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Thompson on Hollywood

Weinstein Co. & Branagh Team for Rowing Tale Boys in the Boat

Kenneth Branagh, who just wrapped Paramount's Thor (which has a bad-ass new poster), will next take charge of The Boys in the Boat, a 1930s story about the University of Washington's rowing team, based on a non-fiction book to be written by Daniel James Brown. Film rights have gone to The Weinstein Co., whose production chief Donna Gigliotti will serve as producer.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Awards Season Climax, Oscar Parties & Video, Box Office, Oscar Contenders at Work

- Oscar Talk: Final Edition, Oscar Wrap.
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • March 4, 2011 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Box Office: Gnomeo & Juliet Elves Bash Cage's Drive Angry 3D and Farrelly's Hall Pass

Animated holdover Gnomeo & Juliet surged ahead of yet another set of weak openers as the box office continues in the doldrums.(Here's our six reasons why.) See weekend trailers and Top Ten Box Office Chart below. Anthony D'Alessandro has the numbers:A band of CGI elves had the last laugh as Disney’s Gnomeo & Juliet stole the box office with $14.2 million, kicking former marquee champs, the Farrelly Brothers and Nicolas Cage, in the groin. The Farrelly’s Hall Pass, distributed by Warner Bros./New Line, slid to second with a $13.4 million three-day after showing signs of a No. 1 win on Friday with $4.6 million.  Summit Entertainment’s Cage headliner Drive Angry 3D from Nu Image Pictures crashed and burned in ninth with $5.1 million – the lowest opening for a 3D live-action feature after Gulliver’s Travels ($6.3 million bow) and another sign in Nicolas Cage’s apocalyptic career. The success of Gnomeo proves that when there’s crap at the box office, family titles flourish, a pattern seen last April when the fourth frame of How to Train Your Dragon bested the bows of Jennifer Lopez’s The Back-up Plan and DC comics also-ran The Losers.  After filing fourth on Friday with $3.16 million, Gnomeo climbed 101% yesterday to $6.3 million. 
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 27, 2011 5:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Indie Spirits Preview: Back to Beach with Host McHale; Oscar Nominees Favored to Win; Hudson Talks

It's back to the beach in Santa Monica (amid threats of rain) for the 26th edition of the Independent Spirit Awards, which are voted on by some 5000 members of Film Independent, and take place the Saturday before the Oscars. It won't be hard for first-time host Joel McHale (The Soup, Spy Kids 4, see video below) to improve on last year's Eddie Izzard, who phoned in his duties without seeming to have much sense of the smart indies in the room during 2010's one-off move downtown to LA Live. Former R-rated hosts John Waters, Sarah Silverman and Rainn Wilson honed in on the right vibe for this crowd. Here's the list of presenters.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 26, 2011 2:42 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry

The Adjustment Bureau Early Reviews: Damon & Blunt Own It With Heart-Fluttering Chemistry
Hollywood has a good track record when it comes to adapting California sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, who was praised by Adam Gopnik for his "mixture of mordant comedy and wild metaphysics."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 9:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Weekend Preview: Drive Angry 3D, Hall Pass, Of Gods and Men, Heartbeats

Of this weekend's new entries, the one I want to see most is French Oscar entry Of Gods and Men, which earned raves around the world but was unaccountably shut out by the foreign language committee. UPDATE: It also won the Cesar award for Best Film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 8:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

The Oscar-Winning Boston Movie: Trailer of Cliches

Just what you've all been waiting for: All of the Boston Oscar movie cliches in one super Bostony trailer:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 25, 2011 7:56 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Docs: Lucy Walker Talks Waste Land, Rival to Front Runners

The field of five Oscar-nominated docs is strong this year, not a weakling in the bunch. As street artist Bansky wages a campaign for Exit Through the Gift Shop against front-runner Inside Job, another film about art, Waste Land, could pose some competition. Justin Lowe reports from a recent screening at the Landmark Theatre in West LA, where director Lucy Walker presented her film for an invitation-only audience:Facing a formidable field of competitors for the best documentary Academy Award, Walker and the film itself made a convincing case for consideration among the top three contenders. Waste Land focuses on Rio de Janeiro’s community of catadores, waste recyclers who live and work in the slum adjacent to the Jardim Gramacho landfill, following Brazilian artist Vik Muniz from his studio in Brooklyn to the garbage dump for an ambitious project. An internationally recognized photographer who frequently employs non-traditional materials, Munoz’s goal at Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest trash disposal facility, was to work with catadores from the waste pickers’ association known as ACAMJG to create large-scale portraits composed primarily of re-purposed solid waste.
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 22, 2011 4:58 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five

Oscar Animated Shorts Preview: The Lost Thing, Day & Night Are Best of Five
Depending on where you live, some combination of the Oscar-nominated shorts (animated, live action and documentary) may be playing in a theater near you, thanks to Shorts International and Magnolia Pictures (trailer, clips and detailed release info below). Four out of five of the animated shorts are quite strong.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 11:22 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Oscar Video: Susanne Bier Talks In a Better World

After her foray into Hollywood filmmaking with DreamWorks' Things We Lost in the Fire, which boasted impeccable performances from Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro but was too dark to yield much box office, Denmark's star director Susanne Bier returned home to build yet another organic, thoughtful movie with her long-time collaborator, Anders Thomas Jensen. Bier, who had the first of her two children a year after she graduated from film school, feels supported in Denmark. She and Jensen go off to a retreat where she paces and acts out scenes, and he writes them up. "We are both obsessed with moral issues," she says. "We usually have one or two characters we are passionate about. How would we react in each case? Are we morally sound?"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 19, 2011 2:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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