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Weekend Preview: Bad Teacher, Cars 2, Leap Year's Graphic Sex, Conan O'Brien, Better Life & More

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood June 24, 2011 at 5:30AM

While Cars 2 trends rotten and Cameron Diaz gets dirty for Bad Teacher, several worthwhile indies are also in theaters this weekend. ThePlaylist calls Conan O'Brien Can't Stop a "winning, charming, you’ll-miss-stuff-because-you’re-still-laughing-too-hard concert documentary and a peek behind Conan’s psychological curtain." It's also indieWIRE's Pick of the Week. NYT's Stephen Holden says If A Tree Falls's "sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece of reporting, although its emotional heat rarely rises to a boil," while Manohla Dargis says Chris Weitz's scaling down for A Better Life has "done him good."
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Thompson on Hollywood

While Cars 2 trends rotten and Cameron Diaz gets dirty for Bad Teacher, several worthwhile indies are also in theaters this weekend. ThePlaylist calls Conan O'Brien Can't Stop a "winning, charming, you’ll-miss-stuff-because-you’re-still-laughing-too-hard concert documentary and a peek behind Conan’s psychological curtain." It's also indieWIRE's Pick of the Week. NYT's Stephen Holden says If A Tree Falls's "sobriety and carefully balanced arguments make it an exemplary piece of reporting, although its emotional heat rarely rises to a boil," while Manohla Dargis says Chris Weitz's scaling down for A Better Life has "done him good."

Reviews, trailers and more details below:

As for Mexico's Leap Year (currently with 100% on the Tomatometer), Philip French of the Guardian declares; "It's an intense, powerful and at times deeply painful movie, a serious exercise in sexual politics, and Mónica del Carmen as Laura gives an outstanding, brave performance" (Time Out also compares it to Last Tango in Paris). There's also John Turturro's musical adventure, Passione, Neil Patrick Harris starrer The Best and The Brightest and The Names of Love from France, of which Lisa Schwarzbaum says:

"For those who wish to decode The Names of Love, there's a sharp commentary on French prejudices, character types, history, and culture embedded in Michel Leclerc's droll autobiographical French comedy. But the surface story works just fine too."

Cars 2, Disney, USA | Dir: John Lasseter; Cast: Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, John Turturro | 36% Tomatometer | 58% MetaCritic.

Bad Teacher, Columbia Pictures, USA | Dir: Jake Kasdan; Cast: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch | indieWIRE | 47% Tomatometer | 46% MetaCritic.

A Better Life, Summit Entertainment, USA | Dir: Chris Weitz; Cast: Demián Bichir, José Julián Eddie 'Piolin' Sotelo, Joaquin Cosio, Nancy Lenehan |
B criticWIRE | indieWIRE Interview: Weitz Moves from Twilight to A Better Life | 79% Tomatometer | 66% MetaCritic.

Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, Abramorama, USA (Doc) | Dir: Rodman Flender | A- criticWIRE | indieWIRE's Pick of the Week | Conan at SXSW | 74% Tomatometer | 67% MetaCritic.

Thompson on Hollywood


Leap Year, Strand Releasing, MEXICO | Dir: Michael Rowe; Cast: Monica del Carmen, Gustavo Sanchez Parra | 100% Tomatometer | 72% MetaCritic. [pictured]

If A Tree Falls: A Story of the E.L.F., Oscilloscope, USA (Doc) | Dir: Marshall Curry |
B- criticWIRE | indieWIRE Interview: Curry Talks Tree's Point of View | 86% Tomatometer | 77% MetaCritic.

Thompson on Hollywood


The Names of Love, Music Box Films, FRANCE | Dir: Michel Leclerc; Cast: Jacques Gamblin, Sara Foresiter, Zinedine Soualem, Carole Franck | indieWIRE | 56% Tomatometer | 62% MetaCritic. [pictured]

Passione: A Musical Adventure, USA/ITALY (Doc) | Dir: John Turturro | B+ criticWIRE | indieWIRE's Eric Kohn Reviews Passione | TOH interviews Turturro | 88% Tomatometer | 67% MetaCritic.

The Best And The Brightest, USA | Dir: Josh Shelov; Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Bonnie Somerville, Amy Sedaris, Peter Serafinowicz | indieWIRE | 27% Tomatometer | 25% MetaCritic.


This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, Reviews, Weekend Preview, Summer, Foreign, Drama, Documentaries, comedy, Animation, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.