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Thompson on Hollywood

State of the Oscar Race, Reading the Oscar Nominees Lunch Tea Leaves (VIDEO)

As of Friday, February 8, Academy members can vote for the Oscars, right up to February 19. Many have already received their paper ballots, and three have anonymously revealed their votes to the LA Times. All they reveal is that this year, more than most, the race is wide open and hard to call. "It's the best collection of movies in 90 years," says Harvey Weinstein...
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2013 3:32 PM
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  • 4 Comments

Oscar Talk: 'Argo' Wins DGA

On this week's Oscar Talk Podcast, Kris Tapley and I discuss the state of the race post-DGA win for "Argo," the Academy Nominees Luncheon, rank the animated shorts, and more. Kris is gung-ho all the way on "Argo," while I argue that in many categories including Best Picture and Director, this race is too close to call.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 8, 2013 12:00 PM
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  • 0 Comments

WATCH 'Adam and Dog': Exclusive Animated Oscar Short

Korean Minkyu Lee's Oscar-nominated animated short, "Adam and Dog," which won the Annie for best animated short last year, is available online.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 8, 2013 11:48 AM
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  • 0 Comments

'Life of Pi' Continues Tech Surge at Visual Effects Society Awards

The big winner at the Visual Effects Society Awards with four wins was VES visonary award-winner Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," which clearly had the support of the room at the Beverly HIlton Tuesday night. Another big winner was "Brave," which swept the four top animation categories. As for star presence, although Harrison Ford presented the life achievement award to veteran VFX master Richard Edlund, who met him 37 years ago on the first "Star Wars," and Oscar nominee Naomi Watts presented the evening's last awards, to best animated VFX to "Brave" and live action VFX to "Life of Pi," the star of the evening with this group was presenter Andy Serkis of Gollum fame.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 6, 2013 4:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

'Zero Dark Thirty' Writer-Producer Boal Defends Film in 'First Amendment Week' Keynote

Celebrating "First Amendment Week" at Loyola Marymount University, Oscar-nominated "Zero Dark Thirty" writer-producer Mark Boal (who won a writing Oscar for "The Hurt Locker," his first collaboration with director Kathryn Bigelow) gave the keynote address.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 6, 2013 4:13 PM
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  • 1 Comment

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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  • 1 Comment

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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  • 0 Comments

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