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Thompson on Hollywood

Review: Pre-'Les Mis,' Minnie Driver & Gang Sing Live in Welsh High School Musical 'Hunky Dory'

Welsh filmmaker Marc Evans' elegiac, semi-autobiographical high school musical "Hunky Dory," which played at SXSW last year after its UK release, is finally opening in NY and LA theaters and on VOD March 22 via distrib Variance. The delightful comedy written by Laurence Coriat, set in the sweltering hot summer of 1976, stars a winning Minnie Driver as a drama teacher who mounts a glam rock version of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 21, 2013 4:02 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Magnolia Acquires Sundance and SXSW Music Doc 'Muscle Shoals'

Magnolia Pictures likes docs. The indie distributor has acquired US rights to Greg "Freddy" Camalier's Sundance entry "Muscle Shoals," a documentary about the Alabama Muscle Shoals recording studio that spawned some of the greatest records of all time. Produced by Stephen Badger and Camalier, the film includes interviews with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys, Bono and more. The film is debuting in Austin Tuesday at the Paramount Theater as part of the SXSW Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 12, 2013 2:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

When Hollywood Met Broadway: Screen Stars Hit the Stage as Stage-to-Screen Musicals (and Vice-Versa) Move Through the Pipeline

Let's face it, movie musicals are usually bad. Don't get me wrong, nobody should love them more than me: I'm a movie nerd and a musical nerd, so a movie musical should be exactly what the doctor ordered. But sometimes the whole ends up a lot less than the sum of its parts. Think pickles plus peanut butter: Just. Don't. Do it. (Or think "Rock of Ages." Exactly.) But every now and again something like "Les Miserables" happens and we remember that movie musicals can be awesome. Sure, they're bombastic and unrealistic. Yes, it's weird that people start singing on the street and orchestral music seeps out of the very air.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • February 28, 2013 12:35 PM
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  • 8 Comments

Yes It's True: Oscar Nominee Quvenzhane Wallis Will Topline Musical Reboot 'Annie'

The rumors that Oscar-nominated best actress Quvenzhane Wallis, 9, would star in a musical reboot of "Annie" are true. Overbrook Entertainment, Marcy Media, director Will Gluck and Sony Pictures Entertainment have confirmed that the diminutive New Orleans star of "Beasts of the Southern Wild" will take the title role of Annie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2013 2:06 PM
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  • 5 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Music Oscar Race

Like cinematography, production design, editing, and sound, the Oscar-nominated music scores are all organically tied to their movies in very personal ways. So it's hard to pick a winner among such stalwarts as Alexandre Desplat ("Argo"), Thomas Newman ("Skyfall"), Mychael Danna ("Life of Pi"), and Dario Marianelli ("Anna Karenina") along with the venerable old warhorse, John Williams ("Lincoln"). Still, I keep hearing a lot about Danna being the favorite in a very close race.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 15, 2013 3:41 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Interactive: The Music Behind 'A Late Quartet'

  • By Jacob Combs
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  • February 11, 2013 6:38 AM
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  • 0 Comments

'Les Miserables' Soundtrack Scores on Charts, Hathaway's 'I Dreamed a Dream' Soars

When "Les Miserables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack" debuted on December 21, it claimed the top spot of Billboard's soundtrack chart. In three days it sold 43,000 copies, 60% of which were digital downloads. The most popular of the 20 tracks included in the album is Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" (20,000 copies sold in three days); it may win her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The soundtrack has also taken the top spot on both iTunes (before being pushed to No. 2 by Mumford & Sons' "Babel") and Amazon. "I Dreamed a Dream" is iTunes' 27th most-downloaded track.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 2, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment

'Les Miserables' Review Round-Up; Detractors Could Hurt Musical's Oscar Bid

Christmas Day saw two new openings of award-season contenders, "Les Miserables" and "Django Unchained." (We will parse their box office on Thursday.) But judging from social media chatter as well as reviews, it is clear that Tom Hooper's approach to the musical may be too radical for many moviegoers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 26, 2012 4:08 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Take Our Poll: Best Live-Action Movie Musical of the Last 75 Years

In celebration of "Les Miserables," HitFix has listed the 20 best movie musicals of the last 50 years. Their top five? "The Sound of Music," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," "Mary Poppins," "Cabaret," and "Little Shop of Horrors" in first place.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 24, 2012 2:20 PM
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  • 15 Comments

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