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    Oscar Talk: Shame's NC-17 and Fassbender, Whither Clooney, Chastain, Doc Race, Year-End Critics

    In this week's Oscar Talk, Kris Tapley and I debate the Shame NC-17 issue. Will Fox Searchlight be able to push Michael Fassbender for an Oscar nomination? (I weigh in on this here.)

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    John Orloff Talks Anonymous, Shakespeare, Emmerich, Ifans, Redgrave, Stratford vs. Oxford

    One of the surprises of the season is Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, which opens Friday amid ongoing controversy over its premise: that William Shakespeare did not write his plays and poems, and the Earl of Oxford did. Screenwriter John Orloff has been obsessed with this mystery since his college days; the screenplay served as his ticket of admission to Hollywood. First, Shakespeare in Love put Anonymous on the back burner, to be resurrected decades later by German digital master Emmerich, best known for such action adventures as Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Emmerich helped, for better or for worse, to turn Orloff's identity crisis into a rip-...

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    CASTING WATCH: Who Should Play Grace Kelly in Upcoming Grace of Monaco?

    Grace of Monaco, a spec script by Arash Amel, has been acquired by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam (through his new Stone Angel production and financing banner). Given the competitive level of interest in the script, the film about Grace Kelly, who was both Hollywood and actual royalty--will likely be gearing ...

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    Trailer Watch: Angelina Jolie's In The Land of Blood and Honey

    Here's a first look at Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, Graham King-produced In The Land of Blood and Honey, to be released by FilmDistrict December 23. A love story set during the Bosnian War (which caused concern early in the shoot), its plot remains unclear. Love, war, explosions, conflicting ...

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    Trailer Watch: Christian Bale's Flowers of War Is Not Delicate Film, Looks Gorgeous, Horrifying

    TOH! caught twenty minutes of gorgeous, horrifying footage of Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (formerly Heros of Nanking) at Toronto, along with every distributor in town. It's China's most expensive movie to date, and will open there and across Asia on December 16, and is rumored to be near a deal for US distribution. The film stars Christian Bale, with what looks like a strong performance, as a mortician in wartorn 1937 Nanking who steps up to protect a group of schoolgirls and prostitutes taking shelter at the Winchester Cathedral. Adapted by Liu Heng from the novel by Geling Yan, it is inspired by true events during the Rape of Nanking. ...

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    In The Tree of Life, Malick's Experimentation Gets Under the Skin

    With the debate about its Oscar chances heating up and the film now available on DVD and Blu-ray, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column this week revisits Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life marks director Terrence Malick’s fifth feature in the 38 years since his debut, Badlands. It’s an output that might seem thin at first glance: Woody Allen, in the same period, directed 40 (!) films, some of which (Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives) deserve to be saddled with the word “classic.” But Mailck’s genius — and, watching The Tree of Life again, I think that’s a fair word to use — can’t be seen in traditional terms....

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    Tarantino's Django Unchained Cast Shaping Up for Fall Shoot; Washington Joins Foxx, DiCaprio, Waltz

    The latest actor to board Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained (December 25, 2012) is Don Johnson (TV's Miami Vice, Nash Bridges; Bucky Larson, Machete, Tin Cup). The actor is in negotiations to play plantation owner Spencer Bennett. He would be joining Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz...

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    Fans Rejoice: HBO Orders Season 3 of Boardwalk Empire

    Boardwalk Empire has been given the greenlight by HBO for Season 3. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says that after the first season: "I was eager to see what Terry Winter, Martin Scorsese and the rest of their stellar team had in store, and they continue to surpass our highest expectatio...

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    Fassbender and McQueen Set for Third Collaboration: 12 Years A Slave, Based on True Story

    Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen will team up for a third time for 12 Years a Slave. Following Hunger and Shame (pictured together on set), the actor and writer-director will bring to life the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a citizen of New York who was kidnapped and enslaved ...

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    NYFF Early Reviews for 3-D Hugo: Cinephiles Are Delighted by Scorsese's Love Letter to Film

    The reason that Paramount screened Martin Scorsese’s work-in-progress 3-D Hugo as the New York Film Festival's Monday night’s mystery screening, without completed effects or a final score (by Howard Shore) is that it’s a cinephile’s dream. The NYFF audience couldn’t have been a more receptive crowd....

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