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Thompson on Hollywood

Celeb Watch: The Fighter's "Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet," Gyllenhaal and Hathaway Go Naked

Celeb Watch: The Fighter's "Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet," Gyllenhaal and Hathaway Go Naked
While AFI Fest opener Love & Other Drugs (check out its naked stars below) failed to yield much Oscar buzz, the fest's surprise screening of the The Fighter (here's the TOH review) boosted the prospects for Christian Bale's performance as the crackhead brother to Mark Wahlberg's punchy welterweight. It remains to be seen what the impact on Academy voters will be of John H. Richardson's lengthy and entertaining interview in Esquire with the Batman star, entitled "Christian Bale May Kill Someone Yet." From Newsies to The Machinist, this actor--who admits to having never seen Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story or Breakfast at Tiffany's---is as intense in real life as he is on screen. Straddling the line between pulling teeth and Bale's attempts to resist definition, Richardson asks Bale about the risks of being misunderstood:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 18, 2010 6:17 AM
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  • 3 Comments

AFI Fest Scores Again with Free Screenings and Awards Contenders King's Speech, Fighter, Black Swan

The AFI Fest closed November 11 with the jammed L.A. premiere of Darren Aronofsky's ballet-world thriller Black Swan attended by the director and his cast, Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder and Vincent Cassel. Here's a fest wrap-up from Justin Lowe (the Fest posted videos from some of the galas): Playing to a capacity crowd at the historic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with all the principal cast attending, Black Swan is a dramatic tour de force, underpinned by Natalie Portman’s staggering portrayal of a lead ballerina battling for her emotional and professional survival.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • November 15, 2010 4:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Love & Other Drugs Early Reviews: "Shockingly Conventional," "Addictive," "Verbal Tartness"

Love & Other Drugs Early Reviews: "Shockingly Conventional," "Addictive," "Verbal Tartness"
Last night I sat in a Fox screening room packed with critics to see Edward Zwick's Love & Other Drugs. Writer-director Zwick has done what I have long wanted him to do--get into the James L. Brooks/Nancy Meyers smart comedy mode--as he did with partner Marshall Herskovitz (who adapted Jamie Reidy's book Hard Sell with Zwick and Charles Randolph) for so many great TV series, from 30 Something to Relativity. While previous Zwick efforts such as Defiance, Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai have tended toward high-minded commercial dramas packed with action, Love & Other Drugs is a Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway romantic comedy with dramatic overtones--and plenty of artfully constructed sex and nudity.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 5:45 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Roles That Could Have Been, Women vs. Horror, Hereafter's Cecile de France

- A look back at the roles that got away might soothe Mel Gibson's nerves now that his Hangover 2 role has gone to Liam Neeson. (The LAT's Patrick Goldstein looks at how loose lips lose jobs.) Here's a sampling, courtesy of TheDailyBeast: Demi Moore lost the lead in 1983's Flashdance to Jennifer Beals; Matthew McConaughey lost Jack Dawson in 1997's Titanic to Leonardo DiCaprio; Sandra Bullock lost Runaway Bride to Julia Roberts in 1999, the same year Michael Cera competed with Haley Joel Osment for The Sixth Sense; Meryl Streep was at one point lined up to play Evita before Madonna took over in 1996; Charlize Theron was in the running for Elizabeth Berkley's stripper in Showgirls in 1995; Jake Gyllenhaal auditioned for Ewan McGregor's role in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical Moulin Rouge!; and Robert Redford chased Dustin Hoffman's part in 1967's The Graduate.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 26, 2010 4:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Great Gatsby: Pitt vs. Pitt, Mulligan vs. Portman, Casting Poll

- The rumored Great Gatsby remake isn't that far along, it seems. While Deadline sets the record straight on the project's future--the remake might be Baz Luhrmann's next picture, but so might an original musical at Media Rights Capital--the movie does inspire juicy casting ideas.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2010 8:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Love & Other Drugs and Black Swan To Bookend AFI Fest

Love & Other Drugs and Black Swan To Bookend AFI Fest
The American Film Institute's 2010 Festival will open November 4 in Los Angeles with the world premiere of Edward Zwick's Love & Other Drugs starring Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal. Closing the fest on November 11 is Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel and Mila Kunis (which opened Venice earlier this month).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 23, 2010 5:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Fassbender/McQueen Reunite, Studio Critique, Love And Other Drugs, Mulligan Talks Never Let Me Go

- The Guardian calls Hollywood's summer box office victory - approximately a 2.4% lead on 2009 - a hollow one; "the abiding memory of summer 2010 will be of a decline in standards" (the standards of storytelling, not technical effects). The arguments behind this hollow victory include the decline in actual people in theatre seats (lowest since 1997) and the rise in revenue (thanks, 3-D), the root of which conflicts with studios' growing challenge to stay relevant amongst growing sources of alternative entertainment (if they're only making movies for profit, they're undermining the argument for preserving the relevance of film). The Guardian also disses too many studio-approved screenplays that "too often settle for tired storylines, hackneyed dialogue and vacuous characters hiding behind music video sensibilities and loud explosions." The Guardian does see hope in the next year (including Never Let Me Go, but warns another "creatively impoverished" season of films will descend upon us sooner or later.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 8, 2010 7:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer and Awards Watch: Love and Other Drugs

Twentieth Century Fox is planning an awards-campaign for its R-rated sexy romance Love and Other Drugs, from writer-director-producer Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond). He is that rare studio director who is conversant in both the language of mainstream big-budget moviemaking and intimate drama. He and partner Marshall Herskovitz delivered the acutely-observed TV series Thirtysomething, Once and Again, Relativity and My So-Called Life. So much sweat and tears go into such long-running shows that Zwick can be forgiven for steering toward testosterone action in his movie work.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 15, 2010 6:36 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Career Watch: Prince of Persia Setback for Rising Star Gyllenhaal

Career Watch: Prince of Persia Setback for Rising Star Gyllenhaal
No question that summer disappointment Prince of Persia marks a rare setback for Jake Gyllenhaal. Critics assailed his attempt to carry a Jerry Bruckheimer sword-and-sandal action tentpole, but the actor remains on Hollywood's list of go-to rising stars. Here's a taste of my latest Inside Movies Career Watch column:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 7, 2010 11:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia

What Went Wrong with Prince of Persia
I'd rather be watching HBO. That's my new T-shirt mantra. This holiday weekend I'll lay odds, sight unseen, that watching the third installment (HBO Saturday 9 PM) of writer Peter Morgan's Tony Blair trilogy, The Special Relationship, about the British ex-prime minister's relationship with then-president Bill Clinton (Dennis Quaid) will prove more satisfying than the miscast, over-wrought $200-million Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time or the shoddily written and executed Sex and the City 2, which hordes of women will flock to see, nasty reviews be damned.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 28, 2010 11:33 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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