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Script Watch: Jessica Alba Disses Writers, Haggis Romantic Ensemble, Nemirovsky's "Suite Francaise"

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 7, 2010 at 7:00AM

- Some actors think that a script is irrelevant. According to Elle cover-girl Jessica Alba: “Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.” Which "good actors" could she be referring to? Her co-stars in Fantastic Four? The Killer Inside Me? Paul Walker in Into The Blue? She does offer a hint of self-awareness when she adds: "I know I haven’t been swimming in the deep end with some of the movies I’ve done. I wasn’t trying to. I knew what they were.” She co-stars with Ben Stiller in this Christmas' Little Fockers and intends to reinvent herself as the next Lucille Ball. Wonder if she'll just be making it up as she goes along?
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Thompson on Hollywood


- Some actors think that a script is irrelevant. According to Elle cover-girl Jessica Alba: “Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.” Which "good actors" could she be referring to? Her co-stars in Fantastic Four? The Killer Inside Me? Paul Walker in Into The Blue? She does offer a hint of self-awareness when she adds: "I know I haven’t been swimming in the deep end with some of the movies I’ve done. I wasn’t trying to. I knew what they were.” She co-stars with Ben Stiller in this Christmas' Little Fockers and intends to reinvent herself as the next Lucille Ball. Wonder if she'll just be making it up as she goes along?

Here is John August's take on it, "Oh, Jessica"; and Doug Molitor's "Jessica Alba's 12 Favorite Movie Lines."

[Alba picture courtesy of Elle Magazine]

Thompson on Hollywood


- While writer-director Paul Haggis was promoting The Next Three Days (November 12), which he adapted from Fred Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans' 2008 screenplay Anything for Her, Haggis told the LAT that next he will write the interwoven ensemble Third Person, about three couples around the globe, approaching romance much the way his Oscar-winning film Crash (2004) tackled race. Haggis wants a well-developed ensemble of characters to tell their stories with the added bonus of beautiful locations, including New York and Rome. No question there's a trend for ensemble romances, from star-stacked-studio-flick Valentine's Day to He's Just Not That Into You, based on the book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. Haggis made it clear: "Yes, it's a little like those. But darker. Much, much darker." There's also 360, Peter Morgan's update of Arthur Schnitzler's 1900 play La Ronde.

Thompson on Hollywood


- Among the list of Britain's top screenplay offerings is an adaptation by writer-director Saul Dibb (The Dutchess) of Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise, comprised of two of her intended five-cycle suite of novels. (Russian-born French writer Nemirovsky completed these stories only months before being shipped to her death at Auschwitz in 1942. Discovered decades later, they were translated into English in 2006). Also in development is an American adaptation with a script from Ronald Harwood (The Pianist, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly), which focuses on a romance between a German soldier and a French woman in 1940.

This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Stuck In Love, Daily Read, Drama, comedy, Biopics, Books, Foreign, Screenwriters


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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.