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Thompson on Hollywood

Danny Boyle Talks 127 Hours: Intense Reality, Franco, Crowds, Rahman

In this video interview, Danny Boyle talks about his decisions on 127 Hours, including: how intense should the climactic scene with hiker Aron Ralston (James Franco) be for audiences? He has to hack through his arm's muscle and bone to extricate himself from an unmovable Utah boulder pinning him in a remote canyon, where no one knows his location. Obviously, as there have been repeated instances of audience members fainting during the scene, it is too realistic for some people. And Boyle worries about this: to him it is not a fun marketing ploy. It could in fact keep moviegoers away. But truth is, the movie pushes us to root for the stranded hiker's survival. It is a true story about isolation, endurance, and connection. (Here's the piece I wrote in Toronto, including a flip cam interview with Boyle and Franco.)
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 2, 2010 8:17 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award

Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will bestow the American Riviera Award to The Kids Are All Right star Annette Bening, who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and is considered a top contender for the best actress Oscar this year. She also earned strong reviews for Mother and Child.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 1, 2010 5:55 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO

Lena Dunham Talks Tiny Furniture, Writing for Hollywood, Rudin, HBO
The discovery of this year's SXSW (and best narrative feature winner) was 24-year-old New York writer-director Lena Dunham, who shot her semi-autobiographical micro-budget film Tiny Furniture at her family's Tribeca loft with herself, her sister Grace and her artist mom Laurie Simmons (The Music of Regret) in leading roles, along with indie professionals Jemima Kirke, Alex Karpovsky and Merritt Wever, who she met at SXSW when she debuted her first film Creative Nonfiction there. Dunham's painter father Carroll didn't want to be in the film, she admits during our flip cam interview during LAFF at L.A.'s Four Seasons (below, with trailer). "I was exploring a more female-centric thing." Her family worked their butts off during fifteen days of filming (Jody Lee Lipes is her cinematographer) and are "quite proud of it. We all went through that artistic process together."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 30, 2010 2:02 AM
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  • 5 Comments

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Contenders Big and Small, Production News, Lawrence and Morgan Talk
AWARDS
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • October 29, 2010 6:06 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Contender Lawrence Talks Winter's Bone, X-Men's Mystique, Foster's The Beaver

As the Winter's Bone DVD and Blu-ray went out this week, rising star Jennifer Lawrence hit Los Angeles to accept a New Hollywood award at the Hollywood Film Fest, on a brief break from her role as Mystique (originated by Rebecca Romijn) in X-Men: First Class.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 12:57 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Andrew Sullivan's Best Practices for Bloggers: Honesty, Integrity, Corrections, the F-Word

Atlantic Monthly political blogger Andrew Sullivan takes on the issue of journalism rules for bloggers in this video. He says you can't regulate or enforce, but that readers will discover who is honest and who isn't. He believes that bloggers should not lie, should correct things when they are wrong, should not misrepresent, and will earn their reputation for honesty and integrity as inevitably as did the New York Times. He also embraces his own blogger's rebellious streak, shared with the creators of South Park: "I can say the word 'fuck' and they can't stop me," he gloats.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 27, 2010 6:16 AM
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  • 7 Comments

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love

Oscar Watch: Considering Tilda Swinton for I Am Love
Thanks to Jeff Wells for asking me to address where Tilda Swinton stands in relation to the Best Actress Oscar race for the Italian import I Am Love. The only way for Swinton--who is admired by critics and art house audiences alike-- to make the best actress Oscar grade this year for I Am Love (which played the fest circuit before opening in June), is for critics to make a fuss over her in their year-end wraps and ten-best lists, and for critics groups and the Golden Globes to reward her with prizes and nominations and thus turn the screener into a must-see for SAG and Academy actors. Swinton has been nominated once (and won, for Tony Gilroy's Michael Clayton).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 26, 2010 8:56 AM
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  • 3 Comments

Video Watch: Johnny Depp Visits London School as Jack Sparrow

During filming of Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in London, Johnny Depp recently left the set in order to help out a kid seeking info from Jack Sparrow, reports Lindsay Reiser:Beatrice Delap, 9, a student from the southeast London area, wrote to actor Johnny Depp asking for help from his "Pirates of the Caribbean" character, Jack Sparrow. In the letter, Delap wrote that she and her fellow students were a "bunch of budding young pirates," but that they needed some professional assistance in the mutiny department.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2010 7:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Trailer and Oscar Watch: Rabbit Hole, Kidman, on Road to Awards

Trailer and Oscar Watch: Rabbit Hole, Kidman, on Road to Awards
It's all in the Lionsgate trailer (below). Toronto hit Rabbit Hole may look like another bereaved parent drama, but as adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig & the Angry Inch), and acted by Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, it's a stunning piece of work. While the movie doesn't open until December 17, I think this one will go all the way: critics groups, Golden Globes, Guilds, Oscars: picture, adapted screenplay, actress, supporting actress.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2010 4:15 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair

Peter Morgan Talks Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, James Bond, Freddy Mercury, 360, and Tony Blair
Screenwriter Peter Morgan is unusual: a Brit based in Vienna, he's a prolific writer of self-generated screenplays, and not so often a writer-for-hire. (He's been nominated for two Oscars, for The Queen, an original, and Frost/Nixon, adapted from his play.) Hereafter is an unusual original, even for him, written in a "disgracefully short period," he says. After Steven Spielberg flirted with it, Clint Eastwood scooped it up and shot it without making any changes. Morgan still isn't sure how he feels about it. Would he have liked to work on it more, or is the movie as good as it is because it's idiosyncratic, not polished, and emotionally raw? (The movie opened well this weekend; Metacritic rates it at 56.) The script weaves together three stories about people trying to reach the hereafter--or in the case of the character played by Matt Damon, avoiding it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 24, 2010 11:48 AM
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  • 1 Comment

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