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Drama

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    Portman Offered Gravity, Defining Adult Films, Toronto's Most Anticipated

    - In the ongoing saga of who will replace Angelina Jolie in the lead role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity--she twice rejected the starring role--Natalie Portman has been offered the role, thanks to rave reviews on her Black Swan performance. With or without Black Swan's vote of confidence, Portman is a strong (but young) choice. The age range of the character in Gravity is apparently flexible. Should Portman accept the role, this will be a chance for her to stand out (although Robert Downey Jr. carries some of the load), a la Tom Hanks in Cast Away or James Franco in 127 Hours. Risky Business lists Portman's growing collection of possible project...

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    Telluride Review: Weir's Triumphant The Way Back Is Slowed Down by History

    Telluride correspondent Tim Appelo is not taking any guff on Peter Weir's The Way Back. He likes it.At the Floradora on Telluride’s main street, Peter Weir was like the dauntless pilgrims of his great escape movie The Way Back, who incredibly fled Stalin’s Siberian gulag and trekked through Mongolia...

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    Video: Noomi Rapace Moves Beyond Salander and the Millennium Trilogy

    One of the trickiest moves to make as a young star is coping with sudden fame--especially when it is attached to a beloved character. Swedish actress Noomi Rapace created the role of Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish films based on Stieg Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy"; the films made her a star all over the world (the trilogy has grossed $220 million so far worldwide – and $110 million for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." But like the "Twilight" stars, whether she can make a career outside Sweden in other roles, in other languages, is another question. As you can see from the interview below sho...

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    Venice Press Conference: Coppola, Dorff and Fanning Talk Somewhere

    Video of the Venice Somewhere press conference with (a soft-spoken) Sofia Coppola, Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning is in two parts, below. Coppola was a good deal more forthcoming in her later one-on-one interview with me, which I will eventually transcribe and post.

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    Modern Crime Families, Networks TV's New Challenges, Mad Men's Peggy Olson

    - The LA Times thinks the family that slays together stays together. Pop culture's healthy appetite for criminals (nothing new) has been fed with low-key gems Animal Kingdom and Winter's Bone, and while they are no Godfather trilogies in scale, they deliver the same family-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-law drama that we love. And those of use who have had a void in our lives since The Sopranos ended will find hope in HBO's upcoming Boardwalk Empire. We are easily charmed by anyone that breaks the law, it's fun to be vicariously bad through our favorite TV characters (Dexter, anyone?), and there's something about the blood-bound clans that really g...

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    Affleck Talks The Town with Co-Star Blake Lively

    - Ben Affleck interviews his The Town co-star Blake Lively for Interview Magazine. Lively, who plays Affleck's ex-girlfriend, a 29-year old drug-dealing single mother, jokes her way through the interview. They are clearly comfortable with each other--they shot a sex scene together on her first day o...

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    Venice Day Two: Schnabel's Miral is Heartfelt, Political Palestinian Drama

    While Julian Schnabel's Miral packs an emotional punch, he tells the wrong story. I was in tears during both of the film's bookend sections, which focus on real-life Hind Husseini (the great Hiam Abbass), a wealthy Palestinian woman who in 1948 takes it upon herself to feed, clothe, educate and hous...

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    Director Clooney Casts Political Drama, Affleck "All In" with The Town, TV vs. Cinema

    - Occasional director George Clooney announced his intentions to adapt the play Farragut North some time ago. And now this February his movie is set to shoot with a powerful cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and possibly Chris Pine, Evan Rachel Wood and Marisa Tomei (should they accept Clooney's offers). At some point, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio were each attached to play leading roles in the film but schedules didn't work out. Former Democratic politico Beau Willimon, after working on Howard Dean's '04 campaign, wrote the original story and first script draft about behind-the-scenes dirty campaign tricks for a Democratic cand...

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    Venice Day One: Black Swan Early Reviews, Machete

    As a Venice newbie, I got off the speed train from Rome, exited the station to a canal and grabbed a 40-minute ferry to the island the Lido. It's an adjustment. Basically a subway is a ferry here, a taxi is a motor boat or gondola, and houses have water in their basements with a garage for their boat (below). Trucks are boats too; Venice is under constant construction, like New Orleans. The Lido is a lovely resort (a bit like Fire Island or Catalina); I figured out that I needed to rent a bike to get around (I get a silly kick out of passing slow riders on the left). The casino location of the film festival (this is the 67th) is a maze of cor...

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    Somewhere Flies Over the Rainbow to Venice

    This weekend you will not be getting any Emmy coverage from me, as I'm off to Italy, first for a Roman holiday, then to Venice via speed train to cover the festival. There I expect to see Somewhere--as well as talk to director Sofia Coppola. Focus has released a new clip, below.

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