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Thompson on Hollywood

Telluride Report: Frears' Tamara Drewe, Morris's Tabloid

Telluride Report: Frears' Tamara Drewe, Morris's Tabloid
Meredith Brody reports from the ground in Telluride on Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe and Errol Morris's doc Tabloid.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 9, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

I'm Still Here Reviews: Fascinating, Hilarious, Genuinely Hated, Nucleus of Truth

It shouldn't need an introduction by now (Variety calls it the "most publicly prominent piece of performance art ever"), but The Playlist provides a useful Idiot's Guide To I'm Still Here (which premiered at Venice and opens Friday) in the intro the their own review: "The 'is this a joke' aspect of the entire affair was perhaps best typified on the much-watched bizarro appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman where the celebrity mumbled meekly throughout and the talk show host mocked Phoenix for barely being mentally present. I'm Still Here is a document of that lost-in-the-wilderness period directed by Phoenix's brother-in-law Casey Affleck in his feature-length debut."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 9, 2010 6:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Town: Early Reviews

Following its September 8th premiere at the Venice Film Festival, reviews for Ben Affleck's second film (in theatres September 17th) are decidedly mixed, though none (excluding The Guardian's harsh review, after the jump) go so far as to deny it is a worthwhile slice of gritty Boston crime in tune with thematic ancestors sharing its East Coast locale: Mystic River, The Departed and Affleck's 2007 debut, Gone Baby Gone.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 9, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Telluride Wrap: Best of Fest

One great thing about The Telluride Film Festival: it's all over in four days. So as America gets back to work and school, Tim Appelo wraps up the best of the fest:
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 8, 2010 9:06 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Telluride Review: Errol Morris Goes for Laughs with Tabloid

Telluride Review: Errol Morris Goes for Laughs with Tabloid
Telluride critic Tim Appelo was surprised that documentarian (blogger/tweeter) Errol Morris's latest, Tabloid, is well, funny. Having spent some time with the man, he can be quite witty, as are his famous Oscar shorts. Dark humor informs all his films, even his dead-serious docs Fog of War and Standard Operating Procedure. I can't wait to see Tabloid in Toronto, where I'm scheduled to talk to Morris, and he is scheduled to dialogue with another seriously funny filmmaker, Werner Herzog.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Telluride Review: The King's Speech Heads for Oscars

Telluride Review: The King's Speech Heads for Oscars
Critic Tim Appelo reports from Telluride that The King's Speech is a serious Oscar contender. Buck Henry likened the Telluride Film Festival to Valhalla, the place where cinema’s great warriors go for eternal glory – say, tonight’s tribute honoree Claudia Cardinale. But Valhalla is Old Norse for “Hall of the Slain,” and Telluride is more like the Hall of the Newborns, a ward for indie gods getting their first worship. Is there a springier springboard to the Oscars than the Telluride Film Festival?
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 5, 2010 2:50 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere

Fest Review Round-Up: Never Let Me Go, Tabloid, Somewhere
While the Venice Fest is on its fourth day, Telluride got under way Friday night with screenings of Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Errol Morris's latest doc Tabloid and Peter Weir's prisoner-of-war drama The Way Back, which fewer people instantly reviewed. @EugeneNovikov tweeted: "THE WAY BACK (B) I was rapt for the first half- Weir at his hypnotic best - then becomes a bit repetitive and mechanical (if still powerful)." UPDATE: Here's the NYT's A.O. Scott.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 8:30 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star

Venice Early Review: Sofia Coppola's Somewhere Views Empty Movie Star
Write what you know. And Sofia Coppola knows Hollywood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2010 1:02 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?

Venice Opens with Aronofsky's Black Swan: Too Intense?
The opening night selection of the sexy R-rated violent thriller Black Swan was something of a gamble for Fox Searchlight and the Venice Fest, which landed loyal fan Darren Aronofsky--after rousing Venice receptions for both The Fountain and The Wrestler, which won the Golden Lion. He talked Searchlight into accepting the opening night invite--and now has to work Telluride and Toronto as well.Why the risk? Well, Searchlight covered their bets by making sure some stateside critics timed their early reviews--which were largely positive--with Venice.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 9:18 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete

Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete
As a Venice newbie, I got off the speed train from Rome, exited the station to a canal and grabbed a 40-minute ferry to the island the Lido. It's an adjustment. Basically a subway is a ferry here, a taxi is a motor boat or gondola, and houses have water in their basements with a garage for their boat (below). Trucks are boats too; Venice is under constant construction, like New Orleans. The Lido is a lovely resort (a bit like Fire Island or Catalina); I figured out that I needed to rent a bike to get around (I get a silly kick out of passing slow riders on the left). The casino location of the film festival (this is the 67th) is a maze of corridors, high-ceilinged halls, wide stairways and long lines for multiple screenings.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2010 1:25 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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