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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Read: More Public Enemies, Embattled Auteurs, New Moon Spoof

As I head off for an unplugged holiday weekend--to a pal's Idyllwild hideaway with no wifi (thanks Lili)--here are some weekend links.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2009 5:08 AM
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Public Enemies: Can Depp Save Mann's HD Biopic?

Universal is counting on one thing to open Michael Mann's Public Enemies: Johnny Depp. According to The Ulmer Scale, he's the second most popular movie star in the world, after Will Smith. That's based on his hugely successful roles as broadly comedic, over-the-top Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But while Sweeney Todd wouldn't have done as well without him, Depp can only move the needle so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2009 5:59 AM
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Julie & Julia: Women and Food

On its surface, a movie about a dowdy middle-aged woman chef--even French cooking icon Julia Child--may not seem commercial. But several elements in this mix could make Julie & Julia, which Sony opens August 7, commercial indeed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 14, 2009 5:39 AM
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Public Enemies' Marion Cotillard Ramps Up

It's rare for a European actress to carve out a career in Hollywood. But honing her English with rounds of Berlitz and winning both the best actress Oscar and Cesar awards for La Vie en Rose have spun Marion Cotillard into a whirlwind of film roles. First, she went to Chicago to shoot Michael Mann's Public Enemies, playing moll Billie Frechette to Johnny Depp's gangster John Dillinger (July 1).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:31 AM
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WGA Awards Go to Slumdog, Milk

Milk scripter Dustin Lance Black, 34, tearfully accepted the Writers Guild Award for best original screenplay for Milk Saturday night by calling up the ghost of slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, the man who inspired Black when he moved to the Bay Area from San Antonio, Texas as a closeted gay 13-year-old. "I want to thank God for making my dreams come true," said Black, who was raised a Mormon, "and for giving us Harvey Milk."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2009 2:12 AM
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Frost/Nixon's Sheen: Character Chameleon

It's an honorable profession, charactor actor. No shame in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 5, 2008 5:24 AM
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Oscar Watch: Milk Scores

Milk is far better than I was expecting it to be, even after reading Todd McCarthy's positive review. It had been described to me as small, political, an acting vehicle for Sean Penn. It's far more than that.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2008 5:21 AM
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Will W Hit Zeitgeist?

Lionsgate threw a party at the Landmark in Westwood Monday night for Oliver Stone's W, which was basically an intimate L.A. premiere for Stone and his cast; the movie will also premiere in New York and the Austin Film Fest. Josh Brolin soaked up the applause, flanked by his father and uncle; everyone agreed that he did a helluva job as George W. Bush, from Yale frat-party boy to reformed drunk and born-again Christian and one of the worst presidents in United States history. James Cromwell also scored big as Bush, Sr. in the father-son drama. Cast members Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Glenn, Ioan Gruffudd, and Noah Wyle were also on hand, along with producers Bill Block and Moritz Borman.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2008 7:38 AM
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Cotillard is Strong Oscar Contender for Piaf Biopic La Vie en Rose

I've been tracking the French Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose since Picturehouse president Bob Berney picked it up after screening some footage during last May's Cannes Fest. His instincts were correct. The movie, which opens stateside on June 8, is beautifully done. Luckily Piaf's life is so gut-wrenching and the music holds up so well that writer-director Olivier Dahan's rags-to-riches story arc manages to skirt the edges of cliche. It helps that Marion Cotillard's Piaf is a richly-layered, nasty, gifted, wounded character.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 19, 2007 4:49 AM
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