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  • Thompson on Hollywood
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    Indie Spirits Photo Gallery

    On a bright Saturday afternoon at the Santa Monica Beach, I mingled with the presenters, nominees, media and guests at the Independent Spirit Awards. On the way in, I photographed waiters with free booze and Michael Barker, co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, which won best actress (Frozen River's Melissa Leo), best foreign film (The Class) and best first feature and ensemble cast (Synecdoche, New York). On the blue carpet, I grabbed a shot of Mad Men star Jon Hamm; Dana Delany; At the Movies co-host Ben Mankiewicz; Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi; Film Independent's Dawn Hudson; and IFC's Matt Singer; and then spent a good hour hobnobbing ou...

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    Jolie Rates on Forbes List

    The most remarkable thing about the top-ranked players in the Forbes Star Currency list (which measures power, money and fame) is that Angelina Jolie competes head-on with Johnny Depp, her partner Brad Pitt, and Will Smith. It helps that she nabbed an Oscar nom for Changeling. But she's ranked so hi...

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    WGA Awards Go to Slumdog, Milk

    Milk scripter Dustin Lance Black, 34, tearfully accepted the Writers Guild Award for best original screenplay for Milk Saturday night by calling up the ghost of slain San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, the man who inspired Black when he moved to the Bay Area from San Antonio, Texas as a closeted ...

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    Sundance Hot Titles

    My flight from LAX to Salt Lake City was delayed. Every seat was taken, many of them by industry folks heading to Park City for the Fest which launched Thursday night. I enjoyed a pleasant sunset drive up the mountain with Robin Schorr, who recently left River Road to put together a new development ...

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    Twilight Sequels Heating Up

    Don't believe everything you hear about Twilight and its sequels. Things are heating up already on the third installment, Eclipse. They haven't even started the second one yet, New Moon.

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    No Doubt About Viola Davis

    Powerhouse theater dynamo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0205626/">Viola Davis, 43, keeps showing up in tiny movie roles--the crackhead in Antwone Fisher, the mother in the hospital in World Trade Center, the anxious Mrs. Miller in Doubt--and each time blows them out of the park. While filming Doubt, Davis was so worried about holding her own in her one 11-minute confrontation with Meryl Streep that she completely failed to recognize that her nose was running. Although writer-director John Patrick Shanley convinced the studio to let him reshoot the scene in order to slow down the pacing, the snot remained. The pivotal confrontation comes as Siste...

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    Top Ten Holiday Rituals

    Forget chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Here are my fave holiday rituals:

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    My Fair Lady: Thompson Wants Laurie as Higgins

    Emma Thompson has won Oscars for both acting (Howard's End) and writing (Sense and Sensibility). And she is coming to accept how satisfying both can be. "I always thought acting was my compulsion," she says," but that writing was a different form of creativity because it is so back to the knuckle. A...

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    Twilight Sequel: Who's Next for New Moon?

    The Catherine Hardwicke story continues. Still at issue are: why she didn't get the gig on New Moon, the Twilight sequel, and who will take her place.

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    Yates' Revolutionary Road: Novel to Film

    The guy could write. The story of Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates, told in excruciating detail in Blake Bailey's 2003 A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates, moves me, partly because he got so little encouragement, yet went back to writing every morning, hung over or n...

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