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Thompson on Hollywood

Disney's Aviv Exits as Ross Relies on DreamWorks

It's deja vu all over again. A studio in management upheaval. A new studio head recruited from TV being directed to reinvent the wheel by a boss who is a film biz outsider.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 13, 2010 12:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles

Holiday Biopics: Young Victoria, Creation, Me and Orson Welles
Three period biopics with awards hopes face some tough going over the holidays.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2009 3:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Long Road to Invictus

The Long Road to Invictus
Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 22, 2009 1:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"
Bright Star was brilliantly reviewed on the film fest circuit from Cannes to Toronto. But some critics praise its undeniable visual style and directorial panache (the film won a special cinematography prize from the National Board of Review) but find the 19th-century period drama lacking in deep emotion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

LFF#: London Fest Closer Nowhere Boy

Amidst a resurgence of affection for The Beatles, London Film Festival closer Nowhere Boy marks a strong debut for Sam Taylor-Wood (a visual artist of some stature in the art world) and a breakout for Brit actor Aaron Johnson as teen John Lennon. But the small-scale 50s period film straddles two genres: musical biopic and family melodrama. The latter completely overwhelms the story.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 29, 2009 11:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Damon Stars in Invictus and Green Zone

Trailer Watch: Damon Stars in Invictus and Green Zone
It is more likely that Matt Damon will score an Oscar nom for Clint Eastwood's Invictus, which slices into Nelson Mandela's 1995 pursuit of the rugby World Cup to unify South Africa, than Steven Soderbergh's offbeat The Informant! which has already faded from the scene. Damon plays the captain of the South African rugby team, Francois Pienaar, and Morgan Freeman inhabits Mandela. Invictus opens December 11.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2009 5:28 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad
What went wrong with Amelia?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2009 4:11 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body
The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But Creation was DOA tonight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 1:38 AM
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  • 8 Comments

The Last Station Brings Tolstoy Family to Telluride

The Last Station Brings Tolstoy Family to Telluride
The Last Station is a straight-on period biopic starring Christopher Plummer as the aged Leo Tolstoy, the famed Russian author of War and Peace, constantly at war with his mercurial wife Sophya (Helen Mirren). Paul Giamatti, a scheming Tolstoy disciple, wants to share the author's copyrights with the masses, while Sophya fights for her husband's love and her children's inheritance. Caught in the middle is Tolstoy's loyal, vegetarian, celibate secretary (James McAvoy). Plummer and Mirren are equally matched blazing adversaries and McAvoy is wonderfully reactive as the virginal acolyte who not only loses his innocence, but starts to learn about love and marriage.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2009 9:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Michael Sheen: New Man of a Thousand Faces

Michael Sheen: New Man of a Thousand Faces
Michael Sheen is as driven as the soccer coach he plays in The Damned United, his sixth collaboration with writer Peter Morgan. In demand for a range of roles, the Welsh-born stage actor has conquered London and Broadway, smart movies and genre franchises.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 28, 2009 6:32 AM
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  • 6 Comments

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