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Creepy Countdown to Black Swan's Release

Can't wait to see Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan? Count down the days to its December 3rd release at the film's new viral site IJustWantToBePerfect.com. Very creepy.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 22, 2010 6:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game

Oscar Talk: Animation, Directors, Michael Douglas, Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland, Fair Game
Kris Tapley of In Contention and I talk about some low-profile films that may not make it into the race--including Solitary Man, Welcome to the Rileys--and whether Michael Douglas has a chance. We rate the three strong Andrew Garfield performances of the year: Red Riding Trilogy, Never Let Me Go, The Social Network.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 22, 2010 3:52 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?

Oscar Round-Up: Best Actress Buzzing, Quoting The Social Network, Does Winter's Bone Have a Chance?
Buzz is building around this year's best actress Oscar race: "Unlike most years when men dominate the critical buzz for strong roles," asserts TheStar's Zorianna Kit. Well, that's debatable: last year boasted the Sandra Bullock/Meryl Streep flirtation, Carey Mulligan's breakout performance, Mo'Nique, Helen Mirren, Kathryn Bigelow winning for best director…and so on. But certainly this year boasts an abundance of actresses to pick from, including some who grabbed our attention in untraditional roles, from Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right to Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone--and many have not yet seen fall fest fave Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Fasten your seat belts.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 21, 2010 4:07 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Director Watch: Nichols and Hoffman Do Salesman, Aronofsky for Wolverine 2, Affleck and Morel

Philip Seymour Hoffman will play Willy Loman on Broadway next fall in Tony and Oscar winning director Mike Nichols' take on Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. It's a role Hoffman has been lusting after, Nichols told the NY Times. The pair, who worked together in 2001 for a Central Park production of The Seagull, have been planning the production for months and agreed upon Linda Emond to play across from Hoffman as Linda Loman. Nichols is not worried about Hoffman's 43 years vs. Loman's 60-something, "what matters is finding the right man to play the part." Brian Dennehy played the part in 1999 when he was 60 and Dustin Hoffman played the role at 47 in 1984.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 20, 2010 8:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Round-Up: The Social Network Leads Buzz, Bullock vs. Lane, Renner's a Star

Oscar Round-Up: The Social Network Leads Buzz, Bullock vs. Lane, Renner's a Star
As awards season heats up and the growing surge of Oscar pundits weigh in more frequently, every Thursday the Daily Read will round up their worthiest efforts. And every Friday, as usual, we post the Oscar Talk podcast: this week we welcome London Fest attendees Guy Lodge (In Contention) and Peter Knegt (indieWIRE).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 14, 2010 7:02 AM
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  • 1 Comment

AFI Fest Centerpieces: Company Men, Blue Valentine, Barney's Version, Tribute: King's Speech

The American Film Institute's AFI Fest 2010, which runs in Hollywood from November 4-11, has announced its Centerpiece Galas to accompany the previously announced opening and closing night selections (the world premiere of Edward Zwick's Love and Other Drugs and Darren Aronofsky's Venice stunner Black Swan). The Centerpiece Galas are Sundance holdovers The Company Men (John Wells), Abel (Diego Luna) and Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance) and Toronto entries Barney's Version (Richard J. Lewis) and Casino Jack (George Hickenlooper). AFI Fest will also mount a special tribute to fest circuit hit and Oscar front-runner The King's Speech with director Tom Hooper and stars Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 13, 2010 2:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: King's Speech Leads Gurus 'O Gold, Wins Hamptons Prize

Oscar Watch: King's Speech Leads Gurus 'O Gold, Wins Hamptons Prize
Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth as a stuttering King George VI, not only won the narrative audience prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival Sunday, but scored number one in the post-Toronto Film Festival Gurus 'o Gold poll (below). I also voted it number one (my current predictions are here and listed below), because the Tom Hooper movie is not only impeccably made and boasts the year's likely best actor winner (Firth), but is emotionally moving in a way that the brilliantly cold The Social Network is not.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 11, 2010 3:33 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Love & Other Drugs and Black Swan To Bookend AFI Fest

Love & Other Drugs and Black Swan To Bookend AFI Fest
The American Film Institute's 2010 Festival will open November 4 in Los Angeles with the world premiere of Edward Zwick's Love & Other Drugs starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. Closing the fest on November 11 is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis (which opened Venice earlier this month).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 23, 2010 5:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Aronofsky Talks the "Nightmare" of Getting 'Black Swan' Made

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan opened the Venice Film Festival and took the Lido by storm. I talked with the director about the long "nightmare" of getting the script right and financing the film, casting Natalie Portman and Vincent Cassel, shooting in a gritty up-close verite style, and how he set about "creeping out" the audience.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 15, 2010 1:19 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Venice Wrap: Best of Fest, Winners and Losers, Golden Lion Goes to Somewhere

Venice Wrap: Best of Fest, Winners and Losers, Golden Lion Goes to Somewhere
The Venice Film Festival, the oldest in the world, is winding up its 67th edition, my first. (UPDATE: The Golden Lion award went to Sofia Coppola's Somewhere on Saturday amid charges of favoritism on the part of jury president Quentin Tarantino; they once dated.) Venice is more intimate than Cannes, with less of a junket/market/party/circus feel, and very European. And yet for seven years fest director Marco Muller has lured more than a few star-studded Hollywood event films to the Lido (the small island is a vaporetto-ride from the most elegant tourist attraction in Europe). (Check out my flip cam interview with Muller below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2010 12:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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