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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Watch: Streep Keeps Pearls in Iron Lady Teaser: Faces New Oscar Rival

Oscar Watch: Streep Keeps Pearls in Iron Lady Teaser: Faces New Oscar Rival
Pathe has released a new teaser (below) for Phyllida Lloyd's The Iron Lady (December 16). Could this be Oscar number three for Academy perennial Meryl Streep, with a record 16 nominations?
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • July 7, 2011 4:51 AM
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Early Reviews Debate Franchise Ending

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Early Reviews Debate Franchise Ending
Timed with the Thursday London premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (in 3-D), the Brit and trade reviews of the eighth and final installment of the global blockbuster franchise are upbeat (see them and livestream of premiere at 8 AM Pacific, below):
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2011 11:05 AM
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Malcolm McDowell Talks Lindsay Anderson, A Clockwork Orange, Gets Maine Fest Career Award

Malcolm McDowell Talks Lindsay Anderson, A Clockwork Orange, Gets Maine Fest Career Award
Malcolm McDowell, 67, has been on the PA circuit of late, scooping up award tributes and riding the PR swell for the 40th anniversary Blu-ray release of my favorite Stanley Kubrick film, 1971's A Clockwork Orange and Antoine de Gaudemar and Michel Ciment's doc Once Upon a Time… Clockwork Orange. They both screened at Cannes, where McDowell taught a master class.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 6, 2011 1:22 AM
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Oscar Watch: Horse Whisperer Brannaman Talks Crying at Buck, Reuniting with Redford

Oscar Watch: Horse Whisperer Brannaman Talks Crying at Buck, Reuniting with Redford
I ran into Buck Brannaman on the main drag at Sundance this January, decked out in his cowboy boots and hat, spreading warmth and cheer as he moved down the street. The guy's a star: the magic charisma that works on horses, no matter how disturbed, shines out of him in person, too. He's the guy who inspired Robert Redford's 1998 The Horse Whisperer; he hit it off with the filmmaker/star on that film during "one of the finest summers I can remember," and was delighted to hang with him opening night in Park City. For the past decade Brannaman and Redford have been busy "doing our own thing," Brannaman says. "We have not been able to spend time. This was a great reunion for us." The two men hope to go fly fishing this summer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 5, 2011 8:57 AM
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Dardennes' Cannes Grand Prix Winner The Kid with a Bike Nabs More Awards

Dardennes' Cannes Grand Prix Winner The Kid with a Bike Nabs More Awards
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's The Kid with a Bike (from Belgium) has won several awards in Italy. The filmmakers will be presented with the Fiesole Award to Film Masters (Premio Fiesole ai Maestri del Cinema) on July 8, the Flaiano International film Prize (Premio internazionale Flaiano del cinéma) on July 10 in Pescara, and in September the Robert Bresson Award in Venice. The film is currently playing in Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland. There is currently no US release date, though it was picked up by Sundance Selects out of Cannes, where the Dardennes won yet another prize, the Grand Prix.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 5, 2011 4:33 AM
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You Can't Force Funny: Jeff Daniels Sings the Blues

Watch Jeff Daniels strum his stuff in Funny or Die’s absurd riff, “Forcin’ the Blues with Jeff Daniels." There’s a particularly silly shout-out to his impeccable acting choices towards the end.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • July 4, 2011 2:00 AM
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HBO Doc Shows Why DA Needed Exiting Sex Crimes Unit Chief Friel's Division in Strauss-Kahn Case

HBO Doc Shows Why DA Needed Exiting Sex Crimes Unit Chief Friel's Division in Strauss-Kahn Case
There's no question that my reaction to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case was influenced by having seen Lisa Jackson's Sex Crimes Unit, which played at the Los Angeles Film Festival before beginning its run on HBO June 20. Jackson got unprecedented access to the respected Unit of the New York District Attorney's office that specializes in sex crimes. You see how the attorneys work under unit chief Lisa Friel, who unexpectedly announced last week that she will be leaving the division.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2011 11:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Video: A Quick Look at Google +

I have not been invited yet to Google +, although frustratingly, others have invited me to join. But Google had to shut down that option after too many people rushed to sign up. Check out Google's demonstration video for Google +. If you're like me, Facebook has become this huge mass of disparate folks ranging from close family and friends to work colleagues and acquaintances and people I don't even know. Twitter is easier--anyone can follow me, and I can select who I follow. But when one group starts live-tweeting a movie or football game--that could be done as a Google + hangout without either imposing it on disinterested Twitter followers or asking people to temporarily unfollow you.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2011 11:03 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap: Transformers Good News for 3-D, Oscar Lineup Shaping Up, Original Content in the Works

Weekly Wrap: Transformers Good News for 3-D, Oscar Lineup Shaping Up, Original Content in the Works
BOX OFFICE
  • By Sophia Savage and Anne Thompson
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  • July 1, 2011 7:42 AM
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Transformers 3 Set to Slaughter 2-D Field; Plus Terri, Aurora, Perfect Host, Uninspired Larry Crowne

Transformers 3 Set to Slaughter 2-D Field; Plus Terri, Aurora, Perfect Host, Uninspired Larry Crowne
Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, in all its 3-D glory, is going to score huge and remind us that good acting doesn't always accompany box office success. The visual payoff, especially in IMAX 3-D, is worth the ticket price, and reinstates 3-D as a positive cinematic achievement after months of disappointments. One critic speculates: “One gets the feeling that if [director Michael] Bay could stop including people in his films altogether we’d all have a much better time with this franchise.” Tom Hanks' adult-targeted counterprogrammer Larry Crowne, despite having America's Sweetheart (Julia Roberts) and America's Other Sweetheart (Hanks himself), is having a hard time convincing anyone it's worthwhile. The WSJ's John Anderson says: "You wonder who thought any of this was funny."
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • July 1, 2011 5:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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