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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?

Cannes Review: Why is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in Fest?
What motivates a groggy, jet-lagged scribe to crawl out of bed for an 8:30 AM press screening of Pirates of the Caribbean? Schadenfreude. The word on the Croisette was that the fourth Pirates installment was lousy. Safe to say I wasn't expecting to have a good time. (I didn't even see Number Three, even though it boasted Chow Yun-Fat.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 14, 2011 10:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child

Cannes Update: Trabalahar Cansa (Hard Labor), Poliss, Puzzle of a Downfall Child
Two out of the three Cannes films that Simon Abrams reviews here may never be screened for stateside art-house audiences. But one is a must-see for everyone, he writes:The restored print of Puzzle of a Downfall Child, Panic in Needle Park director Jerry Schatzberg’s 1970 debut feature, is a must-see. Cannes director Thierry Fremaux introduced the screening of Puzzle, whose star, Cannes festival poster girl Faye Dunaway, attended tonight’s screening along with Schatzberg. The film is a knockout psychodrama about the inner life of a reclusive fashion model (Dunaway) and her doomed romances with men ranging from a wealthy and obnoxious playboy (Roy Scheider) to a modest photographer (Barry Primus). If the Criterion Collection or another equally important cultural institution (perhaps the Film Society at Lincoln Center) can give Puzzle’s impeccable new print a premiere or a release, the film could find an audience.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • May 14, 2011 3:38 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sony Pictures Classics' Barker and Bernard: Kings of the Croisette

So far so good for Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard. They opened the festival with Woody Allen's best-received movie in years, Midnight in Paris, which they have been blitzing all over the media because they want to ride a Cannes wave of buzz into theaters on May 20.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 12, 2011 4:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Transgender Cinema: Becoming Chaz, Gun Hill Road

Transgender Cinema: Becoming Chaz, Gun Hill Road
Transgender continues to be a hot topic in the media.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"

Woody Allen Talks Breaking Out with Cannes Hit Midnight in Paris: "Hey, Did You See Gertrude Stein?"
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's best movie since Deconstructing Harry in 1997.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 11:19 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"

Midnight in Paris Reviews: "Second Tier Woody, Amiable Amuse-Bouche, Gorgeous Kick-off to Cannes"
While there will always be the odd dissenter, there's no question that Woody Allen's latest Midnight in Paris played well to audiences and press alike in Cannes. This is Woody Light, a sweet funny nostalgic romantic confection that proves a lively counterpoint to the dark and moody fare that tends to dominate the Cannes selection. (Australian newcomer Julia Leigh's brainy and formal Sleeping Beauty, starring Sucker Punch's Emily Browning as a lost soul who sells time with her sleeping body, would be one example. It proved divisive with critics and will be a marketing challenge.) And Owen Wilson and Allen turned out to be a perfect match, ably supported by Rachel McAdams as the ugly American you love to hate, Michael Sheen as a pompous blowhard, plus Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates and Adrien Brody as various denizens of the Paris Allen loves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 11, 2011 10:10 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Thor Will Molest Your Eye Sockets, Plus: Something Borrowed, The Beaver, Last Night, Passion Play

Thor Will Molest Your Eye Sockets, Plus: Something Borrowed, The Beaver, Last Night, Passion Play
Finally, as summer is nigh, moviegoers are faced with a wide range of prospects this weekend. Jodie Foster's The Beaver delivers a solid family drama with a standout performance from Mel Gibson--even if it's duller than his tabloid life. Something Borrowed tries to be more than your average rom-com--and fails. Marvel's Thor is well inside the comfort zone for folks who grew up on the comic books; its strong cast and huge budget deliver, especially the magnificent Chris Hemsworth, whose "gigantic man-boobs and superhero six-pack molested our eye sockets in all of their 3D glory," reports MCN's Heather Havrilesky.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • May 6, 2011 4:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Something Borrowed Reviews: "Lame, Misjudged, Plastic, Obnoxious"

Something Borrowed Reviews: "Lame, Misjudged, Plastic, Obnoxious"
Even the combined adorability and charm of Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield can't seem to pull any love from reviews of this relationship comedy about a young woman who falls in love with her best friend's fiance, which will only suffer by comparison to the recent genuine romantic article: the royal wedding.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • May 5, 2011 1:07 AM
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  • 5 Comments

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