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Drama

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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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    New Jolie News, Too-High Ticket Prices, Help Find Jean-Luc Godard

    - Credit Angelina Jolie with keeping it interesting. This week alone, news broke that she is writing and directing her first feature, a Bosnian love story, and now she will be starring in an adaptation of Brit miniseries Unforgiven, about a woman's struggle to re-enter society after serving a 15-year prison sentence for murdering two policemen who tried to evict her and her family from their farmhouse. One revenge-hungry policeman's son is out for revenge. The script will be written by The Usual Suspect's Christopher McQuarrie (who also co-wrote Jolie's upcoming The Tourist). Assuming the script is to Jolie's liking, this could be an excellen...

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    Yes it's True: Roadside Picks Up Biutiful Before Toronto

    It's official. As I reported here, Lionsgate subsid Roadside is releasing Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Cannes entry Biutiful. They are partnering with Liddell Entertainment, which is supplying P & A, on a planned December opening. I knew the announcement had to be made before Toronto! Javier Bardem...

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    Boardwalk Empire: New Making-Of Promo

    This HBO making-of promo for Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire (September 19) is tantalizing to say the least. The featurette includes interviews with Terence Winter (The Sopranos), Scorsese, and each of the leads, as well as more reveals on the story.

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    Miss Universe vs. Men in Lipstick, Cassavetes' Blonde Cast, Mackie for Mission: Impossible 4

    Inspired by Louis Bayard of Salon, who argues the death of the beauty pageant, we have a treat for you after the jump. "Even as a gay man," writes Bayard, "I couldn't find joy or fun in last night's monument to wax figurines and Donald Trump." He's referring to the Miss Universe Pageant, which has remained about skin and double-sided tape despite (for-appearances-only?) attempts to refocus the criteria on some kind of merit. Bayard argues that this "carnal philosophy has reaped its reward. Miss Universe is in the pink: stinking with ad revenue, sprawling across a two-hour expanse of network television. The whole enterprise should be neon with...

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    Mulligan Along for Drive, Almodovar's Latest, Aniston's Rut

    - Nicolas Winding Refn (Valhalla Rising, Bronson) has already lined up Ryan Gosling and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) for his thriller Drive. Now Carey Mulligan is negotiating to play Gosling's passenger. After Gosling's stuntman/freelance getaway driver is involved in a botched bank robbery, he is ...

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    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Set with Daldry, Bullock, Hanks

    Paramount and Warner Bros. are set to partner on Jonathan Safran Foer's 2005 Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: A Novel, with Stephen Daldry to direct two Oscar-winners, Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks.

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    A Social Network Starts Too-Early Oscar Buzz

    David Fincher, Scott Rudin and the Sony marketing team are all smiles over a very early rave review from Film Comment of The Social Network, followed by a tweet from Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers (proffering an ad quote after A Social Network lost its Hot Issue cover to Barack Obama): "David F...

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