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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Review Roundup: 'Kill Your Darlings'

Critics are praising John Krokidas' "Kill Your Darlings," starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. The film, which is edgier and more engaging than Walter Salles' faithfully literary "On the Road," is being called an unusually successful portrait of the Beat generation, "a genuine attempt to source the beginning of America's first true literary counterculture."
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • January 22, 2013 5:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance: Fox Searchlight Acquires 'Way, Way Back' For Almost $10 Million; Stars Carell, Collette, Janney, Rudolph and Rockwell

Fox Searchlight has picked up the rights to Nat Faxon and Jim Rash's "The Way, Way Back," which premiered at Sundance on January 21. The acquisition is a big buy, reportedly just under $10 million...
  • By Anne Thompson and Jay Fernandez
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  • January 22, 2013 1:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Review Roundup: 'Upstream Color' Is a Gorgeous Head-Scratcher

Critics don't mind feeling stumped when it comes to Shane Carruth's gorgeous, enigmatic Sundance entry "Upstream Color." While the film is largely receiving praise, reviews are quick to point out that the narrative, nominally about a young man and woman "consumed by a higher force," will raise plenty of questions "about what the hell is going on." Review highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 22, 2013 11:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Review Roundup: Batmanglij and Marling's 'The East' Dividing Critics

Critics are divided on director Zal Batmanglij ("The Sound of My Voice") and co-writer-star Brit Marling's newest collaboration, "The East." While some find the film a relevant, absorbing eco-terrorist thriller, others deem it overlong and "deeply silly." Review highlights below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 22, 2013 11:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance: RADiUS-Weinstein Company Gets Buzzy 'Concussion'

RADiUS-The Weinstein Company has acquired North American rights to "Concussion" at the Sundance Film Festival. The film centers on Abby (Robin Weigert), a middle-aged woman who moves to Manhattan and takes on a double life as a high-end escort.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 22, 2013 11:16 AM
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Sundance Review and Roundup: 'Before Midnight'

The magic alchemy originally conjured 18 years ago by director Richard Linklater and two gifted actors--Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who could sustain scenes across lengthy uncut takes-- finds its third iteration in "Before Midnight." It's a tour-de-force home run that will play like gangbusters in smart-house theaters all over the world and should mark a major Sundance sale orchestrated by Cinetic Media.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2013 7:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Review and Roundup: 'Ain't Them Bodies Saints'

Writer-director David Lowery has been putting in his 10,000 hours over the past few years, working as an editor and cinematographer for hire on many micro-indie projects, as part of the growing multi-tasking barter indie culture. SXSW has championed the Texas filmmaker, playing his shorts and features; "Saint Nick" showed promise on a meager $6000 budget. His 2011 Sundance short "Pioneer" was a ramp-up to this feature film. Now he has collected all his chits and ideas in one exquisitely crafted neo-noir western, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints." The title was a misreading of an old American folk song; Lowery felt that it captured the right "classical, regional" feel, he said at the Saturday premiere press conference.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2013 6:41 PM
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Sundance Review and Roundup: Park Chan-Wook's Creepy 'Stoker'

There's a risk every time a noted foreign filmmaker takes a stab at an English-language movie. Clearly, Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook ("Old Boy") knows his Hollywood history: he admits that Alfred Hitchcock not only inspired him to become a filmmaker but that "Psycho," "Shadow of a Doubt," and "The Trouble With Harry" creeped into archetypal thriller "Stoker," which is based on actor-writer Wentworth Miller's script.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2013 6:11 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Sundance Dealmaking Heats Up; 'Don Jon's Addiction,' Harvey Lands 'Fruitvale'

In the biggest sale of the fest so far, Sundance newbie Relativity Media is closing a deal to acquire U.S. rights for $4 million, according to sources close to the sale. CAA and WME (who rep Gordon-Levitt and packaged the film) brokered the deal. Relativity committed to a wide release. Companies wanting to make a splash at Sundance often overpay, but clearly Relativity was not the only buyer convinced that this portrait of a sex-addicted bartender (JGL) trying to give up porn for his first love (Scarlett Johannson) was commercial. TWC offered an early bid of $2 million, reports Variety; CBS Films and Lionsgate/Roadside were also in the hunt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2013 4:04 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance: HBO Documentary Films Acquires US TV Rights to 'Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer'

HBO Documentary Films has picked up US television rights to "Pussy Riot -- A Punk Prayer" at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, directed by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin, had its world premiere in Park City on January 18.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 21, 2013 2:45 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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