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Thompson on Hollywood

Emmy Watch: HBO Dominates TV Movie Race with Cinema Verite, Mildred Pierce

The Emmy race is under way. And Amy Dawes will be covering it in her new weekly Emmy Watch column.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • April 14, 2011 6:28 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Barbara Kopple Talks HBO Gun Control Doc, Gun Fight: "Reason is Lost"

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple (Harlan County, U.S.A., American Dreams, Shut Up and Sing) is premiering her latest, HBO Documentary's Gun Fight, on HBO April 13, three days before the fourth anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting (33 people killed) and a week before the 12 year anniversary of the Columbine Massacre (12 people killed).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 8, 2011 8:29 AM
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Weintraub Talks His Way: from Presley, Sinatra, the Mafia and Soderbergh to His Two Women

Jerry Weintraub is one of those larger-than-life Hollywood figures who helped to define the image of what a movie producer is. At age 73 he 's enjoying a resurgence of sorts that began with Steven Soderbergh's Oceans Eleven series and continued with his autobiography When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead (back on top of paperback bestseller lists) and now, the entertaining Doug McGrath TV doc His Way, which debuts on HBO April 4.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2011 7:15 AM
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TV Over Movies: from Mildred Pierce and Nurse Jackie to Shameless and Justified

Reading the papers Friday morning, I realized that I'm more interested in Camelot, The Kennedys, The Borgias, Mildred Pierce and the American version of Scandinavian hit The Killing than the new movie reviews. It turns out that I can skip Camelot and The Kennedys, which earned lousy notices. And I'm already watching Todd Haynes' gorgeously-mounted HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce, which is well-acted by Kate Winslet, Melissa Leo, Guy Pearce and Mare Winningham, but judging from the draggy first two episodes, didn't need to be stretched to five installments. And David Ulin's review made me want to go back to my fave James Cain paperbacks, which I read in my 20s. Time to make a pitch to my book group.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 1, 2011 6:29 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Actress Watch: Williams' Monroe, Green's Dark Shadows, Winslet the "Only Actress" for Mildred Pierce

- One of Michelle Williams's co-stars in The Weinstein Co.'s My Week With Marilyn, Dougray Scott, tells the Irish Independent that she is "amazing" portraying Monroe. He adds, "I can imagine [Michelle felt pressure] but she was amazing. She's a wonderful actress and lovely girl as well. I had great fun working with her." Simon Curtis directed the film, which is based on the diary of an assistant, Colin Clark, who worked on the set of The Prince And The Showgirl in 1956. Of his own role, that of Monroe's husband, playwright Arthur Miller, Scott says "[he is] such an iconic, interesting, enigmatic character, I had great fun researching and filming that."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 25, 2011 1:47 AM
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Pilot Casting: Sevigny for Lizzie Borden, Drescher Happily Divorced, Chenoweth's Christian Bitches

- Several actresses are lining up TV pilots. Chloe Sevigny, of Big Love (which is winding up its final fifth season run on HBO), is attached to star in an HBO miniseries, reports Variety, about the infamous Lizzie Borden (pictured, 1890), to be produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman's Playtone.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 15, 2011 6:48 AM
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Things I Learned On the Awards Party Circuit

Things I Learned On the Awards Party Circuit
On Oscar night I started on the red carpet --taking pictures, grabbing video interviews and tweeting madly--and then repaired to the interview room to listen to the show and backstage Q and As (transcripts here). After the best picture winners for The King's Speech had wrapped up, I walked over to the Governor's Ball just as Nicole Kidman and husband Keith Urban were leaving, heading down the escalator; the trio of winning producers, Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, posed for me with their Oscars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 1, 2011 2:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Trailer Watch: Winslet, Leo, Pearce and Wood in HBO's Mildred Pierce

Check out Kate Winslet, Evan Rachel Wood, Guy Pearce and Melissa Leo in the latest trailer for Todd Haynes' mini-series retelling of the 1945 Joan Crawford classic Mildred Pierce. The five-part HBO series premieres March 27. Here is Amy Dawes' interview with Winslet and Haynes.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 9, 2011 4:36 AM
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Oscar Watch: Inception Sweeps Visual Effects Awards with Four Wins, Dragon Beats Toy Story 3

It's no surprise that Chris Nolan's Inception swept the 9th Visual Effects Society Awards with four wins including Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects Driven Motion Picture. The epic visual extravaganza is also expected to score the VFX and other technical awards on Oscar night February 27.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 2, 2011 3:39 AM
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EXCLUSIVE: Kenner, Weiss Talk HBO Doc "When Strangers Click"

HBO doc When Strangers Click premieres Valentine's Day. Below, director Oscar nominee Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and producer Marc Weiss answer some questions about why they made this film about finding love and human connection online, as well as their process: What was the most surprising thing you learned during the making of When Stranger Click?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 28, 2011 7:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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