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Thompson on Hollywood

Scherfig, Mulligan, Arnold Talk An Education and Fish Tank

There's a plethora of women directors this fall, from Lone Scherfig (An Education), Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank), Mira Nair (Amelia) and Jane Campion (Bright Star) to Karyn Kusama (Jennifer's Body) and Rebecca Miller (The Private Lives of Pippa Lee) .
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 12, 2009 3:30 AM
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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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Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body

Toronto Day One: Creation, The Informant!, Jennifer's Body
The reason why film festivals pick movies like Creation for opening night is that they have all the right credentials: respected producer (Jeremy Thomas) and director (Jon Amiel) and two major stars (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly) willing to show up for the gala TIFF screenings and party. But Creation was DOA tonight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 11, 2009 1:38 AM
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  • 8 Comments

TIFF: Toronto Gets Started

I'm checked in. Not enough hangers. The air conditioning works. The weather is balmy, humid, not too hot. I will install the new BlackBerry TIFF program app that's similar to the iPhone app at the Seattle Film Fest, and this year they're handing out a transit pass. Cool.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2009 3:43 AM
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Summer Wraps, Michael Moore, Fest Clips, Brit Wit, Remakes

Summer Wraps, Michael Moore, Fest Clips, Brit Wit, Remakes
Catching up after the holiday weekend and travel to and from fall film fests:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 10, 2009 1:14 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Road Will Open November 25

The Weinstein Co. has been moving around the release date of The Road, trying to figure out what it has. Well, post-Venice and Telluride, where the film earned mostly glowing reviews, it looks like Harvey and Bob Weinstein are going for a holiday play after all on a prime awards season spot, November 25. (The movie carries the Dimension label.) TWC was going to go wide with the movie on October 16.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2009 9:36 AM
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Paladin's Urman Heads for Toronto

Indie vet Mark Urman, former ThinkFilm and Senator exec, has wasted no time returning to the depleted indie distribution ranks. In July he formed Paladin, and will be hunting for pick-ups in Toronto. His latest pick-up debuted at last year's festival--Tennesee Williams' 20s romance Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Ellen Burstyn and Ann-Margret, will open in NY and LA in December.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 9, 2009 6:20 AM
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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

Pre-Toronto Gurus 'O Gold

The old Gurus 'O Gold gang is back, 16 strong. We first selected 15 top contenders, given that the Academy voters will be choosing ten this year. It's all meaningless really, until more of them have been seen. You're just voting on track record and elements. Telluride and Toronto will start to tell that tale. Whether or not a studio will even attempt to launch a serious campaign will be determined by the fest reaction. Awards marketing budgets are tight this year.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2009 5:53 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups

Festival Season: Feast and Famine, Ten Hot Toronto Pick-Ups
Going into the fall festival season in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York, we know the following:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 1, 2009 10:07 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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