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Thompson on Hollywood

#LFF: Schamus Delivers Lessons in Redacted Storytelling

#LFF: Schamus Delivers Lessons in Redacted Storytelling
James Schamus is not your ordinary Hollywood player.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 28, 2009 6:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad

Amelia: When Biopics Go Bad
What went wrong with Amelia?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 23, 2009 4:11 AM
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  • 9 Comments

Trailer Watch: Will Amelia Biopic Play?

Trailer Watch: Will Amelia Biopic Play?
I'll be showing Mira Nair's Amelia at Sneak Previews this week. I've seen the biopic of the vanished aviatrix Amelia Earhart, which stars Oscar magnet Hilary Swank and Richard Gere, and look forward to grilling the screenwriters, Ron Bass (Rain Man) and Anna Hamilton Phelan (Gorillas in the Mist). The question at hand: how do you tackle a movie biography these days, when authenticity is at such a premium?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 17, 2009 6:33 AM
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  • 11 Comments

TIFF#: Leaves of Grass Director Nelson Directs Two Nortons

TIFF#: Leaves of Grass Director Nelson Directs Two Nortons
Like many indie films these days, Leaves of Grass (like Men Who Stare at Goats, a stoner comedy) rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of another project. Back in 2006, actor-writer-director Tim Blake Nelson (The Grey Zone), who is the kind of talented, responsible guy who tries to do the right thing and expects other people to do the same, was faced with a movie deal gone south during pre-production on Seasons of Dust. "It was horrible, the worst year of my life," he says.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 16, 2009 10:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Toronto Day Two: The Coens Deliver with A Serious Man

Toronto Day Two: The Coens Deliver with A Serious Man
Joel and Ethan Coen's Latest, A Serious Man, is a portrait of a period (1967) and place (Minnesota) and milieu (Jewish) that the brothers know very well. They cast it with excellent actors; Richard Kind as pathetic Uncle Arthur and Adam Arkin as a well-heeled lawyer are probably the only recognizable names. The writer-directors start the movie off in a wintry shtetl, evoking the dread spirit the dybbuk hovering over an uneasy marriage. This movie is utterly assured, personal, serious, sad and very funny.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 9:51 AM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips

TIFF Watch: A Serious Man Clips
I'm making a quick transition between Telluride and Toronto, trying to catch up and get prepped, knowing that I will feel under the gun and behind for the next ten days, no matter what. It's the nature of the beast, even in relatively calm Telluride. Wednesday, travel day, I will post the first draft of my Oscar Predicts chart, which I will adjust frequently going forward into awards season.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2009 7:37 AM
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  • 1 Comment

John Carter of Mars Adds Morton, Walker, West

I was brought up in Manhattan by a single Dad. His best pal Jerry Rubenstein's idea of a birthday present for an eight-year-old, girl or boy, was Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I scarfed it up and read every single book ever written by Burroughs, especially his Barsoom Martian novels. I read The Chessmen of Mars over and over. Burroughs took you into an exotic world, much as Burroughs fan James Cameron does in Avatar, or Wall-E writer-director Andrew Stanton will do in his first live-action feature, a film take on John Carter of Mars. In both stories, an American visits a faraway planet inhabited by strange creatures. In John Carter of Mars, co-written by Mark Andrews, Civil War hero John Carter is transported to the red planet Barsoom, where he must adapt, and meets a princess.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2009 6:48 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Movies Go to Facebook, Legos, Lebanon, Redbox and Wellywood

Media Watch: Vibe could be coming back to--digital--life, while it looks like those wild and crazy salad days at Conde Nast are finally over.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 2:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Flash in Pan or Classic?

The Time Traveler’s Wife: Flash in Pan or Classic?
With very few impediments to romance left in conventional storytelling, writers are forced to add a touch of fantasy or sci-fi to create artificial barriers to love.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 12, 2009 2:02 AM
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  • 11 Comments

Hughes Pen Pal Blogs and Talks

Alison Byrne Fields, who became Hughes' pen pal when she was 15, blogs about it and talks about it. I was moved by the fact that she contacted him as an adult to tell him how she turned out, and he responded by telling her he was proud of her. She has been overwhelmed by the enormous fan and media response.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 8, 2009 10:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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