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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Red Carpet Video: Weinstein, Villaraigosa, Gaiman, Banderas

It was thick and fast on the Oscar red carpet, so rather than take notes, pictures or tweet, I whipped out my handy flip cam:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 11:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Red Carpet Video: Media Moguls

"The lines are still open," said Disney chairman Robert Iger of the Cablevision/ABC dispute that is shutting the Oscar broadcast down on the Cablevision system in NYC. Local WABC can't be seen on cable in the NYC area. UPDATE: WABC-TV has gone back on in New York.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 8, 2010 12:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island

Dennis Lehane Talks Shutter Island
The thing to remember about Shutter Island is that it's closely based on the novel by Dennis Lehane. James Cameron collaborator Laeta Kalogridis wrote the adaptation that lured Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese. Read the book and you will see how closely she hewed to the original. Whatever the movie's strengths or weaknesses--and it has both--they come from the book. I'd argue that as cinematic as this paranoid thriller is, it works better as a book than a movie. That's because Scorsese faced the challenge of making this high-wire reality vs. fiction puzzle into a plausible, believable narrative that didn't throw the audience for a complete loop. Some buy it, some don't.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2010 1:34 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education

Oscar Watch: Nick Hornby's Hollywood Education
Brit author Nick Hornby discovered the Lynn Barber memoir An Education and showed it to his producer wife, Amanda Posey, as a possible movie. He liked it so much he adapted it for the screen himself, something he has avoided doing with his own novels, three of which--High Fidelity, Fever Pitch, About a Boy--have been turned by other writers into damned good Hollywood movies. He did adapt his first novel Fever Pitch into a British movie starring Colin Firth. But otherwise he has kept some distance from Hollywood adaptations of his novels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart

Oscar Watch: T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham Talk Crazy Heart
After the Academy Nominees luncheon Monday at the Beverly Hilton, I repaired downstairs to do a couple of interviews pool side--along with a few other media. I flip-cammed Crazy Heart's T Bone Burnett, the tall and famous music supervisor who was instrumental in making the movie as good as it is. First, the movie wouldn't have been made without him. Burnett told old pal and jam-mate Jeff Bridges that if he would make Scott Cooper's movie, so would he. Second, Burnett insisted that the movie's backers raise enough money to do the music properly. The hand-crafted songs that fit Bridges' Bad Blake persona like a glove are what make Crazy Heart work so well. Burnett brought along songwriter Ryan Bingham, who wrote Oscar best original song front-runner "The Weary Kind."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 9:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sandra Bullock Talks Blind Side, Oscars, Career Choices

After the Oscar nominees' lunch at the Beverly Hilton, I went down by the pool to interview The Blind Side best actress nominee Sandra Bullock with my flip cam. She didn't know at the start of her career, she said, that "being funny was going to be my greatest joy." She learned as she went along that comedy parts for men were better written than the ones for women, so she'd transcribe Jerry Lewis and Carol Burnett skits and perform them in front of her own home video camera. If you want women to come to box office, she warns, you have to make the movies good. "We're not going to the movie on the first weekend if they're crap," she says. "That's the difference between men and women."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 16, 2010 5:21 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Depp Talks Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland Featurette

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is almost upon us. The 3-D Disney fantasy opens March 5. The LAT's Geoff Boucher asks screenwriter Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast) about adapting Lewis Carroll. She based a lot of this "sequel" on The Jabberwocky, one of my favorite poems of all time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 11, 2010 12:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#Sundance: Abel's Diego Luna is Director Discovery of Fest

#Sundance: Abel's Diego Luna is Director Discovery of Fest
Of the three actor-directors who made their feature filmmaking debuts at this year's Sundance, it looks like Mark Ruffalo (Sympathy for Delicious) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating) can keep their day jobs. But Mexican star Diego Luna, with the magical family drama Abel, is the director discovery of this festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2010 9:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

#Sundance: Mark Lewis Gets Down with 3-D Cane Toads

#Sundance: Mark Lewis Gets Down with 3-D Cane Toads
With 1988's Cane Toads: An Unnatural History, Australian documentary filmmaker Mark Lewis (The Natural History of the Chicken) introduced Sundance audiences to the cane toad--an amphibian imported Down Under in 1935 to control sugar cane larvae. Of course, the cane toad did nothing of the kind, and turned out to be a remarkably adaptable--and toxic-- creature, capable of killing dogs and pets with its poison glands. This time with Cane Toads: The Conquest, Lewis celebrates the toad as he tries to restore the balance by suggesting it's not all the toad's fault. He takes us from the toad 16 million years ago, through Puerto Rico and Hawaii to Australia and the evolution of the new and improved 3- D "Ava-Toad."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2010 8:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

#Sundance: Aamir Khan Talks 3 Idiots, May Release Peepli Live Himself

#Sundance: Aamir Khan Talks 3 Idiots, May Release Peepli Live Himself
How strange that I should land my first interview with my favorite Bollywood star, Aamir Khan, at Sundance. That's because he came to town as the producer of an indie political satire, Peepli Live, which is the first film from India to be accepted at Sundance-- in the world cinema competition. Khan read the script from rookie director Anusha Rizvi and agreed to back it. She cast the film largely with unknowns, including theater actor Omkar Das Manikpuri. (Here's a review from The Hollywood Reporter.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 30, 2010 3:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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