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Thompson on Hollywood

Haynes and Winslet Talk Revisionist HBO Mildred Pierce

Indie filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven) talked to television critics about his first foray into television on HBO's Mildred Pierce Friday at the press tour in Pasadena. TOH contributor Amy Dawes reports: The revisionist spirit that shaped classic 1970s American films like Chinatown and The Godfather was a guiding source of inspiration for Todd Haynes in adapting James L. Cain’s 1941 novel Mildred Pierce.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • January 8, 2011 9:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Sundance Trailer Watch: Bier's In a Better World

Sundance Trailer Watch: Bier's In a Better World
One of the films I most look forward to catching at Sundance is Susanne Bier's Danish entry for the Oscars, In a Better World (Sony Pictures Classics). Bier directed Brothers (remade by Jim Sheridan) and After the Wedding, which was nominated for the foreign Oscar. In a Better World is about a Danish doctor who must deal with conflicts at home as well as at an African refugee camp.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Young Hanks and Aykroyd Rap and Dance in Dragnet Video

Universal invested serious coin in this 1987 Dragnet MTV music video for the hit hip-hop single City of Crime (which played over the closing credits), starring the rap-and-dance team of Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd (below).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 5, 2011 5:20 AM
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  • 2 Comments

EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci Kiss in Italian Ages of Love Teaser Trailer

Check out Robert De Niro and Monica Bellucci (and a handful of Italian co-stars) in this lip-locked teaser trailer for Giovanni Veronesi's The Ages of Love, which opens in Italy February 25. De Niro plays Adrian, an American Art History professor who has been living the loner life in Rome since divorcing his wife years ago. His limited and tranquil existence is disturbed when he meets his doorman's daughter, played by Bellucci...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 8:59 AM
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  • 0 Comments

White Material: Denis Dissects Black and White in Africa

Claire Denis' White Material is no Out of Africa. Take away the Hollywood studio gloss, the romance, the carefully framed vistas at magic hour. None of that. This is another look at Africa, up close and personal, a stripped down movie that manipulates you by withholding information and playing with your sympathy toward beautiful French actress Isabelle Huppert. White Material often frustrated me while I was watching it--who's that? What is their relationship? Is he/she crazy?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 4, 2011 2:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer Watch: Unstable Elements Focuses on Beleaguered Belarus Free Theater Group

Madeleine Sackler (director of the 2010 Oscar short-listed documentary The Lottery) recently shot footage of the Belarus Free Theater group in the hopes of making a feature documentary highlighting the human rights infractions that are happening in Belarus. Last July, Sackler and cinematographer Daniel Carter interviewed Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Kolyada, the husband and wife team that leads the group, among others.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 31, 2010 8:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Flickchart Top 20 of 2010 Led by Inception, Scott Pilgrim

Flickchart is a film buff's addictive time-waster that's a best-to-avoid for me. Sure enough, I'm lured to check out the site's Top 20 of 2010 chart, compiled from some 49 million rankings from Flickchart users all over the world. Surprise: Inception is number one, followed by Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. (They also have a best animated films of 2010 chart, which does not include The Illusionist in its top ten. Humph.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 29, 2010 6:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments

IFC to Release The Other Woman, Starring Pregnant Natalie Portman

Just as we are all trying to get used to the idea of wraith-like Natalie Portman as a pregnant soon-to-be new mom, she turns up pregnant in a movie filmed two years ago that was recently picked up by IFC, The Other Woman. Written and directed by Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) and produced by Marc Platt (Wanted), The Other Woman stars Portman as a woman trying not to be a wicked stepmom. See the trailer below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 10:26 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati

Oscar Watch: Animated The Illusionist is Homage to Tati
Which animated film will land the third Oscar slot behind Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon? The critics have given a serious boost Sylvain Chomet's elegiac 2-D The Illusionist, which won best animated film at the European Film Awards and New York Film Critics Circle and a spotlight award from the National Board of Review. It's also nominated for five Annie Awards and best animated feature by the Golden Globes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 28, 2010 5:31 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Trailer Watch: Saorise Ronan Stars as Assassin Hanna

The film tradition of young women killers is long: from Natalie Portman in The Professional and Anne Parillaud and Bridget Fonda as Femme Nikita to Jennifer Garner in Alias and Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass. Now we have a new entrant in the category: Saorise Ronan in Hanna (April 8), a Focus Features film that reunites the star with her director on Atonement, Joe Wright. The trailer is below. Eric Bana plays her father; Cate Blanchett co-stars.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2010 4:33 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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