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Fassbender/McQueen Reunite, Studio Critique, Love And Other Drugs, Mulligan Talks Never Let Me Go

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood September 8, 2010 at 7:30AM

- The Guardian calls Hollywood's summer box office victory - approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 - a hollow one; "the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards" (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios' growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they're only making movies for profit, they're undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that "too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions." The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another "creatively impoverished" season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.
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Thompson on Hollywood


- The Guardian calls Hollywood's summer box office victory - approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 - a hollow one; "the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards" (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios' growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they're only making movies for profit, they're undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that "too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions." The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another "creatively impoverished" season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.

David Poland's interview with Never Let Me Go stars Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield is on the jump.

Thompson on Hollywood


- The winning combination of Brit director Steve McQueen and rising star Michael Fassbender will ante in again for a NYC set drama entitled Shame. McQueen's directorial debut Hunger won the Camera d'Or at Cannes 2008 and brought Fassbender much attention, which should continue with each project he has coming out. Shame will likely perch itself on the same provocative stoop that gave Hunger its raw power. Fassbender will play a man struggling to manage his sex life in a story that questions the nature of need. The script will be written by McQueen and Brick Lane writer Abi Morgan (who is also penning Joe Wright's The Little Mermaid). Maybe there's hope yet, Guardian.

Thompson on Hollywood


- How exactly to categorize Love and Other Drugs? Well the trailers will have us believe one thing (sexy rom-com) or another (tear-jerker) - so which is it? The poster now suggests that Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't know either. Like the title of the book upon which the film is based, it's apparently a Hard Sell. NYMag hypothesizes a few explanations for this odd combo of Gyllenhaal-as-enigma and Hathaway-as-obliviously-happy-even-though-I've-got-Parkinson's. It's not the only movie with an identity crisis. The poster says: we might be a rom-com, we might secretly be something else, but either way you'll see us near-naked, so come! The Playlist also pokes at the poster, and reminds us that Hathaway is getting serious praise for her performance as a sometimes clothed and unavoidably doomed woman in this Edward Zwick pic - hard to believe this is the same director that brought us Legends of the Fall sixteen years ago.

And here is David Poland's Never Let Me Go interview with Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield. They talk Mulligan's uncontrollable tears, the brilliance of the material, and Garfield's aversion to school.

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Video, Daily Read, Marketing, Exhibition, Sci-fi, Drama, comedy, Books, Jake Gyllenhaal, Interviews , 3D


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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.