sandra Bullock has ousted Angelina Jolie from her perch as Forbes' highest-earning female actress. Bullock earned $56 million from June 09 through June 10 from her giant hits The Proposal and The Blind Side, putting her ahead of $32-million earners Reese Witherspoon (thanks to advance pay from two yet-be-released films and an Avon contract) and Cameron Diaz (Knight & Day, Shrek). In fourth place is rom-com queen Jennifer Aniston with $27 million, followed by Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker (syndication, franchise, perfumes) with $25 million. Aside from Oscar-winner Bullock, clearly earning power is not determined by performance reviews.

- The NYT's Maureen Dowd chatted with Sam Wasson, the 28-year old author of the bestselling making-of Breakfast at Tiffany's book Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., and discussed, among other things, the lack of quality rom-coms and too many disappointing femme roles played by disappointing Jennifers. Wasson concluded their conversation with:

Even the studios that are run by women aren’t run by women. They’re run by corporations, which are run by franchises. Unfortunately for us, Jennifer Aniston is a franchise. So is Katherine Heigl and Gerard Whatever-His-Name-Is, and even when their movies bomb, their franchise potential isn’t compromised because overseas markets, DVD sales and cable earn all the studio’s money back. I’m told that ‘Knight and Day,’ that awful Cruise/Diaz movie, has already been good for Fox for exactly this reason. The worst part of it is, from Hollywood’s point of view, it ain’t broke. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for TV. O.K., now I am drinking.
Thompson on Hollywood


- Any minute now, the Vanity Fair Lady Gaga cover should be arriving in our mailboxes and on newsstands. The pop sensation is refreshingly and unabashedly outspoken, telling Lisa Robinson:

I have this weird thing that if I sleep with someone they’re going to take my creativity from me through my vagina.

Lady Gaga tells Robinson that she hopes her fans do not emulate her by thinking that taking drugs is the road to greatness, or her "condition as an artist" is to be lonely in relationships, or she is "drawn to bad romances," which we already assumed from her song "Bad Romance." At least she can admit it.

This article is related to: Box Office, Genres, Headliners, Daily Read, Media, Sequel, Remake, comedy, Romance, Books, Noomi Rapace, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.