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TIFF: Audience vs. Critics

Three tracks of movies screen in Toronto: high-brow innovative cinema to intrigue critics and cinephiles, movies with news content for the hungry media, and pics that wow the film fans in theaters. The most fortunate--breakouts like Jason Reitman's Juno, Joe Wright's Atonement, Craig Gillespie's Lars and the Real Girl, and Sean Penn's Into the Wild--do it all.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2007 8:20 AM
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TIFF: Atonement, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

It was a Working Title double-header today. First, the Oscar contender: Atonement is breathtakingly assured. During Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice, I smiled at the screen with pleasure. He took you through these people's rooms, their lives, their conversations, hopes, dreams. He made you care about them. The emotions were believably large within an intimate space. He didn't let the moviemaking overwhelm the story, he kept the cuts coming, moving fast, the dancing was spectacular. It felt modern, up-to-date, not stuck in some deadly stuffy period past. And Keira Knightley gave a winning, Oscar-nominated performance. (Here's her interview in the London Times.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2007 8:24 AM
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TIFF: Flying into Toronto; Eastern Promises

It's nuts to take a 7 AM flight; it means nobody gets any sleep. But I was not the only industryite flying Air Canada early Saturday morning.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2007 8:27 AM
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Telluride Wrap: Larry Gross on Jenkins' Savages, Haynes' I'm Not There, Penn's Into the Wild

Well, I wasn't in Telluride this year. I was sidelined with my feet up recovering from a fractured metatarsal (that's what I get for hiking along a bike path in broad daylight), so here's brainy NYU grad and screenwriter Larry Gross (Geronimo), who writes even better than he talks. I agree with him on Tamara Jenkins' Savages. It's so well written, directed and acted (by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney and Philip Bosco) that the Academy and adult audiences at large will inevitably respond well. Fox Searchlight will push hard for Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 4, 2007 8:41 AM
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Comic-Con Wrap: Iron Man, Marvel, Hulk, Watchmen, Narnia, Golden Compass, Shoot 'Em Up

While Comic-Cons past have heralded the advent of such future blockbusters as 300 and Superman Returns, this year only Jon Favreau’s new Marvel entry starring Robert Downey, Jr. as the mighty Iron Man roused the fan hordes in the 6000-seat Hall H to rise up and give a standing O. The crowds also responded well to Pixar's Wall-E, from Finding Nemo creator Andrew Stanton, about a robot trash compactor left behind on earth, who is being "voiced" by sound wizard Ben Burtt, who created the whistle-language for Star Wars' R2D2.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 31, 2007 4:34 AM
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Comic-Con: Jameson Wants Johansson to Star in Biopic

[Posted by Erin Maxwell]Not many folks in the adult industry can claim A-list status. Despite the fact that the adult film market is a billion-dollar one, its only recently that H'wood moguls and the beautiful people have begun to acknowledge its presence. Most of this is due to the diligent efforts of Ms. Jenna Jameson.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 30, 2007 4:50 AM
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LAFF: Bloggers Poolside Chat

I had fun moderating the blogging panel poolside at the W. From right, Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, Kate Coe of Fishbowl LA, Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere and I all agreed that we are obsessed; speed is of the essence, although, Stone said, one can always throw something up fast and tweak it later.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2007 6:21 AM
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Transformers: LAFF Premiere

Transformers took over Westwood last night, playing on multiple screens with crowds jamming Broxton Avenue will-call tables and an after-party on the street.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 28, 2007 6:26 AM
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Oceans Gang and Hollywood Salute Pacino at AFI

At the Oceans Thirteen premiere in Cannes, the movie's arch-villain, Al Pacino, was noticeably absent. The actor was back in L.A., producer Jerry Weintraub told the Cannes press corps, because he was prepping for his AFI Life Achievement Award. On the beach in Cannes, the Oceans gang taped a video tribute (in Cantonese) which played at the AFI ceremony on June 7, because most of them went to Vegas to promote the film. Andy Garcia did show up, however, and gave the best and most revealing tribute to his The Godfather: Part III costar of the long night at Hollywood & Highland's Kodak Theatre. (The show will air June 19th on USA Network.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 9, 2007 6:52 AM
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Oceans Gang Hits Croisette

Raucous laughter hit the Palais during the morning screening of Oceans Thirteen, which was followed by an equally entertaining press conference as Steven Soderbergh and his Oceans Thirteen gang goofed on themselves and the assembled press corps.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 24, 2007 7:15 AM
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