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Thompson on Hollywood

Venice Winners: Golden Lion to 'Pieta,' Director to Paul Thomas Anderson

South Korean director Kim Ki-duk's "Pieta" won the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival, while the Silver Lion went to American director Paul Thomas Anderson for "The Master"; both his stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix shared the best male actor award. Israel's Hadas Yaron won best actress nod for "Fill The Void" by Rama Burshtein. Austrian Ulrich Seidl won the Special Jury prize for "Paradise: Faith." French director Olivier Assayas took home best screenplay for "Something in the Air."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 8, 2012 5:48 PM
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Best of the Week: Toronto, Venice & Telluride Fest Coverage, Plus Box Office, Awards & More

This week on TOH, we're in major festival mode with coverage and reviews out of Toronto, Venice and Telluride, we look at the weekend's theatrical offerings, analyze last weekend's box office and more!
  • By TOH!
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  • September 7, 2012 4:58 PM
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Venice: 'Crawl' Wins the Europa Cinemas Label for Venice Days Section

Hervé Lasgouttes' "Crawl" has won the Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film in the Venice Days section of the Venice Film Festival. By receiving the Label, "Crawl" benefits from promotional support and better exhibition options from the Europa Cinemas network.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • September 7, 2012 12:20 PM
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Venice: Polley's 'Stories We Tell' Is Revealing & Affecting

With Toronto beckoning, I've had to bid a reluctant farewell to Venice where, as much as I liked "BAD 25", "The Iceman", "Disconnect", "Enzo Avitabile Music Life" and "The Master", my pick of the festival was undoubtedly "Stories We Tell". Sarah Polley's third feature as a writer-director – and first non-fiction film – is revelatory in multiple ways, not least as a deeply exposing journey into the heart of the actress' family and own identity.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 4, 2012 7:58 PM
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Telluride Wrap: Strong Lineup Led by 'Argo,' 'Gatekeepers,' 'Amour,' and 'Stories We Tell'

Heading into Toronto and New York, what have we learned from Telluride and Venice? Quite a good deal. The Telluride awards season movies now in play include Sony Pictures Classics' Palme d'Or-winning "Amour," starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, which wowed audiences and journos alike and should wind up in the best picture as well as foreign film race
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 4, 2012 7:08 PM
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'Anna Karenina' Early Review: Visually Splendid, Audacious, Swoony Epic Romance Heads for Oscars

The startling new adaptation of Tolstoy’s great novel "Anna Karenina," with Keira Knightley in the title role, is . as visually splendid as any studio epic, even if it plays with audience expectations of what lavish looks like. It’s a respectable adaptation of a huge story, encompassing a wealth of ideas; yet it also has the direct, heartfelt appeal of what Hollywood once called ‘a women’s picture.’
  • By David Gritten
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  • September 2, 2012 7:00 PM
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Venice: 'To The Wonder' Press Conference - Kurylenko Feels Telepathic Connection to Malick

In the absence of Terrence Malick (naturally…), Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, it was left to Olga Kurylenko to fly the flag for "To The Wonder" at the film's Venice press conference, alongside producers Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda and Italian co-star Romina Mondello.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 2, 2012 6:32 PM
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VENICE: 'The Master' Press Conference; Cruise & Anderson Still Friends

Despite an enthusiastic reception as he entered the room, Paul Thomas Anderson held up his reputation as elusive prey at "The Master" press conference in Venice, and his two stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix were happy to fall in step behind him. In fact, Phoenix barely said a word, dragging on a cigarette, offering a couple of mumbling replies and even leaving the room for a spell. But there were still nuggets to be gleaned.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 2, 2012 10:56 AM
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VENICE REVIEW: Anderson's 'The Master' Impresses and Befuddles; Phoenix & Hoffman Both Outstanding

What has Paul Thomas Anderson wrought with “The Master”? A film that’s majestic and masterly if not a masterpiece, which draws sustenance from masters of the past, filmic, literary and artistic, and is pinioned by two colossal characters as it recounts the early, stuttering formation of a Scientology-style self-help belief system.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • September 1, 2012 11:16 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Venice Film Festival: Spike Lee Rocks the Biennale with 'BAD25'

Venice is buzzing this year with superb documentaries from high-profile film figures. Jonathan Demme’s “Enzo Avitabile Music Life” was a spirited portrait of the Neopolitan singer-songwriter who may not be widely known but whose zeal, talent and exhilarating performances with other figures in his field had me reappraising my assumptions about that woollily defined genre called world music; and more on Sarah Polley’s revelatory “Stories We Tell” later. But it was Spike Lee who rocked the Lido today with his rousing, passionate, breathlessly paced and frequently moving paean to Michael Jackson, which focuses intently on the creative process that went into generating the songs and videos for his third album, BAD – an album which spawned some of the greatest pop hits of all time, including its title track, ‘Man In The Mirror’ and ‘Smooth Criminal’.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • August 31, 2012 1:44 PM
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