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Thompson on Hollywood

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer

Jackson's Lovely Bones Trailer
A while back, DreamWorks showed me some footage from Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson's adaptation of Alice Sebold's bestseller The Lovely Bones ; I was knocked out by what I saw. The film looked strong, different, unusual. The images popped. Saoirse Ronin (Atonement) plays the 14-year-old girl who is murdered in 1973 and watches her family from "the inbetween."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2009 4:14 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker

Kathryn Bigelow Talks Hurt Locker
Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, where I interviewed the director at the start of her long road to the Oscars (below). Jeremy Renner breaks out with this movie, which drew raves when it opened June 26 in limited release. Finally, The Hurt Locker didn't need ten best picture slots this year: the movie overcame considerable obstacles en route to landing on many critics' ten-best lists and winning one award after another.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 8:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

An Education Poised for Awards Contention

Lone Scherfig and Nick Hornby's An Education emerged from Sundance as a serious awards contender. Anyone who saw the film there witnessed a remarkable debut: Carey Mulligan boasts Audrey Hepburn-style class, charisma and smarts. In the film, she's well-cast as a sharp and sexy 60s high schooler bursting to break out into the bigger world. Peter Sarsgaard (with an impeccable British accent) is the older rake who gives her what she wants and steals her innocence in the bargain. Sony Pictures Classics should steer this picture to critical praise and major awards.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2009 1:21 AM
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Poster Watch: Bright Star Heads Into Awards Season

Here's the new poster for Jane Campion's Bright Star, which will follow its strong Cannes debut with likely September fest appearances in Telluride and Toronto. Bob Berney's soon-to-be-named new combine with River Road's Bill Pohlad will launch with this high-brow literary romance. The poster seems designed to showcase the film's gorgeous young lovers (Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw play Fannie Brawne and John Keats) in a contemporary way, without the usual ivy trellised period look. What do you think?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 17, 2009 7:03 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Grey Gardens Blurs Lines Between Cable Movies and First-Run

These days, many of the people who aren't interested in what's playing at the multiplex are checking out the new movie opening on HBO instead. Hollywood only has itself to blame. Ignore the adult audience and they'll get out of the moviegoing habit, rent DVDs and subscribe to HBO. This weekend many folks watched the opening of Grey Gardens, starring movie stars Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore (both strong Emmy contenders for Big and Little Edie) instead of going out to see new movie State of Play (which earned a barely respectable 63% on Metacritic to Grey Garden's 77). There was a time when Grey Gardens would have been a theatrical release. Now it's an HBO film--reviewed by the Two Bens on At the Movies:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 20, 2009 7:21 AM
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Trailer Watch: The Hurt Locker

Summit picked up Kathryn Bigelow's riveting, intense Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker out of Toronto, and has posted the latest trailer here. Jeremy Renner, who stars in the new TV series The Unusuals, could break out with this movie, which is set for June 26 release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2009 8:35 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Mortensen Open to Role in The Hobbit

Viggo Mortensen mentioned the possibility of appearing in the Peter Jackson/Guillermo del Toro production of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit while accepting the Jameson Empire Icon Award Monday night in London:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:40 AM
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  • 0 Comments

No Doubt About Viola Davis

Powerhouse theater dynamo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0205626/">Viola Davis, 43, keeps showing up in tiny movie roles--the crackhead in Antwone Fisher, the mother in the hospital in World Trade Center, the anxious Mrs. Miller in Doubt--and each time blows them out of the park. While filming Doubt, Davis was so worried about holding her own in her one 11-minute confrontation with Meryl Streep that she completely failed to recognize that her nose was running. Although writer-director John Patrick Shanley convinced the studio to let him reshoot the scene in order to slow down the pacing, the snot remained. The pivotal confrontation comes as Sister Aloysious tries to find out what Mrs. Miller knows about her son's relationship with Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2008 9:51 AM
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Yates' Revolutionary Road: Novel to Film

The guy could write. The story of Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, told in excruciating detail in Blake Bailey's 2003 A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, moves me, partly because he got so little encouragement, yet went back to writing every morning, hung over or not. And he insisted on drinking and smoking himself to death. But he knew he was a good writer, and that sustained him. Here's my Variety column.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2008 9:11 AM
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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Review

I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Saturday (following the aborted Thursday screening), and have been trying to sort it out ever since.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 23, 2008 8:08 AM
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