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Thompson on Hollywood

Legend Watch: Onassis Biopic, Bridges Wisdom & Music, Hoffman's HBO Luck

- Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God, 360 in the works) plans to direct a biopic of Aristotle Onassis, adapted for the screen by his City of God scripter Bráulio Mantovani, based on Peter Evans’s best-selling book Nemesis: The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O, and the Love Triangle That Brought Down the Kennedys.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 19, 2011 5:22 AM
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Student Academy Awards 2011 Add Foreign Student Category; 575 Films Compete

Student Academy Awards 2011 Add Foreign Student Category; 575 Films Compete
Five hundred and seventy-five films will compete for the 2011 Student Academy Awards, in its 38th year. The winning films, selected from the pool of films from 136 US colleges and universities as well as 32 countries, will be presented and screened on June 11 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Since 1972, the Academy has encouraged student filmmakers with this competition, which gives medals as well as cash grants to winners in each of its five categories: Animation, Narrative, Documentary, Alternative, and new this year - the Foreign Student Film category.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 8:18 AM
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Cannes Preview: Von Trier's Romantic Melancholia, Pitt & Penn, Miss Bala & Habemus Papam

Cannes Preview: Von Trier's Romantic Melancholia, Pitt & Penn, Miss Bala & Habemus Papam
- Melancholia is the name of Lars von Trier's Cannes-bound film, which features a huge planet that dooms Earth. Von Trier tells Empire that he "liked the idea of being 'swallowed' by Melancholia. I thought that was quite nice. And then I read today that that's actually one of the virtues of romanticism – willingly being purified by dying. In fact, the film contains maybe more of the original idea of romanticism. I'm just saying that a lot of films today, their interpretation of romanticism is... quite boring, I think.” As to how the director--who is legendary for abusing actors from Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) and Bjork (Dancer in the Dark) to Nicole Kidman (Dogville)--treated star Kirsten Dunst [pictured], he adds: “I think that Kirsten got off FAR too easy. FAR too easy. She was not dragged through any masturbation. She had a very smooth ride, I would say. But she did an extremely good job.”
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 18, 2011 5:29 AM
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Summer Preview: X-Men: First Class Boasts Stellar Cast; Photo Gallery [UPDATED]

Twentieth Century Fox's Marvel prequel X-Men: First Class, with five credited writers so far, has been embroiled in a long, problematic, over-schedule shoot on locations in England, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and Russia, with a curtailed post-production hurtling toward a June 3 finish line. Nonetheless its strong cast makes me want to see it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 18, 2011 1:35 AM
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Cannes Preview: This Must Be the Place Stars Sean Penn as Aging Rock Star

Cannes Preview: This Must Be the Place Stars Sean Penn as Aging Rock Star
Sean Penn stars in Italian director Paolo Sorrentino's English-language debut This Must Be the Place, which will premiere in competition at Cannes. Sorrentino's masterful portrait of seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti Il Divo, featuring a tour-de-force performance by Toni Servillo, was compelling even to an outsider to labyrinthine Italian politics. (Here's Variety's review, trailer is below.) The biopic was a hit at Cannes in 2008.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 16, 2011 11:14 AM
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Malcolm Venville Talks Henry's Crime, Chekhov's Cherry Orchard, Vera Farmiga Acting Clip

Calling all Chekhov fans! The best part of Malcolm Venville's Henry's Crime is its use and interpretation of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. Keanu Reeves's character ends up co-starring in the play across from Vera Farmiga's character, integral to his plan to rob the bank he was already wrongly convicted of robbing. Below, Venville explains to us the use of The Cherry Orchard in the film:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 15, 2011 10:13 AM
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Penelope Cruz: To Cannes with Depp & Pirates, To Rome With Woody Allen, To Glee For Guest Star?

Penelope Cruz will be going to Cannes with co-star Johnny Depp for the May 14 premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. She'll be hopping over to Rome to shoot a film with Woody Allen this summer, and now she suggests to EW that she'd like to make a stopover on the Glee set, à la Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 15, 2011 10:09 AM
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Morgan Spurlock Talks Funding, Making, Selling Doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Morgan Spurlock Talks Funding, Making, Selling Doc The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
There's no question that Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a high-concept brand-friendly crowd-pleaser. But the brand that comes out ahead on this breezily entertaining doc is Spurlock himself. At 40, he's that magic combo of canny producer-writer, visual director, and eager-to-please, comedic performer who somehow remains likably authentic and serious about engaging and educating his audience. This is hard to do! "If you make someone laugh, you make someone listen," he says.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2011 7:48 AM
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Weekend Preview: Indie & Foreign Films to See: Princess of Montpensier, Screaming Man, Armadillo

Weekend Preview: Indie & Foreign Films to See: Princess of Montpensier, Screaming Man, Armadillo
Here's TOH's weekend preview of the mainstream box office contenders. And for the smart-movie demo, here's a look at the weekend's new indie and foreign language offerings, from Bertrand Tavernier's The Princess of Montpensier (gorgeous, as pictured) and Danish war documentaryArmadillo, to Italy's Oscar submission The First Beautiful Thing and the France/Belgium/Chad co-production A Screaming Man, which indieWIRE's Eric Kohn calls Divine.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • April 15, 2011 6:20 AM
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EXCLUSIVE Clip: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Premieres at Tribeca April 23

EXCLUSIVE Clip: Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Premieres at Tribeca April 23
Director Dori Berinstein's Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, a look at the legendary performer's life, catches the vibrant 90-year-old Broadway actress both then and now, onstage and off. Berinstein co-wrote the documentary with Adam Zucker, which features many famous faces, from Barbara Walters to Debbie Reynolds to Lily Tomlin. The film premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23. Here is the NYT's take on the fest's 10th year. Check out the exclusive clip below, in which Channing shares an anecdote about Jackie and Caroline Kennedy:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 15, 2011 3:45 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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