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8 items from 2016

Exclusive Portraits: Scarlett Johansson Receives Gene Siskel Film Center Renaissance Award

9 July 2016 9:26 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – She’s conquered the box office as the top grossing female star of all time, and she’s had a series of big superhero and prestige films. The Gene Siskel Film Center honored Scarlett Johansson with their Renaissance Award, at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago on June 20th, 2016.

Scarlett Johansson on the Red Carpet on June 20th, 2016

Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for

Johansson was born in New York City, and studied acting at the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan. She made her film debut at the age of nine in “North” (1994), and rose steadily through the ranks as a child/teenage actress in such films as “Manny & Lo” (1996), “The Horse Whisperer” (1998) and “Ghost World” (2001).

She made the transition to more adult roles with the unforgettable “Lost in Translation” (2003), opposite Bill Murray, and further stole the screen in the Woody Allen-directed “Match Point »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Top 10 movies about female friendships

8 June 2016 12:04 PM, PDT | Cineplex | See recent Cineplex news »

Today is National Best Friends Day, making it the perfect time to celebrate female friendship. Female friendships are a thing of beauty.  Robust, complicated, endearing, intense, and any other adjective you can think of.  Sure, a lot of movies revolve around girlfriends talking about men and the various heartaches, hardships, and passionate feelings menfolk bring, but it’s those movies that feature genuine relationships that pass the Bechdel test that we love the best.  The test is simple, really:  Have a movie with at least two female characters who talk to one another about something other than man.  Surprisingly – or perhaps not – many mainstream films fail this simple test.  For those that do pass with flying colours, they’re likely to end up on our list of the top 10 movies that deal with female friendships in its many forms.

While the girls in Ghost World bond over an obsession with »

- Rachel West

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Thora Birch joins 'Public Affairs'

1 June 2016 2:44 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The latest casting piece has slotted into the political thriller from School Pictures and American Film Productions set to start production this month in Norfolk, Virginia.

13 Films handles international sales on Public Affairs and introduced the project to buyers in Cannes last month.

Birch will join previously announced Adrian Grenier and Mimi Rogers

Eric Bross directs Public Affairs from a screenplay by Tom Cudworth about a campaign aide who must fight for his life after he sleeps with the wife of a presidential candidate.

School PicturesStephen Israel and George Voskericyan of American Film Productions serve as producers.

Birch took a break from acting after she broke out in American Beauty and earned a Golden Globe nomination for Ghost World.

She is shooting Above Suspicion and recently wrapped The Etruscan Smile. »

- (Jeremy Kay)

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Thora Birch Joins Adrian Grenier Thriller ‘Public Affairs’

1 June 2016 10:07 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Thora Birch has joined Adrian Grenier and Mimi Rogers in the political thriller Public Affairs, Variety has learned exclusively.

Eric Bross is directing from a script by Tom Cudworth. Producers are School PicturesStephen Israel (“Swimming With Sharks”) and George Voskericyan (“Helicopter Mom”) of American Film Productions. Shooting starts this month in Norfolk, Va.

13 Films has international rights to the project, which was introduced to buyers in Cannes.

“Public Affairs” follows a young campaign aide who sleeps with a presidential candidate’s wife — a mistake that sends him into a downward spiral of corruption and blackmail. He is left fighting not only for his career, but also his life.

“I’ve long-admired Thora’s raw talent and am thrilled that she has joined the team,” said Israel. “Her honesty and depth will truly complement an already-strong cast.”

Birch’s credits include “Patriot Games,” “American Beauty” and “Ghost World.” She took »

- Dave McNary

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The Grand Unified Theory of Scarlett Johansson Movies

4 May 2016 10:30 AM, PDT | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

What if all Scarlett Johansson movies are connected?

The other night my wife and I were watching Lucy and a ridiculous thought crossed my mind: what if all of Scarlett Johansson’s movies are connected? And what if the center of that universe is actually Lucy? My mind started to wander and, after pulling up IMDb, connections seemed to fall right into place. As a result, I present The Grand Unified Theory of Scarlett Johansson Movies.

This has spoilers for Scarlett Johansson’s entire career. So, you’ve been warned.

This could very well be my final descent into true madness. But whatever, let’s do this. The timeline begins with Ghost World.

In Ghost World, Scarlett plays Rebecca, a teenager eager to embrace the world. She and her friend Enid have grand plans… but life often doesn’t work out as teenagers imagine and Rebecca ends up working a crappy job at a coffee shop. This »

- Justin Cox

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Newish to DVD & Streaming. What will you make me watch?

3 May 2016 5:29 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

It's that time again. If you missed it in theaters or merely want to revisit here are some newish options from the past couple of weeks or just now.

New to DVD & BluRay

The Choice - In which Broadway's favorite bloody bloody musical star, Benjamin Walker, tries his hand at the Sparksverse and even an annoying catchphrase "bother me"

Jane Got a Gun - Does all the trouble that production had (director walk out / cast changes / delays) show up on screen? With Natalie Portman

• Joy - Decide for yourself if JLaw deserved a fourth Oscar nomination for this drama about a female entrepeneur

Krampus - This horror flick got surprisingly good reviews. With Toni Collette & Adam Scott

A Royal Night Out -If Diary of a Teenage Girl had you intrigued about Bel Powley check out her other introduction. Co-starring ubiquitous Sarah Gadon

• Son of Saul - This drama about a »


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10 Best Movies and TV Shows to Stream in May

2 May 2016 7:30 AM, PDT | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Summer's hottest days are still a month or two away, but streaming services are stockpiling material to keep us entertained indoors when it's scorching and sticky outside. May sees an influx of excellent Nineties movies, from the face-melting thrillers (literally) to political satires that seem more pertinent than ever. There'll be plenty of TV series to plow through, too, including the return of Netflix's addictive drama Bloodline and the long-awaited HBO Go debut of the channel's cult favorite Mr. Show. Here are our picks for the 10 best things to stream this month. »

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The Academy's Diversity Problem is Not Going Away

23 February 2016 1:04 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Daniel Clowes, whose comic book "Ghost World" inspired Terry Zwigoff's outstanding 2001 film adaptation, landed a potent dig at the Academy Monday when The New Yorker unveiled his February 29 cover illustration, "Privileged Characters." Depicting statuettes of a darker hue roped off from the red carpet, it's a one-glance indictment of the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations, and all the more devastating for arriving at a moment in which one thing has become abundantly clear: the furor most frequently labeled #OscarsSoWhite is not going away.   On his HBO series "Last Week Tonight" Sunday, John Oliver got in on the game too, memorably (and hilariously) thrashing Hollywood for its history of casting white actors in roles that would logically be played by people of color, from John Wayne as Genghis Khan to Laurence Olivier's notorious "Othello" blackface. His announcer opened the occasional segment, "Why Is This Still a »

- Matt Brennan

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