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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Watch: Hope and Vachon Do Hulu

Two of the cannier producers with taste who have been supplying films at Sundance for decades are Ted Hope (The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Killer Films' Christine Vachon (Mildred Pierce). This year Hope not only executive produced director Sean Durkin's impossibly-titled cult film Martha Marcy May Marlene, which played well here (amid buyer interest) and broke out the festival's "it-girl" Elizabeth Olsen--sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, who also stars in a solo one-shot tour-de-force Silent House--but is conducting with Vachon a series of interview shows produced by Digital Artists that are being streamed on Hulu.com. Check out their interview with Olsen:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2011 12:15 AM
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Oscar Talk: Best Actress Fields; Doc, Foreign and Animated Feature Races; Surprise Contenders

During this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I kick-off with a discussion of last weekend's Golden Globes and Critics' Choice Movie Awards, then consider the Best Leading and Supporting Actress, Best Documentary Feature, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Feature categories, and single out some contenders who could easily surprise pundits with nominations.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Eastwood and Beyonce Team for A Star is Born; Vote for Her Co-Star and Streisand's Gypsy Director

Well if you are going to do a remake, why not change it up with stars like Willow Smith (in a remake of Annie) or Beyonce Knowles in A Star Is Born opposite someone along the lines of Will Smith, P Diddy, Jay-Z, Eddie Murphy, Robert Downey Jr or Jon Hamm (reports Deadline, vote your choice below).
  • By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
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  • January 21, 2011 5:29 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Ryan Gosling Promos Blue Valentine, Sings for Jimmy Kimmel

It's not news: Ryan Gosling is talented. Jimmy Kimmel is another story. Gosling has been promoting the socks off Blue Valentine for a while now. Herewith, our video interviews with Gosling and director Derek Cianfrance (a year ago at Sundance) as well as co-star Michelle Williams.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 21, 2011 4:39 AM
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True Grit iPad App: Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges, The Dude Abides

True Grit iPad App: Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges, The Dude Abides
True Grit has an iPad app, Through The Lens of Jeff Bridges. Not only does this cowboy love to sing and play guitar, but he's a shutter-bug who has been taking on-set photos for years.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 1:11 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Sundance Trailer and Poster Exclusive: The Nine Muses

Sundance Trailer and Poster Exclusive: The Nine Muses
I've always been a sucker for classical mythology; here's an exclusive poster and trailer for The Nine Muses, which played Venice and London (here's a review); it screens Friday morning at Sundance.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 21, 2011 12:33 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch Exclusive: Tom Hooper Talks Directing Style in The King's Speech

In a wide-ranging discussion about his directing approach on The King's Speech, Tom Hooper talks (in the video below) about framing star Colin Firth in wide-lens close-ups so that there was "nothing between him and the character." He mentions one of the visual themes in the film was finding "a visual analogue to stammering which became about framing Colin in relationship to negative space."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 20, 2011 4:17 AM
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Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary

Sundance Trailer and Poster EXCLUSIVE: Buck, True Horse Whisperer Documentary
With so many movies going into Sundance without distribution, many of them docs, getting them seen by the right people is tough. Cindy Meehl's Buck has the advantage of being the behind-the-scenes true story of the man behind Nick Evan's novel and the film made from it by Sundance's own Robert Redford, the producer-director-star of The Horse Whisperer (1998). Our exclusive first look at the poster and trailer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2011 12:46 AM
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  • 13 Comments

Jim Sturgess Talks The Way Back, Heartless, Singing the Beatles

Jim Sturgess Talks The Way Back, Heartless, Singing the Beatles
Jim Sturgess was deep in the throes of working on a thriller when he auditioned for Peter Weir's The Way Back. The young Brit felt "a combination of intimidation and awe and desperation" going up for a part in a Weir film. "I had quite a strange entrance into the movie," he recalls, "because when I found out that Peter was casting for the film and wanted to see me, I was in the middle of shooting a film back in London called Heartless, where I was playing a kind of psychotic, delusional, manic-depressive, suicidal character in a comedy, a British rom-com." When he met with Weir, he had been doing two weeks of night shoots and looked terrible, and left feeling disappointed. The actor ended up putting himself on tape and sent Weir a letter. "Thank god I did that," he says now, as Weir offered him the key role of a Polish Gulag survivor who leads a gang of escapees across 4000 miles to freedom.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 18, 2011 8:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4

Jacki Weaver Talks Career, Animal Kingdom's Evil Matriarch, Voicing Toy Story 4
Australian star Jacki Weaver's role as a wicked mom in Animal Kingdom has generated awards buzz since its premiere at Sundance last year. She's got several nominations to prove it, and a win at the National Board of Review Awards. Sophia Savage sat down for a flip cam interview with the veteran actress:"That's gonna take years," Jacki Weaver replies to a request for a rundown of her Australian acting career, which spans 48 years. "How long have you got?"
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • January 18, 2011 7:34 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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