11 July 2012 6:17 AM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

While Russia and Hollywood both want a piece of the other's box office pie, they are more likely to come out ahead by working together on big commercial projects than emerging indie pictures. One movie that various Hollywood distributors are eyeing with interest is rising actor-director Fedor Bondarchuk's "Stalingrad." What does it have going for it? Well, it's a 3-D epic romance set against a famous and pivotal World War II battle between the Russians and the Germans. August Diehl ("Inglourious Basterds") and Thomas Kretschmann ("Resident Evil") lead the international cast. While we were in St. Petersburg, the Roskino bus took a detour to a wet and muddy movie set commandeered by Bondarchuk, who had starred in two of the Roskino selection, the commercial comedy "Spy" and the romance "Two Days." Charismatic and well-muscled, Bondarchuk seemed full of energy mid-way through a wearying fifteen-week shoot. He »

- Anne Thompson

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