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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Reviews: Lean Mean 'Bachelorette' Shocks Festival, Too Hard or Too Soft?

Sundance comedy "Bachelorette" boasts an all-star girl comedy-pack: Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher. They play a hard-drinking and drugging trio who are horrified that their pudgiest gal pal (Aussie comedienne Rebel Wilson) is the first of their high school gang to get married.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 26, 2012 10:28 PM
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Athena Film Festival Returns to Barnard; Mira Nair, Diablo Cody, Debra Martin Chase Among Co-Chairs

Athena Film Festival, 2012: Call for Submissions
The 2nd annual Athena Film Festival, described as a "Celebration of Women and Leadership,” is returning to the Barnard campus from February 9-12, 2012.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 21, 2011 5:27 PM
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Now and Then: In TCM Battle of the Blondes, Who Comes Out on Top?

  • By Matt Brennan
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  • November 28, 2011 12:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Susan Seidelman's Dance Romance Musical Chairs To Hit Theaters in March 2012

"Boynton Beach Club" director Susan Seidelman's latest, the romantic dance drama "Musical Chairs" will be released by Mark Urman's Paladin Films in March 2012. The film starring rookies Leah Pipes and E.J. Bonilla as dancers in love in contemporary New York debuted as a work in progress at the Woodstoick Film Festival and will first officially debut at Lincoln Center on January 28th as the centerpiece film of their annual “Dance On Camera” festival.   Set in the world of competitive ballroom dancing, "Musical Chairs" stars Bonilla as a Bronx Latino would-be dancer; he works as a handyman at the Manhattan dance studio where East Side Princess Mia (Pipes) is the star. When an accident ends her dancing career, at his behest she moves into training for a wheelchair ballroom dance competition.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 18, 2011 6:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment

GENDER WATCH: The Telling Ignorance of THR's Directors Roundtable

We don't blame Women and Hollywood for being outraged at THR's careless and condescending approach to their 2011 Directors Roundtable. While we agree that Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), Steve McQueen ("Shame"), Bennett Miller ("Moneyball"), Mike Mills ("Beginners"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Jason Reitman ("Young Adult") are well worth interviewing, there are plenty more who could easily be sitting there with THR's Matthew Belloni and Stephen Galloway -- including several women. At the same time as THR's Directors Roundtable should be thoughtfully curated, it should be representative of the year in film--whether it's an Awards publicity tool or not. Consider this specific portion of the roundtable:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 17, 2011 4:29 PM
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  • 37 Comments

Oscar Watch: Janet McTeer Talks Gender-Bending Albert Nobbs and Glenn Close

Janet McTeer didn't mean to steal the gender-bender drama "Albert Nobbs" from its writer-producer-star, Glenn Close, who developed and willed the $8-million period film into being. But McTeer does, partly because the tall powerful stage actress (Oscar-nominated for "Tumbleweeds") has the showier part as free-wheeling house painter Hubert. Actors will recognize the degree of difficulty for the diminutive Close, whose character is locked in a 30-year prison, passing as a man in 19th century Dublin. While Nobbs is closed in, lonely and isolated, hiding behind a mask, frightened of any disturbance in her world, Hubert owns the physicality and freedom of a man--and lives with a woman. My video interview with McTeer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 4:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Mindy Kaling Makes Impertinent and Incisive Digs at Hollywood

In an interview with NPR, The Office's Mindy Kaling, who writes and produces the TV comedy as well as starring as "perpetual teenager" Kelly Kapoor, displayed her unique and subtle understanding of the absurd logic of American pop culture. Among other brash statements, she hails the art of the diet: "We always think of a diet with a big groan. But I think diets are fun. I think it is an American pastime for a lot of women."
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 1, 2011 6:29 AM
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Obit: Pioneer Sue Mengers Was Hollywood's Most Powerful Woman Agent

The minute I learned that legendary ICM agent Sue Mengers had died, I contacted Elaine Dutka, who had memorably profiled the uber-agent for the LA Times. Here's Dutka's obit. Sue Mengers, the first female agent to penetrate the Hollywood boy's club, died Saturday at her Beverly Hills home. Flamboyant, charming, witty, and abrasive, she was the most powerful woman on the agency scene in the 1970's and 1980s--arguably the most famous agent of her time.
  • By Elaine Dutka
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  • October 17, 2011 7:22 AM
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Thirty Faces of Comedy

And they're all Amy Poehler! New York Magazine posts a slide-show of Polaroid tests for thirty of Parks and Recreation comedienne Amy Poehler's characters. She performed them for the comedy-troupe Upright Citizen's Brigade, profiled by the magazine this week.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 28, 2011 4:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Glenn Close Talks Gender Bender Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs is a 30-year labor of love for Glenn Close, who won an Obie for Simone Benmussa’s 1982 stage play based on a story by George Moore about a straight woman who passes as a male butler in a Dublin hotel in order to survive. Ever since, Close has been trying to turn the story into a movie, and finally pushed it through with actors’ favorite Rodrigo Garcia (Mother & Child) at the helm, thanks to some Fort Worth investors who were impressed that Close had some of her own skin in the $8 million venture. The film shot in chilly Dublin in 32 days. "The story seemed so psychologically modern," says Close, who is radiantly happy as writer-producer-star of the finished movie. "There's a comedic element. I think of Albert Nobbs as a clown, comic and tragic at the same time. it's about people surviving poverty, what people will do to survive."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • September 3, 2011 12:44 PM
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  • 7 Comments

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