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Thompson on Hollywood

Four Reasons 2014 Will Be the Year of the Immigrant on Film (VIDEO)

From reportorial nonfiction to epic drama, from the couch to the art house, immigrants past and present will be at the forefront of 2014's film offerings -- not to mention your cable news network of choice. As the Congressional debate over immigration reform heats up and the midterm election gears begin to turn, here are four things to watch for:
  • By Matt Brennan
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  • January 27, 2014 1:24 PM
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LISTEN to Joaquin Phoenix Tell All on Terry Gross's Fresh Air

Joaquin Phoenix has enjoyed a strained relationship with his public. He's one of our great actors, from "Gladiator," which earned him one of three Oscar nominations (along with "Walk the Line" and "The Master") to Spike Jonze's "Her." Getting him to talk to Fresh Air's ace interlocutor Terry Gross was a favor to all of us. What did he reveal?
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 24, 2014 3:10 PM
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WATCH: In New Clip from 'Her,' Joaquin Phoenix Listens as Scarlett Johansson's Samantha Navigates New Feelings

Spike Jonze's imaginative and winningly uncynical sci-fi romance "Her" has its wide release on January 10, following its limited release back on December 18, in time for awards season contention. Check out a clip from the film below, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as lonely writer Theodore as he listens to his OS girlfriend Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) talk about her recent emergence of feelings and desires -- and the resulting insecurity.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • January 3, 2014 12:56 PM
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'Her' Designers Barrett and Storm Talk Creating Warm, Retro Look

Turns out that red is not only the warmest color in Spike Jonze's Oscar-contending "Her," but that there was no room for blue in this cozy LA of the near future. That's because the world building was retro rather than futuristic in exploring the conflict between emotion and environment, according to K.K. Barrett and Casey Storm, the director's longtime production designer and costume designer.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2013 2:50 PM
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'Her' Review: Spike Jonze Returns with a Vengeance with Tech Romance (Q & A)

Some of the best movies come from filmmakers on the rebound from a flop. After years of struggling to finish his labor of love, the idiosyncratic Maurice Sendak adaptation "Where the Wild Things Are," Spike Jonze has returned with a vengeance, for the first time writing as well as directing the story of a man on the rebound from a failed marriage. "Her" can be viewed as the flip side of Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning movie about the end of their relationship, "Lost in Translation."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • December 20, 2013 6:21 PM
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  • 4 Comments

WATCH: New Trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her'

A second trailer has arrived for Spike Jonze's "Her," starring Joaquin Phoenix as one Theodore Twambly, a writer so heartbroken following the end of a long-term relationship that he strikes up a tech-age romance with a computer operating system, huskily voiced by Scarlett Johansson. Watch below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • December 4, 2013 12:18 PM
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Oscar Talk: Where Are We Now?

In Contention's Kris Tapley and I look at where the Oscar race is now. We check out the strengths and weaknesses of the New York Film Festival entries "Captain Phillips," Spike Jonze's "Her," and Ben Stiller's "Secret Life of Walter Mitty." We agree that Tom Hanks reminds us of what a real performance looks like.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 25, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 5 Comments

NYFF: James Gray Talks 'The Immigrant,' Joaquin Phoenix Doesn't (Q & A VIDEO)

James Gray's "The Immigrants" is one of those films where you feel that all the energy went into slavishly recreating the period; you leave humming the sets. At the press conference (see video below), Gray had to do all the talking, as Joaquin Phoenix was there to lend moral support but not much else.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 8, 2013 8:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Spike Jonze Previews 'Her' Before its New York Film Festival Unveiling

Spike Jonze did not have a completed film to show at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, even though he'd been working on his fourth feature "Her" for three years, and editing the film for 14 months. It was "a relentless process" he said at the TIFF Q & A. "I don't know what I'm making, I find it along the way." But he did provide a tantalizing preview of "Her," which was financed by Megan Ellison's Annapurna, via clips and a talk with his friend, filmmaker Kelly Reichardt.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 5, 2013 12:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment

New York Film Festival Announces Spike Jonze's 'Her' as Closing Night Gala

A day after its first trailer being released online, Spike Jonze's "Her" has been announced as the Closing Night Gala for the New York Film Festival. It will be making its world premiere at the fest. Check out a new image below.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • August 8, 2013 12:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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