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Thompson on Hollywood

Hugh Jackman To Present At Academy Awards; Hosts Hathaway and Franco Tease With Video Promo

Hugh Jackman To Present At Academy Awards; Hosts Hathaway and Franco Tease With Video Promo
For those who wish that Hugh Jackman was returning to host the Oscars, well, he's the first confirmed presenter for the Academy Awards on February 27. This year's hosting chores will be handled by two young actors, Oscar nominee James Franco (127 Hours) and Anne Hathaway, who did a memorable turn on the Oscar stage with Jackman. Hathaway and Franco's first Oscar promo is below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 7:41 AM
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Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call

Sundance Video: Zachary Quinto and J.C. Chandor Talk Margin Call
Margin Call is one of several low-budget ($3.5 million), accessibly commercial smart films for adults debuting at Sundance that got made with a major cast willing to work for nothing against the promise of worthy material and a decent back end.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 27, 2011 3:50 AM
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A Tale of Two Speeches, President Obama vs. King George VI

A Tale of Two Speeches, President Obama vs. King George VI
King George VI vs. President Barack Obama. The Huffington Post pegs both men's speeches against one and other and considers how they fared:"President Obama is facing a very hostile House of Representatives, and a country that is torn on the efficacy of his presidency, though they all knew he could speak. Firth (as King George) faced a unified nation, but a country torn on the efficacy of his speech. Oh, and a swarming enemy that was invading his little island. Both oversaw what could be considered empires at their crossroads. Here's a basic scorecard between the two."Here is the scorecard, King George VI's speech, a clip from the film (which Weinstein Co. may trim for a PG-13) and Obama's State of the Union, below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 27, 2011 2:07 AM
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Video: Brit Marling Talks Another Earth, Sound of My Voice

Video: Brit Marling Talks Another Earth, Sound of My Voice
It is astonishing how quickly now a talent can soar from zero to 60 with the debut of a micro-budget film at a festival. At Sundance, I interviewed writer-actress-producer Brit Marling as Another Earth screened for Fox Searchlight (video below). Her rising star is the main reason that as soon as Searchlight looked at Mike Cahill's micro-budget sci-fi dramatic competition entry Another Earth, they swiftly pursued a deal, persevering over the Weinstein Co. and Focus Features, and signed all the paperwork early the next morning for less than $1 million for all English-speaking territories, with no P & A commitment.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2011 8:40 AM
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Sundance Video: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta Talk Comedy on Cedar Rapids

Sundance Video: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta Talk Comedy on Cedar Rapids
Fox Searchlight brought two new movies to Sundance, and both played like gangbusters: Ed Helms and Miguel Arteta's midwestern comedy Cedar Rapids (February 11), which I've seen--it's hilarious-- and Tom McCarthy's Win Win, starring Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti as a high school wrestling coach (March 18).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2011 8:06 AM
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Studios, Celebs Make Videos for It Gets Better Project: See Sony, Pixar, DeGeneres

With Chaz Bono's new doc Becoming Chaz (which was acquired by Oprah Winfrey's OWN network)debuting at Sundance, along with David Weissman's historic doc We Were Here, awareness of gender issues is front and center at Sundance--if not everywhere else.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 26, 2011 7:38 AM
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Sundance Watch: Weinstein Co. Aggressively Acquires My Idiot Brother in Seller's Market

Buying at Sundance is a game of grabbing one title at a time: each distrib circles the hit titles, grabs one, and retires from the fray. (Sony Pictures Classics, Magnolia IFC tend to have bigger appetites.) What buyers don't want in a heated bidding situation is to overpay for a weak title or wind up needing product and going home with nothing. Weinstein Co. did not land Margin Call (which went to Lionsgate/Roadside) or Like Crazy (which went to Paramount) or Take Shelter, starring Michael Shannon, or Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which both went to Sony pre-fest. Sony saw the Spurlock doc before anyone had seen the completed picture--Sony saw the first hour of the film, says Spurlock. James Marsh's dramatic chimp doc Project Nim went to HBO before the fest, which is seeking a theatrical partner.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2011 12:58 AM
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Sundance Panel: Martha Marcy May Marlene

One of the best-reviewed films at Sundance is Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene, starring one of several Sundance "it girls," Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman who is drawn into an isolated cult led by John Hawkes. Check out the press conference moderated by exec producer Ted Hope.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 10:05 AM
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IMDb Founder Col Needham Talks Sundance

IMDb founder Col Needham is a big film buff, and he takes his Sundance picks seriously. I caught him with the Flip Cam at the Eccles Saturday night:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 9:55 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out

Sundance Watch: Drake Doremus Talks Like Crazy Sale, Felicity Jones Breaks Out
The Sundance Fest's biggest sale so far is Like Crazy, the follow-up film from Drake Doremus, who showed Douchebag here last year. That movie was a minor improv road comedy of the Mumblecore variety. (Speaking of which, SXSW grad Joe Swanberg's first Sundance entry, Uncle Kent, has earned dismissive reviews here.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 8:31 AM
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