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Thompson on Hollywood

Andrew Haigh Talks Weekend, A Perfectly Swell Gay Romance

One of the breakout films from this year's SXSW (audience award) was Brit editor-writer-director Andrew Haigh's Weekend, a Nottingham love story that could reach out beyond gay audiences. It's about a closeted gay man (Tom Cullen) passing for straight with everyone in his life except his best friend.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2011 9:08 AM
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Tsui Hark Talks Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Goes 3-D

Tsui Hark Talks Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, Goes 3-D
Detective Dee and Mystery of the Phantom Flame is yet another magical adventure from Hong Kong action maestro Tsui Hark (Peking Opera Blues, Seven Swords). The $20-million film was funded entirely in China--as opposed to his old friend John Woo's $80 million Red Cliff, which was backed by a pool of investors from several Asian countries. This entertaining big-scale epic is packed with extravagant action and visual effects, including a towering hollow statue that is central to the mystery in the movie.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 6, 2011 8:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Early Review Round-Up: "Chilly and Acrid" "Razor-Sharp"

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Early Review Round-Up: "Chilly and Acrid" "Razor-Sharp"
Early reviews praise Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight) in the Cold War spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, the film adaptation of John le Carre’s 1974 best-selling novel directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In). Oldman plays MI6 agent George Smiley, previously immortalized by Alec Guinness in the 1979 BBC mini-series. Critics say that Tom Hardy also pops in the ensemble including Colin Firth, John Hurt and Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 5, 2011 11:40 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Why The Help Is the Most Successful Movie in America

Why The Help Is the Most Successful Movie in America
For this week's “Now and Then” column, Matt Brennan veered from his planned course.I had originally planned on writing about two brilliantly constructed, unnerving examples of the “new Romanian Cinema” — 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days and Police, Adjective, both of which I recommend. But last night, tired of waiting for Tropical Storm Lee to pass, I finally ventured out with a friend to see The Help (trailer below).
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • September 5, 2011 6:22 AM
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  • 4 Comments

Drive Director Refn Talks Scouting Gritty L.A. Locations with Gosling, Interactive Map

Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn traces the various locations across Los Angeles in his interview with Movieline, which features an interactive road map of the urban terrain (below, with trailer). Drive, rather than show Los Angeles gloss and style, uses the grittier locales of the downtown, Reseda, and Echo Park neigborhoods--areas not frequently seen in movies about the City of Angels.
  • By Sophia Savage and Maggie Lange
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  • September 2, 2011 8:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Weekend Preview: The Debt, Detective Dee, Gainsbourg, Resurrect Dead, Love Crime & More

You probably wish you were at either the Venice or Telluride Film Festival this weekend, but if you're staying local there are several indie releases worth checking out (we'll share the goods on the festivals). Among this weekend's options are Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (indieWIRE's Pick of the Week), The Debt, getting its long-awaited theatrical run after playing Toronto 2010, and Joann Sfar's Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, which Variety says is "both evocative and faithful in its depiction of the famed French singer's lascivious life."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • September 1, 2011 10:40 AM
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Unsettling The Patron Saints Looks at Life in Nursing Home

The Patron Saints provides an unsettling glimpse inside the disquieting and often disturbing life at a nursing home (trailer posted below). In this documentary, which will debut at the Toronto Film Festival, filmmakers Brian Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky use a storytelling approach to provide a cinematic narrative to this often-ignored subject.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • August 31, 2011 5:15 AM
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Dogtooth Director Returns with Bizarre Teaser for Alps: Birth of a Classic Movie Line

Greek film Dogtooth was on many Best Films of 2010 lists and received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film (Susanne Bier's Danish In A Better World won). Director Yorgos Lanthimos promised that his next film would be darker, funnier and more extreme. Imagine that.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 30, 2011 12:09 PM
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Talking Warrior with Hardy, Edgerton and O'Connor--and Dark Knight, Bronson, Great Gatsby

Lionsgate purposely opted to take an under-the-radar approach with Gavin O'Connor's Warrior, an original drama (a rarity these days) that pits two brothers against each other in an MMA tournament. Commendably, Lionsgate financed this $25-million picture starring two on-the-rise stars: Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, as well as Nick Nolte as the father they both hate. While the movie is strong enough to warrant festival inclusion, Lionsgate's strategy isn't off-base--the movie will prove a discovery for many critics; expect raves.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 30, 2011 8:28 AM
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Ides of March Clip: Evan Rachel Wood Outsmarts the Charms of Ryan Gosling

George Clooney's The Ides of March will open the Venice Film Festival on August 31, and then heads to Toronto. But you can watch Ryan Gosling put his foot in his mouth right now. Evan Rachel Wood's character is too smart for the charms of Gosling in the clip below. Check out the trailer here.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • August 30, 2011 7:33 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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