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Thompson on Hollywood

Julia Roberts Awarded at American Cinematheque Ball; Charlie Wilson's War Trailer

At Friday night's 22nd annual American Cinematheque Ball at the Beverly Hilton (which AMC will air December 5), honoree Julia Roberts sat with director Mike Nichols, husband Danny Moder, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Leslee Dart, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and Kevin Huvane of CAA. "It's hard to think when my dress is this snug," said Roberts after accepting the award from Pelican Brief co-star Denzel Washington. "More than anything, I am just the most proud wife and mother of the three most amazing children and that is all I could ever ask for. And the widening of my life and my hips is the true gift of my husband Danny, who I'd just be so lonely without."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 12, 2007 6:49 AM
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Oscar Watch: Early Line on Oscar Actresses

As more and more of this year's would-be Oscar contenders have been screened, Oscar pundits are starting to declare their favorites. MCN's Gurus 'o Gold makes the following Best Actress picks:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 9, 2007 7:29 AM
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Michael Clayton Vs. Leatherheads; Gilroy Talks

Things are looking up for Michael Clayton, which opened to rave reviews (a terrific 88% fresh on rotten tomatoes) and boffo initial box office in limited release.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2007 7:36 AM
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TIFF: Confessions of a WireImage Photographer

Photographer Jeff Vespa (below right, with Elizabeth: The Golden Age star Abbie Cornish) is a well-known fixture in Hollywood. He lives on the red carpet. His busiest season starts in Venice in late August, followed by the Toronto and New York fests and the long awards season, through Sundance and the Golden Globes in January, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Oscars and finally, Cannes in May. In the summer, he rests. Vespa knows everyone. He meets many stars and directors at film festivals, where they first learn to trust him. Then they see him at the L.A. premieres and events he covers. Vespa and eight partners co-founded the Internet photo agency WireImage in January, 2001, which was recently acquired in a $207-million cash deal by rival agency Getty. Vespa edits and posts his photos for license online. (He makes sure everyone looks good.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 14, 2007 8:16 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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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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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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DiCaprio Talks, Cannes Party Hopping

It was fun taking a breather at the Hotel du Cap Saturday to interview Leo DiCaprio. Warner Independent shuttled various journos from the Palais along the Mediterranean coast to the Cap d'Antibes. We walked through the sun-dappled woods to a series of cabanas by the water, where we hung out until Leo arrived. He was wearing Prada shades, a blue shirt and jeans, but eventually took the shades off; he was smart and charming. Here's the story I filed on the web. And here's Variety's review.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2007 7:31 AM
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