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Thompson on Hollywood

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit

The Coen Brothers Talk True Grit
As western True Grit has taken off as the surprise hit of the Christmas season (topping a field of weak contenders), and has emerged a strong awards contender (with recent PGA and WGA nods), the usually taciturn Joel and Ethan Coen are on the promo trail. Here's a taste of their sound bites from various interviews.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 6:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati
Which animated film will land the third Oscar slot behind Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon? The critics have given a serious boost Sylvain Chomet's elegiac 2-D The Illusionist, which won best animated film at the European Film Awards and New York Film Critics Circle and a spotlight award from the National Board of Review. It's also nominated for five Annie Awards and best animated feature by the Golden Globes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 5:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Christmas Greetings from the Francos: Grandma Franco Fires Back at 127 Hours Avoiders

Obviously, Fox Searchlight is trying to confront head-on the issue of squeamish moviegoers not wanting to see 127 Hours, which features James Franco as hiker Aron Ralston hacking off his arm. They've deployed the "I Kept My Eyes Open for 127 Hours" campaign, and now Franco (showing his usual canny promo instincts) posts a video interview with his grandmother on Funny or Die:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2010 5:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"

Rudin Talks True Grit, Producing Quality Films at Studios: "It's harder than it's ever been"
Most weekdays, producer Scott Rudin, 52, starts off with an early breakfast meeting or two at a Madison Avenue cafe. One recent week, he met at 8 AM with Lena Dunham, the young filmmaker he plucked to adapt and direct Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, well before Tiny Furniture became a film du jour; he met me the following day at the same hour. How did he find out about Dunham? He has a deal with former assistants Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudsen, producers at Parts and Labor (The Exploding Girl): he covers their overhead in exchange for them sending him their talent discoveries. That's how he got to see Tiny Furniture. As he was watching it, Rudin realized that he knew Dunham's artist parents, Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham. Rudin thinks their daughter is "a total star.”
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 23, 2010 5:28 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire Talk Rabbit Hole

Cameron Mitchell and Lindsay-Abaire Talk Rabbit Hole
There are so many ways for a movie to go wrong, especially a grief-stricken family drama like Rabbit Hole. It could easily have become emotionally overwrought, too sincere or depressing, or been-there predictable.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 17, 2010 10:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Paul Greengrass Talks Bourne, Green Zone, Short Movie Day 8

Brit actor David Morrissey interviews director Paul Greengrass (Bourne films and Green Zone) in this short movie for Dunhill’s Day 8:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2010 5:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas

John Wells Talks Company Men, Downsizing Economy and Hollywood Dramas
John Wells makes his directorial debut with Company Men, a smart, angry, sad movie about the state of things in recession-era America that is based on first-hand research. Wells, a veteran of such TV series as E.R. and The West Wing, developed this for years and wrote compelling characters we want to spend time with. He raised overseas financing with stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper, all strong as three men laid off from their shipping company. Kevin Costner is terrific as the brother of Affleck's wife Rosemary DeWitt (left off the poster, boo), who is the best thing in this straight-on, no frills, naturalistic character drama.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Fighter's Success Has Many Fathers

The Fighter's Success Has Many Fathers
Careful what you wish for.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 4:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare

Helen Mirren Talks The Tempest, RED, The Debt, Shakespeare
On Friday, I conducted a Q & A with Helen Mirren after an opening night showing of Julie Taymor's The Tempest at the Arclight. Dame Mirren earned a rousing round of applause at the packed house.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 14, 2010 1:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Taymor Talks Shakespeare's "Tempest," Stars Mirren as Prospera: "It's more powerful with a woman"

Taymor Talks Shakespeare's "Tempest," Stars Mirren as Prospera: "It's more powerful with a woman"
While director Julie Taymor has been getting a lot of ink about her $60-million musical Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark, which is finally opening on Broadway with Bono and Edge's music, less attention is being paid to her Shakespeare movie The Tempest, which opens Friday. Alas, this defiant art film is getting lost in the year-end deluge as Ron Tudor's deal to buy Disney's Miramax specialty label finally closes, and Disney pays more heed to the fate of bigger-budget entries such as Tangled and Tron: Legacy. "It needs to get seen," Taymor says of the $20-million period drama in iambic pentameter. "You don't have to get every word."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2010 11:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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