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Thompson on Hollywood

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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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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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"

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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Weekly Wrap: Interviews with Arndt, Bardem, Giamatti, Hammer, Renner, Steen, Sturgess

INTERVIEWS- Michael Arndt Digs Into Toy Story 3 and the Genius of the Pixar System.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2010 9:23 AM
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Javier Bardem Talks Biutiful: "We Have to Reach People's Hearts, Not Their Pockets"

It's no surprise that the great Spanish actor Javier Bardem delivers yet another incendiary performance, under the director of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, in Biutiful, which won the best actor award in Cannes and finally opens stateside on December 29 for awards consideration. TOH's Sophia Savage interviewed Bardem on December 9.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 10, 2010 4:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Social Network's Armie Hammer Gets Actor-Nerdy Talking Winklevi, Fincher, Sorkin, Rowing

Social Network's Armie Hammer Gets Actor-Nerdy Talking Winklevi, Fincher, Sorkin, Rowing
TOH's Sophia Savage sat down with The Social Network's scene stealer Armie Hammer on Tuesday afternoon:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 8, 2010 9:05 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Actress Watch: Multi-Talented Vanessa Paradis, Halle Berry Talks Career Extremes

Vanessa Paradis is multi-talented. She's been a pop singer since the age of 14, muse to Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld, partner of and parent with Johnny Depp, and recent co-star with Romain Duris in this year's charming French rom-com Heartbreaker (L'Amacoeur) - a must-see for Dirty Dancing fans. Interview Magazine has her chatting with interviewer Patti Smith. They talk music, playing dress-up, Gene Kelly, Paradis' version of "Hallelujah" (video below) and why having children make it seem "that half your brain doesn't belong to you anymore."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 7, 2010 4:47 AM
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Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson

Paul Giamatti Talks Barney's Version, Win Win, Too Big to Fail, Hangover II and Gibson
Paul Giamatti is one of those actors who has enough of a global following, thanks to Sideways and HBO mini-series John Adams, to help get certain movies made. Barney's Version is one of them. You can see why he'd want to dive into the best Mordecai Richler character since Duddy Kravitz. The movie is worth seeing for how the actors run with their roles--from doting Dad Dustin Hoffman to Jewish princess Minnie Driver, hippie girlfriend Rachelle Lefevre and dream wife Rosamund Pike. Sony Pictures Classics is giving the film a qualifying run this week in New York and L.A. before a January 11 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 7, 2010 2:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Jeremy Renner Talks 'The Town,''Mission Impossible,' 'The Avengers'

The Hurt Locker not only gave Jeremy Renner the role of his career--which earned him an Oscar nomination--but it opened up a raft of career possibilities. Renner is young, gifted and masculine: he can play a charismatic hero or a dangerous villain, a leading man or a character role. He's versatile. This is what casting directors want. There aren't enough guys like him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2010 6:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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