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Thompson on Hollywood

Weekend Read

Many entertainment moguls are vacationing on a boat. A big boat.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 7, 2009 12:55 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Talk Conjures Era, Movie Jargon, Fantastic, Other, Serious Trailers

Every day, I round up some items for your delectation:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 4, 2009 7:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Boxoffice: Why Coens Burn Up B.O.

Am I the only one surprised by how well Burn After Reading is doing at the boxoffice? Remember, before No Country for Old Men, the Coens were hit or miss at the boxoffice, mostly miss. They were lucky if their pics got to $25 million! So why is this nihilistic nasty little movie doing so well? Even those who figured the CIA comedy would open on star power and marketing prowess didn't think it would actually play with audiences. But clearly, it is--prognosticators expect the movie to score this weekend, again!
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 18, 2008 8:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Leatherheads: Clooney Goes Retro

George Clooney is the sort of movie star who gets to do what he wants, especially if he's willing to direct himself. In this case the period football comedy Leatherheads had been languishing on the shelf at Universal for decades, and was going to be directed by Steven Soderbergh at one time. Clooney's version is a sweetly daffy valentine to classic Hollywood screwball comedies, Coen brothers comedies and romantic comedies. Clooney stars as a handsome over-the-hill football player who's pretty smart but gets beat up on the playing field and takes plenty of pratfalls and romances a wise-cracking reporter (Renee Zellweger).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2008 4:45 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Coens' Burn After Reading, Starring Pitt and Clooney, Goes Wide

While speculation runs rampant on whether or not the Coens will take their next movie, the CIA pic Burn After Reading, starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney, to Cannes--obviously Thierry Fremaux will want it, but he hasn't screened it yet; UPDATE: Working Title says it probably won't be finished in time--in the meantime Focus Features has booked the Working Title movie to go wide on September 12. This suggests that after the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men (which soared 67% this weekend) the Coens have jumped out of art-film territory and boast more commercial appeal; this pic's stars are certainly big enough to warrant a wide opening.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 3, 2008 7:50 AM
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No Country for Old Men's Ending Sparks Debate

I'm having big debates about No Country for Old Men, especially the ending. If you've read the Cormac McCarthy book, you know that the Coens have done a very faithful adaptation, which McCarthy admires. [SPOILER ALERT] The duo was attracted to the very things that make the movie unconventional: a major character dies, and the forces of good don't triumph over the forces of evil at the end.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 27, 2007 1:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

There Will be Blood: On the Screening Circuit

Paramount Vantage is on the There will Be Blood promo trail, screening the pic and building support. I watched the two hour and forty minute film, happily, for the second time at the WGA screening Monday night; the crowd gave Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day Lewis a standing ovation afterward.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2007 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Coens Movie and Sicko Debut; Waiting for Jessica Simpson

Last night's unveiling of No Country for Old Men lived up to all my expectations and more. It's one of the Coen brothers' most assured films, on a par with their Oscar-winning Fargo or Miller's Crossing, with a touch of the southwestern twang of Raising Arizona. The movie, which stars veterans Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem at their best and break-out hunk Josh Brolin, belongs with the Coens' bleaker films, but adds their trademark comic tone to Cormac McCarthy's tragic book. It's a faithful adaptation, a lean and spare cinematic rendering of McCarthy's western of inexorably doomed characters. The movie also touches the zeitgeist as it expresses a loss of innocence in our culture, a turn to the dark side. The ending is heart-tugging. It's going to be hard to beat for the Palme d'Or. Unless Miramax messes up the movie's fall release (it will need delicate handling, although it will earn rave reviews, because it is not overtly commercial), I see a strong Oscar run. (Luckily 42West's Cynthia Swarz is on board.) Here's Variety's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2007 8:32 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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