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Thompson on Hollywood

In the Works: Weinsteins to Develop 'Salinger' Doc Into Feature Film

Surprise! Harvey Weinstein is partnering with "Salinger" director Shane Salerno to develop a feature narrative film adaptation of his documentary, which hit theaters September 6.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 18, 2013 3:00 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride and Toronto Winners and Losers: Who Came Out Ahead?

The fall film festivals are a crucible that send winners out into the award fracas and losers to lick their wounds.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2013 6:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Arthouse Audit: 'Mother of George' and 'Wadjda' Top Openings as Nigerian and Saudi Arabian Directors Score

International films are scoring at the specialty box office. The two best new films have roots in countries not normally seen at arthouses: "Mother of George" (from Nigerian-born director Andrew Dosunmu) and "Wadjda" (a milestone Saudi Arabian film from a female director) both show initial appeal. Also in the top 10 are French and Mexican comedies.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • September 15, 2013 3:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment

In the Works: Weinstein Company Adopts 'Paddington'; Colin Firth to Voice Paddington Bear, Nicole Kidman Joins Cast

The Weinstein Company has scooped up rights to "Paddington," the first live-action feature based on the classic children's book character Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond in 1958. The marmalade sandwich-loving bear, to be rendered in CGI, will be voiced by Colin Firth. Nicole Kidman has also joined the cast.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 13, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review and Roundup: Weinstein Acquisition 'The Railway Man,' Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman

The Weinstein Company recently closed a deal for US rights to "The Railway Man," starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. The film is directed by Aussie Jonathan Teplitzsky, and centers on a World War II veteran who tracks down the wartime men who tortured him. Per THR, it's a $2 million buy.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • September 12, 2013 3:38 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Harvey Weinstein Cuts a Swath Through the Fall Fests, from 'August: Osage County' to Pick-Ups

The Weinstein Co. was on the move on the fall festival circuit. They unveiled hyped documentary "Salinger" to mixed response and Stephen Frears' Judi Dench vehicle "Philomena" to raves in Venice, Telluride and Toronto. They world-premiered at TIFF not only sprawling dysfunctional family drama "August: Osage County," which will factor in the Oscar race for Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and possibly even supporting stars Margo Martindale and Chris Cooper, but "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," starring Idris Elba as the South African leader, which failed to achieve take-off, the well-received "One Chance," based on the true story of a Welsh coal miner who goes on Britain's Got Talent and turns world class opera singer, and Maverick Series doc "12.12.12."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2013 3:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' Review Roundup: Idris Elba Gives Towering Performance, but Film Doesn't Rise to the Occasion

Critics thus far generally agree that Idris Elba turns in a fine performance as the eponymous lead of Justin Chadwick's biopic "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," which recently premiered at TIFF. They also generally agree that the film itself isn't up to Idris' performance, that it's overly "reverential" tone and "sledgehammer" subtlety bedevil it from the get-go. As the Guardian notes, it's an "Encarta Encyclopedia article laid out on an epic scale." More below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 9, 2013 11:34 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride Review: 'Salinger' Documentary and Joyce Maynard Reaction (TRAILER)

The doc, which took Salerno ten years, is a thorough portrait of the enigmatic, reclusive author of "The Catcher in the Rye," taking us through his prep school days and early short-story writing--his goal to be published in The New Yorker had to wait until after World War II. He landed in France on D-Day and served 299 days in active combat before V-Day, writing "Catcher in the Rye" by the side of the road when he could. After witnessing the horrors of the holocaust at a concentration camp and doing espionage work in post-war Germany hunting down Nazis, he brought home a Nazi war bride to his Jewish father, but the marriage was annulled after a month.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2013 4:07 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Casting Watch: Rooney Mara Replaces Mia Wasikowska in Todd Haynes' 'Carol,' Starring Cate Blanchett UPDATED

UPDATE: Rooney Mara will play one of two leads in Todd Haynes' "Carol," adapted from Patricia Highsmith's landmark lesbian novella "The Price of Salt." Cate Blanchett is set to play the title role, while Mara will play Therese Belivet, an aspiring set designer who falls for the elegant and older Carol. Mia Wasikowska was previously attached to the role of Therese.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 29, 2013 11:28 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Box Office Top Ten: 'The Butler,' 'We're the Millers' Lead Solid Late Summer Weekend; 'Mortal Instruments' Another Sony Also-Ran

The end of season returns show that audiences can be satisfied with something beyond just the more hyped franchise entries that dominated most of the last few months, many of which failed to satisfy over a period when increased total grosses came with higher budgets. "The Butler" and "We're the Millers" -- both likely $100 million-plus pictures -- are significant August hits, with neither film considered typical summer fare.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • August 25, 2013 7:36 PM
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  • 4 Comments

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