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Thompson on Hollywood

Poster Watch: Bright Star Heads Into Awards Season

Here's the new poster for Jane Campion's Bright Star, which will follow its strong Cannes debut with likely September fest appearances in Telluride and Toronto. Bob Berney's soon-to-be-named new combine with River Road's Bill Pohlad will launch with this high-brow literary romance. The poster seems designed to showcase the film's gorgeous young lovers (Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw play Fannie Brawne and John Keats) in a contemporary way, without the usual ivy trellised period look. What do you think?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 17, 2009 7:03 AM
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Public Enemies: Can Depp Save Mann's HD Biopic?

Universal is counting on one thing to open Michael Mann's Public Enemies: Johnny Depp. According to The Ulmer Scale, he's the second most popular movie star in the world, after Will Smith. That's based on his hugely successful roles as broadly comedic, over-the-top Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But while Sweeney Todd wouldn't have done as well without him, Depp can only move the needle so far.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 29, 2009 5:59 AM
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Tarantino Tweaking Basterds, Says Weinstein

My initial story was correct: Quentin Tarantino is not cutting the shit out of Inglourious Basterds. GQ grills Harvey Weinstein about the final cut:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 24, 2009 6:29 AM
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Cheri Looks Good, Falls Flat

It’s hard to get everything to go right on a movie. Many little things can turn a promising project into something that never quite gels.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 23, 2009 11:20 AM
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Tarantino Update

In my interview with Quentin Tarantino, he admits that he plans to go back to the editing room with Inglourious Basterds this June. He rushed the movie, getting it done in less than a year to make Cannes, and delivered a cinephile's fantasy:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 25, 2009 8:25 AM
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Campion on Bright Star

I sat down with New Zealand director Jane Campion at Cannes to talk about Bright Star a full sixteen years after I first met with her, for The Piano, for which she was the only woman to ever win the Palme d'Or in the 62 year history of the fest. Tragically, she lost the child she was carrying that year. Her daughter Ella was born three years later; spending time with her is the main reason Campion has made only four features since The Piano, and took four years off after In the Cut.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 21, 2009 9:13 AM
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Public Enemies' Marion Cotillard Ramps Up

It's rare for a European actress to carve out a career in Hollywood. But honing her English with rounds of Berlitz and winning both the best actress Oscar and Cesar awards for La Vie en Rose have spun Marion Cotillard into a whirlwind of film roles. First, she went to Chicago to shoot Michael Mann's Public Enemies, playing moll Billie Frechette to Johnny Depp's gangster John Dillinger (July 1).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • March 31, 2009 6:31 AM
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No Doubt About Viola Davis

Powerhouse theater dynamo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0205626/">Viola Davis, 43, keeps showing up in tiny movie roles--the crackhead in Antwone Fisher, the mother in the hospital in World Trade Center, the anxious Mrs. Miller in Doubt--and each time blows them out of the park. While filming Doubt, Davis was so worried about holding her own in her one 11-minute confrontation with Meryl Streep that she completely failed to recognize that her nose was running. Although writer-director John Patrick Shanley convinced the studio to let him reshoot the scene in order to slow down the pacing, the snot remained. The pivotal confrontation comes as Sister Aloysious tries to find out what Mrs. Miller knows about her son's relationship with Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2008 9:51 AM
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My Fair Lady: Thompson Wants Laurie as Higgins

Emma Thompson has won Oscars for both acting (Howard's End) and writing (Sense and Sensibility). And she is coming to accept how satisfying both can be. "I always thought acting was my compulsion," she says," but that writing was a different form of creativity because it is so back to the knuckle. Acting is a natural thing because you are using your body, it's like singing. I was wrong about that. Both can answer the same need. I feel better after writing for two hours."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 16, 2008 9:39 AM
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Yates' Revolutionary Road: Novel to Film

The guy could write. The story of Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, told in excruciating detail in Blake Bailey's 2003 A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, moves me, partly because he got so little encouragement, yet went back to writing every morning, hung over or not. And he insisted on drinking and smoking himself to death. But he knew he was a good writer, and that sustained him. Here's my Variety column.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 8, 2008 9:11 AM
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