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Thompson on Hollywood

EXCLUSIVE First Look: Life In A Day's New Poster, Premieres July 24 with Live Q&A (UPDATED)

Life In A Day, filmed by you, directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Ridley Scott, will be released by Cinedigm and National Geographic starting July 24 (exactly one year after all the footage was shot). Below is a first look at the doc's new poster. The film premiered simultaneously at Sundance and on YouTube in January.
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • May 20, 2011 4:00 AM
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Take Shelter Wins Cannes Critics Week Grand Prix: Shannon Perf "Stuff Bad Dreams Are Made Of "

Austin filmmaker Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter has won the Grand Prix at Cannes' Critics' Week. The psychological drama/thriller stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. The film is the sophomore outing for Nichols, whose first feature, Shotgun Stories (2007), also starring Shannon, played the fest circuit and received excellent reviews.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • May 19, 2011 8:00 AM
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Cannes Palme d'Or Contender The Kid with a Bike Reviews: "Unstinting Compassion, Movie Moralists"

The Dardenne brothers do one thing very well--they're like the Ken Loach of Belgium. The trouble for critics more than audiences is that they do much the same thing each time--only better. This year's entry The Kid with a Bike is being tagged a top five contender for the Palme d'Or.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2011 7:27 AM
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Cannes The Artist Reviews: "A Triumph of Artistic Teleportation, A Big Blast of Pure Delight"

Cannes The Artist Reviews: "A Triumph of Artistic Teleportation, A Big Blast of Pure Delight"
Weinstein Co. scooped up French production and last-minute competition entry The Artist before it screened at the fest, and since then it has become a popular title. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday and I were turned away from one festival screening before I talked us both, as well as LA Weekly's Karina Longworth, into another in the market. It could turn into a worldwide hit, because it's a charmingly accessible Star is Born Hollywood romance set at the same nostalgic turning point as Singing in the Rain: the advent of sound. The film is shot in sparkling black-and-white and it's silent--except for a surging score and a few key percussive moments.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 19, 2011 6:04 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: Melancholia Raves Overshadowed by Von Trier Tempest; Scorsese's Five Obstructions

You can count on Denmark's puckish auteur Lars von Trier to deliver the goods in Cannes, having shown 12 films here since 1984, from grand prix winner Breaking the Waves (which also starred Stellan Skarsgard) and The Idiots to Manderlay, Palme d'Or-winner Dancer in the Dark and The Antichrist, starring actress winner Charlotte Gainsbourg.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2011 10:08 AM
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Cannes We Need to Talk About Kevin Reviews: Tough Pick-Up Hooked to Swinton Oscar Campaign

Cannes We Need to Talk About Kevin Reviews: Tough Pick-Up Hooked to Swinton Oscar Campaign
While Cannes is thinning out after the first week--the crowds at The Grand are diminished---buyers expect to announce a raft of sales over the next few days. One of the films still being hotly debated--and tipped for a well-deserved best actress prize here for Tilda Swinton--is Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin. It's a polarizing love/hate kind of thing.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 18, 2011 2:47 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Cannes Tree of Life Update: Malick Shows Up For Big Night

Terrence Malick did come to Cannes, even if he didn't show up for The Tree of Life press conference, having asked Brad Pitt to do his heavy lifting for him. Fox Searchlight did not beg the director to walk the red carpet for the photographers, as did Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (pictured), but Malick did enter the Palais right before the movie in order to hear the announcer boom the magic words: "L'auteur, Terrence Malick!"-- amid thundering standing applause. Per usual, the film played far better than at the press screening, which elicited an equal measure of clapping and boos. At the official screening, Malick won a sustained standing ovation.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 17, 2011 10:19 AM
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The Tree of Life Reviews: "Visionary Cinema, Shockingly Banal, Mesmerizing, Surrender To It"

The Tree of Life Reviews: "Visionary Cinema, Shockingly Banal, Mesmerizing, Surrender To It"
I heard a woman leaving the screening of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life say, "I want to read the reviews on this." That's what critics are for--to help moviegoers understand a complex work like this one. Here is my coverage, a round-up of others is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 17, 2011 3:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Review: Tree of Life Lures Packed House, Oscar-Worthy Pitt Speaks for Missing Director Malick

Cannes Review: Tree of Life Lures Packed House, Oscar-Worthy Pitt Speaks for Missing Director Malick
In all my years coming to Cannes, I've never seen the 8:30 AM Palais press screening fill up so fast. Guards were turning people away by 8 AM, who literally ran across the grass to queue for the back-up 9 AM screening at the Soixantieme. I decided not to wrestle my way in and took the path of least resistance to settle into a center middle row seat and let Terrence Malick's fifth feature, the luminous The Tree of Life, wash over me.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2011 10:30 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Cannes: Sleeping Beauty Intros Director Leigh, Keeps Audience at Bay, Bought by Sundance Selects

Cannes: Sleeping Beauty Intros Director Leigh, Keeps Audience at Bay, Bought by Sundance Selects
Walking on the Croisette, I ran into Jane Campion, who was in town to support Australian novelist-turned-director Julia Leigh. Campion said that her "challenging" film Sleeping Beauty would never have gotten made if she hadn't agreed, when approached by Screen Australia, to "mentor" the project. Campion believes in this brainy writer-director, who came up with a fascinating way to confront moviegoers' comfort zone around female sexuality and prostitution.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 16, 2011 1:02 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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