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Thompson on Hollywood

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

Caravan 2010 – The Lead-Up to the 37th Annual Telluride Film Festival

Our roving festival correspondent Meredith Brody reports from Telluride this year. Here's her first missive: about getting there.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 4, 2010 12:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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 Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama

Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama
While Julian Schnabel's Miral packs an emotional punch, he tells the wrong story. I was in tears during both of the film's bookend sections, which focus on real-life Hind Husseini (the great Hiam Abbass), a wealthy Palestinian woman who in 1948 takes it upon herself to feed, clothe, educate and house thousands of orphans left abandoned and destitute by the ongoing wars and strife in Jerusalem. Her sense of obligation and personal sacrifice moved me. She and American Willem Dafoe share feelings, but can never get together; as she tells him: "I have 2000 daughters." While Husseini remains a character in the drama, the screenplay, adapted by Palestinian/Italian broadcaster Rula Jebreal from her semi-autobiographical novel, focuses on Miral (Indian actress Freida Pinto), a young girl born in 1973 whose widower father (Alexander Sidding) brings her to the orphanage to live during the week.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 2, 2010 11:06 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Telluride 2010 Lineup Announced; Firth, Cardinale, Weir To Be Honored

In its 37th year, the Telluride Film Festival announces their 2010 lineup one day before the fun begins, including special tributes to this year's Silver Medallion recipients Colin Firth, Italian/Tunisian actress Claudia Cardinale (8 ½) and director Peter Weir (Master and Commander, The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society) in recognition of their contribution to the world of cinema. EDITOR'S UPDATE: Weir will unveil his new film, The Way Back, which just landed distributor Newmarket, and is not playing any of the other fall fests, so this is a real coup for Telluride. Darren Aronofsky is also winging from Venice to Colorado to show Black Swan, and Searchlight is also expected to bring Danny Boyle's 127 Hours; he had good luck debuting Slumdog Millionaire there.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 2, 2010 5:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston

Trailer Watch: Boyle's 127 Hours Stars Franco as Ralston
Danny Boyle's 127 Hours is going to Telluride, Toronto and London, where the media will check out what is a daring subject for a movie. Hiker Aron Ralston survived being trapped on a Utah canyoneering trip for five days in 2003 by a boulder on a solo hike miles from any possible rescue by doing what he had to do: sawing off his arm with a dull knife. He had not told anyone where he was going.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 24, 2010 12:56 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art

Venice Fest Preview: Early Art
Here is some early art for several of the movies coming up at the Venice Film Fest. (I arrive there August 31 by train after spending two days in Rome; I leave September 8 for the Toronto Film Festival.) I'll write up early coverage of opener Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel as a tough ballet master (modeled after Georges Balanchine), who I interviewed Monday. That film will likely show in Telluride as well as Toronto.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2010 12:59 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Never Let Me Go Opens London Film Festival

Fox Searchlight is parceling out its fall line-up across various festivals. Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is opening Venice and will likely play Telluride as well as Toronto. Now we learn that Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go is opening the the 54th BFI London Film Festival on October 13.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 5, 2010 12:08 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Jews on Film: A Serious Man and An Education; Polanski, Sellers

Jews are popping up all over. The Coens based A Serious Man, which is an affectionate yet scabrous portrait of Jewish suburban family life, on their 60s Minnesota upbringing. An Education's Nick Hornby relied on Lynn Barber's two-year old memoir and faithfully included the sleazy seducer played by Peter Sarsgaard, who is Jewish. Suffice it to say, he's a money-grubbing entrepreneur with less-than-impeccable values. Even Tim Blake Nelson includes the Jewish mafia in his midwestern comedy, Leaves of Grass, which recently played Toronto. And we must not leave out Quentin Tarantino's controversial contribution to Jewish cinema, the anti-Nazi World War II movie Inglourious Basterds, which was a sleeper summer hit. UPDATE: The NYT's A.O. Scott addresses Jewish history as interpreted by Tarantino and the Coens.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2009 5:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires The Last Station
Sony Pictures Classics has added Telluride Film Festival hit The Last Station to its burgeoning 2009 slate of possible Oscar contenders. (Here's my Telluride feature on the movie.) The studio specialty subsidiary, which acquired North And Latin American rights, will push for Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy for Oscar nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 2, 2009 2:51 AM
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  • 9 Comments

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