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Thompson on Hollywood

TIFF: National Geographic's Battsek Acquires The First Grader

TIFF: National Geographic's Battsek Acquires The First Grader
With his first fall festival buy since he took over National Geographic Films, ex-Miramax president Daniel Battsek has acquired U.S. rights for Toronto and Telluride title The First Grader. Battsek had been looking for just the right movie that would fit into the National Geographic mandate to reveal something about our world. (Battsek chose not to release National Geographic's prisoner-of-war film The Way Back, directed by Peter Weir and starring Ed Harris, Colin Farrell and Jim Sturgess, preferring to supervise Newmarket Films instead.) When I spoke to Battsek at TIFF, he said, "I'll know it when I see it."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 20, 2010 9:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Talk: Venice, Telluride, Toronto, from Black Swan to Never Let Me Go

Now that Kris Tapley and I have actually seen some films, we dig into the nitty-gritty of how they will fare in the Oscar race. We discuss among other things Another Year, Black Swan, Never Let Me Go, Meek's Cutoff, The Way Back, The King's Speech and Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2010 10:10 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Summing Up Telluride: from First Movie to 127 Hours

Summing Up Telluride: from First Movie to 127 Hours
Meredith Brody wraps up her Telluride experience in one full swoop:At Telluride your day actually begins late the night before, when you can access the full schedule online, or are handed slips of paper with the completed TBA (to be announced) slots filled in as you stagger out of a screening after midnight (my preference). The big news Friday night was that on Saturday Danny Boyle would return to the scene of his 2008 triumphant premiere of Slumdog Millionaire with 127 Hours, with star James Franco and the real-life person upon whom the film is based, Aron Ralston, author of the almost-too-perfectly-titled Between a Rock and a Hard Place, in tow.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 10, 2010 2:10 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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

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

Fox Picks Up Scorsese's Letter To Elia, HBO Grabs Lebowitz Doc

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is acquiring Martin Scorsese's A Letter To Elia, which played well in Venice and Telluride. The documentary chronicles the life and work of legendary (and controversial) director Elia Kazan. The film is included in Fox's November 9 DVD release: The Elia Kazan Film Collection. Scorsese shares director credit with Kent Jones.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • September 8, 2010 3:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Portman Offered Gravity, Defining Adult Films, Toronto's Most Anticipated

- In the ongoing saga of who will replace Angelina Jolie in the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity--she twice rejected the starring role--Natalie Portman has been offered the role, thanks to rave reviews on her Black Swan performance. With or without Black Swan's vote of confidence, Portman is a strong (but young) choice. The age range of the character in Gravity is apparently flexible. Should Portman accept the role, this will be a chance for her to stand out (although Robert Downey Jr. carries some of the load), a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away or James Franco in 127 Hours. Risky Business lists Portman's growing collection of possible projects, including a Terrence Malick film with Brad Pitt, a Tom Stoppard piece written specifically for her, not to mention Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Tom Tykwer's star-packed (Hanks, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Ian McKellan) Cloud Atlas (both slated for 2011). All along, the actress has made diverse choices, ranging from Heat (1995), which RottenTomatoes rates highest of all her films, when she was 14 (the unheard of Free Zone [2005] is the lowest) to Star Wars (1999, 2002, 2005) and Garden State (2004).
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 8, 2010 3:35 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Telluride Review: Weir's Triumphant The Way Back Is Slowed Down by History

Telluride correspondent Tim Appelo is not taking any guff on Peter Weir's The Way Back. He likes it.At the Floradora on Telluride’s main street, Peter Weir was like the dauntless pilgrims of his great escape movie The Way Back, who incredibly fled Stalin’s Siberian gulag and trekked through Mongolia and the Himalayas to India in quest of freedom and eventual homecoming. OK, he was just racing to make his Elks Park panel on “Human/Nature,” but he had to pack a lunch and confront ambiguously dangerous strangers on the way – not Mongol horsemen, but journalists trying to stamp their views on his new movie.
  • By Tim Appelo
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  • September 7, 2010 12:34 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride Film Festival

Oscar Talk: Venice and Telluride Film Festival
Anne Thompson is in Venice and Kris Tapley is in Telluride, but that doesn't stop the two from getting into this year's award hopefuls. Topics discussed include Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Tyler Perry's prospects, and Venetian rainstorms. Stay tuned for next week's Oscar Talk.
  • By Cameron Carlson
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  • September 5, 2010 6:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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