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Thompson on Hollywood

Interview Watch: Brutal Honesty from Jeremy Renner, Streep & Coen Talk Film in China, Knightley on Dangerous Method & Anna Karenina

Here's some brutal honesty from Jeremy Renner, whose "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol" comes out December 21, followed by "The Avengers" in May 2012. Career comes first: "Even now, any woman would take a No. 2 seat to my job.” No thanks, "Transformers": "Thank God I don’t have to do a monologue to a robot. I don’t know how Shia, God bless him, does that.” As for celebrity attention? “I don’t pay attention to that horseshit." And a touch of film wisdom, via his experience building houses:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 22, 2011 1:08 PM
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London Boulevard and Melancholia Hit VOD Before Theaters

Two indie films with strong casts are available right now on VOD before they hit movie theaters on November 11. Magnolia is releasing controversy-magnet Lars von Trier's Melancholia, starring Cannes best actress winner Kirsten Dunst, on OnDemand, iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Playstation and Zune.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 7, 2011 9:34 AM
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  • 8 Comments

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina Begins Shooting for Working Title: Knightley Leads Strong Cast

Joe Wright has begun shooting his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's beloved classic, Anna Karenina. Shooting in the UK and Russia with a script adapted by Tom Stoppard, the film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams and Ruth Wilson. Working Title's Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing alongside Paul Webster (they successfully collaborated on Wright's Pride & Prejudice and Atonement). Wright is also bringing back his cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, costume designer Jacqueline Durran and production designer Sarah Greenwood. One thing is for sure: The film is going to look amazing. Jane Eyre editor Melanie Ann Oliver is also joining Wright's team.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 4, 2011 5:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories

Oscar Talk: Ides of March's Clooney vs. Gosling vs. Hoffman, Supporting Categories
Now that we've both seen George Clooney's political thriller The Ides of March, Kris Tapley and I dig into not only Oscar prospects for that film, but the list of supporting players in contention for this year. We also debate the respective box office fates of Drive and Warrior as well as how success in theaters impacts a film's awards chances. (CORRECTION: Yes, Clooney won best supporting actor for Syriana and not Good Night, and Good Luck.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 30, 2011 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers

Toronto Wrap: Best of Fest, Oscar Boosts, Winners and Losers
The trick with the fall film festivals is to gauge expectations going in vs. what was actually achieved. Various distributors launched their fall slates, and watched with pleasure or horror at how their movies were received by audiences and critics. Oscar contenders either moved forward in the awards race, or were pushed back. Other indies hoped their films would be picked up by the right distributor in time for this year's Oscar race. Some were, some weren't. It's tough for films that have already debuted at other festivals to pick up new momentum, although the press will bank features for release. The biggest noise goes to the new players, always.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 21, 2011 7:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs

Oscar Talk Post-Telluride, Pre-Toronto: Descendants, Shame, Dangerous Method, Albert Nobbs
In Contention's Kris Tapley and I hit a timing snag on Oscar Talk this week, with him three hours behind in Los Angeles and me traveling to the Toronto Fest. We grabbed a shortish Oscar Talk nonetheless, and a cantankerous one, as we disagree on everything, it seems, except the exciting prospect of Eddie Murphy as Oscar host. We can promise you a longer one next week, when we will have seen even more films. We are both bullish on Alexander Payne's The Descendants, argue over Glenn Close's Albert Nobbs, Steve McQueen's Shame and David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2011 6:57 AM
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Working Title Assembles Joe Wright's Anna Karenina and Tom Hooper's Les Miz

Joe Wright has firmed up his cast, led by Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson, for his epic film of Tolstoy's classic Anna Karenina. This will be Joe Wright's third film for Working Title, Focus Features and UPI, following other successful Knightley-starrers, 2005's Pride & Prejudice and 2007's Oscar-nominated Atonement. Knightley has received mixed reviews for her performance in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method. Wright also shot The Soloist for Working Title and Hanna for Focus.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 9, 2011 2:30 AM
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Telluride Reviews: Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method Isn't for Everyone; Knightley Inspires Debate

Telluride Reviews: Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method Isn't for Everyone; Knightley Inspires Debate
David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method has stirred up a wide range of reaction at Venice and Telluride. Cronenberg and writer Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) conduct a brainy, controlled examination of the intense relationships between the pioneers of psychoanalysis, elder Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and younger accolyte Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and two well-educated but neurotic patients (Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassell) who challenge their ideas about sexuality and societal constraints. There's a lot going on in this intellectual historical drama, which is ably carried by some of the world's sexiest movie actors. (See a sampling of early reviews below.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 5, 2011 6:01 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond

Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond
Oscar Talk is back. The first podcast of the fall season with In Contention's Kris Tapley runs for a good hour, so gird your loins, Oscar mavens, listen and weep. We cover the Cannes films, the summer releases, the Fall Festival entries and the end-of-year possibilities. We talk Meryl and Glenn and Malick and Chastain, debate the merits of sleeper Warrior and admit that we both cried over cancer patient Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50. Next week we'll post from Telluride. The award season begins.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Fall Fest Trailer Watch: From Hysteria and Dangerous Method to Anonymous and Scorsese's Harrison

Fall Fest Trailer Watch: From Hysteria and Dangerous Method to Anonymous and Scorsese's Harrison
We're collecting trailers from films coming up on the fall fest circuit. A smattering is below.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 18, 2011 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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