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Thompson on Hollywood

Avatar: Cameron Delivers Joyous Cinema

Avatar: Cameron Delivers Joyous Cinema
James Cameron's Avatar takes you to an exotic world, Pandora, seen through the sad eyes of paraplegic marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he falls in love with tribal princess Neyteri (Zoe Saldana) and her people, the Na'vi.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 11, 2009 3:22 AM
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  • 15 Comments

Jeremy Renner Talks The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner Talks The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner has been breaking out for a long time. The 38-year-old Californian has starred in more than 20 movies, from S.W.A.T. to Dahmer and now, delivers the performance of his career as a fearless, focused dismantler of bombs in Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq thriller The Hurt Locker. There's a good chance that he could land in the fifth slot for the best actor Oscar. My flip cam interview is divided in three parts:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 6:53 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"

Ten Questions for Bright Star's Jane Campion: "I've Never Made a Crap Film"
Bright Star was brilliantly reviewed on the film fest circuit from Cannes to Toronto. But some critics praise its undeniable visual style and directorial panache (the film won a special cinematography prize from the National Board of Review) but find the 19th-century period drama lacking in deep emotion.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 10, 2009 6:26 AM
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  • 1 Comment

20 Questions for District 9's Sharlto Copley

20 Questions for District 9's Sharlto Copley
One Oscar long-shot is South African actor Sharlto Copley, who made an astonishingly assured acting debut in District 9, written and directed by his old friend Neill Blomkamp. Historically, the Academy has been biased against science-fiction. (I assess the Peter Jackson-backed film's Oscar chances.) But the film played well at a recent Screen Actors Guild screening, where I conducted a Q & A with Copley:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 6, 2009 3:13 AM
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  • 1 Comment

20 Questions for Up in the Air's Jason Reitman

20 Questions for Up in the Air's Jason Reitman
It's hard to believe that a filmmaker as assured as Jason Reitman is 32 and has made just three feature films, including Up in the Air, which is about to open limited December 4 after earning raves from audiences and critics on the international film fest circuit. Here he talks about his airline obsession, pie chart, directing George Clooney as well as 60 non-actors who had been laid off, and why this was the right movie to make at the right time.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 29, 2009 8:46 AM
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  • 8 Comments

John Woo Talks Red Cliff

John Woo Talks Red Cliff
John Woo's historic epic Red Cliff is one of the best films of the year. Already a huge hit in Asia, which financed the original two-part $80-million five-hour war film (the most expensive movie ever produced in China), the two-and-a half-hour western cut of Red Cliff launched stateside last week in New York without much fanfare, and opens on 30 screens in 15 markets including L.A. this holiday weekend. The reviews are strong (Tomatometer 86%, Metascore 73.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 25, 2009 1:12 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Avatar May Debut at Knowles Butt-Numb-A-Thon

AICN's Harry Knowles has long cultivated close friendships with powerful filmmakers. Peter Jackson showed him The Lovely Bones before any one else, and now I hear that James Cameron, who often calls Knowles when he wants to promote something, is trying to override studio Twentieth Century Fox's antipathy toward the Austin-based webmaster (who likes to blast co-chairman Tom Rothman) by giving him Avatar to screen at his annual December 24-hour film marathon Butt-Numb-A-Thon. The BNAT shows classic films as well as such premieres as The Passion of the Christ, Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Dreamgirls, Chicago, Magnolia, Knocked Up, 300 and V for Vendetta.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 24, 2009 9:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Hillcoat Talks The Road

Hillcoat Talks The Road
It's been a long haul for the film adaptation of the 2006 Cormac McCarthy bestseller The Road, which producer Nick Wechsler acquired before it was published. With backing from 2929 Entertainment and distributor The Weinstein Co., he approached Australian director John Hillcoat after he had made the much-admired 2005 western The Proposition, a stylishly gritty take on the genre written by Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce and Danny Huston as estranged brothers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 19, 2009 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens

A Serious Man's Michael Stuhlbarg Talks Coens
In this three-part flipcam interview on the pool terrace of the Sunset Plaza Hotel, A Serious Man star Michael Stuhlbarg talks about how he came to be cast in the period dramedy, working with the Coen brothers, and how he is handling his serious good fortune. The fall release is likely to earn kudos with critics' groups at year's end and could be a factor with the Oscars as well. Will the Academy actors recognize this theater star, or is he too unknown? Well, he has now arrived. Next up: a major HBO series, Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2009 4:29 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Twilight's Pattinson Covers Vanity Fair

Twilight's Pattinson Covers Vanity Fair
I never do junkets. But at Comic-Con a year ago last July, the place went nuts over Twilight star Rob Pattinson. So last November, I knew I had to interview the young Brit actor with my flip cam. Summit gave me a one-on-one with him at the Four Seasons.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 3, 2009 8:56 AM
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  • 8 Comments

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