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Thompson on Hollywood

Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, is Football Scion Who Changed Her Name

The new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara, 24, just got a huge boost up the ladder to rising stardom.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • August 16, 2010 10:45 AM
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  • 1 Comment

David Michod Talks Aussie Gangster Flick Animal Kingdom: Sprawl vs. Menace

David Michod Talks Aussie Gangster Flick Animal Kingdom: Sprawl vs. Menace
Australian hit Animal Kingdom, which just opened in limited stateside release to stellar reviews, is that rare movie that surprises you with the discovery of an exciting new writer-director. David Michod's crime drama won the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic world cinema at Sundance last January, where Sony Pictures Classics scooped it up. One performance is emerging from the film's ensemble as a potential awards contender: Jacki Weaver's powerful matriarch.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2010 8:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Boyle's 127 Hours To Close London Film Fest

Boyle's 127 Hours To Close London Film Fest
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is set to close October's London Film Festival (after playing Toronto, and most likely, Telluride, which debuted Slumdog Millionaire). London also played Brit Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. 127 Hours portrays the true struggle of Aron Ralston, the American hiker who was trapped under a boulder in 2003 and managed to survive by severing his arm with a dull pocketknife. James Franco stars in the Fox Searchlight film, which opens stateside November 5.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 13, 2010 12:23 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film

Manly Movie Stars: Rodrigue Talks the Evolution of Masculinity in Film
Almost two years ago, Anne Thompson asked "Where have the manly movie stars gone?," and investigated the entertainment industry's ongoing search for traditional male leads that aren't borrowed from the UK, Australia or Europe to commandeer Hollywood's most testosterone-needy films. While America lays claim to the boy-men niche with the likes of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves, Jake Gyllenhaal and any male in a Judd Apatow film, Hollywood's most- masculine male leads are more often than not played by foreigners; Christian Bale (a Brit) and Heath Ledger (an Aussie) were case-in-point as the stars of 2008's highest grossing film, The Dark Knight.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 12, 2010 8:28 AM
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  • 21 Comments

Jennifer Lawrence Builds Herself; New Hollywood Formula: Multiple Stars

-W Magazine's September issue features eight young actresses they call "The Brave Ones." The most notable is Winter's Bone 20-year-old breakout Jennifer Lawrence, who tells interviewer Lynn Hirschberg: "I don't feel young." Indeed, compared to her twenty-something peers, she seems wise beyond her years. The New Yorker's David Denby wrote that Sundance jury prize winner Winter's Bone "would be unimaginable with anyone less charismatic playing Ree…She’s more believable as a heroic character than any of the men we’ve seen peacocking through movies recently.” When teenage Lawrence was gunning for the lead role of Ree Dolly, the issue was that she was too pretty. She recalls flying the red-eye (which helped her to look more ragged) to New York to audition a second time: suddenly her prettiness wasn't an issue. She tells Hirschberg, “There are actresses who build themselves, and then there are actresses who are built by others...I want to build myself.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 12, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lively vs. Johansson for Cuaron's Gravity; Aniston vs. O'Reilly on Parenthood; Hendricks Talks

-Two young actresses are pitted against each other for the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity as the lone survivor of a failed space telescope repair mission who is trying to get home. Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively are vying for the part in the project, reports THR's Heat Vision blog, which was originally set up at Universal as an Angelina Jolie vehicle. The Cast Away-esque film is now set to push either Johansson or Lively out of a sidekick role and into the spotlight; Robert Downey Jr.'s character in the film takes a back seat to the astronaut trying to get home to her daughter.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 11, 2010 5:29 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Directors Talk: Vaughn on Super-Hero Movies, Cameron on Avatar 2 and Oil, Murphy on Eat, Pray, Love

- Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) tells Hero Complex that the quality control of super hero movies (which have been "mined to death") is "not what it's supposed to be." Vaughn jumped on the chance to do X-Men: First Class, because people are getting bored of the super-hero frenzy, which can't last forever. After producing, directing and co-writing Kick-Ass, a big budget superhero film is something Vaughn has always wanted to do - and an opportunity that may not be on offer again. He withdrew from the opportunity to direct the third X-Men installment (he didn't feel ready at the time), and it went to Brett Ratner. Now Vaughn says that he would have done a better job (100 times better to be exact). When X-Men: First Class comes out next summer, the box office will be crowded with protagonists in tights, like Captain America, Thor and Green Lantern - what Vaughn calls a too-crowded room.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 9, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Mid-Summer Box Office Wrap: Top Ten Chart, Studio Report Card

At mid-summer, the box office is lagging just behind last year's pace and ticket sales are flat, reports Anthony D'Alessandro, who charts the season's winners, losers and studio market shares so far (as of last weekend). Will red-hot Inception take the number one box office crown from Toy Story 3? Stay tuned, as numbers and rankings will change by Labor Day.
  • By Anthony D'Allessandro
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  • August 5, 2010 5:37 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Inception is Mad Men: Dom is Don

Pop Watch's Jeff Jensen argues that Mad Men's Don (Draper [Jon Hamm]) is in fact the same "heroic anti-hero" as Inception's Dom (Cobb [Leonardo DiCaprio]) - and not just because of the varying consonant. He insists that the TV show and film are very much the same thing, with only a few differences ("period setting" and "Lionel Richie-inspired dancing-on-the-ceiling special effects").
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 4, 2010 5:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Bullock and Carell on Abstinence Teacher, Morgan to Replace CNN's King, Cairo Time's Clarkson

-Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (teamed with LMS producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa) are back on board to direct the adaptation of Tom Perrotta's book The Abstinence Teacher. The project had been stalled after Warner Independent Pictures was shuttered. Production Weekly has posted Sandra Bullock and Steve Carell as attached to play a Middle American divorced sex ed teacher and her daughter's born-again soccer coach, respectively. That should help this attractive package to finally get made.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 2, 2010 3:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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