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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Cinematography Oscar Race

While the tech momentum for Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is clearly spilling over into the cinematography race, making Claudio Miranda the frontrunner for his ethereal golden hour hue, the other four nominees are a study in stylistic brilliance as well, conveying a vibe of what's old is new again...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 6, 2013 3:56 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Oscar Watch 'How to Survive a Plague': From a Tale of Disease, a Primer for Empowerment

David France didn't set out to make a film about the AIDS crisis. He didn't even set out to be a filmmaker. Speaking to me from Los Angeles on the afternoon before the Directors Guild of America Awards—for which he was nominated for his first documentary, "How to Survive a Plague"—France told me that the project (also nominated for the documentary feature Oscar) grew out of his feeling that a crucial chapter of the history of AIDS in America had been lost. That story, he knew from personal experience, was one of activism and empowerment, one that had changed the United States forever. France wanted to bring it back.
  • By Jacob Combs
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  • February 6, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 2 Comments

'Avengers' Cast to Present at the Oscars

Marvel isn't missing a promo trick, nor is the ever-youth-audience-chasing Oscar telecast. "The Avengers" cast members Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo will present on-stage at the Oscars on February 24.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • February 6, 2013 12:31 PM
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Review: In Tavianis' Dreamy, Meta Docudrama 'Caesar Must Die,' All the Prison's a Stage

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s docudrama “Caesar Must Die,” Italy's Oscar entry that runs February 6-19 at Film Forum, takes place at Rome’s maximum-security Rebibbia Prison, and stars the facility’s actual inmates. Many of the men are serving life sentences, with a variety of high crimes on their records: drug trafficking, Cammora and Mafia affiliation, and murder.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 6, 2013 12:01 PM
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Writers Guild Awards Bring Class and Comedy with Presenters Jessica Chastain, Amy Poehler, Adam Scott and More

The first wave of presenters for the 2013 Writers Guild Awards have been announced. Included in the lineup are Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, Golden Globes host Amy Poehler and her "Parks and Recreation" co-star Adam Scott, and the hilarious "Key and Peele" stars Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 5, 2013 1:08 PM
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Oscar Lunch Nominees Q & A: Chastain, Lawrence, Hathaway, Adams, Washington, Jackman, Cooper and More

Among the nominated stars stopping by the interview room on their way to the Oscar Nominees Luncheon were Ben Affleck, Tim Burton, Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman, Denzel Washington, Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Naomi Watts, Quvenzhane Wallis, Robert De Niro, Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Anne Hathaway and Jacki Weaver. Absent were Daniel Day Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, Emmanuelle Riva, Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Check out highlights of what each had to say below.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • February 4, 2013 5:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Santa Barbara Fest Lauds 'Supernova' Jennifer Lawrence, Outstanding Performer of the Year

On Saturday night, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival presented Jennifer Lawrence, 22, with the fest’s Outstanding Performer of the Year award. But first she had to submit to a grilling by SBIFF executive director Roger Durling, who described Lawrence’s performances, from Lori Petty’s “The Poker House” to Oscar-nominated “Silver Linings Playbook,” as “filled with electric energy and vitality.”
  • By Justin Lowe
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  • February 4, 2013 6:51 AM
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A Brief and Glitzy History of the Vanity Fair Oscar Party

  • By Maggie Lange
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  • February 3, 2013 7:19 PM
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Art Directors Guild Awards Honor 'Anna Karenina,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Skyfall,' Snub 'Lincoln' and 'Argo'

The 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards, presented at a lively if long ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, honored "Anna Karenina," "Life of Pi" and "Skyfall" in the period, fantasy and contemporary feature film categories, respectively.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • February 3, 2013 2:47 AM
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Directors Guild Continues the Awards Surge for Ben Affleck's 'Argo'

Ben Affleck bookended the night at the Directors Guild of America Awards. Half-hour TV show winner Lena Dunham ("Girls") accepted her award by saying, "Steven Spielberg, I'm coming for you. Ben Affleck, I already came for you." She forecast the heat that attended Affleck's "Argo," which by evening's end, continued its awards surge by taking home the DGA's top honor for best feature. It's the third time a director has won the DGA without an Oscar nom. Affleck joins other actor-directors who have won the DGA: Woody Allen, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Ron Howard, Kevin Costner, and Clint Eastwood.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 3, 2013 1:42 AM
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  • 2 Comments

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