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Thompson on Hollywood

The Unsung Hero Behind 'Argo' and 'Zero Dark Thirty' Has Two Chances to Win Oscar Night

When William Goldenberg came to talk to Sneak Previews about editing Ben Affleck's "Argo" back in October, he was still in the throes of finishing Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," on a tight deadline to deliver a final cut in November. Sunday night Goldenberg is up for not just one but two Oscars, for two very different Middle East movies, and is favored to win for best picture frontrunner "Argo."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2013 6:06 PM
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Final Oscar Predictions 2013

You'd think that Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the highest-grossing film of the Oscar nominees ($174 million and counting) with the most nominations (12), would be steady as they go. (Best Picture nominees Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" scored eleven, "Les Miserables" eight, "Argo" seven, and "Zero Dark Thirty" five.) Yet Ben Affleck's "Argo," fueled by sympathy for the popular actor-director's "snub" by the Oscar directors' branch, is sxurging past the one-time best picture frontrunner. The directors branch, packed with foreign auteurs, is known for making idiosyncratic choices, but rarely have the DGA and Academy lists been so different. (Also left off the Oscar directors list: Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow.) With final voting under way, "Argo" leads "Lincoln." But it's Spielberg vs. Ang Lee in the director race.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 24, 2013 4:26 PM
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Six Reasons Why Six Oscar Nominees Delivered Highest Awards Season Grosses in Recent History

Six of the nine Oscar Best Picture nominees have already passed the $100 million mark, the highest level since the number was increased from five in 2009. These are the biggest numbers, even with ticket price adjustments, in recent box-office history. A number of factors contributed to the result-- the quality of the films, with studio-financed budgets requiring films with wide audience appeal, apart from any Oscar bonus--but the most significant was the calendar.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
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  • February 24, 2013 6:15 AM
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'Silver Linings Playbook' Wins Four Independent Spirit Awards, Hunt and Hawkes Win for 'Sessions,' Full List of Winners

Going in it was Fox Searchlight's scrappy "Beasts of the Southern Wild" vs. Weinstein Co's "Silver Linings Playbook" at the 28th Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday at the sunny beach in Santa Monica. The show, which airs at 10 PM on IFC, was hosted by SNL's Andy Samberg, who played well to the room; the highlights were several video spoofs of the nominees, including Samberg's Skype auditions. "We've got Matthew McConaughey," said Samberg. "Hollywood fuck you!"
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 23, 2013 8:06 PM
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Live Backstage at the 2013 Indie Spirit Awards: 'Silver Linings Playbook' Dominates with Best Feature, Director and Actress; Hawkes Wins for Actor

TOH! was live backstage at the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Here's a roundup of the winners and what they had to say.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 23, 2013 6:11 PM
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The Cesars Go to Riva, Trintignant, Haneke, 'Amour,' and Foreign Film 'Argo' UPDATED

A radiant red-robed Emmanuelle Riva accepted the Cesar for best actress Friday night at Paris's Théâtre du Châtelet for Michael Haneke's "Amour," which won five awards including best picture, director, original screenplay and best actor for Jean-Louis Trintignant. Haneke was in Los Angeles for Saturday's Indie Spirits and Sunday's Oscars, while Trintignant was in Brussels in a play, he told the audience via his son Vincent's cell phone: "Je suis tres content, merci beaucoup," he said. Kevin Costner accepted a Life Achievement Award--and seemed to fall asleep during Riva's long speech.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 22, 2013 6:07 PM
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'Up in the Air' Writer Walter Kirn on the Oscars, an Event that 'Sucked Even Worse in Real Life Than on Television'

For an insider's (scathing) prespective on Oscar night, read the New Republic's piece "Oscar Grouch: I'd like to thank the Academy for nothing," written by "Up In the Air" (the novel) writer Walker Kirn. Highlights from the piece below:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 22, 2013 4:02 PM
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Nate Silver Predicts the Oscars -- Statistical Frontrunners and Nominees with "more noise than signal"

"Political calculus" election guru Nate Silver is taking his third stab at Oscar predictions in the six major categories -- he previously predicted in 2009 and 2011 -- and using a no-nonsense approach. While Silver doesn't boast a perfect Oscar track record, he claims that his method of basing the winners off other awards given out in the run-up to the Academy Awards is "the best predictor of Oscar success" and the closest equivalent to pre-election polls.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 22, 2013 1:10 PM
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Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Chosen as Oscar-Qualifying in Documentary Short Category

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival has been selected as an Academy Award-qualifying festival in the Documentary Short Subject category. This decision follows a recent similar decision by the Producers Guild.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 22, 2013 12:24 PM
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Oscar Talk: Final Predictions

On this week's Oscar Talk Podcast, Kris Tapley and I make our final picks -- and have six pivotal disagreements.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 22, 2013 12:00 PM
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