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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride, Carnage, Ides of March, W.E., Contagion, The Artist

In Contention's Kris Tapley is here in Telluride with me, while Guy Lodge is in Venice. We all got on Skype for this week's Oscar Talk, which delves into early reaction to Venice titles from George Clooney (The Ides of March), Madonna (W.E) and Roman Polanski Carnage and a movie Kris and I saw in L.A., Steven Soderbergh's Contagion, as well as Cannes title The Artist, which is showing in Telluride. Friday Kris and I should get a crack at The Descendants, Martin Scorsese's George Harrison doc and Albert Nobbs, starring Glenn Close.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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Venice Film Festival, Day One: George Clooney's Ides of March is a Winner, Review and Fest Preview

Venice Film Festival, Day One: George Clooney's Ides of March is a Winner, Review and Fest Preview
The Venice Biennale got off to a strong start with The Ides of March, reports London-based TOH correspondent David Gritten:How perfect a choice was George Clooney’s The Ides of March to open the Venice Film Festival today? Let us count the ways. Firstly, this political thriller fits Venice like a silk glove. It’s smart, sophisticated and politically astute, written with a shrewd intelligence and featuring stars (Clooney himself, Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei) who offer Hollywood glamour while engaging in work that’s more than a cut above routine Hollywood product. The Ides of March also offers two terrific supporting performances from Grade-A character actors (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giammatti), doing the kind of work that makes European critics and audiences sit up and take notice.
  • By David Gritten
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  • August 31, 2011 2:54 AM
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Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond

Oscar Talk: From The Help, Rise of the Apes and Woody to the Fall Fest Circuit and Beyond
Oscar Talk is back. The first podcast of the fall season with In Contention's Kris Tapley runs for a good hour, so gird your loins, Oscar mavens, listen and weep. We cover the Cannes films, the summer releases, the Fall Festival entries and the end-of-year possibilities. We talk Meryl and Glenn and Malick and Chastain, debate the merits of sleeper Warrior and admit that we both cried over cancer patient Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50. Next week we'll post from Telluride. The award season begins.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2011 4:00 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Dangerous Method's S&M, Jolie's Blood & Honey, Soderbergh Killing Oscar Winners & More from EW

We culled the best soundbites from EW's Fall Movie Preview for your pleasure below, from Brad Pitt's struggle to get Moneyball made and Steven Soderbergh killing off Oscar-winners in Contagion to what Mickey Rourke has in common with the animals in Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 15, 2011 8:10 AM
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In the Works: Dark Knight Photos, Eisenberg in Demand, Gleeson vs. IMDb, Soderbergh on Hunger Games

Just when we thought the super-secret Nolan crew on the Pittsburgh set of The Dark Knight Rises were going to succeed at keeping the lid on the production, new stills from the set have leaked out that show Catwoman tearing through some kind of riot on the Bat-pod. These photos come (literally) on the heels of the first official Warner Bros.-sanctioned still of Anne Hathaway as the new character, which was released this morning. And Total Film got Tom Hardy to open up about his masked role as Bane.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • August 5, 2011 7:55 AM
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Soderbergh's Tyranny of Narrative, Haywire at SDCC, Can Carano Hold a Candle to Action Star Jolie?

Steven Soderbergh presented footage from Haywire at Comic-Con. It was well-received. In ThePlaylist's interview with the director, he admits they weren't sure if Comic-Con was the right fit for the film, but "ultimately we decided, yeah, this is our take on the action film and we should show it off.” It was a good call, because the movie features an ass-kicking (and hot) female MMA champion, Gina Carano, muscle-boy Channing Tatum and newfound heartthrob and serious thesp Michael Fassbender (Carano and Tatum joined Soderbergh on stage for the panel). Why wouldn't it play well at Comic-Con?
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 26, 2011 5:45 AM
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Comic-Con: Relativity's Haywire Panel with Ass-Kicking Carano, Soderbergh Disses Retirement Rumors

Comic-Con: Relativity's Haywire Panel with Ass-Kicking Carano, Soderbergh Disses Retirement Rumors
Haywire star Gina Carano can clearly kick ass, judging from the trailer and clip Relativity shared this afternoon in Hall H. Director Steven Soderbergh and co-stars Channing Tatum and Michael Fassbender can all corroborate (Soderbergh, Carano and Tatum were at the panel; the film also stars Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas and Michael Angarano). Here's more project details; synopsis and panel quotes are also below, along with Soderbergh's response to those pesky retirement rumors.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 22, 2011 10:49 AM
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Relativity Beefs Up Fall Slate with Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Banks on Genre for 2011/2012

Relativity Beefs Up Fall Slate with Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, Banks on Genre for 2011/2012
Neophyte distributor Relativity's future is banked on its 2011/2012 schedule, which is packed with genre fare (see full line-up below). Much production coin and P & A is invested in this slate. Relativity has now beefed up its fall lineup by taking back North American rights from Lionsgate of its own production of Marc Forster's Machine Gun Preacher, starring Gerard Butler as real-life reformed criminal Sam Childers.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 7, 2011 8:20 AM
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Trailer Watch: Brad Pitt Stars in Moneyball, Which Could Be Oscar Contender

Brad Pitt stars as manager Billy Beane in Sony's Moneyball (September 23), a baseball movie about the come-from-behind Oakland A's. Robin Wright, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman co-star in the drama adapted by Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List) from Michael Lewis's nonfiction bestseller. Bennett Miller, who had been looking for the right follow-up to Capote, took over the directing reins after Steven Soderbergh fell out of the Scott Rudin (The Social Network) production. Judging from this trailer, this movie looks like a winner, and an Oscar-contender to boot. With The Tree of Life giving Pitt extra cred with Academy voters, who are bound to be polarized on the film, Moneyball looks like a slow lob down-the-middle home run for Pitt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 16, 2011 8:42 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Relativity Will Release Soderbergh's Haywire After All; First Look at Gina Carano (UPDATE)

Relativity Media, Ryan Kavanaugh's new production and distribution company, will release Steven Soderbergh's espionage thriller Haywire (pictured above, star Gina Carano) after all, on January 20, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 15, 2011 12:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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