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Weekend Preview: 'Side by Side' & 'The Awakening' Best Bets Over Divisive 'Sparkle,' 'Cosmopolis' and 'Robot & Frank'

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 16, 2012 at 3:26PM

There's no shortage of films opening this weekend, but many will be disappointments if you go in with high expectations. The safest bet is Chris Kenneally's doc "Side by Side," which is both a treat for film buffs and a primer for anyone looking to get behind a camera in today's fast-changing digital landscape. Also getting strong reviews is Craig Zobel's Sundance entry "Compliance," which is suitably disturbing given the true story behind it, but its real-life grittiness is undermined by casting an actress who looks like a stripper to play a small town teenage girl.

This article is related to: Weekend Preview, Box Office, Box Office, The Awakening, Robot and Frank, Compliance, Side by Side, Reviews, Trailers

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.