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Thompson on Hollywood

Now and Then: Hitchcock's Bad-Ass '40s Brunettes Were the Lead-Up to Those '50s Icy Blondes

My favorite words in the movies come from the dusky, sultry opening minutes of "Rear Window" (1954), as Grace Kelly's New York socialite glides through L.B. Jefferies' (James Stewart) dim apartment, switching on the lights. "From top to bottom," she announces herself. "Lisa." Flick. "Carol." Flick. "Fremont." Flick.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • March 19, 2013 2:54 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Lunch Nominees Q & A: Chastain, Lawrence, Hathaway, Adams, Washington, Jackman, Cooper and More

Among the nominated stars stopping by the interview room on their way to the Oscar Nominees Luncheon were Ben Affleck, Tim Burton, Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Quvenzhane Wallis, Robert De Niro, Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Anne Hathaway and Jacki Weaver. Absent were Daniel Day Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, Emmanuelle Riva, Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Check out highlights of what each had to say below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 4, 2013 5:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Now and Then: A 'Zero Dark Thirty' Piece That's (Mostly) Not About Torture

We are Maya. That's the first thought that comes to mind about Jessica Chastain's tireless, obsessed CIA analyst in "Zero Dark Thirty," a "motherfucker" who's been chasing Osama bin Laden for twelve years — nearly the same length of time as this country's impossible war.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 22, 2013 1:22 PM
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  • 0 Comments

2012 Movie Roles That Should Have Gone to Someone Else

As we look back at the year in film, we find -- as always -- there's room for improvement. Often by simply replacing a lead actor, a world of difference could be made on the overall effect of the film. Films come together the way they do for a reason. Often it's more about a star's marquee value or perceived bankability than it is about the part they are playing. Alas, here are the 2012 Movie Roles That Should Have Gone to Someone Else.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 28, 2012 4:10 PM
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  • 11 Comments

DVD Review: 'The Words' Has A Serious Case of Writer's Block

It would be easy to come away from "The Words" with the impression that writing is a stiff, musty line of work — all grand ballrooms, solemn readings, and blue-blooded accents, a veritable Titanic of pretensions. This would be a mistake. The only sinking ship here is the film itself.
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 26, 2012 6:11 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Best Performances of 2012: A Good Year for the Broken, Disturbed and Driven

A great year in film means a great year in acting. We've celebrated our Top Ten Films of 2012, and now it's time to give thanks for some of the performances that moved us this year.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 25, 2012 7:00 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Now and Then: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Early in "Meet Me in St. Louis," Esther Smith (Judy Garland) pines for the boy next door. Lent silky grace by Garland's perfect warble, Esther describes love — and, by extension, Vincente Minnelli's 1944 classic. "I want it to be something strange and wonderful," she says. "Something I'll always remember."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 24, 2012 2:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Forbes' Top-Grossing Actors of 2012: Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart and Christian Bale

Forbes names the Top Grossing Actors of 2012, based on the global box office take of their films. Robert Downey Jr. takes the top spot; Forbes credits the worldwide success of "The Avengers" ($1.5 billion) to his "charm and humor" while noting that he'll be walking away with more money than his co-superheroes...
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • December 24, 2012 12:13 PM
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  • 11 Comments

Now and Then: The Rachel Weisz Argument, or the Best Performers of the Year

Last week, the NYFCC awarded Rachel Weisz its Best Actress prize for her sumptuous period turn in "The Deep Blue Sea," and well-deserved it was. But it reminded me of what I'm calling the Rachel Weisz Argument: an actor's entire body of work in a given year is a better measure of "best."
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • December 11, 2012 4:49 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Jessica Chastain on CIA Agents & Actresses, Sex Symbol Status & Redheads in British GQ

British GQ got Jessica Chastain to strip down for a bedroom-set photo shoot--often the standard for young actresses breaking into the mainstream with sex-symbol status, whether they want to do it or not (in the THR Actresses roundtable the women share stories). But Chastain seems genuinely happy to be playing the part.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 29, 2012 1:20 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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