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Thompson on Hollywood

Cannes: Critics Divided on Zhang Yimou's Latest 'Coming Home' -- Timeless or Plodding?

At 64 years old, Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou is back at Cannes with out-of-competition title "Coming Home," starring his iconic muse Gong Li, and following an unhappy homecoming that acts as metaphor for the country's coming-to-terms with the cultural revolution. Some critics are digging it while others are left cold; the film's no-holds-barred emotion -- and a much-mentioned piano score -- is either having reviewers reach for their hankies or checking their watches. Highlights from a review roundup, below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 22, 2014 12:30 PM
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Cannes: Marion Cotillard Delivers for the Dardennes in 'Two Days, One Night'

Marion Cotillard delivers a razor's edge performance in the Dardennes brothers Cannes competition feature "Two Days, One Night." She's in the running for the Best Actress prize.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2014 7:26 AM
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  • 2 Comments

A24 Buys Egoyan's Cannes Competition Kidnap Thriller 'The Captive,' Before Vitriolic Press Reaction

A24 Nabs Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan's 'The Captive' starring Ryan Reynolds. Cannes reaction is mixed--review and press conference quotes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2014 6:27 AM
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Jon Favreau's 'Chef,' Hitting Theaters This Weekend, Is Scruffy Indie Crowdpleaser

Jon Favreau took a break from tentpole movies to direct a scruffy family comedy that wears its insecurities on its sleeve. "I shoot food like Michael Bay shoots babes in bikinis," he told me at the rooftop after-party at this past SXSW.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 7, 2014 12:43 PM
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  • 1 Comment

COLCOA Review: Isabelle Huppert Is All Strength in 'Abuse of Weakness'

The title of the film may be “Abuse of Weakness,” but Isabelle Huppert’s performance as a filmmaker who suffers a stroke and then gets willingly conned by an ex-con is nothing but strong and steely-nerved. Which, of course, is to be expected from one of film’s best living actresses.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 29, 2014 1:17 PM
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'Alphaville': Why This Piece of 60s Pulp Fiction is Must-See Jean-Luc Godard (CLIP)

My favorite Jean-Luc Godard film, the glorious 1965 black-and-white surreal sci-fi noir "Alphaville," starring Eddie Constantine, Godard's wife Anna Karina and Paris at night, has gotten a snazzy digital restoration and new subtitles. It opens for a week at the Nuart Friday.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 25, 2014 10:39 AM
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Tribeca Review: In Powerful Doc 'Virunga,' Gorillas Caught in the Crosshairs of Corporate Greed

If corporations are people, my friends, they’re the kind of people who make great movie villains. Especially in “Virunga.” Which unfortunately isn’t a fiction.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 24, 2014 3:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

In Must-See 'Locke,' Tom Hardy Is Under Pressure

"Locke" is a fully realized high-concept drama carried by Tom Hardy's riveting, naturalistic performance. It could use the help of the right film festival rollout. Unfortunately, it already had the wrong one.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 23, 2014 3:28 PM
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  • 7 Comments

Review: Argentina's Outstanding 'The German Doctor' Finds a Heart of Darkness in Gorgeous Patagonia

In the opening sequence of Lucía Puenzo’s “The German Doctor,” a family in 1960 Argentina takes a road trip across the wide, Cinemascoped expanse of Patagonia’s countryside. But they’re not alone. Following closely behind is a blue sedan, and in it, the Angel of Death -- or at least the man who was given that ominous nickname, the notorious Nazi and Auschwitz physician Josef Mengele (played with cunning charm and sinister by German-fluent Spaniard Alex Brendemühl).
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • April 22, 2014 1:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Review: John Turturro Casts Himself Opposite Woody Allen in 'Fading Gigolo'

Directing himself and Woody Allen in Miami Fest entry 'Fading Gigolo,' triple-threat John Turturro navigates tricky sexual territory with delicacy.
  • By John Anderson
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  • April 15, 2014 2:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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