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Thompson on Hollywood

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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  • 2 Comments

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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  • 3 Comments

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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  • 0 Comments

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

Trailer Watch: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Fox presented a Weta Digital livestream event Wednesday with the Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August) VFX master Joe Letteri and Andy Serkis, who plays wily ape Caesar (video below). They also revealed this trailer.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 14, 2011 1:27 AM
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Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"

Harry Shearer Talks Expose The Big Uneasy, Media Coverage of Katrina, Spike Lee's "Canards"
The tagline for Harry Shearer's The Big Uneasy, a Katrina doc that digs into the Army Corps of Engineers' role in the post-hurricane New Orleans flood, reads "Natural Disaster? You Don't Know the Half Of It." Shearer is well-known to public radio listeners for his weekly Sunday talkfest Le Show; the Renaissance man is not only a sharp and funny writer-actor-producer-director and mockumentarian (This is Spinal Tap, For Your Consideration, The Simpsons) but a well-versed media commentator and blogger for The Huffington Post. The half-time New Orleans resident is dead-serious when covering the Katrina debacle. On the eve of the hurricane's fifth anniversary, he decided that putting his own more deeply reported documentary into the conversation might help bring the mainstream media up to speed.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 13, 2011 11:27 AM
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Headline In Search of a Story: Franco's Oscar Night Did Not Hurt Your Highness Box Office

Headline In Search of a Story: Franco's Oscar Night Did Not Hurt Your Highness Box Office
Some online headline-mongering makes me crazy. Basically, the idea is to take a celebrity name and fashion a question around it. In this case, did James Franco's lousy Oscar hosting lead to last weekend's weak opening of Your Highness?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 12, 2011 8:12 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film

Cannes Adds Kung Fu Panda 2, Pirates 4; Allen Controls Opener, Adds Baldwin to Rome Film
No reviews of Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, which does for the City of Light what Manhattan did for New York, will run ahead of its unveiling opening night at Cannes (6 PM Croisette time) on May 11. That means there will be no advance press screening that day. Much like the last Indiana Jones installment, Cannes critics will leap from their chairs to file ASAP. The press conference will take place the following day.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 12, 2011 5:41 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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